When I wrote my last blog ("Letter to my alcoholic sister" Friday 28th April) I was in despair about how to deal with my alcoholic sister; I felt trapped by the strength of my emotions and by how often I seemed to go round and round in the same circles, unable to break free from the worry and from responding to her manipulating behaviour.
Over 30 people took the time to reply, lots of you in detail with some very practical suggestions; some of you sharing your incredibly painful experiences. I was overwhelmed by the amazing support you offered to me when I was particularly low.
I want you all to know how much your advice and sympathy helped me... in the weeks since then, every time I have felt the despair start to descend, I have revisited the blog and taken up one of the many suggestions you offered. I have drawn strength from those of you who shared painful memories. I have a strategically placed post-it note with "33" on it – the number of you who responded – which I look at when I feel the familiar anguish approaching.
Three weeks ago my sister rang me; I succeeded in not rising to her jibes; I managed to remain calm throughout the conversation; I let her words wash over me and evaporate; I came off the phone feeling numb... and a bit relieved that she hadn't provoked the anger she used to do.
The next day I surprised myself, standing in the kitchen I suddenly said, out loud "I owe Nicky nothing"; I repeated it, and then added "If anything she owes me, us, big time". This is a HUGE breakthrough for me, after years and years – words cannot express how much I now find myself able to detach from the emotions which would previously have worn me down.
Lovely Moodscopers, from the bottom of my heart, thank-you for helping me reach this amazing milestone. I truly believe I would still be going round in circles if it hadn't been for your magnificent response. I know that there will probably still be times when I despair and grieve for Nicky. The difference is that, thanks to you, I now have the support and the wisdom from your responses which I can revisit when the need arises.
I feel I have been blessed by having this "eureka" moment – however breakthrough can come about more quietly; we can be so wrapped up in the painful present that we fail to look back at the progress we have made. So, today I invite you to look back and celebrate the progress you have made, however small it may feel; I would love to hear your "breakthrough" stories.
A Moodscope member.