Hello. Cowwoman here. Yes, still vertical and kicking. I am in the last stages of intensive therapy. Happy to report it was successful. Now, after navigating through shame, scapegoating, worthiness, and just plain misery, I have emerged with a new perspective of my self. Big revelation: my mother is not the way she is because of me, which has always been her take on the situation. However, I am the way I am because of HER! And, as sick as I felt in the beginning of this trip through the cerebral soup, she is the one who has been, is, and will always be, sick. Now, at the venerable age of (gulp) 70, I feel free to be who I am, having finally discovered who that is. Gee, that's big. And the cause of all this mental anguish, the core belief, was that if I loved myself, I was not a good person. Both are terribly important to me. Early in my recovery, I learned that alcoholism is a symptom of a far more pervasive disease. The Big Book never says what that is, however, leaving me to ponder. I decided my underlying problem was self-loathing, and started a campaign to learn to care about me the way I cared about others. And in the end, what the Steps taught me was to have integrity and kindness, always, in other words, be a good person. This included visiting my very old, very unhappy mother, even though she worked very hard each time to let me know I was a worthless piece of work, and I would walk away suitably flayed. Big paradox, you see. Being a good person meant opening my little self to yet more self-hatred. Not. Any. More. (I am wiping my brow as I write.) Often, as I sat on the couch in Ian's office, he would throw out a notion about how I could let go of going to see mother, and I would run up against this interior wall that said "Hold it! How can I be a good daughter if I do that?" And then, mother shut the door for me, appropriately on Mother's Day, a year ago, proclaiming that I should be ashamed of myself for actions in the past (50 years past), that my visiting her was seen as obligation only, and that she never wanted to see me anyway. In fact, she never wanted to see me again! And so it is. Ian said I was free. Huh? Only a year later, and I get it! No longer fearful of losing the quarter of a million dollar inheritance (brothers get over a third of a million each), no longer nose out of joint over being overlooked and discounted for lack of a penis, no longer mourning family that I was never a part of anyway, DONE! And FREE! So, expect upbeat and less whiney posts.