I heard about Al‑Anon many years ago when my therapist suggested I attend to help with my alcoholic husband. I had lived with the disease with my father, and now I found myself in its clutches again. I did attend a meeting, but did not feel that Al‑Anon was for me. I stiffened up and thought if he does not stop drinking, this marriage is over. Since the program is not a blueprint for getting him sober, I did not return.
I now have a child who is an alcoholic, but I cannot divorce her. I came to Al‑Anon to cure the alcoholic, but I have stayed because I am the one getting cured. My daughter was the one who encouraged me to attend Al‑Anon. I did not see what the disease was doing to me; I only saw what it was doing to her. Finding a group for parents of alcoholics was a blessing. I was willing to admit I needed help and my life had become unmanageable. Her drinking was causing me time in the hospital, time away from friends and family, and time away from any joy. I needed help realizing I was as sick as my daughter.
Al‑Anon has provided the only hope for the possibility of change and a healthier, happier life, “whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.” I found a way to overcome the devastating effects of this terrible disease. I keep coming back because my meetings are my spiritual home.
By Suzanne F., Colorado
The Forum, December 2019
Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA