When I attended my first Al‑Anon meeting, I was in a state of desperation, looking for a way to “fix” my son, the alcoholic. I didn’t know anyone at that meeting. Nevertheless, some members greeted me warmly, made sure I had a seat, and loaned me a book.
The group read a welcome message and then members shared their personal experience, strength, and hope. I can’t begin to tell you how comforted I was by the stories they told about how they had broken free from the same tumultuous life I was caught in.
Although I had come thinking that alcoholism was my son’s problem, I left with new respect for the power that alcoholism has over friends and families. It was actually a relief to get permission to take care of my own recovery and leave my son’s recovery to him. Sure, I would always love him and want to help him—it wasn’t easy to stop all my controlling, enabling behavior. But reading Al‑Anon literature daily, talking to members, and most of all going to meetings, has kept me focused on my personal journey to serenity.
The Forum, February 2021
Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.