Who suggested you try Al-Anon?

Published by at 11:57 am under Common Concerns

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today we have Carollyn, Michael, and Barbara with us. All are active Al-Anon members. They are willing to talk about who referred them to Al-Anon Family Groups.

How to locate a meeting

5 comments

5 comments on “Who suggested you try Al-Anon?”

  1. Robert says:

    After years of living with people who drank and couldn’t stop, a friend of mine suggested I try Al-Anon. I’ve been reading some literature and think it will help.

  2. Panama C. says:

    While most of us have heard that alcoholism is a disease, too few recognize it as a family disease which may emotionally spiritually and often physically affect three or four people in each home, each office or workplace, or each group of friends. Al-Anon Family Groups, Al-Anon and Alateen, give us the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be lessened if we are willing to keep an open mind. A change in our attitude may be of boundless help and is often the force for good that finally inspires an alcoholic to seek help. The Al-Anon program is a spiritual way of life based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  3. Brooke says:

    My former Art Therapist suggested Al-Anon during our second session together, about two years after my older sister committed suicide via a drug overdose (and a lifetime of disease). I was in a torrent of pain.

    I went to the next meeting that was scheduled and guess who was leading? My Art Therapist!! She was so surprised to see me there! She exclaimed, “No one ever comes when I suggest Al-Anon!”

    I still feel that having my therapist there and hearing her story that night was my Higher Power giving me a gentle, encouraging nudge toward willingness and acceptance of the program and encouraging my sense of both feeling welcome and belonging in Al-Anon. Her story was fascinating to me.

    Months later, I asked her to be my sponsor and she gently declined. This interchange deeply hurt and affected my growth with regard to relationships. I worked to overcome resentments toward her, fear, expectations, and hurt… ultimately with a positive outcome, I feel. I continue my journey through Al-Anon with other sponsors. Because of this, I have developed deep, satisfying relationships in the program with other Al-Anon members.

    (Today I feel that, in a way, this woman HAS sponsored me: by suggesting Al-Anon in the first place; by continuing to be a loving, supportive friend; by making her presence known to me at every 12-step event in a kind, loving way.)

    My beloved former Art Therapist is a continuing member of my home group. I have a sweet friendship with her and her husband, too: we attend open A.A. speaker meetings regularly and I always sit with them. Our consistent attendance at meetings and conferences has become important to me. They are part of my family-of-recovery.

    I might have heard of Al-Anon when my dear sister was in a rehab, 12 years before she died. I was 15 then, though, and not as independent, and I certainly didn’t feel free to explore Al-Anon at the time, being in the throes of the family disease of alcoholism and drug abuse. I had never heard of Alateen. So the concept of Al-Anon did not strike me as entirely foreign in therapy when it was suggested. Either way, my Higher Power opened the door to Al-Anon when I was better prepared to walk through it.

    Willingness is necessary to benefit from Al-Anon. To suggest and to share the gifts of Al-Anon in a way that will capture the imagination of someone in pain… that takes a certain wisdom and artistry. My former Art Therapist had that wisdom and she shared it with me.

    I am ever grateful for the grace and courage, friendship and wisdom which comes from this program of recovery, one day at a time.

  4. Judy, NM says:

    My in-laws were the first people who suggested I try Al-Anon. They didn’t know what it was, but they had heard that it could help me get my husband, their son, to stop drinking. I was really angry that they were butting into our business, but I went to a meeting just to get them off my back.

    I don’t remember much of the meeting, except that I didn’t hear the answer of how to get my husband to stop drinking. At the end of the meeting I noticed that the group had a table of literature. I was involved in my children’s elementary school and we often sold items to raise funds. This looked like a fundraising table, and I thought these were nice people so I bought a book to help their cause. The joke was on me. I ended up buying a book that helped my cause. I bought ONE DAY AT A TIME.

    For the next 12 years I read that little book at night after my husband had passed out for the night. I learned enough to know that I didn’t cause his drinking, I couldn’t control it, nor could I cure it. When my son began to battle his own addiction, his counselors at rehab required that I attend Al-Anon meetings. This time I was able to actually hear what was being said in the meetings. I soaked it up like a sponge. I began to attend regularly, got a sponsor, and volunteered for service.

    Even though my husband has never sought recovery, through Al-Anon I am able to choose to stay in my marriage one day at a time. I have learned to take care of myself, and I am constantly learning new tools for living life in a lovely way. Al-Anon has been a life-saver and it will be a life-long program for me. Thank you to all who give their time in service to keep our program strong all over the world.

  5. ann says:

    I learned of Al-Anon from the hospital I was at. I went into the psych ward in a small town where we were living in Ontario. I had not slept for a few nights and I went into an insomnia-induced psychosis. I was in so much fear and I’m not sure who or when I was told to go to Al-Anon. All I remember is I wanted to try anything.

    My first meeting was in 1974. I was 23, married to an alcoholic, and had a baby. I went to this meeting and what I saw was a lot of older ladies in their late 50’s and a table full of literature. I remember buying a book, ODAT, and took that book with me everywhere I went. I am not sure if I went to any more meetings after that, but I told myself I was not going to be 55 years old and going to Al-Anon meetings. My husband did not choose recovery and I did not go to any more meetings.

    I left my husband when my son was old enough to go to school and I went to work. Things did not work out for me in that town in Ontario. I lost my house in 1980 when interst on my mortgage went to 23%. I quit my job and moved to Vancouver. I now regret not going to meetings because my life continued to be dysfunctional even after I moved. I realized I attracted addicts and alcoholic relationships.

    I started taking Adivan for anxiety and became addicted to that medication. When I was in the hospital again for withdrawls, I was told of Nar-Anon because of my son’s addiction to cocaine. I was so afraid again to go to meetings, so it was when my son attended AA meetings he got on his knees and begged me to go to Al-Anon and I promised him I would. I went in very angry and proud, thinking why do I need these meetings when I don’t have a problem. I stayed long enough to hear what I needed to hear and continue to hear at 58.

    I now know my higher power was telling me at 23 years old what I did not want to hear. I have been gravely affected by alchohol. I love Al-Anon and my son and I are working one day at a time to better communicate in our relationship. God Bless all who are affected by this disease, and never give up.

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