Help and hope! Living with someone whose drinking created havoc in my life made me crave both.
I blamed myself for the drinking, believing it was caused by my own inadequacies. I thought if I could distinguish myself, do everything perfectly, find just the right words, I could effect a change. In fact, I thought it was my responsibility to do so.
I was afraid to seek help—because I felt ashamed. I tried not to let anyone know what was happening in my home, tired from maintaining the façade that everything was all right. I feared the consequences that might occur if I sought help.
When I entered the doors of Al Anon, I found relief from the idea that I had caused the problem, needed to control it and somehow cure it. The sharing of other members gave me hope.
In the early years of my loved one’s sobriety, I still needed the support I found in Al Anon meetings. Because of the experience and strength of people who became my most intimate friends, I found a range of actions I could take that suited me. I was free to learn and find my own path, using the tools Al Anon offered. I discovered a gentle and simple way to a happier life and a connection with those who understood my hurt, anger, anxiety and love in the deepest way.
I found Al Anon meetings in my community, on the phone and online—all free and open to everyone. The principle of anonymity kept my attendance and what I shared private, so I felt safe.
Why not come to a meeting and experience hope and freedom from despair? Meet people just like you. Members will welcome you. Hope and help—that’s what I experienced at my very first Al Anon meeting, and I continue to pass along those gifts to others today.
Executive Director, Al Anon Family Group Headquarter, Inc.