My relationship with my mother had been a very difficult one since I was a teenager. Both of us had been affected by alcoholism in different ways. She tried to tell me how to live my life, and I did not like that. The older I got, the worse the relationship became.

Eventually, I got married and moved from Argentina to the United States. After my divorce, I started going to Al‑Anon. I had been in the program for about six months when my mother invited herself to spend three weeks with me. Her plan was that we would spend the holidays at my house and then, in January, we would go to Florida and spend another two weeks, the two of us sharing the same hotel room.

To be able to survive, I developed a great plan of my own. I was not about to tell my mother I was going to Al‑Anon, so I told her that the professional association I belonged to was having a convention and I was going to attend the last speaker of each day. Instead, I went to Al‑Anon meetings. Since it was January, every meeting was on the First Step. After the third or fourth meeting, I realized I needed to apply the First Step to my mother. I admitted I was powerless over her and her controlling attitude. When I began to accept her the way she was, I started to feel better.

Right after this realization, one night when I got back from a meeting, my mother said, “Those seminars are very good for you. When you come back from them, you have a smile on your face and are not tense. Do they have anything to do with the book you read in the bathroom?” (I was reading Courage to Change [B-16] in the only place I had privacy.) It was then and there that our relationship started to change. I told her about Al‑Anon, and, since she wanted to learn English, I got her Courage to Change in both English and Spanish. She started reading them every day and, after a while, decided to go to meetings in Argentina.

Thanks to Al‑Anon, I changed, and my mother also changed. During the last 25 years of her life, we had the most wonderful relationship.

By Alicia D., Pennsylvania

The Forum, March 2022


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