My oldest son caught the brunt of the family anger, confusion, irritability and everything else that happens in an alcoholic home. He caught it from both me—his mother—and his father. Today he is a very angry, confused active alcoholic and drug addict. But there is an upside to this situation. Through the Al‑Anon program, I have been able to make amends to him and accept him just as he is. I sometimes have to set boundaries and distance myself from his unacceptable behaviors, but I can do it with love. I feel like I’ve learned the true meaning of unconditional love, and I get to experience a great personal freedom in practicing it. My son and I have endured a lot together through the years. Even though our lives have taken different paths, what I have learned in Al‑Anon has given us a very special mother-and-son relationship, a relationship for which I am very grateful.

By Phyllis S., Oregon

The Forum, October 2018