I didn’t attend Al‑Anon meetings during the 16 years of my husband’s sobriety. When he relapsed and isolated, I shut down and isolated. I didn’t tell anyone of this, hoping he could beat it like before, and we could keep this secret between us. Three years later, I was miserable and could no longer take the mental torment of the disease. I finally went back to Al‑Anon.

At my first meeting, I found it was a relief to share a few of my secrets without the fear of being judged. The more meetings I attended, and the more I shared, the more unconditional support, love, knowledge, and peace I gained. I began using the Al‑Anon tools for the first time in my life.

Regularly attending and participating in Al‑Anon meetings, reading Conference Approved Literature, depending on my Al‑Anon family, and giving back has finally given me the courage to share my feelings and struggles with a few other close friends and family members. Their unconditional support, love, help, and resources have helped my children and me work through tough situations with positive outcomes that I know would not have happened if I had not opened up and shared with them.

In looking back, I regret I waited three years before going back to Al‑Anon. Al‑Anon has given me a safe place to be myself, to deal with the insidious disease of alcoholism and “life on life’s terms,” and to be open and honest. I am so grateful for Al‑Anon.

By Lori K., South Carolina

The Forum, September 2020

Feel free to reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.