My husband and I recently attended our daughter’s wedding, where the bridal party started drinking in the morning and kept going all day and all evening. It was a beautiful wedding with no expense spared. But by the end of the night, our daughter was sloppy drunk. Alcoholism is prevalent on both sides of our family, so it is no surprise that it is rearing its ugly head in our children’s generation, but this was the first time it was front and center for us to see. This was the first time my husband and I had seen our daughter this drunk.
Thank God I have been attending Al‑Anon meetings in person and on the phone, because my whole life has been affected by the disease of alcoholism, and seeing people drunk at these types of events hurts and frightens me deeply. This big night was no exception. I had been so happy at the ceremony and subsequent reception, where my husband gave a beautiful tribute to our daughter and others in the family. But my euphoria was dashed by the drunkenness. I cried myself to sleep that night, feeling a sense of loss.
I want to be a person who is stable no matter what is happening around me, not thrown about by the winds of what others are doing or not doing. In Al-Anon, I have learned that I am powerless over other people’s drinking. I didn’t cause and can’t control or cure the disease of alcoholism. Al-Anon is a spiritual program that lets me know it’s okay to feel the feelings I had of disgust, fear, anger, embarrassment, and disappointment.
In the days following the painful incident, I doubled up on my meetings, read Conference Approved Literature, prayed for peace, and called my Sponsor. I also called a fellow Al‑Anon member, journaled, napped, ate well, and envisioned the big hands of God holding me and my pain. It all helped me. This experience also gave me great clarity about renewing my subscription to The Forum and keeping the focus on myself, attending 90 meetings in 90 days, and staying in close contact with my wonderful, loving Al‑Anon Sponsor, who accepts me as I am. I can’t imagine going through this without the Al‑Anon program.
The Forum, July 2023
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.