Sharing in meetings has always been super hard for me. I tend not to speak up much in meetings. My natural tendency is to isolate—both when things are going well and when I am struggling. As I have grown in the Al‑Anon program, I have experienced a great sense of relief each and every time I share.
Speaking about my experiences living with alcoholism validates my feelings, thoughts, and concerns. In Al-Anon, I have the wonderful opportunity to talk with a group of caring individuals whose life experiences are similar to mine. This is a privilege I had never enjoyed until I came into this program. To know that something I share may help the next person fills me with joy and gratitude for the progress I have made in learning to live in a healthy way utilizing the principles of the program.
Since being in Al-Anon, all of my relationships have improved. As I have become more comfortable hearing my own voice reflect about my life experiences, my awareness of how I impact what is happening around me has also increased. Since I am better able to accurately represent my needs and experiences, I am better able to advocate for myself in all areas of my life.
I still have a long way to go, but when I share, I feel the clouds parting and the sun shining through to illuminate reality. When I live in reality, I can make better choices and take better care of myself. I am so grateful for this gift Al‑Anon has given me.
By Willow M., Oregon
The Forum, August 2021
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.