Three years ago, as March 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic roared in with a vengeance, my beloved Al‑Anon meetings were threatened. Soon, I learned about an electronic platform that enabled face-to-face meetings via my computer. I looked up the Al‑Anon website for my Area and found some local groups that were meeting electronically. I attended some of these meetings and saw some familiar faces that I had not seen in years.
Along the way, I heard about a group in London, England, that was meeting online. I had spent some time in England as a child and was intrigued, so, through the magic of technology, I visited. The group was welcoming, and friendships began to flourish.
Before long, I embarked on a Step study with 12 other women—American, British, German, and Dutch. I was amazed at how deep and vulnerable we all got during this Step study. We became as involved in each other’s lives as I was with my Al‑Anon friends here in my hometown. When my new friends or their parents fell ill, we used an app to call and comfort each other. We joked about each other’s accents.
Two years into these friendships, one of my British friends made the trip to New York City and then down to the Carolinas where I live! The tears flowed for a solid week—happy tears, loving tears. During her visit, I was struck by how universal Al‑Anon is, and I am filled with gratitude for our precious program. We all speak the same Al‑Anon language, just with different accents. I belong in my London group, and they belong in my home group as well as in other meetings here in the United States. Living on different continents is not even an obstacle anymore! We all belong to this wonderful family of our choosing. This experience has proven to me that Al‑Anon is indeed a worldwide fellowship.
By Lynda S., North Carolina
The Forum, June 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.