When I reached the end of my rope with my alcoholic/addict son, I decided to go to an Al‑Anon meeting. That first Al‑Anon meeting was on a dark, cold, rainy night, which was how I felt at the time—dark, empty, and lost. I had learned about Al‑Anon from a speaker at a family meeting at the alcohol counseling center where my son was attending. I was so overwhelmed that I could not understand what the speaker said about Al‑Anon.

I was afraid that someone would recognize me, and then my secret would be known. The members welcomed me as a newcomer. They were laughing and happy. I thought that they couldn’t have any alcoholism in their lives because they were so joyous. Was I wrong! They asked me to try six meetings, and if it didn’t work out, they’d give me all my misery back! I can laugh at that now. They asked if I had any questions. They said to “Keep Coming Back” and perhaps I’d find something in the program that would help me. I am grateful because they were so right. During the first several meetings, I was so overwhelmed by the truth in the readings that I’d cry and couldn’t finish. I was never looked down on and always helped gently. That’s exactly what I needed.

By Maureen B., South Carolina

The Forum, June 2020