Finally in a Place of Safety

I arrived in Al‑Anon two years ago. I looked it up on the internet because I was desperate. My husband was no longer working and had been drinking off and on for three years. He would stop and then start again. By the time I showed up in Al‑Anon, I couldn’t take it anymore. Our only daughter had just graduated from college, and we had all gone out to dinner with family from out of town. My husband chose that night to start drinking again. He brought booze with him to her graduation ceremony. My daughter was in tears—this was it. I needed help—and fast. I wanted somebody to tell me to leave him, to tell me what to do. Instead, I was encouraged to work on myself. Wow—that wasn’t what I wanted to hear. But the Welcome helped me feel that I was in the right place. I learned that I didn’t cause my husband’s drinking, that I couldn’t control it, and that I could not cure it. I also came to see that I matter. When the Closing was read, I remember the words— “Though you may not like all of us, you’ll love us in a very special way—the same way we already love you.” That made me feel good. I felt safe. No one told me what to do; I thought that was what I needed, but I was wrong. Thank you, Al‑Anon. I keep coming, and I am living one step and “One Day at a Time.”

By Ann C., Connecticut

The Forum, July 2018

2018-06-29T16:03:24+00:00June 29, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|

2 Comments

  1. Sheri August 2018 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your insight.

    When I first started attending Al-Anon meetings, I too was looking for someone there to just tell me what to do to get my husband to stop drinking and using benzos. It was confusing when I didn’t receive that information. In fact, I only half-heartedly subscribed to Al-Anon . . . I attended one meeting or maybe two a week, I occasionally read a Daily Reader . . . but that was it. When my husband reduced his drinking, I stopped going to Al-Anon. But of course, as it always happens, his drinking began to increase, and with that, his health started to decline. When I started back to Al-Anon, it was with renewed fervor; attending 3 or 4 meetings a week, reading every day, and listening to podcasts online. I also actively looked for a sponsor. My husband was declining rapidly, and Al-Anon was a stabilizing, sane, safe place for me during those days. I was learning how to change myself, rather than how to change my husband. And with that came a group of Al-Anon friends who had walked this same path, but encouraged me to find my own direction . . . what worked for them was not necessarily what would work for me and my situation. The real key was that they supported me through all of it. As I made my own choices, some good, and some not so good(!), I knew I had Al-Anon to lean on.

    September will be the two-year anniversary of my husband’s death. And I still miss him terribly . . . because I remember the man he was for so many years before the disease of addiction changed him.

    Several months before my husband died an Al-Anon friend asked me if I would still attend Al-Anon meetings if my husband died. I thought for a few seconds, and then replied, “Yes, it’s the cheapest form of psychotherapy I’ve found!” So, yes, I still attend my home group Al-Anon meeting every week. I’m 60 yrs old, but I’m still learning how to be my best self through Al-Anon.

  2. Adriene August 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks great Sharing

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