As a young man, I hated the month of February. I struggled with sadness and despair during this time, and though I blamed it on the weather, the real cause was my longing for intimacy. The focus on “love” so prevalent during the month only increased my loneliness and sense of isolation. All those cards, flowers and candy hearts seemed to be for everyone except me. Affected as I was by the family disease of alcoholism, I really had no idea how to be truly intimate.
Recently, my memories of those times surfaced as the Literature Committee and I reviewed drafts for Al‑Anon’s next book, currently in development. Given conceptual approval by the 2011 World Service Conference, this publication will examine all aspects of intimacy in alcoholic relationships, including sexual intimacy. Over 1,300 members have contributed their experiences, and their stories are powerful!
As I read through the drafts, I remembered not only the intense pain I faced in my isolation, but also the incredible joy and sense of adventure I felt as I learned in Al‑Anon to be intimate with my Higher Power, myself and others. I am heartened to know that the book has struck a chord with everyone else on the Committee, as well. Here are some of their comments:
- “I related to the honesty of the sharings.”
- “This is a wonderful piece of literature.”
- “I believe that this will be of great value to all members, whether longtime members or those new to the program.”
- “This may be the best Al‑Anon writing and sharing I have read. I think that the fellowship will love it!”
I am very excited for our fellowship that this book has met the approval of the Literature Committee and that it is one step further along in the process to become Conference Approved Literature (CAL). I feel it will make an enormous difference in the lives of many members. In the coming months, I am sure that my excitement will build even more as the book is designed, titled, priced and eventually introduced at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. We all have something exciting to look forward to in July!
By Tom C., Associate Director—Literature
The Forum, February 2018