I went to my first Al-Anon meeting expecting to learn how to get my significant other to stop drinking. At the meeting, I found several “older women” who hadn’t lived with active alcoholism for 15 or 20 years. I immediately thought I was in the wrong room because I was living with active drinking and adolescents.

As they went around the group introducing themselves, several said, “I have been a grateful member of Al-Anon for more than 20 years.” My first thought was, “Don’t they get it yet? Why are they still here?”

I soon realized that though we had different backgrounds, we had all been affected by someone else’s drinking. It was the one place I found that I could share my stories and not be judged or told what to do. Someone always said, “Oh yeah, when I did that…”

Now that I am one of the “older women” and have been a grateful member for ten years, I can say that I did “get it”—that’s why I’m still here!

By Sandy W., Texas