The first time I ever heard about Al‑Anon was when the psychiatrist treating the alcoholic in my life met me for the first time. We were introduced, and he pointed his finger in my face and said, “You need to go to Al‑Anon.”

I was so angry—livid. How dare this man tell me what to do? How dare he force such a thing on me? Why did I need to go to Al‑Anon? I didn’t even drink alcohol.

The next day I spoke to our marriage counselor. I told her what the fingerpointing man had said. Her response was, “You don’t have to go to Al‑Anon if you don’t want to.” Later, I realized that going to Al‑Anon or not was my decision to make. The next day, I was at an Al‑Anon meeting.

I thought I was going to a classroom, where I would be given textbooks and pop quizzes, and asked questions. Instead, I found a room full of people who had the same problem—an alcoholic in their lives. These kind people welcomed me, embraced me, and assured me I was in the right place. I had no idea there was an entire world full of people just like me. I was not alone any‑ more. Through Al‑Anon meetings and literature, I have found ways to cope.

By Donald C., Texas
Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017