The last six years of my life have been a rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally. At times, I have felt like it’s me against the world. I have felt angry, confused, and most of the time, very alone. About a month ago, I decided to start attending Al‑Anon.

I went into the meetings looking for answers to all my problems. I was hoping someone was going to tell me what to do. What I found was so much better. I found a group of people who knew what I was going through—without ever meeting me before. I talked, and they listened. They never offered an opinion on what I should do, they just listened. I was not alone! In turn, I sat and listened to their stories and found comfort and hope I thought I could never feel again.

Now, if I find myself in a day where I cannot control my thoughts or anxieties, I find a meeting to go to. They are everywhere. And in an hour or so, I feel better. Since I have been affected by the alcoholism and addiction of someone I love, I continue on my Al‑Anon path. It was intimidating at first, walking into a room with people I had never met—let alone sharing some of my deepest thoughts and feelings—but it helped. Three things I’ve learned in Al‑Anon that I repeat to myself often are: 1) the drinking is not my fault; 2) I cannot control the choices of others; and 3) I am not alone.

Walking with people who care about me and my recovery, I can hang on and be strong!

By Ben D. 

The Forum, September 2022

Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.