One of the good things that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic is access to many more Al‑Anon meetings. For a long time, I attended one weekly in-person meeting. Sometimes I would attend more if I was having a particularly hard week or if my schedule was not too busy, but most weeks I went only to my home meeting. I felt comfortable there, and I knew the faces and names of most members. It was also a bigger meeting, with a lot of recovery and some diversity. So even though I rarely saw members who looked like me, I kept coming back.
A few months into the pandemic, I learned that there were online meetings for people of color who are members of Al-Anon. I immediately started attending as many of these meetings as I could find. The program was essentially the same, and yet I felt a level of intimacy and a depth of recovery that I had not experienced in my previous ten years of membership in Al-Anon.
Now I attend three to four meetings a week, and most are People of Color meetings. In these meetings I feel free to share all of my experience, strength, and hope, without needing to code switch or filter myself. Knowing that I won’t be the only person of color in a meeting takes a lot of pressure off—pressure that I didn’t even realize was there until I felt the relief and ease that came in its absence. I can share freely without fear of prejudice or judgment and know that all of me is welcome in the room. I’m so grateful that the World Service Office recently added People of Color as a group type on the al-anon.org meeting search.
By Mary C., California
The Forum, May 2023
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.