The first alcoholic in my life was my mother. When I was young, I never heard of A.A., Al‑Anon, Alateen or alcohol rehabilitation. You went to school with a smile pasted on your face and never discussed what went on at home. My mother had her dear, sweet side and then she had her other side. My sister followed in her footsteps. I was lucky because I did not like the taste of alcohol and I surely did not like the effects it had on those around me.
I went to a family recovery program following my oldest daughter’s stint in a rehabilitation center. She was successful and living proof that rehabilitation can and does work—we enrolled her when she was 16. The program I went to had a “fearless leader” who led every meeting and I quit going after a time.
My middle son decided to turn to drinking when he went through a painful divorce. I went to Al‑Anon, and this time I stayed. My son met a lovely lady and when they married he ended his drinking—Thank God! But my membership in Al‑Anon did not end.
My sister, who took after our mother, is in a nursing home—although she is younger than I am. It is very sad. I continue coming to Al‑Anon to deal with life on life’s terms. I did not cause their alcoholism; I cannot control their alcoholism and I can’t cure it.
The meeting I attended earlier today had the Serenity Prayer as its topic. God, grant me the serenity. It is very important in Al-Anon that whenever we say, “God,” this refers to the God of my understanding. It does not matter if I am Christian, Jewish, Muslim or none of the above. This idea of God is about my Higher Power. Chances are good that no two people on the face of the earth have the exact same understanding of their Higher Power.
I “Keep Coming Back” to Al-Anon, because I will never know it all. I learn something new at every meeting. I may have heard some of the same words before, but I always come to a new understanding. My hope is that my story helps at least one person to make their first trip through the open and welcoming doors of Al‑Anon.
By Pat S., Missouri
Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2019