I always felt that I was a loving person, but I often lived life by reacting, instead of responding.

I wondered why I could not change the alcoholic, so I tried harder. I made sure that the house was clean and that the meals were good and on time. I made sure to look my best when we went out together. I became obsessed with trying to meet the needs of others. For a few years, I felt needed and appreciated, but I lost someone along the way—myself.

The Al‑Anon program became my journey of discovery. A friend once asked me what I liked to do. Every time I thought of something, I realized that my spouse liked to do it, and I had learned to like it. I began to wonder who I really was and what made me happy. I began to wonder if I could find that happy person that was once a part of me. I started by performing my daily tasks for my own pleasure. For example, I would clean my house because I liked it clean, not because I wanted someone else to notice. I cooked a meal because I wanted to enjoy it. I went to work because I liked doing what I did. I awakened to my own life and today, I accept that I am magnificent just because I am here.

By Rosemarie B., Alberta

The Forum, June 2018