It was a normal, nice day. Things seemed to be going so well—until it happened. Not again! I thought. This time, I called my husband, crying, feeling so overwhelmed, lost, and confused. Part of me was so angry, yet I was so hurt! My husband, who is my son’s stepfather, listened as I shared about the argument between my son and me. He asked me if my son had been drinking. I said no. “Then that’s what he was looking for,” he said.
I realized my husband was right. My son started an argument with me so he could blame his going out drinking again and not coming home on me. That was when I said to myself, “I can’t do this anymore. I cannot do this alone anymore!” All this time, I had thought it was my son who needed help, which was true, but that day, it was me who needed help even more than I realized.
I’d heard about Al‑Anon a few years prior to this, so I started searching online for an Al‑Anon meeting. I found one near me that I could attend that week. As I walked in, I felt welcomed. I only wanted to sit in and listen. As the meeting went on, they started reading from the Al-Anon blue book, How Al‑Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics (B-32), and I heard all the words. It felt like they were all for me, and, as they were reading, I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. The woman sitting next to me offered me some tissues and just smiled as if she knew what I was going through.
As I listened, my broken heart started to feel some relief from all the pain. I could sense this was where I needed to be and that I really needed this for myself. When I heard the sharing, I started feeling some hope. I shared a little of why I came that day. It felt good to let out what I was going through with them. I didn’t feel they were judging me or didn’t understand. I just knew deep down inside that they did.
I have attended only a handful of meetings so far, and I am so glad I started. After the first meeting, I purchased a book, and I searched online for more that I was interested in. I signed up to start receiving The Forum right away. It has helped me so much to remember that I am not alone on this journey anymore. I get encouragement and strength from the literature each time I read something. The meetings, books, and magazines have helped change the way I look at the situation with my son and helped me understand him better. Plus, I am understanding myself more, and I don’t feel so lost like I used to. I’m so grateful for Al-Anon!
By April H., Texas
The Forum, January 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.