I remember seeing sun beams through the trees and feeling a gentle breeze that was lapping small waves across the water. It was so peaceful. But as I sat on that porch looking at the scene before me, I could also hear my husband’s voice in crisis on the phone in my ear. He was supposed to be sitting on the porch with me. He was supposed to be sober. But he wasn’t.

He was calling to ask me to come get him and bring him to be with us. He wanted me to bring him to this peaceful place where our boys and extended family were gathered. Before coming to Al‑Anon, I would have done it. Out of fear and anger, I would have brought him to us. And, we would have all paid a heavy price for that. But this time was different.

I heard the pain and fear in his voice, and my heart hurt for him and for us. I heard my Sponsor’s voice in my mind and felt compassion rather than anger. I heard the words from the members in my home group about treating others with enough respect to not immediately spring to their rescue or prevent the crisis that was coming.

I heard my husband ask me to come get him, and for the first time, I heard myself saying, “No.” I realized the best thing I could do was to stay where I was and enjoy my time with family. I told him that I loved him and reminded him that he knew who he could reach out to for help and they could be there for him in ways I could not. That was the start of his longest time of sobriety in his adult life. I am grateful that I had nothing to do with it besides getting out of his way and letting him find and work his own program. “Don’t just do something, sit there.” I had heard it countless times in meetings and look what happened when I finally listened.

By Anonymous

The Forum, February 2021

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