What am I doing here? I thought. I didn’t want to be here. I wondered how Al‑Anon was going to help me with what I was facing at home. These people didn’t even know me, or so I thought, but it turns out they did. Walking through the door to my first Al‑Anon meeting was probably one of the scariest, saddest, and most life-giving moments I have ever experienced.
My situation had brought me there, whether I wanted to be there or not. I felt like I was betraying my alcoholic loved one by walking into that meeting, as if I were labeling this individual as an alcoholic to the entire world. I thought, how could I betray someone I love so much in that way? But I sat down in a chair and just listened. There was no pressure to speak, interact, or commit. I just listened. I started to hear stories that were similar to mine from people of all walks of life stuck in the same mess of living with an alcoholic. That first meeting, I didn’t get it all figured out, but I did learn that Al‑Anon was the place for me to take my life back, regardless of the recovery or denial of the alcoholic.
Now, a year later, I sometimes still struggle with the fact that I need Al‑Anon meetings, but I know that alcoholism is real, so the need is real. I have learned that I have to take care of me before I can take care of anyone else. That’s not selfish: it’s self-care. I know that I get better every single time I walk through the door.
The Forum, October 2019
Convenience me to stay with an alcoholic spouse after 33 years
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I would like to find a meeting near foothill ranch my husband’s drinking is affecting our marriage.
Trying to find meetings near me. I’m ready to take the next step.
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This is my coming out of hopeful thinking and coming to the realization my husband and son are alcoholics. I’ve said it verbally knowing the truth but now I’ve come out of my personal denial. I need help.
I came into Al-Anon 30 years ago hoping I would hear the words that would make my husband give up drinking. I stayed week after week listening for them. It gradually sank into my very mixed-up brain that there were no words. We had been married 30 years at that time and the damage was done to all of us, my 5 children, who were now adults and myself. I started to feel better even though there were many tears after I shared, how could I go back to that meeting after what I said. I kept “coming back” and… Read more »
I don’t know how to take that first step to walk through the door as much as I want to be around people who understand me and what I’m struggling with because we all have that in common. I’m just lost and sad and feel helpless I’ve spent every ounce of myself trying to fix my son and it had to come from him now he’s in a program, I don’t know how to help myself because I never gave myself any thought at all.