I came to Al-Anon several years ago. Someone suggested that I attend meetings because I was being affected by someone I loved. At the time, I thought, when he gets better, I’ll be okay. I went to my first meeting very scared because I didn’t know what to expect. The chairperson was extremely loving and supportive while I shared why I was there. She listened to me cry and gave me hope that, for the first time in years, change was possible. I felt that if I could keep the focus on myself, learn the tools of the program, and apply them to my life, things could get better.

Learning to share my feelings, be honest with myself and remain around like-minded people gave me the courage to implement new behaviors in my life. However, change took time. I had to adjust my attitudes and admit my powerlessness over my alcoholic loved one. I am happy to say that change has taken place for my children and me, and it has made all the difference in the world. I recognize now that it wasn’t just the alcoholic who needed changing—I needed it as well.

By Eileen F., New York

The Forum, December 2018