When my 15-year-old son began drinking, I would stay up and wait for him. The happy young son who loved to play the piano after dinner and read lots of books in the living room was now angry and stayed out until midnight on a good night. Or he didn’t come home at all on nights like this one.
One night at 3 am, I looked out of the living room window, the room dimly lit by a small lamp. I looked straight into my own eyes through the reflection in the glass. It was just like the years I spent when I was growing up. I would get on my bed at home and kneel. I would look out the window to see if my sister was coming home.
I knew I couldn’t do this again and that I needed help. I had suffered alone growing up. With my son, the pain was unbearable. I couldn’t understand why his attitudes had changed at home and school. Blame and confusion filled my days.
The eyes in the window pleaded, Help me! In the morning, I called an Al‑Anon contact number and was directed to a local meeting.
I had no idea what Al‑Anon was. There I found a home and a place to heal from the shame and guilt I felt. It was the first time I heard that I was powerless over alcoholism and shown how to take care of myself.
By Lorraine H., New Mexico
The Forum November 2017