Growing up in an alcoholic home, I had to figure so much out for myself. As a result, I developed an arrogant, smug belief that I had all the answers. I felt that I was the one who had to keep things together. Once I left home, I was sure that I was prepared to take on the world and vowed to myself to live differently. I put on my coat of armor, and it was going to take a miracle for me to reveal my true self to anyone—including myself.
I heard about Al‑Anon during an internship I was completing for school and attended some Al‑Anon and A.A. meetings as part of my assignment. My immediate thought was that my mom really needed to do this Al‑Anon thing because it was clear that she was unhappy with my father’s drinking. She went a few times, but did not see how Al‑Anon could help her. After all, she didn’t drink. She purchased one of the daily readers and felt that was enough for her.
Even though my alcoholic loved one became sober and started going to A.A., I was more miserable than ever. My deep-seated insecurities were running amuck, and by the time I got back to Al‑Anon, I didn’t think I belonged because I didn’t want to belong. I didn’t want to see my part. Fortunately, I heard that Al‑Anon was about my disease. My behavior and attitudes were making me sick and I didn’t even realize it. I put everyone else first, thought I knew the answers to everyone else’s problems, and justified my actions to the point that I didn’t think I could change.
By listening to others share their experiences, I felt hope for myself—hope that I could risk taking off the armor, or maybe just a piece of it, to reveal the real me. Amazingly, I started to change as this loving program began to unfold in front of me. Al‑Anon has helped me love and accept myself as I am, despite the family disease of alcoholism. I will “Keep Coming Back” to remind myself that I am worthy.
By Sue P., Virginia
The Forum, March 2019
I’m off to Al-anon this evening for the first time in 28 years. I’ve been married 30 years, its time.
“No situation is ever hopeless and it is possible to have contentment and even happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.”
I believe this will all of my heart. My higher power helps me every day. I have been married for 45 years and my husband still drinks. I am the one who stopped “poking the bear”. This I learned in Al-Anon.
Really don’t think Al-Anon helps the wife whose husband drinks. If he sees no problem, no changes took place on his part except the verbal abuse at wife’s end. He is a very angry drunk. it is just a hopeless situation.
So difficult to remove the armour, but it is too heavy to carry, but by my higher powers
Grace, i don’t do this alone.
Yes, Thank you for sharing. I so want to take off my armor. I have very recently returned to Al-Anon after 25 years of thinking I was free from the disease because that is when my alcoholic ex-spouse passed. Sadly, my dis-ease has progressed without my awareness as I have become so angry at everyone & everything that my armor feels like it is part of me and un-shreddable. Walking into a local face to face meeting 3 weeks ago brought immediate relief. The familiarity of the program, the welcome back, and the unconditional love and acceptance I felt were… Read more »
Thank you for sharing
I always seen myself as the fixer and now I know I have so much insecurities
Thank you for the program
I have been away for 10 weeks and I miss my program as I feel it is one place where I can slowly peel my armour away