Several years ago, a therapist recommended that I go to Al‑Anon. I had been attending sessions with her because my life was lousy. I had no idea that the therapist I chose to go to had been in Al‑Anon many years before. She told me that I could not continue to come to her until I went to Al‑Anon. I was shocked. Me? I thought, I don’t have a problem! I’m not drinking! It took some time for me to work up the courage to go to my first meeting.

I sat in the parking lot of the meeting place for quite a while. When I finally got up and went in, I was welcomed warmly at the door. This began a journey that has been evolving ever since. My life was so unmanageable. I had no idea at the time that alcoholism had affected me in ways that would continue to reveal themselves over and over again. At first, I was resistant to reach out to others by phone. As time went on, I began making excuses for not going to meetings and stopped going altogether. It finally took a crisis with my son’s addiction to lead me back into Al‑Anon.

When I did return to meetings, I was welcomed warmly, but I was still reluctant to get a Sponsor or reach out by phone. Finally, my facade began to crack. I could not overlook the pain of coping with alcoholism and addiction any longer. In a particularly low moment, two members handed me their phone numbers and asked that I simply call to say I was okay. I found it difficult to pick up the phone that seemed to weigh seven hundred pounds, but I did. The messages I left were simple, but they had me doing something I did not think I was capable of. In time, I asked one of the women to be my Sponsor. The progress I have made has been nothing short of remarkable. My life has changed in ways I would not have thought possible.

By Caryn V., Ohio

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2020