I wasn’t ready for my first Al-Anon meeting…

People from all walks of life come to Al‑Anon to find support and learn new ways to deal with the effects of someone else’s alcohol addiction. There is no “right” or “wrong” path when it comes to one’s recovery journey. Everyone is encouraged to listen to others’ experience and then decide what they feel comfortable with and apply it to their situation.

Watch this member’s interview and find out how she began her recovery journey.

If you have been affected by someone’s alcoholism, and are considering trying Al‑Anon, here are a couple of suggestions to help get you started on your own personal recovery journey:


This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

I wasn’t ready for my first Al‑Anon meeting…

INTERVIEWER: Mary, can you tell us a little bit about your first Al‑Anon meeting?

MARY: Yes, my first Al‑Anon meeting, I found out about Al‑Anon when my youngest daughter was in rehab. And I took my middle daughter, and we were like, “Oh, maybe we should check this out.” And, you know, I thought they would tell me how to fix my youngest daughter.


MARY: So, we went, and it was an all‑women’s meeting. And we sat at the back, and it just seemed to be for hours and hours. I was so uncomfortable. My daughter was uncomfortable. We could hardly wait to get out of there. All I heard was God this and God that, and I was just totally uncomfortable, and I was afraid of, “Oh, great, I’m going to be here. They’re going to tell me what to do. Tell me what to think. Tell me what to believe.” And I just as soon as the meeting was over, we ran out of there. And then six months later, I got referred by a therapist to Al‑Anon and went to a newcomers meeting. And it was a totally different experience. I felt safe.

I felt at home. I felt like I belonged, like I was in the right place. And there were other people going through the same stuff as me. You know, there were solutions, and I was lucky enough to have a member that had been around for a while that she took me under her wing and said, “Sit by me.” You know, and so it was a totally different experience for me because I was ready, I was desperate, I was out of options.

I was ready to be open to suggestions. And the funny thing about it all is that meeting that I hated and wanted nothing to do with. I go to that meeting every week and have for probably three years.


MARY: And I feel it’s, I feel comfortable. So, you know.

INTERVIEWER: Well, thank you for sharing about your first meeting.

MARY: You’re welcome.