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.