Relating, empathizing, and learning from the experiences of other Al‑Anon members helps me feel understood and reminds me I am not alone. There is a deep connection and a powerful community here that I haven’t felt anywhere else.

As a newcomer, I was raw and paralyzed by pain, fear, and powerlessness. I couldn’t share in the meetings for months. I could only listen, and it was enough. So much of what others shared resonated with me that I began to trust and finally to share. When I did, my words were choked by cleansing tears.

I never would have been able to begin to process and heal the deep grief I felt without the care and support of an understanding fellowship and the miraculous forces of a Higher Power that binds us. I no longer have to pretend that I don’t hurt. I am able to let my guard down, be vulnerable, and embrace my authenticity. I’ve learned that expressing, articulating, and understanding my pain with others who share it enables healing.

I need the strength, wisdom, and understanding of the Al‑Anon fellowship because I regress and fall back into the doldrums of active disease. But always, this program and your words bring me back to my center. It’s like meditating, when I achieve a brief moment of peaceful stillness but then thoughts start bombarding the empty space in my mind.

When I sit down with people who understand and willingly share some of the same painful, traumatic experiences I’ve had and they offer their tools of recovery, it’s like coming back to my breath, coming back to a life source. Even if my thoughts knock me off course a trillion times, I’ll “Keep Coming Back.”

By Natalie R., Florida

The Forum, August 2023


Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.