There had not been an active alcoholic in my life for over 35 years when an event happened involving loss and betrayal that had nothing to do with alcohol. This event caused all of my past decisions, losses, and hurts to pop-up like corks on water. I was filled with self-doubt and loathing, and I blamed myself for issues over which I had no control.
A friend suggested that I might benefit from Al-Anon. Although I did not understand the connection, it was pointed out that quite possibly my alcoholic upbringing contributed to how I viewed everything and everyone. I agreed to give it a try.
At the very first meeting, I found an environment unlike any other. There was no judgment or criticism, only acceptance. There were people who spoke about themselves but sounded as if they knew my story. I knew I was in the right place. I began attending a second group as well, where I found the same level of acceptance, and I began to heal.
When I am asked about being a newcomer in Al-Anon, I reply that it feels as though I enter a pool of water that is always the perfect temperature: cool and refreshing when I am upset or angry, warm and soothing when I feel cold and lonely.
Al-Anon meetings and literature are like air and water to me. I could no more do without them than I could give up breathing air or drinking water. It is a comfort to know that throughout my life and wherever I go, Al-Anon will be there for me.
The Forum, December 2020
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