I Learned I Am Not Alone

I discovered at my first Al‑Anon meeting just how much alcoholism had affected me, even though I didn’t drink. I was just as sick as my alcoholic boyfriend—maybe worse. I was obsessed. I constantly searched for alcohol and poured it out when I found it. I didn’t sleep or eat, and I was deeply depressed. I felt crazy. My life had become unmanageable.

During that meeting, I learned I was not alone. I remember sitting there that night, at the end of my rope, when I heard a woman sobbing as she shared her experience. I could feel her pain because her story mirrored mine. I was surprised to realize that I was that sobbing woman. It was my voice sharing all I’d endured. I’d never heard of Al‑Anon before and didn’t know what to expect that night. I walked in feeling broken and devastated, but I left feeling relieved because I knew that I was not alone. I felt accepted, welcomed and supported. I’d found freedom.

By Ann M., Florida

The Forum, December 2017

2018-02-02T14:53:28+00:00December 4, 2017|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|


  1. Ed J. May 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Reading these comments has been helpful. I have never been to a meeting but my wife’s drinking at dinners and social events is just getting out of hand. And despite all the apologies and promises, her passing out at my daughters wedding was the last straw. She is, what I call, a progressive drinker. I am not sure how else to describe it. The more she drinks, the more she keeps drinking. I am at a crossroads, and I fear that just her just finding out that I will be attending a meeting will start a huge fight. The denial and defensiveness is amazing to me. Still hanging on to hope.

  2. Jacqueline M. May 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Tonight I am really hurting and don’t know what to do. I left 2 weeks ago for a few days only to return to empty promises. I came home from work to find that he was home drinking again. I want to go to a meeting to see what it is all about but I don’t get enough rest during the week and the only meeting I could find is during the week. My husband’s drinking has escalated along with his uncontrolled anger. I am going to try to go to a meeting Tuesday. I need to take back my life.

  3. Donna B. April 2018 at 1:27 pm

    He’s hidden it from me. I don’t know for how long but we have been in and out of marriage therapy for 37 years. I thought it was just that he had such a stoic childhood that was the problem. His parents were Polish citizens who met in a prison camp during the second world war. Now I realize he’s drinking all the time and we have no life as a couple. I am 69 years old, the children are grown and I feel so lonely and sad. I am tired and don’t know what to do.

  4. Philly88 March 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Sooo. I have attended a couple Al-Anon meetings. I knew I was not alone. The group that I attend, I am the only guy who has a woman who has a drinking issue. (not sure whether I am the one to label someone as an alcoholic) No drinking, I feel like she and I can take over the world. She drinks and turns into a #$%@^ lunatic. I am really trying to do the right thing. This by far the hardest thing in the world. I am starting to do some introspection, am I that concerned to be in a relationship that I am not concerned about my own sanity? The meetings allow me to “exhale”. I hear about how I am not the only person that is angry. This is one day at a time for me as well.

  5. Beth B. March 2018 at 8:40 am

    I am planning on attending an al-anon meeting today. It is my first. My husband has been home almost a month from his 6 weeks in rehab for alcoholism. I am still so angry. I hope I can get some help.

  6. Michelle February 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I can’t relate to your story all too well. I really need to attend a meeting to not feel alone. Thank you for sharing your experience

  7. Mercy February 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Because of this post I am going to find a meeting near me and go! One of my biggest fears in all this is that I felt alone and embarrassed for letting his alcoholism affect and change me. Thank you for insight into your experience!!

  8. Kathy January 2018 at 11:22 am

    Reaching Out: Never understood alcoholism and the affects! I have learned. He does not even remember instances! No wonder he always blames me! He does not even remember! My heart bleeds! He IS a good man! A sick one! I realize I need help to understand and survive this to help him. Us. Family. Life!

  9. Jamie December 2017 at 8:28 pm

    So I’ve heard a lot lately about a dry drunk. My husband has been so mean and yelling at me all the time. Since the three month mark, I’ve tried telling him he should go to a therapist because he refuses to go to an AA meeting. Not sure what to do…

  10. Ceola J. December 2017 at 8:49 am

    Thank You!

  11. Sumi December 2017 at 9:52 am

    In each meeting, I tried to free my mind from all worries due to alcoholic family sickness.

    In the first meeting, I realized I get a place to open my mind, there I can freely share my worries because the listeners have the same mental state and have similar experiences. And I always have a feeling that god is sitting in a vacant chair and hearing my voice. Each day I got a remedy for my problems from the sharing of others. My mind slowly slowly lightened…now i can smile, I can work, I can love… I can enjoy each and every moment of my life… I am happy so is my family.

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