I have been deeply affected by my children’s drinking and the effect it has had on my grandchild. I have felt an emotional death in my soul which has brought me to a new dependency on a Power greater than myself.
Step One was a long and difficult step for me. Giving up my sense of power and control was a long, slow, painful death. The overwhelming heartache still continues today as I surrender my children and grandchild to the God of my understanding. Daily, I surrender the jumble of feelings of embarrassment, shame, anger, sadness, the gripping fear of loss, needless responsibility for others, secrecy, and denial. I surrender feeling like a failure and my jealousy of others who appear to have achieved the success I felt I deserved. I surrender my need to make myself feel better and more in control by putting others down.
Working the Twelve Steps of Al‑Anon has helped me realize that my happiness, success, safety, and self-esteem do not depend on what another person does or does not do. This old way of thinking kept me from my real source of power, and it led me to Step Two, in which God is restoring me to sanity. I was insane and living in a false belief system. In Al-Anon, I learned that I am not alone in these feelings. Other people also lived in fear, but found, through the program, hope and strength to live a new life. The pain I have felt is being transformed into awareness and acceptance.
I am certainly not perfect at living in peace. I realize it took years for me to develop this false sense of power and security, and I have to work daily at letting it go and accepting that my Higher Power is doing for me what I cannot do for myself. I rely on the strength of my friends in Al‑Anon, who have struggled like I have and yet made choices for themselves that led to new ways of living.
I repeat the slogans, pray the Serenity Prayer, read my literature, call my Sponsor, and value myself enough to know I am worthy of love, respect, and joy in my life. My children and grandchild also deserve this, and with the help of their Higher Power, I trust they will discover their true selves and find contentment. I believe my greatest gift to my children and grandchild is to “Let Go and Let God.”
By P. H.
The Forum, January 2022
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.