I am new to Al‑Anon; I’ve been coming less than two months. I finally decided to talk to a friend of mine about my situation, knowing he was in recovery and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). Turns out he’s an Al‑Anon member too. He told me to check out the local Al‑Anon website, go to a few meetings, and see if I thought it was for me. So, I went to about eight meetings in two weeks. I got the book How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics (B‑32) and started reading it.

I thought, Hey, I’ve got the first three Steps. But Step Four… wow, that one’s gonna be a buster. How naïve I was and, I guess, arrogant as well. My friend agreed to be my Sponsor. He told me to take it slow. We went to work on Step One, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable,” and that took some time.

I am learning that this program is not like a workbook or a class where you do the chapters, take the test, and move on. This is an ongoing thing. Each day is different, each Step is part of a whole, but almost a whole in itself—something to work on, go back to, learn more about, then move on from, but never really “finish.” I moved on to Step Two, but I am still working on the principles in Step One with the great help of my Sponsor.

I see this work almost like playing golf. Here is the first hole: you hit a good drive, the next shot goes wide, then you get on the green and two-putt for a bogey. Not bad, but the next time I play that hole, I take a different approach, maybe. And then I go on to the second hole—new lessons and challenges, but somehow the same. And so on. And in a few days or next week, I’m back at the first hole again, trying to get it right. The game is always the same but still different, with new approaches, new insights.

I find Step One, which at first sight appeared so easy, to be so fundamental to the rest of the Steps that I don’t want to ever forget how all-encompassing it really is. And that I can come back to it time and time again.

By Tom, Missouri

 The Forum, February 2024

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