In my early days in Al‑Anon, I gained a deeper awareness of the impact of alcoholism on my life and relationships. Through Al‑Anon meetings, literature, and the shared experiences of fellow members, I recognized the effects of alcoholism and the behaviors associated with it.

However, awareness alone was not enough to facilitate my growth and healing. Acceptance became a transformative force in my recovery. Initially, acceptance was a challenging concept for me. I struggled to acknowledge my part in the challenges I faced, often avoiding or denying my responsibility. But as I worked the program, attended meetings, and developed a relationship with my Sponsor, I began to embrace acceptance as an essential part of my recovery journey.

Acceptance allowed me to release the need to control or fix the alcoholic in my life. Instead, it directed my focus towards my own behaviors and attitudes. I realized that change begins with me. The slogan “Let It Begin with Me” became my guiding principle. Setting boundaries, practicing self-care, and detaching from the alcoholic’s actions, I became a positive force for change in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

As I continued working the Al‑Anon program and progressing through the Steps, I experienced a spiritual awakening, as referred to in Step Twelve. This profound awakening deepened my connection to a Power greater than myself and gave me a renewed sense of purpose and meaning in my life. It opened my eyes to the transformative possibilities of recovery—not just for me, but for others as well—and provided me with the tools and guidance to carry the message of hope to others.

Throughout this journey of growth and spiritual awakening, I’ve learned the importance of working my program. Attending meetings, working the Steps, being of service, and living by Al‑Anon principles has strengthened my understanding of the program and my spiritual connection. Participation and service have enabled me to translate awareness and acceptance into real, positive action that has changed my life.

As a Staff member at the World Service Office, I want to assure you that you are not alone in your journey. Al‑Anon offers a wealth of resources and tools to support your growth and healing, many of them accessible on the Al-Anon website. By embracing the power of awareness, acceptance, and action in the Al‑Anon program, I believe that you, too, can find the strength, hope, and ability to make positive changes in your life.

By working on ourselves and embracing the principle of “Let It Begin with Me,” we can create positive change in our own lives and in the lives of others affected by alcoholism. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to embark on your own journey of recovery in Al‑Anon. Take advantage of the resources available to deepen your awareness of the impacts of alcoholism, and embrace acceptance as a path to personal growth. Take action by living the Legacies (Al‑Anon’s Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service) to make progress toward your recovery goals. Together, as fellow Al‑Anon members, let us support one another as we navigate this path of recovery. And “Let It Begin with Me.”

By Bob H., Webmaster

The Forum, September 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.