The hardest part of working the Al‑Anon program for me is making the continuous effort to be honest. My husband was an alcoholic and has been dead for many years now. However, I still struggle with being honest about my feelings, about the true facts of our life together and how I contributed to our insanity. I am so good at denial. I see now that our children were hurt by my dishonesty with them about where their father had gone—usually drinking—or why he was sick—usually with a hangover. I told my parents we couldn’t visit them because of school conflicts when, in fact, he was too sick from binging for us to travel. I told his boss he couldn’t go to work because he was repairing his truck when, in truth, he was drinking. I told people at church he couldn’t come on Sunday because he had work to do. All along I told myself that I was happy, that the kids were growing up just fine, and that he’d settle down one day soon. Only in Al‑Anon did I find the support I needed to look at my life honestly, to accept my failures and understand the truth. I saw denial for what it was—an excuse not to live life fully.

By Rhoda S., Texas

The Forum, September 2018