How did I feel at my first Al-Anon meeting? “Introduction of Al-Anon Meeting” podcasts: 5) How did I feel at my first Al-Anon meeting? https://media.blubrry.com/alanon_recovery/p/content.blubrry.com/alanon_recovery/How_did_I_feel_at_my_first_Al-Anon_meeting.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Android | Google Podcasts Scot2017-07-27T17:38:44-04:00February 28, 2017|Categories: First Steps| Share This Post, Choose Your Platform! FacebookTwitterEmail 45 Comments Amy April 2019 at 7:08 am I couldn’t relate to anyone at the first meeting I attended many years ago, so I thought that I didn’t belong in Al-Anon. It took me 14 years to find my way back and I discovered that you have to find a group that “fits” you. This time, I found one where people have stories just like mine and I connected to the group immediately. I’m glad that I came back but sorry it took me so long. If you don’t feel comfortable or “at home” in the first meeting, try several more (and at different locations) before you decide whether to stay or go. Terry February 2019 at 6:54 pm I attended my first al-anon meeting today. While the participants shared their stories, a few did resonate with me, I was left wondering what tools am I supposed to be using to cope with my situation? I understand that sharing and venting help release our emotions, but where is the guidance to get past and move forward? Donna A. October 2018 at 5:47 pm I went to my first meeting tonight felt out of my comfort zone why am I here and what is going on think it’s because I’m so used to being the strong superwoman and partner of an alcoholic in recovery why do I need support but then thought a good way to meet people in the same situation as me that can be there if I need to talk there was nothing to lose attending this meeting and a lot to gain early days but I know it’s for the best for me. Michael August 2018 at 7:10 pm I just went to my first meeting last week. My mom did AA for a year and things were a little better when she wasn’t drinking, but she’s been drinking again and it is miserable at home. I didn’t even talk at the meeting but I was overwhelmed by how welcoming and safe it felt. I felt less alone hearing people talk about it openly. I’m going to my second tonight. Shaun August 2018 at 8:54 pm I attended my first meeting last Friday in secret. I had this meeting in my search for the longest time. I had just been stopping myself from going and allowing other things to prevent me from seeking this much needed experience. I really needed this intimate time and was in tears from the literature alone. I have been feeling alone for so long but I know that I will need to continue in this way of life for me to be help myself for a change. I will be back for sure. Sue February 2018 at 3:11 pm I went to my first Al-Anon meeting last week. I’ve been in a relationship with an addict for three years and everyday is a constant battle. My mom recommended the idea that I go to a meeting to gain perspective on my own life and how the relationship has been affecting me. I couldn’t have asked for a better day to go, because hearing the topic of which the group was on helped me gain so much insight. As I sat there, listening to the stories of others, one by one and could find parallel similarities to my own life. The feeling of not being judged, and knowing that you’re not alone in your battles helped me realize that I made a right decision attending. Marie November 2017 at 5:45 am About a year ago I reluctantly attended al anon. I went from meeting to meeting…I finally found a group of woman that honestly made me speechless. Everything they had to say I relates to so much. From my past, from my present and I imagined my future as what they had gone through…and to hear their outcomes and strength gave me so much hope. For me al anon was less about structure and working a program. It was more about having a safe place to think and speak. Before this I had thought that I was just dark and tourtured and messed up. It really made me look at myself and all the littls things that I didnt know were effecting me. I stopped going because well laziness…but also I had the mentatity that I learned and get and that I was “cured” A year later im searching for a local meeting…aware of the growth I went through I feel like I can learn and grow a lot more by participating. My husband who is an alcoholic..not in program…is completely in support of it from what I tell him which is a beautiful thing and actually makes him think about my issues and his issues and out issues together. From experience I will say it does take time and work to find the right meeting and group of people that fit you. Thank you! Joe November 2017 at 6:22 pm I just started attending Al-Anon after my mother recently died of an overdose. I came to realize how powerless I was over her and her decisions through the last 12 years. I went to my first in-person meeting and was welcomed with open arms. I feel so at home and feel like I now have people that understand me and what I’ve been going through. The toughest part though is realizing my part in all of this. I’ve been going to online meetings too and the groups there have been life savers. It’s now my home group. I have a sponsor. I’m now looking forward to my days in recovery from codependence. Mary October 2017 at 8:56 pm When I talk in a meeting, I feel judged and not safe. I don’t feel like I belong at all. I see little children in my family hurting from alcoholism they live in. I know the sayings, have worked the steps, etc. but how do we protect the little children. Sometimes Al-Anon seems to forget what the program is really about which is a friend or relative of an alcoholic. If I don’t conform to the group, I feel and think ostracized. Shelagh July 2017 at 11:06 pm I have only attended 3 meetings, one of which was a speaker meeting with both AA and Al-Anon members present. I have cried at each meeting but this night when I went to the speaker meeting I literally cried before going in and throughout most of the session. I don’t really understand how overwhelmed I had became. I am not a person who cries at the drop of a hat so I felt mortified but I just couldn’t stop. I knew that the people around me saw me suffering and I knew that they likely understood my pain. I spoke very briefly afterwards with a woman who offered me a hug and reminded me to take it easy. I am going to continue going to meetings even though I don’t quite understand why so much time spent at each meeting covering the 12 steps and traditions. I hate the round robin reading of paragraphs of official AA stuff. I wish there was more time spent on actually talking to one another. It seems like most connections happen before and after meetings. I really connected with a lady at my home group after just a few minutes and I felt I got more out of our conversations about our similar situation than I did with the actual Al-Anon meeting. I know it is early days for me and I will definitely keep going and hope that it helps me heal. Lea October 2016 at 11:47 am Its nothing unusual to feed uncomfortable at the first few meetings, I attended my first meeting in the early 1970’s. My parents, the alcoholics in my life, were MY LIFE, and accepting them as having a diease, gave me an ill feeling or depressing emotion? The more I went, the less uncomfortable I felt? I gradually had better self-esteem regarding myself and ” venting”, at meetings, released feelings I had “shoved down”, within in my soul for so long, I could finally???? Georgia November 2015 at 3:27 pm I have been to about 6 meetings now, and the first 3 terrified me and left me feeling much worse than I felt before. I have been in shock that I have been affected so much by alcoholism. I have been in denial about it my whole life. The last few meetings I have been to still make me uncomfortable, but I don’t have panic attacks in the middle of the night. However, I have an after-effect the next day or two after a meeting. Full of anxiety and sadness, I feel on the verge of tears so much. I haven’t had the guts to speak in these meetings yet. I started meeting with a sponsor last week to go through the 12 Step workbook. We talked and answered some questions together for an hour or longer, and although I felt steady and ok during our meeting, the next day I was on edge and feeling so depressed for a couple days. I honestly don’t know if these meetings are helping me, or making things worse. Some say things get worse before they get better, but I have never felt so awful in my life. Maybe it’s digging in deeper than I have ever dug. I really hate it, and am feeling afraid to have any more meetings with the group or my sponsor. It often feels like I am just looking at a giant pile of things that are wrong with me because of my past. I don’t currently have someone in my life who is an addict. I haven’t seen or heard from my dad in 3 years, but I struggle in my romantic relationships, so I thought I would try these meetings out after a suggestion from a friend who attends. t October 2015 at 9:55 pm I just attended a meeting and I hated it. I’m so surprised that people recommend this so much. I felt like there were no practical steps for me to follow to protect myself and my family from the alcoholic’s destructive ways. Maybe it’s because I already decided that the alcoholic in my life needs to go. It’s a quick easy decision. He lied. He drinks too much. He causes me financial strain. He put our child in danger (DUI). He causes me emotional distress. He ruined the life we were building together. The list of offenses goes on and on. I ask myself, “Why hold on to this person?” This is not love. It seems like some of the Al-Anon people are in these destructive, manipulative relationships for years, or enter them over and over. I do not want to become like them. I’m afraid to go back. I might offend someone. Emotional support is nice, but I’ve left 2 meetings now feeling like they are a waste of time and full of people who do nothing — not for the drunk, but for themselves. I wonder if there is anyone out there who feels the same. I need a faster moving, less emotional source of information. Chris May 2015 at 5:48 am So, I had my first meeting 2 nights ago. Something I had been wanting to do for 16 years finally happened. Normally I would feel very anxious in new situations, this time I didn’t. I was looking for something out of the group and I was relaxed by the knowledge that we were all in there for the same reason. After that meeting I really wasn’t sure if it was for me. Religious objections aside, I didn’t feel I connected with the people there. Last night I tried another meeting. I went to a different venue, met a completely different group of people and instantly felt at ease. I think I have already found my home group. I listened to everyone and so much of what I heard rang through, I felt liberated. Yesterday was a good day. Today is another one, so far, and I know now that the slogan, “This too shall pass,” will stay with me forever. I think I have finally found somewhere safe, where I can express how I am, not how the addicts in my life are, how I am. Thank you. Becky February 2015 at 8:51 am My first meeting was 17 years ago. I was terrified and so desperate for somebody, anybody, to tell me how to fix my husband’s drinking and drug problem. But after a few minutes, I felt this peace that was beyond words. People were kind. They listened to each other and took turns speaking. Nobody was yelling or interrupting anyone else. People listened. When they shared, they spoke about hope. This touched me deeply and I remember thinking, “Well, that’s all fine for you, but you don’t know how sick my husband is! It probably won’t work for me.” That was 17 years ago, and I still attend meetings weekly. My life has changed so much since that first meeting, and Al-Anon has been my rock. I keep going to meetings, no matter what my head tells me, or my loved one tells me. I keep going, bringing the body and the mind follows! KZ February 2015 at 2:24 am I had my first meeting two weeks ago and am attending every week now. How I found out about Al-Anon in my country (Myanmar) is through Googling “AA in Myanmar” with the hope that I might get some help for my alcoholic father. It is not common in my country to get access to such services. Helping alcoholics’ family members is unheard of in my country. So I had my hope very low. What I found out is that not only AA is starting its services, but also Al-Anon is too. When my sponsor told me that I need help for myself, I just felt so emotional, as in that particular moment I realized that it is true and started crying just by reading her mail. No one ever asked me before if I would need help coping with being an adult child of an alcoholic. To recall my first meeting, I was so scared inside, but hid it with my calm and composed pretense. I was so afraid to be judged, so afraid to tell someone my family stories, so afraid to admit that I truly needed help. I was always looked up to by my peers for my calmness in a chaotic work environment, my composure, and so on. This is what I do best, to pretend that the whole world is perfect and fine. I was afraid to admit even to myself that I am suffering, and confront my emotions. I am chronically depressed and physically tired. It is a miracle for me that Al-Anon is available for me now. It is a miracle for me to meet my sponsor in my country. I felt that there is hope for me to heal now. My first meeting made me acknowledge that it is a disease and that I cannot cure it or control it, and to acknowledge to myself that whatever I have been feeling, my feelings are real and it is okay to feel. I thank my Higher Power that I have been given this chance to heal. Barbara October 2014 at 1:41 pm These comments brought me right back to the way I felt when attending my first meeting. Luckily the changes I made due to attending Al-Anon made it possible for change in my husband and we now live separately and remain great friends, sharing family visits and holidays. Now both long-term members of our respective groups and happier than we have ever been. Melissa July 2014 at 2:43 pm Last night was my first meeting. I planned to go the week prior but found excuses not to. I thought, why should I have to give up my evening because he has a drinking problem? But it wasn’t giving up my evening, not a waste of time at all. I met really nice people there. I was given the option to speak or not as the topic was “prayer” and everyone had a turn at telling their feelings about prayer. When it came to my turn, I decided I would speak and as soon as I started to talk I started to cry. Emotions piled up and flowed out. I got way off topic and basically told my story of recent happenings with living with a verbally abusive alcoholic of a husband. I could see in their eyes as I spoke the concern and care for what I was saying and that they could all relate without judgement. This was my first step on a very long journey. I feel anxious, but it’s relieving to know there is support and help out there with Al-Anon. I will continue to go every week as much as I can as there is a lot to learn and discover about myself as I now begin to focus on me rather than him and his drinking. Thank You! Diann March 2014 at 11:23 am My husband is a functioning alcoholic. Our kids are grown and have moved out. He always said that when they were grown, it would be “me and thee.” I didn’t expect it to be “me, thee and alcohol.” I quit drinking about three years ago. We would drink with friends. We were both functioning alcoholics. Since I quit drinking, I have no friends and he continues to drink with our old friends. I don’t want to be in that situation anymore. I need a friend to help me. The only place I’m happy is at work. We’ve been married for 24 years and neither of us want to give that up, but he’s told me he is not going to stop. I’m lonely and lost. Pedro F. May 2013 at 6:46 am I’ve been reading a ton online, and know that this is a step I must take. I tried to go to one earlier today, but never could find the place! I know where the one is tonight, though, so that won’t be a problem. I’m not sure why I’ve resisted it for this long; suddenly, I’m excited to be going. RAH just finished his second detox round and is in intensive outpatient therapy. He seems so very committed this time, but I have come to realize that I have to put myself in the position to be able to be on my own should this not work out (we’ve been married 36 years and only the last 3 have been such horror – I want my old husband back, but not the drinking part of him). I’m trying to re-establish some faith and hope within myself so that I can move forward whatever the outcome is, and am happy to have found this site where you all have come through so much. Anyway, wish me luck – I’m off to my meeting here! Deborah April 2013 at 11:48 am I purposely went to my first meeting while out of town on a business trip, which made it low-stakes because I knew these were not folks I would form relationships with. I didn’t share. A woman, another newcomer, had brought her teenage daughter for Alateen, which was supposed to be happening at the same time, but which was no longer going on. The teenage girl sat with a carefully practiced look of boredom the whole time, and her mother cried about her boyfriend’s treatment of both of them. The members were super supportive of her and of me, giving me a list of phone numbers, which I knew I would not call. That was about two months ago. I just made it to my second meeting this weekend, this time in my own town, and I am going to try a different one tonight. My husband says that my going will help him in his sobriety (he has 8 months), so I am going to keep coming back even though I am scared. Kathy March 2013 at 11:59 pm My feelings are complicated. My husband has caused so much pain for me and my son. He put us thru so much that my son and I are suicidal. I have asked his boss for help and to make sure he gets help. He uses a company car and works for the state. He never called me back. He is now driving under a suspended license and his boss knows this. I talked about some of the things he has done to me and got the feeling that they don’t want to hear about these things and to keep it squeaky clean, like the books. My husband put me through this back in 1977. He wasn’t as bad as he is now. In ’77 we weren’t fighting, everything was running smoothly. Now, 2013, he has a girlfriend, he moved out, he continues to lie, took away the money, and told me I don’t deserve a new car. I drive a 23-yr-old van. He got money from his father, which he was supposed to share with me, instead he took off with it all. I am tired of dealing with a lunatic and a narcissistic person that has gone looney. I am important. My son is important, but it has to end at some point. I deserve to be loved by a normal person, a Christian who values life, looks forward to each day and wants the best for his family. That is not what I have now. All I want is a nice life for me and my son. I am just not prepared to go through the candy-coated, pollyanna-type meetings. When your world is falling apart and you have tried to reach this person, bent over backwards for him and he runs you down, doesn’t want you to laugh, yells at you if the waitress puts you at the wrong table, talks to you like you are stupid, it is enough and I am fed up. I need strength at this point, not more weakness. Venus March 2013 at 9:44 am I just went to my first Al-Anon meeting last week and I don’t know what came over me. I have had to deal with some recent difficult and terrifying things regarding my alcoholic father in these past few months. Although I was not looking forward to it, I knew I should attend a meeting as I had all the classic symptoms: anger, resentment, feeling “crazy” and hopeless. My best friend picked me up and we went to the meeting together. I am normally a leader and have no problem in groups or public speaking, so when I started to feel downright ill, I didn’t understand what was happening. I started feeling weak, faint, nauseous, and lightheaded on the way to the meeting. It was a large meeting and people seemed very nice. They encouraged the group to mention if it was your first time, so I did. There were 4 new people including me. Major sweats, nausea. They did some reading and then the main speaker began to talk. You could tell she was a nice lady and was an old soul. But I knew I couldn’t hear anymore. The longer I was there, the more sick I felt. I was panting and knew that if I stayed a minute longer that I would truly projectile vomit. As in, my body felt like I was about to explode. I am mortified to write and admit this, but that is truly how I felt. I know if I stayed it would have happened. I had no desire to speak either. In fact, as I write this, I feel the feeling already building up in my throat. I raced out of there, leaving my friend. I drove home and sat in my car and cried. I knew at that moment how “sick” I had become. My emotions were so strong and so deep that they were causing me to become physically sick. I know I need to return to a meeting, but I am terrified of feeling that feeling again. I am not used to feeling out of control. I am usually a very controlled person. In fact, just thinking of going back makes me start to feel ill right now. It is so frustrating, since I know I “need” help, but I don’t want to talk about my problems, I don’t want to hear people’s coping methods, and I don’t want to feel so sick and uncomfortable again. I already have so many people dependent on me and spilling their problems that I don’t feel like signing up to hear more. I am already so empty. I have tried googling this subject and I can’t find any info on people feeling this way at a meeting. I feel bad posting this on a forum where everyone seemed to pretty much enjoy their first meeting and I don’t want to be Debbie-downer, but I am thinking that maybe Al Anon is not for me. I am already in counseling and it doesn’t seem to be helping much. My counselor stares at me in awe over how much I have been through and says that I may be going through a post-traumatic period. I just don’t know anymore and feel so alone, but yet want to feel left alone in a way. Annie February 2013 at 11:11 pm I went to my first Al-Anon meeting after hearing a speaker at an AA conference tell her story. Even though there was no alcohol in my home growing up (my father was a minister), we still had the “isms.” Being the oldest of three children, I had been required to grow up too soon and take care of my younger siblings, so I learned to take control and had an over-developed sense of responsibility. What a freedom it was to hear that I was responsible only for myself and that what I had was only an “illusion of control” anyway, that I really had no control over anyone else. I met and married an alcoholic who had been sober for over three years. He had a wonderful program to live by called Alcoholics Anonymous and had suggested that I might want to try Al-Anon. It was after hearing that speaker that I decided to check it out for myself. It was such a relief to know that there were some people who truly understood what I was saying, they understood why I thought I needed to be in control, and they told me I was not a failure because the people in my life were not living the way I thought they should. They encouraged me to keep coming back and to go to other meetings as well. What a difference Al-Anon made in my life–and therefore in the lives of the people I love–when I learned not to try to control them. I found promise in the experience, strength and hope that the members shared with me that first night, the promise that my life could be better with this simple program based on the Twelve Steps. Bridget December 2011 at 1:57 pm Last night, I attended my first Al-Anon meeting. I was scared, sad, and yet felt empowered to take control of my life, finally. I grew up with alcoholism in my family, my father. I am not married to an alcoholic. I called my mother for help, feeling desperate and needing control of my life. She suggested I go to Al-Anon. I did the next day. I am still somewhat fearful of my husband and his reaction to this step I have taken in my life. This is for me, though, not him. He is his own person and can make his own life decisions, and now it is time for me to live and breathe for myself. I know I have so much to learn yet, but in just one meeting, I now feel hope. I don’t want to always worry about what the future may bring. I am going to try to live one day at a time. I suspect I may have a long road of recovery before me, but now I feel happy for it. I intend to try out several different meetings and find the best one for me. If you are here reading these, know you are not alone. David November 2010 at 6:40 am I for one was scared and felt bad inside. I was very quiet, uncomfortable and nervous as well. I guess it’s because I felt like I had to say bad things, horrible things, about my girlfriend. I just sat there and heard what everyone had to say about how things were going for them, but I didn’t say anything at all. The girl that chaired the meeting asked me if I had anything I’d like to share, but I didn’t. I think I made everyone there feel bad. A few people offered to stay after the meeting if anyone wanted to talk one-on-one. That was so nice of them to offer, but I just let it go because everyone had to get back to work. It was an afternoon meeting. Anyway, thanks anyway to all who were there. David November 2010 at 8:33 am Well, I only went to one meeting on Kent street in Ottawa this past January. I was scared and I didn’t say anything. I felt like just letting it all out, but I couldn’t. The girl that was chair just said that if anyone would like to talk one on one to just ask. It felt weird because I was raised to suck it up, so to speak, and I also felt that everyone there had so much to deal with all the time with their own family, so why should I tell my troubles, ask for help from someone who has their own things to deal with every day. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone in the room gave me this feeling of being there, wanting to share, hear what I had to say and want to help, hear me out and so on, but it was just me. The chair was this very nice girl, good speaker and made me feel welcome. This one man sitting next to me just made a comment that this is not a quick fix place, it takes time. I wasn’t looking for any type of quick fix. I just wanted so bad to let it all out, but I couldn’t do it. To be honest, I just think I’m not all that much for the group thing, for many reasons. Now we are November 2010 and I’m still lost as to what to do, how to deal with how my life is. I feel like I’m at the end of my so-called rope. I have to find the courage to go back to a meeting. Louise G August 2010 at 7:50 pm My first meeting. Well, I remember hearing them before I found the room–so much laughter, and I was sure that wasn’t the room I was looking for. I reluctantly went into the room, sat down in the back row and bent over, hands on my knees. I didn’t look up. They laughed a lot and I thought, how could these people understand how I was feeling? It had been a long time since anyone in my home laughed. They told me I was not the reason he drank–I didn’t believe them. They also told me that I was the one with the problem–that until he said what he was doing was causing him a problem, IT WASN’T. It was causing me a problem. They told me if I was going to stay in this relationship I was going to have to learn how to detach, and that this was a selfish program–I had to come first for a change. In my arrogance, I left that meeting knowing I was way ahead of those women. If I had been any more detached from my husband, I could have been living with anyone in that room–and selfish, I was ready for. Some members say that they felt at home in their first meeting. I, on the other hand, did not. I found comfort in hearing that I was not crazy–that others felt the way I did, but that also scared me. For a long time I hadn’t let anyone get close to me, and hearing people talk about how I had felt for so long was scary. I didn’t want anyone to know me. I had no room in my life for other people. It took a day or two to realize that I wasn’t feeling anxious, that I wasn’t so angry, and I decided to go back to another meeting. I stayed long enough to learn that a lot of those people were living my worst nightmare, but still managed to laugh and smile (Keep comin’ back, they said). Learning to laugh at myself is one of the biggest gifts I have found here. It was the laughter that kept me coming back. Marcy March 2010 at 6:13 pm When my sister died of another “ism,” I resolved to get to Al-Anon that year, my qualifiers being most of my remaining siblings. I was proud of myself for getting there. Higher Power got me to the right meeting. The reading was from the book, “From Survival to Recovery,” which SO described my childhood. I knew I was in the right place. The group was small & struggling with few members willing/able to do service, so I took on the literature pretty quickly–all as it was meant to be. It was the TONE of long-time members that was soothing, I wasn’t able to really HEAR things for quite a while, but my inner nudge that got me there, also helped me to keep coming back. Ricardo A November 2009 at 10:15 am Attending a complete Al-Anon meeting came very gradually for me, because since the first meeting I attended I couldn’t just stay in the meeting room until the end of the meeting. I felt scared, uncomfortable, and I was very uneasy. Nowadays I still don’t remember what the topic was in my first meeting, what the members said or shared. I was, I think, kind of overwhelmed. tina September 2009 at 9:28 pm I felt hope as I do today some 20+ years later when I located this site. My life has been affected by alcohol and drugs without using them. It is work one day at a time to take care of me. Some days are easier than others. Today I was especially tired and lonely and I just was looking for that serenity I would feel at a meeting. Thanks, I needed it. Donna May 2009 at 8:27 am I decided to go to my first Al-Anon meeting because I had hit bottom. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I didn’t know who I could talk to anymore. At my first meeting everyone introduced themselves and told a part of their story. Then a voice that at first I didn’t recognize told my story. I sat there thinking how does this person know about my life. Then I realized that my Higher Power was speaking through me. He knew that I had to get my story out. That I needed the help from the tables of Al-Anon. Danny G. May 2009 at 11:15 pm At my first Al-Anon meeting I was very nervous. I trusted no one. I kept my eyes peeled on all. I tried to listen. I was not much of a talker. I had no self-esteem. No pride in myself or my opinions enough to share. After all was told, I would never qualify in the hearing world. Oh, yeah, I was darn scared. I had no communication skills with other humans. I received so many mixed messages. Parents say I love you then yell at you for causing parents to argue over what I knew not. Folks at the meeting seemed nice, I guess. I mean, I didn’t have to duck from flying things. They were very quiet, these Al-Anon members. They all sat and listened to the speaker without a word , until asked to share. Wow, these folks are organized. They had respect for others. Now that’s something I never received in my alcoholic home. I was told not to speak, period. Seen and not heard was the rule for children in my home. If they say jump, I jumped. Did not ask how high. Prayed to God it was high enough. I did not want to get swatted by a belt or a paddle with holes. Yes, I was very scared, not knowing what to expect from people outside my home. Oh, no, I had no friends. Never knew when dad might be at home sprawled on the floor or stairs. Oh, God, it was frightening. Those folks at my first meeting were so kind and gentle–not bossy. This was so different for me. Thank you, Al-Anon, for what you have given me. Through your slogans and tools, I am where I am today. Candace May 2009 at 8:48 pm The podcast was very knowledgable and I enjoyed it so much I will attend a meeting in person. My husband is an alcoholic, and I need the help. Thank you–Candace J. annekm March 2009 at 10:05 am My first meeting was a Step meeting and it was the the 3rd Step they were on–not a great first meeting because it’s all about your higher power. To that I have resentments because I wonder where he was when I was growing up. But in the same breath, I was thinking I pray to him every night. So don’t be put off if you don’t enjoy your first meeting. There are many more you will enjoy. Cat December 2008 at 3:50 pm I was excited about the meeting at first because I knew that I was finally not alone! There are others out there like me. At my first meeting, listening to everyone, I knew this was for me. This was going to help. I was able to tell my story and even though I didn’t know anyone there, they did not judge me and made me feel everything will be ok. It opened up my eyes and my mind. THANK YOU AL-ANON Roxanne November 2008 at 3:46 pm My first meeting was a speaker meeting. There was a woman standing by the podium and as she was sharing her story, she was telling mine almost word for word. I was very angry but at the same time I felt relief because it was the first time in my life where I felt like I was finally home. I was at a place where people spoke my language. The uniqueness and isolation would begin to lift slowly and with time. Thank you Al-Anon! winterswans November 2008 at 9:08 am I went to my first meeting last week. I was thrown and confused by it yet my week was an entirely different week than ever before because of that first miracle, in other words, I don’t understand but I feel positive changes happening in a directional way although many things are crumbling down around me. I am committed to going to another meeting tonight and will read and keep going. I am inspired by all that people share. I am learning that humility and self esteem are one and the same. I am learning that listening and reading brings truth and thereby strength to every present moment. I am learning that resting in HP’s care is the way to go. I am very panicky and sad but there is finally space around those feelings and in that space is hope. I was very moved reading above “But I felt like maybe that meant that if I kept coming to Al-Anon, I would live a long time.” Thank you! Bruce October 2008 at 4:21 am I am 57 years old. I had alcoholic parents. I have had emotional problems all my life. Thanks to a friend, and some thought on the matter I realize many of my difficulties in life may indeed stem from my parents alcoholism. I am glad Al-Anon is there. Perhaps one day I may come and see if there is any way to mprove things this late in the game. sandladyvb October 2008 at 9:10 am I came to my first Al-Anon meeting very suspicious. I felt disgraced plus no one in my family ever went to a therapist let alone a support group. So, now I was disgracing my family. All of my negative feelings and suspicians melted in an instant. There were five members in the group and they all welcomed me. No one in my entire life ever welcomed me the way the Al-Anon members did. I had done a lot of things that I was ashamed of in trying to get my husband to stop drinking. Even I didn’t want to sit next to me. I felt awkward. I was the youngest person in the room. But I felt like maybe that meant that if I kept coming to Al-Anon, I would live a long time. I didn’t trust adults and avoided speaking to people over 30 years old and now I was turning nearly 30 myself. So, I knew that something had to change in my thinking. My mind started to open up because I thought just maybe these Al-Anon people knew something about dealing with someone’s drinking that I didn’t. I intended to just listen and not say anything. But before I knew it, I had a “meltdown.” I was so relieved to finally be with people who understood what I was going through. I felt reassured by the group that no situation, even mine, was hopeless. I left knowing that I was in the right place and could hardly wait until the next meeting. I took phone numbers of the members and really believed that the members really meant it when they said “call me.” So, I left my first meeting feeling no longer alone and that Al-Anon could help me if I would give it a try. Renate October 2008 at 11:15 pm When I went to my first meeting, I was angry and only went for my “children’s” sake and to look like the good parent. I only intended on going to one meeting to get someone off my back and never go back but when I walked into that room that night with 3 kids, no alateen mtg, and welcoming smiling faces I was shocked. I could not believe people who lived with or have lived with in the past alcoholism/addiction and could be happy much less smile. It kept me coming back to see if this recovery was real. I am so grateful for Al-Anon and the recovery tools it has to offer. I have learned so much from peoples experience, strength and hope through the several years that I have attended. I found a place of safety, a place where people truly knew what others were going through and could relate. Today I cannot imagine my life without Al-Anon. It is a part of my life and I am truly grateful that my higher power, God, led me to the rooms 11 years ago. The words Welcome and Keep Coming Back were important and encouraging to me. Everytime I see a newcomer to a meeting I am reminded of when I went to my first meeting and I make sure I welcome them to the meeting and encourage them to keep coming back…it is worth it! Gita October 2008 at 1:36 am I went to my first meeting feeling like I was at a bottom of a deep dark hole, out of which I would never come out. When I was asked to share I could only cry. Everyone hugged me. When I saw all the glowing & happy faces of the members, I knew that something works at these meetings, even though then I did not know what it was. I just knew that I was at the right place and that this was the place for me. Peter October 2008 at 11:03 am I cried in my first meeting because I felt like I came home. Around the table sat people talking about all the things that we did not at home when i grow up. I came back and Im happy I did! Annette September 2008 at 12:12 am At my first Al-Anon meeting I felt that I was alone until I heard the others at the meeting sharing their stories and I could not believe that I was not alone. As of today I have been going to a weekly meeting for seven weeks and I have started noticing some changes in myself. I am so grateful for Al-Anon. Judy September 2008 at 6:34 pm At my first meeting I felt numb. I felt emotional. I felt fearful. I felt sad. Yet I felt amazed. Who would have known there was a place where people sat and talked about alcoholism as a family illness? Who would have thought so many people were experiencing what I was and that they weren’t as hopeless? I don’t remember any faces, but I do remember people were calm, sensible, and kind. Those traits were not demonstrated in my home. The meeting members welcomed me, gave me a One Day at a Time book, and encouraged me to return. The first meeting I attended seemed like a miracle that I simply didn’t understand. I knew I was in the right place, even if despair had led me there. Leave A Comment Cancel reply Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.