It was my first Al‑Anon meeting. I was scared because I didn’t know anyone. I was terrified that someone would know me. I never said a word during the whole meeting.

I have only one memory from that first meeting. After a continuous barrage of invective from the alcoholic about how his drinking was all my fault, I heard these words: “You did not cause the drinking; you cannot control it; and you cannot cure it.” Those words became my mantra. Over and over, with each repetition, I felt lighter and lighter. I felt I was shedding the weight of my world.

On the way home, I needed to stop at the grocery store—my “cover” excuse for going out that evening. As I gripped the handle of the grocery cart, I had a vision of myself floating above the aisle. It felt as though that grip was the only thing keeping me from floating away. I had found hope! I knew I would be coming back to Al‑Anon.

By Ellen V., Arkansas

The Forum, January 2024


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.