Often families that are worried about someone with a drinking problem try to hide what is going on behind closed doors. They keep it a secret to protect the alcoholic from ridicule and themselves from shame. They think they are the only ones dealing with this family drama, but according to Gallup, nearly 122 million people in the United States have been affected by the family disease of alcoholism. When families finally make their way to local Al‑Anon and Alateen meetings, they are often astonished to find that others have experienced the same difficulties and have found a way to live a happy, fulfilling life regardless of what the problem drinker is doing.
If you think you may have been affected by someone else’s drinking, watch this video to find out about a member’s first experience with Al‑Anon and then answer a few questions to see if Al‑Anon may be helpful for you.
This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al-Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al-Anon program and their personal experience.
Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al-Anon program.
The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.
My secrets didn’t feel so secret
MEMBER: I had taken my two young daughters at the time to see a child social worker, when I first became aware of some of the issues in our family. And she had suggested that I go to an Al‑Anon meeting, and there was one that very night. And when I went to my first meeting, I really, honestly believed that the social worker must have called these women and told them my story. Because how else could you explain that they were telling things, as they went around the room sharing, that I had never shared with another human being in my life – save for that social worker that I had seen just a few hours earlier. Of course, that wasn’t what had happened, but I felt for the first time that I wasn’t alone – that I found a group of people that had fully understood and appreciated how I was feeling. And that, in and of itself, gave me hope.