My first Al‑Anon meeting opened my eyes and I saw there were others who struggled as I did. Somehow there was something different about these people in Al-Anon. They seemed at peace as they shared their personal stories with each other. Their kindness and sincerity drew me to want what they had.
My son had been struggling with alcohol and drugs. I felt heartbroken and did the only thing that I thought would help. I tried to fix him, but things only got worse. I neglected everyone, including myself, and could only focus on him. My life lost all its joy. In fact, life became something that I had to endure.
I started to attend Al-Anon meetings regularly. I didn’t know what I learned was preparing me to deal with some of the most painful experiences of my life. Because of Al‑Anon, I became better-equipped to deal with the hardships that were coming.
Thanks to Al‑Anon, I found healthy friends I could reach out to in times of struggle. I found literature to keep me focused and give me peace and reassurance. I also developed a sense of hope that things would improve.
Things have improved with my son, too. Our relationship is healthier. As I look back, I know that the things I learned in Al‑Anon are vitally important in our lives. Before, I could never let my son live his own life, even though I couldn’t win his battles for him. For him to be free, he had to want this for himself—when he was ready.
Thanks to Al‑Anon, now I can go to meetings and not only receive help, but also give help and share my hope with others. Most of all, in Al-Anon I have learned that it is okay for me to be happy and to enjoy life.
By Ruth Ann B., Oklahoma
Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2019