Before I came to Al‑Anon, I felt that it was my job to make sure I kept my household running on an even keel. What an enormous job that was, especially living with an active alcoholic. I was on constant lookout for bottles and excuses, and I was ready to blame everyone else for how miserable my life was. I felt so alone. I thought no one else could possibly understand what my life was like. Then someone suggested that I go to Al‑Anon. Great, I thought, I can learn how to make my alcoholic stop drinking. I know now that I am not so different from newcomers who come to their first meetings.

I had to confront my own powerlessness. It was a relief to learn that I didn’t cause my loved one’s alcoholism, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. I can only learn to take care of myself. I had never known that I had choices, that I didn’t have to participate in all the same old dances and scenarios. Instead, I could go for a walk, take in a movie, go for coffee, or go to a meeting. My life is so different now. I only change what is mine to change—what I think, say, and do.

By Rose B., Rhode Island

The Forum, May 2019