One day I woke up and discovered that my 25-year marriage was empty. I found myself feeling the most empty and lonely when I realized I was trying to love someone who was no longer there. I wondered, How had I lost my best friend? It happened so gradually. I had been replaced by alcohol; it was now first in his life. Before I became aware of this, I subconsciously felt a void. I was in denial about what the void was about, but I filled that void with my own obsessive behaviors. I took care of everyone else, but did not have any idea how to take care of me.

Through Al-Anon, I learned to keep the focus on myself. I learned to develop a self-care plan. I learned that my negative thinking and behaviors were simply behaviors that were out of balance. I had to replace them with their spiritual opposites. With the help of this program, my thinking has changed to gratitude, depression has turned to hope, and pain has turned to joy.

By Kat C., California

The Forum, January 2020