I never thought it would happen to me. I had been living in a recovery household for over 20 years. Then one day, my husband said, “I just want to let you know I drank while I was hunting.” My heart sank. I almost couldn’t believe it. I had plenty of Al‑Anon under my belt but never imagined I would need it for something like this. Thank God I already had a Sponsor, was attending meetings, had worked the Steps, and had built a support system.

My husband’s relapse sent me into what felt like a different realm. I had never known that kind of powerlessness before. I used the tools I had learned, but it was not an easy road. I couldn’t grasp the concept of the First Step for a long time. I decided to stay with him and try to work a good Al‑Anon program, but after two and a half years, my growth in the program gave me the courage to finally stop the merry-go-round ride. We separated, and that brought on a whole new hell for me. Once again, I used the tools that I had been practicing and held on for dear life.

Losing the man I loved was devastating. Some days I didn’t want to go on, yet Al‑Anon principles told me there was hope: Hold On, Pain Ends. I wasn’t alone. Others had been where I was and felt what I felt. There was a Higher Power who would do for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I had to be willing to do the work, and if I worked the program and took good care of myself, I believed I would heal and grow and maybe even find happiness.

It’s been two years since my divorce, and I have changed and grown a lot. I still have painful, hard days, but I’m still working the program, and today, I have more hope for myself and my future.

By Jessica M., Oregon

The Forum, March 2023

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.