Growing up with an alcoholic father, all the dysfunction seemed so normal. Only recently did I realize everything I experienced growing up was anything but that. The fighting, hiding, escaping, trying hard to fade in the background, and feeling scared to come out weren’t things that happened to everyone, even though I thought they were.

I only recently started going to Al‑Anon, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. As I read over short phrases such as, “Keep It Simple,” and even “Think,” I look back and reflect on how my childhood was anything but simple—we often just reacted without thinking. I’m excited to be here in a community where I feel 100 percent understood by a group of people I don’t even know. I’m excited to grow in understanding my past, to work on building a healthier lifestyle for myself, and to keep getting better. For the first time in a while I am genuinely happy for the future and what it holds.

By Jenae

The Forum, August 2020

Feel free to reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.