Recognizing & understanding my unnamed hurt

In “Recognizing & understanding my unnamed hurt,” Carol, an anonymous Al‑Anon member, shares about the hurt she had been carrying since childhood and how attending Al‑Anon meetings helped her.

Watch her interview to find out more.

Learn more about the Al‑Anon program by reading articles from our public outreach magazine,
Al‑Anon Faces Alcoholism.


This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

Recognizing & understanding my unnamed hurt

INTERVIEWER: Carol, thank you so much for sitting with us. Could you share with us why you came to Al‑Anon?

CAROL: I came to Al‑Anon because I had this hurt inside of me that I couldn’t name and I didn’t know where to go. But I had been blessed to have read a book in a waiting room that mentioned Al‑Anon and was very informative. And it was just a subtle, kind, gentle way that this was for people really who had grown up around alcoholism.

And I knew that it was a fit. And so when I went to my very first meeting, I was uncertain about everything. But as I sat there and I listened, my tears started, and I cried just quietly. I think I shared maybe a few words, but just to hear that people were speaking my language, they knew the hurt inside, and they actually were happy to be carrying their own experience through the kind of hurt that I was feeling.

And that helped me know that I was in the right place. And really, it was the first time in my life that I felt like I felt like I belonged, like I knew these people. I had grown up in an alcoholic home, but I couldn’t label what I was doing as being affected by alcoholism. But I had relationships in my life where there was a common factor that I couldn’t name, but every one of those relationships were with men that couldn’t love. They didn’t have the ability to love me in a way that I actually felt connected. And so I kept looking for love in people who had no ability to give it to me. And so that was where I found the home in Al‑Anon. Not that there was someone there who, you know, became someone romantically involved, but there was love in the room and I felt that.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you, Carol.