It wasn’t easy learning to take care of myself when I first started attending Al‑Anon meetings. Many tears were shed in the beginning. I was mentally and physically weak, and at times I didn’t think a better life was possible. I just wanted to give up, to not exist any longer.

But Al‑Anon was a big factor in my work to better myself. I attended meetings for four months before I openly shared. Scared and shaking, I broke out and spoke, and that began to occur more and more often. I got a Sponsor, which was the biggest thing that helped me get better, learn to detach with love, and start rebuilding my life. My Sponsor has been there, no matter what time of day, and has been loving, genuine, honest, caring, and nonjudgmental.

I do service in my group but have also had to learn not to over-commit. It’s okay to say no and not feel guilty. I continue to help encourage new attendees and show them that recovery is possible. It requires an open, willing heart and mind and a lot of patience. “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

By Jeffrey C., Florida

 The Forum, September 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.