I grew up in an abusive, alcoholic home, but didn’t know I was affected by alcoholism for a long time. My wife grew up with alcoholism too, and was attending Al‑Anon when we married. I thought I didn’t need Al‑Anon. I had survived all those years without it, and didn’t need outside help.

Then, my teenage daughter started using alcohol and drugs. She was put in jail for assaulting her brother with a knife. I was angry with her and with God for bringing alcoholism and chaos back in my life. Finally, I decided to go to an Al‑Anon meeting.

As I sat in that meeting, I felt I had a sign around my neck that said, “Help.” I don’t remember what I heard. I remember feeling hopeful. I remember one woman there who had grown up in an abusive, alcoholic family and who seemed very happy. I wanted what she had. It wasn’t long before I recognized that I came to Al‑Anon not to help my daughter, but to help me.

I came back to that meeting every week, and also started attending a men’s meeting. My daughter is doing much better now. I still have the scars from growing up with the family disease of alcoholism, so I plan to keep coming back.

Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017