I attended my first Al‑Anon meeting while my husband was in rehab. My children were ages seven, five, and eleven months. I was terrified. I was confused. Throughout my entire marriage, well-meaning people had been telling me that if I just hadn’t said that, or if I just hadn’t done this, maybe he wouldn’t have had to drink. I was hurting immensely, to the point where I was having physical health issues.

So, to make the decision to go to a meeting and actually follow through was a huge step and utterly terrifying. But what I witnessed around that table had a lasting impact on me and changed my way of thinking forever. Here was a group of people who knew how I felt; they had actually lived very similar lives, and they were happy and normal and so very understanding of my situation.

I sat in my chair, shriveled in a tiny ball, afraid that if I opened my mouth the tears would start. Before I left that day, the lady sitting beside me squeezed my hand and told me to “Keep Coming Back.” I am so grateful I was strong enough to force myself to go to that first meeting. It was the start of a journey I’m still on today.

By Becky L., Pennsylvania

The Forum, Novembre 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.