When I entered the Al‑Anon rooms for the ﬁrst time, I was in deep despair. My adult daughter’s drinking was out of control. She was living with us, so her drinking affected my husband and I daily. I thought Al‑Anon would show me the path to cure her! I soon learned that is not the way Al‑Anon works. The program is designed to help me focus on my own recovery. I also learned that I didn’t cause the disease, I couldn’t control the disease, and I couldn’t cure my daughter’s disease. This knowledge was such a relief to me once I heard it, and then I accepted the truth and wisdom of these words in my mind and heart.
As I recovered, I also learned that there were other people in my past that had the disease of alcoholism, such as my ex-husband and my father. Both of these men affected my life profoundly, and both are no longer on earth. I learned that what I experienced living with them—walking on eggshells, people-pleasing, and keeping my head down to shield me from their verbal assaults—reverberated throughout all my present relationships. I had become invisible, and I had lost my voice and my path to living life fully.
By applying Al‑Anon’s Twelve Steps, working with a loving Sponsor, attending meetings, and reading Al‑Anon literature, I learned to live “One Day at a Time,” and to even ﬁnd peace and joy. I was able to get reacquainted with myself and discover the many assets and faults I possess. Finding out these things about myself gave me the courage to grow and change, laugh at myself, and reach out to other people who were hurting because of their loved one’s alcoholism.
I’m grateful to my loved ones, for their disease has led me to the path of Al‑Anon. I’m also thankful for that fateful, sleepless night that led me to ﬁnd an online Al‑Anon meeting in my community! When I began attending meetings, someone always encouraged me to “Keep Coming Back” and to attend at least six times before I made a decision to stay or leave. Although I don’t know where my daughter is with her recovery, I have learned to detach with love knowing that I am on the right path for myself.
By Wendee S., Washington
The Forum, March 2021
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm 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.
My boyfriend of 3 years and family friend of over 30 recently hit rock bottom. He admitted to having a problem and enrolled in AA. I have been searching for forums like this to assure myself I am not alone. In my feelings, thoughts etc. I haven’t gathered up the courage to head to an in person meeting yet. Baby steps.
My adult son who lives with us and is recently divorced is an alcoholic. He hides his alcohol, lies and when he is drunk he is mean and confrontational. I would like to attend meeting. His drinking is really affecting our lives
It surely does take, courage to grow.
Hi, I have been in program a long time and heard my stories. I believe it’s a Family disease and that the Spiritually of the program can heal me, if I’m willing to use it. It takes work, and my willingness to stay with it. Prayer helps me alot, Meetings, Literature and Service. Very Grafeful for this program Al-Anon. I will be praying for Everyone here and much Hope and Peace on your Journey.
Thank you for the chance to talk about this. My daughter is an alcoholic, causing us as parents a lot of grief and trauma. She just came out of an abusive relationship causing a great deal of this problem. She has put us through such an amount of stress, it will be just impossible to describe this to somebody that has not been through it themselves. The lies, the mental abuse, the financial problems! It goes on and on.
Thank you for sharing. My daughter is an alcoholic for 20 years. I have been verbally and physically abused by her. I have been on a roller coaster relationship with her and it has created PTSD. It is the first time I have joined Al-Anon, so this is my first post. Thank you for this group and I hope in time I will be able to share some progress to give other people hope.
This will be my first post, first day in this group. I have an adult daughter who is going through the process of trying to become a recovering alcoholic. She has just come off a nine month alcohol free in January. She had a car accident and relapsed. It has now been a struggle back-and-forth to not drink since then. I get very frustrated and do not know how to handle it or what to say and what not to say. Thinking that if I say something wrong I will just make it worse. Is there any info on what… Read more »
This will be my first day! A new day! My husband is a functioning alcoholic. He drinks from dinner time on and cannot be trusted to provide care to our three young children. I am hoping this will bring me some understanding of the disease and tools to communicate. I have filed for a legal separation because his drinking is starting to affect our children with his middle of the night outbursts/tantrums. I have tried to help him in the past, called rehab centres but he isn’t willing to get professional help. He says I am the problem!
I’m still learning how to detach with love. I’m finding it so hard to let my son find his bottom. It feels like I’m giving up on him. This is my 3rd month in Al-Anon and it is bringing me some serenity. This and pray is what I do all day.
Thank you for this post. I can relate to becoming invisible, losing my voice, and not living life fully. I thought it was me. I’ve been with drinkers before but this time felt different. She doesn’t get angry or violent. She’s all about laughter and fun. I thought that meant it was ok. Now I know it’s not.
I have lived the Al-Anon program for many years. Recently our daughter left her marriage, a fine home and lovely children. I was shocked. Our granddaughter told us her mom’s drinking had gotten bad over the last years. Now it made sense to me. The family disease of alcoholism is present in another generation!
I also joined after my son started going down a series of bad choices. Pot, alcohol and acid are a few i know of. Sleepless nights, days walking like a zombie, wanting the earth to take me and not him. Now I have books, resources and a group who hears me and has some similar stories. A sponsor who calms my fears when they sneak up. I keep coming back because it has been a Godsend. The peace and serenity are so good to feel I never want it to cease. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. My 27 year old son recently moved back home because he and his GF split due to his drinking. It’s not a good situation. I have been reading One Day At A Time daily. I’m feeling ready to connect with others who can relate
I wish my husband would consider rehab. He is retired special forces and special operations and will not even consider help from anyone even though he knows he has a problem.
This enlightened me. I have been so angry with my siblings. And my parents for enabling them.
Thank you so much for this. Im dealing with my 17yr old about to be 18 drinking occasionally and Im trying to discourage her from this with no success. This gives me hope.
Thank you. My husband just completed a 28 day program. I have started individual therapy.