Growing up in an alcoholic family, I learned to survive by keeping my opinions and thoughts to myself. I judged myself to be a nobody. Later, this affected my relationships with my husband and three daughters. When one of my daughters showed signs of being an alcoholic, I blamed myself, even though I did not drink. Her social worker suggested that I go to Al-Anon. I had reached the desperation point and decided to try it. I wasn’t sure it was right for me, and I almost turned around and walked out of that first meeting. Thank goodness I didn’t! Two people met me at the door and assured me that things could get better if I just gave it a chance. I was skeptical, but I sat and listened to people share. I was amazed that what they were saying was like my situation. The stories were different, but the feelings were the same. I was just like everybody else. I felt accepted. I had finally found a group of people who shared their true emotions and feelings—the same ones I had. They got me. They encouraged me to put the focus on myself—not the alcoholic and to “Keep Coming Back,” which I did. I continued to attend meetings and gain encouragement from other members who have since become my friends and mentors. I have found a new awareness of the person I am. I am learning to believe in myself and take care of myself. Today I am somebody.

By Linda P., Florida

The Forum, April 2019