As we celebrate 70 years of Al‑Anon Family Groups, what insights have you gained about your own Al‑Anon milestone?
Please share your experiences by commenting on the topic below. The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you liked and leave the rest. Member sharing on the Member Blog may be used in future Al‑Anon publications.
This month we’re asking you to share on the question, “As we celebrate 70 years of Al‑Anon Family Groups, what insights have you gained about your own Al‑Anon milestone?”
Changing What I can (see ODAT for Topic pages) As an young only child exposed to my Dad’s alcoholism and my Mom’s reaction to it, I lived “on the edge” with my distracted parents. By 12, I knew I couldn’t TRUST my parents’ willy-nilly decision-making and lack of FOCUS on my well-being. THAT awareness FRIGHTENED me. Over time I succumbed to the parental conditioning: “don’t trust, “don’t feel, & don’t tell”. By my mid-teens, I had no boundaries and I had a heightened sensitivity to external influences: good or bad. My THINKING and REACTIONS were like “a bullet ricocheting off… Read more »
I am continuously reminded that this is a spiritual program. Although I have attended meetings for years and have worked the Steps with a Sponsor a few times I know that it can be unclear that I have “gained an Al-Anon milestone”. For me an Al-Anon milestone can be as simple as calling my Sponsor instead of having an argument with my spouse. Sometimes the milestones are boulders! I came to the program because of my step-father’s drinking problem. His disease had progressed to the point of physical violence and in a panic my little sister called me in the… Read more »
I’m so grateful for Al-Anon. It took many many meetings and tries at the 12 steps to understand that this program was for ME. Not the Alcoholic. I learned to focus on my desires in a relationship, how I wanted to live MY life, and how that affects my Self Esteem when I do not honor that. I learned how to detach from the pain, and place loving boundaries, with words of compassion. I learned how not to be bothered by other peoples’ stuff, and accept only what is mine to manage. The depression and self loathing is retreating, as… Read more »
This coming September I’ll be celebrating my ninth anniversary as a grateful member of Al-Anon. This milestone gives me the opportunity to reflect on how I’ve changed as a result of working the program. First and foremost, I’m amazed that I’ve actually remained a consistent member of anything for this long. I tried a number of different things earlier in my life, even an Al-Anon meeting in my mid-twenties, but I always dropped out after awhile. I wasn’t ready to truly open myself to a fellowship until I had the gift of desperation urging me back to recovery. I’ll always… Read more »
I’ve just returned from a 10day driving trip with my 91yr. old Mother. We’ve always been close, however, before Al-Anon- I wasn’t always the loving, kind, compassionate daughter that I wanted to be and didn’t have the tools to be that daughter. A few times on our trip I was in HALT mode and, again, was reactive and snappy- behaved in a less than loving way than I want to. This time, I have program to remind me that I am now a part of the human race which means I sometimes get snappy and impatient since being human is… Read more »
This afternoon at my home group when it was my turn to share I said my name and added “And I’m grateful to be here for another week of Al-Anon! Hooray!” I didn’t always feel that way. Four years ago when I realized I really needed to commit to working Al-Anon if I wanted to find some relief from my agony of my own situation, my introduction was more like my name “and here I am for yet ANOTHER week of Al-Anon.” All the while resenting the alcoholics in my life and thinking, “When will this pain ever end?” My… Read more »
As Al-Anon Family Groups celebrate 70 years, I am grateful to be celebrating 45 years myself. Coming into the Al-Anon program was the very best thing I ever did for myself in this life. I was lucky to be only 22 when my father and I attended our first meeting. I too live my life one day at a time. But it’s made a huge difference to have spent most of my adult life in the program. I learned who I was and how to have a stable and peaceful life, whether any of the drinkers in the family got… Read more »
This month, I celebrate 35 years in Al-Anon. Each year, on my anniversary, I reflect back to my first Al-Anon meeting in Schenectady, NY. I was scared and confused, and in truth, I understood only three words that day: “Keep Coming Back!” But I did come back. What made the difference was the people who took the time to talk with me after the meeting, and the one who offered to drive me home so I would not have to walk or take two buses. These people cared about me! That was something very important I learned about the Al-Anon… Read more »
There has been many insights and many milestones for me since coming to Al-Anon. However, the most important one for me was my coming to this program and staying in it over the years. I have to go back to March 1976, in Whitehorse, Yukon, when I first came to Al-Anon. I didn’t want to be there, therefore I came with a closed mind, a closed heart and a closed soul. I was there because my husband sent me, as he put it: «To learn to mind my business». I stayed out of pride and stubbornness, anxiously waiting for his… Read more »
A dear friend in AA once asked me, “Do you know the world record for the longest time in sobriety?” I didn’t, so I asked her what it was.
“24 hours. Because you can only do it one day at a time.”
This perspective has helped me to remember that the newcomer has as much to share as the old timer, and that humility, willingness, and open-mindedness are keys to my recovery. No matter how long I have been in recovery, there is always a new dimension to add to my spiritual growth.
I have learned that Al-Anon is a lifelong journey. There will be no mile marker where I will say “I’m done.” Throughout this journey I will make improvements to myself and my life. I will get rid of some of my defects of character. I will make mistakes and have slips. But since finding the program, which led me to find my higher power, there is no other journey I wish to be on. Mistakes will be opportunities for growth and I am grateful for every opportunity that will make my life better. I will have days filled with more… Read more »