When my teenaged daughter said, “Get out of my recovery, Mom!”

It’s always a good time to raise awareness about how alcohol affects our society. Most of the time, the focus is on the effects on those who drink. In Al‑Anon, we focus on how someone’s drinking affects those around them – the family and friends who worry about the drinker. Yes – the families and friends of problem drinkers can also find peace in their own recovery from the family disease of alcoholism.

If you’re worried about someone’s drinking, consider trying a few Al‑Anon meetings. There’s no charge for meetings and regardless of where you are, if you have internet access, you can find one that will work for you.

If you would like to raise awareness about the support available in Al‑Anon family groups, consider sharing our content and mentioning us in your online conversations about alcohol abuse and recovery.


This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

When my teenaged daughter said, “Get out of my recovery, Mom!”

Interviewer: Mary, could you share with us a little bit about what brought you to Al‑Anon Family Groups?

Mary: Uh yes, I was getting free counseling at a rape crisis center in my community; and after I shared a little bit about my daughter’s issues with alcoholism, the counselor got up, went to her desk, came back, and gave me a little green sticky that said “Al‑Anon” with our local Information Services number. Never said a word, just handed it to me. And I just thought, that’s sort of weird. And then a couple of weeks later, I got into it with my daughter at home. And you know, we had words and she finally just said, “Mom, get out of my recovery.” And I’m thinking, this is a sixteen‑year‑old kid telling me it’s not my business.

Interviewer: Wow, profound.

Mary: And I had that Ah‑ha! moment and it clicked, and I said, “You’re right. You know, I only feel ok, and safe, and don’t worry if I know you’re in an A.A. meeting. So, you know, the more meetings you go to a day, or a week, it makes me feel better.” And I just said, “but that’s my problem—not yours.” And so, about a week later, I found a newcomers meeting and I went to that meeting. And I was lucky enough to have an old‑timer that introduced herself and said, “come sit by me, I’ll show you the ropes.” And she said, “what are you doing next Sunday? I’ll meet you here.” And the interesting thing about that lady is, I saw her those two meetings, and she said “my schedule has changed I’m not going to be able to go to this meeting anymore.” I looked high and low for that lady—I don’t know where she is; but she brought me to the rooms so I am grateful.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that with us today.

Mary: You’re welcome.