Why did I feel afraid to go to my first Al-Anon meeting?

“Introduction of Al-Anon Meeting” podcasts: 4) Why did I feel afraid to go to my first Al-Anon meeting? Isn’t the drinking somebody else’s problem?


2017-07-27T17:39:19+00:00February 28, 2017|Categories: First Steps|


  1. Jess November 2018 at 11:55 am

    I’m 25 and I’m just starting to admit to myself that I might have a drinking problem. I’ve been with my boyfriend now for almost 9 years now, and this is really putting a strain on our relationship. He just wants me to be honest, and stop drinking, and all I’ve been doing is lying about my drinking to him. I finally came clean about it last night, and now I’m terrified he’s finally going to be done and leave me. I want to stop, I don’t want to lose the person who has been there for me more than anyone else in my whole life. This has been an on going problem, and its crazy that I’ve been trying to go this long hiding and blaming everyone else. If waking up in a van behind a bar after blacking out all night wasn’t bad enough, then I really don’t want to see what it would really take to make me stop besides losing the man I love. I even tried to blame him, saying him and his friends were the ones who got me to start drinking when we were teenagers, when in reality this has all been my choices and decisions, knowing what the consequences could be. I’m just praying its not to late for me to start attending meetings and really get a grip on my addiction. Its just so scary to admit to myself and others I’m not as strong as I have appeared for all of these years. I’m glad I found this forum, reading all of these stories about what people have gone through that have significant others who also have a problem has been eye opening. Its also confirmed how important it is for me to seek out help. Thanks so much for sharing your stories and I hope you are all in a better place now.

  2. Katy October 2018 at 5:38 pm

    I want to attend a meeting. I realize I don’t respond to things like a healthy well adjusted person. I bury and hide my families alcoholism so people won’t know I have such unpalatable problems. I can’t put this on the people I love so many of my closest friends have no idea. I moved away and I hoped to have a life apart from this but it’s following me, it’s part of most my memories. My mom dad and sister are alcoholics, mom recently drank herself to death, sis is doing to her kids what my parents did to us. Family is often dysfunctional, I love them but they are my greatest source of pain, embarrassment in, loneliness and loss and fear. I don’t even know how to begin to talk about it…. so I thought I’d start here… and maybe I’ll make it to a meeting, maybe it will help.

  3. Magdalena April 2018 at 10:59 am

    I am in love with an alcoholic boyfriend and he urges me to go to Al-Anon, but I am afraid. I honestly feel so stupid for even being in this situation. I should just leave him and live a good life but I can’t bring myself to do it. I feel like if I see others who stick around with their alcoholic significant others, I am going to feel even more dumb because really, I should just leave him the hell alone and let him deal with his problem himself. Yet, here I am, unable to leave. I guess seeing others in the same boat will only confirm that if I don’t get out now, I am going to end up a broken individual dealing with a problem that isn’t even mine.

  4. Olga March 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I grew up with an alcoholic aunt who I adored and who adored me. I used to hide the bottles and throw away the drinks as as a young child. I now have an alcoholic partner who drinks constantly. She is classy, thoughtful, caring, funny and loving when she is sober, but when she is drunk she is vulgar, selfish, rude, obnoxious annoying, aggressive and confrontational. She has promised her now deceased sister on her dying bed that she would stop drinking. She promised me when her mother was in ICU as a result of a drunk driver crashing into the vehicle she was in that she would seek help. We have been together for almost 20 years, she has controlled her drinking on many occasions but she always goes back to it. I feel alone and depressed often. I don’t like to go to social anything as she makes anything a drinking event. I feel so alone. I want to share so much with my mom who lives with us and is 85yrs old, but I do not, as I do’t want to worry her. Today I have decided to look for a meeting that is in my city and attend. I am not scared but uneasy about attending as I hope that it brings some comfort to my chaotic life and in hopes that it assists me in deciding what is better for me. God Bless!

  5. Jenn August 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I grew up in a home with two alcoholic parents my whole life, and once a teenager, a brother addicted to drugs. I’m only 17, but I didn’t find Alateen helpful at all because of how severe/intense some of my experiences have been.

    Well, I recently went to my first Al-Anon meeting, and have gone twice now. I was at my end when I went to my second meeting, and was ready to be done with life. Well, my ride bailed on me, but my HP knew I needed to be there and orchestrated an old friend of mine to see if I needed a ride anywhere. I’m SO glad I was there. It was an open speaker meeting and I felt like the woman from Al-Anon was me standing up there. She knew exactly what I have been through without me having to say a word, except crying.

    I am so excited to keep going to Al-Anon because even though I live in a chaotic home, I can go to Al-Anon and just breathe. It feels so amazing. Thanks to this article and others on this site, I was brave enough to take the first step of finding a meeting and to walk into the doors. I’m still really new at this, and don’t understand everything that Al-Anon is about, but I’m just glad I have been able to go and not feel like I am so alone in this.

  6. Kathy P July 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I finally did it. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting, and the world did not end.

    I know that sounds crazy, but I couldn’t seem to work up the courage for the longest time. Like someone else mentioned, I was nervous talking to “strangers” about my issues with my sister’s drinking. I was afraid someone would tell her that I was attending. I worried that she would hate me, and say I was trying to humiliate her and being disloyal. After all, these problems in the family should stay in the family, right? Right – and then nothing changes, and I go on trying to compensate and trying to live with it, pretending everything is all right.

    But this past week some kind of self-realization hit me, and I finally walked through the door to the meeting. Shaking like a leaf, but I made it! After all, why should talking with sympathetic people about my situation terrify me so much? I realize now that I am a part of the problem, by covering it up so well, by thinking I could cope with it without any help from ANYONE. I was wrong! These folks I met had been there, they knew exactly where I was coming from, and I can benefit from their experiences, positive and negative. And everything that is said there, stays there.

    Next week, I am going to my second meeting. I have been through a lot, and have to find some peace, whether my sister gets help or not. In the meantime, posting to this group is also a huge help, as I am more comfortable writing things out, then talking about them. Thank you so much to the folks who started this on-line!

  7. Karen C April 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I was uncomfortable with posting to Al-Anon because of the possibility that someone might know about my experiences with people who are alcoholics and the chaos and turmoil caused as a result of alcoholism. I don’t know where my fear of people knowing my thoughts on the topic comes from. I don’t have any fears or issues with private therapy one-to-one, but to the thought of participating in a self-help group, group therapy, or any discussions beyond a one-to-one therapeutic approach or friendly conversation is very difficult for me. Sharing in this on-line group has helped me to reduce my fears with self-disclosure and feel more open about the subject of alcoholism and the impact it can have on the non-alcoholic. The principles and steps of this group are helpful in approaching the issue and offering a way of knowing about alcoholism and the alcoholic as well as choosing to leave the situation.

  8. Denise February 2011 at 3:04 am

    I have never attended a meeting but I have consistently researched help on the internet. I always make the excuse that it is too far or I have work. Well a few days ago it clicked that I most definitely need help. I live with my mother who has been an alcoholic my whole life. My father passed away 2 years ago from lung cancer (he was also an alcoholic). My sister is following in the same footsteps as my mother. I have always been the one who spoke verbally about the addiction while everyone else ignored it or manipulated me into believing that I was crazy. I have felt alone for years, even against my sisters who have also had the same experiences as me.

    Last night I decided to catch up with my oldest sister who has isolated herself from the family for 6 months. She is my half sibling and I wish we were closer. While spending time with her I almost suffered an anxiety attack. She is addicted to pills and alcohol. After leaving her house in the middle of the night (after hearing her use drugs), she verbally harassed me telling me that I was the crazy one and I am my own worst enemy. I drove home in an ice storm crying with no one to talk to. Rather then listen to music when I don’t want to hear drunken rants, I really need to get to a meeting. I feel completely helpless and out of control. I suffer daily with myself. I don’t feel like a whole person. I have dated addicts. I am a codependent.

    After reading these stories, I realized that it is normal to be in fear of your first meeting. I just need to take the step and stop making excuses, because I am not getting any younger. I am 26 and I want to have a healthy family one day.

  9. alex January 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I have been with my alchoholic bf for 6 years now. We are not married, have no kids. I love him so much, but he drinks hard booze, a bottle a night. He is amazing when he is sober and horrible when he is drunk. He admitted he has a problem, but refuses to go to AA meetings. I have my first Al-Anon meeting tonight. I am sooooo scared, very nervous–never had to go to one before. I have no idea what to expect.

  10. Sandy W. August 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I was afraid to go to my first meeting because I didn’t want my alcoholic husband to know. He was already recovering in AA and had encouraged me to investigate Al-Anon. My pride told me that the problem was his, not mine and that by going to a meeting, I would admit defeat. I was too prideful to ask for help even though I felt scared, angry, guilt-ridden, confused, hurt, and alone on the inside.

    I tried to manage my life with a newly recovering alcoholic by myself. All the changes he was making just made me feel more and more unmanageable. It wasn’t until I had enough and realized that I needed help from others who understood what I was going through; my pride finally gave way to ask for help. At that first meeting I knew I wasn’t alone and that my thoughts and feelings weren’t crazy. The comfort I felt there was enough to keep me coming back and heal from the effects alcoholism had on me. I am so grateful that this program was there for me!

  11. Maxine August 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I met my husband when he had been sober for 2 years after being ordered by the court to go to AA. He remained sober for 7 years, and then decided he didn’t want to be stigmatized with the label of alcololic and wanted to be able to drink. He thought it wasn’t a problem – he could control it. It started small but soon escalated to drinking a quart or more of wine every night. I yelled and scolded and was miserable for years, and came to the point of desperation. I have been going to counseling and was urged to go to Al-Anon. I had known about it but had misconceptions like some of the others who wrote here. Listening to the podcasts has made me feel less fearful of going to a meeting, and I will try to attend one this week. I really need some support.

  12. sara July 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Today is the first time I went to Al-Anon meeting, even though my husband has not been drinking for 7 years. He lives and works in another town but would come home for the weekend. 4 months ago I came as a surprise visit to his office, since I felt something was wrong and lying to me (my gut intuition). He was not happy with my visit, shouted in front of the office secretaries “you bitch, get out of here”.

    Ever since then he has not come home, does not answer my phone calls and completely ignores me. He is in contact with our 4 grown children. My 19-year-old girl still lives home with me and she is his confidant and “pseudo wife”. We have been married for 40 years and I am devastated.

    I found out that he plans to retire and sell his medical practice without involving me. He always blames me for the family disfunction. not taking accountability for his own problems. I am his problem and I feel that he hates me and conveys the message to our children. I do not know if he is filing for divorce, or has a paramour, though he is not the type. He kept telling me “I take care of myself, I do not care about the children or granchildren”.

    I decided not to call him. I was o.k. until about two weeks ago where I broke down and am completely depressed. I know that I need to take care of myself and I try my best but I feel completely alone, no support from anybody. My children do not want to be involved and they tell me so. I talk to some friends but it is still not enough.

  13. Amirha June 2010 at 12:57 pm

    After reading all these comments; I think I am ready to take the first step to my recovery. I have been married with an alcoholic for about 8 years. I still love my husband but I am very angry, desperate for help. I will go to my first Al-Anon meeting tomorrow. I am scared.

  14. Darcy April 2010 at 4:09 am

    I read these comments and am heart-broken. I have been married for 19 years to a wonderful man who will not admit he has a problem. Although he was sober for ten years (after a near fatal car accident), he went back to drinking when we moved to a new town. He always wanted to drink socially. Well, this has spiraled into drinking during work, drinking after work, and when he works “late,” sometimes doesn’t come home or comes home when we are asleep.

    The drinking and driving terrifies me. I am afraid I will receive a phone call one night saying he is either dead or has killed an innocent person or worse, a family. I also despise him when he is “buzzed” and starts talking to our kids. He acts differently, reeks of alcohol and recently can either pass out or get angry.

    I am afraid of him, so do not want to get into “it” with him. I am scared that my only solution is to separate. I know this will devastate my children and it breaks my heart. I just do not want to live a lie and continue this downward spiral. I know I need to get to an Al-Anon meeting. I have sat in many parking lots terrified to go in, for many of the same reasons others have said; recognition, religion, fear. I am desperate for help. I feel like I don’t want to go on living like this and am exhausted mentally and physically.

  15. Lynne April 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I am scared and ashamed, mostly because I am still in love with my husband and I am worried that we will grow apart if I get help. I know how selfish I sound; it has all just started to get out of control. Can families survive this?

  16. Anne March 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I was afraid to go to my first Al-Anon meeting because I was so sure I’d hear how I was to blame for the alcoholic problems in my home. I’d been blamed for everything that went on in our house for so long.

    Instead, I was assured that I did not cause the alcoholism, but I could find a lot more enjoyment in my life than I currently had. Meetings helped me discover how real flesh-and-blood people had bettered their lives, even in those cases in which active drinking continued.

    As time went on, I found that the Al-Anon Steps, slogans, and other tools, helped me weather the other storms in life as well.

  17. Therese March 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I have been married for nearly 25 years to a man who has habitually found a way to blame me for the problems our marriage has encountered. From money problems to him not believing me, I am the reason for all our problems. I recognized that my husband drank every day, but it wasn’t until about 4 months ago that it hit me that the amount of alcohol consumption has increased drastically.

    I know I have been raising 3 kids and living with a man who has progressively become more and more addicted to alcohol. He tries to justify his drinking by only drinking beer and not hard alcohol. He also tries justifying his habit by making statements that he is “in control” and “can handle himself.”

    I have been through numerous counseling sessions both with and without him to help with marital problems. I am currently in counseling again by myself. Every time we would bring up the issue of drinking and the amount of consumption that takes place, my husband would make comments that the counselor didn’t know what they were talking about and they were getting off the marital issues. Our marital issues have escalated to the point of talking about divorce. Neither of us wears our wedding bands any longer. I figured if I entered more counseling, it would help me with helping our relationship.

    I have found that the counseling has helped me find myself. I finally did a search on the WWW on living with an alcoholic and was directed to Al-Anon. I have read through some comments and have located a meeting site and time in my area. It is with a heavy heart that I am to the point that I must admit to myself that I cannot do any more to help my husband other than let him go and hope that his freedom from me will help him find happiness. I am hoping that Al-Anon will help me find a way to heal emotionally and get through losing my partner and friend to alcohol. Thanks for the opportunity of this website to get myself on the track to healing.

  18. ann February 2010 at 10:07 am

    My son has been in and out of treatment centres for 5 years. He is addicted to crack cocaine. I have been going to Al-Anon meetings for 11 months and I meet a lot of people there that go because someone they love is addicted to narcotics.
    You will meet the person or people that you can relate to, trust me. I meet them every time I go to a meeting. I used to feel so much shame for this addiction, but now I know that it was never mine to begin with.
    I hope you go to the meetings if only to get some phone numbers of people you can call when you are in crisis.
    This terrible addiction is eating away at my son, and I know so many people that have died from addiction-abuse. It is astounding what this drug does to people using and the ones affected by them. It is satan working to kill the ones we love. God bless every one out there and keep coming back. It works if you work it, and you are worth it.

  19. rose January 2010 at 10:15 am

    These podcasts are helpful, especially as I am afraid to go to my first Al-Anon meeting. 46 yrs old and scared, but fear has ruled my life for most of those years. I have a daughter who is an alcoholic, married to an alcoholic, and was married to an alcoholic for 17 years. I have covered up for the alcoholics and I need to learn not to do that. Hoping today is my first meeting!

  20. Stephanie December 2009 at 10:18 pm

    I am looking into going to my first meeting this week. My boyfirend is a “functionaling” alcoholic. I can’t talk to my family because I know they will just tell me to leave him (being we are not married). I need someone to talk to. My boyfriend has admitted he has a problem, but does nothing. So now I feel lost.

  21. Stacey November 2009 at 4:33 pm

    My husband is a drug addict. I should be writing in a Nar-Anon site but can’t find a chat room for Nar-Anon. He nearly died 7 weeks ago from an accidental overdose. He is currently in rehab and I know that I need support, especially before he comes home. It’s been hard to make it to an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting because I work full time, have 2 kids and no husband at home to help. Reading these comments is helpful but it makes me realize that I must make the time to attend a meeting.

    It will be hard to go by myself, but I must have the courage. I am scared to walk in alone (a friend was supposed to attend with me but I can’t count on her). I’m scared to see people I may know. Not many people know about my husband’s drug problem and I don’t want the word to get out because we own our own business. I must learn how to stop being an enabler. Will Al-Anon help me with this? There are many more Al-Anon meetings than Nar-Anon and I was wondering if these would be just as useful.

  22. marie November 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Reading the above, the stories and feelings could be written by me. I am 55 years old and living their lives. Our children are grown and after 4 years being sober (after 25 years of drinking) we have been back in the game for 7 years. The 2nd go around has been so damaging to me. I guess now that the children are grown I can fight back. I often compare myself to a puppy who is abused that wags its tail until one day it bites back. It took me longer than most to start fighting back and in reality nothing changes. I know that but I can’t help it. So much anger. I have not gone to a face-to-face meeting yet, but getting closer.

  23. Ricardo A November 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Basically, I felt afraid to go to my first meeting because of two reasons. The first one was that I was about to meet people like me, affected by someone else’s alcoholism, and somehow that made me feel very vulnerable. The second reason was that attending that first meeting involved getting out of my safe self-created isolation, which was very uncomfortable to me, just being close to other human beings.

    Thank you for reading my sharing.

  24. Sue November 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Gina, you wrote what I had in mind except that I’m 59 (and so is he) and we don’t have any kids. My husband is in chronic pain from old back injuries and it doesn’t seem that it can be fixed. So, he’s in “pain management” with a local pain clinic. He says the pain meds don’t do the trick so he drinks too.

    I’m worried that the combination of meds and alcohol will kill him and sometimes I wish they would. He’s said many times that the only reason he is alive is because of me, and I think that’s true since he’s been suicidal since I met him. But he is such a good man otherwise! I love him and don’t want him to hurt, but he’s not doing anything about getting a life now that he is retired, so he does the drugs and drink thing to block mental and physical pain.

    Usually I go to work, have my own separate life, etc., and am really relaxed in my own home only when he is gone. Do I go to his next doc appt with him and tell the pain doc that he’s drinking like mad? He’ll be furious, but he’s been lying to her for years. I keep suggesting things for him to do, but usually if it comes out of my mouth he won’t do it. We had someone I work with stop over last night and he embarrassed me to death with his rude, crude behavior and I watched myself drinking too much wine because of the awfulness of the situation.

  25. Gina October 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I am 51 years old soon and have been married to an alcoholic for 33 years. I have covered for him, been embarrassed by him, mentally abused by him. I am only truly happy and relaxed when he is out of town. I tighten up when he comes home, because I never know how he is going to be or how much he is going to drink. He is not a nice drunk. And I still stay here! I have two grown sons and six grandchildren. They don’t visit often. I hope and pray life can get better. He says he will stop drinking, but never does fully. I would really like to save my marriage. I work part time and would have to tun my life upside down to start over.

  26. denise August 2009 at 8:53 am

    I am so glad that I have found this on-line support. I have 2 small children and find it hard to start going to meetings, but I know after I have read these, I have to.

    I am noticing that when my husband comes home drunk usually we are asleep, but more and more he is coming home and interacting with my children. It makes it very uncomfortable, because when he drinks he gets angry at me. And now when they are awake and he acts strange, I feel I can’t protect them from the craziness. I don’t know what to say to them, except it ends up being me saying, “I’m sorry,” and my 7-year-old responds, “That’s okay, Mom, I’m used to it,” and that breaks my heart.

    I need to get help and will attend my first meeting when they get into school this week. I promise, within a week. I will be the one in the meeting, crying and shell-shocked, but I know I need to. Thank you for listening.

  27. BETH August 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I really need to go to a meeting, but I guess I am just afarid. My husband of 36 years has a serious drinking problem, although he says he doesn’t. He hides whiskey and rum and drinks straight from the bottle. I have tried scaring him by telling him I am leaving and even told our 3 kids (they are all grown and living in other provinces – thank God).

    I hate my husband when he is drinking. He is a good man but not when he is drinking. He is not abusive, but can be if provoked. I don’t know where to turn anymore. I am 59 years old. He is going to turn 60 in September and I feel so unhappy. We have a nice home. I work part time. We have 3 beautiful kids and 2 grandkids, but still he keeps drinking, hiding it always. What can I do? I sometimes feel like doing away with myself. But then, is he worth it????

  28. Mary Ann May 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Oh boy! My husband of 12 years, who lied to me and told me he had been clean for 20 years prior to our marriage, has been slipping for the last 3 years. I’m ready to go to an Al-Anon meeting. I feel so ashamed at 62 that I married a man with this problem. My children, we have 5 between us, all grown and married, found out last year he slipped and got all over my case. It was awful. I honestly have thought that he would slip and then return to sobriety. I know I need help. I get anxious coming home after work at night because I’m afraid that I’ll find him asleep and drunk. He lies to me about drinking. At first, I thought I was crazy until he finally admitted to me that he had been drinking. I’m so afraid to let my/his children know that he’s drinking again. He only drinks at home, not a social drinker at all. I guess you can tell I need help. I do feel ashamed, guilty, and live a lie every day alone, afraid to tell anyone.

    My husband has worked with AA for over 40 years. I do realize that I have no power or control over him but continue to try and micro-manage his behavior. I think if I was honest with the family, I would feel better. I am so alone and supressed and angry.

    I will atend my 1st Al-Anon meeting this Thursday. After reading some blogs, it’s exactly where I need to be!

    Thanks for the support.

  29. Korel April 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I have two close friends, who are both alcoholics and part of AA, who know me better than I know myself and have invited me to many of their meetings as an insight into seeing that I had many problems and needed help. Well, I just went as support for them and didn’t think that it had anything to do with me. Not putting two and two together, that I grew up in an alcoholic home and dated a person who was an alcoholic, they actually had to come right out and tell me that I needed to get my butt into Al-Anon and start taking care of myself. Because you see, I am here to help everyone else, and me when and if I have time. You can imagine where I am at in my life and hating every bit of it.

    I am trying to work up the courage to attend my first meeting this evening, but just thinking about it gives me the biggest lump in my throat and I really hate to cry in front of others (which I am sure I will figure out why eventually) lol…

  30. Diane March 2009 at 1:13 am

    I started out approximately 8 yrs ago in Al-Anon, then discovered 8 yrs later & after 17 months of soberity in AA I have an extreme amount of pain from other alcoholics in my family and after two of my ex partners that r my childrens fathers. I’ve felt I had to take responsibility for my own part in my addiction that has affected my children and myself , before I could ever attend anything like Al-Anon. I now feel lonely in AA sometimes and want to talk about the effects alcohol has had on me as well as from people I also loved and still love! I don’t want to feel lonely in my healing journey anymore!

  31. Vickie February 2009 at 10:11 am

    Thank you WSO for bringing our program to life with real people sharing with the newcomers.

  32. Yasmina January 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I am so glad to be hearing this! I am returning to Al-Anon after many, many years. I was dating a man about 8 months ago, who turned from crack to alcohol for legal purposes; just transferred one addiction to another. There is plenty of drug addiction and alcoholism in my family.

    I am here because I do not like groups; and I’ve been to plenty; AA, NA, CODA. AL-ANON. I am very depressed and tired of living a life of solitude and going without love for fear of attracting yet another person with a substance abuse or other mental problem.

    Some groups were better than others to be honest. I think I can do better with this format as well as listening to audios right now. This feels safer.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  33. Christine November 2008 at 12:20 am

    Thank you so much for having this resource. It has literally saved me tonight. I am in love with an alcoholic and have been blaming myself for so many things. I see now that I have been trying to manage him and that is impossible. The good news is that he isn’t drinking and hasn’t been for some time, but I think the dynamic is still there. I think if there is any chance for us I need to go to Al-Anon. I am someone who has a lot of false pride and has tried to handle this on her own, but I really feel like I need help.

  34. Roberta September 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Dear Bella,
    Try 6 meetings then decide if Al-Anon is for you. I cried at my first 3 meetings then it got better. It was okay that I cried. They had tissues there ready for me. Many others have cried at first, too. Alcoholism makes us sad. Recovery brings happiness.

    Dear Charlene,
    You don’t have to be “good at” attending meetings. You just have to want to find help for yourself and then go. The resources found at meetings is so rich; don’t cheat yourself. You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. Just listen if that is more comfortable. Hope to see you at my meeting soon.
    Hugs, Roberta

  35. Annette September 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I was afraid to go my first Al-Anon meeting because I thought that someone there would know my alcoholic and his family and turn around and tell them that I was their talking about his problem or mine as the case maybe. But I realized that I had nothing to worry about because what is said in the meeting stays there and who we see there stays also. I was also afraid of embarrassing myself by talking to total strangers but I shortly figured out that they are not strangers they are just people that I have not met and I am meeting them now and we have a common bond and we are all there for basically the same reason and that is to get ourselves help and courage to live with our alcoholics. The more that I go the more that I learn and in my group I am the youngest at 39 and with them being older and wiser I seem to be learning a lot from them and I am glad that I am going every week as long as my work schedule permits. I thank God for Al-Anon I think it has helped me some in short time that I have been going which is only 7 or 8 weeks. they say keep coming back it works if you work it and it don’t if you don’t and I am beginning to believe and I am taking it one day at a time and some days one hour at a time.

  36. sandladyvb September 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I didn’t want to go to Al-Anon because I thought it was religious. I never even heard of the word, spirituality. I knew I needed help but it took me five years to “lower myself” into going to Al-Anon. I also thought that Al-Anon would fleece me out of money like a lot of other religious organizations.

    I was not a joiner which didn’t help either. It fed into the isolation part of my illness.

    By not going to Al-Anon, I just got sicker and even became violent toward my husband. When I finally “broke down” and went to my first meeting, I knew right away that I was in the right place. I never left and still to this day attend at least two meetings a week.

    It felt so good to be around people who understood exactly what I was going through.

  37. Amy September 2008 at 11:58 pm

    I am so happy to have found that Al-Anon has podcasts! This one in particular, indeed, brought back memories of my first meeting. Scared, confused, I walked in a mess. Not much change when I came out but I definitely felt loved and people listened to me. I am a young, daughter of two alcoholics. I have a very busy life and in rural America it is hard to get to enough meetings. Podcasting is one more way for me to stay in touch with my program! Thank you and I can’t wait to hear more. Love you all.

  38. charlene September 2008 at 4:12 pm

    hi I stumbled upon this site. My husband is an alcoholic. He would never admit it, still doesn’t. But he took the first step today and went to his first AA Meeting..I feel that this is a huge step…how can I help him succeed?…I know that nagging isn’t the answer…we have not been married long…second for both of us..I’m trying to keep this together..what can I do? THis site is great I’ve never been good at attending meetings but this I could do.

  39. Linda S August 2008 at 12:45 am

    Thank you for helping me to remember. I felt afraid to go to my first Al-Anon Meeting because the meeting was in a church and I was Jewish. My stickin thinkin had me believe that I was the only Jew who had an Alcoholic loved one . Boy was I wrong. I also had fear that I would be recognized as both my Alcoholic and I were involved in the Community. I did not understand then about the Anonymity that we all cherish and protect. That was many years ago. I am so glad that I was able to walk thru my fears for walking thru the doors of Al-Anon is how I helped myself and enjoy the freedom and serenity Al-Anon offers.

  40. Bella August 2008 at 6:42 am


    My name is Beejinmaa (for short Bella). I really want to come Al-Anon meeting but I am afraid that I will feel not happy, I will cry and have a headache…….

    Sorry if I made grammar mistakes. I am Mongolian woman and my English is not so perfect.

    Thank you for understanding.

  41. Brenda A. August 2008 at 3:48 am


    Thanks for the newcomers series. They are great and informative. Am i missing something? Are there 6 podcasts or only 4? Perhaps numbers 5 & 6 havent been posted yet? I look forward to the balance of the series. Thank you, brenda

  42. Ruth H August 2008 at 2:30 pm

    This subject brings back so many memories of my first meeting in Al-Anon. I had no idea what Al-Anon was all about but my mother-in-law had told me that there was such a program and it had helped my sister-in-law with her life.
    I knew that life was terrible at home and I was probably the biggest part of the problem but didn’t know it.

    I went to that meeting and did not miss a meeting for the next five years. It saved my life and still today I seldom miss my meeting as I know that the program has been a life line for me. Keep coming back- The program works.
    Love in Al-Anon

  43. sheila August 2008 at 7:36 am

    I love love love that Al-Anon has taken this more public approach!!! We have got to start reaching out like this in more and more ways, lets put these podcasts on CD and hand them to people that need them with a meeting list!!! I am going to email this site to everyone I know, thanks so much for putting this together!

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