Why do people come to Al‑Anon?

Many different types of relationships with alcoholics bring newcomers to local and electronic Al‑Anon meetings. In this video, an anonymous member shares how her sister’s drinking affected her and how the Al‑Anon program helped. You can read articles representing a variety of relationship types and learn other ways members have benefitted from the program at “How does Al‑Anon work?”

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

Why do people come to Al‑Anon?

MEMBER: I was introduced to Al‑Anon and it was suggested to me by friends. I went to a meeting, and I didn’t really think that it was for me. The other person, that was in the meeting, seemed like her situation was much worse than mine, and in my mind – how could she feel sorry for me? I didn’t understand about Al‑Anon. Then, later on, when my sister was in rehab, in order to visit her, I had to go to a meeting, before I could visit with her. And sometimes the meeting was an Al‑Anon meeting, but sometimes they just encouraged us to go to Al‑Anon. And it was through that experience that I decided to start going to some meetings. And through those meetings, and some books that had been given to me, I began to see how Al‑Anon could really help me in my life. In part because, I thought that I had really caused my sister’s alcoholism, and it was through the program that I learned that it doesn’t matter what we did when we were kids, if she was going to drink, she was going to drink. And in recognizing that it wasn’t my fault and that I couldn’t control her alcoholism, and I couldn’t cure, I learned through Al‑Anon that those are called the “three C’s,” and I was able to grow and focus on myself and my well-being and take the attention and focus off of her.

MODERATOR: That’s great, thank you.