I believed that my alcoholic husband was physically sick, so I took him to doctors. I couldn’t believe it when the doctor said, “He’s drunk.” I had denied what I’d seen, smelled, and heard—opening cans and vanishing bottles—and now I could no longer deny that alcohol was the problem. I went to my first Al‑Anon meeting and was greeted with welcome, kindness, and patience. The people there understood what I could not say out loud—that I was afraid and felt unwanted, unloved, and alone. They simply told me to “Keep Coming Back” over and over, until I believed that they really wanted me to come back. I did, and many years later, I am still going to meetings on a regular basis. I have found serenity—a calm acceptance of what life brings—and the tools with which to help me live this thing called life.

By Patti N., California

The Forum, October 2019