My husband and I have been grateful members of Al‑Anon for ten years. When we started, I felt weak and fearful because we had just learned that our son was an alcoholic. We had also just learned that he was seriously ill due to the extent of his drinking. Going to the meetings and learning about alcoholism helped us understand what was happening to our son. During this time, I began to feel stronger. After a few years in the program studying the Steps, Traditions, and Concepts of Service, I began to think more about where this strength came from.

A few weeks ago, I read an article about the redwood trees in California. They grow to huge heights and sizes, yet they only have a root base of six to ten feet. How do they withstand the winds of time, I wondered. I read on to discover that they grow so close together their roots become intertwined with the roots of other trees. When the storms and winds come, they support and hold each other up. What a beautiful picture of our Al‑Anon program, I thought. This is what we do as a group.

Because of the strength, love, and hope of this program, I was able to stand strong when the storms came and the winds blew during our son’s journey. When we lost our son three years ago, I again felt weak. But our friends in Al‑Anon held and continue to hold us strong. I will always be grateful for this program. When I think of our program, I will always remember the strength of the redwood trees.

By Donna M., Iowa

The Forum, July 2023


Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.