Great excuses

Great excuses

I’ve heard them all.

Recently, talking with a friend, we recalled where we were – physically and emotionally – when our sons were using.  We talked about how we never want to go back there.

What saved us – or at least me – was Al-Anon.

Never a groupie, I shunned the idea of joining a group of strangers to share anything about my life, let alone the shame of having a child who was abusing drugs.

My excuse?  How would sitting in some stale church hall with a group of harried women crying over their husbands’ alcoholism possibly help me with my son who was abusing pills?

When nothing I did was working, and I finally did go out of desperation, I found, instead, a group of men and women who were mostly calm – serene even – who spoke not about their drunken or drug-abusing loved ones, but about themselves.

A haven.  A place that was safe to share my emotions.  A community that understood.  Finally somewhere to breathe again, to let my burden rest if only for an hour.  A home.

Given all that Al Anon has given me, it’s hard to accept the excuses others give for not trying it.

Like the mother who is shielding her adult son in her basement, rent-free.   Or the grandmother who can’t attend for fear her parishioners will learn that her grandson is abusing drugs.  Or the father whose exacting work schedule prevents him from finding an hour a week in his town or neighboring city to stop in at any of the meetings that go on every day, all day.

It is said that a person finds Al Anon when he or she is ready.

And it is not for me to push, only to suggest.

But when excuses run out and desperation sets in, maybe the serenity Al-Anon offers will be the solution.