If one person gets better

If one person gets better

It sounds so simple.

There’s a line in addiction literature that says, if one person in the family gets better, chances improve for the others.

When I began to attend Al-Anon meetings years ago, I went alone. It took courage to walk into that church the first time on a stormy Sunday night.

After a few visits, I wondered – was there any way my husband would attend? A man clearly not given to joining support groups, revealing feelings, sharing anything so horrifically personal as his only son was abusing drugs, would he ever go?

One Thursday I chose a meeting in a different church. “Come with me,“ I suggested. “Just this once. If you don’t like it, you never have to go again.”

When we arrived, the room was full. We could sit quietly in the basement kindergarten’s tiny chairs and hide behind the heads of others.

Of course, that’s not what happened. Two couples recognized us instantly. We knew them and had for years. But we didn’t know they had young adult children living the same nightmarish condition as our son. Quietly, with the solace Al-Anon offers, they hugged and welcomed us.

My husband kept coming back. Together we have attended this same meeting for more than 12 years, offering our story of strength and hope, and doing our part to help others.

Meanwhile, Jacob reacted with some surprise – and pleasure – when he learned both his parents were attending Al-Anon. Mom and Dad were doing something to take care of themselves. In some small measure, it helped to lift the pressure on him.

Did this help Jacob’s sobriety? Maybe. Maybe not. But it gave us the serenity we needed then to recover from the effects of his addiction, and still does.

After all, if one person in the family gets better, others may, too.

2 Replies to “If one person gets better”

  1. Hi Lisa, I worked with your husband at DHCD. I believe I am ready to attend an Al-Anon meeting. Can I please get the details of your meeting.