Why I (continue to) go to Al-Anon

Why I (continue to) go to Al-Anon

If you love someone with an addiction, anniversaries can be tough – especially anniversaries that mark the illness.  The first warning sign.  First arrest.  Rehabs.  Relapses.  The first 30 days clean.

Each December I celebrate my own anniversary.  December 6, 2010 marks my first Al-Anon meeting.  I can still see every face in that tiny, church meeting room and still feel that warm, fleshy hug from the leader at meeting’s end.

In January my son will celebrate his anniversary – seven years in recovery.  Jacob is healthy and strong, and remains a trusted teacher in my life.

So if my “qualifier” is now well, why do I still go to Al-Anon??

  • Gratitude

When I came to Al-Anon I couldn’t comprehend how broken I was.  Ashamed, desperate and isolated, I had no idea there was a roomful of people anywhere who were suffering as I was.  My very first meeting brought near-instant relief.  I was so grateful to find others who were ashamed, anxious and heartsick. No longer was I alone.

  • Grounded-ness

Today Jacob is clean and healthy, and so am I. But no one knows what tomorrow will bring. I know that addiction is a chronic lifelong threat to him and to my family. Al-Anon keeps me grounded.  Weekly meetings remind me that there are principles and traditions to guide my daily living and to give me – and others – hope.

  • Giving back

If my life is sane today, Al-Anon is a key reason.  As the steps teach, now it’s my turn to help others.  By giving back I give my own life meaning and purpose.  If I can offer just one thought at a meeting or give just one hug to ease another’s pain, that’s why I am there.

Al-Anon may not be for everyone.  But it restored my life when I needed it most.

Each December I celebrate being alive, again.







6 Replies to “Why I (continue to) go to Al-Anon”

  1. You are certainly alive and bring that spirit wherever you go. All your hard work has paid off. You are an inspiration to me of the gifts that come with recovery. Thank you for your brave example.

  2. It takes a community of caring people like you to bring others out of darkness. I admire your ability and courage to stay with the program.