I came to al-anon because my father drank and it bothered me and a counselor suggested it. It was many 24 hours ago and I was pretty numb to my emotions and inner life at the time. I had also had lost some important close family members and other people in my family didn’t know how or want to address my brother’s and my pain after my mother “took off”. So we ate it and that is never healthy. My brother died young in a half-way house and my father worked for a beer company and continued to be a functional alcoholic. We all know that it is a progressive disease and he ended up on disability for depression after some incident involving stolen beer from a truck he was on at the time. He was my best friend. He died of lung cancer.
I have had trouble with relationships my whole life, I am sure in part because of a lack of coping skills. Guilt, isolation and shame came easy. I went into a helping profession, but know that it is ok to take care of myself today. I try and get to three meetings a week if possible and read my daily literature. I usually talk to or email an al-anon person weekly. Al-anon helps me with balance. I live with a wonderful man that I am blessed to have in my life. I have a higher power that cares for me. I need the people in al-anon and that is what keeps me going back. My partner isn’t versed in recovery, but we talk things out and aren’t afraid to tackle difficult conversations, thanks in part to the coping skills I’ve learned in al-anon. Growing up in the alcoholic home, you learn don’t talk, don’t trust and don’t feel. In al-anon we begin to unfreeze long held feelings and live in the now and feel in the now. It is a great way of life.