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Personal Stories

 

Recovery is about tears and fears, joys and laughter. There are sorrows. There are miracles. There are setbacks and steps forward.

 

Each stage of recovery has its own challenges. Whether you’re a newcomer or a long timer, everyone has something to share.

 

You don’t have to be a professional writer. The PI & website committee will edit for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. 

 

It takes courage to write with complete honesty—but finding that courage is a step forward toward recovery, for you as well as for those who read your sharing.

 

Guidelines for personal stories on website :

  • Share an experience from the heart with the focus on yourself, not the alcoholic or others.
  •  Relate a personal experience based on a program principle such as detachment, acceptance, a Step, Tradition, or Concept of Service, etc., and give an instance of how and where you used it.
  • Use the first person (I, me, we, us). True personal sharings do not give direction; they express your own experience, strength, and hope. Please avoid the use of the pronoun «you.»
  • Avoid generalities, outside issues, treatment center language, and religious philosophy or doctrine. 
  •  Al-Anon members in other Twelve Step programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous, are asked to write only of their experience in the Al-Anon program.
  • Kindly observe Al-Anon’s Twelve Traditions when sharing.
  •  Articles represent members' personal views and experiences and the opinions expressed are not attributed to Al-Anon as a whole.
  • Al-Anon India website does not upload prayers or poetry. 
  •  Full name and address (your home address, or your group's current mailing address) is required before any item can be accepted. Please indicate how you would like your article signed: first name only, first name and Area, initials only, or "Anon."
We are always very grateful when we receive a sharing from one of our members. If you would like to share your story with other members, please email your story (in not more than 250 words) directly to us on pialanon.india@gmail.com


SELF ESTEEM
I am a member of the Al-Anon family group because my life has been affected by the excessive drinking of my loved one. Alcoholism has robbed me of many things but the worst thing that Alcoholism has done to me is that it robbed me of my self-esteem.

As a child, I already had a low self-esteem, alcoholism only added to the low self-esteem. When I came to Al-Anon, I had to use all the aspects of the program to rebuild my self worth. In an Al-Anon meeting, I have the liberty to pass on my turn of sharing yet at times I gradually began to gather courage to speak my mind and heart. In the class room of Al-Anon, I found the god of my understanding, a loving Higher Power whom I choose to call so. I also have the liberty of choosing my sponsor and asking for help. I learnt that in life I had choices and that I could make good decisions on my own. Gradually, all these things helped me to rediscover my lost self-esteem.

In Al-Anon, it is suggested that to keep what u receive, u have to give it away. Hence I began to strengthen my self esteem through service. Initially, I started by opening the class room and setting the chairs. Eventually I chaired meetings, welcomed new comers, made twelfth step calls,served at the group level, the intergroup level , the conference, as and when it was required. By doing service work, I retained my self worth and learnt the steps and traditions through action.

As a result of these hard work, I have a sense of autonomy, self-esteem and gratitude. Today, these qualities keep me open to the gifts God has to offer me through my relationships with others. It also helps me to maintain the existing relationships in my life as well as be open to new relationships, which earlier I used to be afraid of.

I am grateful to Al-Anon for giving me back my self respect. Today, when I have to make a choice, I will choose the path which will enhance my self worth.

- Sarita S
Goa, India



My Story
Not that I was an agnostic but it just did not occur to me that I could surrender and ask for help from a Higher Power. I thought it was my job to handle every thing and every one. I was almost a single parent. My in laws turned us away because of my husband's drunken and angry outbursts. I did not let my parents know what was happening for fear of hurting them. There was unmanageability of every kind and there was a zero spiritual bank balance.          

Physically, emotionally and financially broke, guided by a psychiatrist, I walked into the doors of Al-Anon to find a solution to the mess that my life had become. That  was in 1997 and I have not looked back since then. The very first day I felt the presence of a Higher Power in that room among those people who were telling my story and were  offering hope with a smile. I stuck there and took the first three Steps.

Then I met my Sponsor and continued. I don't even know when Traditions and Concepts enveloped me in their gentle and firm embrace. I have continued with meetings on fairly regular basis, taking up service positions- from initially setting the chairs to currently serving as a delegate. I understand that I have to work my programme every day.

My family of origin is even more lovable, my in laws are not doting on me but I am not hating them. My workplace welcomes me and I like serving it even after my retirement. My adult daughters and I share our experience, strength and hope quite often. I still struggle with self pity at having lost my loved one to this disease of alcoholism. When people , places and  things threaten to take away my joy and freedom I know I am only a Serenity Prayer away from my Source.

I stay in touch and  enjoy the music of 'keep coming back' ! :)



Choosing Happiness In Al-Anon

I am into Al-Anon programme from many many years, my alcoholic was into A.A. some years back ,since then he is in & out from his sobriety.


My alky has severe psoriasis a skin diseases which gives lot of itching & irritation. Doctors have told him that any toxins would aggravate the disease,but he is not able to overcome his craving for alcohol ,where the relapses are for 8-15 days every 30-50 days. Those days of relapse are as 24 hrs a day he is under the effect of alcohol. All his work comes to standstill.


My son lives in U.S. He wanted me & my alky to be with him for few days .But I was worried rather scared to go with my alky. Till date whenever my alky would go out of city he would slip & it reaches to such a state that he is not aware of doing anything even the smallest of thing the right way.


My problem was I couldn’t leave him home nor did I want to travel with him.But I wanted to go meet & stay with my son & daughter –in-law. I was totally confused.Al-anon has taught me to take help of a sponsor in such confusing times. My sponsor asked me to write the pros & cons for not going atall, going without my alky & going with him. In the mean time my son called & I told him I was scared to travel with my alky as there was all the possibility of his relapse.On hearing this my son asked me,” mom! This situation may never change so you will never come & stay with us? Is it right to live in fear? You don’t worry if dad has a slip, you just let him be he will find his way out at the airport as he usually reaches where he wants to even when he is totally drunk.!”


After talking to my sponsor & my son and writing the pros & cons, I was clear of what I wanted to do. I decided that I want to meet my son & daughter-in-law. That means I have to go & that too with my alky, maybe he would not slip!!!!!!,whatever the situation arises I will face it. So now I was willing to face the situation without getting disturbed if atall the alky doesnot stay sober.Days before travelling I attended more meetings ,was in contact with my sponsor, meditated that I am going to enjoy the trip throughout. As soon as we left our city he started his drinking & it went on till we returned back home& some more days.


I had great time with my children,they took us to Miami there too,we had great time together. My alky was in his world drinking , eating, sleeping. But we had great time at the Miami beach ,at the everglades, at the sea world.We enjoyed at the fullest. Sometimes children would get little angry as they wanted to share this happiness with their dad too! This was the best trip in my life after my marriage of 34 years! This was possible only because of AL-ANON. Al-Anon has taught me to choose happiness in every situation.



Joy : Looking in the mirror. It is a great joy for me today to see all of you in such a cheerful mood at this event of the anniversary of “Muskan” Alanon Family Group in Patel Nagar.


During the peak time of alcoholism in my life, I used to enjoy little things that required very little or even no money. In the evening after coming from the office I used to take my two children to play in the park. Before going out, when I changed my daughter’s dress in the evening, she used to be very happy wearing her favourite dress. She used to admire herself in the mirror and she was so happy that she sung songs and danced. This used to happen almost every day. I used to sit on my bed and enjoyed watching her. And this process has continued till now.


Today she is a young married woman aged 32 years. She is sill using the same source of happiness today. A few days ago she came to my house. I shopped and bought her two dresses. She tried both the dresses in my bed room before the same large mirror and she was so delighted to see herself in both the dresses that she sung songs and danced twice in both the dresses and I was sitting on my bed enjoying seeing her dancing.


A few years ago I too stood in before the mirror and started admiring myself. I also enjoyed looking at myself and singing songs and dancing. So in the absence of my daughter because she is married, it is now I who is doing what she used to do; I still enjoy seeing myself at the age of 60+ in the mirror like my daughter.


I would also like to share another experience that I had where the mirror played a very important role. I remember two incidents when I was very angry with my alcoholic and I also remember the dialogue I had with my alcoholic before my children. I spoke the same dialogue full of anger before the mirror. I was horrified to see my face. I looked so fearful when I was in this phase of anger. Up until now I never realized how anger changed the way I looked. Now only I could imagine how I used to horrify my alcoholic as well as my children when I was in a spell of anger and frustration. I do not like this picture of mine at all. After that realization I started to act in a different way.


Today everything is okay at home. Now I am very happy and have become a more cheerful person with a good relationship with my alcoholic and my children. I give a very sweet and cheerful smile and I look at myself in the mirror and see the most beautiful and sweet woman. I am happy to see myself so beautiful in my old age. While in my childhood and young age when I had negative thinking then I was really ugly.

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