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