This time last year, my life was unmanageable despite my alcoholic relative having almost two years of sobriety and being active in recovery. I was filled with anger, resentment, and confusion. I tried at all costs to bring about outcomes that I thought were best. I was operating on Jonathan’s power.

As I’ve heard, “our best thinking” gets us to Al‑Anon, and that was true for me. My low point was when I imagined receiving the family newsletter from my son’s treatment program; there would be pictures of families and stories of family recovery. I didn’t have that. If anything, I was trying to tell everyone else how to live their lives. In the end, I couldn’t stand to be with myself anymore. That’s when I felt led to Al‑Anon.

At my first meeting, all I could think about was how I could get the people in my life to do what I wanted, and that included getting my son to return home. I thought to myself, “If these people really knew what I was thinking, they would ask me to leave.”

After the meeting, someone reached out to me. I unloaded about all my troubles—“People aren’t listening to me,” I complained, and “Why can’t my son come home?” This person—who is my Sponsor today—asked me what my motivation was for my son to come home. I had no answer. He explained that Al‑Anon is about my disease and my recovery.

Fast forward a year, and I am now grateful for the community of Al‑Anon. I have a Sponsor, a home group, and I am working the Steps. This program is truly a gift. It hasn’t always been easy, but I can tell you it’s been worth it. I have learned and grown so much. Most importantly, I have learned that I am not alone, and I have learned how to love the alcoholics in my life.

By Jonathan M., South Carolina

The Forum, June 2021

Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA