By Shelagh, New Zealand
Reprinted with permission
My husband drank since I first met him. For quite a number of years, life was bearable and the effects did not cause me too much grief but by the time I entered the doors of Al-Anon, I was desperately unhappy.
While my young son was growing up, it was my responsibility to keep our home together. My spouse was often away with his mates golfing, bowling, and drinking. A mortgage loomed overhead and bills had to be paid, but the money was continually going on crates of beer. Every entertainment had to be accompanied by alcohol. Finally, after two disastrous parties, I cried out for help.
My best friend introduced me to Al-Anon. I didn't know what an alcoholic was. My husband was a heavy drinker in serious trouble, not an alcoholic. Before meeting my husband, I had no experience with alcoholism.
In Al-Anon I soon discovered all I needed to recover my sanity. The First Step helped me accept my powerlessness. I realized that against alcoholism my resentment, anger, and self-pity were all in vain. I kept doing the First Step and strengthened it by taking Step Two believing in a Higher Power. I constantly needed to pray for guidance. At times, I get depressed, so I need to hand things over to God otherwise things get on top of me. The slogans, "Let Go and Let God" and "Keep It Simple" are a great help, too.
After many more years of marriage, today my husband is drinking less. According to the medical diagnosis for my son at age nine, he will need special care for the rest of his life. Al-Anon helps me put everything in perspective. It gives me confidence and courage to face my many challenges. My friends and companionship in Al-Anon always support me when I need it. Sharing at meetings, telephone calls and my service involvement all strengthen me and help me become a more sane, healthy person.
During my years in Al-Anon, I have tried to pass my recovery message to others. The Twelve Steps have given me a worthwhile and encouraging way of life. I certainly hope all who are affected by alcoholism will come to find the serenity and peace I have enjoyed in this wonderful programme.