By Jessica M., Oregon
The Forum March, 2023
Reclaiming Hope After Relapse
“My growth in the program gave me the courage to finally stop the merry-go-round ride.”
I never thought it would happen to me. I had been living in a recovery household for over 20 years. Then one day, my husband said, “I just want to let you know I drank while I was hunting.” My heart sank. I almost couldn’t believe it. I had plenty of Al-Anon under my belt but never imagined I would need it for something like this. Thank God I already had a Sponsor, was attending meetings, had worked the Steps, and had built a support system.
My husband’s relapse sent me into what felt like a different realm. I had never known that kind of powerlessness before. I used the tools I had learned, but it was not an easy road. I couldn’t grasp the concept of the First Step for a long time. I decided to stay with him and try to work a good Al-Anon program, but after two and a half years, my growth in the program gave me the courage to finally stop the merry-go-round ride. We separated, and that brought on a whole new hell for me. Once again, I used the tools that I had been practicing and held on for dear life.
Losing the man I loved was devastating. Some days I didn’t want to go on, yet Al-Anon principles told me there was hope: Hold On, Pain Ends. I wasn’t alone. Others had been where I was and felt what I felt. There was a Higher Power who would do for me what I couldn’t do for myself. I had to be willing to do the work, and if I worked the program and took good care of myself, I believed I would heal and grow and maybe even find happiness.
It’s been two years since my divorce, and I have changed and grown a lot. I still have painful, hard days, but I’m still working the program, and today, I have more hope for myself and my future.
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