Monthly Forum Sharing 2

The Forum June 2024

I Found My Safe Space

I first set foot in AlAnon because of my mother’s drinking. My partner, who is in Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), suggested AlAnon, and so did other outside help. At that point, I had been to some open A.A. meetings, and I craved the feeling of community I witnessed there. 

One night, the day after my birthday, I hastily decided to go. “It’s now or never,” I told myself, knowing if I kept procrastinating, I’d likely not follow through. I knew AlAnon would not stop my mom or any alcoholic from drinking, but I also knew I couldn’t hold the weight of the disease on my own any longer. 

The first night, I listened as others shared, and when it was my turn, I shared what I was grateful for, rather than what was truly in my heart. The person after me shared her hurt, anger, and raw emotions. I remember thinking that I felt the same way and wishing I had shared more honestly. I thanked that person after the meeting. Her honesty helped me realize that AlAnon is a space where I can be the real me. I’d never had that space at home. Here I could be grateful and devastated. 

AlAnon is a safe space where I can process my experience within the community. I walked into AlAnon during a time when I was convinced I would lose everything to my mom’s drinking. Now, with almost four years in the program, I have gained so much. I’ve gained irreplaceable friendships, a Sponsor, community, safety, and endless tools. Though it wasn’t a way to save or change my mom, AlAnon changed and saved me.  

By Ashleigh S., California

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