The treasure

By Ann Marie S., Scotland
July 1998
Reprinted with permission

I came into Al-Anon with a chronic condition called despair. Indifference was the face I showed the world, but inside I was frozen. My life went from one rotten day to the next. I had no money, no security, and no hope. It was the lack of hope that nearly destroyed me.

When I tried to end my life, my Higher Power prevented it. If I had succeeded, I would have taken my four small children with me. “There but for the grace of God go I,” yet I denied that there was any force for good in this world!

When I came into Al-Anon, I found the remedy for my chronic condition. As the first teardrop slid down my frozen heart, I discovered there was hope. I was at the beginning of my spiritual awakening when I realized I could be saved from the morass of a terrible life.

It was no fluke. This letting go and letting God truly worked. First I had to accept my powerlessness and ask the God of my limited understanding for help. I had to lay aside my prejudices and accept His will for me. Truly there was a benign, loving force at work in my heart.

I am on a spiritual path where stumbling blocks can become stepping stones to serenity. It is not an easy path to follow. I often stumble on resentments, self-will, and every other negative emotion that’s around. My life is so much sweeter, though. If I had not experienced the bitter things of life, I would not have appreciated it nearly as much when they became better.

I would be less than honest if I stated that everything in my life is 100%. The emotional traumas of the past created patterns that can easily divert me from my sanity. When I try to take over the reins of other peoples’ lives, in particular my adult children, my serenity vanishes. Once again, I am adrift on the sea of alcoholism. I need to jump aboard the Al-Anon ship for help.

The God of my understanding loves me, which makes me a special person. My goal is to uncover the rest of the rich spiritual life that my Higher Power has for me. Al-Anon provides the saving grace, so I have the opportunity to nurture and love the poor little girl I was when I came into this programme of recovery so devoid of hope.

As the years pass, I am constantly amazed at the treasures I continue to find here. As I meet the newcomers to our fellowship, I try to pass on the love and help that those early members gave to me. I realize it was unconditional love that I received. In turn, it’s unconditional love that I want to give to other members.

This article may be reproduced in its entirety without alteration using the following credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 1600 Corporate Landing Pkwy, Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617