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Hope in Prison
- I Found Hope in Prison
- I was lonely, scared, and ravaged by shame and guilt when I walked into my first Al-Anon meeting in prison. I'm the first person in my family incarcerated due to the family disease of alcoholism, which has been in my family for generations. I blamed myself for my father's increasing binges and for my family's unhealthy behaviors. I was full of resentment.
- There were 30 women in my first meeting, but I found myself instantly drawn to the two who were bringing the meeting to those of us who could not get to outside meetings. I felt love emanating from those two members.
- The women in the group were so open and honest while sharing that it wasn't long before I felt I was right where I was supposed to be. My loneliness began slipping away when members who grew up in situations similar to mine shared the same feelings I had. I listened, absorbing their experience, strength, and hope. Soon I began reading Al-Anon literature and working the Twelve Steps.
- As my faith in my Higher Power grew stronger, I learned "To Let Go and Let God." I found hope and believed I could work through my shame and guilt to fine the serenity that has always eluded me. For years I carried my family's shame before realizing I no longer needed to shoulder all the blame. I experienced an awakening when I heard the phrase "I didn't cause the alcoholism, I can't control it, and I can't cure it." What a relief!
- I learned how to detach with love in Al-Anon. I love the alcoholic, although it is from a distance, and I will always encourage his recovery. I realize he was doing the best he could with what he knew. Through taking a moral inventory of myself and sharing it with my Higher Power and another person, I was able to overcome my past resentments. I'm no longer stuck. Now I can move forward.
- I've been attending Al-Anon meetings for more than a year. I'm so grateful for this institution and the volunteers who are bringing Al-Anon to us. Their dedication is an inspiration. I've finally found the peace and serenity I've been longing for all my life.
- Dawn P., North Carolina
Published August, 2006