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- Congratulations, Dear
- I had won the battle. I had gained perfect control over my husband and his drinking. I had manipulated, connived and fought, but victory was mine. I had forced him to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting by threatening to end our marriage if he didn't go.
- All I understood about Alcoholics Anonymous in those days was that AA fixed drunks. I had every confidence they'd work magic on my spouse, so I deposited him in the AA room and headed for the Al-Anon meeting. There I truly believed they would serve me tea and cookies and say, "Congratulations, dear. Would you care for refreshments while we wait for the boys?"
- I had come to my first Al-Anon meeting dressed like a woman ready for a tea party, but inside I was so scared. For a long tome I had felt like an insane woman. Not a day passed without my screaming at the kids. Daily I'd telephone a half-a-dozen neighbors trying to locate my bar-hopping husband. Constantly I was wound up about the lack of money for rent and utilities. I spun from one crisis to the next.
- Most days I thought about suicide, but I never told anybody how I felt or how difficult my life was. Honestly, I felt I was only one crisis away from losing my cookies and being locked up in a mental institution. The night of my first Al-Anon meeting I actually heard members telling my story and naming my feelings. They called it the disease of alcoholism. They had recovered from it by working the program. They said I was sick but I could recover, too.
- The first word of the First Step was "We". For the first time I had a taste of hope. What if I wasn't really insane? What if all these bizarre things in my life were just alcoholic behaviors? What if I could get better by doing the things these people were suggesting?
- I had to have what they had, whatever the price. Even if they weren't going to give me snacks, I sensed they were going to give me the food that is necessary for life, and I had to have it. In my first six weeks I attended six meetings each week. I would have gone to seven if I could have found one on Sundays. After those six weeks I knew I was here to stay. My spouse never stuck with AA but that was his choice. I found a sponsor, worked the Steps and got involved with service. I have found a way of life that gives me serenity, hope and strength, and I stick with it.
- This summer I celebrated eight years in the Al-Anon program. One of the old-timers who has been in my home group forever brought cookies to the meeting to celebrate. It was the first time there had ever been refreshments in the Al-Anon room. She said now that I knew what the program was really about, she'd be pleased to let me have tea and cookies just this once. Those were the sweetest cookies I have ever tasted. I know Al-Anon isn't about passing time at a tea party. It's about feasting at the banquet of life.
- Barbara H. - Florida
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
- These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.