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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

Eyes Open
Before I came to Al-Anon, my life seemed very bleak. As soon as I got rid of one problem, I went looking for another - and I found plenty. I looked at life from the perspective of trouble. Needless to say, I felt constantly depressed, physically ill, and I hated being alive. I allowed myself to take almost any kind of abuse, because I felt I deserved nothing better. I felt so alone and unwanted.
When I came to Al-Anon, I was pretty sure I had a big problem with myself. I just couldn't think or function anymore. I had two small children and I was frightened that somehow I was going to die. I had no choice. I had to do something. I was ready to be powerless.
At my first meeting, I learned that all those things I wasted my time on were beyond my control, so 1,000 pounds immediately came off my back. I began working the Steps because I felt so much better at the meetings. I had more than enough time to work on the Steps, now that I wasn't wasting so much of it on troubles. When my mental and physical health began to improve, life got better very quickly. I think God knew I wouldn't have survived very long if it didn't.
Beginning with that first meeting, I've learned that Al-Anon is a program of love and caring. Iím learning how to receive and give love, even though it's difficult because I'm so stubborn. In an awkward way, Iím learning how to walk through life with my eyes open now. I was used to doing it the hard way, with my eyes closed. I still stumble all the time, but I get back up. I have help and I have to get up because I'm too scared to go back where I was. I love Al-Anon. Even when I'm not working my program, I know it's there so I try to get myself back on track. Eventually I do. It's a much more worthy goal than trying to change someone else. Today I can work on loving my family instead of trying to change them. I can work on the positives instead of the negatives. I feel so much better.
Leslie L - California
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.