I was at my wit’s end when I arrived at the doors of Al-Anon. Afraid to enter, but yet, I was there.
So, I did go in and the first thing I saw was a table tent... it read, “Whom you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”
It gave me a feeling of safety and the anonymity that I was looking for. I knew I could trust these people with my deepest darkest secrets, and it would not be told all around town...that kept me going back to the meetings.
Before Al-Anon, if I told a friend, they told their friends what I had told them and I would feel terrible that I told the one I thought would keep my confidence. But this was different. I knew it would stay here.
The second thing I noticed was, there were people that I knew. I took comfort in that. I knew what their loved ones were doing, just as they knew what my loved ones were doing. It gave me a sense of belonging. I knew these were my people. I already felt close to them. They welcomed me with open arms and hearts.
They helped me take the focus off the problem drinker and back on myself, where I could change something, myself.
They listened to my problems and showed me how to use the tools of Al-Anon, such as sponsorship. When I was all upset, I could call her and if she wasn’t busy, she would hear me with my ranting as to what they had done. She helped me get my focus back.
She let me cry when I needed to. She was invaluable. She helped me so much that I cannot list them in all the ways she helped. There is so much to learn and unlearn. I had a lot of crazy thinking and behaviors that I had to unlearn.
But I learned a lot. One thing that I learned was that I was lovable. What a difference that made in my life. I used to think that I loved myself. If I did, why was I treating myself so badly and them so great, even if they did wrong things.
“I would cross a river for them...they would not even cross a puddle for me.” What an eye opener that was for me. That is why I continue to go to the meetings. I always learn something that helps me.
Won’t you give us a try? Meetings are held every Monday at noon and every Wednesday evening at 6:30 at Hope Lutheran Church in Wautoma.
Hope to see you there,