The Forum Magazine
Al-Anon's monthly magazine, The Forum, contains many personal stories of inspiration, some of which are made available each month on the Internet by authorization of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
When I attended my first Al‑Anon meeting, I was tired and full of despair. The last 18 years of living in the active disease of alcoholism had taken its toll. I didn’t know what to expect from the meeting, but I was willing to listen. During that meeting, I heard Al‑Anon members share some basic information: Go to meetings, read Al‑Anon literature, get a Sponsor, use your Sponsor, work the Steps, pray and meditate daily, get involved in service and “Keep Coming Back.” None of it really made any sense, but I decided to go back to the next meeting. That was 24 years ago.
Having spent more than 50 years in alcoholic homes and relationships, I was fully vested in the insanity caused by exposure to alcoholism. It was normal, accepted and expected. I had been raised well, but everything had a twist—a little distortion to help the drinker stay afloat. All the rules of the house were designed to keep the peace and disguise the problem. As family members, we were expected to sacrifice our dignity and credibility to maintain the family secret. It was our duty!