I learned to leave my fears behind

After my mother assaulted me because I would not allow her to drive while she was intoxicated, I lived in fear. Until that moment, my mother had never laid a hand on me or my siblings. I feared that she would assault me again, and therefore I did not want to be around her. I changed my life around so that I would be around my mom as little as possible, especially when I knew she would be drunk. I also feared that what my mother did to me was my own fault, and that I deserved it.

Another fear that I had was how my mother was going to act in the future. I did not know how she felt about going to prison. I found it hard for me to express my fears to my family and friends because I was not sure that I actually had anything to fear.

After going to Alateen, I realized that nothing that happened was my fault—it was the alcohol. I also realized that I could not dwell on the past or fear the future. I had to take “One Day at a Time.” I also picked up on a saying from the program “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

My pain was what I experienced on that traumatic day, and the suffering was that I continued to fear and worry about everything that had happened that day happening again. I learned that it was holding me back. I had to leave my fears in the past and keep my focus on the person that I wanted to be.

I’ve used this experience to help me grow. Without Alateen, and the people in my group, I would still be living in fear.

By Rachel P., Connecticut
The Forum, December 2015