Tag Archives: August

Dreams do come true

Three years ago, I could barely say my dream aloud. Today, I’m living it. Back then, a friend asked me about my ideal job. I meekly squeaked out my answer: I wanted to pursue my passion at home while raising my children. At the time, it felt like a faraway dream. Growing up amid active alcoholism, I was used to keeping my focus on others and neglecting myself. I didn’t know what I enjoyed, what I was good at, or where I fit in.

Although my colleagues commended my smart, strategic mind, I spent almost a decade in a dead-end job at an organization I didn’t respect. I certainly hadn’t applied my smarts and strategic skills to my own life. Instead, I naively hoped my dream job would miraculously come to me. I also felt paralyzed by fear.

Thank goodness for Al‑Anon. Over the past three years, I have worked my program with my Sponsor as my guide. Like adventurous archeologists, we have excavated the real me and uncovered my natural talents. Now, I respect and honor my abilities, taking time each day to hone my craft. By mapping out a rational plan and diligently working away at it, I have reached my dream. I feel exhilarated! A friend put it best: Dreams without action are just fantasy. I feel so grateful for Al‑Anon’s gentle encouragement to finally choose to take steps toward my dreams rather than continue to fantasize.

 

By Lisa G., Ontario
The Forum, August 2016

Today, I love my son with no resentments

Soon after my son turned 18, he announced that he was moving out. I knew by the look on his face not to challenge his decision. That was 28 years ago, and with the exception of three or four brief times, he has not wanted to be a part of my life. During his brief pop-ins, he would wreak havoc, and just like that, be gone again. I didn’t have Al‑Anon then, and so I got caught up in the doubts, fears, and shame. It was agony. There is a hook in being a mom, and Al‑Anon is where I found the courage, strength, and wisdom to unhook myself from my son’s unacceptable behavior.

Miraculously, I was led to Al‑Anon where, ever so slowly, I began working the program with a Sponsor. The more I learned, the more I wanted, and that kept me coming back.  As a result, I’ve been given guidelines for living a healthy life, and a toolbox filled to overflowing with every possible tool I would ever need to keep me out of the problem and in the solution.

Two weeks ago, after seven years, I heard from my son via e-mail. Although cool in tone, his words conveyed that he wanted us to have a relationship. Being cautiously optimistic, I responded simply and affirmatively. His third e-mail, however, showed his colors, and as a direct result of living the Steps, I was able to stand in my own truth. I was happy to learn that he was well, and I was looking forward to building a healthy relationship, but after receiving that e-mail, which was riddled with assumptions and conditions, I truly did not see how this would be possible.

Today, because of the Al‑Anon principles, I am able to love him right where he is now, with no resentments. I have also been given the clarity to acknowledge the risks to my well-being. Today, with my Higher Power’s help, I am willing to do the next right thing.

Lo and behold, by trusting my Higher Power and knowing that more is always revealed, several days later I received a response that was warmer in tone and included an apology. This is a first, and a miracle in the making.

 

By Rosemary B., Arizona
The Forum, August 2016

I learned how to take care of myself

I cannot express how much Alateen has helped me. Growing up, I was all alone. My parents were always fighting. Whether it was about what to have for dinner or getting a divorce, they were always at each other’s throat. I would try to solve the issue and make things better, but I quickly learned that it made things worse. As a seven- or eight-year-old, I didn’t know how not to be in the middle. Until Alateen, I didn’t learn how not to get upset when they were fighting and to focus on myself.

Alateen has not only taught me how to detach with love from my parents’ fighting, but it has also brought so many friendships and opportunities in my life.

When I was younger, not only did I have to deal with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from my alcoholic father, I also had to watch my life fall apart day by day. Although my life was extremely hard and sometimes unbearable, I put on a smiling face and showed everyone that I was the happy kid in school, and that I loved life. This was hard to do, but I certainly did not want people asking questions and finding out that I really was a sad and lonely girl who had messed up parents.

I kept everything quiet until about sixth grade, when my parents got divorced. The divorce was so hard on me. I needed someone to talk to, so I told a few of my friends what was wrong. Being in sixth grade, drama and secrets spread fast. By the end of the day, my whole school knew that I was going through a hard time and that my perfect family had fallen apart. This was very hard to deal with, but looking back on it, I realized that this is what brought me to talk to people. I wanted to be popular and have friends so badly that I just poured most of my life out to them.

With everything being so bad both at school and at home, my mom suggested Alateen. I wanted to give it a try, however my sister didn’t want to go. I found the courage to go alone. My first meeting was horrible. There was only one other kid and one of the Group Sponsors. Although I had hated that meeting, I decided to give it another shot, and I am so glad I did.

Slowly, everything started to make sense. I realized that I can’t control my father, and that it really is not my fault he is drinking. I learned how to find a Higher Power, and most importantly, I learned how to take care of myself.

Alateen has brought so many people into my life, and I don’t know what I would do without them. I am so thankful that I was able to bring four other people into the rooms of Alateen. Not only does Alateen help me deal with the alcoholic in my life, I use my program every single day. Words cannot describe how much Alateen has helped me. Although having an alcoholic in my life is extremely hard, I wouldn’t change it for anything because it brought me to Alateen.

 

By Julie, Connecticut
The Forum, August 2016