Tag Archives: July

There’s a slogan for that!

As a mother of two young adult boys who have multigenerational problem drinking in their genealogy, I sometimes wonder if they’re developing their own problems with alcohol. I sometimes worry that they will end up like their dad and/or grandparents. It was only when my anger at the disease of alcoholism had become so overwhelming that I sought help from the Al-Anon program.

At first, the Steps and Traditions were a little too deep to try to unravel. The slogans, however, were just the thing I needed to get through each day. As soon as I became preoccupied with where my adult son was going, or how much alcohol he was consuming, I could take “One Day at a Time.” If he asked me for money to support his habits, I could “Let Go and Let God.” No matter what life threw at me, I could use a slogan to handle it.

Now with the advancements in technology, there are “apps” to help one do various things instantly. The same goes with Al-Anon. No matter what life throws at you, Al‑Anon has a slogan for that!

 

By Maxine D., Newfoundland/Labrador
The Forum, July 2016

My heart is open today

I met someone new recently. It was a completely unexpected event. As I spent time with this person, my heart was touched in a way that it hadn’t been in quite some time. A cascade of feelings came up afterwards, and I was a little unsettled for a while. I continued to work Steps One through Three and Ten through Eleven, every day, as I walked through all the feelings.

One thing I came to see is that meeting this new person and having my heart open up brought up other times in my life when I opened my heart for someone, but that someone was just not available to me.

When I was a young girl growing up in alcoholism, my father was the first person who was unavailable to me. He remained unavailable until he got into Alcoholics Anonymous and tried to reach out to me when I was in my 30s. By then, my heart had been hurt so badly that I was not able to let him back into my life. That was before I found my way to Al-Anon.

My mom was also not available. She was very focused on my father in the way that we all focus on the alcoholic when they are suffering in their disease. Unfortunately, the family I was born into has been deeply impacted by alcoholism. Although my father has long since passed away from the disease, my mother, brother, and I have not yet found our way back to each other.

I know that I have also had my heart open in romantic relationships where the other person was not available. I also know that before I found my way to Al-Anon, I was not available either.

I am available today, though. My heart is open, thanks to Al-Anon. Meeting this new person has helped me to see that I have some grieving to do for the times I gave my heart to someone who was not in a position to receive it. I am grateful for Al-Anon’s book, Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses (B-29), which I can refer to as I work through my grief.

The gift of this experience is that my Higher Power is giving me an opportunity to see some of my past patterns in relationships more clearly, and to do another layer of healing. It feels good, today, to have the capacity to be in relationships with people who are available to be with me. I am very grateful to the Al-Anon fellowship for these gifts.

 

By Anonymous
The Forum, July 2016

A mother practices ‘Live and Let Live’

Our son was struggling with his addictions and needed a place to stay for just a few days. I strongly felt I should bring him back home. My husband was more skeptical, and I didn’t blame him. The year before, our son had pawned many of my husband’s possessions to feed his addiction.

However, I soon realized that our son would be staying for more than a few days, and I became nervous. Even though I had my Al-Anon group, and focused on taking “One Day at a Time,” I was juggling my work schedule so I was home while my husband went to work. Our son did not have a job, and we both felt we could not trust him to be in our home alone.

It crossed my mind that this could be a great opportunity for my husband and my son to start rebuilding their relationship. Before Al-Anon, I would have been giving each of them all kinds of suggestions and advice on how they could do that. But Al-Anon taught me to stay out of other people’s business and keep the focus on me. So that’s what I did. I didn’t say a word, although I was tempted several times.

The amazing thing is they figured this out on their own. A week after my son moved in, my husband’s boss offered our son a temporary job. My husband thought it was a good idea. I wasn’t so sure because that meant they would be spending more time together, and I was afraid that would be too much togetherness. However, just the opposite happened. They would come home from work deep in conversation. I even heard them laughing a few times about something that had happened during their day at work.

Our son ended up staying for ten weeks. After he moved out, my husband said they had talked more in those last few weeks than they had in the last 18 years. Things are far from perfect, but I am awestruck by how much this situation improved our relationships. I firmly believe that an entire family can benefit, even if only one member follows Al-Anon’s principles.

 

By Debbie
The Forum, July 2016