Al-Anon is not a program of completion or destination. Two years ago, I entered the rooms of Al‑Anon distraught, confused, and looking for answers as to how to help my two sons who suffer from the family disease of addiction and alcoholism. I did not get what I wanted or expected, but I did get what I needed. Much has changed in the past two years, and yet much has stayed the same.
Though I have a program, I don’t always follow it. Though I have a Higher Power, I don’t always know His will for me. Though my sons are doing better, they still struggle with the family disease, and so do I. Though my husband and I both have program, we do not always see things the same way. Though sometimes my husband and I disagree, we can have an Al‑Anon meeting for two to work things out instead of forcing our individual wills. Though I never want to enable, I still want to help. Though sometimes the best thing to do is nothing, I still struggle with wanting to do something. Though I have a strong program and many tools, I still don’t understand or have all the answers. Though I have more faith, fear knocks at my door often. Though much has changed, some things are still the same.
I still make mistakes because I am not ready to do what I may know is best, and that makes me human and a work in progress. I know I am better than I was when I entered the program, but not exactly where I want to be. I have recovery, but I am not recovered. I will continue to come to meetings because what I know without question is you, my chosen family, will help me get to where I want to be.
Change is “Progress Not Perfection.” I get to work on my recovery every day, “One Day at a Time,” as long as I am open-minded, willing, and grateful for the lessons.
By Shelley G., Florida and Toronto
The Forum, September 2016
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.