Sunday, October 7, 2018

How Al Anon Saved Me

Addiction is an insidious disease that impacts the lives of everyone who cares about the addict: parents, children, partners, grandparents, spouses, employers, friends & acquaintances. Those who love an addict want answers, solutions, advice, guidance, instructions, miracles, magic wands... anything that can help them to fix the addiction. But there are no easy answers or solutions. 

I’ve shared previously that I was living  in Hong King when my house of cards came crashing down. My husband lost his job becaus big alcohol addiction. He didn’t tell me. He pretended to go to work for weeks. I found out by chance and was devastated. I didn’t know where to turn. I was filled with such rage I could have committed an atrocity that would have consigned me to a foreign prison. The stress, anger, embarrassment, frustration, pain, sorrow, devastation was almost more than I could comprehend. I was unemployed in a foreign country living with a stranger that was plunging into the depths of something I could not understand.

A friend suggested I try Al Anon. I’d never heard of Al Anon. I’d heard about AA for the addict but was completely unfamiliar with this group that provided support for friends and family of alcoholics and addicts.

I attended my first meeting with trepidation. I did not know what to expect. I as amazed to see people I knew who had children,  spouses, parents, grandparents and friends who were suffering from addiction. At that first meeting the group asked me what brought me to Al Anon. I shared that I had discovered a rage within me that had frightened me, that I’d felt a potential for violence within me that horrified me. The group told me that was normal, they’d all experienced that, and that I was in the right place.

That was the beginning of my journey, an October day in 1993. I spent 10 years in Step 1: admitted that I was powerless over drugs and alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable. I knew my life had become unmanageable, but I could not accept I had now power. Fortunately, I continued to go to meetings and met some amazing people who shared their experience, strength and hope that gave me the resources to begin recovery. 

Thank you to all of the wonderful angels that guided me in my path to recovery! Whicjh is a minute by minute, hour by hour day by day process.