I was driving through a dark, turbulent rainstorm near sunset when it should have been light,
but mean black clouds violently darkened the world around me. The scary weather outside
matched the feeling inside me as I sobbed about the loneliness and hurt that welled up in my
heart. After pouring so much of myself into the alcoholic expecting her to get better, promises
and dreams were shattered beyond my desire to even live. Hopelessness was not only tempting but the only logical reality to the betrayals and injuries inflicted by the alcoholic.
As I began the death spiral of thoughts, I remembered my sponsor saying “It’s going to be OK” over and over. He would say that God was not surprised by the insane events that rocked our family. It’s going to be OK. “Really? It’s going to be OK?” I asked. I tried to think of any other thing than the swirling dark clouds, and I recalled the many beautiful sunsets I had enjoyed on this same stretch of road. I visualized the certain reality that abov...
Walking into my first Al-Anon meeting I was mad, but I thought by attending Al-Anon meetings I would get the tools to fix the alcoholics in my life. Instead, I was given the tools to fix the only person I could change - me.
I have not had a sip of alcohol in my life, so my burning question was “Why do I need to heal from someone else's drinking problem?” I walked into my very first Al-Anon meeting at age 40, scared, broken, and confused. I had reached the point of no return and was willing to do anything to make the emotional pain stop.
I felt so much love and acceptance from day one that I had to keep coming back. Al-Anon was the first place I was accepted without conditions. I felt love for the first time in my life and the people there loved me until I learned to love myself. The people in the room brought comfort when they shared their stories. I felt human because parts of other people’s stories were pieces of my story. I no longer felt like a freak; there were finally people in...
It started out as a normal evening. Some adult family members, including my sister and me, were playing cards in the dining room at the farm home where we had grown up. By 8 p.m., our four children under 3 years old were asleep. My father had gone to bed as usual and had gotten up several times to get a drink as was his habit. On this evening, we didn't pay much attention even though, as children, we had lived in fear of him. Many times, we were so terrified that we had hidden from him in the top of the closet or in the barn. Sometimes, we had even barricaded the door to our bedroom, so he couldn't make good on his threat to kill us.
This time, when he headed back toward the house from the barn, he was pointing a rifle at the house while yelling that he was going to shoot everyone. Back in 1960, in a small town, there was no sheriff or 911 for us to call. The closest neighbor was a mile away. Quickly, we turned out the lights in the house so he couldn't see us. We also tried to get to...