A daughter of addicted parents wrote to me: I still struggle with the pain of what it’s like to live with and love addicts. I still struggle with issues of anger and despair over all of the ‘what if’s’ and ‘what could have been’s’ that circle around and around in my mind. But it is always cathartic to hear other people’s tales of their battles with this disease – whether they’re the addict or love someone who is. It reminds me that I’m not alone.
My reflection: There are millions of us affected by this disease, either as addicts or those of us who love them. That’s why groups like AA and Al-Anon work. I found friendship and a lifeline in Al-Anon. In our mutual stories, I discovered compassion and support.
Today’s Promise to consider: It’s easy to forget that we are not alone. It’s easy to forget that many of us suffer from addiction’s grasp. Addiction is cloaked in shame, and the shame keeps us silent as we hold our family’s secret. Today, I will accept the help of others. In return, I will reach out my hand to help.3355
I tried Al-Anon two times. I did like the program and the readings; I just did not want a sponsor, at least not yet. But I felt into the “trap” where they insist you get a sponsor…and it did not work out. Why? Because I was not ready and I hate talking on the phone and 99% of sponsoring is talking on the phone. I just couldn’t do it. So, I dropped out of Al-Anon. I grew up in an alcoholic family; my brother, my only sibling, died last summer at the age of 67 due to alcoholism. No one understands the adult child (John was, too!) I feel so left out thanks to controlling people in Al-Anon. I like your emails, Libby, but I just can’t do Al-Anon. It’s a real disappointment.
Diane, I’m so sorry that you hit this obstacle in Al-Anon. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I’ve never had a sponsor in all my 20 years in Al-Anon. When and if you ever have the energy to try again, go to a different meeting. I went to three before I found my home meeting. I’m really sorry.