Before Al‑Anon, I was in ‘rescue’ mode

I attended occasional Al‑Anon meetings through the years, but what brought me to Al‑Anon with a willingness to surrender was the realization that, despite several years in another Twelve Step program, I was again hopeless, helpless, and my life was out of control.

I had left my alcoholic husband years ago, in order to be free of the chaos caused by his drinking. Now I was experiencing the same type of relationship with our son. I was desperately trying to control him, trying to get him away from drugs and alcohol, and trying to get him to behave. If only he would, I would be okay. At least, that’s what I thought.

I also continued to seek out men with drinking problems who would use me. One even stole my car. I started going to Al‑Anon regularly and began applying the principles and Steps in my life. I was able to see more clearly how my need to control people, places, and things went back to when I was a child.

The day I knew Al‑Anon was really working in my life was the day my son was arrested. I didn’t lose my mind or my inner peace. I knew that I was powerless over my son and his choices, and that his mess was not for me to fix. I was amazed that although his life was in crisis, mine was not. My son, whom I believed could not survive without me, eventually worked through the legal problems he had created on his own. I had not taken his lesson to learn away from him. I did not lose a night’s sleep or a day’s work.

Today, I am in a loving relationship with a sober member of A.A. and I am able to love without losing myself. When I first heard about the “gifts” of Al‑Anon, I knew that was something I really wanted, but had no idea how to get. Today, I can be in relationship with others and still be me. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to rescue anyone else. I am truly grateful!

By Melody J., Georgia
The Forum, September 2014