When I got to Al-Anon, I was fearful of my alcoholic husband – afraid of his rages, of things he might say to me, of riding in the car with him, and of the possibility he might leave me. I felt hopeless and trapped.
I received the gift of hope at my first Al-Anon meeting. As I continued going to meetings regularly, reading the literature, and talking to people, I began to learn that I had choices and that I could detach from my husband’s behavior. As I received more serenity, I found I did not have to participate when he was angry, and his temper didn’t hurt me so much. Now sometimes, when I’m doing well, I just say to myself – that’s his disease talking; I don’t have to take it personally.
As I got better at taking care of myself, I chose to do the driving when we were together in the car. After lots of practice, I still hope to one day be able to simply say, “that hurt” when my husband or anyone else says something that stings. While I wait for the ability to say that to arrive, I am at least able to say to myself – that’s their opinion; it doesn’t have to be mine. I also recognize that sometimes my hurts are self-inflicted, and I may need to focus on my part in the situation.
I was fortunate that my spouse found sobriety, and he is my best friend today. We write love letters to each other on a regular basis, which has become a safe way for me to express some of my fears to him. I no longer fear him, nor am I afraid that he’ll leave. I love him “One Day at a Time,” which is all any of us can do, anyway. Each day is precious, and I thank Al-Anon for giving me a more positive attitude.
By Marna P., Oregon
February 2019, Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA