Not Cowardice, but Courage

When my spouse retired, his behaviour changed. I couldn’t understand what was happening, especially when he became verbally aggressive toward me for trivial matters. I found an online story from someone describing what she termed a dry drunk. The behaviours she listed matched those of my spouse, and she suggested Al‑Anon. My first meeting was difficult. I arrived early and sat in my car, terrified of entering. I was so ashamed of being unable to handle this situation on my own. I almost went home, but something deep inside gave me the courage I needed to stay. The group was welcoming and gentle; however, I soon realized the members of this meeting were not a good fit for me. Armed with a list of alternate meetings in our area, I started trying others out. It still took a lot of effort to go to my second meeting place, but it was so much easier than the first. I was beginning to see that it wasn’t an act of cowardice to attend meetings, but an act of bravery. I now know I’m not alone and each person’s sharing is helping me discover strands of strength within me.

Mary, British Columbia

The Forum, April 2019

Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA