An Al-Anon Member in the Rooms of AA

About once a week, I go with my husband to one of his AA meetings. This has been really beneficial for me, along with my own Al-Anon meetings. I’d recommend it especially to spouses of alcoholics. Hearing shared stories from other alcoholics helps me to understand my own husband better, as he isn’t always the most communicative person. Our marriage was very weakened by lies surrounding alcohol, and I feel like sometimes it’s easier to hear other alcoholics’ stories because I am uninvolved personally with them. Their personal stories don’t trigger my weaknesses of anger and resentment. It’s a lot easier to listen with an open mind. Some of the stories blow my mind. People have been through hells I cannot imagine and have caused so much pain and are working through heavy guilt. And there is something therapeutic about listening quietly while I’m sitting next to my husband. I know he’s taking it in and I always hope something sticks, like they say, that he always hears things that keep him coming back.

I believe that everyone who keeps going back to those AA rooms is courageous and admirable, regardless of the crap in their past. They are truly working on themselves today, and hoping they can get to tomorrow still sober. Because of this, I also can see my husband as brave and someone to appreciate. I cannot imagine our lives at this point if he weren’t working the steps. Our marriage was in shreds, and since we’ve started our meetings and he’s stopped drinking, the explosive fights have stopped. Yes, we still disagree on other things and marriage is *still* hard. It’s not that all of our problems have gone away at all. We just are learning to deal with them with calmer minds, with more reliance on a higher power. That damn disease is not ruling our house any more. It isn’t turning him into an absolute asshole and I’ve not felt like I was losing my mind in a while now. I’ll take that. One day at a time.

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2 thoughts on “An Al-Anon Member in the Rooms of AA

  1. It’s great to hear about people who are walking this path with their alcoholic loved ones. My spouse has started coming with me to one of the open meetings I attend, and it’s become something we look forward to sharing together. My spouse has been unwilling to consider Al-Anon so far, but going to the open AA meeting with me has helped her understand the alcoholic thinking and realize that I’m working on changing my whole way of living. She’s also gotten into individual counseling to help work through the –gulp– codependance. It’s a journey. I wish we didn’t have to have these experiences at all, but it’s better to go through them with a loving partner than to go through them alone. Thank you for sharing your voice in this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! I do look forward to the AA meetings I can attend with my husband. In the beginning, I really needed to hear the other stories because at that point, I just didn’t trust much of my husband said anymore. But listening to so many similar stories, and so many stories that were much more dismal…and understanding the constant battles and the hope–it’s been healing for both of us. There are such amazing people in those rooms. I can’t get over some of the stories and what hells people lived through.

      I still need to work on my awareness of the disease necessitating, like you said, a change in the whole way of living. It’s not just about the drinking. As the non-alcoholic spouse, I forget this and think, oh, thank God he’s not drinking. This is a good thing. But I don’t often remember he is struggling a lot of the time on his own with all of the things that the alcohol used to “help” him with.

      Even with Al-Anon, I find myself slipping back sometimes and worrying about what I cannot control. But I have tools now to pull from and get myself back on track. I see a counselor, too, though not regularly. Al-Anon is like my counseling more often than not.

      Best wishes to you!

      Liked by 2 people

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