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Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Why I still attend Al-Anon meetings

Recently a mother suffering the effects of her son’s substance abuse asked me why I still attend Al-Anon meetings.

That evening she was celebrating her loved one’s newfound sobriety.  He was six months clean and she was overjoyed to have him “back.”

While I celebrated with her, my instinct was to caution her.  There is no guarantee with addiction, especially early in sobriety.  But, then again, is there with any chronic illness?

Her smile –  and blue eyes twinkling without a trace of tears –  stopped me short.  Why diminish her joy?  I knew little about her son’s sobriety.  Wasn’t it entirely possible he would continue to thrive?   If he were active in his recovery, solid in his foundation with AA or another support group, why shouldn’t his mother savor these moments?

This month my son achieves seven years and four months in recovery.  Jacob stays centered in service to others, ready to share the gift of sobriety he has been given.

I know what it’s like to have your son “back.”

Why, then, do I still go to Al-Anon meetings?

  • Attending meetings grounds me.  I am reminded of how far I have come since that depressed, anxious, obsessed, fearful, isolated woman I once was.  I never want to be “her” again.  A weekly meeting keeps me focused on my recovery.
  • Given the gift of “recovery,” it’s now my responsibility to help others, or at least try.  By listening with an open heart to those who attend the meetings – and how I might boost their lives regardless of whether their loved ones are using or not – works to keep me healthy, too.

Service to others is the essence of AA and Al-Anon.

And who knows?  It just might help another mom get her son back.

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