When I first went to Al-Anon here are some of my first thoughts. I found these to be similar to those of others who first went.
You people are crazy. Why do you still keep coming back here after your husband and you are divorced? (replace husband with wife where appropriate)
- How come no one is giving me an answer to my problem?
- I want to know what to do to fix my wife. (the alcoholic)
- Are you people crazy?
- These people are crazy.
- These people are losers.
- We dying here God, why aren't you helping us?
- Damn you wife [insert name here]. I wouldn't be going to these meetings if it wasn't for you.
- Damn you wife [insert name here]. I wouldn't be spending my time here if it wasn't for you.
- I am not broke/screwed up/have a problem. My wife is broke/screwed up/has THE problem. WHY DO I NEED TO BE GOING????????
From: I am focused on fixing the alcoholic. To ------> I need this meeting for myself, to "fix" myself.
From: I am talking about what the alcholic did. To --> What I did, am doing, going to do.
From: A disdain for having to go to meetings. To----> I like "thinking out loud" and hearing others thoughts and stories.
Here are my "truly amazings;"
- It is truly amazing and incredible that a meeting like this, so well organized, and so well structured, could actually be for FREE.
- Truly amazing that other people have the same stories I have. (this transaltes into that "I am not alone." A feeling we all seem to have or had.)
- Truly amazing that what someone says, is actually what I needed to hear today.
- I can apply these principles to everyday living, whether there is an alcoholic in my life or not.
- I have become a better person because of it. (I have read a lot of books, attended a lot of courses, work with some amzaing people, but this little program has helped me in a number of ways.)
- Truly amazing the number of people affected by alcohol. (You find out all the meetings available, and all the rehab programs available, just through "osmosis.")
- Truly amazing the number of people who do not know about Al-Anon or won't go.
That last bullet point, is a little depressing for me. The reason is simply because I feel sorry for the women especially who could use the help and support. This feeling probably stems from my mother having to deal with it by herself. I know she could have used the support. But it was different way back when.