Mark down the date, I went to my first Al-Anon Meeting.
My brother responded well to the intervention, he agreed to go to treatment! The guy who helped us talk to my brother, the interventionist, suggested that every member of our family seek treatment in some form, maybe individual or group therapy (or both) and attend Al-Anon Meetings.
Everyone at Al-Anon is the loved one of someone who has been addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. At this meeting, one man and one woman came to share their experiences with us.
A truly eye-opening experience
The stories from recovering addicts, and those who love them, are eye-opening, sad, and hopeful. I head some things I never thought I’d hear. Things that you just have no idea people are out doing if you don’t do drugs yourself.
If you haven’t heard stories from recovering addicts, straight from the horse’s mouth, you may be like me and just have no idea what’s going on in our world. It is easy to make assumptions but there is a whole other side beyond what I could see and thought there was.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
The woman who shared at today’s meeting has been through a lot. She was an active addict for years and years, and so was her husband. When they had kids, they both stopped, but then resumed when the kids were school-aged.
She blames herself for her son and daughter both becoming addicts. It’s all they knew as kids, and she has much shame surrounding passing that pattern on. She didn’t know any other way either; she was the product of two addicted parents too.
Blew it out of the water
I thought my brother had been through some really dark times and scary situations, but her story, and the other stories from recovering addicts at this meeting blew my brother’s addicted life right out of the water. I guess he could have gotten so much worse.
I am so grateful my brother is alive and is getting clean. Now he can be one of those people telling stories at meetings to prevent other people from going back to substances, and to help sisters like me understand addiction better.
Inspiration to never start or head down that road
I will never touch any of that garbage he got so into, partly because I saw my brother get so wrapped up in it, and now after hearing stories of recovering addicts and how hard it is to stay drug-free.
These people didn’t think they’d live to see another birthday at one point. Now, after receiving the help they needed all along, can “pay it forward” (look at me already using recovery lingo!) and help others make different decisions, or learn how to help loved ones who are still using.
The meeting definitely had a postitive impact on me and I’m sure on others too. I’m going back to hear more stories of recovering addicts tomorrow. Anybody wanna join me?
Kate Green shares her dedication for helping people through drug and alcohol problems at Balboa Horizons. Learn more about her work as a quality improvement manager at their treatment center website.