My response was, “Of course not. It took me a year plus of attending weekly before I had a clue about those meetings.” And I added, “Five years in Al-Anon saved my life.”
Al-Anon is a 12-step program for family and friends of addicts and alcoholics. It’s no magic bullet. It’s not one size fits all or even most. It’s not like an inoculation for a contagious disease.
It’s anonymous, of course, just like AA or NA. What, however, is anonymous about people with a common issue sitting in a room, reading Al-Anon literature, and sharing their thoughts, concerns, tears and anguish?
When someone you love is deep in addiction, it’s time to quit thinking that the world — or at least your friends and neighbors — don’t know what’s going on. Of course, they know what’s going on, at least to a degree.
So forget your pride, your fear that someone will see you and recognize you. And put as much effort into healing yourself as you do in cleaning up after the addict, making excuses for him or her, bailing him or her out emotionally and financially, wringing your hands and saying “Woe is me. What did I do to deserve this?”
I could repeat everything in this column that you can learn by doing an Internet search on Al-Anon. If you don’t care enough to do that, you’re not ready for the program. And even if you do care enough to search, it may not be for you.