“When I Got Busy, I Got Better”

The Forum

From “The Forum,” August 2015, p. 15:

“Going to meetings helped me understand the first step, which I consider the cornerstone of the program. I cannot repay Al-Anon enough for what it has done for me. One thing I did from the very beginning was to serve the fellowship. Service strengthened my recovery and gave me a chance to pay forward what I’ve received.

My loved one has been in and out of sobriety for the more than 25 years since I joined the program, and whether my loved one was sober or not, I never gave up, slackened my attendance, or service to Al-Anon. Today I can accept that my life is important and that I have a choice to continue obsessing or get on with my life. I accept that alcoholism is a disease and Al-Anon helps me to face the disease and not let it get me down. I feel alive because of Al-Anon. Working the Twelve Steps led me to a spiritual life that gives me much peace and joy.”

Lifelines are all around to help us cope with life’s challenges. Exercise, good nutrition, gardening—the list is endless. Fortunately there are many outlets to choose from, and I’ve used all of the above. But the tools—life lessons—that I’ve learned in several 12-Step fellowships have changed me as well as the way that I relate to other people. I’ve heard it said that alcoholism is a disease of relationships, and whether that’s true or not I can certainly see the improvement in how I behave with others. That, in turn, has made me a happier person. So this has been my lifeline, because working the program has made such a big difference in my life.

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