I've been asked to join with a couple of other long-time members in giving a couple of talks about Al-Anon to members of the general public who have asked for information. This should be interesting. I'm always willing to carry the message, and it's encouraging when the public wants to know more about how we can help. the families and friends of alcoholics.
I still recall quite well how desperate I was when I came into Al-Anon at the recommendation of my family doctor, who'd been saying to me, "I think you'd benefit from Al-Anon" for months before I actually heard him. When I finally did hear him over the noise in my head, which consisted of complaint, self-pity, depression, blaming and obsession, I asked, "What's Al-Anon?"
I listened to an Al-Anon speaker today, and she said half-jokingly that she'd read statistics stating that for every alcoholic, there were ten people affected by their drinking, but she considered the more likely number to be up around 45.
I think of my first husband - granted, he had a large birth family, but still, there were more than ten people negatively affected by his alcoholism. In a small way, each of my friends was negatively affected, as they listened to my litany of complaints.
I try to carry the message in this blog. I don't write here as often as I did when I began it, but I still feel a responsibility to share here, the same way I do in meetings, albeit at far greater length.
I received a phone call from my lawyer a few minutes ago, she said that my husband has closed down his business and will be applying for disability, so there's no point in going to court and asking for spousal support. I felt sad for him, I know how much of his self-esteem has always come from work. I hope that he has good support from his AA friends, and his sponsor, and that he will find other ways to feel good about himself.
I'm grateful that Al-Anon has changed my thinking to such a great extent that what I feel is only compassion, and gratitude for my freedom today.