Sunday, March 7, 2010

Other People's Opinions.

I remember one meeting I attended, the topic of which I've long forgotten, but one member's comment stays with me - she described talking to her brother about Al-Anon, and how much it had helped her, and he interrupted her to say, "I don't want to hear any more about your sect."  She was laughing somewhat ruefully as she spoke about his inability to see past the jargon of the program, to the deep and positive changes it had wrought in her.

 When I was new to program, I didn't tell anyone I was going to meetings. I didn't for a long time, not until I was sufficiently secure in my recovery, to have reached a place where it wouldn't matter what the opinion of other people might be - I could see the wonderful changes working 12 Step was having on my life, and I wanted more of the same.

Now, I couldn't care less who knows, but I've been going to Al-Anon for 24 years, so I've loosened up quite a bit in that regard. I do try to keep the jargon to a minimum, if asked about 12 Step by someone who knows nothing about it but the name.

I've become secure enough in myself to have been able to let go of what others may think about me going to Al-Anon - if they judge me and find me wanting as a result, that's their problem. Al-Anon is my solution, and I'm powerfully grateful for it.


  1. I was so scared, of everything, when I first came in that others saw the changes in me long before I *felt* them myself. I try to live the "attraction, not promotion" and be a hand when my HP puts someone in my path. My kids say Alanon is where I go for "free hugs" but they are the first to suggest I might need a meeting when I get a tad bit snarly. :-D Loving my program too..and gratefully so.


  2. I've felt the same thing over the years about how others may view AA or Al-Anon. It really doesn't matter to me today whether they get it or not. I know what the program means to me and am not that interested in spending a lot of time explaining, unless I think the other person may have a real interest. I'll spend as long as they'd like then, but that's a whole different matter. Nothing I'd rather talk about than the value of my program to someone who may be looking for what I've found.

  3. Good for you. Unfortunately, there are those who very much still stigmatize alcoholism and those who live with it. I prefer to keep my anonymity.

  4. I have only been in the program for aobut 8-9 months and am pretty open about going. I don't go boosting about it but if someone says "what did you do last night" I don't have an issue saying "Oh I went to an Al-Anon meeting". I dont' really go on and on about it unless I am talking to someone who is close to me or has experience. The only thing I get worried about is people often confuse AA with Al-Anon you'd be surprised at how many people mistaken me for the Alcholic lol!