When my son first got sober it was recommended I try Al-Anon. It took me a while but eventually I found an Al-Anon meeting that was a good fit for me. And now Al-Anon is an important part of my life.
I had always wanted to attend a parent Al-Anon meeting to help me more specifically with my issues regarding my son. However there were no parent meetings in my area that I could fit into my schedule. With the help and encouragement of my Al-Anon friends, we started a new parent Al-Anon meeting. I now attend this new parent Al-Anon meeting on Monday nights in Rancho Bernardo, as well as a Scripps Ranch meeting on Thursday afternoons. I am grateful for these meetings and all the other meetings that I attend.
As my son was going thru a long-term recovery house not only did I want him to get well, I also wanted to have a better relationship with him; before he went into recovery our relationship was pretty bad. As he was working on staying sober and becoming healthier, both mentally and physically, I wanted to work on becoming healthier too. Al-Anon has helped me do that with the tools of the program: steps, slogans, traditions, literature, meetings, and a wonderful sponsor. I’m learning that my main responsibility is to take care of myself. As a result I have a better relationship with my son, one where I am letting him live his own life.
Al-Anon has given me many new insights. I have come to realize that I didn’t cause my son’s problem with drugs and alcohol, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it. But I can continue to love him and give him the dignity to live his own life. I try to listen to him with my ears and my heart without giving advice. I share events in my life with him, both joys and sorrows, and I enjoy spending quality time with him. Each day I pray for him as well as others in my life. This helps when I begin to worry. I can turn my concerns over to my Higher Power and “let go and let God.” I am learning to pray for guidance before I speak so that I watch my words; words have the power to bless or to wound. I have also learned that “expectations are pre-meditated resentments.” When I feel I need to talk something through I can call an Al-Anon friend. I can write down my concerns, pray about them, and/or put them in my “God Box.” I can read my Al-Anon literature, even if I’ve read it before, I gain new insights each time I read it again. Every day I try to write about something that I am grateful for – not to dwell on the past or the future – but to live just for today. These are things I’ve learned in Al-Anon that I work on daily and they help me in all areas of my life, including building a better relationship with my son.
-A Grateful Mom