Learning how to open my heart

My older brother was diagnosed with cirrhosis and hepatitis C. Even with my own health issues, I felt compelled to stay connected with him although he had isolated himself from everyone. 

My Higher Power gave me a glimpse into my brother’s true nature while he was sober. I saw his brilliance, his humor, his kindness, and gentle demeanor. We developed a strong friendship.
 
I knew that addiction was killing him but now, ten years later through my experience with Al‑Anon, I understand that he was rendered vulnerable. When he surrendered, we were given the gift of true intimacy. It was an amazing experience and, for the first time in my life, I could see the good in the alcoholic.
 
Finally, my Higher Power has shown me the way to Al-Anon through my husband—another alcoholic. This time, it was different. There was no way out for him or me. I was forced to surrender.
 
My first meeting was magic. The people there were very respectful and kind. No one interfered with my need to feel my emotions. My need for control was enormous and vulnerability left me feeling totally defenseless. I distinctly remember the words, “Keep Coming Back.” 
 
In order to get well, I had to become vulnerable and humble. My ego had protected me in ways that were no longer needed. In fact, it had kept me stuck in denial. It had to move over and let the God of my understanding take over.

By Lynn F., British Columbia