The Forum Magazine
Al-Anon's monthly magazine, The Forum, contains many personal stories of inspiration, some of which are made available each month on the Internet by authorization of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
The most important day of my life was the day I walked into my first Alateen meeting. A week before, I was waiting for my guidance counselor in her office. I spotted a pamphlet that had an array of questions about alcoholism. At the bottom it said, “If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then Alateen is for you!” I answered “yes” to all the questions, and started on an amazing path to self-discovery and serenity.
As a child, I felt I could do nothing right. My father was impatient and critical. I thought, “When I’m grown up, I’ll get it right.” My father’s parenting style was to point out everything that I did wrong, and nothing that I did right. I believe he thought he was helping me become a better person. Of course, I never got everything right, but it didn’t stop me from trying. I demanded too much of myself in striving for my father’s approval. This determination carried over into my roles as a wife, a mother, and an employee.
Al-Anon is not a program of completion or destination. Two years ago, I entered the rooms of Al‑Anon distraught, confused, and looking for answers as to how to help my two sons who suffer from the family disease of addiction and alcoholism. I did not get what I wanted or expected, but I did get what I needed. Much has changed in the past two years, and yet much has stayed the same.