Forgive us that often we forgive ourselves so easily and others so hardly;
Forgive us that we expect perfection from those to whom we show none;
Forgive us for repelling people by the way we set a good example;
Forgive us the folly of trying to improve a friend;
Forbid that we should use our little idea of goodness as a spear to wound those who are different;
Forbid that we should feel superior to others when we are only more shielded;
And may we encourage the secret struggle of every person.
– Vivian Pomeroy
I Learned About Myself In How Al-Anon Works
My favorite piece of literature is How Al‑Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics (B‑22, B-32). I found a tremendous amount of comfort in each section. Reading the book helped me to finally realize that I was raised in an alcoholic family. And to my surprise, this realization came without any shame or guilt attached. My Higher Power allowed me to accept what was, and learn from it.
I now understood my constant need to control any situation and why I sought alcoholics for my relationships. It helped me gain compassion for all those alcoholics in my life. I began to understand their guilt, and I began to separate emotionally from their behavior, whether they were still actively drinking or not.
The walls I didn’t know I had built started to come down. I began sharing more and more. I accepted the hugs everyone was so eager to give. I talked about things with my Sponsor that I thought I could never speak aloud to anyone. And as I continued to talk and share, I continued to grow in the realization that this disease had changed my thoughts and behaviors and that I had become someone whom I didn’t like very much.
I knew my Higher Power had another plan for me, so I prayed and then listened for what I needed to do. I found the answers in the meetings I attended—words spoken by the newcomer as well as the member with many years in recovery. I found the answers in Al‑Anon literature, always turning to the page that I needed to read.
I began to heal. I wondered how this program—so simple yet so very powerful—along with the help of my Higher Power could give me the courage to change. It gave me the courage to volunteer to be my home group’s treasurer, then Group Representative, then District Representative. I volunteered for these positions out of love, not out of guilt or the need to control. I continue to do service work and be involved with the things that interest me the most.
My relationships with my family have improved to a point that I could not have imagined. I have a Higher Power who travels everywhere with me and can guide me in every situation. The gratitude I have today is endless and beyond my understanding. I pray that I can share with others the hope and love I found in this fellowship. I can’t wait to see what my Higher Power has in store for me!
Connie P., Iowa April 2012
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is an Al-Anon themed site and is not affiliated with Al-Anon's World Service Office. The daily sharings contain a reading from Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.