On Tuesday night I put my Big Girl Pants on, and went to my first Al-Anon meeting. Not only that, but I ticked off one of my New Year’s Resolutions…if only the diet and exercising were going so well.
For those of you that don’t know, Al-Anon is a support group, self-sustained and to help those who have been affected by an alcoholic (or “problem drinker” as I think we’re meant to call them).
It felt good. I was nervous, I didn’t know what to expect, and I think the biggest worry was sitting in a circle talking about my feelings – which I’m used to suppressing with food or expressing with booze (ironic, huh?). But what actually happened felt natural and cathartic, and like I was in a group of friends. I guess it’s true about experiences bringing people together.
I had been so wrapped up in my story, in our story, that I’d forgotten compete strangers go through the same sort of thing. And most importantly, I’m not alone. We’re not alone. That was a really positive conclusion to reach. Although, another conclusion I reached was that these things need biscuits. There’s no point having tea without biscuits.
I came away with a Newcomer pack, which contains some really useful material – I’ve already read it once on the Tube, but I imagine I’ll read it a few times over the next week. There’s also a book I’m hoping to read – How Al-Anon Works.
I’m going again next week, because, to be honest, I got more out of that hour than in eight weeks of CBT. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone out there feeling along.
Give it a go, it might be the best thing you ever do.