I went to my home group's meeting tonight and heard the story of one of the group members on her 8th anniversary. For some reason, this group calls it a Birthday which is a bit confusing to me as I think that anniversary comes closer to what I think of. I'm not sure whether Birthday is the common name in Al-Anon or not. There is always a card that is passed around for people to sign and the card talks about the birthday. I always forget that this isn't a true life birthday but one related to recovery and rebirth.
Anyway, the story told was very touching, and there weren't many people there who were dry-eyed. This lady has had a difficult time and has been let down by a lot of people. Mainly though she let herself down (as we have all done) by accepting the behavior of the alcoholic that wasn't acceptable. I really felt for her as she described those occasions that were special to her that the alcoholic ruined by not showing up or arriving drunk and too late. She said that she hates the disease and so do I. It is a terrible disease and life would be so much better without ever having to deal with all the emotional upheaval that alcoholism brings.
After her story, her sponsor stated in her matter of fact way that she was proud of the honesty and sincerity with which her story was told. I know that it must have been very hard for the lady to talk about some of the things that she did. For some reason though, I think that it took away from her story to be told by the sponsor tha she was being honest. I think that the group felt the honesty and didn't need to hear any endorsement of it. I think with so much emotion going into sharing such intimate thoughts with the group, there really isn't much that needs to be said other than thanks. Anything else just seems to be grandstanding.