When I first came to Al-Anon, I was in deep despair. I didn't want to fix anyone but myself because I was past the point of trying to fix the alcoholic. I didn't believe that the relationship could be saved. In fact, I didn't believe in much when I came in. I definitely was at an emotional bottom and in need of guidance.
At first, I didn't feel much like I belonged. Everyone was further along than I. It was as if there was a different language. But it just felt like I had found a place where I could finally talk about what was wrong in my life and in my marriage.
Even though I felt shame and guilt at first, I kept going to meetings. I haven't been in the program long but I guess that I wanted what was offered. After working the steps and with the help of my sponsor, I've created a life for myself. I have hobbies that I enjoy and fill my life with things that I like to do and can do with or without my spouse. I don't have expectations that she will participate but if she wants to, that's great. I've learned from the program that keeping the focus on myself isn't selfish.
In going to meetings, sometimes I hear the same things over and over. Some of meetings are really good and in some I have to take what I like and leave the rest.
But what I have found is that when a newcomer comes to a meeting, it is always inspiring. Maybe it's because I can see how far I've come. Maybe it's because the raw emotion charges the air. Or maybe it's because I get to give away some of what I have learned and that's a great feeling.
I've heard old timers in AA complain about the newcomers. I don't get that. I have found that newcomers are welcomed and told that they are the most important person in the room in Al-Anon. When I heard those words, it made me feel special and that was something that I hadn't felt for a long time.
So I want to say thanks to the newcomers who have the courage to come into a meeting. Hopefully, you'll hear something that will make you keep coming back and will lead you to recovery.