Today is my 9th anniversary in Al-Anon. I have told you about all of these years right here. You probably know more about my life than anyone, except for my first sponsor and my wife. I'm grateful that you have been with me on the journey thus far.
And it has been a good journey in recovery. I can remember how it started out. That first year was confusing. My wife was new to AA, and I wasn't sure whether our marriage could be healed. We didn't trust each other. It was a rough time.
Gradually, as each year passed, we came to realize that if we applied the principles of recovery to our lives, we could prevail. I learned about compassion and just how much I loved her. I realized that we were both damaged when we met. And as I thought of her as a child, fearful of the emotional abuse from an alcoholic father and a mother who was affected by her husband's alcoholism, I came to feel so much love for her. I realized that I was wounded too by my father's drinking. And I came to love him more than ever, along with my in-laws, because they did the best they knew how to do.
So C. and I shared a common bond of children affected by alcoholism. I knew her pain, and she knew mine. We grew to be respectful and kind to each other, rather than having the old judgmental and contemptuous feelings. And over these years our love has grown to where we are today. Neither of us can imagine life without the other.
I am so fortunate to have found out who I am and that I have a lot of good qualities. I am grateful for having met so many people whose paths I would not have crossed if not for Al-Anon. I am glad that you have been along for the journey too. We have written, learned, cried, laughed, and comforted each other in more ways than I thought possible. Thank you all.