One of Al-Anon’s latest books explores the many facets of our recovery in relationships. Drawing on the experience, strength, and hope of hundreds of members, it sheds light on how alcoholism has affected many different types of relationships in many different ways. It also shares why various Al-Anon tools have been helpful in improving our relationships or our attitudes about them.
I was full of anguish when I first arrived at Al-Anon. Real progress came when I understood that I am responsible only for the consequences of my own behavior and choices. In time I came to understand that much of my family members’ lives was none of my business. I had no right to judge them as right or wrong, much less interfere with their lives, even if they asked for my opinion.
My greatest progress in overcoming the urge to get involved in others’ lives came when I recognized that I don’t always know what’s going to turn out to be a good thing. As I listened at meetings, I realized that many an idea that I thought would be the best possible solution turned into a complete disaster. On the other hand, things I thought would surely stigmatize and ruin lives turned out to be someone’s salvation.
If I can’t recognize whether the consequence of an action will turn out good or bad, how can I possibly make a reliable judgment for others? My only responsibility is to put the focus on my behavior, understand my family, and try to be non-judgmental. I stopped judging my family, and I now accept them for who they are. I do my best to give unconditional love.