I came into AlAnon in 2013. I was suicidal after a bad breakup and really thought there was nothing left for me. I had been in therapy for a year and had got a lot of relief and help, but no real or lasting solution to my anxiety, depression and loneliness. My relationship with my mother (a dry alcoholic) was the same as all the other relationships in my life (myself, boyfriends, co-workers, flatmates etc) – fraught and filled with drama, resentment and fear. My life was an absolute mess and I wanted to die.
At one of my first AlAnon meetings I heard a woman sharing who seemed so happy, at peace and full of joy and gratitude. Her story was similar to mine. Something (I now know it to be God) guided me to my first meeting and it also guided me to a sponsor who had done her steps the BBA way. I’m so grateful that I was desperate enough to do anything to feel better, that I started working the steps the BBA way after 3 months. I didn’t want to use the Big Book at first as I hated alcoholics! But something told me this was the way. I was an atheist but thought I’ll just leave out the god bit’…
I’ve now done all 12 steps and my life has changed beyond what I thought was possible. I was skeptical at first, but somehow I kept an open mind throughout the work. I see the results of the work every day - I no longer feel that same sad, endless loneliness I felt all the time; I don’t choose destructive relationships or behaviours; I don’t crave drama!; I love and value myself; I have a great relationship with my mum - I understand that I’m an addict just like her and I have a new found compassion and love for her that I’m grateful for every day; I’m able to live free of the shame about things I’d done in the world (having affairs, acting out, stealing, manipulating, controlling, abusing people); I’ve made amends to people I’ve hurt and harmed; my fears don’t own me and drive me to act out; I keep my side of the street clean and stay on my side of the street; I’m of use to others (through sponsorship and service) and above all I have a relationship with a God of my understanding that can run every aspect my life so much better than I ever could and that loves me no matter what. He is my PA, employer, my bank manager / financial advisor, parent, director and love match-maker. It’s was such a relief to realise I don’t have to (and can’t) do it all!
I believe that God saved me – and I want to share the message of hope and recovery to all Al Anons out there. My experience of the BBA work is that it’s a miracle. Thank you God for ensuring the work came about!
— Helena S.
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