An Online Al-Anon Email Meeting 

Keep It Simple

To me the entire Al-Anon program keeps it simple. I mean, that's what Al-Anon did for me -- make things seems so much more simple than I was making them.

I thought I was in this situation that nobody had ever been in before. I thought I was unique. They told me at my first meeting, "If you keep coming back, you will hear somebody else tell your story." I smiled and said, thank you, but inside I was thinking, "Yeah, right!"

They next night there was a Beginners group that was recommended. So, I went and wow! Nothing like the first meeting with only seven people. There were 45 people there! I wanted to find a place to hide in the back But they were all sitting in a big circle! I was too intimidated to say anything, so I shut up and listened for a change!

He Told My Story

Toward the end of the meeting, a guy raised his hand and started sharing and told my story! For a minute there I thought we had been married to the same alcoholic!

He said that Al-Anon had given him the tools to use to keep it simple. The slogans, which sound so simplistic, but really put the principles of the program into easy-to-remember terms like "Mind Your Own Business" And "How Important Is it?"

The Serenity Prayer also gets it down to simple terms. Can I change this situation or not? Is it my "job" to change it? Or is it my job just to accept it?

Simple, Not Easy

Needless to say, when he got through sharing I was hooked on Al-Anon! He made it seem so simple and there was a reason for that. Because when you get right down to it, it is simple -- it's just not always easy!

For example, it took me many, many weeks to ever speak up in that big meeting even though I was already chairing some of the other meetings I attended. When I finally got up the nerve to speak in that beginners meeting it was because I had gotten to the point where I wanted to share something that would keep it simple for the next newcomer -- to try to help them make some sense out of the whole confusing mess.

Just as somebody did for me when I first came in.