Hi Jennie Young,

I’m sorry you went through this, and I relate. I felt exactly the same when I first went to Al-Anon. I was like, WHY ARE YOU ALL SITTING HERE? I NEED FUCKING ANSWERS!!!!!!!!

And I didn’t go back for a while. But then I went into another fellowship, sorted out another addiction, and worked out that I needed to leave my alcoholic love. Mine was a jerk, though, so the most insane thing is just that I didn’t manage it a lot sooner.

No self-blame, mind you. I grew up with heavy drinkers and so it was the most normal thing in the world to me. I didn’t know any better, and as soon as I did, I did better.

I heard a young woman from Al-Anon share at a convention, and she was so impressive. Full of life and love and authenticity. Definitely no shadow, drained person.

Sometimes the addict you love is in your family, of course, and then Al-Anon can be a life-saver. I’m keen to go back, but tend to focus on other meetings at the mo.

Also, I used to think I’d never find anyone to compare to my ex, but that was partly cos I was addicted to the intensity of the highs and lows with him. It wasn’t love and support I was getting from him. But I’m not saying that was the case for you. Not all alcoholics are mean, but mine was.

He was also funny and charismatic. But yep, pretty empathy-free. I went cold turkey and it was one of the best thing I ever did.

You wrote about this so fearlessly. I still find it hard, but am getting stronger all the time. Reading stories like yours helps. Well done for leaving.

Thanks so much for writing this. I hope you found someone much more available to love you back.

Chelsey x

Author, educator, truth-seeker. Writing my way to freedom or thereabouts. Talk to me @cjflood_author. www.chelseyflood.com/beautiful-hangover She/her/they.

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