In both AA and Al-Anon, we are only as sick as our secrets. And yet, as a kid growing up in a family of alcoholism, I was taught to KEEP secrets. I learned to be sick.
Alcoholism is like a tornado. It’s like a tidal wave. You can feel it coming, but there’s not much you can do to prepare for it, and it brings lots of things in its wake. It can bring verbal, physical, sexual abuse, actual physical illness, financial debt, jail, infidelity, and even death.
Some of these problems can be so embarrassing, so intimidating, that we don’t dare talk about them. But until we bring them into the light, until we share the secrets, we can’t truly heal and they keep us trapped.
We find it is best to share our secrets with someone we can trust, someone who understands the disease of alcoholism. No matter how hopeless, different, or ashamed we may feel, there are usually Al-Anon members who have been through similar problems and are willing to listen and help.
Usually when I most want to hide out with my secrets, that’s probably the time I most need to get out and share them with others. Just like when I need to get my butt to a meeting. 🙂 When I’m facing a tough situation, help me to remember that God speaks through other people. I don’t have to face it alone.