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Haven't Been Able to Go Back to Al-Anon

Old 06-10-2011, 11:49 AM
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Haven't Been Able to Go Back to Al-Anon

The last time I went to an Al-Anon meeting (and it was maybe only my 8th time or so...with months in between meetings), one of it's regular members, and the sponsor of many in attendance, had just committed suicide the night before.

It was the first time I had gone to this particular meeting place, so I had never met the individual.

The meeting was the most depressing, saddest things I have ever experienced, and I haven't been able to go back since. That was probably about 8 months ago.

The entire time was spent discussing the struggles she had gone through, and people's memories and perceptions of her.

I understood their need to talk about her; truly I did.

But people were in tears the entire time, and I just left there so depressed - as it brought home just how devastating this disease can be and the effect it can have on those who love the A. in their lives.

I think it just scared me...I don't want to open myself up and become vulnerable to more heartache.

I haven't been back since.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:15 PM
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I'm sure they've moved on by now.

Give it a try?
Far as I know
the door isn't locked.
if it's too much
you can leave.

RIght?
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:10 PM
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Unfortunately, no one ever truly knows why someone commits suicide, and it's always hardest on the ones left behind.

Instead of looking at it as sad and depressing, maybe you could look at it as an amazing testament to the relationships that are forged through the program?

Some of the people in that room might have only known the deceased for a few years, but had such a bond with her, such a respect for how hard her journey was and how she not only handled it but tried to lead others on their journey as well?

Or the idea of how powerless we really are, over everyone, not just the alcoholics?

Or how every day should be treated as though it may be our last, and we should be grateful with every passing sunrise, telling our loved ones we care and living the best we can?

The above is a testament of what the program has done for me. Changed my attitude dramatically.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:02 PM
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Tragic though it is, I have a hard time believing that's the real reason you aren't going. Instead, I think you are using it as an excuse to not go. Like all excuses, that's all it is.

My two cents.

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Old 06-10-2011, 05:59 PM
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You might forge some really meaningful relationships with these people through the tragedy. In my regular meeting, there are people there who "bother me" on some levels, but there are other people who I have developed real friendships with, and that outweighs any negativity about those people I may have in the meeting, for me. Give it some time. I find it sometimes miraculous that topics at meetings are exactly how I am feeling on that particular day. There have been days I did not want to be there, but forcing myself to go always makes me one bit better. Good luck to you and let your Higher Power be with you!
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barb dwyer (06-12-2011)
Old 06-10-2011, 06:16 PM
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I am hearing from a friend of mine who's a regular AA person that death is rampant at her meetings. They get swallowed up whole. She says that it convinces her to get better even more.

I haven't experienced this, and I honestly don't know how I'll realistically handle it if/when it happens, but I like the perspective my friend gave me.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:46 PM
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Ditto what Barb said ... they'll have moved on. Their reaction was understandable when learning someone they knew committed suicide. It brings up fear and the healthy thing is to talk about it. But you won't hear that now.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:14 AM
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I remember my first meeting. And my second, third, fourth and fifth. Those occurred over the span of about 4 months. During that time, I drove to more meetings that I didn't attend than actually attend. I thought "those people" were NUTS! All that hand holding, hugging, chanting...pulease. How is that supposed to get my husband to quit drinking and grow up?

It took a while to realize I am just as NUTS as those people. A long while, and regular attendance. Now I go at least twice a week, and I love those nutty people dearly. And I feel safe expressing myself openly in those rooms.

Give it a few more tries. Or like me, many more tries. I still laugh when I think of how many times I went, only to not go inside.
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:23 PM
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Good point. Sounds like the OP is looking at this in a very negative filter.

In any given situation, we can CHOOSE to look at something from a positive or negative perspective. The positives of this are that this person did live a life helping other people in al-anon, even if, for whatever reason, they ended their own life. Nobody knows why anyone commits suicide. I'm sure the meeting was emotional, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to use al-anon as a tool in your own recovery.

And yeah, if people in AA used every death or suicide as an excuse not to go to meetings, they'd all relapse...

Originally Posted by skippernlilg View Post
I am hearing from a friend of mine who's a regular AA person that death is rampant at her meetings. They get swallowed up whole. She says that it convinces her to get better even more.

I haven't experienced this, and I honestly don't know how I'll realistically handle it if/when it happens, but I like the perspective my friend gave me.
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