The Forum Magazine

The Forum Magazine

Al-Anon's monthly magazine, The Forum, contains many personal stories of inspiration, some of which are made available each month on the Internet by authorization of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

A friend of mine says there ought to be a hologram over every Al‑Anon member’s face whenever a newcomer comes to a meeting. The hologram would be an image of each member as he or she appeared at that first meeting. Mine would show me unkempt and panicked, perhaps with my arms crossed to keep people away. I think that hologram might comfort the people just coming in and let them know we’ve all been where they are.

Growing up in an alcoholic household, I learned at a young age to be a problem solver. When I was 12-years old, the alcoholic in our family died and, as the oldest boy, I became “the man of the family.” This burden of responsibility was the catalyst for over-achievement, which served me well as a youngster but became my downfall as the mature father of a teen-age alcoholic daughter.

I had two immediate thoughts when I first heard the phrase “detaching with love” and parenting in the same sentence. One, it’s a good theory. Two, whoever coined this phrase did not have children. How could a loving parent ever detach from their child knowing he or she was struggling and in pain?