Houston Al-Anon | Alateen
For Houston and Surrounding AreasAlateen Talk excerpts from 45 no. 2 - www.al-anon.alateen.org
When I first came to Alateen, I was always mad at myself and really didn’t care for me. Now that I have been to Alateen, I am happy and I love myself. The Alateen literature helps me change my attitude about alcoholism. I can influence others because now people treat me better because I am treating them right.
Sometimes, I expect a lot of my best friend. I wait for her to call and she never does. Even though it’s happened before, I still think she will call. I’ve been told to not expect anything of her but it’s hard to convince myself that she won’t call. At school I feel I need to fulfill others’ expectations to fit in. I feel I should be like everyone else, wearing name brands or having my hair a certain way. Now I know I can be myself and people will like me.
Sometimes, I expect my dad not to be grouchy and to pay attention to me. I think if he’s sober that everything will be better, but really it gets harder when the alcoholic is sober. He’ll say he is going to try not to be grumpy and I believe him. But then he will get mad about something and that’s scary. I keep thinking maybe since he’s sober, he’ll pay more attention to what I’m showing him. But, my expectations are too high. So I guess I’ll have to lower them. Just accept that he is who he is—I can’t change him. He will work on himself when he wants to. I know he is trying because he can see that he is being grouchy. But he’ll change when he is ready to.
When I first attended Alateen, I was quiet and not confident enough to share. I didn’t think I would come back to the meetings, but I was interested in how everyone else was changing their life by sharing what was going on. When I finally told everyone how my father’s non-stop drinking affected my family, it felt great. I didn’t feel so alone. Having friends here with the same issues, I have changed so much. Now I share and treat others better because I’m improving my life at home and bettering my life. Some days are hard, some aren’t. I just have to remember that today I can’t change what’s going to happen the next day or the next week, but I can change how I react. I’m so glad that I have friends who understand what I’m going through and can help me.
As a newcomer I was resentful and full of anger. Everything made me mad no matter how big or how small. Now, I still have my resentments but they don’t control every aspect of my life. I still have to struggle with my anger, but it’s getting better. The slogans are what have helped me the most. In particular: "Live and Let Live," "Let Go and Let God," and "Easy Does It." Also, the Serenity Prayer helps me calm down and look at the situation rationally. If not for the Serenity Prayer, I might have gotten myself in more trouble. As my attitude changes, friends around me notice and are more willing to hang out. They enjoy the fact that I’m not going to yell at them for no apparent reason.
Vanessa My attitude has changed so much that it creeps me and my friends out. But it didn’t change for the worse; it changed for the better. Like tonight for example, my mom did something she shouldn’t have. Instead of me going crazy and freaking out, I sat back, took a couple of deep breaths, and said the Serenity Prayer. My attitude also changed my view of myself. Before Alateen I would blame my mom’s problems on myself. I would put myself down, instead of trying to make myself better. Alateen has changed my whole point of view on myself, my mom, and life in general.
Troy, age 10
I don’t know when I noticed that when my dad had a drink he was OK to be around. When he didn’t have a drink he was angry. I thought, "OK, he’s angry, he needs a beer." That’s how I thought before I came to Alateen. Alateen taught me that alcoholism was a disease. I didn’t make him an alcoholic. I learned that it was OK to get mad sometimes, that I had a right to be mad at the alcoholic. I love him, but sometimes I think he doesn’t love me. He does, he’s just angry with something. He might have stubbed his toe or jammed his finger in the door or something else. That’s his problem. I can still have a good day.
Ashley, age 9
Alateen changed my life and it can change your life too!
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The Alateen membership from all over the world shares their experience, strength, and hope through the written words of Alateen Talk. Their sharings relate to their personal lives, how their Alateen group is functioning, and ways in which to carry the Alateen message to young people who are still suffering from someone else’s drinking.
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Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.