What can a young woman find in Al-Anon?

Welcome to First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today we have Erika with us. Erika is a member who was dating a young man who had a drinking problem before she came to her first Al-Anon Family Group meeting.

How to locate a meeting


  1. Suzanne S. December 2017 at 9:04 am

    I have been in relationship with my husband for 25 years. From the very beginning when we first met, his alcoholism was very evident. He told me one night that I had to choose between my daughter and him. I was married before and had a five-year-old daughter. I can’t get into the circumstances about her, but I was trying to get my daughter back with me and he told me to choose her or him. That’s when I said bye but I didn’t change my job and he came and found me at my job and promised me that he would never make me choose between my daughter and him ever again, so desperately wanting to be loved and I knew in my mind I could possibly help him. I didn’t know how bad of an alcoholic he was until it was too late, at least I thought. It wasn’t until I realized that he was a full-blown alcoholic, I was already pregnant with our daughter. I thought I was committed because I was pregnant so we went ahead and got married. I wished I could tell you that was all worth the trouble of staying with him but I can’t it has been pure living hell. Let’s just say 25 years later and he still is an alcoholic, been in jail for domestic violence and that didn’t help. Nothing I did to try to help him worked. On top of it, he has severe mental problems bipolar, OCD, he has got some major issues. You probably wondering why I’ve stuck it out. There is a part of him that is sweet and kind and wants to change but he’s so addicted to the alcohol that he can’t. I’ve done everything I know to do to try to help him. I even say to myself that I’m not going to be a part of it but he always finds excuses to help me get him to the store to buy the alcohol because he will not drive after he has been drinking. That’s one good thing but I wonder how good it would be if I just got out of the way and let him take the fall for his own actions. We have a son now who is 16. He had a kidney transplant in 2013. I took care of him for three and a half years. It was hell doing that because I have no support from my husband. He would always get drunk and my son was on dialysis at home so there was a tube going from the machine to my son stomach and I had to stay up all night make sure my husband wouldn’t trip over the tubes. It was horrible. I wished I could say that he has changed but he hasn’t. He says he wants to quit drinking but never tries to stop. He’ll stop for a week and then he’ll go right back to it again. I know that I need to go to Al-Anon to find out where I am, figure out what I need to do. You would think after 25 years he would change but he hasn’t. Now he’s getting where he won’t even keep a job anymore. I’m so far behind on my house payment. I’m fixing to lose my house as I found out I only have one kidney and I fell and broke my leg and busted my knee cap so I can no longer do CNA work again. So now I’m on disability. Try living off of that. My son is also disabled because of his kidney and liver disease. I know one thing I’m only one person and I was not made to carry this kind of load. It has been a living nightmare for 25 years so you ladies think that a person’s going to change after after being with him three and a half and two years or one year, they’re not. You’re talking to somebody that knows the facts. Then my husband had a an affair with a woman on Facebook and always told him you broke the trust I won’t be with you anymore. He keeps doing the same things over and over. I’m to the point now that I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I have lost that person, she don’t exist anymore. Our daughter has left us she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me or him because of the hell she grew up with. I’m afraid my son’s going to do the same thing when he gets a chance. He’s going to run like hell, so I’m telling you for a fact an alcoholic is always going to be an alcoholic. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and father, go figure I end up marrying one. I know now that I’ve got to find out what it is that’s wrong with me that I keep hanging on to something that I know that will never going to change. He’s never going to change. I need to get a grip. I have no money to keep a roof over my head because I don’t have enough money to live on because I can’t depend on my alcoholic husband. He’s a leech that latches on and sucks the life right out of me. Yes, he’s a good person when he’s not drinking but are you willing to live with that? I did 25 years. I feel like I have wasted on a man that’s never going to change. I need to wake up, it’s never going to happen never never never, so I’m going to have to get the help that I need to change my stinking thinking. Yes, I will probably always love him, but now is way out of control. This is a very sad life I have lived. I have wasted it. It’s time for me to get a grip on my own life and stop worrying about his. I hope this helps somebody but I am going to seek out counseling and go to Al-Anon. It’s time to stop this madness. Thank you for reading my story I know it’s long but I felt like I had to tell the truth. My name is Suzanne S., we got married when I was 29 and now I’m 55 and nothing has changed. It’s gotten worse.

  2. Stacie August 2011 at 8:57 am

    This is my first time with Al-Anon. I want to help my friend get better, but at what cost to me? I have lost money, trust and time dealing with her faults. But she is sick and it will never get better if I sit back and watch her do the walk.

    I do not have the urge to know what she does in the closed meetings, but I will take all the chances to see what is going on in the open meetings. I do not want to be the one who seems to be nagging her to go. However, if I go to the open meetings and show her that I mean I want to get better by trying to stop being her enabler and get in a program as well.

    My big issue is when she tells me something I believe her and I do as she asks and never question it. I need to learn that the only stupid question is the ones you do not ask.

  3. JonR March 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I have been married 30 years, and my wife is an alcoholic. But I never came to that realization until these last 3 months, as we separated at the end of December. There were issues within our marriage I hadn’t had the strength to address, and with my dad’s passing in May of 2010, well some things just fell into place, and I finally addressed the problems we were having last October. We went to counseling, but I felt that our marriage was over. But I thought it was what she wanted me to do.

    All this to say that for the month of January, while living on her own, she countinued to drink, and I dare say I’d call her a functional alcoholic. But I never considered it to be that – I always thought she could just stop any time she wanted, though she had hidden it for years, and I had caught her at it. But communication within our relationship was non-existent, so nothing ever came of these times when we had a confrontation.

    It is extremely difficult for me right now; I believe our marriage is over, not due to the drinking, though that is a part of it for sure, but I also carry a huge guilt around as she now has been attending AA meetings, has a sponsor, and appears to be doing the ‘right’ thing. But now she has quit talking to me, changed the locks, and in essense refuses to communicate with me in any fashion. She has a good friend whose mother is an alcoholic, who has been there for her support. She tells me my wife is finding sobriety, and that she just needs time. I have no idea what she’s up to, how she’s doing or anything. It’s living hell, as I don’t hate her, I just simply am no longer in love with the woman I married. But I know at the time in her life when she most needs support, even as a friend, I can’t be there for her because she says I cause her too much pain – that hurts.

    I have considered Al-Anon at the request of a friend, to maybe help me understand what she’s going through. But I tell you, it’s very hard for me to accept that her decision to completely quit communicating with me, when we had agreed to try and remain friends throughout the counseling, is completely because of the alcohol. But I’m just now admitting that’s what she was.

    Reading the entry above struck a chord with me, because much of what she wrote I experienced, too, in our marriage. So I felt compelled to write. Not sure why, but I did. I’m looking for answers, but even if I do get answers and understanding, I don’t believe our marriage can be repaired. So, therein lies my struggle. Perhaps some day I’ll make my way to an Al-Anon meeting. Thank you for letting me express my feelings.

  4. Roberta November 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I am a very new member to Al-Anon and we must be all kindred spirits. It might as well have been me who did this recording. This story is exactly like mine. I am learning each day with the help of Al-Anon how to deal with all these issues one day, one hour, one minute at a time. I need to focus on me, my anger. My goodness, am I angry. I don’t want to be angry anymore.

  5. Lose Lose November 2010 at 2:49 am

    I have been with the same guy for six years. We have a three-year-old. He likes to drink every day and get very drunk. I think he finally realizes how bad it effects Everyone and Everything. He has stopped now for about a month. I honestly deep down inside fear the day he drinks again. I hope it doesn’t come.

  6. Unsure October 2010 at 9:23 am

    I have been in a relationship with my fiance for over 3 1/2 years. He proposed two years ago, but we have never gotten married because of his addiction issues. Like many of your stories, he will sometimes admit he has a problem and other times say it is ok for him to get drunk as long as he is nice. This misconception comes from the fact that he has abused me physically about 4 times since we have been together, and mentally and emotionally countless times.

    When I first met him, I believed we were just young and social and drank to have a good time. When it turned into him calling me names, kicking things, calling other girls when he couldn’t see straight, grabbing me by the collar, pinning me against things, pulling out guns and saying he was going to shoot himself, yelling at my mother, etc., I knew it was much more than that. I think using the term “functioning alcoholic” gives us an excuse to stay. It just means they can work and be sweet and giving and loving at times, but when their other love calls, no one can stop them.

    I am really sad right now because I broke up with him yesterday. After a perfect few weeks, talking about naming our children, putting each other first, and seeing the man that I want to marry back, he chose to get drunk again Saturday night at a football game. Once I saw his eyes turn hazy, I knew that I needed to stay away from him because I never know whether he will be sweet or mean. He was very sweet, even though he was falling down on chairs and slurring words in front of everyone.

    When I told him yesterday I couldn’t do this anymore, he said, “fine, I have tried really hard to make us work, and I am who I am. I don’t feel bad at all about what I did last night because I was nice to you, and getting drunk every once in a while is not that big of a deal. You are just punishing me for hurting you in the past and not moving forward.” He is still in denial after all this time, and I am so unsure about how or if to walk away from this man I love so much. I am just sure I shouldn’t have to have another attack to walk away.

  7. KidsFirst September 2010 at 9:57 am

    I have been married to a man for 2 years knowing he was an addict but in recovery, only to find out he has been doing drugs and pills for our whole relationship. We have a son and I have a son from a previous relationship. I walked in on him doing heroin in our bathroom and moved out the next day. Only to have his family blame me and threaten to kill me. He has threatened suicide and says he can only do this if I support him. He seems to think that 3 weeks is time to forgive. He was so addicted he has done really bad things criminal things. I love him but I just wanna move on.

  8. Burt September 2010 at 12:54 am

    Hello, I have been in Al-Anon for 6 months know. I would not give it up for anything. I can see that I have been affected by alcohol and the desease of alcoholism. I can see that the program and the support offered at the meetings are making a difference in my life. I highly recommend this program . Be patient , for the results might not come instantly. All the Best, Burt

  9. Cg September 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Al-Anon was recommended to me by my boyfriend, who has been sober for 18 mos. I took his advice and found a local meeting as well as buying Pocket Guide to The 12 Steps. I have co-dependent tendencies, so he thought it would be good for me. It will help me have a healthy relationship with myself as well as others. I focus too much on others and not on myself. I want to learn to refocus on my needs. I am learning that from my boyfriend.

  10. CLB July 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I have been with my fiance for 4 years. Like most people, I didn’t realize he was an alcoholic when we first met. Being only 21 at the time, I loved going to bars with him and hanging out with friends drinking. I realized 8 months into the relationship, when he had fallen down a flight of concrete stairs and I was sitting in Intensive Care with him, that he was an alcoholic. After that experience, he quit drinking for 2 years. And things improved.

    Our relationship was great; we communicated well; and we were very much in love. Eventually, he decided he could control his drinking, as long as he didn’t drink beer, which had been his drink of choice. One drink at dinner eventually turned to 2-3 shots of vodka every night. Four months ago, before I knew how much he was drinking, he tried to attack me. He was completely blacked out and was calling me his ex-wife’s name and accusing me of things she had done. Eventually, he came to, and the apologizing and empty promises began. He wasn’t going to drink again, and he proposed 2 weeks later.

    A week and a half ago, he started fighting with me again. The rage that comes out of him is unbelievable. The person he turns into is unfamiliar. The next day, he was very depressed and made an appointment with a counselor. Then the very next day, he was in a rage again. He got in a 3 car head on collision, and when I arrived at the scene, he was being arrested for DUI. I didn’t even know he was drinking again.

    When he called me from jail, he told me that if he got out, not to pick him up b/c he was gonna kill me and kill himself. I packed my stuff (we live together, which makes it harder to leave), and went to stay with a friend. Eventually he calmed down, and when he was OR’d the next day, I picked him up and dropped him off at home. That car ride was his lowest point. He cried like a baby all the way home. I stayed gone for 2 more days, but after he promised to get help, I came home to support him.

    Fast forward exactly 1 week later: he attends a 4 hour Chemical Dependency program 6 days/wk. He goes to an AA meeting every night, one of which I attended with him. He’s very excited about his sobriety, but I think to myself that it’s only been a week! I’m so MAD! I can’t believe he LIED to me for so long. I can’t believe he could hurt me like this. And I can’t believe that I was stupid enough to believe him when he said he wasn’t drinking.

    I feel so alone because we have always been able to communicate so well, and now I feel like he is so fragile, that I can’t even talk about life’s normal day-to-day problems. I can’t talk to my family or my friends, because they constantly tell me to run away and never look back.

    I went to my first Al-Anon meeting today, hoping to feel better, but I actually feel worse. The meeting topic was self-esteem. I have no problem with self-esteem. I have a great job, a college degree (which I worked and paid for), and I am relatively successful for 25 years old. Unlike most of the people who spoke in the meeting today, I didn’t grow up in an alcoholic household. It wasn’t always a stable household, but it wasn’t a bad childhood.

    I don’t understand why I should have to make amends with people that I have hurt (one of the 12 Steps). I know that I am not perfect, and I am sure I have hurt people; but this situation that I am dealing with right now is in NO WAY my fault, or caused by some wrong that I need to make right. I don’t feel as if “finding a power higher than yourself” will help me. I went to Catholic school my entire life. I have had God shoved down my throat since I was a toddler, and look where it has gotten me.

    When I came out of the meeting and met my fiance (who was attending the AA meeting next door), he was devastated that I was not impressed with my first Al-Anon meeting. We ended up arguing, and he told me that he wanted to drink so badly that he could “taste it.” I wasn’t mean about it. I didn’t say I hated it and was never going back. I simply said that I didn’t think that everything that was discussed applied to me. He seems to have gotten over it in the last few hours, but I still feel so alone, angry, and upset. I can’t stop crying.

    I feel like I am so concentrated on his healing, that I can’t heal from all the lies and loss of trust that his actions have caused me. Everything in my body is screaming at me to run away. But I love him with every fiber of my being. And I know this person that is here now, and has been here apparently for the last few months, is not him. I’m going to another Al-Anon meeting (a different one) tomorrow, and to Family Day at his program the next day. I really want to help him with his sobriety, but I’m scared that I am losing myself in the process.

  11. Jen July 2010 at 2:53 am

    I have been with my partner for 3 1/2 years and living together for 2 years, and we have known each other for the last 16 years. Our lives took different paths. I married another man and we had 2 children, divorced, and he also had his past with his partners.

    The past 6 months have been pure hell, as he started to become a man that we didn’t know. He drinks at least a case of beer a day, and if that runs out, he’ll find whatever hard liquor there is in the house and drink that too. The real sad thing is there is nothing that I can ever seem to do “right” and it is always my fault if things go wrong or it’s the kids’ fault (who are 10 and 4)—and they don’t do anything that warrants his wrath.

    I never realized how horrible I could feel when the man that I love turned into something that I hated and feared. My children and I were always walking on egg-shells around him, in order not to upset him. But what kind of life is that? Nothing could make his mood change once it was set, and it was always set to “anger”. He blames us for all of his problems, and NEVER accepts responsibility for anything that he says or does. NEVER!!! And that is very frustrating. He can’t even see that he has a drinking problem.

    The kids and I love the person that he used to be, but not the person that he has become. I am going to find the nearest Al-Anon meeting and start attending. I am tired of going through this alone and feeling helpless.

  12. Janina R. June 2010 at 10:29 am

    I loved hearing this story, and reading everyone else’s. This makes me feel like I am not so alone. I attend Al Anon regularly, usually 2-3 times per week. I have a sponsor, and am working my 1st Step. Yet, for some reason, I always still feel so alone. No matter how many people I’m spending time with who care about me, at the end of the day I go home and I feel completely alone.

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years now, he is my first real love. I haven’t grown up around alcoholism, but I still act as though I have. All the symptoms are there, I’m insecure, feel alone, am scared to share my feelings, and always worry about everyone but myself.

    My boyfriend and I immediately fell in love, though there was something odd about him, and I found out 5 months into our relationship that he was an addict, I’ve never been around any drugs so I was clueless. I felt like we were too close to call it off, and felt like he deserved a chance, so he went into treatment soon thereafter for 3 months. He stayed clean for 6 months altogether. He didn’t have a program when he got out of treatment and quickly relapsed. Over the course of the last 2 years he’s been in and out of soberiety, more so, out of it. For a while, as he recently told me, he was even dealing! He lost his job last summer, and never got another one, he was too depressed to do anything other than sit around in his apartment and use. I helped him, loved him and supported him always.
    He went into treatment again 3 months ago for 2 months and now lives in a sober-living. Things have been OK, but not great. I live with my parents, who disapprove, so he’s not allowed in our home. He doesn’t like to spend time at the sober living, so we never have any alone time.

    I’m young, 22 and he’s 24. He had just passed 90 days of sobriety.

    But here’s the problem, he’s SO selfish. If any given day he doesn’t want to do anything, he just won’t answer his phone for hours. He constantly bails on our plans. I tell him I need his moral support more, my Grandpa just died 2 weeks ago, and I then got into a car accident last weekend. I told him I needed his support, he says that’s stupid. My feelings are always invalid to him, whether he realizes it or not. He says he’s there, but he’s not. I broke up with him yesterday… But now I’m having my regrets. Boy, am I lost………

  13. Cheryl May 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I am glad that these podcasts exist. My brother is a functioning alcoholic. I just realized it this week. He lives in Dallas. I knew he had family problems, a difficult marriage and a son on drugs. Also, he seemed never to cope well with the loss of our mother in 1995, after her 6-year bout with leukemia.

    My mother was my brother’s anchor. At some point either after her diagnosis or after her death, he began drinking to cope. He is in upper management at a company. His drinking doesn’t seem to affect his ability to work. He drinks after work and on the weekends. He prefers drink to meals. He had a heart attack in 1/2010. I went to Dallas to be with him. He returned to work a week later. Over the last 15 years, my brother’s physical appearance was sometimes disturbing. I attributed it entirely to stress. My brother was a high school athlete and played sports in college. He finished college with academic honors and was sociable and loving. The marriage and financial strains took its toll on his psyche. He and his wife divorced in 12/2009 to everyone’s deep relief. However, right after we returned home from his by-pass surgery, he began drinking again.

    I still didn’t let myself think the word “alcoholic”. I was hoping he’d stop for his own health. Spending more time with him, I found his personality beligerent, irrational, and with a profound disregard of any good, financial, physical, or emotional offers you bestowed upon him. He would ask for help, but raged about you providing it. I was confused and realized that while I was there he was trying to lighten up on the drink, but it made him insane to be around.

    It was difficult for me to have him slow down for us to just have a meal. The meal calmed his anxiety level, only to start up again around the next meal. I advised him that eating regularly serves to bring your anxiety level down. Good advice, I thought. When it was time to eat the next meal, it was a battle. I stayed with him about 2 weeks and found that I needed to go to the emergency room myself for chest pains. Even then I didn’t want to think the word “alcoholic”.

    My brother has not filed his income taxes since 2003. The IRS is about to levy on him. He prepared one tax return since they contacted him in 2/2010. I offered to help him. He phoned one day and said, “I’m coming this weekend to use your Turbo Tax programs to do my taxes.” I asked, “When are the returns due?” They’re all due this Tuesday. He would drive down Friday night and return to Dallas on Sunday. Foolishly, I offered to fly him down. I wanted to rest and complete these returns without chaos and with rest and food. He declined. He would drive down and drive back accumulating 8 hours that could have been used on the return preparations. I explained his behavior and said that I could only work with him if he flew down and we had dinner and rested Friday evening. He said, “No one tells him what to do.” I said this was for my benefit, because I worked during the week. He further declined. I offered to take off Monday since there would not be so much pressure. He said he had to drive back Sunday and he would not take Monday off. So I declined to help after much bickering and screaming.

    That was 2 months ago. He requested an extension to file them. Then I got another call requesting he come down for Memorial Day weekend, and we would spend my holiday working on his tax returns. I declined, because I was gathering some sanity back into my life. I suggested H&R Block to resolve his difficulties. He said, “I have my own plans. I want to come down and visit with my children.” Alarmed, I said, “You don’t have time to vacation.” His returns were due by 6/1st. I declined again and blocked any further phone calls. He began to text me. I read none. I began having difficulty sleeping, crying, worrying, obsessive thoughts, and problems concentrating on my own job.

    That’s when the word “alcoholic” came to the forefront. I searched the website and found Al-Anon. Thank you for having these podcasts available. I needed to listen to these people who share the similar difficulties. I am afraid that all this stress after heart surgery will kill my brother. Yet, I can’t do anything to “fix” him. All the time I have been simply pacifying his behavior. I thought that he had reached his bottom when he had his heart attack. He hasn’t, yet, but I reached mine this week.

  14. Christina May 2010 at 11:46 pm

    When my fiance’ and I first got together, we used to drink together socially with friends. Then for some reason I just decided to stop drinking, except for maybe one drink every now and then. Well, last October he got a new job and his boss is a raging alcoholic. Ever since he started working for him, he’s started drinking more and more. At first it was just a few beers at night, then it gradually went up (to about a case a night), and he started drinking earlier and earlier.

    It’s now to the point where he wakes up and goes to grab a beer, and if there is no beer then he’s bitching about not having any. And as if that’s not bad enough, he also drinks pretty much whatever liquor he can get his hands on–vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc. When he’s drunk he just becomes such a . . . It makes me so incredibly upset, that I just don’t know what to do anymore. When I confronted him about it, he said that alcohol is what makes him happy. Last week he went to a bar and got so drunk that he passed out at the bar, and his phone had died earlier in the night, so I was freaking out all night long because he didn’t come home. When I confronted him about it later, he just laughed and said, “Yeah, that was pretty funny.” Anytime I ask him just a simple question, instead of “yes” or “no,” he has to scream and yell at me.

    I am at my wits end with all of this. He refuses to go to counseling or AA meetings, and every time I try to talk to him about it he says that I am just being a nag. I love him so incredibly much–I just don’t like his constant drinking. I can’t handle the pain and heartache anymore. I feel like I’m completely losing it.

  15. Jenny R May 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I have been in a relationship with my fiance for 5 years now. He is a functioning alcoholic and problem gambler. We have an eight-month-old son together. Like most people, when I entered the relationship I didn’t realise the extent of his problems. It took me a year of living with him to find out he was in a large amount of debt. I only found out when I found an eviction notice and asked him about it.

    I struggle with worry, anxiety and feelings of hurt on a daily basis. Almost every night I fall asleep crying. More and more I feel angry. I love him and I know he loves me. He has just started getting help, but I feel it is too late, I am so damaged and cannot trust him financially or emotionally.

    I miss myself, I miss being optimistic, I want my son to know the real me, not the worn out, emotionally exhausted person I have become at 25. I know he wants to change, but I am powerless. Today after reading through all of your comments I have made the choice to attend a local Al-Anon meeting. I hope that I will gain the strength to make my life what it should be. I cannot keep putting my partner’s needs first.

  16. Henrriette May 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Your story was moving. I am currently in that situation with this person whom I deeply care about who is an addict, and I am going to go to Al-Anon to get support. Thanks for your story.

  17. Kristina May 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I am in a situation where my husband is in rehab right now, and I am having a hard time being away from him. I need to learn how to deal with this and I also need to learn how to help him with his recovery. I have not attended an Al-Anon meeting yet, but I am very hopeful that it will be able to help me and my husband fix our relationship.

  18. TRESSA April 2010 at 10:47 am

    I have had an on and off relationship with the first man I feel in love with for now 10 years. We meet when I was in college and feel head over heels for him. During out first year of dating he told me he was a drug addict, but was in recovery. When I found out the extend of it, it was too late and he ended up in jail for drug related charges.

    Now most people would have left and ran off without looking back, however I was stupid and ran back to him right when he got out (he has a great way with words). Anyways by my senior year of college I had two beautiful children with him and he continued to use and drink. I was smart for a while and did not see or communicate with him for 2 years, though he did end up finding me and told me how great he was doing and he was in A.A. and really working with steps.

    Forward to today, he manipulated his way to come live with the kids and myself again. Again at first, going to A.A. getting a sponser and working the steps. Than slowly but surely he laxed off going to meetings not callin his sponser back. Next thing I know my liquor that I foolishly left in my apt was gone and now cause he can’t get his medication hes drinking everyday, though just to him, its just a couple beers a day to relax. I know better that he should not be drinking and he just getting worse again.

    I have had this weekend when he left his family to go off with a drinking buddy. He hasn’t come home and I really do not care. I want him gone, I want to be healty again, money, emotionally, physically, I am beat down! I am going to an Al-Anon meeting tonight and trying to get my best friend here (we are in the same sitution, her baby’s daddy is his drinking buddy here). I am also going to make amend with my family that I have hurt too by going back to him each time. I will never have the life I want for my kids and I with him. The addiction is in full swing and I am not going to be here to soften his fall.

  19. Angela A. March 2010 at 10:15 am

    I am a member of Al-Anon who has just discovered the podcasts and comments. I am very moved by the honesty of the sharings of you ladies on this comment thread.

    Let me offer you the HOPE of Al-Anon!

    As you can see from the stories shared here, we are all walking the same path. Thankfully Al-Anon offers us a way of living that we can embrace one day at a time, in any way that we are comfortable with. Others who have walked the path before us are waiting at an Al-Anon meeting to share with you their experience, strength, and hope.

    I encourage you to take the leap and go to an Al-Anon meeting! Keep an open mind, listen, share if you like, or if you are more comfortable you can just listen. Read our literature or other information on our website; it will help you understand the program.

    Take a list of member phone numbers with you when you leave the meeting so that you can reach out to others between meetings. Talking with new members is an important part of MY RECOVERY FROM THE EFFECTS OF LIVING WITH ALCHOLISM.

    It is true, you really don’t have to be alone anymore. Each of us has a choice to live in the PROBLEM or live in the SOLUTION. Al-Anon offers a solution — it’s free and it’s anonymous and it is there for YOU AND FOR ME — TODAY!

    I send you BIG HUGS and much HOPE.

  20. Georgia March 2010 at 12:00 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years. It has been almost 2 years since he started drinking and doing prescription drugs. In Oct. of 2009 he was laid off and has had a hard time finding a job comparable to his last job. In December he started making comments about not wanting to be around anymore, that he was a loser and a crappy provider.

    On December 11 he came home from an AA meeting totally loaded and collapsed onto the bathroom floor, barely breathing. I had to call 911. He was hospitalized and placed into behavioral health for a little over a week. He goes to therapy once every 3 weeks and claims he goes to AA 3-4 times a week at noon.

    He says he wants to stay clean but struggles with life and the fact that he is still without a job. Since his hospitalization he has relapsed 6 times doing anything from drinking to prescription pills to even smoking pot. I find theses things hidden throughout the house and my children have found things too. He says he goes to AA meetings everyday at noon, but he has told me so many lies that it makes it so difficult to believe in him anymore.

    Tonight, he came home from helping a friend out and he smelled of alcohol. He tells me he feels bad for drinking and admits to not being strong enough. He also told me that when he talked to his therapist about his relapses he was told “it is normal.” I just want to feel normal and have a normal life, but somehow I feel that I am fighting a losing battle.

  21. DONNA March 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I have been with my boyfriend for 1 yr. He is right now on a 24 day binge after going to AA for 30 days–alcohol abuse counseling. He is suicidal every day and calls me to tell me. I’m a mess–emotionally, financially and spiritually. I have attended several AA meetings with him. Where I live there are no Al-Anon meetings close by.

    He is 49 years old and has been drinking for 30+ years–I love him but I need to heal myself and move on.

    He said he’s not willing to stop anymore. I am so torn up.

  22. Manda February 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years. When I met him his great grandma would constantly give me talks on how I should tell him he can’t be with me if he drinks. At the time I blew it off, I didn’t want to see the signs. At first I didn’t realize he was drinking and driving with me in the car. I think the day I finally understood the severity of the problem was when he drank from 10 am one after another till 7 at night while we were at the the Long Beach Grand Prix.

    I was crying to him to stop and he didn’t care. I finally realized that my safety, my feelings, did not matter. He stopped for a month and started again. Every time I see him with a beer in hand I start to loathe him. I feel like I’m not good enough for him to stop. I don’t know if Al-Anon can help. I guess I’m just scared.

  23. Michelle February 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I have been dating my boyfriend for about 6 months. When I met him, he had just completed 3 months of sobriety (which he thought he could never do). For the first 3 months of our relationship he was sober and I completely fell in love with the man that no one had ever seen in him. He is an ABSOLUTELY amazing person. The problem is about three months ago he began drinking again, slowly at first and now I suspect it’s almost every night.

    At first, he told me that he didn’t want to go down this path again, but now he thinks it’s all OK. He carries a lot of baggage from the horrible life he’s had and is such an incredibly sweet man despite all of that. I hate his drinking and I worry about him, but most of all I hate the time that he doesn’t spend with me because he is preoccupied. I refuse to give up, I love him too much. I think that perhaps I should try an Al-Anon meeting, but I guess I’m kind of hesitant and don’t know if it will help.

  24. wantinghappiness January 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I’ve been in a relationship for a little over 3 yrs with a guy that is a drug addict. If he doesn’t have drugs he will replace that with alcohol. He OD about a week ago and almost died. He has lied so much to me about his habits. I knew he was using but I didn’t know the extent of it until he OD.

    I am not myself , and haven’t been for a long time. I know this is a very unheathly relationship for me. I know my life is consumed by worrying about him and his addiction. He now has nowhere to live. Almost all of his family n friends are shutting him out. Besides the people that have the same addiction.

    He is severely sick and wouldn’t take the help the hospital offered. He signed himself out and wouldn’t stay to get better. He thinks he can do this on his own. He has been battling his addiction for maybe 15yrs. It’s just completely out of control. I love him and care for him so much.

    I want out but always seem to go back because he promises to get help and stop. But how many times do I have to deal with the fact of him dangering himself or others around him. I’m afraid of him when he is wanting to get high. I’m afraid to leave, thinking he might get even more depressed and OD again. It has affected my life to where I barely talk to my friends or family, have called off work because I’m so depressed. I pray every day for the strength to move on and get my life back!

  25. werj January 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I feel the same like everybody else. My husband is a functioning alcoholic. He does not get mean when is drunk but it does hurt me so bad to see him like this. I don’t have kids and I don’t even know if I want to have kids w/ him when I see him drunk. I feel lonely because I can’t tell anyone. I can’t tell my family, friends.

  26. bethany January 2010 at 10:13 am

    My husband is a functioning alcoholic and we have been married for 5 years and have a 4-year-old daughter. He is in total denial about his drinking. Our marriage has gone further and further down hill with every year. I have threatened to leave and I have asked him nicely to stop, and he makes excuses for everything he does. He does not do anything that does not involve drinking. He actually believes that drinking beer does not count as alcohol.

    There is no intimacy in our marriage, and no communication. I truly believe he is a good man, but with a sickness. But I have come to a point that I can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Parts of me want to leave and just erase this mistake I have made. I have tremendous guilt for entering into a marriage and having a child with someone I knew to be an alcoholic. The more he drinks, the more hurtful he is towards me. He says things like, “Well, you’re fat. Just stop eating and I’ll stop drinking.”

    I feel trapped, confused, sad, angry, hurt and alone most of the time. I thought that maybe if I just ignored it, the problem would go away. A friend thought maybe I should attend an Al-Anon meeting. I am scared to go because that means this whole thing is real, but after listening to this podcast maybe there is some hope for me to learn how to deal with this and find the strength to stand up for myself and my daughter.

  27. milinda January 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I’m with my ex who I know goes and drinks every chance she gets. I’m not sure she is even faithful, and it hurts so much–the things she says to me when she gets in her moods. I’m working my program harder to see where I could change me to let go and let God. I let her effect me in too many ways and I even blew up at her. I’m starting to have my own impulsive urges to spend and drink, and I just want to forget all the hurt and pain. I can’t believe the person I let myself be without my program. Thanks to the serenity prayer and my program, I’m functioning one day at a time, slowly sometimes, even one second at a time. Hopefully.

  28. confused spouse November 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I find myself very frustrated. I have a “functional alcoholic” husband who seems to be becoming less functional. I would say for about three years things have been progressively getting worse. It seems to take more and more vodka to kill his pain.

    My daughter is a senior in high school and doesn’t even live with us, because she is tired of putting up with it. This situation has really torn me apart. I feel like maybe, one day, he will change. So far, it seems to be a lot of empty promises. It started out like someone else said above, they promise to change and not drink, but it doesn’t seem to work.

    I also have another child who is a teenager and very tired of all of this! I feel like I am stuck in this rut with so many decisions to make and don’t know what to do!

    I feel like I have given my husband every opportunity to change. I have warned him and warned him.
    I just want him to get help and change. He tried going through a behavioral-health program and ended up quitting.

    I am very frustrated and just want a better way of life! But I don’t feel like I want to leave him, because if I do I feel like he couldn’t be trusted to be faithful to me.

    I come to this website today, because I have many people saying, “If you’re not going to leave, you need to at least go to the Al-Anon meetings.”

  29. happily ever ....???? November 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I have been in Al-Anon for almost three years. I can definitely see changes in my behavior, but still have issues with letting go. My husband is an addict and has had his share of relapses in the last three years, which is how long we have been married also. This last time I was convinced I had enough and wanted to get a divorce.

    The problem is that when he comes back and tells me it’s going to be all better, I believe him–as much as I don’t want to, I do. I’m not sure if he has been faithful to me when he goes on these drunken and drug binges, and it’s starting to drive me insane. I want to know some examples of letting go and letting God. I say it over and over but it doesn’t seem to help because it’s only words. I’m not actually putting that slogan into use. I’d like some ideas on how to work this slogan.

  30. insane sister November 2009 at 8:10 pm

    I have been in Al-Anon for a while. I am having issues with my family.

  31. west texas welders wife November 2009 at 1:01 am

    For five years I have been married to a man who has a serious drinking problem. He is mentally abusive on a daily basis–when he is drinking. He is a “functioning alcoholic” and still makes about $160,000 a year. When I met him we liked to drink beer and have a good time. Now, every time he has more than three drinks (he drinks whiskey now) he gets very mean and tells me I’m not worthy of him. I admit I haven’t been the best “housewife” the last few years, but I just don’t have the energy to do anything after dealing with him.

    I have three children (not his)that I feel like I am constantly having to apoligize to for his behavior. I feel like (and so does his family) that if I leave him he will drink himself to death. Not over a period of time, but maybe all in one or two nights.

    I love him dearly, so I’m at a total loss about what to do. My children have had to listen to him on his drunken rages and I don’t feel like I can help them recover if I keep putting up with this disease. I still like to have a beer or two now and then, but every time I do he throws it in my face that I shouldn’t be preaching. I quit drinking at all for a while and he was just as mean, so I don’t know where to go from here.

  32. Renea October 2009 at 11:04 am

    I have fallen in love with an alcoholic who is nine years into his sobriety. He protects his sobriety very well and I admire his strength. Most people would run for the hills as soon as they learned of the alcoholism. We do not reside together. I live in another state. He is the leader of the A.A. meetings and I go with him to listen and learn what I can when we are together. Although I cannot wear his shoes, I am willing to walk this path with him.

    We have been seeing each other for three months now. I asked him if he had developed any “feelings” for me, he replied “yes” and said these feelings were very confusing and it would take time for him to sort them out. I don’t understand.

  33. Laura August 2009 at 3:44 pm

    My sister and her son, age 8, have just moved into our home. It was impossible for her to pay her bills, so my husband, 3 girls, and I concented to her moving in with us. I knew her son needed to be in a safe, stable, and consistent environment, but whether or not she was able to relinquish independence, privacy, and secrecy, he was and will be with me. She did move in, but dealing with and detatching from her is a tremendous task. I will be attending an Al-Anon meeting for the first time. God will help me to walk by faith and not by sight.

  34. Naomi June 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Your story gives me some sort of hope. I live with a functioning alcoholic. I have never been to an Al-Anon meeting. It was suggested by my counselor to attend a meeting. It will help me deal with living with an alcoholic.

    I’ve focused on everything else but myself. Now it is time to focus on “ME.”
    Your story is truly inspirational.

  35. Barb May 2009 at 10:50 am

    Erika is very fortunate to find Al-Anon so that she can learn that a healthy relationship is important to her well-being and her life. An addicted person who is not willing to seek help cannot share a healthy relationship with their loved one. Not because they don’t wish to, but the active addiction makes it impossible.

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