Why did we come to Al-Anon?

“Introduction of Al-Anon Meeting” podcasts: 1) Why did we come to Al-Anon?


2017-07-27T17:39:53+00:00February 28, 2017|Categories: First Steps|


  1. Andrea October 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I’ve been told by so many people that I need to check into Al-Anon. I’ve been resistant because I was angry that I, ME, the one without the addiction, would be required to do 12 Steps. Why should I have to “be punished”? Well, I am finally open to the idea. So here I am, trying to figure out where to start, which meeting to go to. I am just going to pick one and go. Baby steps…

    My husband and I have been married 8 years this month. Dated 4 years before that. He’s such a good person. A really GOOD person.

    We were in our early 30’s when hanging out with friends and drinking was something fun we both enjoyed. It wasn’t until he started becoming “sloppy” that I realized there was a serious problem. We rarely go out with friends anymore. Over the years his alcohol addiction has been wearing on me. I try, and really am, a pretty good wife. I try to be supportive but eventually your hopes wane each time he promises to be better and you come home to huge disappointment. Is it just me or is it “normal” that they can do well for a time, then as soon as you tell them how proud of them you are, or start sharing with your close friends that he’s doing so well, that it all goes to Hell?? It gets old hearing the same ole lies, the same old excuses and apologies and promises to be better. He’s a good liar but I am a good detective and catch him in them often. I came home from a week-long solo vacation once to find 10, TEN, bottles buried deep in the outside trash bin. Vodka is his drink of choice. He thinks people can’t smell it, I think.

    It’s only been physical one time and it was pretty minor. That isn’t cool…but what bothers me more is that my ROCK, my husband whom I love so much and have always been able to depend on, has put us in financial straights, leaves in the middle of the night while I’m asleep to wander around because he can’t sleep, received a DUI that he’s proud to announce was expunged due to an oversight by the police officer, hasn’t been able to hold a job for the last year, blathers on with repetitious nonsensical conversation, and let’s not even talk about our sex life…

    Thankfully, between the ultimatum I was basically forced to give him in hopes that he’d want to get clean to save his life and our marriage, and his close family and friends, he entered rehab a couple days ago. I am currently full of hope to get the man I once knew to be a strong person, a doer, a smart guy, a happy guy, back. While he’s in working on himself, I am putting on my big girl panties and doing the things I should have been doing all along. I hope this goes the way I imagine it. I’m not blind, though. I know there is a chance he will relapse and it could all be for naught. In the meantime, I feel better knowing I’m, ME, I’m working on myself to become a stronger, more focused, educated person, step by step. I am so grateful to have a good support system.

    Thank you, everyone who has shared here. It’s crazy to see how similar all of our situations have been. We are not alone. <3

  2. Karla August 2018 at 6:37 am

    I have been married for 13 years and dated my husband for 3 years before marriage. In the beginning he drank occasionally but always to excess. He was not mean then and was usually fun. He’s a functioning alcoholic. His drinking progressed over the years until he no longer has a job and has not worked for several years. I have never thought I could make him quit or get better in anyway. I went through therapy many years ago for myself before I met my h husband and I understand I can only work on and be in charge of my life. His recovery or not depends solely on him. I understand that I can’t control his drinking. I cannot make him better but I need to detach and leave. The problem is I still see the caring, loving man I met and married all those years ago. He has good days. We have a child together and she is old enough to know daddy drinks and when he does you need to be careful or he will be mean verbally and lately in physical ways by throwing things or pushing. I feel I can no longer trust him with my child. The few times I have left him alone with our child I come home to him drunk or passed out. I am here at the suggestion of a lawyer. I need the courage to leave my husband realizing that I may very well love him till the day I die. Anger has long left me and I just feel sad that I see no other choice because if I stay I just enable the behavior but I worry if I go will he be okay. I need to let go of what I feel is my responsibility for him. He is an adult and can make his own choices. I need to focus on my own happiness and taking care of my child. I need to have courage to let go.

  3. Shirley June 2018 at 4:42 pm

    I have been wanting to go to Al-Anon for a long time now. My problem is that my husband usually starts drinking the minute he gets home from work (he hides vodka in garage and drinks it in garage before coming in and thinks I do not know but I do) and he is usually very drunk by 6:30 pm. I have 3 small children and I feel they will not be safe in the home with him drunk. He is not physically abusive but he has been short tempered with them when drunk, and I am always there to step in and keep them safe from him cursing at them, but even if he is happy drunk, if he is drunk he will be neglectful since he cannot watch them right and it would just be wrong of me to let my kids alone with a drunk and he seems rarely to be ever sober anymore. He sometimes tries to cook when drunk and if I am there I am able to stop fires, (he once melted a spatula and once set a wooden spoon on fire) and also he might drive drunk with them since he has done this in past when I have tried to attend Bible Study in evening once a week, I later found out he drove with them in car drunk. Do any meetings have child care?

  4. Kris January 2018 at 5:15 pm

    I’ve never been to an Al-Anon meeting but I think it might help me. I feel very alone. My son is addicted to drinking and smoking pot. They have a new baby 3 months old and he kicked his girlfriend out with the baby after drinking a bottle. She sat in her car for hours and said she might move out. She smelled like pot last week when I picked her up. My son is 30 and this has been going on to a certain degree for 10 yrs. He is excluding me from his life and saying mean, horrible insulting things to me and I feel cut off. Sometimes I say mean things back to him. I love my grandchildren and I worry about my grandson who is getting older and who just told me that daddy kicked him…I don’t know if Al-Anon helps for drugs too but I hope it might help me stop trying to react to his using and drinking and to live a better life for me.

  5. Carol E. August 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hi. My name is Carol and I have been a very grateful and long time member of Al-Anon. I came to Al-Anon to find out how to get my husband, at the time, sober. I wanted desperately to save my marriage and would have done anything to save it.

    They told me not to make any major decisions in my life for 1 year, that my thinking would change. After 10 months in the program I knew I had to save myself. I kept asking when would I know was the right time to take action. They kept telling me, you will know without a doubt when the time is right.

    After another drunken night, my husband tried to kill me with a knife. I called the police and they came to the house and I asked if they would please stay until I got some things together so I could leave. I asked my 2 daughters age 13 and 15 if they wanted to come with me. I knew he wouldn’t hurt them. My youngest chose to come with me.

    Everything happened just as I was told it would. I knew without a doubt to get out of there or I would be dead. Next morning I went into the courthouse and got a restraining order. That was the beginning of a new life for me. I didn’t work and I didn’t know how I was going to survive, but I had enough program to know that my hp would take care of me and my girls.

    Since then, both of my daughters are admitted alcoholics and drug addicts. One lives in Florida in recovery and the other is incarcerated because of her drinking. I have learned many things in Al-Anon, but most of all I know I don’t have to be alone with this family disease. I was told no matter what happens to the alcoholics that I would have a life of my own as long as I keep coming back and sharing my esh–experience, strength, and hope. Thank you for letting me into your life.

  6. Unsupportive? December 2010 at 5:45 pm

    My fiance and I have been together seven years. He’s an alcoholic and went into rehab a few days ago. The place he went to does family counseling and Al-Anon stuff, but I’m really not interested in this. I don’t want to go to counseling and I don’t want to sit through their “educational classes”. I’m a psychology student and know quite a bit about addiction.

    So, how bad is it that I don’t want to do this? I don’t want to be the un-supportive partner, but I seriously just get angry thinking about having to do this stuff.

  7. barb August 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I recognized my sickness as being codependent. I know it’s time to let the alcoholic do what he’s going to, whether he hits bottom and gets help or not. It’s not my burden to carry anymore.

    I suffer from anxiety attacks, I don’t sleep, and I feel sick to my stomach daily. I am stressing my heart, shortening my life, and limiting my quality of life. My kids deserve better.

    Al-Anon is the way that I can heal and also help others heal.

  8. kmb August 2010 at 8:32 pm

    My daughter is a 30 year old addict. I love her very much, but her addiction controls our lives. It might be simple to cut her off, but the twist to all this is she has 3 beautiful children, my grandchildren; a 6 year old daugher and twin 19 month old boys, and she lives with me. There are also two different fathers involved, neither of which would be someone who I would want to raise my grandchildren. She lies, she steals money from me, her money “disappears”. I am depressed, and find myself hating to come home from work because of the situation. This is not the way I want to live the rest of my life, I need to find some peace and learn to deal with the situation that I keep hoping will improve, and just enjoy my grandkids.

  9. M July 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This has all been very interesting and helpful. I don’t feel very safe or anonymous attending an Al-Anon meeting in my small community because the community is small and I am fairly well known. I would be interested to know what some long-timers have to say about that. I have really enjoyed reading the posts and would certaining attend a meeting if I could feel “safe” about my privacy.

    My story is I have been married for 6 months to a man who I have recently found out is an alcoholic. I am 46 and he is 50. We did not live together prior to marriage and our courtship was fabulous! Our marriage is great when there is no alcohol involved. He drinks only about once a month, but it happens while I am at work, so I get to come home to him drunk off his butt (I am the bread winner of the house–my choice).

    He will not admit he has been drinking; even the next day he won’t admit it. My problem is the lies. I have lost all trust in him. He has driven a vehicle one time that I know of, drunk. I won’t tolerate it. I know people who have lost loved ones to drunk drivers and I will not be a party to it. I will not accept the guilt he tries to throw at me when he has been drinking, nor will I accept the blame for his drinking.

    Even though this marriage is only 6 months old and I do love him dearly, l love myself immensely and will not lose myself in this disease. I made him leave the house to give me time to think about this situation and my mind is made up. Either he chooses sobriety and honesty and ultimately our marriage, or I choose myself and will file for divorce.

  10. Pamela October 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I was married to an alcoholic for 27 years. The mental abuse felt physical. He was what they call a functioning alcoholic, a good provider–material wise. Now I’m married again for four years. Why didn’t I see this, or didn’t I want to see this?

    My husband is a drug addict and alcoholic. He has been off drugs about 60 days and just entered a 60-day, in-house program through the Veterans Hospital. The problem is I have no faith he will quit drinking. Of course, he says he will. You know the whole spiel, but I have a good brain. I just don’t always use it.

    I honestly feel I don’t want him back because I believe he will eventually start drinking again–slowly, of course, but I don’t want it in my life at all. I’m so tired and need to work on me. How do you choose between the realistic brain and the cord to the heart? I love him and I believe he loves me, but the addiction in his brain is a stronger pull than our love. I don’t know what to do.

  11. Leann September 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I am in a relationship with a wonderful caring man who is addicted to meth. He relapses every couple of months for a night. I feel like I live in a box. I rush home from work always wondering will this be the day. I believe he does a pinch occasionally. I can see he is not acting as usual. He gets mad when I talk about it. I tell him this is not my addiction, it is yours.

    I have been through this before. I am an addict attracter. I know it is my choice. Both of my ex husbands were addicted in one way or another. I have seen the control, anger, rage, cross-addiction. WHY !!!!!

    I’m not sure why I choose to spend the one life I have in fear of relapse. I’m tired. I have a stable job, my kids are grown, and here I am in my 40’s not feeling as free as I like. It is so hard to ignore the signs and feeling the disapointment of my man’s relapses. He lies about it. I can tell when he is high. Man, he tries to hide it so bad. I am going to start going to meetings again. It has been 20 years since I attended Al-Anon. I think the on-line forum will help me.

  12. hopeful but scared July 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I am feeling like this may help me. I have been with my husband for 14 years, and drinking has always been in the picture. I never really found it to be a problem until more recently, when his rages or behaviors have impacted me. However, looking back, it has always been a problem, just something I never really faced.

    Recently I asked for a separation due to his drinking. Actually, I put it out there as “stop drinking or we are through.” I know I gave an ultimatum and hoped he would choose to get help, but he took his ring off the next day. Here we are almost 3 months later and I feel guilty for calling it quits. We have 2 children together, and his two children that I helped raise have already been through all this.

    I know I am not crazy, but that is how I feel most of the time. If I was listening to someone else, I would tell them to get out and they are not wrong, but I can’t listen to my own advice at times. I am going to try to attend my first meeting in the next week. I want to see if it will help me, but from reading on here, I think it will.

  13. Danny G. May 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Well, I came to Al-Anon Adult Children meetings because I was going to a therapist for 16 years. She finally convinced me to go buy a book. I bought it and read it. Man!

    I thought they wrote a story and changed my name to theirs. Wow. What an awakening. Before going to a therapist and Al-Anon I tried to commit suicde 2 times. My life was a complete mess. Yes, as you say life is so unmanageable. I do know this therapy is not really helping me. Hey, 16 years and no help. What’s that tell ya? I am one stubborn man. Am so glad my therapist recommended I try Al-Anon Adult Children meetings. Been in AAC 25 years. I am also deaf. Did not receive much information from the speakers . But I did receive notes from other members about what was said. However, I did not receive all the words they spoke. Reading these podcast has really helped me through the journey. I love and praise Al-Anon from the depths of my heart. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

  14. Jen February 2009 at 11:18 am

    Hello everyone,
    I was reading all of your comments and it made me cry. My husband is a drinker. He drinks as often as possible, until there is no money for food left. And even then, he takes the chance to drink at other peoples houses, like his dad, which is an alcoholic.
    I read about that I should be concentrating about my life and go on. The difficult thing about my situation is that I moved from a different country to marry this guy and now I am here and I can’t work. I am at home every single day. I don’t have a car and I don’t have any friends here. He leaves with his truck whenever he wants and once he starts having one beer he just can’t stop. When he is drunk he says all these bad things to me and the next day he apologizes for it. I love him so much and I would do everything for him but then I think about that I gave up my life, my job, my friends and family for this. He knows that I totally need him. And he takes advantage of it over and over again. When he is sober, he tells me that he knows that it’s got out of hand and he admits having a problem. But he would never go to an AA meeting, because he thinks it is not bad enough to go there. I really don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t have anyone here to talk to and I don’t want to worry my family in my homecountry.
    Last night I was feeling so sad because I miss my home. I was sitting here and I was crying. And then he just left to go to his dads house. I tried to call him about three hours later because I fall down here and I needed help. He didn’t answer the phone but called me back an hour later. He told me that he was at a bar now but coming home right now. It took another hour for him to get home while I was laying here, not able to move or get up. When I ask him what took him so long, he said he stopped at a buddies house to have one more. I don’t know what to do. It’s just so frustrating and I’m mad and sad and I hate him when he drinks, but he is the most wonderful person when he is sober. That was just last nights story but things like that happen again and again. It is also so sad because we just got married in August 2008 and this should be the best time of my life. But the hurting and the disrespect kills me. I am crying almost everyday and when I want to talk to him about the situation he gets really mad and loud. I don’t know how to handle this situation. Thank you for giving me the chance to tell you about it.

  15. stellaf January 2009 at 6:08 am

    Hello everyone,

    I am Stella and I have gone through with your posts and I really like it that you all are sharing about your families and family members. I think this is a great way to communicate with others. Thanks for sharing.


    Alcoholism Information

  16. James January 2009 at 6:05 am


    Nice article.

    [url=http://www.alcoholisminformation.org]Alcoholism Information[/url]
    Alcoholism Information

  17. MJD December 2008 at 3:46 pm

    My husband has now been sober for 32 days. I am very proud of him but i am having a really hard time with all of this. He made the decision to become sober. I want to go to an Al-Anon meeting and I know it will help as they talked about it often in the family counseling we got through a treatment center my husband went through. But I am scared. I also am having a hard time dealing with my role now. When life is in turmoil, I seem to function the best. My husband so far is embracing his sobriety and I feel lost and tearful and scared. I don’t know what to do or how to act. I am reading the books recommended and they are making me look at myself, which scares me. I am scared even writing this email and that would surprise people around me as I am known as the “ROCK”. Well, this rock is crumbling and scared and not knowing what to do. I want my husband to suceed, and I feel in my heart he can, if I don’t screw things up. I don’t even know why I am writing except I feel lost. This site is helping realize that I need help although it makes me mad that I need help! I had a step dad who was an alcoholic. Dealing with my husbands sobriety is making me deal with the times of then. I watched my step dad die during DT’s and that is coming back to haunt me. Thanks for listening and I am going to try to get to my first Al-Anon meeting on Tuesday.

  18. M.T.Q. December 2008 at 12:41 pm

    My father is an alcoholic and has been so for over 20 years. I began to notice his drinking problem when I was around twelve years old. He has tried to quit over the years, but never lasted more than a year or two.

    I’ve always felt sad about it, because he’s a good and caring person who happens to be an alcoholic. My mother has tried several times to get him to stop drinking. I made a few attempts in high school and around Christmas time two years ago. My father said the usual, but failed to act on it.

    Last weekend, my wife and I walked out on a lunch party my parents were having due to my father’s drunkenness. We made a lame excuse so that we would not embarass my parents in front of their guests. Essentially, this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Two of the guests were family friends that I’ve known since junior high and they had bared witness to my father’s alcoholic tendencies back then.

    I couldn’t take it anymore. I told my mother (who is not an alcoholic) that I refused to sit in the same room as my father and watch him get drunk. I had done so for far too long. My mother accused me of over-reacting.

    I still have to talk to my father and tell him the real reason I left the party. I believe, like some others here have mentioned, that it’s time for me to take control of MY life and not let his alcoholism control me. I know that I cannot solve his problem. He must decide that for himself. However, until he actually admits he has a problem, he cannot begin to solve it. The ball is in his court.

    That leaves one other problem to solve: my relationship with my mother. She has given up trying to change my father, yet expects me to put up with his drunkeness simply because he is my father. Otherwise, she feels that I may never come by and visit her. Worse, she’s very worried that my actions may break up our family. I feel that to get control of my life back the risk is warranted. I do not want to spend another twenty years watching my father get drunk, especially now that he’s retired and lives close by.

    Thank you, Al-Anon, for providing this forum for people in my situation. I’ve never been to a meeting, but I’m thinking about attending one. Once again, thank you and may you all have a great holiday season.

  19. shelly November 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I am married to a 24 hour drunk. He drinks from 7 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily. He is much older and we have 3 children together. His older married children no longer will speak with him and I don’t blame them. He has nothing to do in his retirement besides drink and watch the news which he then complains about repeatedly. He doesn’t eat hardly anything anymore and has distanced himself from the family by his drinking. He smells of ammonia all the time and I have taken to sleeping in another room because of him smelling up the room and his trying to have his way while I was sleeping. I have come to understand I can’t help him or make him stop drinking. I do hate his drinking and have lost all respect for him. I go about the daily things I normally do but am still uneasy around him. I want him gone and have considered renting an apartment for him so he has some place to go after my vision of having him out of here with divorce papers in hand.

  20. debbie November 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I’m a mental health professional and feel as though I should not feel the things I feel about myself, my family, my loved ones. My father was an emotionally abusive alcoholic. My ex-boyfriend was as well. I remember being evicted from place to place as a child because we never had money to pay the rent, because my father would never hold down a job. At 8 years old, i remember being worried about where my family was going to live. And still today, i feel the constant anxiety and depression that began during my childhood years. I swore I’d never be with an alcoholic. I swore I’d never put my child through that. And yet, I did. After my divorce, I began dating and fell hopelessly in love. With an alcoholic. The anxiety, depression, feelings of worthlessness started all over again. It was like walking on egg shells because I never knew what little thing I was going to do that would set him off. I know that kind of life is not for me, or my son. Yet, I hate being alone and feel as if I don’t have a clue how to start over again.

  21. Terrie November 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I am married to an alcoholic and have been for 22 years, I have two special needs children who adore their father. My husband is currently in a rehab facility and has been sober for 8 months and has not been home for 8 months. I want to know if he is going to ever come home and he tells me he can’t come home until he gets a job and we start counseling, he tells me he loves me, I just feel like he will never come back and he is waiting for me to make the break. I have said this to him and he doesn’t say anything back or he gets angry. I am not trying to ruin his sobriety, but my life is on hold and I am doing everything while he simply checks out of his life until he is ready to check back in or not. I am lonely and hurt, and he doesn’t understand.

  22. janab November 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I have never attended an Al-Anon meeting but I am really hurting and would like to start. I live with a binge drinker that smokes pot everyday and if he doesn’t have what he needs he takes it out on me and now my kids. Our lives are in financial ruin and my kids are starting to have emotional problems and trouble with close friendships. I am not sure where to start?

  23. Lisa October 2008 at 3:14 pm

    How do I convince my mother that she DOES have a drinking problem and that our relationship is suffering because of it? This is so depressing for my sisters and I. Thanks, Lisa

  24. Jennifer October 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I love Al-Anon. It has truly saved my life. I grew up in an alcoholic home and started going to therapy in college. Over the next 8 years, several therapists suggested I might benefit from Al-Anon, but I didn’t really think it was my problem. My Dad is the drinker in the family, why did I need help? Denial is so powerful. After a painful divorce and another therapist recommendation, I finally came to Al-Anon. I was scared out of my mind to attend my first meeting. What was I really admitting by walking through those doors? What would the members be talking about? I didn’t know what to expect.
    I married again several years later, and found out that my husband is an alcoholic. I love him dearly, and thankfully, he chose sobriety and has been an AA member for over a year. But I depend on the Al-Anon program to learn how to live life on life’s terms. In meetings, we tell newcomers not to quit before the miracle.
    My favorite slogan is “Live and Let Live”. With the help of my Al-Anon friends and sponsors, I’m learning that there is more to life than survival. This program works. I have 4 years of life to prove it! I wish you all the peace and joy that I have found.

  25. bill October 2008 at 7:08 pm

    When my life was totally unmanageable and I had found myself in great despair, I remembered what my addict child suggested (she’s 33), GO to AL-ANON. I did 18 months ago and continue to come. I walked into a meeting and heard about the tools and ism’s and adult child and so on. How could I possibly benefit from a group that wouldn’t help me fix anything. Isn’t that the reason we all came to the first meeting? I came into a room with people I didn’t know … looking for the answers to FIX my addict. Well, the awakening began. When I was told I had to take care of myself … Let go and Let God … I knew I had to keep coming back. I owe my recovery to my family groups and my higher power. Oh, my daughter is alive and sober today, One Day at a Time.

  26. Kim October 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Hey, reading all your stories sounds so much like my own! I was going out with my now ex partner for 10 years, we have an 8 and half year old son and I am also 4 months pregnant.
    Anyway the more I think about it the more I realise there has always been a drinking problem there, although I either ignored it or to be honest joined in on it! For the past year my life had been a living hell, I never thought things could get so bad literally one day after the other. We have been through, lies, betrayal, infidelity etc. It has literally been so bad one after the other to the point I took an overdose, took him back after everything he has put me through and my son time and time ago, listened to the promises that we were wha he wanted, it was all going to change.. But a few days weeks into it we were back at square one. Either he was out drinking seeing other girls etc or doing something. And of course this was all MY fault I drove him to it, I made him drink etc..
    Anyway now he has not seen his son in 4 months nearly, I am going through it alone the pregnant everything, my son asking why does daddy not see me. It took me a long time to realise I needed tp get my life back in order before I could be there for my kids. I went to my first Al-Anon meeting last night and listening to everyone really brought it all home! I could identify with wall of them. It was so great to hear from all people who ahve been in the same situation as me and who are in a much better place and happy today.
    So now I have hope, I feel better already. I know to help him I need to help myself and let him go. I cant change him, cure him or control what he does. He makes his own decisions and I jst need to take care of me and in turn my kids.
    So people I hope there is hope out there for everyone 🙂

  27. Amy September 2008 at 11:50 am

    Everyone in my immediate family is an alcoholic. My mom is the only one currently drinking. I thought I was coming to Al-Anon because I wanted help dealing with my mom. She had been controlling and verbally abusive for as long as I can remember. I came to Al-Anon scared, limp, and relieved. From the first day I felt the sense of relief I had been waiting for all my life. I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. I was made to believe that every problem my family had was my fault. Because, as a child, you believe what your parents tell you, I still believed it as an adult. I have been in Al-Anon for 2 years now, and I have found that I did NOT come because my mom is a drunk. I came because I needed ME to change. Alcoholism is a progressive illness and my mom is not an exception. She is sliding downhill fast. This is definitely a difficult situation to witness, but because I have the love and support from my Al-Anon friends and the peace of the program, I don’t have to live in the misery I once had. I thank my higher power that I was able to find this wonderful program and I thank you guys for sharing your experiences. It really makes a difference.

  28. Annette September 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I started going to Al-Anon meetings about 7 weeks ago and I came because I thought like most everyone else that I could find out how to stop my alcoholic from drinking but I found out at my very first meeting that I was the one that needs the help,that I am the the one that needs to get healthy and that I can not stop,fix,or control his problem but I can fix myself even though I did not have a problem but I did have a problem I was the enabler and I think that in my own little way I always knew that but I believe that in so many ways I was in denial but I as I keep going back every week I find that I am making some progress in getting myself healthy and as I do that maybe I can also show my three children how to make themselves healthy without always blaming the alcoholic in our lives for all of the problems that they may be having. I have tried to get them to go to Alateen but they are not ready to go and talk to strangers about the problem but in the mean time they can see some of the changes that are happening with myself that is for the better so maybe just maybe they will learn something from me that will maybe help them to detach with love and live their life to the fullest and not have many regrets and feel like they have failed in trying to get the alcoholic to stop the drinking. I never really understood alcoholism was a family disease until I started Al-Anon meetings. There are many days that I repeat the Serenity Prayer over and over to myself and I try to remember a slogan for the day. I have not yet figured out how or who I need to make amends to other than myself and my children or how to make a list of my own faults and that is one of the many things that I have to work. But I know that if continue in the program I will eventually get there and get where I need to be to feel better about myself so that I can live with a little piece of mind knowing that there is nothing that I can do to get the alcoholic to stop drinking.

  29. Lisa September 2008 at 4:03 am

    It is normal to try to control and to prevent the possible death of someone we love because the pain level we will experience when they die, depending on the relationship status they have with us (e.g. son, daughter, husband, wife, extended family…), will likely be high. Those of us who have experienced even a taste of pain like that know how really bad it is and how long it takes to get over it. It is very difficult to endure. The death of a child, most will agree, is the most excruciating and, it is likely that pain will endure a lifetime. I am not anxious to sign up for that. Are you?

    This is why most parents of alcohol and/or drug addicted children or adults become so desperate and “crazy” trying to save them. They are really not crazy, or “co-dependent”. They are just terrified of the pain, just like the addict is of the withdrawal symptoms. And parents don’t have a corner on grief. Others like children trying to prevent their parents from dying, or husbands or wives…they get desperate too. Desperation toward the prevention of pain is not co-dependency. That needs to be acknowledged in Al-Anon more often.

    The fear of the withdrawal symptoms is what my son is fearing and why he won’t stop. I don’t blame him a bit. I think if he knew someone would help him get through it in a more humane way than is generally available, he could face it. We are in the Dark Ages with this disease. The alcoholic/addict knows what they need but are faced with quite a bit of discrimination and a battle to get it from the medical profession, mental health profession, and so on. They are not well enough to battle the “healers” on their own behalf. And, unfortunately, they are not very likeable in the midst of their disease. They are not “winning any friends or influencing any people” toward their advocacy only because it becomes a symptom of the disease to be a completely unlovable-in-the-moment jerk and, sometimes, a criminal too.

    Tough love can sometimes work, and sometimes be a terrible, terrible mistake. I hate the phrase and am not at all comfortable with the concept. The use of it is keeping me from fully committing myself to Al-Anon, especially when I hear parents’ agony over having engaged in it upon the advice of Al-Anon and then their kid died. I have met two families who ignored Al-Anon’s approach and were able to save their kids just in time. They went and got them, physically and forceably took them to detox and rehab, went to meetings with them afterward for 3 years (and monitored them very closely), and got them through the cravings until they were clean. So far, so good. Maybe they had the money and the time to do that and, if so, they are very lucky. If given the choice, I would choose their approach over Al-Anon anytime.

    But, I am grateful Al-Anon exists to save the sanity of the rest of us (I hope, in my case).

  30. Paula September 2008 at 2:25 am

    My sister and i grew up in an alcoholic family. Our mom and dad are both alcoholics. This has been going on since before i was born and throughout me and my sisters childhood. We grew up going to the beer joint around the corner with our parents. Everyday they would go have a few beers after work while we were still at the babysitters. On the weekends, they would take us with them. Our parents were very supportive and loving. They provided us with everything we ever need and wanted. They supported us in everything we wanted to do. They sent my sister to college and are currently supporting me through college. We both had a great relationship with our parents.
    When i was in high school i started noticing that the drinking was a problem. on a few occasions i caught my mom drinking in the morning while i was getting ready for school. My dad drank heavily at night but was able to get up and function at work during the day, but as soon as he got home he drank until he passed out. I confronted them a few times but the drinking never stopped. they never stopped going to the beer joint. i didnt think i could stop the drinking, but i never expected it to get worse.
    Last year was a year from hell. The summer before my first semester in college, my dad lost his job that he had been with for over 15 yrs because a co worker smelled alcohol on his breath and they drug tested him and he had a small amount of alcohol in his system. Thats what happens when someone drinks everynight. they made him see a therapist but he told her he didnt want to stop drinking..therefore he lost his job. He soon found another better paying job that he is currently with. still same routine..he gets up goes to work then to the beer joint with mom then home for more drinking and passing out.
    that summer my moms work place of over 35 yrs closed down and she lost her job. this made her so depressed that he started drinking more. she wouldnt get out of bed and she started drinking liquor instead of beer. after a year of stress hurt and pain within the family, my mom recently went to the doctor and found out that if she doesnt stop drinking her liver will fail and she will die. she was doing good for about 5 weeks but now she has started again. it is tearing me and my sister apart that my dad is still enabling my mom even after she knows she could be near death. I am so depressed and just want my mom to get better. She is my best friend. I know she wants to get better but thinks she can do it on her own. I felt like i had no choice but to give her an ultimatum-see a counselor and stop drinking or i wont be part of your life. Having that converstaion yesterday torn me apart. and in the back of my mind i know that she cant choose me over the addiction.
    I plan on going to a meeting in my neighborhood tomorrow. But im scared. I feel that by helping myself i will be abandoning my mom because she cant get sober on her own. I dont want to be selfish and just leave her. i have to have her in my life. but i feel like i have little time to help her. if she keeps drinking she will die.

  31. Gemma August 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I haven’t actually gone to Al-Anon, well Alateen, yet but as of next Thursday, i will be. (:

    I want to go because my Auntie used to be a really bad alcoholic.. I used to try and help her but she’d try to hit me and call me all the names under the sun and occasionally throw things at me. I used to be the one who looked after her- and her daughter sometimes. I’d be the one who’d be on the end of the phone early hours of the morning crying and telling her to stop drinking. I’d be the one who would attend the meetings with the GP and everything. She tried to commit suicide once and i had to make the agonising phone call to the emergency services to come and get her before she died.

    My parents used to tell me to leave her to it but i couldn’t, i just couldn’t. My Auntie is like a Sister to me and i love her very much. I couldn’t not stand by and let her go on the self-destruct path. I had to try.

    I’m only young myself.. 17 nearly. Ever since then, it’s had a massive impact on my life, i get very angry and upset when my boyfriend drinks. Even if it is just a social drink. I know he’s never going to be like my Auntie but the feeling of anger and upset over rides that knowledge. I still feel the upset everyday and i wake up thinking, hoping that she won’t touch another drop of alcohol. She’s doing really well at the minute but i am petrified she is going to start up again. It hurts. I know that drink will always be a temptation to her.

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Al-Anon and Alateen from others and i’m really hoping it will help me conquer my upset and anger towards it all. And just to help me help my Auntie. Even if it is just a little bit. I’m never going to get over what happened to my Auntie but i want to move on. I got the most wonderful Boyfriend in the whole wide world, i couldn’t ask for anything more in a guy.. I don’t want to lose that because i can’t deal with my emotions towards it all. If Al-Anon/Alateen can do it for others maybe worse off than me, then i can do it too. I want to move on with my life and not push Sam away because of my Auntie’s situation. Like i said, i have heard great things about this organisation so i am hoping that it will give me the strength i can’t find from within myself by myself. (If that makes sense)

    This is the first time i have wrote about my feelings about it all so i am sorry if it’s a bit all over the place.

  32. Mary August 2008 at 11:33 am

    It’s been years since I first walked into an Al-Anon meeting. I went because I didn’t know what else to do but I honestly didn’t believe it would help–nothing else had.
    I survived all the usual drunken rages, promises to change, promises not to drink, promises of love and I couldn’t take the broken promises anymore, including the biggest one of all: My life and family aren’t going to be like that. That was my broken promise to myself. Not only was it like what was there growing up, it was worse! Al-Anon helped me see past the fear that nothing could change the life I was living. Their promise to me was that if I was willing to change, all of that could and would be different. I came to see if I could get my life back even though I didn’t understand that at the time. Gradually by keeping the focus on me, I did just that.

  33. Andrea August 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I went to my first Al-Anon meeting about 6 months ago after one of my husbands many relapses. I hit my bottom. I didn’t know what to do so out of deperation I went to a meeting. I haven’t stopped. The inspiration, hope, strength, and experience in the rooms is amazing. Just listening to the others helps me put my situation into perspective. For my sanity and the sanity of my two young children I decided to leave my husband – whether he cleaned up or not. Now he has been clean for 6 months (the longest yet) and he is still driving me cazy. Even though he is clean and sober he is still acting like a alcoholic/addict. I have learned and continue to learn to bring the focus back on me and try to “live and let live”. Letting others make their own choices and taking responsibility for themselves is hard for me to do, but with Al-Anon I’m learning. Thanks for listening and thanks for sharing.

  34. Brakeman August 2008 at 11:59 am

    Looking for answers and found this website. Little over a month ago, my only sister died due to the affects of her various addictions (cocaine, booze, oxy.) One month to the day of her death, my only brother nearly died because he had brought a homeless person to his house to have someone to drink with, the person set a fire in the room while my brother was passed out, and then that person died of the smoke and fire while my brother narrowly escaped.

    I realized a couple of years ago that we were raised in addiction: mom was clearly and alcoholic and dad a passive codependant. I fooled myself that once we had reached adulthood “that” phase was over. I’ve tried so many years without success (no shock there!) to get my brother and sister some help. Neither was or is interested. They were both highly intelligent, but couldn’t see the freight train coming for them.

    I am in my fourth year of therapy, have a strong supportive marriage and am reconnecting with parents due to sisters death, after several year’s estrangement. I’ll see where this takes me. I know that I can only save me, not anyone else. Still, it is sad and lonely to lose one’s family. I think they’ll shut me out again because I refuse to help my brother continue his addiction, while my parents keep sending him money and bailing him out of his messes. He probably doesn’t have much time left. His self destruction is speeding up. I see by the other messages that we are not alone in this, that helps some.

  35. David August 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Funny, I have had some exposure to Al-ANON and now that I have 5+ years clean/sober myself it is only to find myself 14 months into a relationship that over the past 4 months has revealed that my partner binge drinks and occassionally is using meth also.

    With this comes the typical broken promises, lies and all of the demoralizing issues common to addiction. The difference is that I find myself on the other side of the coin and unable at times to understand the appropriate choices to make in taking care of myself.

    My first step into action comes this Sunday at a meeting nearby and will become a regular part of my weekely meetings. I realize that it is all just part of taking care of me and learning how to make the loving and nurturing choices just as those that loved me til I could love myself … here we go again … how grateful I am that its one day at a time.

  36. Debi G August 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I was at an AA conference this past weekend with my boyfriend who has celebrated his 30th birthday with the program. One of the guest speakers from Al-Anon spoke and it hit home. My father has a drinking problem. My mother I now understand is also suffering from the results. I was married to an alcoholic. Both my father and my ex-husband were good providers, drank only on weekends, stopped and cleaned up on Sundays. I was never embarrassed by my father actually I worshiped him in so many ways. He was not around much but was a strict parent. My mother and I were very close until I hit around 13. I knew they loved me but I found it hard as I felt I never could do anything good enough. I knew they were proud but I felt they weren’t. My mom has become very negative and seems to get worse as they years go by. When my husband left she started with some of her negative talk and I had to ask her to back off. It was the hardest thing I ever did. When I went home to visit she was so supportive. Through circumstances since my separation from my husband it has put a real strain on my relationship with both parents. My husband or my x most of the time did not embarrass me and in many respects I worshiped him too. As his disease progressed I became lonelier and lonelier. He became more and more a hermit. He did not like to socialize or leave home. He was super critical of everything I did. I became more and more depressed. I never complained and just kept waiting for things to improve. I decided to push for a pet I didn’t realize at the time that I needed something to hug and showed they wanted me. We went on a cruise I had hoped it would bring us closer. No such luck. When we came home he admitted he was an alcoholic and stopped drinking and I patiently waited for things to change. Well they did but not the way I had hoped. He stopped for 5 years and announced he was leaving as he did not want to live the rest of his life this way. I was destroyed in shock and everything that goes with it. I had secretly wanted to be free of this life but not from him. My life came crashing in on me. Through help and a lot of work I thought I had put this all behind me until this past weekend conference. I realize I am like the dry alcoholic and I need to be healed from the effects of alcohol. I myself have an addictive personality. I tried to get to a meeting tonight but had a argument with my boyfriend He went to his meeting … and now I am on line. So tomorrow I will go to a meeting…Thank you for all that have shared their stories…you just never know who needs to here that they are not alone… thank you

  37. Torn August 2008 at 9:33 am

    I have been attending Al-Anon meetings for 2 weeks now. I came to Al-Anon because of my fiance’s alcohol and drug use. I am so grateful for the meetings. They have been my lifeline. I now realize that others have similiar feelings of isolation, guilt, anger and sadness. I am no longer alone. I realize now that Al-Anon is for me and not for the alcoholic/drug dependent. I have a choice to stay or leave the relationship. I am going to go to meetings for at least for 6 months before I decide what to do. Just knowing that I have more choices and that I do not have to make a decision today takes the pressure off me. Thank you Al-Anon for being there. 🙂

  38. Denise August 2008 at 11:38 am

    I have been in love with an alcoholic for six years. He is not a nasty drunk like so many others are, but will let you down by being late or changing plans. He is so bad that he drinks his rent and bill money up. He has a good job and makes a good living, but has nothing because of the drinking. I broke it off with him several times and we’re not together and haven’t been for a while, but he has so many qualities that I love and is such a gentle man that I am still hopelessly in love with him. I thought if I left him, he would miss me and stop drinking and get his life together so that we could share ours together. As you can guess, that didn’t happen. He calls me every few months and tells me that he thinks of me and misses me. I ask him to stop calling me and let me go, because this has absolutely destroyed me. I have a deep sadness inside that won’t go away and no matter how much time passes, I can’t forget him. I think about him almost every moment of the day and worry about him as well. He asked me many times if he could just call me and talk to me. I try to tell him that it’s so hard for me. Of course, I only hear from him when he drinks. He never calls sober, unless he is trying to stop drinking, then he might call. I feel guilty because I thought if I gave him tough love that would help, but it didn’t. I don’t know much about alcohol abuse or even understand it that much. I know it is a struggle and disease, but I guess I think if he wanted to change his life he would and he hasn’t. He has a grown son that he loves, but he can’t even get sober for his son. I decided to go to a meeting and see what it is about because I can’t move past this and feel like my life is frozen. I think all of this affects me more than him. I read the other comments and it helps to make you realize so many people are affected by other’s addictions. It’s so hard to love someone so much and feel that no matter what support you give me, it doesn’t help. I am looking forward to my first meeting.

  39. living a lie August 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I never thought of Alanon until today – I am going to go to my first meeting next week. My husband has been binge drinking for years…and I should have known better before marrying him, but often he is cogent and productive and talks about getting help, though it seems less and less.

    I am feeling defeated – and also scared of his wild mood swings and verbal explosions to anyone, I am afraid he will get arrested or have a heart attack, he seems like a boiling pot and I can do nothing to help him – but I have got to save ME.

    Though he has never hit me, his constant vicious criticism when he is drinking, thinking about drinking, or coming off a recent drunk, leaves me hating him and scared. There I said it, I HATE him when he is drunk. I have an overnight bag packed just in case and I have a secret place I go for a few hours during the long weekends where is ridiculously trashed. We live in a really nice condo and I am afraid all my nice neighbors know or suspect.

    I barely speak to him anymore – I hide out and play dead – and never talk about anything of meaning. I talk in a hyper-cheerful voice like a brisk, efficient nurse or mother, certainly not as a wife – I get NO comfort from him, and then I am expected to take care of him when he is horrible and pees in the bed. As he always says before diving headlong into raging drunkeness, “I am not perfect.” I am also afraid of weekends and holidays – he has ruined many and does not care who is there.

    My college age stepdaughter called in tears today – she had been at the beach with him and one of her new friends – and her friend was leaving because my husband got horribly drunk and started yelling, repeating things over and over, and just being a fool. My stepdaughter was afraid the police would be called and wanted me to “do something.” I was so happy when he left, I felt so resentful when I was pulled back into his garbage “long distance.”

    This is long – it is the first time I have written my feelings in eight years, other than my pitiful letters to him and my begging him to get help. I was surprised to see so many comments from people that mirror mine. I will attend a meeting next week. Thanks.

  40. confused August 2008 at 10:29 pm

    My boyfriend of 6 years is an alcoholic. I take care of his 8 year old son who is like my own. I make myself sick everyday from the stress of what will happen after work. Will he or won’t he drink???? Once he starts he doesn’t want to stop. I am left taking care of his son all the time. I have no life myself, because its all about him. I love him yet I hate him for what he is doing. I recently went away fro the weekend to do some thinking. He begged me to come home and not to leave him, that we would work things out,but the day I come home we go out to get dinner and he drinks. I know I can’t make him stop, but how can I live like this any longer? He knows how I feel. I am afraid of going to the meetings. Am I supposed to tell him I’m going or not? I know I’m not the only one going through this. I guess thats why I’m not crazy yet.

  41. Karens August 2008 at 7:23 pm

    Let’s see, the Friday night meeting in my area does not seem to be fitting into my schedule. I have just had another breakdown with my alcoholic’s recovery. It’s tough because I feel trapped in an impossible situation with this. I can’t plan for the future, be upset about the past or live in the present. My own ocd is flaring and i want to escape.

  42. mother of 3 August 2008 at 12:27 am

    My husband is an alcoholic. Not that he drinks all the time but that everything is coloured by when he can have his next drink. Every friday night is the same he comes home with beer or starts the whole I love you so much I am happy so I wont get mad if you don’t start on me. I wont drink next weekend. Tomorrow will be all about you. So the barganing continues. He doesn’t realise that I hate the weekends. He may only drink on friday night but then the occasional wed night and then Sat night he says I am cooking a BBQ so get everthing ready and I will cook after I get a 6 pack. Then later on demands for more.

    I have 3 small children (under 6) how do I protect them. The two eldest are starting to realise that daddy is strange when he drinks the smelly stuff. They are becomming afraid of him as they never know how he will react. Sometimes he plays with them and has fun and the next minute he is yelling at them and shoving them away. I want to protect them but what can I do. He has never been violent. He never hits me or the kids but I am still afraid of how he changes.

    When he is not drinking he is great. Happy, tired, doesn’t matter he is a good dad and husband but when the weekend comes around or if he gets really stressed the drinking starts.

  43. Sue D. August 2008 at 10:52 am

    I came to my very first Al-Anon meeting some 20 years ago to “help” the alcoholic in my life at that time. I had always told him that if he did something about his drinking, WE would be ok. Little did I know! Thank God that I came and listened and soaked up everything I heard, just like a sponge! I learned that Al-Anon is for ME, not the alcoholic, and that I can’t fix him, that I didn’t cause his disease, and that I surely can’t control another person–the 3 C’s of Al-Anon. I continue to come to meetings for ME today, to work on me and my recovery in this wonderful program of Al-Anon. This Twelve Step program literally saved my life and I will be eternally grateful. I think I would have been dead had I not found Al-Anon; I wanted to die. (I know I was dead emotionally and spiritually!) Today, I keep coming back in order to give back some of what I have received from this program! I want to be there for the newcomers who came in like I did–numb, fearful and so alone. This program has become a way of life for me, a way out of the darkness and into the light! “Keep Coming Back” I tell them–there is hope for a better way of life!

  44. sandladyvb July 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I resisted going to Al-Anon for at least five years. When I finally “caved in” and went to my first meeting, I got help. I came away from my first Al-Anon meeting feeling hopeful. At last, I was with a group of people who understood exactly what I was going through with my husband’s drinking and what his drinking was doing to me.

    Through Al-Anon, I began to understand alcoholism as an illness that affects the drinker and everyone close to him or her. While it can be arrested by abstinence, it cannot be cured. And, that the best way for me to help the drinker was to get the focus on myself, my attitudes, and behavior. I felt like I was going crazy and I was enraged. The more I tried to change the alcoholic, the more he drank. I also learned that recovery for the family members is just as important as the drinker’s treatment and recovery. It is not an overnight or “quick fix” type of thing for family members.

    I learned that I have choices instead of feeling backed into a corner with no way out.
    I’m a long time member who still goes to two Al-Anon face to face meetings a week.
    If Al-Anon isn’t listed in your local telephone book, most meeting information for the US and Canada is posted on the Al-Anon Web site, http://www.al-anon.alateen.org or by calling 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666). For electronic meeting information, e-mail wso@al-anon.org or call the number above.

  45. sad53 July 2008 at 11:39 pm

    My 28 yr old daughter is an alcoholic – a very nasty drinker who will not acknowledge she has a problem. I know I can’t force her to get help and I do plan on attending my first AlAnon meeting tomorrow. However, she constantly drives drunk, sometimes has blackouts – what can I do NOW so she doesn’t kill someone or herself?

  46. jolley123 July 2008 at 10:44 am

    I came because I have been dating someone for the past 6 months who is an alcoholic x 1 year. He is a very respectful person and I am falling in love with him. But, his alcoholism is getting worse. When he wakes up he shakes. He drinks daily. He knows he is an alcoholic and says he does not feel he can keep it up much longer, but doesn’t do anything to stop because he is afraid of withdrawal.

  47. Tina O. July 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Are there on-line meetings for al-anon?
    My alcoholic mother has been dead for 15 years, but I have a problem with co-dependency, are there groups for co-dependents online?

  48. Mark K July 2008 at 9:44 am

    When my daughter first “came out” about her drug and alcohol abuse (along with her cutting), I decided that I had to get her into AA or some other program. Explaining my intent to the “double winner” who answered my call on AA’s help-line, that wonderful guy said that I would find what I need (NOTE: he didn’t say what I WANT) at an Alanon meeting. With a legal pad of paper and pen, I showed up at my first meeting ready to “grill” anyone and everyone about the resources available to “fix” her. As I listened (oops, OK – honesty: as I frequently interrupted!), I discovered that Alanon wasn’t about about fixing Jessica’s problems: it was more about how to fix ME. I hadn’t realized that I was the one who needed fixing.

    So, I came to Alanon looking for something I wanted, but – instead – received what I needed: recovery! Two years later and still counting, I can honestly say that my life is much improved thanks to the gifts I have received from my efforts working the Alanon program.

  49. avidarrow July 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I came because I was going crazy. I’ve been to shrinks since I was 13 . I’m now 51. It did no good because the behavior was a result of my surroundings. Not once did anybody mention Al-Anon or Al-Ateen. So Ive finaly sought out a meeting and its helped me already. 2 mos. I want a meeting every night. Its the kindness, understanding and experience of others that keeps me coming back. Finally! Sober Adults! What a treat! I hope somebody is out there…

    I suppose if I drank Id be alot more fun. Probably get to spend some time with him. But I dont like him either. I know how she feels. Embarassed is no longer tolerable. I can control where I go. which is always without him. Im so lonely though.

    So I come for support, learning from others, learning the program which has helped so many before me. I come for a much needed shoulder.

  50. Lisa Mc. July 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I need to know that someone understands when I say my husband is an alcoholic and I have been dealing with this for years. I think I am just tired of it and him. We don’t really have a meaningful relationship anymore. We don’t go anywhere together anymore because he usually finds a way to get a drink and get drunk and it is so embarassing. I hardly go very far from home if I go at all because I’m afraid of what he’ll do when he’s alone. He drinks to the point of having blackouts and he has been hospitalized twice for pancreatitis which I know is caused by drinking.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.