For many years, I avoided his disease, made excuses for it, helped him avoid the effects of the illness, and refused to talk about the possibility that he was an alcoholic. But over time, I could no longer avoid the evidence. Now, I know that if I am going to accept my son, I have to accept his disease too. They will both be a part of my life forever. This is my choice, and I choose to love an alcoholic.
I’ve found a new family in Al‑Anon. I’ve found hope, which I did not believe was possible. Al‑Anon has given me a sense of connection that I would have never imagined; one that allows me to walk into a room, in a strange city, be welcomed and be among friends. I’m learning about the choices that I can make for myself, and how to get out of the way of the choices others make for themselves.
I’m learning that one way I can make my own life better is by sharing what I’ve learned about the disease of alcoholism, and sharing hope with those that have been affected by it. Through Al‑Anon, I have tools to live my life and to relate to others in ways that are better than I’ve had in the past.
Through these tools, I have stronger and healthier relationships with my co-workers, friends, and family. I’m learning to be more honest with myself and with others. I’m learning how to be present in my relationships, and how to be responsible for myself. I’ve come to a deeper understanding of prayer and of my Higher Power. I’ve come to know that I’m capable of strength and growth, which otherwise I may have never known. I can now marvel at my own accomplishments. I’m a stronger and better person because of the effects alcoholism has had on my family.
I’m glad I have an alcoholic in my life because I’ve been given a path to a better life.
By Bill L., Georgia
The Forum, June 2014