Before Al‑Anon, I lived in a lot of fear. I shut down when a situation made me feel uncomfortable, or I lashed out like I was fending for my life. It was as if I was going to make sure that others knew I was powerful, and that I was not going to let them abuse me. I had such anger and sadness, such fear and hopelessness. And who could I tell? How could I explain my feelings? Was I crazy? What was wrong with me? I felt very victimized. So many things had happened in the last 27 years, and I didn’t really know where to start.
Everyone in Al‑Anon knew. They were experiencing, or had experienced, what I felt. They knew my story, no matter their age, no matter who the alcoholic in their life was, no matter their background. I’m not crazy. I am good enough. I do need to take care of myself. I need to set boundaries. I can love the alcoholics in my life. I am not the reflection of the alcoholics around me or anyone else. I love the people in my life, or they would not be in my life. I have learned so many things in Al‑Anon that help me day-to-day. This program has saved my life. I am so grateful for the people in this group, and I am proud to be here.
My relationships with my family, friends, co-workers, and everyone I meet is so different and so much kinder. I still have a lot of work to do, and that is why I “Keep Coming Back.” From time-to-time, I revert back to my old thinking. The way I respond, how I take things, and how strong I am is very different now, than it was before Al‑Anon. So, I keep reminding myself that I am the only person I can change.
By Beth S., Oregon
The Forum, March 2021
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or in your newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.
First time reaching out, not sure where to start?
I need help coping with being 2nd once again to alcohol. I really wish I could be the most important thing to someone.
I’m having a problem that my husband basically is mentally abusing me with his hatred words. He says I don’t cheat on you. I don’t physically beat you but yes I like to drink for me to pick my poison. I can’t deal with this anymore.
My first husband was an abusive alcoholic. He went thru detox several times and we both went thru counseling. The problem was I wanted him to change but he didn’t. After many, many years we separated and divorced. I have since remarried. Prior to dating him I asked my husband if he had alcoholics in his family and he said “no”. After marrying him I met his family, almost every single person in his family is a functioning alcoholic, most were drunk at the gathering or tipsy at the very least. When I talked to him about this later he… Read more »
Thank you for sharing. I’m new to Al-Anon, looking for support to deal with my husband who is an alcoholic. The constant mean words, disrespect, harassment, verbal abuse is very difficult. The alcoholism has changed him from a loving husband & father to a man who doesn’t care about anything but alcohol. He refuses to get treatment.
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That said it all…how much pain one needs to bear ..God bless you
I have been married to my husband for 37 years. He is a nice person but the alcohol has consumed me not him. I am exhibiting all the enabler’s behavior. He lies to me about everything. He is great at deflecting and all I feel is hurt. My behavior is atrocious, I yell, cry, search and accuse. I tell him I don’t want to be married anymore but I chase him and beg him not to leave and he goes on with his life doing what he wants and drinks. This weekend it was really bad. I got in his… Read more »
Thanks for your story. I can also relate, especially to the lies. My husband just overdosed last night. The EMTs saved his life. Now he’s walking and talking-aka lying and avoiding going to rehab. That’s why I’m here on this site and app. I’m so lost.
Hi I’m new here and this post make me feel like it’s exactly where I belong. I’m just looking for help to deal with somebody in my life that is struggling so hard and I can’t take it no more.
My husband of almost 40 years has been an alcoholic since college. He is high functioning and does his drinking at home. He hides it and then puts it in his pop or beverage. I never know when it is coming. He has also done this at family events. Until I came to Al-Anon, I felt responsible. Now I have learned to detach and not live my life in fear of what he will do or not do. So thankful for Al-Anon.
This is my first visit to Al-Anon. My husband is an alcoholic and I am ready to make the decision to separate/divorce. Like all alcoholics, he refuses to admit to the damage he has caused us. We are in our late 60’s, no children, and have been married 26 years. I had him removed from our home by the police about 4 months ago . He went to the Substance Abuse Clinic for 2 days; but did not follow up with any of their recommendations. He stayed sober 3 months but is now on his 3rd week of drinking. He… Read more »
Trying to spot my triggers! can’t say I have mastered not to “lashing out” seems still a comfortable spot. I am still so quick to do when feeling threatened. I can be gentle with myself knowing that I only need to look for improvement. No one is perfect I will flail but I can get up and move on. It’s just a choice to do so. I need to forgive myself as much as others. Then be willing to move on.
Thank you for sharing your story. I can totally relate to all you wrote.
My sentiments exactly! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing this. I can relate to this. It’s nice to know I am not the only one who has felt this.
That said it all, how perfect were your words.
I deeply identify with this. Thanks for sharing!