Do you think the drinking is your fault?

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 Tobias with us.  Tobias is an Al-Anon member who is the brother of an alcoholic in recovery.

How to locate a meeting

75 Comments

  1. Stacie August 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I used to think my friend drank to relax and socialize with others. As the years went by, I started to noticed she drank more when we would disagree and so I started thinking I was a reason she was drinking. Then when my friend got to a sober state of mind she would yell and tell me, do not let me drink again no matter what. So I refused to purchased it and she got mad. She would sneak around and find ways to get the beer and say she had not been drinking. That was the first sign that she was an alcoholic and needed help. But I was very blue, so to say, about it. That was 10 years ago. Now after a 19-year relationship, we have started AA meetings, both closed and open. I will start Al-Anon tonight and I hope that the next 10 or more years will be better.

    She is smart and funny and very educated when she is sober and I like her better when she is sober. I think I stayed because if I left where would she be now. And after her last relapse, I thought I was going to have to make that tough-love decision and just stop talking and caring all together.

    My biggest problem was being the enabler. I hated when she called me that. I was not enabling her. I was doing as she asked me to do. Well, I saw the light when after being sober for 30 days she came to the car and said the AA challenge for her was to purchase a bottle and to return it in 7 days unopened. Well, in my mind I thought she was wrong, but I did not know what went on in AA and if it was so.

    She lost and the alcohol won that time. Then she would not talk to me for 3 days, then said on Friday I need a meeting on Saturday. I asked her why not tonight and she accepted and we attended an open meeting every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. She attends all the other nights and I attend a local Al-Anon on Thursdays. I was the enabler and I needed to learn how to stop. Listening to the podcast and seeing that I am not the only enabler out there helps me to get to the one-day-at-a-time method of the AA.

  2. Jean August 2011 at 9:30 am

    I have only been married for 2 years and dated my husband a year before we were married. I knew he drank, but it didn’t seem to be a problem and he always was a lot of fun when drinking. After we were married he got laid off of his job and we went out to karaoke and he had quite a lot to drink and we were talking about past stuff in each of our lives and he just blew up. There was no real reason. It was just conversation. He belittled me the entire night, not to mention the trying to stop him from driving off in the car drunk.

    This happened one more time while he was laid off. His daughter told me he doesn’t do well when he isn’t working, and one other time while laid off he had a real hard time. I blew it off, thinking that was the reason.

    It is starting to happen more frequently, the last 3 times we went anywhere for the weekend, two of those times he became belligerent when drunk. This last time scared me a lot. I had to actually call the police because he was so out of control and was going to drive off in our RV drunk. He also was going to hit my son because my son told him he should just go to bed. My son is an adult.

    The officer who responded ended up knowing me and my sons, as he went to school with my sons. He sat me down and talked to me. I think that officer changed my life. He told me, “Your husband is eventually going to hurt you. You don’t need to live this way.” It was at that moment I realized my husband is an alcoholic.

    I have done a lot of reading over the last few days. I also sent a quiz to my husband to take, which he did and said he does have a problem. I told him straight out, one more drink or even one time of calling me a name and our marriage is done. I said I married you because I wanted you, not because I needed you, and I just might not want you anymore.

    I am prepared to follow through. I also later found out that he acts that way only when he drinks enough to black out, because he doesn’t remember a lot of what happened, just bits and pieces. I will say right now it has changed my feelings. I don’t trust him and I no longer feel safe with him. The unfortunate thing is the last two times this happened we were away from home in a place where I felt stuck, because I am not able to drive the RV.

    This is my second marriage. I never remarried after my divorce, which was 23 years ago, until meeting my husband. He is very good to me, except on the times when he drinks way too much. My son said I should separate, but I told my son I am married now and I do need to give him that one chance to fix it. He also that night realized he has a problem, at least it’s what he states. He says he will never drink again. I asked him if he thought he could do it with no support, and he says he can. I pray he can and I don’t lose my husband. I do know if this marriage fails I am done with men.

  3. Karen December 2010 at 6:57 am

    I feel helpless; forced to deal with his depression. I’m divided, because I feel sorry for my husband when he’s sober and I dispise him when he’s drunk. He has this hatred look towards me and says mean, hurtful things. Like, he is convinced I ruined his life.

    I feel it’s my fault for putting up with his bad behavior. And when he’s confronted, he denies any wrong doings. I wish I had it on video to show him.

    Financially, I’m stuck and he has access to my apartment when I go to work. I want to move where he can’t find me. If I can’t have him sober I don’t want him. I can’t forget all the mean things he has done to me.

    Hopefully, the courts will make him take anger managment classes and he’ll be on the road to recover. It’s heartwrenching, to watch a strong military man with so much potential fall victim to alcohol. Weaken to the point where he lacks the willpower needed to stay sober and manage his life.

    Finally, thank you for being here so I can express my feelings. This gives me private closure so I can get on with my life.

  4. Leeanne, OK December 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I love what I heard someone say in a meeting. “I can’t be nice enough to stop him/her from drinking and I can’t be mean enough to make him/her drink.” Active alcoholics are people who use alcohol to solve their “problem,” whatever that is–i.e. low self-esteem, the inability to face life as it is, their deep emotional pain, etc. For them, alcohol is the answer. It really has nothing to do with me, no matter what they may say.

  5. VooDooKitty November 2010 at 5:21 pm

    As I sit here typing this, I am in tears. It is dreadful that so many seem to be going through similar if not exact situations. At the same time, it is a relief to know that I am not alone.

    I have placed blame for my husband’s habit upon myself for several years now. Thinking all of those little “what-if’s” that drive me deeper and deeper into my hole, struggling, crying and wondering if I will ever be able to climb out of it.

    I don’t remember him being like this the whole time we’ve been together. Sure, he enjoyed having a drink or two here and there. Not a big deal, right? I sat back this weekend, looking over the past 11 years of our marriage, and realized that he’s had the habit all along, he’s just brought it out into the public eye more over the last several years.

    I have spoken with him when he was sober about my worries and concerns. He straightens up for a couple of weeks, sometimes even a month. However, my fuse is getting shorter and shorter. The drinking has worn me down and I just don’t have the heart, respect, love or patience to do it anymore. I am tired of feeling that I am the only one fighting for this family, for this marriage. I don’t want our boys to grow up thinking that this behavior is acceptable.

    There are no Al-Anon meetings near to me. The closest is 45 minutes away. I needed to find help for my children and for myself before the alcoholism ruined us all. By the grace of God, this site appeared in my search.

  6. LH October 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Worst day today. For the first time he got physically aggressive, but I jumped out of the way in time. I guess I pushed him to it, insisting that his drinking is my fault and that everyone knew he wasn’t sober except me, etc. He didn’t have any choice but to come at me that way.

    He says I need to work on myself and go to Al-Anon more, get a sponsor, get help. It is true: my thinking is completely irrational and I feel like I am going crazy and that everything is my fault. I feel horrible.

    He says he is simply telling me the truth about myself, but can we take what alcoholics say as “the truth”? Is there a time when they are completely right and we are the insane ones? It feels that way right now.

  7. j September 2010 at 10:37 am

    My daughter is a 34-year-old alcoholic. She has lost her home, her kids, can’t hold down a job for more then 2 days. I’ve started attending Al-Anon meetings that have helped, but I still feel so much guilt.

    She called me the other day needing money to take care of her court fines. I don’t want to give her any more money. That’s when the guilt sets in. When she does get money she wastes it all, on what I don’t know.

    I do a lot of praying for her. I’m so worried about the outcome with her life. I told her she could live here with me and get well, but I can’t have any drinking.

    The 1st day she was here, she sneaked down to the bar. She had drunk so much by the time she got back home she started having seizures. We had to call an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital again.

    She has since left my home because she doesn’t have enough freedom staying with me, so she says.
    I feel so much anger at times towards her. I can’t believe how someone can mess up their life. She blames everyone else for her problems and won’t take any responsibilty. I’m also praying for a miracle.

  8. P September 2010 at 1:35 am

    My husband is supposed to be sober. He starts arguments and fights and tries to make me feel like I am crazy. Everything is my fault and what I am doing wrong. He lies about all of his court stuff and I always find the truth out later. I love him and want to believe he is sober as he constantly states he is. My gut says no way.

    I am so confused and sad that I put myself in this situation. Why is it always my fault when he is the one lying and hiding things? Why can’t he ever take responsibility for his own actions. This disease is so sad. I am heartbroken and I am praying for a miracle.

  9. LMT August 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I love, “The less you did the sicker he got” and “..get off the road so God could get at him,” and “..until he said that what he was doing was causing him a problem, it wasn’t.” Such eye-opening and wise words for me. Along with the 3 C’s listed in so many posts.

    As much as I don’t want to go, I will be at Al-Anon tonight. I feel like I have spent years trying to fix myself/others – read all the co-dependent books when I found them in my 20’s even though I did not grow up with an alcoholic. What is up with that, anyway? I am sick of fixing. But I guess I need it…..

  10. Louise G July 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Yes, I did blame myself for the drinking. My husband never told me I was the reason he drank–I did that to myself. I thought it was my job to make him happy and if he was happy he wouldn’t have to drink, so every 3-4 years I would reinvent myself.

    I would lose weight, take more care with my appearance, be more loving, etc. and nothing would change. He still drank, so I quietly told myself, see it’s you.

    The 3 C’s were the reason I went to my second meeting. I wasn’t sure if they said I wasn’t the reason he drank, so I went back to make sure that was what they said. A lady pointed her finger at me and said that I was the one with the problem.

    I was furious–she said until he said that what he was doing was causing him a problem, it wasn’t. It was causing ME a problem. I understood what she meant. Then she told me I was not powerful enough to make anyone drink or stop. What a relief to know that his drinking had nothing to do with me.

    Until I got here, I took his drinking personally. I felt that he was drinking at me. As I learned to separate his stuff from mine, my life got much simpler. The less I did, the sicker he got. Someone told me to get out of the road so God could get at him. What a concept !!!

  11. Jennifer June 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I will be attending my first Al-Anon meeting today in 15 years – I am also a recovering alcoholic – 6 years sober. However now I find myself in a situation a lot like some of the others who have posted. About 10 months ago, I met another AA and fell in love. I was so happy to find someone I had so much fun with and who seemed to be absolutely in love with me too. I had finally found someone who treated me exactly the way I had always wanted to be treated. While sober, he’s a wonderful person with a kind and loving heart. Unfortunately, he did what a lot of us alcoholics do – stop going to meetings, calling our sponsors, etc. He decided to put financial gain ahead of sobriety. So after about 4 months of dating he relapsed. From then on, it became more and more frequent.

    The problem I have now is, I am still in love with him, but I don’t want to put my own sobriety in danger. We have weeks of no contact but he eventually always calls. And I always answer. I keep hearing that he loves me and misses me, but there is always some excuse for not seeing me or calling me – if I were dealing with a “normal” person, I could use common sense rules about dating – “if he’s not calling or seeing you, it’s because he doesn’t want to call or see you” but I don’t know what to think about it anymore. I know intellectually about this disease and how I myself felt while I was in the middle of it – but being in love with someone seems to cloud all that.

    I know I cannot expect sober behavior out of someone who is definitely not sober, but I keep doing it anyway. I know I need to take care of myself and my sobriety now. I don’t honestly know how some people do it – I know there has to be some way to detach with love – but the whole situation is breaking my heart. I know that he loves me. But I also know the power of addiction. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, when the disease is your master, nothing else matters.

    I can’t make him back into the man he was when I fell in love with him – and even if I “had” him back now, I don’t even want the man that he has become. I want to have hope that if I just detach and leave it all alone, that he may come to a place where he wants sobriety again. Letting go and letting God has been one of the hardest struggles I have had the past few months.

  12. Paulaq22 June 2010 at 10:34 am

    I have been married to my alcoholic husband for 10 years. I knew he drank before we got married–we both did. Just didn’t know he drank so much or that he gets beligerent. My third marriage, so I haven’t left, yet. I did leave 5 yrs ago because of his drinking. I said that I loved him but couldn’t take the life anymore. I said that I would give him a yr to figure it out. He only quit drinking after 6 months of separation and an OUI .27.

    He was sober about 3 months and we started hanging out together again and I moved back in about 11 1/2 months after I left. He was sober but didn’t go to AA or get counseling for about another 6 months, then started drinking again. It really has been a steady decline since. 3 weeks ago I found him in bed with a life-long friend of mine. I guess that was the last straw.

    He say’s he is going to stop drinking, only after I told him I knew that I couldn’t be with him if he drank. Says he is going to get help. Won’t go to AA though. I am not sure I want him anymore. In fact, I am thinking I don’t. Haven’t been attracted to him in quite some time.

    Our finances are a shambles. I am an RN and make pretty good money. I think I would be better off w/o him. I just feel used and abused by this whole situation. Ashamed that I am in this spot at this time in my life. Don’t know how to stay and don’t know how to leave. Not sure of anything right now. I HATE this.

  13. mia May 2010 at 1:51 am

    How do you deal with the embarrassment caused by your husband’s drinking? I am so ashamed of how he has acted, and so ashamed that I still remain married to him. I won’t even sit in my yard because I can’t stand the neighbors’ pitiful looks. I know I should leave him. But I can’t figure out how.

    I had to quit my job of 20 years because I was afraid to leave my child home without a sober person there. Without an income, I have no access to money. I don’t even have a penny to my name. He resents me quiting my job. So now he doles out the money for groceries, lunch money, etc. He doesn’t give me any money for myself. Nothing! My clothes are falling apart. I haven’t had a haircut in forever. I don’t own a piece of jewelry or have any makeup/hygiene products. My car is in his name. I have no family to help, and I don’t have any friends.

    I only have a few more years till my child graduates. And I have told myself that I can endure all of this until my child is out of the house. But then who is going to hire a disheveled, unkempt woman in rags? I can’t figure how to get out of this mess. Now I walk on eggshells, trying not to say or do the wrong thing. He works all day without drinking, than comes home and gets blasted. When he is drinking, he is loud, sarcastic, and mean. When we go somewhere I always have to come to be the DD, so he won’t get into a wreck and possibly hurt someone. It always seems like I am babysitting this grown man. I don’t argue anymore because I don’t want my child to hear it. I don’t even know who I am anymore. How do you live with this kind of shame?

  14. last resort rlm April 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I just wanted to thank all those who have shared their deep dark secrets. Today has been a very rough day, that was supposed to be a family fun-filled day. I have been attending Al-Anon for the last 5 months and been trying to follow all the tools that have been given to me during them. Each meeting gives me another day of hope. I do my daily literature, meditation and prayers and thought I was on my way .

    Then I did something STUPID and admitted my wrong doings to my alcoholic, trying to follow my program by making my amends instead of covering it up. And now I’m back at square one again. I’m still addicted to my alcoholic and love him deeply, but now I’m scared again and don’t know where to turn. Having this website to go to has helped ease my pain and given the Faith, Strength and Hope to get back up on the horse and try again. Like Dee said, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and I’m grateful that tomorrow I can attend a meeting and hopefully get back on track. THANKS AGAIN!!

  15. Angela A. March 2010 at 10:33 am

    I believe that the disease of alcoholism can be fatal for me — and I DO NOT DRINK! Loving and living with an alcoholic without the help I have found in the Al-Anon program would be too much for me. I am so very grateful that I can go to an Al-Anon meeting TODAY!

    Each meeting I attend helps me a little bit more to heal from the effects of living with this disease. I always come away with a bit more hope and some practical tools that I can apply to many different areas of my life. I am a walking, breathing miracle–thanks to the help and the people I have found in Al-Anon.

  16. Dee March 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I’m also in the same situation as you. My son is 25 and I’ve done nothing but fix and mend and try and figure out where I went wrong. We take a small step forward and a large step back. He has lost a good job, girlfriend, driving, and unfortuatley his self-esteem,confidence, and now feels usless. I can even go away for one night in fear that he will drink and hurt something or someone.

    I’m trying very hard to accept that it’s out of my hands, but as a mom it will always be me that he runs to. My hubby says throw him out. So do my daughters, but how do you do that?

    Just wanted you to know your not alone and I feel your heartache. Sending my hugs your way.

  17. DONNA March 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Yes, at times I feel like it’s my fault. He creates an argument and mentally abuses me, and I find myself defending myself–or having to pull away from him emotionally. He takes all his money and goes on a drunk—binge drinking for up to 30 days at some points and then says he doesn’t want to argue–but he created it. I don’t understand that. I need my peace and serenity.

  18. jorrissey March 2010 at 3:42 am

    This sight is helpful. I learned already in a couple of min. about the 3 “c’s.” I am planning on a meeting!

    My son is 28 years old and blames me for everything wrong in his life. I am so guilt-ridden that I buy into most of it, which in turn is making me sick! I work full time and make enough to scrape by, I feel guilty for that even though he is jobless and living with me! I think that I made very bad choices which affected my children (now all grown) so that is why I have tried to make things right, to make things better. I see that I am making things worse.

    I have tried leaving him alone. He lived with a 54-year-old drug addict/alcoholic and drank, did drugs, and God only knows what else. He even wore out his welcome there! THE OLD ALCOHOLIC NO LONGER WANTED HIM THERE. That is how he ended up back here. For you see, he has lived with me from the age of 21 to 24, had his own apartment for a year and a half, and at 27 lived with his father. That lasted 6 months approx. and then back to alcoholic friend and now for last 2 1/2 very long months back with me!

    He stole alcohol today, and suddenly was drunk. I had no idea how at first. Got extremely beligerent in front of 2-year-old (Grand baby} his niece. He said very cutting remarks, very angry comments towards me about things that I am guilty for. I am at the point where I want to be gone. I don’t think I should be around people, since this is how I have affected those around me.

    I cannot throw him out on the street. That is what his Dad recommends I do. His Dad was the alcoholic drug user. I am the one that attracts them! Married a recovering alcoholic after divorcing him, and although I have never drank or taken drugs I feel pretty useless.

  19. Gayle S March 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I posted a rather lengthy post earlier but I wanted to add that I have read some of the posts here and it is utterly unbelievable how similar some of the situations are to mine. They made me feel a little better about my own self.

    I still have this unbelievable sadness inside me, sometimes so bad that I can’t breathe. I wish my husband would come to me and tell me that he will stop drinking and that he still loves me and wants to keep our marriage intact. But I know that’s wishful thinking. My husband has always said that he does not have a drinking problem and when he drives drunk, he always knows what he’s doing and he has been very lucky. In 18 years, he has never had a DUI.

    I can’t stand the fact that booze and boozing friends can come before me. It makes me so angry. I WANT TO BE FIRST.

    My husband and I went to counseling for a while after he tried to strangle me and I had him arrested. The counseling was part of the agreement we made with the DA. He walked out of the last session and would never go back because I told the counselor that evening that I didn’t think our marriage was going to work and that I couldn’t stay any longer.

    I am back in counseling and I am going to go even if it’s for the rest of my life.

    I loved this man so much. He saved me 19 years ago but he broke my heart when he stopped loving me back.

  20. Gayle S March 2010 at 11:20 am

    I have been married for 19 years to a man whose drinking has become steadily worse over the years. The first year of our marriage, there was hardly any drinking. When we were dating, we would both go to a bar, have a beer and that was it. After we moved to Tennessee and my husband started his business, the 3-4 night visits to the local bars with the guys he employed started. The domestic abuse started after that. There are at least 4 domestic violence reports with our local police department, including 2 arrests of my husband. Over the years, there has been a succession of different men he has employed that he befriends because they drink together and no matter how many times I told him that he couldn’t employ people during the day and drink with them at night, he never listened. The bar locations changed as did the men he employed and drank with.

    We have been separated 4 times during our marriage, with me always moving out and then he asks me to come back and the behavior starts again.

    We are currently separated at this time and I have filed for divorce. But an interesting thing came up recently in a discussion I was having with a friend. My attorney has been having a difficult time getting my husband served with the divorce papers and my friend told me to give my attorney the names and addresses of some of his drinking friends or places that he hangs out. And I thought for a few minutes and realized that I do not know even one single name of a person or friend of my husband’s or an address or place where he goes to drink or just hang out at some friend’s house. It’s like I realized for the first time that my husband has a whole secret life that I know nothing about. Is that normal for a drinker who is married?

    The last bar/pool hall he used to go to last year, he stopped going there because he got so drunk one night, that the bartender called me at about 1 in the morning and told me I had to come pick him up. I should have left him there but I didn’t. I got dressed and drove to the bar which is pretty close to our house and picked him up. He was horribly drunk, barely able to walk to my car. And I remember feeling so embarrassed.

    My husband is extremely talented. There is nothing that he can’t build, fix or repair, whether it’s household, vehicles – anything. He built our granddaughter the most beautiful white cabinet for her American Girl dolls and he always gets terrific references for work that he is hired to do but our house, which we have been living in for 18 years does not have one single room in it that is completely finished. We bought a fixer and have done a lot of work to it, all of which my husband has done. However, there are rooms that need one or 2 things but have never been completed. I never understood that. He takes such pride in work he does for others but his own home, he doesn’t seem to care.

    I”ve never dealt with an addicted person. I still love my husband but I know that I can’t stop him from drinking even though I still want to try but know that’s it’s futile. I don’t know why he married me. For the past 18 years, he’s really led a single man’s life.

  21. new to this March 2010 at 12:03 am

    I have been married for 6 short years to a wonderful man – the father of our three young children. I really just can’t believe that I am married to an alcoholic. For the first few years, he rarely drank, but my husband is now a functioning alcoholic – son of another functioning alcoholic. I am just so confused. I can’t wrap my mind around it. I do look for the “why” answers and I do look to myself for the reasons he drinks.

    I feel like I have to understand it. It hurts. It feels like a personal assault. A few times he has put himself in life-threatening situations due to his drinking and otherwise it has become an everyday thing. Other than the drinking, he is so wonderful – really an honorable man, smart, loving, a loyal friend, who provides for his family and it makes me think that maybe I am asking too much for him to be sober. But then again, I guess I can’t really ask that?? I don’t know.

    I don’t get it – how am I supposed to let go? This is my husband, this is the father of my children. How am I supposed to detach from my spouse? Am I supposed to walk around and ignore the drinking? That is a serious question.

    I am confused by a disease that cannot be cured and I am supposed to let go. I don’t want to let it go, I want him to stop. His drinking makes me angry, resentful, sad, embarassed, and worried. Obviously, I am new to this. I am not at peace with any of this. I love my husband with great intensity. We have talks – but we (or he) never get anywhere. I am truly confused.

  22. Addicted to a Alcoholic March 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I have read everyone’s comments. I will be having an anniversary of 23 years with my alcoholic. I know and admit it has affected me. Somewhere deep inside I believed it was my fault (some how). My alcoholic has liver damage and there is only one place he will be going. So far there has been no way out for him. He chooses his hopeless future.

    He doesn’t want an answer to alcohol. I think his brain is damaged. I give him to the Lord to deal with and keep praying that there is hope on getting him to recovery. Hoping it isn’t too late. Meanwhile I have to learn to look after myself. Something I haven’t done a good job at since all my attention was on my alcoholic.

  23. D.J. E March 2010 at 5:42 pm

    In Al-Anon I have learned many great tools that I use every single day of my life. I can relate to most of the above sharings. First of all , thank you all for sharing. As a recovering Al-Anon I find it helps me to reflect. Very true about the 3 C’s! They are a defining tool for me. After my wife left treatment (for the 2nd time) I was left empty, lifeless, hopeless, shameful, and angry. I had no clue on what was the next step. Our children were affected greatly as well.

    I finally listened to my sister and went to my first Al-Anon meeting 2 yrs ago. I must say, it was the first day of my new life. I felt the compassion I had longed for for so many years. I had seen all these people that were so common to me experiencing the same pain and hardship that I was feeling. They told me to “Keep Coming Back”, so I did. For a while I didn’t get it all, but I did feel a sense of peace. I kept coming back. When I learned the 3 C’s, I finally understood where my thinking was distorted. I Believed I could Control, Cure, and maybe that I caused it. Al-Anon taught me what the reality of this disease is. There was absolutely Nothing that I could do about it. Step 1: I am powerless over alcohol, my life was and is unmanagable.

    The only thing I can control is my attitude, ME. I often wondered as most of us do, “What’s Next?” I got my answer as I kept coming back. I got a Sponsor or 3 and “Got Busy”. I started working the steps and my life was transformed!

    I became the man I am today. One that is Respectful, Loving, Caring, and Ultimately Faithful. I know now that without this program my life would still be a tattered and torn hell.

    My Children are now very interested in Alateen and I’m working hard to get an Alateen meeting started in our area. My hopes and Prayers are that they will come to understand just what and how Alcoholism affected them. This type of Healthy Helping is one of my many tools as well, Service.

    There is Help for all of us. Peace and Serenity have been found in many Al-Anon rooms. I found it when I thought there was absolutely no help for me. I will keep all who are struggling and are affected by this disease in my prayers. It seemed very hard at first when I wasn’t in Al-Anon. Now I just take it “One Day at a Time”.

  24. Harvey H January 2010 at 5:19 pm

    My wife is combining prescription meds with alcohol and has become abusive to our 10-year-old child and myself when she is intoxicated. I love her very much, and I have stressed to her I will stick by her and help her through detox and treatment. She is in denial and believes she can deal with this on her own and continue to “have an occasional sip”. I understand the three C’s, but what I want to know is how much should I involve our child? My wife always tries to hush me from talking openly about this. However, he is living with this daily. I have stressed to him Mom is sick and I will do everything I can to help her get better so that we can be a happy family again.

  25. Sara January 2010 at 8:32 am

    He is in the third week of recovery. And I am trying really hard to feel the way I used to feel before the months of verbal abuse. When drunk, he said things that were unbelievable. Now, he says little.

    As he is looking at 10 years in prison for common assault, he wants me to take responsibility for my reactions. I feel I have been punished enough, and honestly, just want to leave. But after 20 years, and the ‘sweet’ times, I don’t know what to do! It’s hard enough to believe that he really really wants me, when all I have heard is that he doesn’t.

    I understand the above paragraph, by Lil’ Nel, the sneering and verbal abuse. I cried on my way home from work, because I knew what I was walking into. I know I didn’t cause, can’t control, and certainly, cannot cure him. But I also wonder if our relationship is a part of his problem.

    He sent flowers to his sister-in-law to apologize for a drunk phone call from jail. That really hurt me. What do we get? What is our apology???????

    Really gotta work on the resentment. Really gotta work on me. Not sure if I can while I am with him.

  26. Sara January 2010 at 11:15 am

    I think I believed the drinking was my fault for awhile. It was a part of the script he used to destroy me. I never REALLY believed him, I thought, but after a while of him not touching me, not talking to me, I began to see that maybe he didn’t love me anymore. Since I had been accused so much of being the cause of his blackout drunks, part of me died.

  27. snowflake January 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I read this in “Courage to Change” today, something about if I can stop the wheels from turning for even a few moments, my Higher Power can take charge and steer me in the right direction. I’m working on that today.

  28. snowflake January 2010 at 7:12 am

    I’m really pleased to have discovered this website. Reading the posts helps me connect to other people who are struggling with alcoholism within a family. I am new to Al-Anon but have lived with alcoholism all of my life, beginning with my parents, etc. I am the oldest of six children so I have dealt with picking up the pieces for lots of years. I am so grateful that my parents no longer drink, and my brother recently stopped drinking, and that I have discovered Al-Anon with my sibling. She and I attended my first meeting over Christmas break so I am extremely thankful for that awakening. I also understand that recovery is a process and that I love the alcoholics in my life dearly, but have admitted that I am powerless over the alcohol itself!

  29. rudefish December 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Alll this is a truly gut wrenching illness, and it’s really hard to help an alcoholic. You try everything in your power to get them to at least cut down, including shouting at them, being kind, buying drinks or not buying drinks, leaving them, staying with them, bribing them, blackmail, threats, promises, love, hate–just about everything in your power. Sometimes you even think you’ve gotten through to the alcoholic, but it really lets you down when you can just tell all they want is some more wine and they care about nothing else in this world except . . . You know the next bit.

    I feel empty inside. I feel more alone than she does. At least she has a drink. All I’ve got is an empty shell of a human–coz that’s what she is, a walking bottle of wine. I love her so very much, but I am beginning to resent her big time. I look at her sometimes when she is trying to remember a story or recall something, when she has had a few, and I think to myself just shut up, stop bumbling, put the drink down, get some help, and do it for yourself, your mum, niece, and please don’t do this to yourself.

    I know it’s not my fault, but it’s not her’s either. What can i do? I just won’t allow her to be taken from this earth via drink–no way!!

  30. bka October 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I definitely feel my husband has this syndrome. This is my second marriage (three years) and my first husband was not an alcoholic, but I have an adult son from marriage #1 who is bipolar, and two other non bp kids. My first husband allowed the son to be abusive toward me, although I did not. His lack of concern and avoidance and disrespect of me is part of why we divorced. So, I now ask myself how am I going to deal with this situation?

    My husband has not had a drink in over 15 years (I’ve known him for over four years), and I have not seen him drink at all. I do not believe he has. I knew he used to have a problem before we met, but since he stopped drinking so many years ago, I honestly thought at the time it was a great achievement, and he wasn’t abusing in our relationship. I had never lived with alcoholism growing up, so I was not prepared at all. He was able to disguise these behaviors at first, but now he just blasts off with no regard whatsoever to my feelings.

    He reacts way out of proportion to the smallest things anyone says (including me); he constantly makes negative, judgmental, and racist remarks about anything and anybody; has very little tolerance, treats me as if all of our problems in our life are my fault; tells me my feelings are wrong and his are always the right ones, etc. He also gets extremely upset if I disagree with him about anything. There is more, but you get the idea.

    He also grew up in an extremely verbally and physically abusive home (according to him and another family member). He was married before two times, but had been divorced for many years when I met him. So, I also feel that with or without alcohol to blame, growing up in violence can also cause someone to be this way. Interestingly, my son behaves a lot this way, and he was not abused growing up. I have other well adjusted children who are doing well in their pursuits. So, I also believe that my husband may be either severely depressed, or bipolar, and he tried to self-medicate all those years.

    Another habit he has is that he drinks excessive amounts of diet canned soft drinks. Literally, he can drink almost two 24 can cases within three days or less! At first, I thought he may be addicted to the caffeine, but now I realize this may be his substitute for beer. It’s like a smoker–just the habit of lighting up and holding the cigarette goes along with the nicotine addiction. Perhaps the sound of the soda can opening up and holding it is just like having the safety blanket that the beer can used to provide.

    The soda habit has increased GREATLY in the last year, and I thought he drank way too much then.

    I am making my plans to get away since he refuses to ever go to marriage counseling again. We went a short time last year to help with our communication issues, but the dry alcoholism never came up, and the counselor never mentioned it as a cause of our issues. I first heard of it when I attended a support group for abused women after the marriage counseling. I felt and still feel like an abused spouse, much worse than I felt in my first marriage.

    I absolutely refuse to stay with a man like this. I have tried to talk with him using the techniques I have read about on Al-Anon, have walked away when he gets nasty, etc. but he just doesn’t care about me. How dare I start stuff or walk away when HE has so many issues, and I have just put him through HELL the last several years, over normal everyday living issues.

    I am totally embarrassed that I even ended up this way and that I didn’t have better judgment. I did contact a former GF, and she said the same things! Thank God she didn’t marry him. In another time, we would have been friends, LOL (we are a lot alike), interestingly. Husband doesn’t know I talked with her, but it did help me to know it just wasn’t me!

    I am trying to find a new job (I have been laid off for awhile). He has threatened in the past that if I leave, he’ll take half the house (I put 95% of the downpayment on it, he did not contribute much). My part was what I had before we were married. He still owns property that isn’t sold, so he can go there!! Another symptom….broken promises!

    Thanks for listening to my long rant. I really like the three C’s. I just hope I can stop beating myself up so much.

  31. hopeful October 2009 at 8:52 am

    Thank you, all for your posts. My daughter is an alcoholic who recently had a car accident, but thank God she was fine and no one else was involved. She woke up in her bed the next morning, not remembering anything. This is too scary watching her do this. She is going to AA, has 22 days sobriety, but honestly I don’t think this is the end of it. So I pray. Alot.

  32. Lorraine98 October 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I have been in a relationship for four years and my 32-year-old common-law partner is a
    drinker. He has admitted that he has a problem but says he wants help, then falls
    back in his words. I find that sometimes his drinking is having a big toll on our lives
    and our children (three & one). We fight on occasion and when we do fight the police get
    involved and he is taken to jail for the night, and that makes things worse, but I don’t
    know what else to do. I also worry at times because he is also taking celexa for
    depression and then he drinks while on these meds. I want him to get help so he can see his children
    grown up.

  33. jennifer October 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Reading all of these letters, I cried and am amazed at how many people live the exact same life as I do. Every single one of you is strong and amazing. My husband has been struggling with addiction for 20 years and I finally realized I don’t have to feel guilty or try to save him from hurting himself, or make sure he does this or does that. Everybody knows the routine. When they change from a man to an infant. I have to take care of myself and be happy. All of you helped me today by sharing your stories. God bless you all, and get to a meeting.

  34. Julie October 2009 at 11:17 am

    It is unrealistic for me to say that Al-Anon has solved all my problems. It hasn’t. I still have problems. I am trying to learn a different and hopefully a better way to deal with them. It may take a long time, but I think I am making a conscious effort to change little things every moment. I have to stay in the here and now. It is difficult.

    I have been dating an alcoholic for three years, dating. Every time I try to talk to him about taking the next step in our relationship, he fights tooth and nail. When we talk about it, it seems like the things he says makes me feel like the reason we are not living together or married is my fault. I don’t know if this is part of his illness or if maybe I have truly created an atmosphere of fear.

    No. I will not take responsiblity for his negative feelings. I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. I can’t make him do what I want him to do. Any time we talk he always says that he is afraid of what might happen in the future. I think he stays in that fear because that is what he knows and is comfortable with. All I know about myself is that I am tired of being at fault.

    I am currently living with my mother and two brothers. My whole family has been affected by this disease. The negativity and arguing is weighing on me. It feels like I am battling with this disease on all fronts. The only comfort that I get is from going to my meetings and talking with other people who share my struggle. I feel better knowing that I am not alone. I have to work hard at my program. I have to remember to take it easy and to live and let live.

  35. An October 2009 at 11:10 am

    Thank you all for sharing. BGR, I was struck when I read your posting. It was like I was writing it. I don’t have anything to add. That’s exactly how I feel, and what happens to me. I haven’t gone to any Al-Anon meetings but have a good friend who has been going to meetings for years and has been asking me to go to try it for years. I find this Web site and the podcasts very helpful. Thank you, to those who maintain it and contribute here. God bless us all.

  36. Julie October 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I started my recovery 4 months ago. I am a very grateful member of Al-Anon. I am also an adult child of an alcoholic who lost his battle with the disease in 2003.

    My father died of sclerosis of the liver.

    I am currently in a loving relationship of 3 years with an alcoholic who has been “dry” since June of this year. He is not in a recovery program that I am aware of at this time.

    I try to attend at least 3 meetings a week. Although lately I have been making it to at least one since my schedule has been pretty busy. I have learned that I did not cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it.

    I have struggled with the family disease of alcoholism probably my whole life but did not know it until I started attending meetings. The work is simple, but not easy. The reward of spirituality is far greater than any other gift I have ever recieved in my life. My alcoholic is a wonderful man. I can hate the disease of alcoholism and love the person affected by the disease. Just as I would love a person struck with cancer.

    I am so thankful to have found Al-Anon. I wish everyone I know who has been affected by this disease would attend meetings and have an opportunity to experience the joy of peace that I have been blessed to have found, but they say, “You find the program when you are meant to.” God Bless.

  37. BGR October 2009 at 10:09 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’m so amazed how lost I can feel at times. I know I’m a very smart person and I do know what’s right and wrong, but I find that this piece of my life is so out of whack.

    I never had to deal with anything like this before. I don’t drink, and only know a few friends that might go out and have 2 or 3 drinks over dinner. So I find myself lost on how to deal with my BF.

    Bottom line is I love the man who does not drink, but really hate the drinker. When we first met he would only drink here and there, no problems. After living with me and my 2 kids for a while, his few drinks became more and more. I have found bottles in his truck, under chairs, in the washer, and even in my child’s room. I get so mad and yell, even make him leave, but he always comes back. I’m glad that he does stop for a while, but always slips up and ends up at the bar or store. I find that he is everything I want in a mate when he is not drinking. I know he tries. He can go about 40 days and then he picks a fight to blame me for the fight so he can leave for the day or night to drink. I’m so drained, angry, and sad. I know he is a good man, just don’t know why he does this to his loved ones.

    So how do you know when to go or let go? I’m sick of the lies and hurtful things he does. I find myself not wanting to come home, and really not living my life how I want to when he is around. When he is not here, I’m happier and feel safe. I do miss him and wish him the best, but when we talk he cries that he wants to come home to his family and wants to get better. He makes me feel like I’m abandoning him and that I’m turning my back on him. Which goes against everything I go by–help not hurt, and he knows this–so he plays on it. I don’t need or want this kind of life for myself or my children.

  38. CE September 2009 at 11:42 am

    My mother has been sober off of alcohol now for almost 4 years. She has never admitted that her drinking was entirely her own doing and has stopped going to her AA group meetings since the spring because her group stopped meeting.

    I have recently moved back to the city where my family lives and am witnessing and feeling the same types of attacks that my mother used when she was drinking, but she is sober!! She not only brings up that she can drink if she wants to all of the time, but she also blames my father for her not being able to drink every single day. She rants about my father being the one with the issues with alcohol, and that she is fine and can drink if she wants to.

    We own a family business so we are around each other every day. She is not only still in denial about her drinking, she enables and makes excuses for my brother who has relapsed on alcohol. I do not know how to approach my mother because she refuses to talk about anything pertaining to her problems.

    I was in therapy for years and thought that I had overcome the abuse of my youth from my mother, but now as an adult, being back home, I am feeling some of the same anxieties that I did when I was younger.

  39. MR September 2009 at 7:40 pm

    I have an alcoholic husband. He is usually a super nice person when he is drinking. I am getting angry, upset, cry over and over, thinking, “What have I done?” I am on many meds for a lot of different medical problems. I find that when he is drinking I ask myself, “Why?” I feel if I had a medical emergency I’d call one of my girls and leave my husband at the house drunk.

    I feel deeply hurt that he’s being selfish. I haven’t attended An Al-Anon meeting, which I know I should do. I am totally embarrassed to go to one. Today I asked him why he drank. He shrugged his shoulders and I also relayed the message to him there is an AA meeting tonite at 8 p.m. I usually slam the door to show him that I am mad, but for some reason I didn’t. I decided I would get online to find some information. I am planning on helping myself first.

    Alcoholism is a disease and I’m not sure how one gets it, or if it’s an escape from reality.

  40. Little Nel September 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I have added one line to the 3 Cs. I find it very calming.

    I didn’t cause it.
    I can’t cure it.
    I can’t control it.

    Breathe. . .

  41. Linda C September 2009 at 6:49 am

    My daughter and son-in-law are both in the last stages of alcoholism. I’ve tried to tell them for 13 years that they were drinking way too much. Of course, I was the bad person and I was physically and mentally abused for years. I go to court in October to get custody of my 15-and 13-year-old grandchildren.

    I have completely detached from both of them, and my husband finally detached 5 weeks ago. I do pray a lot, but I will no longer help them in anything unless they decide to get better. Right now, they have no jobs, no transportation, no electric, and are being evicted. The sad part is they still manage to drink.

    My real problem is my 15-year-old grandson. He has seen them both abuse me for years, and yet I still went back to help them. I’m kind of thinking that he feels like he can verbally abuse me and I will still be there for him. I don’t ever want to enable anybody again. He tells me that it’s my fault that his mom is a drunk and that it had to be the way I raised her. He calls me old.

    I just feel the same pattern starting over again, and he refuses to go for help. He is not a bad kid. He does very good in school, but he holds everything inside and shows no emotion. Believe me, we all need counseling because of these two sick people. And he’s the only one that they have left. So, I think that he is carrying the world on his shoulders. I just can’t put up with his behavior much more.

  42. Little Nel September 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I and my two kids recently left my husband of 19 years. The children are 14 and 10. His drinking, sneering and rants really did me in. I would pull into the driveway each evening dreading getting out of the car. Was he going to be a happy drunk tonight, or a mean drunk? He passed out so often, why he bothered to weigh each drink was beyond me, when he was going to finish 750 ml in a day and a half anyway.

    He wasn’t a meaningful part of our lives. It was made even harder when he said, “I drink because of you and I pass out to avoid you.” I finally had to go. His life is a job that makes him cynical, drinking and hanging out online–where he’s now made a girlfriend.

    I thought I hated him. Being gone two months, I realize I don’t hate him but maybe still love him and wish he would seek treatment and personal therapy and even talk to me about any of this, but I really don’t think he will because he hasn’t gotten past denial. I’m scared and wish it wasn’t this way.

  43. Cathy September 2009 at 10:40 pm

    The three “C”s. Thanks so much for posting! My 26-year-old son is an alcoholic. I realize that, but he doesn’t. I just got a call this afternoon that he was driving my car and was drunk. I have been using “tough” love on him. He is not allowed to live at my home and I WILL NOT tolerate his drinking. I just don’t want to lose him to the streets or worse yet, to the morgue. Thanks for listening.

  44. Tina September 2009 at 7:29 pm

    I, too, learned the 3 Cs to help me in my recovery. I also have to work on another C and that’s “contribute.” I have a very hard time forgiving myself when I enable. Sometimes I just do what it takes to survive at that moment. I have to take care of me each day to be strong enough to say no, a very little word but a very big challenge. I always loved the expression, “When you point your finger, there are 3 more pointing at you.”

  45. Rose M September 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Hello – With the help of my higher power and the Al-Anon rooms, I have learned a better
    way of living.

  46. lucy September 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Just found this great site. I have attended Al-Anon meetings and have found great strength and hope. I never knew that I had a disease also. Mine is called codependency. I have enabled alcoholics all my life unknowingly, from my dad to my husband, to my present partner, to my child. And I admit that my child’s alcoholism hurts my heart more than any. And, of course, there’s the guilt. Someone at a meeting said that she has forgiven people in her life for the things that were done to her, a very abusive alocholic father, etc. And if she could forgive others, didn’t she love herself enough to forgive herself for the guilt she felt about her child’s alcoholism? That was something I needed to hear. I am sorry for my child’s disease. I am sorry that she is in pain. But the 3 Cs apply here also. Free of guilt?

    Not yet, but it’s progress, not perfection.

  47. anne September 2009 at 3:57 am

    Thank you, everyone, for sharing. It really helps; it gives me strength.

    The behavior of my loved one is very crazy right now. I have felt despair, but Step 3 really helps me.

    Another thing that has helped me is learning not to take on the behavior of the alcoholic. That is, I am learning to separate his behavior from mine. I am not responsible for his crazy behaviors, but I am responsible for how I respond. I choose to respond healthily, not crazily. I choose to pass on recovery, not the disease.

  48. Angela August 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I’m 31 years old, a mother to three precious little boys. My loving husband is on his way home from work this very minute. Six months ago, I almost killed myself in a DWI accident. No one else was involved. Just me. At that point, I realized that I was following the cycle I’d watched my entire life. I’ve been sober since then. I’ve read the AA book. I’ve been to substance abuse counseling. I want to be different than what I was taught to be!

    I just pulled myself off of my bedroom floor after crying hysterically. It is surreal to know that even at my age my mind can quickly revert back to being 10, 12, 15 years old. My parents are still drinking the same way they did then. Only then, I tried to make sense of it. I tried yelling. I tried acting out. I tried being the best at everything. I tried crying and pleading. None of my behavior changed their behavior. Their obsession with getting totally plastered.

    At 31, I’m still coping. I have cycles of depression and live in constant fear that I don’t measure up. From the outside, things look okay. But on the inside, it’s the same as when I was much younger. How can an alcoholic do this much damage to his/her own child? I don’t understand. I don’t understand. I don’t understand.

    When will this ever end? I guess there is no answer. Thank you for letting me vent.

  49. Sheila August 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I am hoping the meeting I go to helps me. I’m sure it can’t hurt. I think the three C’s are very good to know, but I can’t wait until they become second nature for me. My son called today and he was able to leave for a while and see his girlfriend. He said that it’s boring, but he liked talking with the other “house guests” about what they have been through. It’s day one and (I almost said, we), but he got through it okay. I’m quick to thinking that I’m am being punished for his drinking. I have a lot to learn and a long way to go. I think I need to chat with other parents.

  50. BitterSweetRelief August 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I have been dating someone for the last 4 months who was a recovering alcoholic. He started to drink when the “honeymoon” period was over. The two alcoholics I know have always been sober so I am so clueless. He broke up with me and I was devastated when he started calling me saying he was drinking to harm me, like it was my fault. Thank you so very much for sharing the three C’s with me. I went to an Al-Anon meeting today to understand and I am so very glad that I did. Thank you.

  51. Sheila August 2009 at 5:36 pm

    My son (20 something) is now admitting himself, at this very moment, into a rehab facility. I took him there earlier today and I didn’t like the looks of it, so I’m fearful for him. It’s funny, I have looked at the past years as to where I should have spoken up or said something or just kept a closer eye on him, finding blame in me for what he does. I have cried, paid his bills, taken out loans (because of his habit), I think to try and make up for what I think I did!!!.

    I want to learn to let go of the responsibility I carry for his drinking and find the true peace of mind and soul my “higher power, who I name God,” wants me to have. I will be going to my first Al-Anon meeting this weekend. Pray for me and my son tonight. Thank you.

  52. Amy August 2009 at 5:52 am

    I’m so glad I found this site. I come from some pretty hard-core drinkers, which has made me a NON drinker, by the grace of God. I married a man who only drank very little, but throughout 23 years beer has become his life water. He comes from such dysfunction that it’s nearly impossible to understand, but he’s a grown man who should know better. We have four kids who all see what alcohol does and who have vowed never to become like their father.

    I’m so tired of being blamed for his drinking. If I only “did this” or only “did that,” or only or only or only. You know the story. If “I only,” then he would have no reason to drink. The emotional manipulation and abuse are so far out of hand that I don’t think I can stand it anymore. The three “c”s are something I repeat every day to make sure my self-esteem doesn’t fall any further.

    He went to one AA meeting and bought the book. He didn’t speak, only listened. Well, he’s over that already. He won’t go anymore. He thinks his problem is much less than some of the others. Yeah, right.

    God bless all of you in your personal struggles with this hideous disease. I will pray for you as I pray for my kids and myself.

  53. Denise August 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Wow, this is great!

  54. anew journey August 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks to everyone for opening up. I think I will connect to a meeting. I never knew that I could be addicted to the alcoholic. Now that makes sense. I feel powerless sometimes as I am a professional who deals with this stuff, and here I am with a husband dealing with alcoholism whether he admits it or not. I am ready to admit that that is where my life is right now. God, please help and bless me.

  55. Lise July 2009 at 6:43 pm

    My story is very similar to Mending’s. I broke off communication with my mother a few days ago. My mother has been an alcoholic/drug user for over 24 years. I’m tired of the chaos and disappointment in this relationship. My mother responded to my request that we stop speaking by leaving numerous voicemails cursing me and telling me, “I’m going to die.”

    My father is also an alcoholic/drug user who has been in and out of my life; I haven’t spoken to him in 5 years.

    I’m trying to work through the anger and be as productive as I can with my life. However, in many ways I feel as if I don’t have parents. I feel cheated.

    I struggle with depression and guilt. People criticize me for not wanting a relationship with my parents because “You only get 1 mother/ father.” Others say I should “honor my parents,” no matter what. I’ve endured emotional, physical and verbal abuse; I love my parents, but I’m just done.

    I plan to attend my 1st Al-Anon meeting this week. I’m repeating the 3 C’s in my head and they make feel a little better. Thanks, everyone, for sharing.

  56. butterfly July 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Wish I had all the answers–right now. What is hardest for me, I think, is knowing and understanding what I need to do in my head, but my heart doesn’t always seem to follow. When the pain becomes too intense, I back off and find myself in the same old vicious cycle. Meetings, books and phone have become my best friends and working the steps–keeping the focus on ME for the first time in my life is at times hard to do, but actually feels pretty damn good.

  57. beachbaby July 2009 at 2:03 am

    Al-Anon has taught me so much. To stay positive in the face of this disease can be a task. My daughter brought me to these rooms, although I should’ve been here sooner. I thank my Higher Power, whom I call God. I was recently reminded of the disease by my dad who chose to go to the racetrack instead of his granddaughter’s baby shower. I was so hurt I couldn’t think straight. Well, I just started making an abundance list and wouldn’t you know it. I felt better.

  58. Bear June 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve learned in Al-Anon that I can’t give advice. I’m just grateful that someone kept nagging me until I went to a meeting. Hope comes when we learn not to put the focus on the other person and start taking care of ourselves. If you can’t attend face-to-face meetings, there are electronic meetings at various times of the day, including lunch hours. Some are telephone, some on the computer, some operate as bulletin boards and others are chat in nature.

    The key for me was to do something different. I once asked about what AA would say about something and was told that what AA says is none of my business. I need to live my life and set my own boundaries. After attending open AA meetings, I soon learned that AA was not saying any of the nonsense I was hearing at home. By then, I was healthy enough to know to Mind My Own Business and just respond to the insane thinking by saying: “You may be right.”

    I’ve learned that insane thinking will bring the alcoholic to his knees or he’ll drink again, and neither of these outcomes is mine to control. I’m glad that you found this site and hope it will be the first step to finding the hope and peace I’ve been privileged to enjoy since I started attending meetings.

  59. leone419 June 2009 at 12:54 pm

    He says I am. I don’t see how. I’ve tried to help him quit, but then again I’m everything but someone he loves when he’s drinking.

  60. Just Unsure June 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I understand all of what is being said here, but I still wonder how I can stay in a relationship with an alcoholic and feel fulfilled as a wife. My husband insists that AA told him he can still have wine and beer but not the hard alcohol he was having before.

    He continues to drink on his nights off until he’s not present or coherent. He expects me and our two boys to act as if everything is normal and not say anything about the drinking since AA ok’d it. He still blames my “nagging” as why he was pushed to drink.

    It’s been a year and half since his DUI. He totaled his car and nearly killed himself when he flipped it, but luckiliy he didn’t physically hurt anyone else. Emotionally, I’ve been scarred since. I asked him to move out to consider our life together and after one week, I asked him to come back. Now I don’t know if I did us any favors.

    Now, he’s having a text relationship with a female AA “buddy” and claims it’s all part of what they’ve been asked to do to make sure they don’t give in to temptation. It bugs me and I’m not sure if any of this is even true.

  61. feeling lost May 2009 at 4:03 am

    Hello to anyone who is listening. I have lived with alcoholics my whole life. My grandparents, parents, my husband and now my children. Everyone I love has a problem with alcohol. I realize that this has affected my entire life. I suffer from anxiety and depression and have come to rely on meditation and affirmations to keep me positive. Right now I just wonder why this is my life and what I can do to take care of myself…

  62. needhelp May 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I didn’t think that I was trying to control my husband’s life with his disease, but now I know that I was trying. But using the three Cs, I don’t have to worry about him. I need to worry about me. Thank you

  63. Mending May 2009 at 11:57 pm

    My mom is a severe alcoholic. She is in the late stages of liver disease. Over the past years she has been in and out of the hospital NUMEROUS times. She has been verbally abusive (would call, cussing at me and my young family) to me and blames me for everything that is wrong in her life. Everything I do or attempt to do has been turned around on me like hell fire. My stepfather is also an alcoholic and has not helped her situation at all.

    I have tried everything from ignoring it, to psychoanalyzing it, to offering help with love and nothing has worked. Now I have stepped away from it for the last 3 months. And although her blame and anger still come through to me from my sister who is in contact with her, I have felt a great sense of relief. I am working on not feeling guilt or heartbreak when they continue to beat me up from afar.

    I also am working on the sadness in losing my mom to this terrible disease. I meditate, pray and work with a counselor to heal (for me and everyone who has been affected). Yet this is the first time I have been on the Al-Anon web site and saw the three Cs. I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it and I can’t control it. That will be my mantra as well for awhile, until it is ingrained in my soul. Thanks for these comments.

  64. Hopefulmom May 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I wish I could learn to detach myself from the situation. My son had a good life, but the alcohol is destroying him. I know that only he can change what has happened. I am glad to know that others are feeling the way I do. Thanks for the comments.

  65. Danny G. May 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Sandyladyvb, I can really relate to being responsible for all the wrongs committed on earth. I never did anything right, nor say anything right according to my dry alcoholic spouse. Seems they have a way to make us feel guilty as sin and they do no wrong. So until I understood the 3 C’s my life was messy, I tell ya. Such a relief to know hey, not my fault. Did not cause, do not control and what a weight lifted that I cannot cure it. I feel bad for her, but at the same time not my responsibility to cure.

  66. Danny G. May 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Boy, did it ever take me a very long time to let those precious 3 C’s into my stubborn brain. I married a dry alcoholic and I tell you it’s so hard to see it comin til you are in this program. I too was asked by my therapist to try this program, and boy I never went to a therapist again. I thank her for my journey now.

  67. ds May 2009 at 11:12 am

    WOW. Thank u all for these comments. My sister is recovering and I am suffering with how to help, but I know it is up to her. I cannot stop this disease. Only she can. I have to live my life and I must learn to use the 3-Cs. Please continue on this site.

  68. Bengie April 2009 at 9:43 am

    No. I didn’t cause it, can’t cure it, and can’t control it. Trying to analyze the behaviours of a person who is suffering from the disease of alcoholism just created more anxiety in myself. Trying to cure or control someone else’s drinking created a person I was not proud to be.

    This is a family disease. Regarding my relationship with my brother who suffers from this illness, I have put up some loving boundaries. Along with these boundaries, I’ve made it clear that my door is always open. I learned to detach with love, which is a great gift of the Al-Anon program.

  69. Kristy April 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Wow sandladyvb! I would just like to say I have learnt something I will definitely put to use in my life, The Three C’s. Thank you for posting that.

    I am unable to make it to meetings due to a busy schedule, but would like to thank this website and the comments I’ve been reading for giving me a chance at a better understanding of alcoholism.

  70. JoyceM April 2009 at 10:05 pm

    The three C’s are becoming very important to me. I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. It has helped me understand that this is a disease and that although I love my husband very much, in many ways it is his journey…just as it is my journey to have diabetes. I can love him, but I can’t live his life for him just as he cannot live my life for me.

  71. sandladyvb March 2009 at 11:31 am

    One of the first things I learned in Al-Anon is that I wasn’t powerful enough to make someone drink. It was very humbling and humiliating. No matter how great or bad I was as a wife, I was not the cause of my husband’s drinking. It was also a great relief.

    I was so used to beating myself up that I couldn’t just accept that I wasn’t the cause of the drinking. If it wasn’t me, the drinking must have been caused by someone or something else. So, I started analyzing where the alcoholism came from–maybe it was his Mother. She wasn’t very attentive to him and she sipped beer all day. Maybe it was his first grade teacher, maybe it was the neighborhood he grew up in. I read a lot of books and magazines about alcoholism to educate myself. After a lot of Al-Anon meetings and attending open A.A. meetings, I realized that it didn’t matter why my husband drank. The point was that every time he drank, he affected not only himself, but also me.

    The Three C’s really reminded me about acceptance of alcoholism or problem drinking as an illness. It was like a mantra – I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, I can’t control it. I’d say it over and over to myself. It was as if I had to brainwash myself. It was a totally new way of thinking for me. I would never have learned this if it hadn’t been for Al-Anon.

    It all came down to acceptance of alcoholism or alcohol abuse as an illness that is both genetic and behavioral within a family. I had to forgive myself for the things I did or didn’t do, and accept that I didn’t know then what I know now as a result of the help I received in Al-Anon.

    When I stopped feeling like the reason my husband or father drank, I started to get better. I was able to shift the focus onto myself –the person that I could change. And when that happened, I started to recover because I was stepping off of the emotional roller coaster of the illness of alcoholism. And that is also how I could help my husband. Feeling guilty didn’t do a thing except to make me feel bad about myself and to do and say some very outrageous things.

  72. Karen March 2009 at 11:41 pm

    A question that is in mind. How do I handle the drunkenness? I have never had to deal with an alcoholic. I love him. I have not given up on him. I just wonder how do I handle it. Do keep forgiving? Do tuff love? What?

  73. Karen March 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I believe that he cannot handle our relationship or any relationship. So I have some things in my life that you have to be able to handle. He does not seem strong enough to handle them. He gets easily agitated and has to drink. So, yes, at times I feel that it is my fault.

  74. t March 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I don’t know if it is my fault anymore or not.

  75. bev w March 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing on this podcast. I truly am excited to hear the sharings.

    Thank you all for reaching out @ WSO. I believe it is a great opportunity for others to hear there is real help available by simply listening in on their own time.

    Thanks to you all for caring. Thank you, Tobias.

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