INTERVIEWER: Eileen, you mentioned that your husband had relapsed. Could you tell us how you dealt with those periods of relapse?
EILEEN: I was livid. And my solution was I was figuring out how to divorce him and I called a friend who invited me to Al‑Anon. And actually, what she said is, “I’m going to an Al‑Anon meeting. Can I pick you up?” And I went and I have not stopped going. It’s been five years.
So how did I deal with it? Man, I was in my head a lot. And yet what I heard when I was going to meetings was people who had spouses, children who were in the disease. And I saw hope and I saw smiles. And I heard solutions.
I think the thing that really grabbed hold of me like the slogans and “Live and Let Live” changed me. I did not know how to let others live. So pretty quickly, the anger turned into finding my own hobbies. And now my husband joins me on some of the things that I’ve learned that I like to do.
INTERVIEWER: Wonderful. So, by finding that focus…
EILEEN: Yep, keeping the focus on myself, living my life. I didn’t think he was going to want to come. I didn’t think that things were going to turn out the way they did, but they have.
INTERVIEWER: That’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing.