Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This podcast will discuss a professional’s concern for families who have been affected by a loved one’s drinking.
Colleen Hillock is with us today. Colleen is Coordinator and faculty member in the Bachelor of Health Science and Addiction Counseling Program at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
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A family member recently went to alcohol rehab. It is her 2nd time. We all thought she was okay just moody and not responsible. But sadly, she is binge drinking again. She didn’t want us to tell anyone the first time it happened. We didn’t. Now she is drinking worse with her same old friends. So I called her friend to tell her. I can’t stop her, but I can stop protecting her. I don’t want to keep the secrets anymore. Now she is angry, hates me and does not talk to me. Another family member says I shouldn’t talk… Read more »
I have a lot of family members in AA recovery and some who are active in Al-Anon and some not as much. One of our family members is still drinking. Her husband has told not only family members and close friends but neighbors and very peripheral people i.e. tennis instructor, etc. I am in recovery for quite a while but I interpret this telling everyone as hostility. I agree that you should not make excuses or cover for an alcoholic, but it isn’t necessary to contact everyone they know.
I met with my wife and a therapist today and tried to get agreement on how to get tutoring for our daughter. I said turn left and of course she said turn right. My wife wants to teach her, but my wife’s impatient and her mind is not very clear. And it is difficult for my daughter to learn from her. I want to hire an outside tutoring organization or a sitter of some kind. I have looked into whether the school will have a program. It will take care of itself. I will work to find a program, and… Read more »
My concern is what do you do or how does anyone deal with keeping Al-Anon from the addict? Now that’s a secret I can’t seem to face openly. I’ve been reading stories and literature on Al-Anon for 10 months now. Although I have found it to be God sent and came to me when I was at my lowest with the addict, I still can’t share it with him. The addict believes he has control of his addiction. All I get is false promises on when the drinking will change. This secret makes it tough to go to a meeting,… Read more »
I cannot hide what the alcoholics do in my life anymore. Whether my father is drunk or my significant other or working on their sobriety, I cannot hide what has happened or is happening anymore. So far that is as far as I have gotten. I am tired of telling lies and hiding lies about my behavior most of all, but I am tired of making adjustments to hide the alcoholics’ behavior or being nervous about their reactions to me. All I can do is change my behavior, but being in the same home as the alcoholic has started a… Read more »
Someone I love very much is beginning a new adventure in their life through an occupation. Regardless if there is drinking involved or not, I could see how I was beginning to react to his decision. I became fearful, paranoid and sad because I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I want to be with this person, while we are still getting to know each other a little more. My higher power has been able to guide me to see what I do have control over and what is an illusion. I just celebrated 4 years in my recovery… Read more »
Secrets never helped anyone to do anything more than hide the truth and delay the pain. I have seen this time and time again throughout my life. Family secrets are so-called meant to protect the family and their dignity or the dignity of someone that has done something society would frown down about. Pride and ego are selffish character defects. Combine them with secrets and you have a recipe for hurt and continuous coverups until someone gets sick of hiding behind a false truth and wants to be free. Coming to meetings has taught me to trust and not be… Read more »
How do I answer the question, “Where is Joe tonight?” I might be at church, at a football game, or at any other social event. It is better to say at home, which is the truth, or say he is drunk and passed out, which is also the truth.
My therapist has been recommending Al-Anon for 8 yrs, and I didn’t understand why. My parents were alcoholics, but I don’t live with them anymore, and I am an adult. I don’t have any active alcoholics in my life, but every one of my relationships has been with ACOA’s, and very unhealthy! Now I understand why. I am a caretaker and an enabler. I am going to my first Al-Anon meeting, and about to end an 8-year unhealthy relationship. That’s MY secret. I have teenage wonderful children, and I can’t tolerate the dynamics anymore. I have a great support system… Read more »
Thank you to all my Al-Anon family. I have been a member for over 10 years now, and am still finding out secrets in my family of origin, and my family I married into. If I didn’t have Al-Anon, I don’t know where I would be now.
Today, through working the program, I can say I am a better person, not perfect!
The Serenity prayer truly is a blessing and a source of closure at times, where none can be found. Closure, that is. It is really hard to separate ourselves from what our environment was growing up. I have found that for most of the people that I have come in contact with that grew up like I did spend an entire lifetime looking for closure. It is really tough to be haunted by the past and try to focus on the future. I really don’t acknowledge my past as much as I used to now that I have had children,… Read more »
I am a grateful member, in Al-Anon 20+ years. It’s a first mtg for me each day I choose to be at a meeting. I continue to grow every mtg. I attend. Participation is the key to harmony. I sometimes go 2-3 mtg a week depending on the chaos, crisis, or secrets going on in my family’s life at that stage in my life. In Al-Anon we say courage is fear that has said its prayers. And fear also stands for Face Everything And Recover from all the family secrets. I set myself free by working my program. Fear and… Read more »
It is so true that it is hard to come out because you fear the addict will be believed and not yourself. It happened to me. I went to my pastor and other “professionals” and said something is not right with my son. They said, oh no, he is a good kid. Then he ends up in jail charged with using & selling drugs. Al-Anon was so welcoming, understanding, non judgemental and helpful!
Attending Al-Anon meetings was how I learned to deal with the family secrets that were keeping me stuck and keeping me sick. I have learned two important things: (1) there is no shame in loving someone who has the disease of alcoholism or addiction and (2) I didn’t cause the alcoholic to drink, I cannot control the drinking, nor can I cure the alcoholic. By learning how to keep the focus on myself, in Al-Anon I have learned how to break the bondage of secrets and lies. I cannot save my alcoholic loved ones. I can save myself. And I… Read more »
Tomorrow, my son, my husband and I will be meeting with a family counselor. Six months ago, we discovered that our teenage son has been using marijuana. At the time we discovered it, our son promised to give it up. He has not done so. The past 3 months have been very difficult and I am plagued by fear for him. I find myself consumed with what he is doing and who he is with, which has turned my relationship with him into one of constant conflict. There is a history of alcohol addiction in my extended family. My grandparents… Read more »
This is my first visit to this site and already feel better. I have picked my first place for going to an Al-Anon meeting. My family has just learned a secret about a very close family friend who is an alcoholic. This of course is not the only secret. My family will need to find the emotional courage to not communicate to our friend until we get the guidance needed thru this program. I do realize this will take time and effort on our part. My daughter will also be joining me along with my husband. My daughter is so… Read more »
Some secrets were revealed to me a few years ago. I found out I have a half-brother living in the states. My mother was a rager all my life, so she probably had issues trusting my dad. I married an alcoholic, and then came very similar issues that I did not trust him because of affairs he has had. Now I see the pattern and the dysfunction. I have been told that even though I have come from dysfunction that does not mean I have to choose it today. My son is addicted to crack cocaine and I go to… Read more »
My family had a history of alcoholism, and hiding. We lied at all times, to cover up. I grew up knowing I was the only one on whom I could depend. My Human Development class brought it all back. The lies, the fear, everything. It will never happen in my family again! I broke the cycle. I never married. How could I put a child through that? My hope is to simply get on with my life. I have friends, people in my church, and others who are a good resource.
I have never been to a meeting or gotten any kind of help, but as I read so many stories it helps me in knowing that my girls and I are not alone. My husband still doesn’t believe he has a problem, even though many of his relatives have sat him down to speak about his problem. I really hope that this will be the fist step for me to finally take control of our lives and not be scared or ashamed to get help for our family. Thank you.
I will be thinking about family secrets more, now.