I can be my best regardless of what the alcoholic is doing…

Alcoholism is sometimes referred to as a disease of relationships. Each family member takes on roles and responsibilities that don’t necessarily belong to them. They get so caught up in protecting the drinker that their lives become chaotic and out of control. They try many things to improve the family’s living situation but find that nothing they do can stop the alcoholic from drinking. Brian, an anonymous Al‑Anon member, shares that by learning to identify his role and responsibilities in the family, he was freed from the shame and guilt that he carried.

Watch his interview to find out more.

If you love someone with an addiction to alcohol, maybe Al‑Anon can help you. You can visit local meetings or attend electronic/virtual meetings to find out.


This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

I can be my best regardless of what the alcoholic is doing…

BRIAN: In Al‑Anon, I learned a variety of things about what is my responsibility, what’s my role, and that alcoholism. I can detach from the difficulties. And, you know, that if there are things that are going on that are uncomfortable or not okay, that we can look to the positive to know that, you know, I just need to show up in my family’s life to be the best dad I can be, the best son I can be, the best brother in my family.

And today I could show up in those ways and do my very best. Whether the alcoholic’s drinking or not. And that’s freed me from a responsibility, I hope. It used to be that the shame or guilt about the active disease when people are suffering and it’s not okay that I’ve learned that I can be okay whether or not the alcoholic is drinking.

And that is a gift of the Al‑Anon program in our family. So today I just show up and do the very best I can do.

INTERVIEWER: To be your best. Yes. Thank you for sharing with us today, Brian. I appreciate it.