A number of years ago, I finally took the step to walk into a drug and alcohol counselor’s office. By the time I reached that office, it felt like I was gasping for air, drowning in a rowboat that reeled in 40-foot swells. I desperately needed a life preserver. I was exhausted and wanted to fix someone else’s drinking problem. I also wanted to get the knots out of my stomach and the fear out of my life. I had tried everything I could think of. I was pretty sure even then that it was a disease, not a poor moral choice. I didn’t like how this bear of a disease was affecting me. It was ripping apart everything good and hopeful in the script I had written for my life.
A few minutes into the session, the counselor asked me why I was there. I didn’t want to sound like I was completely uninformed about the disease of alcoholism. So, I answered by saying, “I want to figure out how to navigate better in the midst of active alcoholism.” I didn’t come right out and say I wanted to fix someone else, although it was true. Instead, I said that I wanted to fix me.
I remember the smile and compassion of that professional. I felt safe. I’m sure now as I look back that the person had probably heard others like me frame their reason for coming in a similar way. And then I heard what I had hoped to hear: “I am glad to see you, glad to help you, and to help you learn new thinking and actions so that you can begin to recover. I will also ask you to attend Al‑Anon.” So, I did that—I trusted and joined Al‑Anon—shaking and full of fear. I will be forever grateful.
By Linda S.
The Forum, July 2019
My daughter is 24 and I am afraid she will kill herself with her addiction to heroin and pain pills. 100K in treatment facilities, 27 months of ups downs I mourn her everyday. Wishing hoping praying she gets it. Now realizing I am the one that needs to get it. I am drowning here desperately needing my own life preserver. I need to work my own program and stop trying to work hers.
I am grieving the death of an alcoholic husband. He died slowly and tragically in nursing homes and hospitals. It took all my energy until I sadly lost hope of him recovering. Not enough friends to encourage him steadily. Thx for listening.
Meetings are wonderful and so helpful. Kind, warm and loving people are there. I always leave feeling so much better – lighter and at peace. It’s worth giving it a try. You deserve it!
Going to meetings is also “being the change.” You can get help for yourself and be an example to others. There are meetings for everyone (AA, Al-Anon, Gamblers, Overeaters, etc) and they all work the same program and concepts. It gives you common language and a way to better relate and interact. I highly recommend it.
My daughter has been struggling with addiction for the past 15 years first it was adderall then vicodin next was xanax and now it is alcohol..I have watched her life slowly deteriorate…she lost her job..not due to her addiction she always made it to work. She drinks daily and her behavior is getting worse..I have bailed her out every single time..I am l lost I have tried talking to her she admits she needs treatment but continues to drink..she has a special needs daughter who I worry about to no end…I feel broken
Help. My husband is a weekend drinker. Says I have the problem
I too want to learn how to live with an active alcoholic.
It’s so difficult