I Was Finally Able to Be Me

As my husband’s drinking got worse, I found myself drifting away from my friends because I didn’t want them to see what was going on. I stopped inviting people to the house because I wasn’t sure what mood he would be in, and I stopped accepting invitations because I wasn’t sure what I would come home to. I thought if I were at home, maybe he wouldn’t drink or at least not drink so much.

One day I realized I didn’t have any close friends anymore—no one I could really confide in or be myself with. I was always pretending things were wonderful when in fact, they weren’t. What an exhausting way to live!

Then I found Al-Anon. At first, I was frightened about walking into a room full of strangers and discussing the intimate details of my life, especially since I had gotten so good at hiding them. But all I really had to do was walk into the room, take a seat and listen. I noted the word friendship in the welcome:

“We welcome you…and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.”

I soon discovered that the people there felt less like strangers once I realized the common bond we shared. I also discovered that I would not find a more kindhearted, caring group of people on earth than at an Al-Anon meeting.

Slowly I have learned that I can drop the pretense of a perfect life and let people see the real me. I haven’t gotten all my old friends back, but that’s okay because I now have a new group of friends who truly understand me and with whom I can be myself.

By Jeri D., Wisconsin  

The Forum, May 2018

2018-04-26T14:25:23+00:00April 26, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|

14 Comments

  1. Helen July 2018 at 9:13 am

    I hate that my husband chooses alcohol over our happiness. I’m embarrassed and so ashamed of him. I love him but hate what he’s become

  2. Erinn S. July 2018 at 10:24 pm

    I am new to Al-Anon. My partner is not functional. We have money problems because of it. The past few years I have found myself hiding more and more from my communities and friends. I find that any time I do try and confide about my problems with my partner and our financial situation I am usually hit with hard criticism or judgement. It makes me want to protect my partner and their view of them. So I feel conflicted. I want to open up and talk about my partner’s behaviors but if my friends know the truth they will be too harsh or turn away. I am feeling more and more alone and like I truly do not have the support from my family and friends and most of them also suffer from alcoholism, and perhaps that is why I feel so alone.

  3. Nikki July 2018 at 5:20 am

    wow
    my story is so like many I have lost who I am and find it impossible to help my husband. I put on a brave face at work no one would believe me. I am so bored with my life and have lost many friends and my social life and lost who I am. I need to vent but dont know where to go or begin.

  4. Jenny July 2018 at 9:43 pm

    I could have written the first two paragraphs myself. Word for word.

  5. Eve June 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I have lost myself as well. I have no close friends because I pushed them all away. I want to be free from the obsession of him. Counting drinks, my days dependent on his mood. I hit rock bottom – I realized I can’t fix it. And that I might be the one who ruins the marriage even though he’s the alcoholic. I have done three phone meetings now and I am amazed at the stories. They are me. I need to fix myself. It’s the only choice I have.

  6. Manny June 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I can relate to everyone of these ladies. My husband is a wonderful man but becomes verbally abusive when he drinks. It’s gotten progressive worse over the years, to the point where I dread the evenings and weekends. I’ve been putting Al-Anon off for a long time…I think it’s time.

  7. Deb K May 2018 at 10:35 pm

    My husband passed out coming in the house from the porch tonight. He fell so hard I ran from the kitchen. His eye were dilated and he was disoriented. I got him to the couch where he became verbally abusive. I tried to help him to the bedroom but he refused my help and went down again hitting his head and splitting it open with a 2 to 3 inch gash. His blood pressure was 80/54. He refused to go to the hospital and admitted to my daughter that he was drinking. I did call the doctor but he can’t do anything if the person wants no help. I have been with him for 36 years. He just retired and is off his depression meds because he says he does not need it. I don’t know what to do. My salvation is my job but I am a teacher and will be home for the summer. I can’t take much more. My kids are all grown so it is just me to worry about.

  8. Susan May 2018 at 10:21 am

    Taking that first step into the meeting room is scary, but it will change your life forever. I don’t know what I would do without the support of Al-Anon.

  9. Lisa May 2018 at 9:38 am

    Just remember you can go and just listen. You do not have to share. Just check it out

  10. Leann May 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Very frustrated with the ongoing drinking, I’ll be gone 1/2 hour, not showing up for hours afterward. My husband coming to family celebrations drunk and starting crap with my grown children. I’m verbally and psychologically abused when he is drunk. My coping skills have disappeared after 20 years, not sure what to do. never been to a meeting, embarrassed.

  11. Giulia May 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Thank You very much.

  12. Lois May 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I am going through the same thing with my husband, I don’t know what to do!!! I have no friends, just my kids which are all grown up. My oldest daughter 42 lives with me and my husband, we watch him sneak his liquor… he is drinking a bottle within a day and a half!!! He doesn’t hate me, but he cusses me now a lot. I am so angry, what do I do !!! I feel so alone …

  13. Maureen May 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Angelina M. April 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I am scared never been to a meeting before how can I go there and not be scared

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