My alcoholic loved one was taken to the hospital recently after he had refused for two months to take his prescribed medication and spent about a month self-medicating. This is a familiar pattern to me.

When he got to the hospital, he told them he wanted to go to treatment and was transported to a residential treatment facility within a week. He is very treatment-wise, cunning, and clever. About four hours after arriving at the treatment center, he called and begged to come home because he just couldn’t do treatment. He explained that things would be different this time.

I have heard these words countless times before. I stood firm and told him he could not come home until he completed treatment and was stable. My spouse and I maintained our boundary despite our loved one threatening to leave treatment and get dropped off at a crisis center or homeless shelter.

Instead of caving in to arguing with my spouse and rescuing our alcoholic loved one, I attended extra Al‑Anon meetings, prayed to my Higher Power, and recited the Serenity Prayer many times each day. I called Al‑Anon friends, asked for prayers, reread three issues of The Forum cover-to-cover, and read Courage to Change (B-16) and Hope for Today (B-27).

Then a miracle happened. After a week of daily pushing and threats, he called one evening and said he had attended some groups and would stay for 30 days. Even though I feel in my heart that 30 days is not enough time to participate in the treatment program for any of us, I am continuing to focus on my own recovery using self-care, reaching out, and taking this situation a day at a time.

By Sue A., Minnesota

The Forum, February 2024

Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.