When I first came to Al‑Anon, I spent a great deal of time wrestling with the term, “enabling.” I am a mother. Surely a mother’s role is to enable her children, is it not? It has been a struggle to understand, let alone accept, that the behavior I viewed as that of a good mother was actually unhealthy! All my life I have held the belief that a good mother encourages her children, fixes their problems, fights their battles and cooks and cleans for them. Surely a good mother is in service to her children.
With the help of Al‑Anon, I have begun to learn that being a good mother means loving my children but also allowing them to live their lives. My children should have the right to learn life’s lessons in their time, their way. I owe them that. Doing everything for them, unintentionally or not, would do more harm than good! By placing my children’s lives ahead of my own, I was doing everyone a disservice, especially myself.
What a phenomenal moment when I realized that what I was doing for my children was actually the opposite of why I was doing it. Wow—the freedom of that weight being removed from my shoulders! Not only could I stop the exhausting experience of doing it all for everyone, but it opened the door to self-exploration by allowing my children the freedom to live their lives. I found I now had the time and desire to look at myself, take care of myself, and define myself.
By Stephanie W., Ontario
The Forum, September 2017
I HAD let go. Our daughter was in huge trouble with drugs and alcohol. We got the help we needed as parents and we painfully let her go. She also has a binge-purge eating disorder. We let her go. Now, sadly, she has a three month old girl. And there has already been one crisis where she was drunk and dropped the baby and her husband came home and found her drunk and called US to come “take her out of HIS house”. We were in shock and foolishly did it. We know we should have called a mobile crisis… Read more »
It’s ok to be afraid when attending Al-Anon for the first time. There is only one way to find out if it will help your situation or not… it will just takes time. Even if you can’t share, simply listen. Praying you find the courage to continue on your path of healing.
I’m trying to find help for me and my son…I’m desperate
I am currently sitting in my kitchen having a cup of tea attempting to stop crying. I have been sent home from work because I can’t stop crying, so emotional, I have rang my doctor and he has kindly prescribed some meds, just a low dose to get my head together. How has this all come about…? I have been living with my husband who is an alcoholic/alcohol abuser for, to be fair years, and I have only just realised that he will never stop drinking because he is in denial. It’s a disease and he believes I have the… Read more »
Hi. I just read thru all comments. I saw myself in many. I priced myself in knowing where my children were, who they were with, thruout their young lives. Our oldest son, now 31, finally asked for rehab last January 2018. After 2 DUI’s, in and out of 6 colleges, 3 wrecked vehicles, and many financial bailouts, my husband, younger son, and daughter, finally felt hope when our son asked us to save his life. He’s an alcoholic and drug addict. His younger brother is an engineer, his younger sister a graphic designer. My oldest son has an incredibly high… Read more »
Is al-anon right for me since my sons drugs of choice are heroin/meth? I’ve been dealing with his addiction & everything that goes along with it for about 13yrs. I just need to learn how to be happy even though my only child is a mess. I’ve witnessed & lived through his overdoses, homelessness, prison time, suicide attempts and all his failed treatment centers. I know in my heart that no treatment will work for him until he makes the choice to not use! I’m broken…I’m constantly mourning him. He was the star athlete with great grades, amazingly smart with… Read more »
Reading all these posts has been helpful. I don’t feel so alone … it’s so hard to believe that my only child, my beautiful daughter is an alcoholic … I still want to deny it but I know I can’t… I want to learn how to cope with all of this, I want to fix her but I know I can’t, I feel I am at fault for all she’s going through …
The light bulb just went on!!! Been an enabler my whole adult life despite not being in a family with alcoholics. Now at age 58 I am married to an alcoholic and realizing that I am right where I need to be. Al-Anon has shown me that I can change myself and not be my daughters saviour ! She is 33 and has 3 children and is a single Mom. I did not participate in any of those decisions but did support her when she asked. I now realize that I need to change and not support her. Being tough… Read more »
My 35 year old son is an alcoholic. Because of this, his marriage failed, he lost the beautiful home he and his wife were buying, he’s been in and out of jail, totaled several cars, DWIs, DUIs, possession of marijuana and he doesn’t care about his hygiene anymore (he had braces as a teen and had beautiful teeth, but are now rotting). He has 2 awesome sons whom I worry how this is all affecting. I’m terrified he’s going to kill himself and/or innocent people due to his drinking and driving. He’s is extremely rude and disrespectful to me but… Read more »
I’ve been going to Al-Anon for 6 years. I can’t imagine my life without those meetings. I learned that indeed I was the one who needed to change. My son was the addict/alcoholic and I was trying to manage his recovery. My husband rescued him every time he got evicted from an apartment. Something needed to change so we went to a Parents Al-Anon meeting. I was greeted by other parents suffering as I was. And I learned right away that the meetings were for ME, not to learn how to help my son. But by having the courage to… Read more »
My 28 year old daughter is an alcoholic and lies about everything to everyone. I live in OR and she in CA. January I found out about her drinking problem ? fifth of vodka daily for over a year. She could function and you’d not know she had been drinking. Lied about having a job too. I flew down in hopes of taking her to detox. Clearance from the hospital is required with a heavy drinker. At the hospital she was .5 and had to stay over a week. After her release she would go on a 3 day binge… Read more »
My biggest struggle with my husbands Alcoholism is his mother. I for months now have refused to buy alcohol for my husband, so to avoid any conflict his mother will buy it. I can not understand her logic having grown up in a physically violent alcoholic household. As a child she had no friends, she was terrified and yet here she is enabling her son allowing my children, her grandchildren to grow up in a similar fashion, its difficult enough to watch the man i love slowly kill himself but to have her aide that. How do i deal with… Read more »
After having read these comments’ I’m really not sure how I feel now. I’m not the one with the addiction, my daughter is. The best way I can tell to handle this drinking problem of hers is for her to experience tough love at this point. Too many years I’ve tried to help. I’m exhausted, physically, mentally and financially drained. I would love to think that going to one of these meeting is going to help me, but from what I just read Al-Anon is teaching the loved ones to change their patterns of behavior. I’m sorry I just don’t… Read more »
My 37 year old son is an alcoholic and meth abuser. He moved home last year after losing his job. He works for us as we own a couple of small motels. After almost destroying our business he is now on work release for the next 6 months. He knows he can’t drink or use meth because it will revoke his agreement but he refuses to admit he has an alcohol or drugs problem. Meanwhile his dad….my wonderful husband has been diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment which only multiplies the stress. I need help dealing with all of… Read more »
I have a 38 year old daughter who spent 90 days in rehab. The circumstances surrounded her going to rehab were very traumatic to our family. She was having seizures and coded in the ER. My husband witnessed this, and has triggered PTSD. Daughter completed the 90 days, went back home to her husband and directly into a three month out patient program. During the time she was attending the three month program her husband announced he was leaving and gave 30 day notice to their landlord. Prior to all of this my daughter was thriving, had a great secure… Read more »
I feel both anxiety and compassion reading all the posts I have read. I searched this site today because yesterday my son admitted for the first time to being an alcoholic (after another close encounter with death in his vehicle). I and others have believed he is an alcoholic for several years already. What a huge step for him. I looked here for support to see what is best for me to do to support him and to not enable him as I have in the past. What I can share is that I have attended Al-Anon periodically and found… Read more »
My spouse is an alcoholic, although he would disagree. I am struggling with attending a meeting not sure if could help me. I am not sure what I am going through but feel lonely, confused, mad and so unhappy. I am not sure if a meeting would be helpful for me to attend. Really contemplating this next move for me.
I went to my Al-Anon meeting on 12/07. I am so grateful to have this group of people that are just like me! I’m not the only one! This is the first step in my recovery process. I am so ready. I have been dealing (very badly) with an acoholic daughter and drug addict son for 13 years now. Wish me luck as I let go and let God!
This was such an encouragement to me! I am thrilled that my sibling has 25 years of being sober, as of last month! But understanding the basics, that Al-Anon shows, it is great to help me create and maintain a healthy relationship with him!
Wow! Reading all these posts on Thanksgiving morning. So many people in need. You’re in the right place, keep coming back and you will find the help you seek! Happy Thanksgiving to all!