My sister is the alcoholic, why do I need recovery?

Often the families of alcoholics blame themselves for their loved ones’ drinking. Believing they caused the drinking; most would assume they could stop it as well. Family members try everything within their power to control the drinker but end up exhausted physically and mentally with no resolution to the drinking problem. In Al‑Anon, there are others who have experienced the same feeling of defeat but learn to understand that nothing they could have done would have stopped the drinking. The families’ recovery from the family disease of alcoholism begins when they begin focusing on themselves.

If you have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism, we invite you to visit a few Al‑Anon meetings. We have in person and virtual meetings available. Find out more about Al‑Anon meetings

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

My sister is the alcoholic, why do I need recovery?

MEMBER: I was slated to go to a family event, it was actually a funeral, and I found myself dreading seeing any family members, and it was particularly related to my sister’s alcoholism. My sister actually died of the disease, and I always felt that I had caused it. And the thought of seeing any family members filled me with such fear and such unbearable feelings that I knew I needed help, something, I started looking for help. And I had been to, a sober alcoholic had taken me to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous many years before, and there was a flyer at that meeting place, and it had something on it about how families and others around an alcoholic, can be affected. And this was my first inkling that maybe there are others who suffer in the way that I was suffering. And that’s how I ended up coming to my very first Al‑Anon meeting.

MODERATOR: Great, thank you for sharing.