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.
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.
I just lost my younger brother to alcoholism. He was too young and too wonderful to die, but alas… I have so much guilt that I didn’t do enough to help him. I wish things could be different. I worry for my parents and my brothers and my own family. I look forward to attending these meetings because just reading your stories have helped me realize I am not alone.
These posts help so much. My sister is an alcoholic who has dabbled with treatment but as you said always says the right thing, what she thinks you want to hear. Her liver has been compromised and she almost needed a liver transplant. She lived with my husband and I for two months for a place to heal and try IOP. She was drinking on the sly within two weeks. She moved out to a sober house 2 months ago but all the signs say she is drinking. Her eyes are jaundicing again and she is not eating. But what… Read more »
My brother is an alcoholic but refused to acknowledge or accept he is. He has pretty much lost everything he owns, his marriage. He has tried to stop a couple of times for a couple of months but then ends back at square one. He tells you what he knows you want to hear so you will leave him alone thinking he is doing okay. He is currently living with me and my husband and it’s taking a toil on me. I have a very supportive husband but there are times because of my brother, there is conflict between us.… Read more »
My brother is an alcoholic. He has become increasingly out of control in the last few years and the situation has now escalated to the point that I fear for my life. When he drinks he seems to ruminate over some deep-seated hatred for me. I have had many years of trying to reconcile our differences but those last only a short time. I recently had to call the police on him because he was belligerent to my daughter and my mother during a drunken rage-filled rant about me. I am a good father and grandfather, a successful teacher of… Read more »
My sister is in serious trouble. I have intervened many many times, gotten her to the hospital, gotten her into treatment, but nothing is working. She is going to die one of these days and I don’t know what else to do. I’m a wreck and I’m just so sad…
My little sister is in serious trouble. She became super sick this summer & hospitalized for numbness & inability to walk etc. just 6 months later she is in dire neurological pain in arms & legs to where they are “on fire” and numb. She is barely functioning. I’ve brought her to my home & all MRI’s etc diagnose 0. Come to find out she has severe Alcoholic Neuropathy. I’ve never heard of this before. The struggle is real trying to 1/2 the 5th she drinks a day & get her disability so she can go to a rehab she… Read more »
I have an older brother who is an alcoholic. He’s 49 this year and has been in and out of hospitals as his health is being affected now. He had pancreatitis and is now insulin dependent diabetic. But that doesn’t stop him. He now lives far away from any family, mostly due to burning his bridges with everyone, myself included. But I worry still, across all the miles, I worry.
Thank you for sharing. I just lost my brother to the disease. Having over 30 yrs in Al-Anon helped. We were able to celebrate his life and remember all the good time. I miss him every day.