I found my way to Al‑Anon when I accepted that my life was uncontrollable because of my loved ones’ abuse of drugs and alcohol, and it changed my life in so many positive ways. Perhaps the most helpful idea I heard is to stay in the present and live “One Day at a Time.” I always wanted to be in control, and I have found that I cannot control the actions of the alcoholics in my life. Trying to do so alters my ability to think straight and function in order to carry on a normal life.
I found the readings and other resources available through Al‑Anon have helped me deal with my situation better because I now know I can’t control or cure their disease. This allows me to focus more on my needs and my own serenity. Another idea that has helped me is that if I am depressed, I am focusing on the past, and if I am anxious, I am focusing too much on the future. This was my aha moment and if I remind myself to live day by day and be grateful for the smaller things, I can get through any troubles that come my way.
By Dan A., Rhode Island
The Forum, July 2020
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. This is very helpful to me.
I’m not one who seeks out help, I’m always the one helping, or at least I think I am. After reading several comments, it seems I’m trying too hard to control what’s happening around me. To control the behavior of those around me. My husband, is a recovering addict (6 months clean) and alcoholic (still drinking). His addiction and alcoholism got out of hand a few years back. I got fed up, he was spinning out of control and taking me down with him so I told him I’d leave him, after 21 years of alcoholism and addiction. He went… Read more »
I’ve learned in Al-Anon that I can be happy whether the alcoholic is drinking or not. My nagging, scolding, lecturing, and anger, etc. never worked. Although, after several years in Al-Anon, these old survival tactics still creep up on me. This is how I learn, though. By keeping the focus on myself, and not the alcoholic, I become happy, and also compassionate toward the alcoholic. I’ve learned to put myself and my own life first. As radical as it seems, I’ve learned to “turn the other cheek”, although not easy to do, when someone close to me is engaging in… Read more »
I feel guilty like I was the enabler
My son is an addict and alcoholic. He is 31 and lives with us along with my granddaughter who is 7. I’m sure if I weren’t protecting my granddaughter that my son would be out on the street. Her mother is an addict and lost custody when she was 3 years old. The Mom is starting to come around again and my son has relapsed. I feel like we are in an insanity situation. I am terrified that my son will lose custody and her mother will take her. We have legal help but I’m scared. My husband and I… Read more »
Hi, I am new to this but I need help. I love my boyfriend to death, but he has recently not been drinking for 3 days I am very proud of him. I feel like he has shut me out to everything telling me he does not want to be hurt again, or close to anyone. I don’t know if this is how addicts and alcoholics act during recovery or he just doesn’t want me. We live together, we no longer sleep together he says I snore and it bothers him although it hasn’t bothered him for the past 4… Read more »
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My husband has been an alcoholic for years. It has almost destroyed us. DUIs, Rehab, 3 times. I am not the person I used to he. I am cynical and have a hard time trusting now. He is a wonderful man when he is not drinking, and he is not physically abusive. But he is not mentally there, and he makes bad choices when drinking. This has really eroded our relationship to the point where I am not in love with him anymore. He just went to bed on the couch, again. And it is 4 21 am. Somethings must… Read more »
I am a newcomer to Al-Anon, and this so far, is the biggest message I’ve learned for my own well-being. My husband has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and I’ve had all those feelings of abandonment, isolation, loneliness, anger, frustration…..as many of you have mentioned –for the past 35 years at least. With COVID it’s more obvious with our spending less busy time away from one another, and I collapsed. It was a good thing! Now I’ve found Al-Anon and I feel like I have so many around me who understand and support me. I’m not alone. The message I… Read more »
[I] didn’t cause the alcoholic in [my] life to drink and [I] can’t control it. Only [I] can let go of [my] anger rage and frustration at the person. Let go and let god (or whatever god means) Newbie in the program still working at it and stumbling at times but that’s ok. [I] can grow thru what [I] go thru. Today having not to rush to fix problems and smooth everything over a mess alcoholic partner has made with family. It’s not my job my job is to love myself and treat him with compassion but it’s a hard… Read more »
I have such a hard time with taking responsibility for me. I want to be angry and control everything, it’s the way I feel in control and now I’m just spiraling out of control. I respond to his actions and if he would just quit drinking I wouldn’t be so mean and angry I think to myself. I have to realize that I am mean and angry because of me, I could choose to have a different reaction and instead I play the victim, it’s all his fault. I really need to focus on me and stop focusing on his… Read more »
When my husband is sober, he is a caring and loving person. When he is drunk, he is abusive, hurtful. He has liver disease. So I do my best to stop his drinking. That is touch and go. He finds ways to drink. And it is so hard.
My son is going to be 33 years old and has now moved back in with me. I always knew he was struggling with alcohol but I assumed he would figure it out. He was strong enough to beat a meth addiction so why not beat an alcohol addiction. One addiction has led to another and now he thinks he can save a girl that he cares about from a heroin addiction. This has led me to cut him off financially. I can’t afford to support his habit and hers and will not any longer take away from my quality… Read more »
I am living miserable… my husband is an alcoholic and I want out. I’ve tried to deal with this. I have no life. I need to take care me of me. It’s so hard. I’ve fallen out of love with this man. I don’t even love myself anymore. I didn’t think I would ever put up with this behavior.
I’m having a difficult time with my spouse drinking to get drunk whenever he can. He can never just have one which leads to him passing out outside in a lawn chair. I have been just leaving him outside otherwise he wants to argue, grope, name call and curse me out. I feel lost and confused of what to do!
I am learning that I CAN NOT FIX my daughter’s drug addiction no matter how many treatment centers I pay for. Realizing I am indeed powerless over her choices and actions…Truly heartbreaking with all of our young people dying from addiction. I feel at times my identity is dying, my every action is a reaction to her crisis at the moment. How to love and support without enabling, to ask her what she needs from me. Instead of what I so desperately want to fix in her.
The most important thing I have come to learn when it comes to living with an alcoholic…is to be honest about how [I] feel…the more [I] put up with what [I am] hurt by…the more [I] get disrespected. Being apart is better than tearing [myself] apart…[I] can’t fix (love) anyone or anything…if [my] 💔 broken
Just what I needed to read today. My son is an alcoholic and is in heart failure. Today he let me down. I now remember “one day at a time.”
I have a 29 year old son who is an alcoholic. He is a mean person when he is drunk. I had to boundary myself away from him for my own sanity. He doesn’t think he is an alcoholic.