The most difficult thing a loved one of an alcoholic is asked to do is to let go. For perfectionists and control freaks like myself, it is almost impossible. No mother wants to abandon her child when she feels her child needs her the most. Yet nothing short of letting go would enable me to lead a life as close to “normal” as possible.
My journey was heartbreaking because I incorrectly believed that if my advice was just listened to and taken, my loved one would soon get better. After repeated attempts to “cure” my loved one this way, I finally reached the stage where I realized I was indeed powerless. It is a lesson I continuously learn and one that I have to remember every single day.
The stories I hear in Al‑Anon meetings and read in Al‑Anon literature where others have learned to let go gives me strength to keep trying. I need to do this, for my loved one’s sake and for my own. Through its literature and meetings, the Al‑Anon community is a lifeline and source of encouragement for people like me. Certain feelings and fears can never be shared with family or friends but can be shared in the meetings. Thank you, Al‑Anon, for being my guide and strength when I need it the most.
The Forum, September 2022
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.