What does it mean, our lives became unmanageable?

“Introduction of Al-Anon Meeting” podcasts: 3) What do we mean when we say our lives became unmanageable? Does it mean we will always feel angry or sad or depressed? Will our lives continue to be as chaotic as they are today? Is there any hope for improvement?

 

2017-07-27T17:49:54+00:00 February 28, 2017|Categories: First Steps|

79 Comments

  1. betsy October 2017 at 11:48 am

    Oh these are so my life…24 years with alcoholic, disabled spouse. He is unbearable and I think it is time for me to leave. I am old and sour and so very sad all the time. I have a strong belief in God and that He is in control but my husband (who also loves God) is letting alcohol be in control. He is so lovely when he is sober, early in the day, then after a trip to the market, he slowly turns into Mr. Hyde. I just want him back or not to make it through the next surgery, put him and I out of our miseries.

  2. Anon August 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Our lives have become unmanageable means that all the controlling behaviors we have expressed to try and stop them from behaving the way they are or stop them from drinking (like, crying, pleading, trying to fix the relationship, tracking his whereabouts, snooping, arguing, creating fights,- behaviors we use to try to get the other person to change) means your life is out of control and your life has become unmanageable because you are trying to control what you cannot. Forgiving (which I call letting go – does not mean that you stop loving or caring it means that you let go of being entangled in the drama the alcoholic causes. It means that you recognize that you are out of control in your reactions to the alcoholic. When you can recognize that your life is out of control in responding to the alcoholic, then you can do something about changing your behavior. You gain control over your life because you can only control yourself, you can take responsibility for how you respond instead of react to the alcoholic. When you do this you are able to get control and power back in your life. You will be able to enjoy your life despite what the alcoholic in your life is doing to himself.

  3. Lianne March 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hello.
    My name’s Lianne.
    I came across this website because I was trying to find a meeting. I missed my Al-Anon home group meeting yesterday and so I decided to go to another meeting today but I missed that one too.
    My brother came back from drug and alcohol rehab 8 months ago. While visiting him during the family part of the rehab program the counsellors suggested I go to Al-Anon. I try to go regularly but sometimes I feel so caught up in my thoughts. These podcasts helped me see that this week I have been obsessing over my living situation. First I lived with my Aunt’s sister who drank every night so I ran away. Now I’ve moved into a rented room but my housemate is a sober alcoholic currently in recovery. I want to run away again. I can move again to a new place. I want to move because my housemate got angry and now I’m scared that he will start drinking, yelling, and my landlord won’t do anything about it and I will end up living with an alcoholic again.
    I see now that I keep running away whenever someone gets angry because I’m scared of anger. But I don’t need to be scared anymore because I have the strength experience and hope of Al-Anon and as long as I keep the focus on me my higher power will help me take care of myself and keep myself safe. I didn’t realize how insane I’ve been – I’ve been trying to avoid every single alcoholic in the world and that is impossible. I don’t have to accept unacceptable behaviour but I also need to keep the focus on me and not obsess over the people at work who talk about how much they drink and how they do drugs on the weekends. Instead of focusing on them I need to focus on myself. I need to allow myself to feel fear and anger and act sanely instead of shutting off my emotions or making hasty decision out of fear. I am not being honest with my current boyfriend. I often run away from him, shut him out emotionally, and hurt him because I’m so caught up in my anxiety and frustration as I try to control the alcoholics and I fail to control them again and again.
    I don’t have chickens in my living room but today I took on my own ‘extra chickens’ at work – I took on extra burdens and responsibilities – and I keep doing that whenever someone at work asks me to take them on until my job responsibilities increase to the point where it’s completely unmanageable and unreasonable. Thank you for letting me see that my life has become unmanageable – obessing over other people’s behaviour and drinking habits is an unmanageable way to live my life.
    Thank you for allowing me to share.

  4. samantha July 2012 at 10:51 pm

    It’s soo hard. I can relate to alcoholics–mine is a functional alcoholic, always desperate for a drink. It is 20 plus years. Every week seems to become more and more difficult. It doesn’t ever stop. Only way out is to get out and leave and never look back. If you don’t see them, it won’t bother you as much. If you live with them, only then they have the power to make your life miserable.

    Life is too short to waste it on selfish people who love drugs/alcohol more than life itself. Good luck to all enduring the same situation. The only way out is to FIND THE EXIT.

  5. crystal May 2012 at 2:37 am

    I have recently seen a therapist due to my anxiety disorder. She brought it to my attention that my anxiety is a result of being codependent. My anxiety alone has made my life so unmanageable, I am feeling panicked with the thought of being in a group to share my story!

    I was raised with an alcoholic stepfather. I didn’t realize his alcoholism had affected me so much. I was always a strong-minded person, and left the house at a young age to just detach myself from that lifestyle. My mother has MS, and my brother with Down syndrome, which made me feel guilty for leaving. I would come back for a few months at a time to take care of them, and “stand up” to my stepdad when it came to his behavior with my mother.

    I am now 30, with 3 kids, and after years of blocking any alcoholics from being a big part of my life, I am now the girlfriend of an alcoholic. I have been with him for 2 years, and although I feel like my life is manageable, I am beginning to realize that having to avoid him when he drinks, because I don’t want to be a part of it, is becoming unmanageable, especially with my kids. I am also feeling sad, because I have let this deep-seeded issue affect my life in so many negative ways. I always thought myself to be smarter and stronger than all this.

    I used to have close friendships, and felt very comfortable being around others. I used to play music, and paint, and dance, and play, and now I feel like my world revolves around my alcoholic. I do subtle things to detach myself from him, but it comes back full circle every time, no matter what I do. I want to learn how to let him be an alcoholic, without it destroying every fiber of my fabulous being! Thanks for letting me share!

  6. Engraved Pewter Tankard April 2012 at 7:59 am

    Great information. Lucky me, I recently found your site by accident (stumbled upon). I’ve saved it for later!

  7. baffled January 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I am completely baffled by alcoholism. I met my significant other over two years ago. He was staight up with me about his previous drinking & even how he spent time in jail. He seemed so in control, drinking beer but never to drunkeness. We were very happy and really enjoyed being together.

    After a few months, he started staying with us (me & my young teen-age son). Life was wonderful. He was the man of my dreams!! Eventually, he started buying liquor & having one or two ‘on the rocks’ at night. Wasn’t an issue, very in control. He had a few evenings of big drunks when out with a buddy, who would bring him home, pour him out in the driveway & leave the rest up to me.

    The worst part is that when out, he would not answer his phone, no response to text msgs, nothing. I had no idea where he was or what was going on. That threw my emotions into a tail spin–from really angry, to worried, to untrusting, back & forth & all around. The next day, all would go on as normal.

    This happened few & far between, so I tucked away the hurt and anger. Sometimes we would have serious talks. He claimed he wanted to cut back, make things better. I offered my love and support. There were at times, 4-6 months in between serious drunks. But, every time, the same cycle–discuss change, good for a while, then another downhill slide.

    Yet, here we are again, now in the most serious downhill slide thus far. He states he sees where he was at before he went to jail (in that dark place), lying ahead of him, doesn’t want to go there, but doesn’t want to stop either. Doesn’t matter, he doesn’t care. Has been on three major drunks in the last week and every time there is a dicussion or argument about it, he wants to go, go, go–got to go, got to get away. Tells me I have done nothing wrong and he loves me very much.

    I ask if he wants to be in a relationship for us or does he want his life for himself. He claims he wants us. Never any apologies, though, as he doesn’t feel he is doing anything wrong. He states this is who he is & he is not going to change. But this is not the man I fell head over heals in love with.

    When he is sober, he is wonderful–funny, caring, compassionate. He & my son are on a roller coaster–getting along, laughing, having conversation, working well together one minute, then rolling to the extreme opposite, almost as if they hate each other, the next.

    I need help. I am depressed, have anxiety attacks, working non-stop to please him, so concerned with making him happy that I am absolutely exhausted and miserable. I sit back & ask “What about me?” but there doesn’t seem to be room for me. So many different emotions, it is overwhelming. Never any physical pains, strictly the emotional.

    Sometimes when he is drunk he will be very emotional & loving, other times he completely shuts off, no care for how he is hurting or alienating others.

    I am afraid to go to any meetings, simply out of the fear of losing him when he finds out. I feel helpless, I want to fix it. My mind tells me there is nothing I can do, except to be here when he hits rock bottom, love him & support him.

    My heart is torn between staying or moving on.
    I ask God to guide me and give me strength. There is so much clutter in my head, I can’t tell if it is God telling me to move on or the devil pointing me down the wrong path.

    I hope I can learn how to help myself & my son, to bring us peace & happiness in all this, without my significant-other knowing.

  8. diana December 2011 at 10:50 am

    I will be going to my first Al-Anon meeting tonight. Thank you for affording me this opportunity to meet with others who may be able to help me find some buoys in the rough sea I’m in right now.

    My husband doesn’t have an off switch. After reading these entries I see many aspects of my own behavior that have been both loving and destructive.

    When I met my husband, 17 years ago, he had 13 years of sobriety. After two years of marriage he started to drink beer. It has been escalating up and down for the past 10 years. I have been his drinking partner throughout this time. I seem to be able to pick it up and put it down at will. Drinking with him has not been helpful.

    Now I will go to a meeting to begin to hear about what I need to do to take care of myself, regardless of whether or not he chooses to join me in a life of peace and sobriety.

  9. Dogfer December 2011 at 2:04 am

    My alcoholic parent is nearby now, after 20 years. I’m turning OCD. I want the approval from parent to child, but I know I won’t ever get it. At the other extreme, I just want to move far, far away. My parent left my sibling with a huge issue. Now my parent is near me and I am so afraid of the huge issue being dropped in my lap.

    With the OCD I am trying to control something I know I can’t control. But my parent doesn’t respect and/or doesn’t know anything about boundaries. I attempt to set boundaries, but it seems I continuously come up on the short end of the stick. I am so frustrated. And I have a most difficult time trying not to be the “caretaker,” as I was as a child. I am an ACoA, but there aren’t as many websites dedicated to ACoA.

    I feel I am at extremes with my parent. I so badly want their approval, and at the same time I so badly want to not have a relationship at all with my parent. And in the middle is my inner child, not wanting to get hurt another time. I am here, seeking help. Al-Anon is great help. I know where the meetings are, I will make time in my schedule to begin attending again. I am thankful for this help.

  10. PZ December 2011 at 2:51 am

    In April I married the love of my life. We fell in love at summer camp when we were 12. We were like peas and carrots. After that summer we lost touch, and reconnected on Facebook 25 years later. I have never loved anyone more than this man in my life.

    As it turns out. . . he loves me too, but he loves heroin and meth more. I found him again, fell in love with him, married him, and have now left him, all in one year. I don’t know how to pick myself up anymore because I am exhausted from picking him up.

    I’m so sad. Sad for him, sad for me, and sad for my two little boys who thought he was “the coolest step dad on the planet”. I want to be able to function again. . . for God’s sake. I just want to get through one day without crying. I just want him to be clean. I just want soooo much that isn’t possible.

  11. whateverwerks November 2011 at 2:36 am

    Okay. I know the drill — from the perspective of recovery as a recovered alcoholic (since 1/10/1989). Yet, I have no clue and only see that I can no longer deny the long-term effects: raised by an abusive parent, a mentally ill parent, the years of living with a spouse who abused me, my child and even though I escaped that awful lifestyle, now my own adult child, and even a series of hostile bosses indicate, to me, now, just how far I have come while I have even further to go.

    There were indications that I ought to seek support from someone, somewhere, even an Al-Anon group program. So, here I am. Depressed, lonely, isolated in almost every respect from others and myself, even. I am so embarrassed. So angry. So sick. Geez I hate admitting my inability to “fix” this sadness and move out of this grief.

    So, once again, here I am, people. Not drinking, but craving — yes, craving to call my sick, sick child and offer more money to “help” out again; and, for what? My help only digs a deeper hole. Money to buy more drugs. Money to help get the temporary fix. That is all that I am ever asked for these days. Money.

    I am unable to recover, I mean — on my own. Nearly exhausted all of my savings, loaning/giving money to my child who refuses to get help to stop the addiction to her need, to the same drugs and alcohol and yes, even the abusive behaviors and over-reactions that surface when my child cannot have the fix needed when she needs it.

    When I saw my newborn grandchild jittery and shaking from the tension and hostility — perhaps even, yes, the drugs that must permeate the environment, the household; seeing my adult child shaking from the need to “go out for just a minute” only to return with the drug that only she carefully, ever so slightly tried to hide. . . I knew. And fearing the worst, of course, I stayed silent, left without a word, not wanting to cause more upset and confusion, let alone endure another screaming argument.

    I could not bear to witness the happenings that go on in an alcoholic-addict environment. Instead, I have once again experienced the cold shoulder. The silence. The phone call that will never arrive, to apologize for the sudden absence and express the shame that was/is continuing.

    My grandchild is helpless, with no voice to express the need for help. I turned my back on her, on my child, my grandchild, the very people I love. This is my first step to get the help I need above and beyond my own ability to comprehend anything. I pray that there is a good reason, a god of some sort, a power greater than I am, to help them, since I cannot do this for them, or myself, on my own.

  12. Kerrie September 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I found out two weeks ago that my boyfriend (long term relationship) was addicted to cocaine, and typically abused alcohol when high. I had no idea whatsoever about the cocaine usage, although I did recognize he could never ‘just have one or two drinks’.

    While he admitted himself to rehab over a week ago, which I’m very happy about and intend to support him the best I can, I feel overwhelmed and shocked. I am looking after his kids on weekends, dealing with his ex-wife (who is no picnic), taking care of all his finances and finalizing the renovation on our house which he was supposed to manage, in addition to maintaining my own day-to-day life. Before all this, he was ‘superman’ to me, he ran a big company, was charismatic, a good dad, and we had a very close and calm relationship.

    I feel sad, angry, and dissapointed that he hid something like this from me for half of our relationship, and generally in over my head.
    I am going to my first Al-Anon meeting this evening and am feeling quite intimidated.

    This weekend I will take his kids to visit him in rehab for the first time. I’m scared for the unexpected. He has been allowed to call me the past week, and while we’ve had some great conversations, I can’t help but feel as though he’s being self-centered cause he tends to tell me all about his treatment and not ask how I’m doing, while meanwhile I’ve more or less taken over managing his day-to-day life for him while he’s in rehab.

    I’m a strong person, and have overcome family/personal challenges in my life before, but I just feel at a loss cause this hit me like a ton of bricks, per se, since I was completely oblivious to the addiction. I have numerous questions for him, but don’t want to distract him from treatment. I feel like I’m looking after everyone but myself, and am hoping Al-Anon can provide me with some coping mechanisms.

    Needed to vent, and thanks to all who took the time to read this.

  13. Need2bHealthyAgain August 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Tonight I went to my, again, first meeting. I should not have stopped the first time 6 years ago but I got sucked in again to “Da Circle of Deception” that I believe time and time again. “I promise to… okay, I will commit to… I’m sorry for… I understand now…” and on and on and on and on. Okay, so now enough is enough.

    He doesn’t get it, he doesn’t understand my side of the fence, and Lord will he ever?

    Lived with it too many decades. Grew up in it, married it and then married it again.

    Time to take that sign off my heart–alcoholics/addicts apply here–that my good ol’ dad placed there growing up.

    Normal relationship… Oh, you mean… It’s not where the man calls his wife every name from the Dictionary of Profanity? It doesn’t involve humiliation, challenging every thing or word that you say? It does not involve accusations, debates or lying? Is this where the actions of trust, being cherished, honestly, respect come into play?

    I heard about those kinds of relationships. Yet, I have never had one. I even heard that some people get married and live out their lives minus that third wheel that is packaged in cans, bottles, cases, fifths, mickeys, etc. I have yet to see or experience that, too.

    Thank you, government officials, for placing the booze in every corner store. But hey, if it ain’t booze, it’s gambling and if ain’t gambling, it’s drugs–and if you throw a few babes in there, well, addicts will be addicts.

    Enough is Enough.

    What I learned today. Stop being THEIR GOD. Big boys can make their own decisions. They are either going to or not going to. Nothing you can do or say is going to instill or control what they REALLY are going to do. You can only look after yourself (your true #1) and be responsible to yourself. You can cry the tears, scream the scream, make the demands, threats, or place ultimatums. Newsflash at 11, beep, beep. If the desire is strong enough and the juice is in walking, driving and even crawling distance..they will sniff out the closest source! Nothing you can do but hold the door open and yell, fetch.

    I even hid it in the weirdest places one day, and he sniffed it out! I have experience, but his was greater!
    Will I enable anymore–not a chance. Will I cover up for him anymore–not a chance. Will I attempt to control the situations or place false hope on this–not, not, and not a chance.

    He is going to drink himself to death.

    I am going to keep going to the next and the next and the next meeting so that I can once again LIVE and maybe even leave. Yes, I am that serious, to be at a meeting on a Saturday night!

    Alcohol will kill him. I already see its toll on him . Alcohol will not kill me.

    The end came when I realized that I am tired of having a BAT-PHONE to the local police dept and that I may need to pave over my lawn and hang POLICE PARKING signs with lined parking spaces for all the cruisers I have at my door due to his indulgence. Most recent, last night. So many they parked in my neighbor’s drive as well. How’s that for being neighborly, huh? I was just waiting for the film crew to arrive!

    Tired and afraid I am going to receive a letter soon from the mayor or the local board of trustees where we live, telling me they made the decision to re-locate police headquarters to my garage to save time on communications, time and gas to our place.

    And he wonders why I, after a decade of this, want O-U-T! Finally I said to myself, this is bigger than me, get to AL-ANON, buy my own vehicle, acquire a job, save moolah, find a new place to live and a then make the trip to my attorney when I’m safe and sound again!

    Keep going–I am. Avoid the REARVIEW MIRRORS at all cost! Try all. Be safe, and always remember–you between them and the closest door. Never in a room with a drunk on any level but ground level. Personal property is not as valuable as your life or sanity! And most of all, Cash Back on an ATM that you can save up for a cheap hotel when you are in danger can be the difference between you taking another breath and being laid out on stretcher! Never say Never.

  14. hh July 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I’m worried about my grown son, who seems so angry all the time. He and his daughter are not speaking. She has a lot of his traits and seems very angry as well.

    I feel I’m to blame for letting him down. We had a lot of problems when my husband and I were younger, with combining two families, and feelings got hurt.

    I sure wish I could fix things.

  15. gettingbetter May 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I have been with my alcoholic husband for 25 years, and before that I was married to another alcoholic for 9 years. Their “styles” were so different that I didn’t recognize the alcoholism in my current husband. As you can guess, I’m no spring chicken but I am in generally good health and still have my sanity. I have been going to Al-Anon for about 29 years, but not always continuously.

    Living with my current alcoholic is like living with two different people in the same body – one is loving, responsible, affectionate, skilled, smart and caring; the other is ugly (to me), scary, crazed, risk-taking, does stupid and dangerous things and generally doesn’t care about anyone but himself. The instrument of this transformation is simply alcohol. He just started a 5-month sentence for multiple DUI’s and driving under revocation. I often wonder how a smart man can do such dumb things, and do them over and over again. He has had varying periods of sobriety and goes to AA in between his drinking but seems unable to “get it”. Hundreds of broken promises over the years and lots of fear and anxiety. He is a master at working the system and this is the first time he has had to do ‘real time’.

    I have learned detachment pretty well by now and I don’t feel guilty but I do feel some compassion for him in his struggle with alcoholism, but is this compassion enough to keep a marriage going? I am so detached that I really don’t care if I never see him again. Divorce keeps popping up in my mind because I worry about my legal liabilities if something really bad were to happen as a result of him drinking in the future; I have been pretty lucky that nothing like that has happened yet although there are certainly many effects from his drinking in terms of my daughter, my emotional health, my bodily health. I am trying to not force a decision but just allow my HP to bring me to the right solution for me.

  16. Bonnie May 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I am in love with an alcoholic/drug addict. Somehow I ask myself, why did my heart fall for him?
    But since I am now going to Al-Anon meetings I stopped asking why and I’m trying to listen to the program, which asks of me to bring the focus on me rather than the alcoholic.

    I have ended the relationship because I couldn’t stand the disease. It is not that I don’t love him, but being around the disease, love cannot grow healthy and it turns out to become enabling instead.

    I had to become courageous and leave that relationship and focus on myself. He is God’s child and instead of me playing God I place him in the able hands of God in prayer and I practice Letting Go. I must tell you it is not easy, but by doing this I am doing God’s will and I proceed to love myself against all odds, against all my emotional hang-ups of the past. He, being the alcoholic and drug addict, is actually my spiritual teacher.

    Because of his disease, I am learning a lot in spiritual principles and without Al-Anon I couldn’t do that. He is suffering in his disease and I stopped resenting him. I send my prayers to him and I ask God to take good care of him and I ask God to bless his life with joy and happiness.

  17. Marian November 2010 at 6:13 pm

    It is mesmerizing to read these, which I assume is an indication that I am still processing everything I have experienced having to do with co-dependency and an alcoholic. It is scary to think I have co-dependent tendencies, but I look in the mirror and tell myself I love myself for those tendencies. They are a squishy part of me that I take care of and it’s great, it’s challenging, it is part of my life.

    As of right now, I am a bit over a year out of a 3-year relationship that was verbally and finally physically abusive. That was where I drew the line at that point in my life. It has taken a lot of Melody Beattie and prayer to move that line so that I don’t let the energy get sapped out of me, don’t tolerate disrespect because I’m not scared of being alone anymore. Haha, well, I am. But a lot of the time I enjoy it, and when I don’t enjoy it, that’s okay too.

    I am not sure what I am trying to say here, but I suppose it is that I am very happy not to be with an alcoholic. If someone cannot treat someone with respect, they should not be in a relationship. I believed that someone earns the right to be in a loving committed relationship just by virtue of being born. Because there was a good heart buried beneath everything else that was making him hurt me. But that is not true. There is a lot of maturing and hard work that has to be done before someone earns the right to be with someone else and be loved. Or else they will abuse it.

    I am afraid I will choose the wrong person again. I already have chosen poorly in my dating since the relationship. I look at texts or listen to someone’s voice on the phone and realize I have sought out someone who is like my ex. And then I end it.

    Thankfully I have also dated someone sweet and respectful so I know it can be better. Life can be great. I had to be very patient, very scared, lonely, hurt and insecure for a long time. I had to think long and hard about things in my upbringing that may have made me feel unable to be alone or unworthy of being taken care of, and obligated to save someone.

    I still don’t know what the future holds. But my number one priority is listening to my feelings. And if they say I don’t like how it feels to be with someone, that is enough to stop that relationship. I might be foregoing some great times but I don’t feel guilty about it. I just do it. I am more important than some guy. I just am.

  18. Sally November 2010 at 1:38 pm

    My daughter is an alcoholic, and in my ignorance I thought I could solve her problems. Through Al-Anon, I learned that I can’t.

    I lost so much of my life worrying, fretting and trying to ‘fix’ her and her problems. It wasn’t until I started attending Al-Anon regularly that I found out what MY role is, and how to focus on ME instead of the alcoholic.

    If you have been thinking about going to an Al-Anon meeting but haven’t yet, please go. You might not find the ‘right’ meeting with the first one you go to, but keep going back. It works. It really does.

  19. barb August 2010 at 1:45 pm

    My life became unmanagable in so many ways.

    I became so wrapped up in his disease that I ended up having few friends, no social life, got into a deep dark depression that swallowed me whole. The only thing I was able to do was care for our child, and eat. I had to eat because I had another one on the way.

    I spent many nights crying myself to sleep.

    I was embarrassed almost anytime we went somewhere. It’d be with his drinking friends and he’d humiliate me in front of them–yell at me, call me names.

    I couldn’t talk on the phone when he was home because he’d get drunk and start with me–either accusing me of talking to another man and taking my phone away, or call me names, or be extremely annoying–humiliating me.

    I made exscuses for him. It seemed like everything revolved around him, from me trying to get him to get help, to me having to hunt him down and be worried sick at times, to me trying to do everything perfect so he wouldn’t have any reason to yell at me when he got home. I would try so hard to not set him off so he wouldn’t hit me.

    The storm would pass and he’d be normal for a short time and make promises. And just when I would let my guard down, out of nowhere came the monster.

    He was so physically and emotionally abusive that I wanted to die when I was pregnant with our second, which was the breaking point and I knew that I had to get help and called a shelter.

    We lost two apartments. I have no car. I wanted to go back to school, lost sight of my dreams. I still suffer from depression.

    CPS removed me and my children from the home because it was either we leave or he leave, and he said he couldn’t because of his job. So me and my kids were forced to go live with my parents, which is the lessor of two evils, but it’s not where I want to be.

    We hardly see a dime from him. I basically lost everything–so many pieces of myself, time. I’ve become bitter and angry.

  20. Val February 2010 at 10:02 pm

    It’s been years since I have been to a meeting, but I have to tell you, after 26 years of being married to a currently drinking alcoholic, it’s discouraging watching him slowly die now. He drinks himself into a frenzy, then sets out to eat every peice of sugar he can find in the house to “put him out,” as he calls it. I have learned over the years that I do what makes me happy. He is not abusive verbally or physically – just a “functioniing drunk”. It’s just sad now watching him slowly die, and he seems to be OK with it. I am glad he has found his peace–I will miss him. I give him 8-9 more years at best. I don’t mean to sound bitter–just sad.

  21. ann January 2010 at 12:01 pm

    My son is 37; his dad is an alcoholic. We are now divorced. My son has been in and out of treatment centres for the last 5 years, when he told me he had an addiction to cocaine. He was 11 months clean, living with my mom and me when we decided to co-sign for a car loan and furniture, as he was working and moved into his own apt. I am on a disability as well.

    He has gone back to using and has left me with a 30 thousand dollar debt, and I have helped him with his rent. I am constantly worried about him. I have keys to his place. One night I slept there and came home because I was so sick. I went back there to clean his apt. He has no idea what I go through because his only desire is to get high. Last time I went over there I found empty cough medicine and Tylenol and Gravol bottles, that he takes all at once. He has been using and/or drinking since he was 15. I feel so helpless and I keep going to meetings and doing my Steps.

    He has gone to A.A. in the past. I believe he also has a brain disorder, but I don’t know what came first–the addiction or the brain disorder. When he is well, he is so kind and considerate and as a mom I am so confused with this behavior of addiction that is so prevalent in the world today.

    I know parents that have lost their children to addiction, and now the reality is that I may be one of those parents. His father basically abandoned our son, so there has been very little contact or none. I understand and do know that this disease only gets worse and is progressive, so he has lost everything and has sold all his clothes and has nothing. When he will hit bottom, I don’t know. I do know that I pray for him and he is in God’s hands. Yesterday I thought that if God does take him at least he will be in peace. I feel sick thinking these thoughts as a mom. Thanks for listening, and God bless.

  22. Conco January 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Wow, I stumbled onto this website somehow, and there in the words I am reading, is me! I am living a life much like the ones I am reading about! I can’t believe it!

    Several months ago, my boyfriend of many long years ago, (when he and I were 15 years old), contacted me. I have not been in a meaningful relationship for 20 years and this man has really touched my heart. After several months of fun banter on the internet and phone, he came to visit me. We had a lovely time, but I suspected something was ‘wrong’, but was not sure what it was. There were several times on the phone, that I suspected ‘things’ were not right, but I did not want to believe that all was not well! It seemed like our meeting again after all these years was ‘fate’, such a wonderful gift. But now, it feels like torture!

    He is an alcoholic, he knows it, he is not delusional about his disease. He has spent many hours, days, years, in both drunkeness and sobriety. He knows how the disease works. And he also knows the successes people have in AA, because he has had those also!

    I feel he has come into my life for many reasons. I feel God allows that or even helps that to happen for our growth, learning, and understanding. I just wish I had all the answers right now. I am not a very patient person, so I guess that is one of the lessons I must learn. I want this man in my life, and then I want him to go away, because it’s too hard. He has made me realize how alcohol has effected my life, before he entered it. My grandfather, father, brother, nephew, cousins, all are alcoholics and or drug users.

    I have recently started going to Al-Anon. It’s good, and I am grateful for the program. It’s just so painful right now. It’s hard. I feel numb, then sad and despairing. Thanks for letting me share.

  23. gen December 2009 at 3:15 am

    I’d like to see comments on “the silent treatment.” I am so tired of living this way. The mood swings really get to me. Returned to Al-Anon meetings recently. Sorry I ever stopped going. I pray for relief as I wait for my next meeting. I will phone my sponsor tomorrow. I hope I can find my way back to this website.

  24. Ricardo A November 2009 at 9:57 pm

    My life’s unmanageability means that I think, in a distorted way, it’s dangerous to be me or just to let my mind and myself flourish. In Al-Anon I found out in an overwhelming way that my unmanageability made me think that if I let it go, something terribly dangerous could happen to me.

    That simple, but somehow powerful, negative way of thinking had driven me to feeling kind of trapped, feeling really scared, almost constantly emotionally reacting – not in an outgoing way, in an ingoing way, though, inside my head and my heart.

    Thank you, Al-Anon, for letting me share.

  25. myparentsdrink November 2009 at 4:51 pm

    My parents drink a lot. They just drink and drink 24/7. I go to Al-Anon because of my parents.

  26. Brenda August 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I came to this site to get information. I have two daughters (34/35) who are into drugs. Both have been in rehab and it seems like it has been of no help. I was married (still married, but have been separated for 3 years) to an alcoholic who left me for another woman who is also an alcoholic. My problem is that my daughters are out of control and I am just an enabler and cannot seem to find out how to stop. I am going to go to a meeting, but this web-site was very informative.

  27. lilax August 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I have never written anything that would make my situation public before. My boyfriend, and also the father of my son, is an alcoholic and a drug addict. We have been together over four years and three-and-a-half of them have been hell. I have tried to fix the situation by holding his hand. This method, or any method of mine, is doomed to fail. In my head, I know I cannot fix him. Only God knows why I keep trying.

    He has done rehab stints in three states and jail time in two. He has recently joined a new rehab program and has been sober for four months. I think he relapsed last night.

    I see him slipping through my fingers, yet there is nothing I can do to hold on to this glimpse of sobriety he has shown me. I caught myself saying that I am losing him. But the truth is that I never really had him. . . I am losing myself.

    I have come to this website to re-learn how to pray for myself.

  28. needhelp May 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I have not been to a meeting in a long time. But now, after being married to an alcoholic for 23 years, we are having problems in our relationship. I know that it might be the fear that I was trying to control how I was dealing with what I called a self-inflicted disease. That’s what I keep telling myself. My husband stated that he was unhappy and doesn’t know if he wants to work on our relationship or not, but that’s up to him. I just need to help myself to be me. From what I have been reading and listening to in these podcasts, I know that I let other people decide for me what I should feel about a lot of things. And I know I have to think for myself and should not care what other people think of me.

  29. Slidintopain May 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I am sorry for everyone who posted that you have had or continue to go through the same misery and hell that I am in right now. I am having an extremely hard time, and someone told me to look up this site. I am glad I did.

    When I met my now husband, I just knew that I had found “the one.” He was super sweet, caring, understanding, ambitious, compassionate, fun, and just altogether became my best friend. We even began working together as a couple in business and it worked very, very well. People were amazed at what he and I accomplished as a team. He had some time sober when we got together, and when we talked about that, he always said he never wanted to go back to that lifestyle. Well, we married and he made a little over 2 years of sobriety, and then BOOM, like hitting a brick wall, it all fell apart in what seems like an instant. All it took was just that first beer, and then it was all downhill.

    Now it’s always him blaming me, blaming the kids, blaming his or my parents, blaming clients of his work. He curses me out and puts me down in every way he possibly can. He takes off and drives drunk, even though he has already gotten DWI’s for this. He will sit, in the few times being sober, and ask me what I am thinking or what is bothering me. Yet, if I tell him, he gets all mad, and it’s not even that I say anything bad to him. I don’t know why he bothers to ask. It is just crazy. My stress level is through the roof. I hurt so bad to have the man I know and fell in love with back, the best friend I could ever have.

    Three weeks ago we had an argument, and this time I just left and stayed away from him, cuz he was in a really bad way. I had my cell phone shut off. Because I did not answer it immediately when he called, he proceeded to call the police on me for driving “his truck.” Anyway, 5 days later he decided to sober up and talk to me, and of course made all the promises and said all the nice things–how he was quitting drinking; he knew how it made him and how bad it was screwing up our lives together and how the kids and I are the most important things to him. But, of course, here we are 3 weeks later and he is drunk and over by his old house, where he runs when he can’t deal with reality or anyone “attacking” him. He is calling me every 5 minutes to call me names and make threats and call me a liar, even though I have nothing to hide or lie about, not to mention that I have heard him lie no less than 20 times in the last week. So anyhow, this special Mother’s Day that he promised, turned out to be just another drunken weekend, where he is just angry at the world.
    Yeah, I think I could use some of these meeting, but I don’t deal very well in public situations where I don’t know anyone. Yeah, I am scared to go, scared that my emotions will come spilling out and I will embarass myself, because my emotions are just raw right now. Anyhow, I am relieved knowing that I am not alone out there. Thanks for listening.

  30. Sharon April 2009 at 10:14 am

    Hi, Everyone. Reading all these comments has helped me this morning. My 45-year-old son has moved back in with me after having lost job, house, family, truck… you name it. I figure he has to depend upon me now, he doesn’t have much going for him. Even without a job, he finds ways to drink, riding his brother’s bicycle to a bar. He has his days and nights reversed… creeps around all night with his shortwave radio activities and then sleeps until noon. I’m an early riser and like to get all my household stuff done early so I can enjoy my day.

    He disappeared for over 11 hours yesterday and I was so worried that I finally called the police asking if there had been a bicycle accident with injuries. There hadn’t been any, so I walked the floors and kept watch for him.

    His wife told me this morning that she has filed for divorce and it’s in the papers today. Also, this is his beautiful daughter’s 18th birthday. I feel so sorry for his family… and for myself. I also feel sorry for him… a highly educated, brilliant man.

    I’m on a fixed income and he does nothing to contribute to the bills and/or care of his big old dog. His job hunting efforts are few and far between and I know that as long as I feed him and give him a roof over his head, he’s content to just be.

    I’m losing a lot of sleep, money, and all this is having an adverse effect on my health with blood pressure soaring. It’s literally making me sick.

    I have scheduled a meeting this evening even thought it’s Maundy Thursday and I have a lot to do. I’m worth looking after and obviously I’m going to have to do it by myself. It’s agonizing for a mother to feel this kind of abuse from her precious child.

    Thanks again to all who have written these comments.

  31. lisa April 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Pam – you are a confident woman. You might want to think about starting fresh. I am getting a divorce of course, so maybe not the best gal to be giving out advice. I was married to a lawyer too, 3 years of college, 3 of law school, one year of working. All the same stories apply. Supporting him through my career, while he was drinking and up to God-knows-what. Wasting my energy analyzing his behavior for the old patterns, never being able to relax enough, not wanting to have people over or form relationships because he would embarrass me. Hiding my unhappiness from my family, not enjoying being intimate anymore, worried that old issues that were solved and past, would be thrown in my face again. Wondering if I was worthy enough for this person, then realizing one day that he wasn’t worthy of me.

    Have you ever been a passenger in a car with someone who is a really good driver? You look out the side window and see the scenery, without fake-braking or tensing up or pointing out that we are all stopping ahead – and you don’t even realize you *aren’t* monitoring the road, you are just relaxed and enjoying the ride.

    That’s what I am going to do now, “see the scenery,” maybe find myself a good driver.

  32. dana April 2009 at 1:05 am

    Wow! This sounds like it really helps! Is there hope for someone married 20 years? I feel like I’m losing my mind and it’s all my fault for staying so long and putting my kids through this. But my alcoholic is great for about 4 hours in the morning and he holds a full-time job. He is drinking 24 beers a night! Every night.

  33. Janet March 2009 at 11:02 am

    I never thought that dealing with an alcoholic would be the hardest thing I ever had to do. My daughter, now 23 years of age, has had a history of alcohol binge drinking since she was 16 and it has escalated to the present. As a mother I always tryed to protect her–through two DUI’s and three different wrecks. The hardest thing for me is letting go.

    Mothers were always supposed to fix things and make it right. I know now that I’m up against a brick wall. I did attend one Al-Anon meeting, but at the time I had so many emotions floating in my head. I know that I need to attend more meetings to help me get thru this.

    My daughter is in an intense rehab program at the present time, but there are still slip-ups. I feel like I live in constant worry. I pray for her every day and I know I focus on her a lot. There are times when I just try to tell my self, “Don’t care so much.” The ball is in her court. As a mother, it is hard to feel that way. The stories I have read relate so much and will help me to take the steps I need to have a manageable life and know how to help her. Thanks for this site.

  34. Pam March 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Wow. I’ve been in a trance reading all these experiences. When I first went to Al-Anon I just felt so bad for everybody. Alcohol really just screws everything up and you would think that the perpetrator would figure it out. It amazes me that they can do so much damage to themselves and those around them and not even get it.

    My alcoholic is a lawyer, yes a lawyer, and they are the worst when it comes to arguing. They deny everything. Recently I found my husband cheated on me 11 years ago, and sits in his office and looks at porn with a whiskey and coke in a coke bottle. He even went on MySpace to find dates and I listened to a couple of interesting voicemails on his phone. He also got a DUI and wrecked his motorcycle when he was so toasted he didn’t know where he was.

    All this has been happening since 1998. So when I decided I didn’t want him and his shenanigans anymore he decided to go to AA and become the model husband. Makes dinner for me every night, does all the grocery shopping. I went all those years without an honest sober husband. He was doing horrible stuff behind my back for so many years, all the lying, treating his kids terribly. He lost so much. And now he wants me back. I have no respect for him and frankly don’t like him much, and of course I can’t trust him past our driveway, but something inside me is reluctant and I can’t figure out what it is.

    It scares me because I would love to find someone I can trust and laugh with now that all the kids are grown. The thought of living with someone who has so many flaws for the rest of my life just scares me to death. I don’t want to be at the end of my life in total regret because I decided to stay with someone who hurt me so much that I can never feel the same.

    HELP!! I’m going back to Al-Anon tonight with a friend of mine who also needs to go. I hope it helps because I’m tired of being so sad and hurt.

  35. jenneqty March 2009 at 4:16 am

    Yo everyone! 😀
    I’m new to al-anonfamilygroups.org.
    I hope I can be a regular here!

  36. Blue Shadow March 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you for this site. I have called around for a meeting. My sister called me today at 6:30 a.m. to say that she got “served” and has to be in court on Monday morning. I have been calling rehab facilities frantically, and calling her back and forth giving her information, but then I stopped and took a breath and looked you guys up. It took a few hours but after reading all of these posts, I have decided to go to a meeting. I thought I needed weight-watchers, since I have gained 80 lbs. since my daughter was killed 4 years ago. I eat, I drink wine also, I sleep alot and I have prescription drugs, etc. I actually am in no place to judge anyone.

    I know that my sister needs rehab, and I know that she has tried so hard to please as our mother was once an alcoholic, as was her father. So I am like the failure of a sister who can’t contribute to her rehab, but I have given her this advice. Check yourself in. My son and husband are functioning, my son checks out with computer games, my husband with work. All my sister wants is love. My “Love-well” is dry and has been for a very long time. I actually was thinking how selfish I am because I am here and not running to help her out. I can barely make it to the mailbox to get my mail. I have made many attempts to help my family but I just can’t stand the alcoholic drama. I don’t want the drama in my family life.

    She called at 2:30 in the morning telling me that she was “finished,” etc. I am exhausted and really am in no place to fix or help or make judgements. I am a crappy sister, a crappy mother, and a crappy wife, by anyone’s standards and actually I am sick of the entire 5-act play. I drink a glass or so of Chardonay since my daughter was killed a few years ago; I never considered myself as being an alcoholic, however. People can drink but alcoholic families are like a sad, sad story, with a sad ending, usually. My grandfather was an alcoholic, my mother, my uncles, my sister, my brother, so what makes me or gives me the privilege of attending Al-Anon. My best friend went years ago and it did wonders for her, so maybe I’ll just go and listen and just try and be thankful.

    I can’t be there for my sister but I pray for her. Her husband really is not any better than her. He drinks beer when he goes out. He never comes home for dinner, etc. And then he says his life is unmanageable? So he is setting her up for a court-appointed rehab. I told her to check herself in first. She told me that “she thinks” he kicked her and then she fell down the stairs and ended up in the foyer. I am not the best person to go to court with her because I will have to tell what I know and it is truly a sad picture. I think the best thing is for her to check herself in and then take the steps to care for her child. The guy who gets the court order and thinks he is better than his “unmanageable spouse” is really just trying to control her.

    Thank you for listening. I think I made the right choice and I am in no place to judge a drinking alcoholic who needs help. I would “fly” back home but I am home and I just am sic of the constant drama. I pray for my nephew and I know that God is bigger than this mess. I choose to stand still.

  37. linda February 2009 at 4:50 pm

    The lies that they live, we live as well, until we take control of us.

    I love the “Let go, Let God.” I say it many times a day. It helps me thru the day with an alcoholic husband. Even though we are separated he still tries to pull me thru his hell.

    With the help of this site and pod cast I can choose to join him or not. Most days I am strong. Those are the days I come here frequently and read Al-Anon literature. When I stop reading or listening or sharing, that’s when I get sucked back down to his level.

  38. dana February 2009 at 10:54 am

    I haven’t been able to make myself go to a meeting and I know I need to. My life is unmanageable and I am miserable. My husband is an alcoholic but was clean when we married and for the first 4 years. He slipped back into his old lifestyle and began drinking and using drugs about 5 months ago. I agree with Niki above, it is like hell on earth. Everything revolves around him. Will he drink today or come home tonight? I’m tired of chasing him and I also believe every word of hope he gives me. I see myself making sure the house is clean and trying to do things to make him happy but he finds fault in that too. When he gets really bad, he verbally tears me down. I pray and pray but I know I can’t fix him. It’s funny because I am in grad school to be a therapist. How can I help people like myself (and my husband) when I can’t help myself? He is very high functioning and keeps up his job but is never home and neglects the kids and me and it hurts so much.

  39. coll February 2009 at 12:47 am

    Wow.. I have come across this right now after searching for info after my husband finally admitted he has a problem… I knew all along but I did not know where to turn. So many comments I can take from many on this.. And it all equals my life.. Lonely, sad, anger, frustration, the energy taken ‘wondering’ where he is or when he is coming back.. Who he will be when he does return from just getting a loaf of bread. The terms used, saying he ‘disappears’! I thought it was just me that would know what that meant.

    My life has been taken over by this.. I do not even know who I am anymore. I am 36 and have forgotten how to have fun.

    He has been gone for a few days in a withdrawal facility, doing well I may add. But he’s coming out tomorrow… I AM NOT READY!!!! I have had no help from anyone on how to deal with this.. What is my role? What am I supposed to do?? what happens from here onwards?? I have so many questions unanswered. I need help and hope Al-Anon can help. Thank you people for sharing what you have been through and I for one can say for sure you are being heard.. I can relate in some way to everyone.

    No one else can understand.. Which they are lucky cos it means they have not had to love through it. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It’s easy to give up and walk away, they feel… But love is a powerful thing and the hope we love through for change when they are being ‘good,’ well that’s what keeps me here cos I see the potential of who he can truly be.

    I will be coming back here for more info and also arranging to go to a meeting for myself. From those of you who live this life, it sounds like Al-Anon is the answer.

    Thank you.

  40. Pam February 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I haven’t been to a meeting yet because there is not one until Tuesday night. I have been wanting to go to one since my boyfriend put himself into treatment on February 5, 2009 my boyfriend of 3 yrs. and 8 months to the date. I am scared, worried, afraid, excited, and so many more emotions. I am actually sitting here waiting on him to call me. He’s been in treatment for three days. He has been drinking for about 25 to 30 years before I met him. I just hope and pray that this will help him, because I can’t keep living like this. I’m a social worker/counselor and I could not help him. His drinking has affected my relationship with my daughter from a previous marriage. I can’t wait until Tuesday night when I can go to a meeting. I can’t visit him until next Sunday which is 8 days from now. Reading everyones comments have helped me to see that I’m not alone and I’m not going crazy. Thanks for doing this.

  41. HG February 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Hi. I’m 52 years old and my boyfriend is a practicing alcoholic. We have been together for 13 years, and during that time, I have only seen one night where he didn’t drink. That was in the first week we were together. During those 13 years his drinking got progressively worse. My family and friends had always told me that I changed once I started to date him. I didn’t see it then, but I sure do see it now. He is a controller and a master manipulator. I fell into the trap of believing everything he said to the point where I lost myself. I was, at one time, an independent, self-assured, confident woman, but that is not the case anymore. Has my life become unmanageable … most definitely. I find it hard to wake up in the morning and go to work. I cry a lot and wonder what I did so wrong to be treated this way. I’ve lost my self-respect, my self-worth and my love for life.

    When my boyfriend reached the age of 50, he felt his life was missing something. He wanted the days back from his youth where he partied all night drinking and doing drugs. He wanted to feel free, which he couldn’t do because he was in a committed relationship. So he did what he wanted, and that was to have an affair. Not with just one woman, but many. When I found out I left him, but he managed to get me back into his life. He convinced me that no one would ever love me like he did, and no one would ever be as caring and supportive as he’s been. How could I of been a fool to allow him back into my life. Nothing had changed. He just learned how to lie a bit better.

    I began seeing Al-Anon advertisements on TV and started to put the two together. I was affected by his drinking, no two ways about it. Maybe I cannot control and change him, but I can change me, which I’ve started to do. I must say the Serenity Prayer 50 times a day. It brings me back to reality when I’m in the midst of a breakdown. I’ve made the decision to go to Al-Anon for me. I need to recover. If he chooses to stay where he is, I will move on, I have to for my sanity. It’s unfortunate that a person can be so loving and caring, but when they drink they become something completely different. That is the illness. Treat the illness and things should get better. Leave it alone and eventually things will just get worse.

    I have hit my bottom. There is nowhere else to go but up. The only way I can do this is to be with people who understand my situation, who have walked the walk and can talk the talk. In participating in group meetings, listening and sharing will I be able to truly grow. I am convinced of this.

  42. Brandi-Texas January 2009 at 1:32 am

    The alcoholic in my life has 17 years of sobriety and my experience tells me that it does not matter whether the alcoholic has 1 year or 50, they are not immune to relapses. My spouse has relapsed in behavior. He attends about 3 meetings a day, has sponsees and does service work, however, he is a dry drunk. All of his drinking behavior is back and I find myself adjusting my life to fit his attitudes all over again.

    Admitting that I have absolutely NO power to help him change or get better…is easy, but acting on that admission is extremely hard for me. I always listen to his words hoping that this time…he really means what he says…however, my experience over the past 7 years shows me differently…and I still fall for his words of hope every time.

    I am so used to putting him first..I don’t know how to put me first and leave him alone to muddle through his own miserable life…MY life is unmanagable, because I am not managing it…I am managing his…All my reasoning as to why his raging is unacceptable does no good, because I am trying to reason with someone who is..by nature…unreasonable and self centered.

    My life is unmanageable because I am powerless….

    Thanks for letting me share

  43. Mary January 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I am so tired. So tired of his (my husband’s) addictions, so tired of his getting us farther and farther in debt. Tired of his anger, tired of his rules for our kids (who are young adults and all out of the house – lucky them). I have listened to all these podcasts and sat here and cried by my computer. I am numb. I don’t know what I want anymore. I just worry about whether he will be angry or not, will he pick me up from work drunk again, will he be the sober nice guy or the drunk, slurring, groping, jerk.
    Sigh. I feel so alone. I don’t want to tell my family he’s started drinking again.
    He did say he was going to quit again but I found a bottle hidden outside today. He said he wants my support but he will not be going to AA meetings this time. He said he wants me to hold him accountable but then blows up in anger when I do. He has never hit me but he did beat our children and has broken things around the house. I just can’t do this again, I just want out.

  44. Angela January 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I have been sitting here reading all the comments thinking it was just me. I now know I am not alone. My husband is an alcoholic. Sometimes he drinks a little, other times he binges. I have 3 small children . I haven’t gone to my first meeting yet ,cause honestly I was almost convinced I was the crazy one. Today we were at our marriage counselor and I was talking about his drinking and he blew up and stormed out. I sat there and just went WOW I always thought there was a problem but I allowed it to be excused away as work stress. I finally realized I can’t fix him. Only he can. I can just make myself happy and my children. He gets very angry and becomes a bully. He taunts and torments me and the kids. They are beautiful kids. I am divorced, did I mention my first husband abused alcohol? This one however is high functioning. He has a professional career. I am angry at myself for not opening my eyes and dragging my children through this. I know it is not me. I need to find serenity. For me and the kids.
    Thank you for all the comments. They have truly been inspiring.

  45. Lorna January 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Finding this website has been a lifesaver for me. I’ve listened to the podcasts several times now and have cried rivers of tears in relief that I am not alone, instead of worry, anger and frustration over my alcoholic. I will keep reading these words, listening to the podcasts until I go to my first AL-Anon meeting. I have my local contact number and will be calling tomorrow morning. I am finding writing this down very cathartic as I go over our relationship and what brought me to this point.

    My boyfriend of close to a year is an alcoholic although he will not use that word-it’s always his addiction. We live a good distance apart which makes it doubly hard because I feel so helpless knowing that he is by himself, knowing that the desire for alcohol is there and I guess in a way, not being able to control it.

    When we first met in person, I flew out to where he lives and I guess my first clue should have been that I could not get hold of him the night before. When I arrived, I called him several times and it took him over two hours to arrive to where I was staying. When he arrived, he had a case of beer. All of what happened that first few days, I put down to initial jitters and I guess denial of what the real problem. Denial on both our parts colored our times together even when he would get verbally abusive toward me, cutting me down, blaming me for things, all under the umbrella of being brutally honest because when he was sober, he was the sweetest most loving man ever and while deep in my heart I knew that he was an alcoholic, I didn’t want to lose him or his love so I kept on making excuses for his binges which happened almost every weekend we were together. He was sober a good part of our time together and we made plans to take this relationship further, for me to move out there to be with him. One night after a particularly bad binge, he finally admitted he was an alcoholic and needed help. That was as far as it went.

    Once I returned home, the drinking started all over again and the worry on my part was enormous – I was constantly worrying about him, was he drinking, etc etc. My life was basically on hold, all out of worry over him. Things escalated like this and I made a return trip to finalize a deal for a place for us to live – he was broke, so I paid the rent. He was always broke and I know when we were together, with him broke, at least I could control his drinking in that I refused to buy any booze at all. Again, he wasn’t there to meet me-it took him a couple hours to come to me and he had another case of beer with him.

    This time when I came home, I made the plans to move out there, travel and mover arrangements. At this time, he had got a job and was on the standard probationary period – he went for his job review and through a genuine honest series of miscommunications, he thought that they didn’t want him to work there. He went on the binge of all binges and to be honest, should have been in the hospital or a detox unit. Trouble is-he has alienated every member of his family because of his alcoholism and has literally no one to help him. Somehow, we got through this but I cancelled my moving plans because to be honest, I couldn’t face going out to this situation, in spite of my love and devotion to him. I figured that this would jolt him into reality, which it did. He got into rehab but had to wait 4 weeks for a space. We wouldn’t be spending the holidays together, which was hard for both of us and the reason why always hung in the background. He was completely sober until last night – 2 nights before he is scheduled to enter rehab. To be brutally honest, I don’t know if he drank away the money given him to get him there or if he will even make it. He says he will, but there have been too many broken promises in the past. He has been complaining that this program is too 12 Step oriented….making all sorts of excuses, wondering if this program will work. My mind has been in overdrive over this and again, he always said that if I was there, things would be alright.

    Tonight, he is completely drunk. When he gets like that, he gets argumentative and digs into the recesses of his mind for different hurtful things to say toward me. Tonight was no different and I refused to argue. I hung up on him. I did all of my crying and worrying about him before this last call. Yes, it hurts -it hurts a lot because I do love him very much and accept that his alcoholism has caused all of the losses in his life. After that call, I found this website and have cried as I realize that I am not alone in this. My mother, my family are well meaning but they can’t provide the kind of support I need – the kind I will find in Al-Anon. Tonight, for the first time in this relationship, I have come to understand that I am powerless over alcohol. Whether the step I am taking will help him toward recovery is unknown. But I know that for the first time in this relationship, I am going to change something that can be changed-me.

  46. Niki January 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I know how you feel Jil. I just don’t know what to do about it. I am working on getting better myself in order to live with my alcoholic husband and not “care” as much about his drinking but I am not sure I will get there. I may have to leave before my own life/sanity is too far gone. I hate that feeling. I love my husband and have spent the last 4 years trying to show him “how much” and trying to show him that life is good and he can be happy if he chooses to. Instead of him seeing those things…..I have seen what hell on Earth looks like. I am hoping that the principles of Al-Anon can help. If they don’t help me to live with him……..I am hoping that changing my focus from him and his addiction to me will help me when it is finally time to get off of the roller coaster.

  47. Jil December 2008 at 9:20 am

    This is the first thing I found to deal with my husband drinking and my heart breaking on a daily basis. I see I’m not alone and that’s even sadder. I feel like I’m becoming more angry and yelling more and ugly just like him. You know they say it’s the company we keep. He upsets me or us everyday. Always after a tall can. I can’t take it another day.

  48. Joan December 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Oh, 1 more thing-I can’t tell you how tempting it is to make a call to the police when he’s out drinking. I know he’ll drive drunk and the consequences to him are 10 years in prison. It’s very tempting to call, very tempting.

  49. Joan December 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve went to a few meetings a couple of years ago and was not comfortable and didn’t feel it was for me. In retrospect I know I felt that way because I was not ready to admit that this was a part of my life. Fast forward and beginning a year and a half ago my husband started getting mildly physically abusive (he’s always been verbally/emotionally abusive but only when he drinks).

    Short story is I’ve left 3 times in the past year, the first time was just for a few days. The 2nd time was close to 5 or 6 weeks (both these times I left and stayed with friends). The 3rd time was for 30 days, I checked myself in to a domestic violence center (I didn’t realize I was locking myself up). I agreed to come back home with the stipulation that he quit drinking, quit smoking pot and get help (with his anger).

    He started going back to AA a couple of weeks before I went back, started going to my church (I had been going by myself since the beginning of the year) and stopped going out and drinking. I came home and he was “good” for a little while, then he started “slipping” every couple of weeks, then that grew into a weekly slip. Nothing seems to be working for either of us. He took me to an AA meeting one Thursday night and then didn’t come home after work the next night and was at the bar.

    Over the last month there have been 2 incidents in which he went out drinking (maybe 3 now), made it home (driving drunk) and managed to pull the car into the drive way only to pass out in the drivers seat. The first time this happened I let him stay out there for a few hours, the 2nd time it happened I just left him there and let him stay there all night.

    He has recently “negotiated” to have 1 night a month that is his “guys” night out and 1 night a month with me (where I go to the bar with him so I can meet his friends (this is to eliminate/resolve my suspicions of his infidelity)). We went out this past Friday night and it was really just all about him. I foolishly thought this would be our “date” night but it didn’t feel like that to me at all. He paid no attention to how I was feeling. We stayed out longer than I wanted to stay (which we had made a deal that we would leave “together” when I was ready) and he drank more than what he agreed to, which ruined our “date” night (at least for me).

    I’m so tired of dealing with this I can’t take it anymore, part of me (the old side) is ready to give up, move out and file for divorce. The other side of me, the new Christian side, says hold on-Let go and Let GOD. But you know what, I just DON’T want to live like this anymore, I DON’T want to live like this the REST of my life. I’ve been thinking about going back to an Al-Anon meeting to help me cope but on the other hand if I leave and divorce him I wont have this problem to deal with anymore and that sounds more appealing to me.

    I really wish that someone could guarantee me that it will get better and give me a time frame in which it will. I DO know however that is NOT realistic but I’m about at the end of my rope and definately out of patience.

  50. fran December 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Hi

    I feel like my entire life has changed in the three months since our 18 yo son got a DWI and went steadily downhill. He’s due to be discharged from rehab in a month and a half and I am so scared I won’t be able to manage him. There I go, thinking I can control him. I am learning the tools, read the books, listen at the meetings, but somehow my mind hasn’t fully taken in all the tools yet.

    I also see myself wanting to control his consequences. Intellectually I know that not only is it not possible, but it is the worst thing I can do and would further enable him.

    After a weekend pass with him, I feel weak, when I want to feel strong. And again I know I am where I need to be and need to let go and let my higher power help me. Maybe with time these things will sink in. I sure hope so. Sometimes I leave the meetings feeling so relieved that there are others who have been where I am. Other times I feel hopeless thinking that alot of people have been going through this for many years.

    The saying “Keep coming back” is what I need to do.

    Thank you for listening

  51. Terrie November 2008 at 4:52 pm

    My husband is an alcoholic/drug addict who has been in a rehab facility for the last 9 months. I am depressed lonely and cry almost everyday because I feel that he is never going to come home. I had a fight with him and told him that I needed to see some progress towards his moving back home and he kept negating every idea and felt that I was giving him an ultimatum and maybe I was. How long do I put my life on hold for when even he does not know if or whether he will ever come home. I have two special needs children and am trying as hard as I can to keep it together but there are days when I feel like I could easily start crying and never stop. Things are breaking and I am barely getting by meanwhile he is barely working 24 hours. I would love the opportunity to simply check out of my life while someone else makes my house payments and pays my bills and takes care of my children, but that is not a possibility. I am just so tired and alone.
    thanks for listening
    Terrie

  52. Lavae November 2008 at 9:12 pm

    The last comment was so long, sorry. I was struggling that night and it really helped to write it all down. He did come home after a couple of hours and things weren’t the horror that I had expected.
    I’m so glad that I’ve found Al-Anon and wish I had known years ago that I was being affected by the disease of alcoholism. I’ve spent countless hours inside my own head, worrying about things I couldn’t control or change.
    I’ve learned some coping strategies and have gotten so much support and information from going to the meetings and reading the materials. I have realized this week, however, that even when I have several days of what I call “good days”, all it takes is one negative thought to get me back inside my own head…worrying again. I called another member of the group yesterday who patiently listened and let me talk it out. She focused on me and not the situation that was making me so uncomfortable. It helped so much. And, as has happened so many times before, things didn’t turn out as badly as I had thought they would. The feeling of dread has become my worst enemy. It effects me physically and mentally and I make bad decisions when I’m in those situations. But my Al-Anon friend really helped. So tonight, when I started feeling that same old feeling of dread, instead of saying the wrong thing I came to this website to read and clear my head.
    If there was a registered chat room I think it would be very helpful for those who have a hard time finding a meeting close to them, or for those times(usually late at night) when it’s impossible to get out of the house. Thanks for reading this. Finding Al-Anon has improved my life considerably and I am finding that I can have serenity and happy times, when I let myself. I hope you can too.

  53. Lavae November 2008 at 12:01 am

    I’ve gone to 3 meetings and have been reading these comments and listening to the podcasts for several weeks before that. I’m still such a beginner but I have already had a lot of peace come to me because of Al-Anon.
    About a month ago I hit my bottom. I’ve always thought that my husband was probably an alcoholic, but he has always been very high functioning. He has always kept a job and been a good provider for our family. His drinking never starts until the evening, and he drinks only beer. He has a few every night and has for years. Once or twice a year he will have a guy weekend where he and his buddies drink heavily. This has become a regular way of life. I guess I had found ways to cope with the inconveniences that would sometimes occur, but for the most part we were plugging along.
    I can look back now and see the series of events that has led to the progression of his alcoholism, but that night a month ago he drank for over 12 hours and I spend the night pacing the floor, crying, screaming, and calling his phone over and over. I was so exhausted but I couldn’t go to sleep with him not here. He was with a few of his drinking buddies and none of them were ready to stop drinking until he started vomiting. I’m not exactly sure what happened at their house, but I reached a point where I couldn’t take another breath until I went and got him. None of them had ever seen him like this, and truly I hadn’t either. He vomited all over himself and once I got him home it continued along with diareaha. I got him to strip off all the nasty clothes and I finally got him to bed. He was so sad, apologizing the whole time. It broke my heart. After I thought he was settled, I came back to this website and wrote down all the meeting times for the next day. I read every article I could find online about Al-Anon, and listened to the podcasts again.
    I learned a lot that night. I learned that I needed to wait until he was sober and tell him in a quiet, calm voice exactly what had happened. I learned that I needed to let him wash his nasty clothes and clean the bathroom that he had messed up, and face his own consequences. I learned that getting a friend involved that could talk to him would be received better than hearing the same things from me over and over. But most of all, even though I knew I needed help for me, I learned that there could be serenity for me. I went to my first meeting the next day.
    I think this episode did freak him out a little. He felt bad for 24 hours and only had one beer that first day. He told me he had let things get out of control and that it wouldn’t happen again. He cleaned up all his mess and washed his clothes. But, by the second day he was back to drinking 4 or more a night. What had changed was his valiant effort to keep his drinking ‘under control’. I know from my Al-Anon literature that once he takes one drink his brain changes and that there is no control. But, he has really been behaving so much better and I’ve been able to do my daily readings, get a lot of work done, and try to live one day at a time.
    My meetings have helped me. My mind hasn’t been racing constantly wondering what he is doing when I’m not with him. But, I still have a long way to go.
    It occurred to me today that since it was Halloween that there would probably be a party somewhere that he would be invited to. I felt the dread. I spoke to him earlier today before he started drinking, and he had decided to stay home this evening. I felt relief. A good friend came over this evening and I was once again sure that he wouldn’t be leaving. Double relief. But his friend left early, and the next thing I know he’s telling me that he is going to make “an appearance” at this party in our neighborhood. He’s been gone for over an hour and I’ve got sweatty palms and feel very nervous inside. I went to my Courage to Change book and read my daily reading. I got online and read what others had written. I started writing this comment. I know that I’m just filling the time with tasks, trying to take my mind off of the fact that he’s not here. At this point, though, I do realize that it’s his life, not mine to control. I can control how I react to this situation. I pray he comes home safe, and I pray that I can stop myself from calling and checking on him. I pray that God will enable me to sleep if he isn’t home soon. I pray that I can get myself out of the way…and let go and let God.

  54. Jackie October 2008 at 10:58 pm

    It was hard to walk into my first Alateen meeting when I was in high school and both of my parents were alcoholics. I felt so alone. Little did I know how well everyone would understand exactly how I felt. They were easier to talk to than my own family. It was also hard to walk back into an Al-Anon meeting when I realized that my husband, who drank in secret, was also an alcoholic. The disease had progressed so much that he couldn’t hide it any more. But I knew from before in Alateen that you make the greatest friends in this program. I knew it was a safe place to be. So I went even though it was hard. It didn’t hurt me it helped me, like a pressure valve being opened. Being afraid of going to a meeting was just keeping myself from the help I needed. I was so isolated. Now it has been a year since I started in Al-Anon. Like they say, “If you are thinking about going to a meeting, stop thinking about it and go to a meeting!”

    BTW, Alateen is not for teenage alcoholics, it is for kids whose parents are alcoholics.

  55. Karen October 2008 at 12:33 pm

    It’s hard to accept that I deserve to be happy too and that I really have no control over my husband’s addictions. I know it’s true mentally but emotionally I feel like I have, and still am, sacrificing most of my life for my husband’s addiction problems. We have been together for almost 30 years and thinking of a future that has been like my past is truly depressing and hopeless. I have gained tons of weight, I don’t interact with people except at work. Living a life with no trust is just sad. Get this, I once quit law school because I thought he would embarass me in front of my classmates/collegues should I ever have finished law school and graduated. Well, he embarasss me even now when he’s drinking and what I did was give up a great career. I’m tired of hearing the same old phrases from him for whatever reason. I have gone to counselling for co-dependency but it obviously didn’t work.

    Thank you for these podcasts because I know I can say anything here and be understood.

  56. kate October 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I have been in the program for more than a year and sometimes it amazes me how I ever lived without it. I have come along way and there are days like today when my alcoholic has chosen to go off and drink that I know I have MUCH further to go. The desperation I use to feel when he would disappear is much less, I dont pick up the phone and call every five minutes to try to talk him into coming home (which never worked anyway) I still feel frustrated of course but I am learning to rely upon the tools I have learned and to remember that I cannot change him and he must be able to make his own choices whether they are good or bad.
    Today I am a grateful member of Al-Anon!!

  57. jen October 2008 at 1:47 pm

    i am so grateful that someone had the vision to design this website and include these podcasts! i have read through the comments posted by newcomers and it brings tears to my eyes remembering the pain i felt when i entered this program. i was nervous to attend a meeting, but did so because it was an expectation of my husband’s rehab. now, i am a grateful member of this fellowship. i have found in the meetings the family i always wished i had! people in meetings listen to me, nod their heads in understanding, offer me a hug after the meeting, and offer their phone numbers in case i need someone to talk to during the week. i’ve never experienced such unconditional love before coming to Al-Anon. to anyone looking on these sites and listening to these podcasts for the first time, this fellowship called Al-Anon works. it doesn’t cost anything, contributions are totally voluntary, but what you get from the program is priceless!!!! our primary spiritual aim is to help family and friends of alcoholics, therefore, you will be WELCOMED at the meeting and you will be with others who have struggled with the problem of alcoholism. i look forward to meeting you! 🙂

  58. beth October 2008 at 12:08 am

    Hello Family,

    I LOVE these podcasts! I’m a newcomer, and I’ve been on step one for a month. Have done phone bridge meetings and face to face for the previous year b/c I just didn’t get that it might be about me….. And I continue to resist. I have a sponsor, and the literature and slogans really help me. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is joy, and that it will find me if I just stay still. Meeting makers make it! Thank you, Al Anon family, for helping me tonight. I am laughing again, and when I cry, the tears are real, and there is more clarity within to figure things out. Your ESH rocks!

  59. Tracey September 2008 at 6:30 am

    Thank you for being there – today I needed to listen and this has given me strength and hope.

  60. marianna September 2008 at 5:56 am

    I have been delighted to listen to these podcasts,have been in Al Anon for a very long time and this life changing programme has been one of the greatest blessings of my life!
    Congratulations to WSO for their production and I know how important it is that I am reminded regularly how far I have come and how grateful I am that I have had this programme in my son’s life throughout his childhood and teens.He has grown into a fine young man and I am trully convinced that having a Mum who went to meetings and tried to apply the steps in her life,has given him the stability and the self esteem I didn’t have at his age.My 1st sponsor told me I was giving him a gold pass in life by attending and at that stage I was so sodden in guilt and anger,I barely believed her.So now I work these steps for me because I know I deserve to have a serene,contented and healthy life,be loved and love without needing to control because I know I am looked after.

  61. Lu September 2008 at 6:43 pm

    hello everyone, I have been in Al-Anon for over one year and the reason I went was because they said I needed to go for my niece who is an addict. I heard my own story from another woman, it was identical to mine. My husband is an alcoholic and has always been an alcoholic but I never realized it. It made my life crazy but of course it wasn’t his fault it was mine. Until I went to Al-Anon and got my life back. I know now who I am and that my opinions matter and that I am not the crazy one. I sometimes can’t go to meetings and I like the podcasts because I sorta feel like I’m in a meeting. It is great to know I’m not alone.

  62. Chloe September 2008 at 9:46 pm

    thank you so much for these podcasts. my boyfriend is an alcohoic with a serious gambling problem as well. I have also found out that his parents basically abandoned him, his brother and other family years ago. my boyfriend is 35 years old and has a pre-teen beautiful daughter. His parents haven’t been around for about 10 years. they don’t even call at Christmas. I love him so very much and have tried everything to try to get him to want to get help. I too have lost myself. I spend too many nights to count driving around to find him, waiting for him to come home and also paying off old and new debts. We have a house together and I have had to sacrifice everything to keep our house and other bills paid. in the past 2 years these addictions have cost about $20 thousand for me alone. He has recently started drinking even when his daughter is around. I cry at some point every day. I feel sorry for myself and sorry for him and the others in our life. I only have 2 of his friends to talk to about this. We work together and I often have to cover up for him leaving work to go drink. I dont want my parents to worry so i can’t tell them and I don’t want my friends to judge. When i have pressured him to quit, he threatens to leave me but also a few times has threatened suicide. I walk on egg shells every day and just try to exist and survive as I try to keep him alive and keep us from bankruptcy. I am currently at my lowest low.

    He has a good heart somewhere deep inside. He is smart and a wonderful man with a disease that I know in my heart that I can’t fix but keep trying. I am only 39 years old but feel like all joy has disappeared for me. Feel like my only choice is to let him keep drinking and killing himself or fight to keep him alive and keep his job and have him hate me. tonight he is drunk again. And so i am again hiding in our bedroom while he sits in the livingroom drinking big bottle of rum (the smell makes me gag) and watching tv. He will pass out on the couch soon and in the morning i will have to try to convince him that i am full of hope and that he should go to work. Then i have to drive us to work (since he had DUI) and then have another day where i pretend my life is happy and “normal”, not knowing if he will disappear part way through the day and take out payday loans to support this habit since bank accounts overdrawn. No one at work has a clue!

    I think these podcasts have given me the strength to at least try to go to a meeting. There is one tomorrow night and I think I am going to go. thank you for reading and i pray I will someday have peace and that my boyfriend can be happy and healthy again.

  63. Lee September 2008 at 11:57 am

    Why do we have this need to “fix” our loved ones? I was at a meeting once and there was a person who said they had had a dream and that their loved one had died (the alcoholic) and when they looked in the coffin it wasn’t the alcoholic in the coffin but themselves. I feel that way sometimes, and hope by re-joining Al-Anon I will regain “myself”. Years ago by working the 12 steps I became very healthy minded, but unfortunately without reinforcement I’ve slipped back into old habits. I’m appreciative this is here.

  64. Amy September 2008 at 1:20 am

    I was a wreck when I first came to a meeting. All I could feel was pain, resentment, anger, hate, and spite towards my mother. Because I believed that feelings were facts, I was unable to THINK clearly. This month is my 2 year Al-Anon birthday and it has made a great difference in my life. My mother’s drinking is worse than ever but my mind and heart are released from her pain. I have more compassion for her than I ever thought possible but I don’t have to go down with her. I can love my mom more, now, because I love myself more. This program works for me and I will keep coming back!

    Furthermore, I am so excited to see podcasting!!! One more magnificent way to stay connected to the fellowship and love of the Al-Anon program.
    amy

  65. Meg September 2008 at 3:41 pm

    I found out my sister was an alcoholic when I bought a house with her. After all the papers were signed it became apparent that she regretted it. For 2 years my mum and I put up with mood swings, hysteria, sneaking booze into the house all the usual. A very functional alcoholic my sister held down a professional job but I got to the stage of threatening to notify her professional association (because others were at risk if she was impaired). A chance encounter with the police resulted in a DUI and one year suspension. She stopped drinking (I think) and has been dry for 2 years. But she moved out (you cant live 15 kilometers out of town if you can’t drive). She “visits” and stays for all her days off, she treats the place like a hotel, she does’nt help with chores or garden (even though she has a share in the house). We have to creep around being nice all the time. I feel like I’m still being used by an “alcoholic” and I am so angry all the time. Maybe I should try Al-Anon. Writing this blog has helped anyway. Thanks

  66. Kevin August 2008 at 12:56 am

    i would also like to mention with these podcasts here… they are also what helped me finally decide that you know what i am going to that meeting and for that i am grateful i listened to one each day.. and i was glad i did
    thanks

  67. Kevin August 2008 at 12:52 am

    Having gone to Al-Anon just a few times now , i can tell you if you were like i was scared not sure if it was for you or just uncomfortable . put those thoughts out of your mind and do it .. go there and listen speak if you would like i promise you you will see there is hope and you will slowely gain knowledge and a sense of fellowship with people who understand..
    my wife is a alcoholic and it has been such a struggle for so long it has made my life unmanageable as well .. if i were to do a persnal inventory of all the reasons why … i would be writing all night.
    i do however , see hope .. even though i feel like it cant get any worse because you know what. i CAN get my life back i am in charge of me and i DONT have to worry about controlling someone else anymore.. well at least those are goals i am setting
    i encourage you to go to Al-Anon for a new beginning for yourself.. we deserve our happiness too right ? and its out there for us we just have to want it and work for it and stay true to our beliefs
    i never ever thought i would go … but i was glad i did and now look forward to the meetings .. you will be surprised how comfortable and at ease you will feel after just a short time
    it is more then Therapy it is to gain Knowledge , share stories good and sometimes bad but.. its for you not the alcoholic in your life its for YOU and YOUR recovery
    i think we all know how low and sad and mad and frustrated someones drinking can makes us feel trust me i certainly am living proof of that
    but there is hope
    best wishes to you all . things will get better
    kev

  68. Amy August 2008 at 10:33 pm

    This was my first experience with Al-Anon. Ever. I have sat here tonight and listened to all 4 pods. I have cried and even laughed a time or two. Until tonight, I have felt like a failure, because everything that I tried to do didn’t work. I am a Registered Nurse and I am suppost to know how to “fix” things. Well, just tonight, I have realized that I am powerless over alcoholism. And I feel such relief. Thank you, thank you and I will continue to listen and who knows I may try a face-to-face mtg.

  69. Doreen August 2008 at 10:31 am

    I have been in the program for quite a few years and I am always amazed when something I have heard over and over from my beloved members all of sudden starts to take hold. I have been assured that is because that is when I needed to hear it. Recently, I was not able to get to meetings for a couple of months and how I slipped back to ummanageable behaviour. I again focused on the drinkers and their lives and before too long I was irritable and frustrated with my whole life. Having now returned to my regular meetings and after delving into my readings again, I am again experiencing days including serenity and peace and confidence in my thinking.

  70. Carrie August 2008 at 9:58 pm

    This is my first communication, so I’m not sure quite what to say. My brother, niece and boyfriend (s) are so severly alcoholic and who knows what else, that my sweet Mother who continues to “pay” their way is running out of money and now is looking for me to help her. I know what the pat answer is, but it’s hard not to help your Mom (she’s never had a drink in her life). I feel badly that a wonderful lady of 80 has to be subjected to this junk.

  71. Lorie August 2008 at 9:30 pm

    My life became so unmanageble I couldn’t function at work, at home or in any part of every day life. My 17 year old son has been doing drugs and drinking since he was 10. Two rehabs and 7 years of counceling and we are no better off. My fiance is also an alcoholic He is verbally abuseve when he drinks and use to hit me too but that has stopped. I have once tried to kill myself I was so depressed I had no self esteme left. My son then 16 had been missing for two weeks was living on the streets. If it were not for Al-Anon I don’t know where I would be today.

  72. Mary August 2008 at 7:19 pm

    I love the idea of the podcast to help get a newcomer to a f2f meeting. Also, it’s like a
    newcomer’s meeting and helps them get used to what they will be hearing.

    As for my life being unmanageble, what that meant for me, was that 1) I had no idea
    what I liked anymore but I could tell you everything about him–where he had been; what he had done,how long he had been there, etc 2) I didn’t know that the things I did weren’t “normal”–they had become normal to me until I got to meetings and heard other people sharing the same things and commenting on how crazy it was and when I heard it from them, I agreed it was crazy. 3) my whole life had been swallowed up by alcoholism and the things that should have really mattered, like spending time with any family that might have been available was ignored to try to “round up” the drinker and get them to the gathering. 4) Having the neighbors run away from me but they talked to the drinker—they knew what was wrong with him! 5) believing the same story over and over again even though in my heart I knew it wasn’t true just so the “picture” could be perfect of our family.

  73. Eileen August 2008 at 9:29 am

    Several of the greatest gifts I’ve received from this fellowship are that I learned that I have choices AND that happiness starts from within. I spent so much of my life relying on other people to determine my happiness. My sponsor asked me why I was allowing other people to be my mental barometer. I hadn’t realized that I had a choice! Today I know that if I choose to be happy, I can be and conversely, if I choose to not be happy, I can choose that too. I’m happy to report, that with the help of this program, the steps, traditions and concepts, literature, meetings, sponsor, and other members, I can and do choose happiness the majority of the time! My progress on my journey today is such that when I am making the choice to not be happy, I am aware of it and can use the tools of the program to work through it.

  74. Penny August 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I am from Ontario, Canada. These podcasts are wonderful – thank you! I have recently started attending Al-Anon and I am so grateful for the program. I look forward to the next pod cast, I hope it is soon? I can relate to every one of the speakers in some way or another – its nice to know I am not alone. Thank you so much.

  75. Mary August 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I think this is a great way of reaching newcomers. I have been in the program for two years and it certainly has changed the way I do things in my day to day life. I am so grateful for this program.

  76. Dorothy August 2008 at 5:22 pm

    What a wonderful way for someone not yet attending Al-Anon meetings to get comfortable about attending. Keeping it simple is so important.
    How things have changed in the 36 years I have attended this fellowship, having a new way to reach out to those still suffering.

  77. Mary O. August 2008 at 1:17 pm

    The podcasts are excellent.
    It’s a great way to reach out to people to let them know there are meetings and what goes on at meetings.
    Though I have been in program for 10 year, these particular podcast keep it simple in explaining step one and the way Al-Anon works and that Alcoholism is a diesase.
    Thanks

  78. Judy August 2008 at 12:50 pm

    My life became unmanageable in the following ways:
    1. I didn’t have time to do routine household chores because I was out looking for the alcoholic at bars. The house was a mess.
    2. I didn’t have decent clothes to wear because, of course, I had no time to shop.
    3. I rarely ate regular meals because I was waiting for my spouse to come home–that waiting could be hours or even days. I was thin and undernourished.
    4. I felt angry, sad, and lonely, so I was unable to participate in anything in my community.
    5. Prior to joining Al-Anon, I was sitting in the basement, crying and trying to figure out what to do. As long as I sat in the basement, my life stayed unmanageable.
    Get the idea!?

  79. Bobbi Jo August 2008 at 10:53 am

    Its nice to know that I’m not alone.

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