People sometimes ask me why I still go to Al‑Anon since most of the alcoholics and addicts in my life are either in recovery or have died. I always tell them that I still need Al‑Anon because of our son’s drinking. Then, I tell them stories about the things he says and does that concern me. For example, for many years, his living room furniture included only a recliner and a TV. In my mind, the purpose of that setup was to allow him to play video games and drink until he fell asleep.
We were on a family vacation with our son recently, and I found myself counting his drinks. I knew exactly how many drinks he ordered at restaurants and how many cans of beer were in the refrigerator each morning and each evening. It finally struck me that maybe I’ve been defining the problem incorrectly.
For years, I’ve been saying the problem is his drinking. But maybe the problem is really my preoccupation with his drinking. In Al‑Anon, I’ve learned that I have no control over anyone else’s drinking. There’s nothing I can do to convince someone to stop drinking. But learning how to stop worrying and obsessing about someone else’s drinking is a problem Al‑Anon can help me solve.
By Denise R., Minnesota
The Forum, January 2024
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.