Worry didn’t solve our financial problems

Alcoholism affects families in many ways. Cindy, an anonymous Al‑Anon member, shares how her husband’s alcoholism affected their family’s finances and how they overcame their financial trouble.

Cindy references a quote from One Day at a Time in Al‑Anon that helped her. This is one of many pieces of Al‑Anon literature that members use to help them in a variety of situations they face.

Learn more about Al‑Anon literature.


This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

Worry didn’t solve our financial problems

Interviewer: Cindy, can you describe a time when your husband’s drinking caused financial difficulties for you?

Cindy: Oh my, there were many things that caused financial difficulties for us. Probably the thing that was the biggest was he used to go to a bar quite regularly—the same bar—and he knew everyone there. And there was a woman there who had an investment that she was trying to get people to buy into. And he fell for it and he invested quite a bit of money in this venture that actually turned out to be a scam.

Interviewer: Oh no.

Cindy: And he did this before we got married, and I knew about it, but I married him anyway. So, I knew he was an alcoholic when I married him, I also knew he was involved in this investment. And it ended up being a thing that affected us in our income taxes, and we owed many, many thousands of dollars in income taxes as a result of his investment in this thing. And it took us many, many years to pay it off. And I do believe that if he had not been drinking, he probably would not have invested in this.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Cindy: As far as how Al‑Anon helped me, there were a number of things in our literature that I found helpful. One was on page 13 of our book called One Day at a Time. And it gave me a lot of comfort. And one of the things it said was that everyone has a life—”every human being is entitled to live without fear, uncertainty, and discomfort.” It was another member that pointed that one out to me, and I used to read that a lot. And we did pay off those tax debts, it took many, many years to do it. But like in Al‑Anon they say, live your life “One Day at a Time,” and we paid this off one dollar at a time and finally did get it paid off. But it was just one of the many things that can happen when you’re living with an active alcoholic. And I have since found, that I am not alone, that there are other people who’ve had great financial difficulties. I was afraid we would lose our house—we didn’t. Many of the things I was afraid of did not come to happen. And that was another thing I learned in Al‑Anon, that worrying gives you something to do but it doesn’t really get you anywhere. And most of the things I’ve worried about haven’t come true. And so, it was just one of life’s lessons that it was just one hardship that I could get through a day at a time.

Interviewer: Thank you, Cindy.