Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Living With An Alcoholic...

...can be an interesting experience. We were joking around at an Al-Anon meeting not long ago, when the topic was self-care, and a newcomer had asked with a little smile: could wallowing in self-pity be considered self-care? A member answered, stating that when she was new to program, she was throughly convinced there was a special place for her in Heaven, because she'd been such a saint here on earth!

It can be tiresome and tedious to deal with the issues which arise from addiction. It can also be confusing and even frightening.

I know that without the help of Al-Anon, I'd have never made it with my sanity (relatively) intact. One has only to stop and listen to a reasoning process verbalised by an alcoholic, to realise and understand just how crazy it is inside their head.
Practising my Al-Anon program has allowed me to develop a healthy gratitude that I'm not in there with them, and an element of compassion for those who are still trapped in there, alone and suffering.

I may not like the way the alcoholism manifests itself in behavior, but that doesn't give me the right to dismiss the person themselves with an attitude of contempt or negation.

If I am tempted down that path, I will read some program literature, call an Al-Anon friend, and pray to my Higher Power to help me detach with love. I cannot change another person, I can only change the way I deal with them. That's work enough to keep me occupied into eternity.


  1. Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for posting a strong and powerfully honest post.Many of us understand that powerlessness and fear.I read Al-Anon lit' I adopted from my Mom after she passed away and it has made a difference in my codependency recovery.I don't do meetings but I read daily and I have learned to trust an HP of my own understanding.And last but not least,I try to blog and stay connected with other people just trying to do their best for today too.
    Feel free to visit my blog anytime.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. I've had to come to terms with not liking alcoholism but still loving the alcoholic. I've had moments though when I've not thought that way. I feel much more compassion now though.