Compulsive drinking affects the drinker, and it affects the drinker’s relationships, friendships, employment, childhood, parenthood, love affairs and marriages....they all suffer from the effects of compulsive drinking.
Those special relationships in which a person is really close to the problem drinker are affected the most, and the people who care are the most caught up in the behavior of another person.
I would always react to the drinker’s behavior. I could see that the drinking was out of hand and I tried to control it. I was ashamed of the public scenes, but in private I tried to hide it.
It wasn’t long before I felt that I was to blame, and I would take on the hurts, the fears, the guilt of my problem drinker. I would count the number of drinks he had, I would pour his beer down the drain, and I would listen for the sound of opening cans. All of my thinking was directed at what my problem drinker was doing or not doing.
I found Al-Anon and it was there, that I found out his drinking was my obsession and I had to learn to deal with it, if I was to have a new way of life. Little by little, I came to realize, at my meetings, that my discomfort came from my attitudes. I learned I had to get off his back. I learned about my responsibilities to myself. I discovered feelings of self-worth, love and I grew spiritually.
November is gratitude month. I am so grateful that I found Al-Anon, now, I don’t obsess about what he does or does not do. With my new attitudes, I have a new way of life. Do you recognize yourself in any of this? There is help and hope available to you. We meet at Hope Lutheran Church twice per week...on Mondays at noon and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Al-Anon is a community service, the meetings last 1 hour and your donation is voluntary. A grateful Al-Anon member.