Growing up in the chaos that problem drinking creates, I got used to it. So when it came into my home, I always told myself, I can handle this. I tried to fix every mess that came into our home, before anyone would know, even the problem drinker.
He didn’t know until I told him. He had no clue he did that. He was in such a hangover he could not comprehend everything I was saying. I learned in Al-Anon that I had to leave it for him to find and fix. I needed a hands-off approach.
The only thing the problem drinker understands is consequence. It was not my problem, but I made it thus. I felt so much shame and anger that I could not stop myself. After all, we were “the” perfect family.
The more I attended meetings, the more I learned about myself, and the more I learned I was not all bad. I learned I was a good person. I found I was unlearning at the same time.
I had to learn about the effect the drinking had on me. When they would start drinking I became tense and nervous. I would either clam up or have horrible outbursts. I would threaten and not follow through. It was suggested to me that if I threatened, I had to follow through, because I would lose my credibility.
By going to meetings, it gave me courage to make changes, strength to follow through and self discipline to walk away, even if only to the next room. Not to grab that hook that he put out for me to grab, and then I would find out I was defending myself. Becoming angrier and angrier. I was the one that was hurt and crying. He was drunk and didn’t remember it, until I told him about it.
I had that choice to walk away, and did not know the part I was playing in this mess until I joined Al-Anon.
So you see, it is not all about the problem drinker. I had to learn the part I played. I was the enabler and wasn’t aware what that meant. I learned meeting after meeting about myself and what I could do differently to make my life better. Hence the family would benefit also.
Won’t you come join us? We meet every Monday at noon and every Wednesday evening at 6:30 at Hope Lutheran Church, Wautoma. Hope to see you there.
Peace of the program,