I am finally finding serenity through the strength of others. For over a year now, a friend of mine has encouraged me to go to Al Anon. Even though I am no longer with a family member with an active drinking problem, it was still in my best interest to find true inner healing. I had no idea just how much unhealthy leftovers were still embedded deep inside my self. Living with someone with an alcohol problem is very painful and we find ourselves caught up in the behavior of that individual. There was a time in my life, where I realized I could not change the one I loved, so I gave in and joined the band. My drinking festivities began to escalate, but by the grace of God and a strong will, I was able to back down from an everyday alcohol splurge.
My problems did not end there. I figured if I could do it, so could everyone else. I had become the self-righteous one. It was at this point, I began to blame and focus on the faults of the one who became the enemy. My husband. I felt I could honestly change his ways to match the way I felt he should be. I tried to control the situations as I saw them getting out of hand. There were public scenes, the shoving and the pushing emotionally. Then the abuse. I took on the blame and the hurt. The fears and the guilt of that alcoholic making myself sick. I would talk to others, but realized I was talking with the wrong people. The ones I confided in had no idea what I was going through. They never dealt with it nor had they been exposed to it. All they would say to me was, “I’ll pray for you.” There is nothing wrong with telling someone else that you will send up a prayer for them. We all need it! But what I needed was for someone to tell me to get help. I needed to know I was not the problem. But there were those who made it a point to put me on that cross and place the blame on me. I began to lose my self-esteem. I started concealing my feelings and filling my self with anger and frustrations that became unmanageable. I now wanted to strike back. I felt the need to punish and make my alcoholic husband pay for all of the damage he had brought into our marraige. After all, I felt cheated, hopeless, and like life has had it’s final moments with me.
Help was no where in sight. I had to try and learn to heal on my own. I survived the best way I could find. But, something was still missing. It was me! I had not healed as I thought I had over the past few years of being alone. Those seeds that were planted inside of me grew even deeper and rooted resentment and bitterness deep in the heart of me. I did not realize how messed up I still was until a dear friend recognized our conversations were about the alcoholic and what he did to destroy me. That was a definite indication of someone not healed. He kept insisting I go to Al Anon. “But why should I. I am no longer with this man,” would always be my excuse. Finally after the pleading and the pushing, I gave in. Now, I will forever be indebted to this man for caring enough and having the knowledge enough to know exactly what I needed to heal. A place where judgement is not allowed. No pointing fingers and condemning. I am learning it was not my fault. I am learning to forgive myself so I can better forgive others. Now, I want to encourage you to join Al Anon. If you have a member of your family, or know someone close who is an alcoholic, I strongly urge you to give in and take that step. It’s never to late to pick yourself up out of those ashes. You will be accepted no matter what. The support is there and it will turn your life around. Then, you will be able to truly reach out to others who might be facing the same as you. You will also understand you and the alcoholism.
Al Anon Family Groups are located everywhere. They offer hope for families and friends of alcoholics. You can go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if there is a teen who has a problem, you can find help at www.al-anon.alateen.org. Take that step and go the distance…