Prob­lem drinkers af­fect oth­ers in their fam­i­lies

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Opinion -

I BE­LIEVE the best fam­ily is one whom you choose, not al­ways the one into which you were born. I came to this coun­try about 25 years ago. It was the best decision I’d ever made.

I was able to dis­tance my­self from my emotionally sick fam­ily I had grown up with: an al­co­holic fa­ther and a men­tally ill mother.

Grief struck not long after, when I re­alised I’d left my fam­ily be­hind. Not be­cause they were healthy but be­cause of what they were not, which was ev­ery­thing I needed them to be. I grew up to be very re­spon­si­ble. Too re­spon­si­ble when my mum had lengthy stays in men­tal in­sti­tu­tions; too con­trol­ling when my fa­ther drank too much and said hurt­ful, non­sen­si­cal things.

Thank­fully, I found the doors of Al-Anon fam­ily groups.

I’ve learned that I can’t con­trol th­ese hap­pen­ings from the past, can’t cure them and sure didn’t cause them.

How­ever, I’m learn­ing tools that help me to take bet­ter care of my­self, not be so “car­ing” of oth­ers and to find more bal­ance in my life, in­clud­ing not to ar­gue with a drunk.

Th­ese bound­aries help let the good in and keep the bad out.

I may not have lived with my al­co­holic fa­ther for many years, but I still have to deal with life.

I keep com­ing back to Al-Anon, be­cause I con­tinue to grow emotionally.

Life is so much sim­pler when I leave oth­ers to live their own lives. I don’t have all the an­swers.

Christ­mas and New Year are dif­fi­cult times for many fam­i­lies with in­creased al­co­hol con­sump­tion. For each prob­lem drinker, there are six peo­ple di­rectly af­fected by their drink­ing.

This is a fam­ily dis­ease. Know that there is hope and help.

Call 1300ALANON for support and in­for­ma­tion about a meet­ing near you. Name­an­dad­dress

sup­plied. their skill, their en­ergy and per­sonal re­sources.

Their en­deav­ours con­trib­ute to almost ev­ery as­pect of our lives and to the nat­u­ral and built en­vi­ron­ment and help sus­tain the high qual­ity of life we en­joy and to which we con­tinue to as­pire.

With­out doubt, vol­un­teers help cre­ate, build and main­tain strong, con­nected, flour­ish­ing com­mu­ni­ties and two com­plex ques­tions that are of­ten asked, but rarely fully re­flected on and an­swered are, “Where would we be with­out vol­un­teers?” and “What is the value of vol­un­teer­ing?”

To this ef­fect, Vol­un­teer­ing WA has taken up this chal­lenge and will lead a study to re­veal the eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural value that vol­un­teers and vol­un­teer-in­volv­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions make to Western Aus­tralia.

We in­vite all or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volv­ing vol­un­teers to get in­volved and take part in the cen­sus – sim­ply go to www.vol­un­teer­ingwa.org.au.

To­gether, let’s up­date our un­der­stand­ing of what vol­un­teer­ing re­ally looks like in our State. MaraBasanovic, chiefex­ec­u­tive, Vol­un­teer­ingWA,WestPerth.

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