Problem drinkers affect others in their families
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
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