AL-ANON THE GIVER OF LIFE TO HURTING FAMILIES

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My husband says, “You attend a 12-step program to save your arse, and you go church to save your soul! I find this statement true. Amidst the jovial songs of Christmas and the songs about the birth of Jesus, family disturbances and unhappiness occur as the drunkard plays a major role in family dynamics.  

There is approximately eight out of ten people who have are either drunkards or who have been affected by someone‘s drinking. Yes, the word drunks is correct. Alcoholics are people in recovery. By this I mean, someone who has stopped drinking and is attending meetings to deal with his or her sick characteristics. They orginally admitted they couldn’t control or stop their drinking.

THIS IS A FAMILY DISEASE.

Here is a little history about Al-anon

Al-anon is almost as old as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Lois W, wife of Bob W and a friend of hers, Anne B started the group. In the formative years of AA, the wives and relatives of AA’s realized that they too could improve their lives by applying the spiritual principles of AA.

While the AA’s were attending their meetings, their loved ones often waited in their cars. Soon they started to come in from the cold and hold their own meetings to discuss their own common problems, while the AA’s were attending their group.

In 1951, Lois and Anne created a Clearing House Committee to service 87 inquirers and to coordinate and serve them. Through this effort, 56 groups responded. They chose the name of their groups from the first syllables of “Alcoholics Anonymous.” and they adopted the name Al-anon Family Groups.

<http://www.alanonsantabarbara.info/More_About_Al-Anon/Fun_Facts_About_Al-Anon/A_Brief_History_of_Al-Anon.aspx&gt;

DENIAL IS STRONG

After many years of drinking, my husband finally ended up at the Eisenhower Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO., which provided an intense program for people attempting to break the habit of drinking. Much to my surprise, I found out I was sick as well as my husband, I was told by a counselor I (ME, OF ALL THINGS) was just as sick as my drunkard husband.

Heck, I reasoned, I didn’t wake everyone up at two in the morning and chastise the family while the children sat on the couch with a traipsing back and forth in front of the family. Stumbling and wobbling in front of them with slurred words as my husband did.

Heck, I thought, this counselor didn’t know what she was talking about!

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE PERSON I WAS

I ran our checking account up revenge for his drinking, so we didn’t have any money to pay bills. I had the kids count the number of empty beer bottles (His drink of choice) in the garage where he hid his empty bottles. Later, he told me that he kept his stash in the back of the toilet. He didn’t take the kids and run away as I did- more times than I can count on both hands. 

He didn’t scream at the poor, sick drunkard and tell me I was no good as I did. Though, I remember some of those events,  these memories are fading. This is what they are now, history whose memories create unhappiness. I choose to not remember these times.

My family rode the merry-go-round little did I realize it. We had make-up days after his drinking bouts which I took full advantage of. As time whent by, I decided to no longer abuse him. I did this because one does not hurt a sick person with a physical illness. He, after all had a mental illness just like me. I wanted off the carrousel! Al-anon did have some influence those earlier days though I wasn’t ready to accept the total message of the program.

Oh yes, this was me. However, a change occurred when I took Al-anon seriously. For many years, I attended Al-anon but didn’t feel like I belonged to it. I had to almost die because of a blotched surgery to realize I belonged in Al-anon and recognize my part in the Alcoholic family.

FIRST STEP OF AL-ANON AND IT’S MEANING

Step One – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

With this First Step, we admit that we did not cause, cannot control, and cannot cure the alcoholic, the disease of alcoholism, or the fact that this disease has affected us. We are powerless over alcohol – and its effects on us. By ourselves, we can do nothing to overcome the effects of this disease. In fact, our attempts to exert power over alcohol have made our life unmanageable

In spite of my husband’s statments, “I was the key to his stoping his drinking…this was hogwash. It would be like me blaming him for all my past and present unhappiness. Wrong! 

ALCOHOLISM IS A FAMILY DISEASE 

Oh my goodness no! You mean to tell me my children are sick too. You mean to tell me that asshole made them sick. (I use to think this, but now I love him so much!) I beg to say I contributed a huge portion to their illness. You mean to tell me all the members of a family plus close friends should attend Al-Anon. The answer is YUP!!!

Within my biological family, there is some drug abuse. However, I do not have their permission to discuss it. In my adopted family, the drug of choice is booze-wine. My mother suffers from this abuse, my maternal grandmother suffered from it and my grandmother’s grandfather  from abuse of alcohol.

I was sicker than my drunk now in recovery was. He now has twenty-seven years of sobriety. Me, I have been attending the rooms of recovery for four years. I’m a proud member of Al-Anon.  Have my children taken this disease seriously? Nope. They think they are well. Yet, I see all the classic character defects that I had and can slip into easily if I stop attending the meetings. The number one thing is for me is to not focus on their character defects. I need to focus on my problems.

HOW LONG DO I NEED TO ATTEND THESE MEETINGS?

If I’m lucky for the rest of my life. Well, I ever get well you ask? I can get better but never recover completely.  I came to the conclusion, I was sick before I met my husband. This is the reason for my attracting him. You see the disease of alcoholism is like being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. You never recover, but you control it by using insulin and eating correctly. How I control my disease is to attend meetings, read my Al-anon books, call members when I’m in crises.

Let me tell you when I first attended Al-anon meetings I did so unwillingly. After all, I wasn’t the cause of all the chaos in our home. The cause was HIM!  His blasted drinking. Maybe I attended meetings to attempt to coerce my husband to attend AA. 

What’s that? Did I hear ask me if we co-dependents have crises? Yes, we do. In my case, I become negative and more negative. I become more depressed. I wallowed in my self pity, and finally, I had enough and reached out to the God of my understanding in this case He is Jesus and through His help and the guiding light of Al-anon, I  climbed out of my funk and begin to attend my meetings.

If you ask me if I’m happy? I can truthfully say most every day. I still experience my bad days. I still possess many of the sick character defects I was born with. On the other hand, I’m getting better. 

This is a two part series, I’m going to touch on some of the other defects of character I found out I, possess due to this disease.

Take care. Remember Jesus saves.  All you have to do is BELIEVE in Him that He died on the cross and arose again. He is a living God. CONFESS your sins or the things you did wrong. ACCEPT THE gift. TELL someone and ATTEND a church that preaches the Bible. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever belives in Him should not perish  but have ever lasting life.”

God bless you all. I’d love for someone to leave a message and let me know how you feel about what I wrote about. Do you have any questions about Al-anon? I’ll be glad to answer them.

My next blog is going to be tomorrow Monday, December 30 Food eaten at end of the year. January 2, 2014, Thursday, Humor of the week; January 3, Friday, Scripture of the week; finally, my usual blog on January 5, Sunday. Take care. sle

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