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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

Don't React
Although there had been some strange things going on in our household, I attributed them to my wife's couple of beers a day which helped her to relax. One day, while working in our cellar, I chanced to open a cabinet where I had been keeping spirits which had been given to me. Many of the bottles were ten to twelve years old, as the only time they were used was for the occasional company at our house.
The great shock was to find it empty. There was an odd feeling at the back of my neck and this was probably the explanation for the strange behaviour. Having seen a sign on a nearby county building relative to alcohol, I visited there in the next few days. The lady in charge took copious notes, and recommended Al-Anon. She even went so far as to call someone who said he would be glad to meet me at the nearby meeting and would be waiting to see me. He was smart enough to know this was a good way to get people to go; I have since used the technique several times myself and it usually works.
I attended regularly for about ten meetings, collected literature and thought that if I took it home and read it, I would have a solution so things would get better. They didn't and by fall I was back.
I mentioned to the group that weekends and evening meals were a disaster and I was under constant attack. Little did I realize at this time that my responses were used to justify my wife's behavior. Somebody said, "Don't react." I tried it. The alcoholic could no longer create the usual uproar whenever all of us were together and when she failed, went off to bed.
As I got better at not reacting, things became calmer, particularly at meal time. I have fond memories of the two young children, finally, after several months of not reacting, saying, "Gee, dad, what did you do today?" Finally, we were recovering.
Roland D. - New Jersey
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.