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- I Unburdened My Heart
- "I thought it was my fault and that I should have tried harder."
- For over fifteen years I tried to steer my husband away from the almost daily "one too many beers" that turned him into someone else. My battle cry was, "I can fix this problem — I know I can!"
- Oh my, was I in the wrong army! No amount of coaxing, reasoning, nagging, silence, disdainfulness, patience, or blunt out-and-out anger had any success. The only thing that happened was I became frustrated - while he showed our son how to be a macho, beer-drinking man. Instead of having one battlefront to contend with, I had two.
- I might have foreseen my lack of success in dealing with alcoholism, but I didn't. I held onto the same old motto and redoubled my efforts. For over five years I prayed, begged, ranted, and raved at my husband and son. Instead of turning the tide, I was swept away — drowning in a sea of despair and guilt. I felt I could have, and should have, been able to do something! Anything! I thought it was my fault and that I should have tried harder.
- I was dismayed when our son was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Almost numb, although still in command, I went with my husband to the courthouse. Our plan was to show a united front and convey a feeling of "family" and "good people." I thought the judge would see us there and know that this was true! Well, now I know that God has a way of using humor to diffuse my ridiculous ideas. There was the judge, but he wasn't alone. Alongside of him was his seeing-eye dog! So much for "appearances!" Looking back, I can see who really was the blind person - me!
- I kept on fighting and losing ground until I became immobilized, shell-shocked, battle-fatigued, and worn out. I got to the point where I could not function inside my own home. Outside I thought I played my role well, but my once neat and tidy home was a mess on the inside. It was a war zone. If I could have gathered all the dust together, I would have asked God to make me a maid—but I was just too tired. It was as if alcoholism was a living thing that was eating up our home and devouring me.
- Driven by despair, I finally spoke with an angel who steered me to Al-Anon. No, I did not go right away. I had to work up my courage, but within a month I opened the door and walked into my first Al-Anon meeting. That night’s meeting had been canceled, although one lone Al-Anon member and I didn’t know it. We were meant to be there because one-on-one I unburdened my heart and was handed a lifeline. I was liberated from the alcoholic war by the words of freedom in Step One. I laid down my battle gear and let peace surround me for the first time in years. I discovered it was not up to me to win the war or to fix anyone but myself.
- If the world is a stage, I used to act out everyone's role but my own, but Al-Anon is helping me change that. I am making my way, slowly. My house looks and feels more like a home, but more importantly I am feeling alive and hopeful. I am hopeful that I will come to know who I am and finally be able to accept how I fit into the world.
- Cynthia N. - Michigan
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.