So You Love An Alcoholic
So You Love An Alcoholic – By Jody (Guest Author)
I was thinking about the meeting last night. The beginner’s meeting. We seemed to focus on “so you love an alcoholic”. Basically, I said I love one; I’m in love with one. I’ve always picked alcoholics. “Some are dead, and some are living. In my life, I’ve loved them all.” I said that I don’t believe my “picker” is broken. I pick charming, generous, intelligent, tenacious, very funny, loving men. Alanon is helping me understand that I can be in a relationship with an alcoholic without being consumed by one. That is, if I choose to be.
And last night I was thinking that the program is for “friends and families of alcoholics”. It’s not for enemies of alcoholics. Maybe that meeting is Wednesday, I don’t know. But Tuesday 7 PM is a meeting for “friends and families”.. Tuesday 7PM is not an “I hate an alcoholic” meeting. Tuesday 7PM is not an “I hate the disease” meeting. In four years all I have heard is how to live with an alcoholic in my life; how not to lose my healthy personal boundaries around an alcoholic; how not to lose my mind behind the antics of an alcoholic who is consumed by obsession; how to solve every emotional and physical problem with a spiritual solution.
I heard “take care of yourself”. I also heard “keep the focus on yourself”. I’m in love with an under-earner, over spender alcoholic who is riddled with resentments. I don’t know how to live with that in spite of his positive traits. That is way too distracting for me. I’m not on that step yet. The program tells me that I am entitled to take all the time I need to figure it out. I don’t have to explain my process to anyone.
I wasn’t taking care of myself when I was reacting to the alcoholic. I wasn’t focusing on myself when I was distracted by the alcoholic’s strong feelings. My self-will and self-reliance brought me into an emotional entanglement with the alcoholic. That’s very different than a relationship in which both people have healthy personal boundaries. I believe that even if one person has healthy personal boundaries, there will be a shift in the relationship. I believe that if one person can keep the focus on themselves, there will be a shift.
I don’t know what the shift will be. I’m only in the efforts business. God is in the results business. So I make the effort to trust God (Steps 1-3), clean my own house (Steps 4-11) and help others (Step 12). And I let go of the outcome.
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