You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it.
(Because what would Alcohol Awareness Month be without acknowledging our Alanons?)
I read somewhere that it takes 6 people to support a person’s addiction – whether that be a mother who makes the car payment he drank away, the wife who calls in sick to her husband’s employer for him, the child who takes over running the house because mother is drunk, or even the friend who knows but keeps quiet. Unfortunately, I have no idea where I read that and can’t find it again. From my experience as an alcoholic and the wife of a drug addict, though, this rings very true.
Alcoholics get help or don’t in their own time (or in God’s time). This can be a very stressful time for those who love the alcoholic; time filled with fear, doubt, guilt, shame, hopelessness, etc. The most important thing for someone who finds them self in this position is to understand the three C’s – you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Even though it often feels like it, their addiction is not your problem to solve. If things get too bad, the best thing to do is to protect yourself by creating distance. Once the alcoholic burns the bridges to those who support him, he is faced with the prospect of seriously seeking help or drinking himself to death.
My name is Laurie and I am a double winner (alcoholic/alanon). I know the grim realities of this “family disease.” I know the pain of saying no to the addict in my life and the greater pain of hiding the truth and watching it tear your family apart. If you find yourself in this position, there is help.