My husband and I grew up together. When we got married, I just knew it was forever until death do us part. I never gave his drinking a second thought in our younger years. I just knew that, because I was raised in a loving and nurturing home environment, I would be able to help him overcome his drinking problem. After all, I loved him. And doesn’t love conquer all? I thought if I could just convince him to let go of his resentment and anger, all would be good. I did everything I could think of to help him, nurture him, and love him. Unfortunately, he did not respond as I thought he would or should.
However, once I started attending Al‑Anon, I realized that I had also become ensnared in the web of resentment and anger. They were like cancer eating me up inside. I was out of control. In time, I accepted the reality that I had no control over the alcoholic’s life or choices, but I did have control over mine. My life began to change, despite the fact that my husband’s did not seem to. However, I realized that was okay. As I began to turn my energy inward toward myself and started to heal, I saw just how much of myself I had lost through the years. My husband of 40 years passed away recently, and I am still learning how to take care of myself. I am so grateful for the fellowship of Al‑Anon and the literature available to me, all of which is helping me along the way.
By Debbie J., Texas
The Forum, March 2020
Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA