Sunday, June 1, 2008

To Anonymous in Pain

"I am hoping all of you will listen and hear me tonight. I am truly at a low point. The alcoholic in my life told me tonight that I am an embarassment. When I expressed my need for time and attention, I was recvd with a cold shoulder and told to leave. I actually drank too much tonight. I haven't done that in a year at least. The alcoholic in my life does it regularly and i never know if they are alive or not, but tonight i did it and I am an embarassment to them because of it. I have been attending al-anon meetings, but I have had a relapse. No matter how hard I try to not get into relationships with alcoholics or addicts, I find them and they find me. Of course, I'm the only one in my family who thinks we have a problem. If my dghtr weren't so fucking beautiful and precious, I would certainly be more tragic. I don't know how to stop the cycle. I am in so much pain, I just don't know how to break it."

I understand your low point. I've been there and have been told over the years by my alcoholic that I was a lot of things, most of them not any good. It's fairly standard alcoholic rhetoric. What I've come to know is that if someone doesn't love themselves, then it's not going to be possible for them to love another.

Going to Al-Anon has made me realize that my story isn't unique. Interactions with an alcoholic can cause great damage to self-esteem. It becomes difficult to function because our lives seem so hopeless in this destructive dance with the alcoholic. And it seems that we are drawn to alcoholics because they fulfill this need that we have to help, to fix, to control. These are all adaptations that have come from the influence of alcoholism in our lives.

How did I break the cycle? The experience, strength and hope of others has made me realize that I am worthwhile and that by working on my own recovery, I am no longer enabling the alcoholic. The cycle then gets stopped because we no longer participate in it with the alcoholic.

I can only tell you what worked for me. There were times when I wanted to get drunk, run my car into a tree, and do other stupid things to destroy myself because I was so angry at the alcoholic. Now I know that the alcoholic has a disease. I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it. I can just take care of myself and enjoy the life that I have. And it is now a great life. Because I chose to break the cycle, my alcoholic is now in recovery and is like a different person.

I would urge you to keep going to meetings, call other Al-Anon members who have a number of years of recovery, get a sponsor and start working the steps. You will find true peace by working this program.


  1. This post pulls at my heart, thanks for being you, Syd.

  2. So many of us can relate to this from "anonymous in pain" - We all have to fight to finally surrender.
    And we all deserve to live well and true to ourselves.I read Al-Anon lit'everyday.Others go to the meetings..find what works for you and live it daily.
    All the best..

    Syd..I am grateful you share here for others to find hope.


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