Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In remembrance of Lois

Today is Lois Wilson's birthday. She is the co-founder of Al-Anon and the wife to Bill Wilson.

If you haven't read the book The Lois Wilson Story: When Love is Not Enough (Hazelden Press), I would encourage you to do so. It tells the story of her life and how she stuck by Bill W. through his 17 years of alcoholic drinking. Lois, like so many of us who have lived with an alcoholic, thought that her love could cure his disease.

It's remarkable that she stuck by Bill, always hopeful that he would get better. Even after he was sober, she stayed by his side in spite of his affairs. Theirs wasn't a fairy tale love story. Both Lois and Bill W. had character defects, as do all of us.

But it was what she learned from being with her husband and what she saw in herself and others who were struggling everyday, that caused her to realize that alcoholism is a family disease and that the families and friends of alcoholics needed a program of recovery too.

In remembrance of Lois's birthday, members are asked to participate in a project called 'Leave Hope" on March 4th. This is the project where members "forget" a piece of Al-Anon literature in a public place where it will be found, such as a doctor's office, work, library, grocery store, etc. Basically, it can be a piece of literature from your meeting, past issues of the Forum, or any CAL that you choose. We're encouraged to leave the District phone number on the literature.

Maybe some one who needs help in dealing with the effects of alcoholism will pick up a pamphlet and make a phone call that will change their life.


  1. Aww, that picture just makes me want to hug her.

  2. Thank you for this Syd. I do have that book but haven't read it yet. Maybe I need to bump it up on my "to read" list.

    Happy Birthday Lois and thank you for all of your work on behalf of the families and friends of alcoholics.

    Thank you also for your comments on my blog Syd. Your insights are always much appreciated.

  3. Happy Birthday Lois!!

  4. Happy Birthday Lois. I elected to NOT stay with my A but I credit Alanon for the courage to change....

  5. And thank you Lois for your work in providing hope for those who think it's all hopeless.

    Good post Syd!

  6. I love this post and this blog in general. The best thing I ever learned as an adult child of alcoholism was that I had no control over anyone but me. I had to own my feelings, my actions, and reactions. Even if the people in my life never changed.

  7. Our Tuesday noon group decided to leave pamphlets all over today in rememberance of her.

  8. Firstly Syd. Thak you very much for the award. Coming from yourself I am deeply honoured. Secondly, I love the idea of leaving some literature around. Excellent idea. Where would we be without Lois, Al-anon, you. Would I be alive today, I don't know. But I am grateful to you all. Thank you.

  9. What an amazing post, I had no idea about Bill W.'s wife, I will be looking into that book. Thanks for the post this is great stuff

  10. Happy Birthday Lois indeed!

    And thank you, Syd, for blogging and commenting. I have learned a great deal from your posts. I also have developed a classic case of "I want what they have" in regards to you and a few other bloggers. I will be sticking with Alanon (and reading these blogs) and hopefully, will find the insight and serenity that you and others have found. But anyway, I just wanted to say "thank you."

  11. I read part of the Book, Lois Remembers.. (how she met Bill who was a few years younger and life before him) etc.

    Yet I did not read the parts about the affairs.

    I have to say that I think Lois was too kind-hearted. Bill was immature; selfish; self-centered and she allowed herself to be part of sticking by him through it all just so he could have affairs???

    Poor Lois. I don't buy it all. I think that people lie to themselves. Maybe after she had miscarriages and was getting older she just did not want to be alone??? (seems she was too much the Martyr even if she outwardly did not act that way).

    Repeated affairs are abusive towards the other spouse. I know women who suffered that; and they confessed they don't think they'll find someone else; and he'll get older and eventually stop etc.. (or they have too many common interest together; friendships; family etc).

    Poor Lois.. (hugs to her)..

    I guess I'm just thinking too much of the women I have met and know and love that have experience men who repeated cheated on them. (It never happened to me that I know of; and Once would be too much and totally unacceptable).

    Character defects are one thing....but repeated sexually affairs is downright abusive to accept. (including any one -man or woman that would allow themselves to be hit physically). Once is too many times; but more than once???

    Some things are TOTALLY unacceptable.. affairs; physical abuses.. degrading remarks; cursing; etc.

    sorry for my 2 cents. (poor lois)

  12. I have heard lots about that book. It is going on my must read list (if I can ever finish Edgar Sawtelle).

  13. What a sweet post. What a sweet lady.

  14. What a great idea. I'm a day late but I think I'll leave something anyway. My son's friend is in nursing school and one of her requirements was to attend an AA meeting. I teared up when he told me that.

  15. i remember you doing a tribute to her last year too on her birthday. wait, was it on her birthday. has a year passed already??????? she is indeed an inspiration for hope.

  16. Wonderful tribute. Sadly no, I haven't read the book. I have however written it down to look it up the next time I visit the bookstore. Thanks for the heads up! (Hugs)Indigo


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