Sunday, March 28, 2010

Movie about Lois

I received this via email from CBS and wanted to share with you.  
"We wanted to make you aware of  CBS's new Hallmark Hall of Fame Presentation about Lois Wilson, the co-founder of Al-Anon, entitled WHEN LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH: THE LOIS WILSON STORY.  We felt the content of the movie may be relevant and of interest to visitors to your site, and we encourage you to post information to help encourage viewership.   

The movie, starring Golden Globe Award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Winona Ryder ("The Age of Innocence," "Little Women," "Star Trek") and Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Barry Pepper ("61*," "Seven Pounds," "Flags of Our Fathers"), is based on the biography of Lois Wilson by William G. Borchert, and will be broadcast Sunday, April 25 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Spanning more than 30 years, this movie is based on the true story of the enduring but troubled love between Lois Wilson (Ryder), co-founder of Al-Anon, and her alcoholic husband Bill Wilson (Pepper), co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

A college-educated young woman from an affluent family, Lois Burnham spent her winters in New York and summers in Vermont, where she began her deliriously happy courtship with Bill Wilson, a slightly younger man of modest means.   She married Bill in 1918, and, after his return from duty at the end of WWI, the two set out to build a life together in New York City.  While Lois worked as an occupational therapist at Bellevue Hospital, Bill struggled to find his niche.  Lois strongly believed, however, that Bill was destined for greatness, and despite noticing an increase in his drinking habits, she showered him with love and support.  Eventually, Lois persuaded a friend's husband to hire Bill at his financial firm.   By 1927, Bill was a lucrative securities analyst on Wall Street and the couple was living a luxurious lifestyle.  Despite Lois' countless efforts to control his drinking, Bill's addiction to alcohol spiraled further out of control until his job, their lifestyle and dreams were gone.

In 1935, after years of unsuccessfully struggling to cover for Bill and manage his disease, Lois finally saw him take control of his alcoholism; however, his sobriety was not the result of Lois's help, rather it came through the support of a fellow recovering alcoholic, Dr. Bob Smith.  As Bill and Dr. Bob attained lasting sobriety and co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois began to question the value she had in her own marriage.  After devoting 17 years to healing her sick husband, Lois felt isolated and resentful that he was sober without her help.  Lois eventually discovered that she was not alone.  She slowly engaged the wives of the men in Bill's program and came to realize that while Bill was addicted to alcohol, she was addicted to him – and that the family and friends of alcoholics are, in some ways, as sick as their loved ones.  Lois gained the necessary understanding needed to repair her fractured relationship and to help millions of others do the same.   She co-founded Al-Anon in 1951."
I read the book When Love is Not Enough and found it to be a thorough and well-written biography of Lois and Bill.  There is a lot of information about their relationship, Bill's alcoholism, and the founding of AA and Al-Anon.  I'm glad that their story will be available to a large audience.  It may help more people to understand how alcoholism damages not only the alcoholic but those who live with alcoholism.

20 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads-up. I now have it on my little calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Syd. I hope you and C. have a great Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Syd. I will both read the book and watch the show. I have always thought that one of the most heart-wrenching lines in the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous is when Lois states:
    "Being married to an alcoholic is a very lonely existence".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Because of Lois, my wife has one year longer (than me in AA {48}) in Alanon. She also was the one who introduced me AA. Later on she led me to Alanon and up to another level in my relationships with my family (3 children alcoholic, others and my life.
    I'm first to admit my wife has been the beacon leading us in this great spiritual journey.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have had some interesting discussions outside the rooms about WSO's handling of the movie and how it relates to AFGs. I think some of us will get together at a friend's house for popcorn, movie and discussion. My hope is the seeds will be planted and families who are looking for answers will come in droves! Bill and Lois were human and this is a bit of her story. I look forward to seeing it.

    ♥namaste♥

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I was a child and my father was still living with us, there was no one to turn to. He drank every day.
    Today people are exposed to AA and Al-Anon and more people are aware of the damage and pain to family and friends of alcoholics and addicts. I don't have TV but I will be looking for ways I would be able to watch the production When Love Is Not Enough online or buy a DVD.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can't wait!

    Blessings and aloha...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the heads up. Happy Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for passing the date along. I had heard about it but it had slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is one I want to see. thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also will be watching, thanks for the head's up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had heard about this a few weeks ago in my Al-Anon home group and I received an email from somewhere telling me about it.

    Sounds like it will be well worth watching. I'll mark it on my calendar, otherwise I'll forget and miss it.

    PG

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is awesome! Thanks for posting it. I had no idea that Lois was an occupational therapist, like myself. Many blessings, Syd.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been waiting to hear when this was coming out. Can't wait to see how the movie develops the story and how well it portrays just a small portion of Lois and Bills life together and her struggle to be a spiritual being in her own rite! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds good, Syd. Thanks for the tip.

    Love,

    SB

    ReplyDelete
  16. This movie sounds like it will be interesting. Thanks for sharing the info here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. that will be an interesting movie, thanks Syd!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I want to remember to watch this...thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.