April is Alcohol Awareness Month

A good friend made this point on Facebook, and provided a link with helpful information.

I'd like to put my two cents in, too. A lot of people are familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous, but I'm not sure that Al-Anon, the support group for friends and family of alcoholics, is quite as famous. Al-Anon is a great group to help you grow, regardless of whether or not the alcoholic in your life is drinking. When we live with or regularly deal with alcoholics, when we were raised by them, when we're attached to them in any way, we learn behaviors that aren't healthy. Those are our behaviors. Even if the alcoholic gets sober and makes better choices, we still have to learn new, healthy behaviors for ourselves. And we need love, support, and guidance to do it. Al-Anon is a great place for that.

And in fact, you don't always have to live with the alcoholic directly. My father is, as I understand things, a practicing alcoholic. My maternal grandfather is dry, though probably not actually in recovery. I don't live with either of them. I haven't lived with my father since I was 5-- but here's my point: the coping mechanisms that people use to get by in an alcoholic home are no longer useful outside of it-- but they still get passed on. Sometimes the things that save you in a crisis handicap you in "normal" life. And even though I didn't grow up around someone who was abusing alcohol, I still learned the crisis behaviors. I am IMMENSELY GRATEFUL, for wonderful women in Al-Anon who befriended me when I was a teenager. I think they gave me the best parts of my life. They confirmed that some family behavior was crazy, they were my cheerleaders, and they really saved my life-- the great life I have today. Without them, I would have had an entirely different life-- one that I don't particularly like to think about. When I think about God's hand in my life, I see their faces.

Also, I'd like to pass this on. Mr. Craig Ferguson, who won my undying love when he interviewed Archbishop Tutu, has shared a little about his experience with alcohol here:

1 comment:

  1. tis a good thing to praise those who have saved our lives


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins