Endigar 868

From Courage to Change of May 7:

Why do I find it so hard to accept that alcoholism is a disease? Would I blame a diabetic or a cancer patient for their symptoms? Of course not. I know that willpower alone is not enough to defeat a disease. If alcoholics could simply stop drinking whenever they wanted, many would have stopped long ago. It would do me no good to plead, berate, or reason with tuberculosis; I will not waste my time pleading, berating, or reasoning with alcoholism.

I therefore resolve to stop blaming the alcoholic for what is beyond his or her control — including the compulsion to drink. Instead, I’ll direct my efforts where they can do some good: I will commit myself to my own recovery. I know that improved health in one family member can have a profound effect on the rest of the family. In this way, I can make a much stronger contribution to the well-being of those I love than I ever could by trying to combat a disease that can’t be controlled.

Today’s Reminder

When I accept that alcoholism is a disease, it becomes easier to recognize that I, too, have been affected by something beyond my control, and to begin to recover from those effects.

“Whether or not the alcoholic achieves sobriety, the time for the family members to begin working on their own recovery is now.”

~ A Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What would my young adulthood have been like if I had found Al-Anon before I activated my alcoholism? My mother’s father died of alcoholism when she was seventeen. She idolized him and was devastated by his tragic end. And through her untreated response to his alcoholism the disease continued to take its toll on our family long after its primary host was buried. My siblings who suffered from addiction or mental distress were enabled to live on in their suffering. We were isolated by family pride. Those family members who succeeded to develop something for themselves were expected to attempt rescue of those who were in need of professional help. The rescue was to be a prevention of consequences and not an exposure to accountability. The disease had turned our family into an embrace that smothers.

The wasted life, the pain, the unfairness of this dark network makes it easy to blame the carriers of the disease. I lose the objectivity of treatment when my resentments fester. There is no emotional connection to a parasite. I take Steps to remove it from my life and let my own health act as a beacon of hope for those I love. I can safely draw close to the people I love while staying detached from that insidious blood-sucker, alcoholism.

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