Al-Anon helps during the holidays

Published by at 4:03 pm under Common Concerns

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Janie, Ernie, and Frances are with us today. All are active Al-Anon members. They are willing to talk about how Al-Anon helped them deal with drinking during the holidays.

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9 comments on “Al-Anon helps during the holidays”

  1. Ellen says:

    Thank you for a wonderful podcast. I like the concept of “not leaving myself.”

  2. Glenn says:

    Thanks for the podcast. Despite many years in the program I slip back very quickly. I am writing this in the early a.m. from in-laws (none in recovery) after a sleepless night. Here for a celebration, but it is easy to get sidetracked into resentment and obsessing…the podcast helps.

  3. Kris says:

    My mother-in-law and father-in-law are both alcoholics but have not gotten any help. They do not believe there is a problem. My husband has expressed his concern and that whenever they are drinking they can get beligerent and say things that are insulting about our parenting skills. We have 3 young children and are feeling that it may be best to stay home for the holidays, as their drinking causes undue stress for both of us. I have not attended a meeting yet. I am just starting to begin my search for help.

  4. Norma L says:

    I feel just like the people in this podcast; I anticipate the disappointment of drinking, drugging or a family fight way before the holiday has arrived. I lived in an alcoholic family and live with an alcoholic husband today. Although he has 15 months of sobriety, it recently came to light, that his behaviors have not changed, more importantly, nor mine. I strive to be happy and my hope is that in 2011, I can change enough to honestly say I am happy.

  5. Garry H says:

    For what I now recognize as a cycle spanning many years and many holidays, various members of my family have born the brunt of nasty behaviour that sprang like a slap in the face across a holiday table. Only with the insights of another distant cousin, familiar with Al-Anon and alcoholism in her own family, and now with what I’ve begun to study here, have I come to the important realization that the root of the problem is indeed alcoholism and not principally some deficiency in character.

    Now I’m faced with dealing with the real “truth,” which I know in God’s power and grace “can set us free.” The most captive of the victims of this addition isn’t me, however, so my “freedom” and need to be truthful has already encountered some significant resistance – despite my hopes for the holidays.

    Thank you all who are contributing to these pages and this forum, for although I am yet to attend my first Al-Anon meeting, I already get a sense of the real wholesomeness and health and support that working with others who deeply care for others can provide.
    May all of us be blessed with unexpected grace, joy, and healing during this season with our loved ones.

  6. Heddy says:

    I have been sober for 23 years; my daughter for 12 years; my son for 6. We have a pretty functional life together. I have had to rely on Al-Anon principles through the years to help navigate the powerlessness that is our reality when it comes to the behavior of others. So far, so good.

    As my husband and I traveled to my parents home this Christmas, we knew we were entering family in crisis. My youngest brother and his wife are separated because of alcohol. He was there with his two children – a five-year-old who seems to be hanging in there and a 22-month-old girl who is clingy and whining in her suffering.

    I am MAD. I have little patience with big people who refuse to see the effect of their choices on others. My brother is sober and trying; his wife is indifferent although not innocent – she is an overdrinker too. I am in search of a meeting and sponsor who can help me quiet my over-active mind and surrender to powerlessness, no matter how big my rescuing spirit gets over those kids.

    I rely on a kind God to keep me sober every day. I need to learn how to let Him help me stay emotionally centered too.

  7. Joe T says:

    I really appreciated the shared comments. There is a lot of addiction in our family system and the holidays can be difficult in that anxiety levels increase and a lot of “stuff” just flies around. Al-Anon helps keep me centered and allows me to set boundaries without guilt and shame.

  8. Judy, NM says:

    The tools for living I get from Al-Anon were life-savers for me this past Thanksgiving. Leading up to the holiday, I was becoming anxious about the possibilities of many things going wrong. When I shared with my group and with my sponsor, they reminded me that I have the right to communicate my concerns with kindness and that there is the same probability that things will go right as there are that they may go wrong.

    I forget to think about what might go right. Before we arrived for the holiday, I spoke to my husband, an active drinker, about my concerns for the opportunities for arguments with relatives. Later, I spoke with my son and his wife about our “plan B” if my husband became drunk and difficult. Best of all, we all planned fun things to do like play tennis and go to a high school football game. I prayed to “look for the joy” in each day and focus on what was going right. When the holiday was over, I can say I found lots of joy in each day and with each cherished family member. I came home with an attitude of gratitude.

  9. Marci W says:

    I wanted to say that I agree with Ernie in respect to my Al-Anon family. I feel so lost without them now. I once had a great relationship with some wonderful people in my home group. I recently moved far away from my home group and am so lost without Al-Anon. I hope that I can make those kinds of connections where I am at now. My Al-Anon family is very special. It keeps me grounded and gives me the serenity I have sought for so long.

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