Letter to Family of Alcoholics


Wow! I read this and it hit home! I found this open letter on a web page wellsphere.com and it is written by a man whose wife is an alcoholic and his observations he shares are to be an encouragement to those in similar circumstances. Here is the article…

Alcoholic Open Letter – To YOU

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:55am

An Open Letter to You (the person living in the chaos of alcoholism);

Date: Today (the new day dawning for you.)

Dear You.

You are a good person. You are a person who cares. You are a person who deserves to be happy. And you are not the cause of the alcoholic’s problem and you cannot cure it. Period!

No matter what your qualifier does, his or her drinking or addiction, should not be allowed to take you down. And if you have lost your self-esteem and you feel you don’t matter, shame on you. Get it back. And get it back for yourself and/or your children.

You have to get better no matter what your qualifier does. What I mean here is your qualifier may never get well. That is up to him (or her). You cannot fix it. You must work on yourself to get your sanity and health back.

We all feel the effects of alcoholism. It makes us feel “Worthless” and “tired” and “confused” among other feelings.

This loss of self-esteem and being run-down doesn’t happen overnight, which makes it dangerous. It happens over time, and it is so gradual we don’t notice it occurring. What is abnormal now becomes our “new normal.”

If we took you back in time and showed you a video snapshot of the future and a video snapshotof the way life was, you would be surprised at the difference between how you were and how you are. You – in fact – would say probably, “I would never allow that to happen.” But because of the gradual changes – we change subtly and over time – we don’t notice it and because the changes are a “few inches a day, the changes are drastic.”

I have found that going to Al-Anon allows me (and others I have met there), understand this fact of change consciously or unconsciously.

We have to get our sanity back;

  • No more looking for bottles
  • No more calling in sick for the alcoholic
  • No more fighting or arguing – especially when drunk
  • No more threats you cannot enforce or live by
  • No more sacrificing your schedule because the alcoholic didn’t live up to their commitment
  • No more allowing ourselves to be called names or made to feel bad
  • No more anger
  • Not checking to see if the alcoholic is feeling OK today to see how we should feel and act

Now we have to do what is really normal that now feels selfish;

  • Eating properly
  • Eating when we are supposed to
  • Exercising
  • Meeting friends for coffee
  • Working
  • Not doing other people’s work at work
  • Knowing what “codes of value” we will live by and not allow others to intrude upon
  • Being happy (and not feeling guilty about it)
  • Dressing up/Showering/Getting out of the house
  • Not covering up for our qualifier
  • And so on

Al-Anon allows us to get sanity back after a few months. Then, and this is important, YOU react and respond differently toward the alcoholic. The alcoholic sees that there are changes because of your changes. What he sees is: You don’t get mad anymore, you stop taking care of him (remember he is not a child but will act that way to be taken care of). Therefore he HAS to change, but now you don’t have to tell him, you show him by your actions. So often we do for the alcoholic what he or she has to do for themselves (parents do this too). This will feel uncomfortable at first. It will seem selfish. But it isn’t, it’s the most necessary thing you have to do.

Second, and this is important too: Even if he does not get better, you now have the sanity to where you decide – you decide sanely – whether you want to stay in this environment and live the rest of your life this way. Right now, you cannot decide this properly.

Also – last and this is important too, by getting well, you begin attract new people, events and circumstances into your life that will help you and this help gets you well faster.

I hope this helps YOU.



PS – If you look back at my first posts, you will see I was crazy because my qualifier was arrogant, demanding, and deceitful. I was reactionary, hurt, depressed, and did not know the tools of Al-Anon. I am not perfect. But I know I have gotten better. I feel it and I see it from the first posts to today’s posts. Again, I am still in recovery and have a lot to learn.

PPS – Remember, there are people who really love you and care for you. You are loved by them and by God. God does not make any junk. You need to love your self again. This is not selfish. Feel it and live it. Today is your turning point. See the new dawn rising.