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My loved one is an alcoholic, and I deserve to be happy.
(From an Anonymous source)
I deserve to be happy.
This, coming from a woman who happened to fall in love with an alcoholic. My husband is an alcoholic. My husband is addicted to this filthy rotten chemical called alcohol. Go figure.
I don't like it. I've told him that over and over, and he's tried to quit various times to no avail. He's not abusive, but our relationship is not the best. Underneath that smell of alcohol, he’s a really good man that I fell in love with. The man that wasn't craving this demonic liquid. a good man with hopes and dreams, a man who was present emotionally for me.
That was then, this is now.
People tell me I should leave him. People tell me if I'm not happy, I can up and leave. But it's just not that easy. You would think it was, but we've got history, we've got a family, we've got ties that bind. Plus, there's this thing in me that just hangs on to hope that one day he will be able to quit.
I deserve to be happy.
A friend of mine invited me to an Al-Anon meeting a while back. I didn't want to go. Who has time to go? She then asked me if I was happy. No, was my immediate answer. She then asked me, “Well isn't it about time you were?”
Heck yeah, I thought. It's time that I feel happy. She assured me that attending Al-Anon would be a great step toward finding happiness.
I really didn't know what to expect from these meetings, but the first thing I realized was that these people really opened their hearts to me. I felt accepted and a sense of home. Like they understood me, they understood my confusion, resentment, fears, and my petrifying fear of being abandoned. And I felt like they wouldn't abandon me.
For the first time in a long time, I felt hope. I felt hope that I wouldn't have to be miserable, even in a relationship with an alcoholic. I felt hope that I could find that woman who I used to be, that woman that used to feel happy for no reason. That woman who had hopes and was confident in herself, and very loving toward others.
I was told to work the program. That the steps of Al-Anon would help me to get my eyes off of my husband, and that disease that is eating him alive, and more on myself and my own journey through this life. My own emotional wounds that needed healing. My own fears to conquer, demons to face. At the same time, my own reservoir of strength and courage, and empowerment.
I've been attending Al-Anon for a while now, and while I'm not doing cartwheels of joy all the time, I feel more peace and at times I find myself laughing, which is something I rarely did for years. I feel a sense of belonging, and I've made a couple really good friends that love me no matter what.
I'm not so focused on what my husband is or isn't doing. He's in charge of his side of the street, and I'm in charge of my side of the street. His beliefs and actions do not have to cause me misery. I am ultimately 100% responsible for my feelings and emotions. I love him, still. But I’m not going to let his addiction…and his choices ruin my life. And, I’m not going to leave him either. At least, that’s not in my mindset at the moment. If there were abuse, yes. I would.
If you're reading this, and you have a loved one who is an alcoholic or an addict. I want to give you hope. Yes, it does suck that addiction has stolen or taken over your loved one. You don't deserve that, and that person doesn't deserve that. But it really is what it is. Alcoholism is a disease…my husband is not a monster. He has a disease…and one day I do hope he will reach out for treatment.
I encourage you to continue a journey that begins with you taking your eyes off of that other person for a while. And start a new Journey working on yourself. If you can attend an Al-Anon meeting or Nar-anon meeting, please do so. Or Codependent’s Anonymous. Give it a chance. Take what you like and leave the rest. Sometimes we need face-to-face help and support. We need community.
The people and principles of Al-Anon have carried me through the anguish of living through the problems that alcoholism has brought to my heart and my family. Al-Anon is a philosophy in a way of life, and I'm grateful for this. ~ Anonymous
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