“Through the program, many of us have found a serenity we never thought possible.” Al-Anon
At first, it may be a shock to hear, “the truth is, family members of those in recovery need recovery, too!”
You might think, “what the heck are you talking about?!” And while that reaction is understandable, research confirms alcoholism and addiction affect not just the afflicted person, but also the people who are closest to them — hence the often heard statement: “It’s a family disease.”
Fortunately, programs of recovery have been developed that can bring freedom to those affected by having someone in their life who has been afflicted by alcoholism/addiction.
One such program, Al-Anon, was co-founded by Lois Wilson, the wife of AA co-founder Bill Wilson. After much trial and error about how best to address her husband’s alcoholism, she came to an unanticipated conclusion: “I began to learn that the partner of the alcoholic also needed to live by a spiritual program. (Eventually) I used the same principles as he did to learn how to change my attitudes.”
By practicing the 12-Steps program in her own life and sharing it with others who were similarly affected by alcoholic loved ones, Lois ended up finding many benefits came her way unexpectedly.
And since then (1951), vast numbers of people with alcoholic/addicted loved ones have experienced and described the benefits of family recovery themselves, by practicing the 12 Steps in their own lives. Some of these benefits include:
- Learning how to set healthy boundaries
- Developing a clearer understanding and education about alcoholism/addiction
- Getting the support of a group of people who can identify with you and your struggles, as well as who can offer practical suggestions and solutions that have worked for them
- Learning how to keep the focus on yourself, not the alcoholic/addict
- Through being part of a fellowship, one no longer need feel alone in dealing with the many challenges that can be encountered when relating with a loved one afflicted by alcoholism/addiction.
While few would suspect there are “treasures to be discovered” by committing to be in family recovery to address the effects of a loved one’s disease (alcoholism/addiction), the fact is there are – and they can be readily had by simply saying “yes” to one’s own well-being, via a program of recovery for oneself.
If you have a loved-one that needs treatment for alcoholism, addiction or dual-diagnosis, call BoardPrep Recovery Center today to learn about the benefits of a strong family recovery approach.
REFERENCES: “Lois W.” in How Al-Anon Works, 1995, Virginia Beach, Virginia. AFGH, Inc.