An Al-Anon Member Recalls Making Peace with Her Alcoholic Mother to Mark September National Recovery Month

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During September National Recovery Month, Al-Anon Family Groups can lead adult children of alcoholics to a new appreciation for their parents’ struggles.

Strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers

Al-Anon Family Groups

How confusing, frustrating, and sad it was to see her struggle with a difficult marriage, poverty, and her own alcoholism. She loved her children, I’m sure of it. But she had it tough, really tough.

Making peace with an alcoholic parent might be the last thing anyone wants to do, but it might be the most worthwhile thing to do. Al-Anon Information Analyst Pamela Walters said during September National Recovery Month, “Regrets and resentments may not faze the alcoholic, but bitter feelings can affect adult children of alcoholics for a long time. That’s one reason why many professionals call alcoholism a family disease.”

Cathy C., an anonymous Al-Anon member, spent years trying to get her mother to be the mom she wanted her to be. “How confusing, frustrating, and sad it was to see her struggle with a difficult marriage, poverty, and her own alcoholism. She loved her children; I’m sure of it. But she had it tough, really tough,” Cathy said.

“Before she died, she came to live with my husband and me after she lost everything she ever owned. By then, I had been in Al-Anon for several years and had some recovery,” Cathy said. “My family disease insisted that I see her as a failing mother. But blessed to be in recovery, I saw her as a fellow woman, deserving of love and respect, for we both are children of a Higher Power. How grateful I am that I had this knowledge before she died so that we could both be at peace.”

Al-Anon Family Groups are for families and friends who have been affected by a loved one’s drinking. Nearly 16,000 local groups meet throughout the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico every week. Al-Anon Family Groups meet in more than 130 countries, and Al-Anon literature is available in more than 40 languages. Al-Anon Family Groups have been offering strength and support to families and friends of problem drinkers since 1951. Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. acts as the clearinghouse worldwide for inquiries from those who need help or want information about Al-Anon Family Groups and Alateen, its program for teenage members.

For more information about Al-Anon Family Groups, go to http://www.al-anon.alateen.org and read a copy of Al-Anon’s annual public outreach magazine “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2015.” Find a local meeting by calling toll-free: 1-888-4AL-ANON.

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