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Courage to Change:

I had a very difficult time believing that alcoholism was a disease. I was convinced that if they really wanted to, alcoholics could stop drinking. After all, I quit smoking. Wasn’t it the same thing?

Then one day an Al-Anon member likened active alcoholism to Alzheimer’s disease. We see our loved ones slip away without their being aware of what’s happening or being able to stop it. They look perfectly normal on the outside, but the sickness is progressing, and they become more and more irrational and difficult to be around.

When they have lucid moments and once again seem to be themselves, we want to believe that they are well, but these moments pass, and we despair. Before long we find ourselves resenting the very people we once loved.

I’ll always be grateful to my friend because her explanation helped me to accept the reality of my situation. Once I did, it was much easier for me to separate the disease from the person.

Today’s Reminder:

When I accept that alcoholism is a disease, I am forced to face the fact that I am powerless over it. Only then can I gain the freedom to focus on my own spiritual growth.

“A family member has no more right to state, ‘If you loved me you would not drink,’ than the right to say, ‘If you loved me you would not have diabetes.’ Excessive drinking is a symptom of the disease. It is a condition, not an act.”
– A Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992