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Post Info TOPIC: OPEN LETTER FROM THE ALCOHOLIC


Senior Member

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OPEN LETTER FROM THE ALCOHOLIC


Monday, December 28, 2009

Open Letter from the Alcoholic

 
The chairperson at a meeting I attended recently, who is also a member of AA, shared on this "Open Letter to the Alcoholic," which I've always thought was very powerful. I hadn't read it for a while, so it was a good reminder to me. The letter appears in the Al-Anon pamphlet "Three Views of Alcoholism." If you're not familiar with it, I've included it here:

Open Letter from the Alcoholic

I am an alcoholic. I need your help.

Don't lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn't be angry with me for having cancer or diabetes. Alcoholism is a disease, too.

Don't pour out my liquor; it's just a waste because I can always find ways of getting more.

Don't let me provoke your anger. If you attack me verbally or physically, you will only confirm my bad opinion abut myself. I hate myself enough already.

Don't let your love and anxiety for me lead you into doing what I ought to do for myself. If you assume my responsibilities, you make my failure to assume them permanent. My sense of guilt will be increased, and you will feel resentful.

Don't accept my promises. I'll promise anything to get off the hook. But the nature of my illness prevents me from keeping my promises, even though I mean them at the time.

Don't make empty threats. Once you have made a decision, stick to it.

Don't believe everything I tell you; it may be a lie. Denial of reality is a symptom of my illness. Moreover, I'm likely to lose respect for those I can fool too easily.

Don't let me take advantage of you or exploit you in any way. Love cannot exist for long without the dimension of justice.

Don't cover up for me or try in any way to spare me the consequences of my drinking. Don't lie for me, pay my bills, or meet my obligations. It may avert or reduce the very crisis that would prompt me to seek help. I can continue to deny that I have a drinking problem as long as you provide an automatic escape for the consequences of my drinking.

Above all, do learn all you can about alcoholism and your role in relation to me. Go to open AA meetings when you can. Attend Al-Anon meetings regularly, read the literature and keep in touch with Al-Anon members. They're the people who can help you see the whole situation clearly.

I love you.

Your Alcoholic


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Cindy 



~*Service Worker*~

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Powerful letter...I remember when I first read it I cried. I have done so many things wrong with my enabling of my son I just pray most of the damage has stopped now and I can continue to move forward. I still have thoughts of helping here or there but I check my motives on a daily basis and let go let God help me though.

Thank you for posting it again....we all need to see it once in a while

(((( hugs ))))


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 Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth

Speak only when you feel that your words are better than your silence.

 


Senior Member

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Man, the line about promises and denial. And the 'I love you'. I'm really glad I have a fairly isolated office at work.

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~*Service Worker*~

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I love this letter, so honest and real. This helps me have compassion for the alcoholics in or not in my life. Thanks for reminding me of it.x

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Senior Member

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Thanks for sharing. I've read this a few times in the past year and this is the first time I saw the I love you at the end. I needed to see that.

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~*Service Worker*~

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I love this letter too.


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Member

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Thanks, Mimi. I needed to read this....
A couple times.

(((((Mimi))))))



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Learning to find the joys of me.  One day at a time.



Senior Member

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This is a powerful letter especially since I didn't understand the disease of alcoholism. I still have a hard time with the "disease" part. Alnon has been a life raft for me. I had no idea what was an alcoholic. I didn't grow up with it and had no idea what when on in alcoholic homes. I grew up with mental illness in my home. I am learning compassion for them and for myself. I had no idea of the gravity of destruction until it happened to me. It is an scary place to be.
My heart goes out to lives affected by alcoholics and now I see if I can provide support for the families who deserve extra kindness.
Thanks for this letter. It helps me the more I understand.



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I have hope that my next minute will be better and to learn from my last minute.


Member

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Thank you for sharing this letter... It has been a long time since I have read it and I really needed it now... going to copy this and print a copy I can have to look at when I am feeling the need to be needed.... and thank you hopes314, to be reminded to be compassionate with myself.....

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Member

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Thanks for sharing this. It has struck a chord. I will read it often 😉

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Newbie

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Attended first Al Anon meeting this week and the letter was read by another member. My lovely wife has unfortunately been caught by the disease and the letter is so true to how she behaves. I miss her and want her back.

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David Maude


~*Service Worker*~

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Hello David Please keep coming back and welcome

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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WOW!!!! Powerful, I wonder if my "all about them" brothers really feel this way.....I wonder if a recovering alcoholic wrote this, whatever, it is powerful and touches the heart

I have more compassion then I used to..I am sure my brothers didnt go to bed as children and pray to be an "on the streets drug addict" or a "sleeping in his truck" alcoholic...I am sure, if they got to "do life" one more time, they would have chosen better foundations on which they could have grown up in healthy atmospheres instead of the sick dysfunction and even darkness that we did grow up with...I had one brother who was "alcophobic" if there is such a word..He absolutely was radical about any drugs and alcohol and he ended up taking his life because his thinking disease was different...My whole family was one sick dark place to be in....I used to fill the empty hole within me that should have been filled with love and cuddles and hugs as a child, with shopping, binge eating (thank goodness I don't gain weight) control, I used to "over rescue" dogs and cats when I really couldn't afford to foster and re-home so many pets, to fill that empty hole in my heart.....Program has led me out of the dark places and I am grateful for that.....I have my "issues" but NOTHING like in the past....I am sad I don't have any brothers to do stuff with and hang out with....alcohol and drugs took them away from me......

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Rose, a work in progress!!!

KEEP IT SIMPLE_EASY DOES IT_KEEP THE FOCUS ON ME



~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome to MIP David - glad you found us and glad that you shared. Alcoholism is powerful and progressive. While it is never cured, there is hope and help for those who want recovery. Al-Anon is for the family and friends as you've discovered and it is there I found my way to healing and dealing of the affects of this disease.

I so understand the letter above - I can directly relate as I am also in recovery on the other side of the rooms. You are not alone - keep coming back!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

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