Not a pretty picture, but a pretty common one: Family and close friends catering to an alcoholic every way but productively. Here, the wife casts around for heroes to save her. And though I’m sure you meant well, Marc, you were just grandiose enough to take the bait, as if Superman could add a superpower: able to crack addictions with a single first-class stamp. This is how codependence thrives, not recovery.
Check out Al-Anon, a worldwide group for the family and friends of alcoholics. I once heard a member boil it down like so: “I didn’t cause my mother’s drinking problem; I can’t control it; and I can’t cure it.” But by focusing on our own behavior and feelings — instead of the alcoholic’s, for a change — we may find a healthy path forward.
Just walking into an Al-Anon meeting helps break down the secrecy and shame that so often surround addiction. You are not alone. Invite the wife to go with you. Rewriting your tired-out roles in this family drama is the only way I know to resurrect the friendship. You may not change the alcoholic, but you can certainly improve the way you deal with him.
Content Originally Published By:@ The New York Times
Click below to find a addiction specialist near you.