Open Letter from an Alcoholic

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I got this the other night at my alanon meeting. It really spoke to me and thought it might be helpful to others as well. It is in an alanon pamphlet called Three Views of Alanon. And this was based on material by Rev Joseph L. Kellermann. I think it applies to any substance abuse.

    So here it is:

    I am an alcoholic. I need your help.

    Don't lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn't be angry at 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 about 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 then nature of my illness prevens 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. Morever, 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 dimensio 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 dontinue 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 Alanon meetings regularly, read the literature, keep in touch with Alanon members. They're the people who can help you see the whole situation clearly.

    I love you.

    Your alcoholic.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have read that letter in our FA meetings also. It's very powerful, thanks for sharing.
  3. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Yes, it is a good letter. Always makes me cringe when I read the anger part. I dont want to be angry, yet truth is, I am. Thanks for the reminder.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I needed to read that right now. Thank you for sharing.

  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I didnt take it to me don't be angry.... I took it more dont let me stir it up so that you react in anger. I think it is natural to be anger at the behaviors they do... and at least sometimes anger feels realy healthy to me. But it never works for me to react to my difficult child in anger.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Great contribution, thanks. DDD
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thank you.