It did not take long. As soon as she walked in the door, Jimmy confronted her aboutnot being home to make dinner. She agreed she had not been home to make dinner rather than argue about her right to go out with friends. Then she let the secret out:“Jimmy, I went with Renee to an Al Anon meeting. I’ve been aware for some timethat I could not keep pretending that you were going to stop drinking by my beggingand pleading. I am going to stop trying to change you. I’m going to change me—andAl Anon can help me change me.” Though she didn’t now know it, she was settingthe scene for a major life transition that very night.“You’d rather go to Al Anon than make dinner for me or your own children?” Heretorted with more than a slight edge in his voice. Rita had anticipated he would dothis.“I’d rather go to Al Anon and not make dinner for you and my own children than livewith an alcoholic husband. Jimmy, the truth is, I can’t live like this any longer. Idon’t know what I am going to do yet, but I’m certain of what I will not do. I will notstay in this house and argue with you every night about drinking.”“So what are you going to do about it?” Though he was quite shocked by the newRita, he did not want to let on that he took her seriously. His voice still had that “nana nanana” taunting quality to it.“I don’t know. I am going to take it one day at a time and try to make choices thatwill get me and the children into a healthier place.”“If you ever go to that meeting again, I’ll leave!” threatened Jimmy.“I guess you’ll have to do what you’ve got to do.” Rita did not argue with him.The next day Jimmy came home from work to find that Rita, the children, and thefurniture were all gone. She had mustered help from a few friends and a movingcompany and put her furniture in storage. She stopped at the bank and withdrew$5,000 from savings to get the family through until she was working again. She picked up her teenagers from school and they drove to a neighboring state, whereRita’s sister lived. By the time Jimmy got home, Rita and the children were eatingsupper at Rita sister’s house.
Do You Want to Do Some Self-Study?
There are many ways to begin the change process that will lead to freeing self andone’s loved ones from an alcoholic lifestyle. Usually, no single action brings aboutall the change that is necessary. Recovery is a long road for the alcohol dependent person and their family. It is important to remind yourself frequently to “never giveup.” We do possess the power to change, and by changing ourselves, others willchange as well.Do you want to do some self-study on how family members can deal effectively withalcoholism? The sources below are sure to help you find some effective ideas: