SIX RESOURCES TO HELP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DEAL WITH ADDICTION
THE PERSON WITH ADDICTION TALKS TO HIS FAMILY
I am a person with an addiction. I need your help.
Do not scold, blame or punish me. You would not be angry with me if I had tuberculosis or diabetes. Alcoholism is also a disease.
Don’t pour out my liquor or throw away my drugs. That is only a waste because I will always find the way to acquire more.
Don’t allow me to provoke your anger. If you attack me verbally or physically, you only confirm the low opinion that I have of myself. I already hate myself quite enough.
Don’t allow your love and anxiety for me to cause you to do for me what I should do for myself. If you assume my responsibilities, you will make my failure permanent. My feelings of blame will grow and you will feel resentment.
Don’t accept my promises. I will promise you anything that will keep me from being thrown out into the street. But the very nature of my illness keeps me from keeping my promises even though at the time I make them I do so with good intentions.
Don’t make idle threats. Once you have made a decision, stick with it.
Don’t believe everything that I tell you; it could be a lie. To deny this reality is one symptom of my disease. Besides that, I tend to lose respect for those whom I can easily deceive.
Don’t allow me to take advantage of or abuse you in any way. Love cannot exist for very long without a measure of justice.
Don’t shelter me or try in any way to save me from the consequences of my addiction.
Don’t lie for me, pay my debts or fulfill my obligations. This can postpone or impede the crisis that will initiate my asking for help. I can continue denying that I have a problem as long as you provide me with an escape from the consequences of my addiction.
Above all, learn whatever you can about alcoholism and drug addiction and the role that you play with respect to me.
Go to the open AA or NA meetings whenever you can. Attend these meetings regularly, read their publications and keep yourselves in contact with the members. They are the ones who can help you clearly see the situation in general.
Based on “Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic.” by Reverend Joseph L. Kellerman, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., New York, N.Y., U.S.A.