Studies have found that when actively drinking, an alcoholic affects at least four people around him or her.
According to members of Alanon (a 12-step support group for relatives and friends of alcoholics), spouses and children of alcoholics often suffer from depression, mood swings, anger, guilt, and resentment of their situation and a feeling of isolation.
Ariel S., a long-time member of Alanon, said, “My husband was addicted to alcohol and I was addicted to him.” She said that after she went to her first Alanon meeting, she learned what is called the “3 Cs.”
- I didn’t cause alcoholism,
- I can’t control it and
- I can’t cure it,’” she said.
Learning that alcoholism was a disease helped her understand her husband’s situation, relieved her guilt and helped her improve her life.
“Only people who have lived with alcoholism understand how terrible and hopeless you feel,” she said. “But going to meetings gave me a new sense of hope.”