Newbie wanting to say hello

Old 04-27-2007, 07:11 AM
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I can only change myself.
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Newbie wanting to say hello


If anyone is interested I'll share a little of my story which explains why I'm here. A friend/poster from another forum ( provided me the link to this site. She thought this place could be of great help.

Why I'm here:

I have a brother-in-law who is an alchoholic. He is my wife's sister's husband. He is definitely progressing in his alchoholism. I'm fearful what might become of him and what may happen to my SIL due to his alchoholism.

His alchoholism is progressing. He's been hiding the liquids for some time now and recently forged his W's name on their tax returns so he could do as he wished with his share of the return. (He did give her her part but refused to pay back his debts to his MIL).

My W has been trying to get my SIL to an AlAnon meeting but she's very much of the mindset "Why bother. It won't change him." Hearing those kinds of messages really make me worried for her future safety and security. My W decided she didn't want to attend a meeting unless her S was going to go.

After months and months of hearing all the complaints and all the horrible stories of his drinking from my W I decided these two gals were never going to go to AlAnon. They did ask me to keep out of it. To leave it up to them to decide how to move forward. I decided I couldn't just sit idly by and so this week I attended my first AlAnon meeting. (Incidentally we do not live in the same city as SIL/BIL).

I know AlAnon is geared toward helping the individual cope and help the individual protect themselves and to grow as a person. I will use my time there to grow myself. But still I also feel I need to educate myself on the ways a person protects themselves living with an alchoholic. That way I may be able to share this knowledge with my W and hopefully that gets to my SIL.

So that being said I've got tons of questions. But before I ask them I wanted to make sure that my motives for being here aren't ill-guided and that I am doing a positive thing by trying, at the very least, to educate myself.

Thank you in advance for any advice/support/comments/criticisms.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:30 AM
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Acting not reacting
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Hi and welcome!

The only requirement for being here is that someones drinking is currently or has previously affected you so I say you qualify!

Good for you for going to Al-anon even if your wife an sister arent ready. Its an awesome program thats helped many.

As for education, the book Under the Influence is a great tool about alcoholism.
Glad you are here!
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:36 AM
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Hello. Yep, you're in the right place. My only thought (or maybe a question) is that since we know we can't heal or fix an alcoholic, how can we heal or fix other codependents? I am glad that you did something on your own, but maybe it's not for the right reasons? If you want help dealing with BIL, that's great. But if you want help, just so you can help wife and SIL, then that might lose it's effectiveness. Your wife clearly stated that she didn't want to bother with it? I think it's the same as an alcoholic, we won't get help until we want it ourselves.

Just my thoughts this morning, kinda rambling along, welcome. Read as much as you can on here....that's a great start.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:05 AM
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Hi.glad you are here!

Besides "Under the Influence", I also have found "Getting Them Sober" full of helpful information ( has "preview chapters").

Hope you stick around and join us; it has helped me in ALL aspects of my life (not only dealing with the A that got me here!). Chances are that things will get worse for BIL....alcoholism is progressive. (I heard that but didn't really understand until I could think back....after awhile,the idea I had for what I accepted "normal and acceptable behavior" began to shift without my noticing it.......) Reading,being here, AlAnon,etc are all great things....hopefully you will be a beacon leading your SIL to the help that is available,when she is ready to accept it.
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:11 AM
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Hello there Forgoodreasons and welcome to SR.

Your proactive steps (attending alanon, coming here) may have a positive influence on your family are making first steps, opening up the floor for discussion, and showing them that guidence/support is out there, and (hopefully) getting healthier yourself.

BUT, that's all you can do! They'll have to be the ones who want help for themselves.

As you can see from all the posts here and also by what you witness in your own family - alcoholism truly is a family disease. I am glad you found SR Hope you keep posting!
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:24 AM
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Welcome forgoodreasons, glad you're here!

While I was a greeter at one of my meetings, I heard your story many times. Someone would say they weren't really there for themselves, because it was their wife, husband, sister, brother, etc. who should REALLY be there. Anyone who is affected, and you certainly are, by the disease of alcoholism can benefit, in my opinion, from group support.

Glad you found your way here, give your friend from the other site a cyber hug.

Keep coming back!
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:29 AM
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Hi there and welcome.....No one needs a reason to be here other than pure interest in helping someone else or themself. Nice to meet you and all I can say is read, read and read some more. You can click on any of our names to read our histories just in case you're interested....
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:36 AM
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I can only change myself.
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Thanks for the welcomes.

Oh and thanks for the book idea. I'll check that out. Hopefully the library carries it so I can save a buck or two (I know ... cheapskate).

I had kind of hoped that I could separate the AlAnon meetings (for me) with this forum (for educating and helping others).

I can tell my W is hedging on going to AlAnon. But mostly she's inquisitive when we talk about the BIL/SIL sich. She feels there are probably some answers out there but she feels her sister needs to seek those. She's mostly right, I know.

I don't feel I need AlAnon. I do understand I will learn more about myself and I will grow. But other than having concern for my BIL/SIL (whom I do care about) and having to listen to the stories/complaints I am able to detach myself from the whole BIL sich.

I say that because I rarely speak to him, heh, I rarely to speak to my SIL. But I do hear from my W quite a bit who spends a good chunk of time with him/her. They live over an hour away and my W boards her quarter-horses on their horse ranch(farm) so she travels there most Saturdays to tend and play with the horses.

I do know that my SIL looks up to me. She calls and asks for me when she has questions about things she doesn't understand (financial, etc.). Now I don't think she's going to want to hear my opinion on this knowing I don't have professional answers for her but I believe at some point she is going to start listening if she knows I've been speaking with people who are well educated in this area. I think any help or advice I suggest to my W will get back to my SIL. I really, truly, believe it will make a difference.

Again I realize that that motive sort of violates the intentions of AlAnon. I think the ladies at that meeting will be more than helpful should I ask them
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:47 AM
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I can only change myself.
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A part of that last reply appears to have been chopped off.

Again I realize that that motive sort of violates the intentions of AlAnon. I think the ladies at that meeting will be more than helpful should I ask them questions on how to help SIL. But I want to try to avoid that as much as possible. I think that that would redirect the meeting too much and there are people there that need to keep doing the good work they started doing.

I love the part of the AlAnon meetings where we read the day's quote. I'm a very introspective person. I love how those quotes start that process. I really enjoy listening to others that share their experience in doing the same. I take what I can from them.

I will take the advice given and do some reading here and also look into the books.

I started reading here a few days ago. I forwarded Tazman's sticky post to my W (home email) after I read it and found it very educational. She said she would read it when she had a chance.

It feels good to know there are options out there. So thank you AlAnon and thanks to all of you wonderful people who come here to share and assist.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:40 AM
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CindeRella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life!
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Welcome forgoodreasons! It is great to see you hear trying to gain knowledge it is always a great thing and what better place to come! Keep on reading.........and Tazman is an amazing man along with alot of other A's and codies in here so the stories will amaze you in many different ways! Praying you seek what you need for yourself...
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:58 AM
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I can only change myself.
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Originally Posted by Pick-a-name View Post
Hi.glad you are here!

Besides "Under the Influence", I also have found "Getting Them Sober" full of helpful information // has "preview chapters").
Their book is available at our public library ... I've reserved it to be picked up next week.


Last edited by DesertEyes; 04-27-2007 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Fixed broken quote
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:30 PM
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Good deal! I hope you find these books (prob. Vo. 1) as useful as I have! There are practical examples about what you can do in common situations that come up.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:38 PM
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I can only change myself.
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It appears they have 2 different volumes. I wasn't sure if that's what the initials were suggesting on the library website but I did pick v.1 just in case the 'v' stood for volume.
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:01 PM
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opps lost my post!

I own Volumes 1 and 2 (so far ) and think they are both great! I think Vol. 2 contains tips that didn't "fit" in Vol.1. I'd suggest you read them both! I re-read them every few weeks and always get something positive from them. I hope you find that you do,too!

(There are at least 4 volumes that I know of. The website I mentioned contains information about what topics are covered in each volume.)
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:10 PM
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Welcome! Look forward to your sharing!!
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:06 PM
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I think you CAN help your W and SIL by attending Alanon, but perhaps not in the way you might imagine. After a time--as you grow and learn how to make positive changes in your life and your sanity is restored--they might begin to realize what they're missing out on and be tempted to attend some meetings themselves.

I wouldn't encourage them to go until they're ready. I'd just go about the business of healing yourself and when the time comes that they decide to approach you with questions because they've finally decided to give Alanon a try, I'd hand them a list of meetings available in your area.

Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Last edited by FormerDoormat; 04-27-2007 at 08:26 PM.
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