Chapter Nine: The Family Afterward
How can the damage done to a family be repaired? How can the hurt feelings, anger, fear, guilt and remorse be assuaged? Practicing these principles in all our affairs means practicing them at home more importantly than anywhere else.
It is easy to talk of spiritual growth, however, it is quite another thing to adopt these principles as the basis for our lives. Thankfully we have the guidance of those who have gone before us to ease our entry into a sober home life. The difficulties we face and the mistakes we are likely to make are laid out in "The Family Afterward."
The pitfalls families may encounter are described. Selfishness and self-centeredness may affect all the members of the family as might the harboring of resentments and being critical or impatient (122:6-13). Ill-considered revelatations of past love affairs may damage a marraige (124:11-125:3). Gossip and harsh criticism are to be avoided (125:6-11). Extremes of enthusiasm such as single-minded pursuit of financial success or speaking of nothing else but the new spiritual way of life we have found will hamper the repair of our home life (125:12-126:12). The alcoholic's values and priorities may continue to be out of balance for some time (129:4-7). The re-establishing of family and relationship roles places a burden on many households where the non-alcoholic spouse has been forced to assume sole responsibility for the functioning of the family.
The message we recieve from "The Family Afterward" is one of hope that if we use these principles as the basis for our family life we will make strides that bring us closer to those who are most dear to us. Learning from the mistakes of others, we may avoid many of the pitfalls that are common to families in early recovery. We have hope that if we practice these principles we stand the greatest chance of a happy home life.
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.