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How far would you go for someone you love? How far would you want someone else to go for you?

Pretty nebulous question. I want others to be honest with me, but I know that doesn’t necessarily mean telling the whole truth. I want criticism to be kind, constructive and timely. I have found that people have receptive moments which offer the opportunity of bringing up something that you want to discuss with them. It may be behavior, clothes, make-up, drinking, choice of friends, habits, etc.

Waiting for the right moment and then stating something in an constructive way is the best way to change others’ behaviors. Or plant the idea in their mind that they might want to change themselves, because ultimately, you can only change yourself. It has to come from within.

As an active fully blown alcoholic 25-21 years ago (it had been a problem for longer), I finally admitted to my husband that I had realized that I was drinking way to much and couldn’t stop. He was a bit surprised (but I think that was self-deception on his part), but once he grasped the problem he was supportive over the next 3-4 years it took me to finally get it, and become a recovering alcoholic. It was really tough at times, and he also spent a good deal of money on me. We could be on an around the world cruise right now if that money magically reappeared!

He tried different tactics as all family and friends will do, while I was fighting the battle of my life, not only for sobriety but for understanding, meaning, the even a magic key that would unlock the reasons for my alcoholism. Despite outbursts of frustration, anger, and hurt, he didn’t give up on me. He prayed, he stayed.

It’s not as complicated as one thinks. Some people will drink and become alcoholics and others won’t. Some have a family history and that plays a part. Some, like me, found it a great way to cover my social anxiety and turn me into the carefree, ebullient person I wanted to be. Unfortunately the “medication” stops working and all that remains is a painful need to keep drinking no matter what the cost — and I don’t mean money. Eventually, the alcohol loses its initial effect, and more and more has to be consumed to reach the same high — then a black out or unconsciousness follows, but rarely refreshing sleep. It a chasm, and abyss, and I needed hands reaching out to save me.

I did recover. Through various therapies and treatment centers, Caron in Pennsylvania being the best, I recovered — or I am in recovery. I have achieved a great deal in the past 21 years, including the rebuilding of trust and unconditional love from my husband and children. (Unconditional love is questionable — we don’t always agree!) I’ve also earned an M.Ed. and taught at good school and developed beneficial relationships with supportive and fun people.

I have come to appreciate steadfastness, commitment to marriage, and to those you love. I have come to fear loneliness, isolation, and judgment. I try to live these principles as much as I have benefited from them. Hopefulness and growth go hand in hand.