The AA was There, Even When My Family Didn’t Support My Sober Habits

I am sober now but it hasn’t been easy. When I first started down the road to sobriety with Alcoholics Anonymous, I thought I would have unconditional support from my family. I was wrong. The damage I caused through my drinking made many in my family distrustful. Others saw my sober habits as sort of a threat. My not drinking made them uncomfortable because they did drink, even if it was in moderation.

When I stopped drinking, things didn’t immediately improve

My family also thought everything would be instantly better when I stopped drinking. I have to admit that I thought so too at first. It doesn’t happen that way, though. The depression I felt while I was drinking still haunted me at times. I could get irritable and snap at my children over the slightest things. A wall developed between me and my family.

Drinking and Depression

At first, when developing sober habits, a person can become moody, depressed, or enthusiastic to the extent where family and friends are distanced

I became very enthusiastic about being sober and talked about it all the time. My family didn’t understand and began avoiding me when I went on a tangent about sobriety. I am learning sobriety is hard work and though it is an accomplishment, I need to temper my enthusiasm a bit so I don’t drive those I care about the most away from me.

As I progress through the steps, I learn that I will have to work hard to regain the trust I once had from my family. I found that the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book is a good resource for understanding not only alcoholism but also how it affects those we love.

Everyone in my life was somehow affected by my drinking

When I was drinking, I thought I was the only one affected until I nearly lost everything that mattered. Now I know everyone in my life was affected to the point that no one in my family supported my efforts to get sober because they couldn’t trust me to follow through.

I am grateful for my AA sponsor and everyone in my AA group. They are how I am surviving and staying sober without the support of my family. Someday, with the continued help of Alcoholics Anonymous, I hope I will get the support of my family but it may never happen and I will have to accept that. I have no control over what they do, only over what I do. I just have to focus on making my sober habits strong and eventually helping others do the same.

About Joan Swart, PsyD, Forensic Psychologist and lecturer

Joan Swart is a forensic psychologist, lecturer, and business developer at Open Forest LLC. She authored two books titled “Treating Adolescents with Family-Based Mindfulness” (Springer, 2015) and “Homicide: A Forensic Psychology Casebook” (CRC, 2016). She is a contributor to Hubpages and HuffPost.

Joan Swart on the Web
More on: Addiction, Alcohol, Drinking
Latest update: January 6, 2017
Open Forest