Health & Exercise


This week’s HTYH is a continuation of an Alanon lady’s story:  My home group in Alanon, in the beginning, met on the other side of a petition from the A.A. people and we laughed a lot. After the meeting the door would fly open and the alcoholics would accuse us of laughing at them, but it was their self-centeredness that made them believe that because we didn’t think they were that funny. On occasion however, we couldn’t help overhearing what was being said on the other side of the divider. Once we heard old Frank complaining about the pain he was suffering in one of his orifices and we about busted a gut because his wife had shared with us earlier that he had come home drunk and passed out so she poured finger nail polish into his exposed orifice. We had to pray for poor old Frank because that finger nail polish sealed his orifice tighter than King Tut’s tomb.

Alanon is a program for people who are willing to work at it. You are not an Alanon because you’re in love with, married to or know an alcoholic. Those people are alligators. I’m an Alanon because I have a 12-step recovery program that I work like my life depends on it. I have a fatal disease and I am convinced that my program is a matter of life or death. I have a home group that I go to like it’s a doctor’s appointment and if you want to see me just show up at the 6:15 Addison Family Group in Lovett, Texas. When I walk into that group they stop and exclaim OH! Ellen, how are you and they do not accept “fine,” for an answer. They told me that “fine,” is an acronym for fearful, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. “Fine” is not an answer they will accept. They know me better than that and when they ask me how I am–I tell them how I really and truly feel. I’m an Alanon because I have a sponsor who knows everything about me, the good, bad, and ugly and she unconditionally loves me anyway. And I’ve never told her anything that caused her to recoil in shock because has already been there and done that. The problems in my life are not caused by the problem but rather the solution my mind comes up with to fix it.

My mother sent me to Lovett, Texas when I was 17 years old because she thought I would be safe there. The very first Alanon program in Texas was started in Lovett because prohibition is in effect there and nothing makes an alcoholic want to drink more than making it against the law. I went looking for Mr. Right and it took me about 6 months to find him. When I found him he was sixty pounds over weight and married to somebody else but that didn’t stop me. I like the kind of man I have to fight for and win from another woman. A year later I had my prize; lucky-lucky me. When I look at that relationship in hindsight it’s easy to see that it was not right from the very beginning. There was something wrong with that picture but at the time I couldn’t see it. I came from a family of heavy drinkers and it seemed to me there was something wrong with people who didn’t drink alcohol? Understanding that part of my disease is selective hearing and that I only hear what I want to hear it’s no wonder that I heard that I should stay away from people who didn’t drink alcohol. The next man in my life didn’t drink because he belonged to religions that forbid it, but by the time we married he was drinking. We were married only 6 months when he hit me the first time. I didn’t grow up in a family that hit one another so I came up with a solution and it was to double dare him to hit me again. He did and I learned the first time he hit me I was a victim but the second time I was a volunteer.

John Barleycorn

The phantom writer of the column "Here's to Your Health". This writer is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore must maintain anonymity. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer