"Nobody," said an Al-Anon member, "seems to give us credit for the courage it takes to live with an alcoholic."
Of course it takes courage, just as it takes courage to face life under any circumstances.
We need courage to believe that no situation is hopeless, to keep cheerful when we have cause for despair, to resist the impulse to complain to others about our lot. It takes a lot of courage to resist the temptation to take over the alcoholic's responsibilities, until we accept the fact that we are only hindering his recovery by doing so.
Above all, it takes courage not to appear courageous as so many do, hoping for sympathy from relatives, friends and neighbors. "Poor brave little woman" may be food for the self-pitying ego, but it weakens character and destroys dignity.
Do I lack the confidence and the courage to do the things that will improve my situation? Am I afraid to let go of another person's obligations? Can I refrain from doing what can only hinder improvement? I may not have the necessary strength and confidence, but I can find them by turning to God and asking for His guidance.
"Prayers for courage and guidance never go unanswered. But I must be ready to act on that guidance."
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota