DC is a very stressful area, and not many have good coping skills for stress, anxiety or depression. Many, who are not from this area, and lack sufficient family support, will self medicate or attempt to numb their pain by abusing alcohol, which is cheap and readily available. Most that I see in my divorce cases, will not get caught because they are able to show up for work, and they drink “responsibly” by not driving and either take cabs, metro, or pass out at home while avoiding any arrests for a DUI.
High-functioning alcoholics are everywhere, at every level of our society. Sadly, most refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem, even when their families are begging them to face their addiction issues. By the time I get involved, one spouse has finally hit his/her limit, and is no longer willing to try and see if the addict can work things out. I realize, however, there are those that stay, and if they do, they need to learn to stop being enablers. More importantly, kids– either in an intact marriage or with parents that are separated must have their own support network and learn to set boundaries with their alcoholic parents, and this is where they can benefit immensely from Alateen (for kids 9-19).
There are over 250 Al-Anon sponsored meetings per week in DC for a reason. This is a serious illness that we need to address together. We can learn so much from sharing our stories with one another, and as human beings, we need to know that we are not alone.
If any of this rings true with you, please watch this tv segment that I recently aired on MMCTV featuring Al-Anon:
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.