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Lois Wilson's story tells the story of Al-Anon

Posted May 21 2010 7:11am
Did you catch the recent tele-movie about Lois Wilson, the co-founder of Al-Anon?

It's a brilliant telling of the story of how families are affected by alcoholism and a reminder that you don't have to drink to suffer from alcoholism.

The recent tele-movie is "When Love Is Not Enough," is based on the newly reissued biography by William G. Borchert. It reveals the trials and triumph for co-founder of Al-Anon, whose alcoholic husband, Bill Wilson, was a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is the moving story about how the couple rose from a life of despair to institute one of the twentieth century's most important social movements, and how Lois created a legacy of hope for millions of families devastated by addiction through her uncommon love and unshakable faith.

A college-educated young woman from an affluent family, Lois married Bill in 1918, after his return from duty at the end of World War I. While Lois worked as an occupational therapist, Bill struggled to find his niche. Lois strongly believed that Bill was destined for greatness, and despite noticing an increase in his drinking habits, she showered him with love and support. By 1927, Bill was a lucrative securities analyst on Wall Street and the couple was living a luxurious lifestyle.

Despite Lois' countless efforts to control his drinking, Bill's addiction to alcohol spiraled out of control until his job, their lifestyle and dreams were gone. In 1935, after years of unsuccessfully struggling to cover for Bill and manage his disease, Lois saw him take control of his alcoholism. However, his sobriety was not the result of Lois' help but through the support of a fellow recovering alcoholic, Dr. Bob Smith.

As Bill and Bob attained sobriety and started Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois began to question the value she had in her own marriage. After devoting 17 years to healing her sick husband, Lois felt isolated and resentful that he was sober without her help. Lois eventually discovered that she was not alone. She slowly engaged the wives of the men in Bill's program and came to realize that while Bill was addicted to alcohol, she was addicted to him - and that the family and friends of alcoholics are, in some ways, as sick as their loved ones. Lois gained the necessary understanding needed to repair her fractured relationship and to help millions of others do the same. She co-founded Al-Anon in 1951.

You don’t have to drink to suffer from alcoholism. Here's a clip
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