Dear Annie 12/19 | The speaker’s review

Dear Annie: I always read the stories your readers send you, and I’ve always wanted to write to you. Now is the time.

It breaks my heart to see my older brother living on the streets because of his drinking problem. He is 36, has been married for 14 years and has four children. He lost his family because he is an alcoholic. He doesn’t want to work, and if he has to work, he always quits the job after a few weeks.

We all have helped him in many ways, but he refuses to help himself. He gets no help and says he can quit drinking on his own, but he never does. It breaks my heart to see my mother suffer when I see my brother lose his life. I wish I could help him more but he never appreciates what we do for him. Are we doing a bad thing if we don’t bring him to our house while he’s not working and always drunk? I just need some advice please. – Feeling helpless, sister

Dear sister: No, you’re not doing anything bad at all. In fact you are loving. The worst thing you could do is activate his illness. But keep loving him. Tell him that once he is clean and sober, he will be welcomed into your home with open arms.

You’re not alone. There is a group that was formed to help family and friends deal with the fact that someone they love is either an addict or an alcoholic. It’s called Al-Anon. You can see that the following letter is from a fan. It has helped countless people better understand the disease. I hope the meetings bring comfort and answers to you and your mother.

Dear Annie: How come you never recommend Al-Anon to the friends and families of people with drinking problems? – It works for me

Love works for me: I recommend Al-Anon all the time – and have for years. Congratulations on your success.

Dear Annie: Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your Thanksgiving Poem column. They were very uplifting and helped me remember the real reason for Thanksgiving. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your column. Thank you very much! – In gratitude

Dear Gratitude: Thank you for your kind words.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology – featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation – is available in paperback and e-book. Visit for more information.

Send your questions to Annie Lane at Dear Annie 12/19 | The speaker’s review

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