The Power of Acceptance: Embracing Change for a Brighter Future
Serenity Vista's intern, Maya, reviews classic alcoholism films. This is the story of the beginning of the 12 step fellowship, Alanon. Maya is learning about alcohol and drug addiction treatment of drug rehab at Serenity Vista. As part of her educational experience in addiction and recovery, she is reviewing the required films from Serenity Visita's Film Library.
This Hallmark Hall of Fame classic movie , starring Winona Ryder, was released in 2010. It is based on the true story of Lois Wilson, co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, and her alcoholic husband Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.In this movie, we are taken in the shoes of Lois Wilson through the deepness of her sadness, loneliness, anger, despair.
It depicts all the various emotions she felt as being the wife of an alcoholic. Understanding of the dynamics of alcoholism reveals more as their story unfolds. We see the struggle Lois experienced. We see how painful it is for a loved one to see the alcoholic’s condition deteriorate.
At the beginning of Bill’s drinking, Lois is in denial of the issue. She finds excuses for his behavior. As Bill’s drinking becomes more and more unmanageable, her anger builds up. She compels Bill to promise he’ll stop drinking.
Seeing those promises vanish, Lois’s disappointment fuels Bill’s self-blame and desire to quit. Unfortunately, he discovers that even with will power, he is powerless over his own condition. He realizes he is powerless over alcohol.
Both feel trapped in a cycle with no solution except self-destruction. She doesn't know what or who to blame for their chaotic situation.
From a seeminly hopeless situation comes hope from an old friend of Bill's. The friend gets sober thanks to a religious fellowship experience. At first resistant, Bill finds himself having a spiritual experience which leads him to admit his powerlessness.
Bill comes to believe in his own understanding of a power greater than himself.
As Bill gets sober, he realizes his need to help others for his own survival. Lois sees that their life will never go back to what it once was. Staying sober is a lifetime commitment.
Lois feels left aside, not as important as the other fellow alcoholics in early sobriety. She doesn't understand why her love is not enough to keep Bill sober.
We realize that no amount of love from the family will be enough to help an alcoholic. We understand that as much as the family support is essential, it is the individual person that needs to come to terms with themselves and their disease.
And in the process, find the love and healing inside as a consequence of establishing a connection to a higher power.
Lois is baffled at seeing the increasing sobriety and joy in the lives of her husband and fellow alcoholics. She sees the contrast to her own turmoil.
Lois has the insight to start her own group, for her own healing, and that of the other spouses. This is the beginning of what today is the worldwide fellowship known as Alanon.
This film introduces this beginning of Al-anon and what its purpose is. We learn that it is to shift focus. A shift from the alcoholic loved one to one’s own personal needs after years of self-neglect.
It’s a marvelous story of how people in Alanon today learn how to regain balance from codependency and find peace and joy in their own life.
This movie was both enjoyable and deeply touching. It was full of inspiration and hope. It provides a personal glimpse into the characters of this very influential couple in the field of addiction and alcoholism. It is a very inspiring story, which gives hope to the alcoholic as well as to spouses, other family and friends.
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