Given how prevalent alcoholism or "drinking problems" are in the Korean American community, I thought I'd get the word out about Al-Anon. It's basically like AA, except it's for people affected by friends or family members that are alcoholic. You know how they say that alcoholism is a family disease? Well, I didn't really get that until I started going to Al-Anon.
My dad was and is an alcoholic. He can down two bottles of soju with dinner and see no problems driving home. I grew up with him drinking but didn't realize how much it affected me until I started going to Al-Anon. I'm sure my "problems" are not ALL from his alcoholism but I find that many of my behaviors are classic symptoms of having an alcoholic in the family.
It's like group therapy. There are meetings all over the place and probably one not more than 1 mile away from where you live. It's free, anonymous, and tremendously full of hope.
One thing I learned is that one should not cover for the consequences of the alcoholic's drinking. For example, you should never cover a bad check, or call the workplace to excuse the alcoholic's absence. That teaches the alcoholic that they don't have to face the consequences of their drinking and that it is their "enabler" (that's where that word comes in) who faces those consequences for them. But then they feel guilty and bad about this (which the enabler makes sure of by nagging them and provoking them) and that drives them to drink more. Now, I never read anything that so clearly laid out the dynamics that happen in my family. In fact, enabling was like the accepted norm. My family members made me feel guilty when I refused to be an enabler. The enabler will think that they are doing this out of love, but in Al-Anon, I learned that real love allows the adult to become an adult and doesn't treat them like a child.
This has been so freeing for me. I don't have to feel guilty anymore and also can start untangling my love and concern for my family members from my own need to be the superhero and savior of the day.
If you, like me, had a dad (or mom) that drank too much, I strongly recommend Al-Anon. It just might restore you to sanity. It's only goal is to help those that have been affected by alcoholism.
There is also something called Alateen geared for kids/teens.
If you feel like your life is unmanageable, look up an Al-Anon meeting near your and get your ass over there. I promise it'll be worth your time.