Dealing with alcoholism in my family


Having to deal with an alcoholic close relative i'm wondering what are the lessons God wants me to learn.

—Uma, USA


Dear Uma,

You ask what lessons are to be learned from dealing with an alcohoic relative.

Since I don’t know you, this is a difficult question to answer. I would assume it would have something to do with inner strength and maintaining one’s own center in a challenging or chaotic situation. But one could imagine it might also have to do with compassion.

The most important thing is what can you to help yourself at this time. I would highly recommend learning to meditate. You can go to and learn Yogananda’s Hong-Sau technique. If you can find an Ananda meditation group or teaching center near you, this would be even better, since i’m sure you could use the support of strong and positive people right now. You can look on for a group in your area.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a very good program not only for helping people get off alcohol (when they want to do so), but also for supporting the family of alcoholics. There is a part of Alcoholics Anonymous called Al-Anon, which is for the family of alcohoics. It would probably be very helpful to talk with other people who are facing the same sorts of challenges.

We are not in any way affiliated with this group, but I have heard Swami Kriyananda speak highly of it, and we have seen many visitors to our retreat center who have been very helped by it.

I hope you will take some strong steps (such as the above) to keep yourself from being dragged down by this situation.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Anandi