Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dear Abby:

The following is a reprint of a letter to Dear Abby lovingly borrowed from The Journal News, June 2007. Also, her response:

Dear Abby:

Can you go to Al-Anon if you had a husband who was an alcoholic, but is dead? He committed suicide.

I have been a mess for the last two years. I can't sleep, can't concentrate and don't enjoy anything. I would really like to be able to talk with people who understand what living with an alcoholic is like and won't blame me for what he did, as most of his family does. But I hesitate to go to Al-Anon.

What can I do to get over the self-inflicted death of a man I'll never stop loving?

Hurting in Houston

Dear Hurting:

Please accept my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of your husband. There are several things you can do to heal yourself. The first is to recognize that the symptoms you describe are signs of chronic depression for which you will need professional help--so pick up the phone and ask your doctor for a referral to a therapist.

While I am sure you would be welcome at Al-Anon, another group that would also welcome you with open arms is the American Association of Suicidology, which provides--among other things--materials and referrals to local self-help groups for survivors of suicide. The Web site is

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