27 Jul Lois Wilson Co-founder of Al-Anon
Lois Wilson was born on the 4th of March 1891 and died on October 5th, 1988. She was the co-founder of Al-Anon, and the wife of Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson was her alcoholic qualifier for Al-Anon. They decided they wanted to be married before Bill went off to war. They were married in 1918 in New York City.
Everything seemed normal at first. Bill was making good money in the stock market, however shortly after it crashed, so did Bill. For nearly 17 years of Bill’s alcoholism, Lois loyally stood by. It wasn’t until 1934 that Bill had a spiritual awakening and started his sobriety.
In A.A’s infancy, Bill held meetings in their living room. Alcoholics were invited to eat cookies and share about their alcoholism. It was here, where Lois got inspired by the question, “What about the families?” While Bill met with the alcoholics in the living room, Lois invited their family members in the kitchen. The family members affected by alcoholism were welcome to share so they could begin healing, thus Al-Anon was formed.
Both A.A and Al-Anon have saved millions of lives. Lois and Bill Wilson are like the mother and father of the 12-step program. Lois claims she never forgot in Towns hospital in 1934, how the dear Dr. Silkworth told her he regarded Bill as hopeless and he would die of alcoholism or go insane. Later on she would visit him again and she could see the change, she felt overjoyed. After a while it began to wear off and she began to lose her temper over little things. One day Bill asked her to go to a meeting and she was so upset she threw a shoe at him. This really affected Lois, she asked herself, “Why am I loosing my temper of small trifles?” She saw that she felt resentful because she didn’t have any time with Bill. Lois found that as Bill got healthier and God reliant, she felt she wasn’t needed as much.
Lois discovered that she perhaps was sick too and needed to live by the 12 steps; it was just as important for Bill as it was for her, who was not an alcoholic by any means. Bill Wilson once said, “We alcoholic’s have greatly deformed those near to us,” and she has addressed these problems and since found a healthier design for living through the Al-Anon groups. “The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strengths and hope, in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness, and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.” Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship. It is for anyone whose life has been affected by someone else’s drinking. It has helped many of us find solutions that lead to serenity. So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learned to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives. I thank Lois Wilson for the program of AL-Anon because it has changed my life. Her support of Bill was such a major role in the formation of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, which I will also be forever grateful to.