Guest Author J.C.,
Founder of “Alcoholics Friend” website, submits this article:
Four Solutions To One Huge Problem – Alcoholism in the Family
If you are looking for a way to get an alcoholic in the family to stop drinking, I don’t have any solutions. What I can do is to point you towards four avenues, which will all lead you to an abundance of peace and serenity.
I cannot force change upon anyone. I can only change myself.
Why should you listen to me?
I grew up with alcoholic parents. Several of my relatives also have a drinking problem. I battled the forces of addiction in myself and have now been sober for over fourteen years. I was married to an alcoholic who also was addicted to controlled substances. I’ve attended thousands of support group meetings within the Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon programs.
I know what it is like to be addicted to alcohol and what it is like to be addicted to the substance abuser. I know how to stay sober. I also have learned how to live with and love an alcoholic without conditions. Apply the wisdom that follows and you will be off to making some positive changes in your life.
Four paths to serenity:
1. Letting go of the alcoholic
2. Detachment from the addict
3. Setting boundaries with the substance abuser
4. Stop being an enabler
1. Letting Go:
-Have the things you have been doing to try to control the addict’s behavior had any lasting positive effect on the situation?
-Has anything that you have done made the alcoholic quit drinking?
-Do you find yourself obsessing over their behaviors, 24/7?
-Do you want to have more peace and serenity in your life?
My idea of change is really simple to understand and it is this: let go or be dragged. Changing your behavioral patterns is the most difficult challenge to meet.
Here are a couple of my ideas on how to let go of the substance abuser:
A. Stop invading their private life. Don’t check their email, phone records or mail nor try to listen in on what they are doing behind closed doors.
B. Refrain from checking up on their whereabouts. When the substance abuser is supposed to be at work, don’t call work to see if they are really there. If they haven’t come home when they were supposed to and aren’t answering their phone, discipline yourself to not go searching for them. Avoid going out of your way to see if they are at the bar, a friend’s house, work or any place they are or are not supposed to be.
I didn’t realize how enmeshed with the alcoholic I had become until I started participating in the Al-anon program. I was on a wild roller coaster ride of emotions that were solely influenced by the alcoholic’s mood swings.
There are two parts to severing emotional ties to the addict. One is physical detachment. The other is getting them out of our minds.
Here are a couple of effective methods for detaching from the alcoholic:
A. Self Care: List all of the things that you like to do. Pick one and do it. Take time to focus on the things that make you feel good. Attend to your own needs on a daily basis.
B. Free your mind: Don’t allow the addict to rent space in your head. You can “journal” to get things off of your mind. I like to talk to friends from my support group when I am obsessing over the alcoholic. A great way to keep your mind clear is to remember the number one rule: “Never Argue With A Drunk.”
There are two more paths to serenity left to discover. You can go to our website and read about “Setting Boundaries With Alcoholics” and check out our YouTube video called “How To Stop Enabling An Alcoholic.”
by Guest Author J.C.,
Founder of “Alcoholics Friend,” a website that gives guidance to the alcoholic’s family and friends.
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