How Alcoholism Affects Your Family

Transcribed from video below:

Many addicts know that their alcoholic behavior has detrimentally affected their family but many of them or us – by the way, I have experience in this on both ends, on both being an alcoholic and being the person with low emotional intelligence and also being the victim or the person on the other end of the alcoholism.

So I just wanted to go into detail about this. Alcoholism affects your family when it becomes more important to you than your own self-respect and your respect of others. Respect is something that we all need. We all need to have for ourselves and we all need to have for others and it is often said that however you see yourself, others will see you the same way.

Well, it’s very true. Once you define how you see yourself and how you are, then others always treat you the same way. Even if not immediately, they always do. They always think of you the same way as you think of yourself.

So it’s important to understand that especially if you’re a leader in the house but even if you’re not, if you are an alcoholic or just living with an alcoholic, it affects everyone around you because since they love you and they care for you or they look – you know, especially if they look up to you. If you are engaging in such self-destructive behavior that you’re affecting the people around you, it becomes something that they think about all the time and they live with all the time..

Even if they’re kids, they will eventually find that the only way to really deal with this is to be an alcoholic themselves and if you have kids, that’s a scary thing to know.

So it’s something that you have to recognize in yourself. You have to admit to yourself. You have to recognize in others and you have to admit to others and it’s something that you have to start standing up to.

Even if you don’t know what to do and even if you don’t have the support group near you – which would be strange if you didn’t, but I realize that some of you may be out in the country. I understand.

But even if you don’t have a support group near you, just knowing that you understand the signs of alcoholism and how it affects everyone else, it will actually take away a lot of the burden on your shoulders because you no longer have to live with being the only person who knows about it and judges yourself and everything like that.

You can kind of release it out into the world and start dealing with the truth and start dealing with fixing your house rather than trying to hide your house when it’s sitting in the middle of the neighborhood and everyone can see it.

Alcoholism is something that is very hard to hide and if you have the behavior and other people are used to being around that behavior, it’s very hard to act like you don’t have it. So don’t kid yourself. Most people probably have figured it out and the people who haven’t, they knew something is wrong. They know there’s something wrong with you and they know that you’re struggling with something and that you can’t handle it.

That’s OK. You don’t have to get help from other people but you do need to get help, whatever kind it is, and just admitting it and also recognizing that your alcoholism is affecting the people around you and it’s not just affecting them a little bit. It’s not just affecting them through your behavior. I know that many alcoholics – and I know that I’m one of them – when they believe that they have fixed a problem, they believe that well, they fixed everything. In other words, as long as I’m not hitting you, as long as I’m not putting you down, as long as I’m not too depressed around you, well, you should be fine.

The truth is when they know that you have no center, they know it. When you have no center, they know you have no center. When you have no self-respect, they know you have no self-respect. When you have no self-esteem and no self-confidence and no – you’re not working on it and you’re not building it and you’re not making your life better and you don’t consider yourself worth making your life better, they know that you don’t consider yourself worth to making your life better and a lot of them don’t judge you. If you have family members, they’re not outsiders. They’re not people going out. He’s just some crazy drunk who doesn’t care about other people.

Your family members know that you care. Your family members are very aware of your weaknesses and are very aware of your strengths and your potential and so it hurts them all the more that when you could be living a good life, you’re choosing to live a bad one and you’re choosing to live one that only gets deeper and deeper in the mud.

So that’s important to understand that affecting your family members, it’s not a result. It’s a side effect of alcoholism. I want to end by saying guilt is not the answer to that. Guilt won’t get you anywhere. Guilt will – it is a very heavy burden and you are affecting other people because of your alcoholism or low emotional maturity, guilt will make it very keen in your mind but it will also stress you out to the point where you want to engage in the behavior some more.

So, my dad always said it’s a sin to be guilty and that includes feeling guilty. What you need to do is just admit that you made a mistake and then start taking the steps to forgive yourself because only then will you be able to recognize forgiveness in others. I mean there may be one or two of your family members that are not able to figure you out away and they may take years of you proving to them that you’re – I don’t know – sober before they will believe that.

But you won’t even be able to recognize the forgiveness that you are giving until you forgive yourself. Otherwise, people could be forgiving you up and down Main Street. You wouldn’t know it. You wouldn’t be able to see it and that would only stress you out more because you would continue to feel guilty.

So it’s important for you to understand that how you treat yourself and how you see yourself and how you forgive yourself, that not only affects the people around you but also affects how you receive love and forgiveness and treatment from the people around you because if you don’t give that to yourself, you won’t even recognize it when other people are giving it to you.

That’s a lot of love and forgiveness that you’re not even aware of and so that’s something that can make your treatment a lot easier and a lot more productive and a lot more successful. But if you’re not recognizing it, then it would go to waste. So please remember that and thank you.

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Al-anon is a great place to learn how people affected by alcoholism.