Advice For Living With an Alcoholic click to listen
You might be wondering what qualifies me to give anyone advice on the subject of living with an addict/alcoholic. For starters, my mother was a binge drinker who went in and out of treatment faculties as I was growing up. She finally stayed sober for over twenty-five years through the help of the AA program. I had a battle with the disease myself and have been sober now for well over a decade. I was married to an abusive spouse (wife) who had a drinking and prescription drug problem. I have also attended thousands of alcoholism support group meetings.
For the past thirteen years, I have helped thousands of people by sharing key advice on how to interact with friends, family and co-workers who drink too much. I can help you with this situation you are living in because I know exactly what you are going through.
Now I can’t possibly give it all to you in a few paragraphs, but these three things will help you today- guaranteed:
Understand that you have an obsession with this person. Somehow in the course of dealing with an alcoholic, we begin to focus on their behaviors more than we normally would with other individuals. It’s been said that the problem drinker is addicted to the booze and we are addicted to them. All they can think about is where they will get the next drink from and all we can think about is what they are doing, have been doing or will be doing.
It takes work to break these habits of always thinking about them- especially when we are living with an alcoholic. Even though the intensity of everything that is happening is right in our face, we can start making a few changes to make us feel better.
- What will the benefits be of changing these negative thinking patterns anyway?
- You will have less stress, more peace and more self-control, guaranteed!
Try these three ideas just for today:
- When you get around this person, don’t even look at them. This will help decrease your obsession of trying to figure out if they have been drinking or not. This will also aid you in not confronting them. That could result in not having an argument. Every action produces a negative or positive reaction within us.
- Discipline yourself to NOT check up on them. Don’t look at their history on the computer. Avoid going through any of their things. Try not to drive out of your way to see if they really are where they told you they would be when they left the house. Just realize that you have no control over what they are doing right now. This is all a part of detaching from an alcoholic.
- Be aware of your thoughts throughout the day. Try today to be aware of how much you are thinking about them. Now work on changing your thinking process. You may be wondering how to do this. It may take reading a book or going to the movies. Perhaps you could exercise if that’s your thing. Even talking on the phone with a friend can help you greatly to break the negative thinking cycle.
You will begin to experience more peace in your life by practicing the above advice. When the turmoil that is happening in your mind lessens, so do the feelings of anxiety, fear and depression.
As we get into the habit of NOT focusing on them all of the time, living with an alcoholic will be much less stressful. This is going to take work on your part.
Right now your life is enmeshed with them. It’s time to start enjoying “your” life again rather than to be always worrying about something or someone you have no control over.
Getting the focus off of them and onto you is how to deal with an alcoholic. I cannot tell you how to make them quit drinking. I can teach you how to feel better about yourself in the middle of a difficult situation.
Start doing things with friends. This could be things like going out to dinner, having a game night or just spending time with your friends on the phone. If you are married, I always caution that you have respect for your alcoholic husband or wife by not interacting too much with friends of the opposite sex.
You can learn how to STOP reacting to everything they are doing and START enjoying your own life. The idea here is for you to focus on yourself for a while rather than to be consumed with everything they are doing all of the time.
There are hundreds of ways to make your situation better, even if they continue to drink or not. The key to all of this is that you need to begin to do things differently.
I know that sounds rather crazy, but if you think about it-everything that we have done until now has not caused the alcoholic we are living with to quit drinking. So if they refuse to change, then we must. If we don’t, we just might get even more out of control than what we already are.
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