When is enough enough… How does child hood experiences affect you as an adult and can we really sit by and allow an alcoholic ruining your family?
Not soon enough and never! Relationships are difficult; whether it is the ongoing give and take of two people sharing their lives, understanding and communicating with our children or just getting along with co-workers and friends. Add to the mix a silent partner like drugs or alcohol, and the difficulty factor increases substantially.
So what or where or when is our breaking point? For everyone it’s different.
Often guilt, shame, pity, fears of being alone or just plain laziness keeps us in relationships that we know are toxic; whether it is with an alcoholic/addict or not. We find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day from just doing our jobs, getting the kids to school or whatever life is throwing at us. Often, we just don’t have the strength or energy to confront our partner or make waves if we witness their unstable or irresponsible behavior due to substance abuse. We have become numb to this kind of relationship and therefore have settled by bumping along the bottom holding on to an eyelash width of hope that maybe tomorrow will be different; either they will change or we might find the strength to change these circumstances ourselves.
This is such an important topic, how many people do you know that could use some help?
NEVER ARGUE WITH A DRUNK!
Never fight and argue with an alcoholic… Have you ever had that experience when someone is clearly wrong but they just won’t see it and to make matters worse they turn it around to make you the bad guy? Under no circumstances should we ever step into the ring with a drunk. This means that we are going to need to learn how to get control of our reactions to all the things they are doing to push our buttons. We have to become tough as nails.
There are hundreds of ways of avoiding an angry alcoholic. When you get involved in alcoholism support group meetings, you can learn from the wisdom of others. There are certain ways to handle different situations. For instance, you can go into another room, close the door and lock it. You can leave the house when their anger is getting out of control.
- I’m sorry you feel that way.
- You may be right.
- Let me think about that.
- I don’t care to discuss that with you right now.
Then, get away from them as quick as possible.
Rule Number Two
LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF!
You cannot look to an alcoholic for love. They just cannot fulfill your need to be loved. Alcoholics love one thing and one thing only… getting drunk. That’s the reality of the situation that you are dealing with. You are going to have to look at yourself and know that the mean things they are saying about you are not true.
It’s funny, you may know that deep down inside that your raging, angry alcoholic spouse loves you. Even though s/he treats you like crap, you still know that s/he loves you. Even though you know this, you must still see reality for what it is, you can hope for change and believe they love you, but you must not sugar coat the reality of what is happening.
To demonstrate just how hazardous parental addiction can be to children, consider the fact that many of the characteristics described by adult children of alcoholics are among those also reported by children who were physically or sexually abused by a parent.
No one should accept unacceptable behavior from anyone, especially from alcoholics/addicts. No one should be a door mat. You must learn how to set boundaries in life, especially important with an alcoholic.
I can’t stress this enough…Don’t wait for things to get worse. Make a commitment today to start learning how to protect yourself from the horrible effects of dysfunctional relationships.
Alcoholism – A Unique Disease
Disease? You may wonder… The disease of alcoholism gradually and insidiously strips everything away from a person. Countless times the question has been raised whether alcoholism is truly a disease or a choice. In truth it is both. Alcoholism is unique as a disease in that it not only hides from view – it also lies to its carrier about its presence. The person who is active in addiction has a unique choice relative to all other diseases. The alcoholic can go into remission at any time and many do. We see that alcoholics will abstain from drinking for a time to prove to themselves or others that they are not addicted, only to return later with a vengeance.
So what the heck to do?!
Alcoholics Anonymous – the only real recovery
Recovery from alcoholism involves far more than sobriety. Recovery from alcoholism involves changing every part of a person’s life. The person who only stops drinking is what we refer to as a “dry drunk” meaning that they are every bit as unhealthy they have simply stopped drinking – a small percentage of folks manage this long term, several years is not uncommon. In my opinion, real recovery is only made possible by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. There are countless positive things that can be added to the program of AA and their importance cannot be overstated. Folks in recovery need the support of family and friends. Sadly, I meet too many friends and family who are unwittingly enabling (protecting an alcoholic from the natural consequences of their behavior) the alcoholic and this always results in a person staying stuck in addiction.
Don’t wait for things to get worse. Make a commitment today to start learning how to protect yourself from the horrible effects of dysfunctional relationships. Are you ready to make changes, ready to stop walking on eggshells and trying to explain or comfort your children from the insane behavior of a drunk?