The Dos and Don’ts of Living with an AlcoholicLiving with an alcoholic can be very challenging; it can alter everything about your life and there is also a lot of stress and frustration involved. At times, this stress comes from the alcoholic himself or herself; however, most times, its comes straight from you, the choices you make related to that person and your anger at yourself about not being effective in helping an alcoholic kick the habit.
It’s extremely important to have the right perspective when you’re living with an alcoholic; or else, the problem can be so overwhelming, that it can completely dominate your life, and change you for the worse.
Helping an alcoholic – Some tips
- When you are living with an alcoholic and want to help that person and maintain your own sanity, you will find that there is no specific guidebook; this is because every person and every situation is very unique. With this in view, it’s best to adopt a new perspective that will prevent you from getting depressed, frustrated and stressed.
- Even when you are helping an alcoholic kick the habit, it’s important to keep in view that you aren’t to blame. Most alcoholics are ashamed of their behaviour and are more than willing to place the blame for being angry and aggressive, or distant and depressed, on someone else (in this case you).
- It’s very common for alcoholics to swear that they will change; some of them also will, but for a very short while- it’s not long before they do a u-turn and go back to their drinking habit. You will keep wondering why they have betrayed you and lied to you. At this point of helping an alcoholic, don’t take this behaviour personally, and just support them to improve.
- A very important aspect of living with an alcoholic is that you shouldn’t try to cure them. You should keep in mind that alcoholism is actually a disease and it takes specialised medical help and rehab programs to remedy. In some cases, those don’t help either. You can only try to convince them to get help, but can’t really compel them to get cured
- While helping an alcoholic, keep in view the fact that it’s not possible for you to control them. Their alcoholism will stop only when they truly want it to.
- Even as you do all of this while living with an alcoholic, know that you don’t have to accept their bad behaviour. Just because you can’t control the amount of alcohol they consume, doesn’t give them the prerogative to behave as they Don’t make excuses for any type of abusive behaviour, and take a firm stand when you must.