In another excerpt from my book “How to Cope with The Alcoholic in Your Life”, I talk about the importance of placing yourself first and accepting the fact that you need to help yourself, first before you can help the alcoholic in your life.
We have talked about how you cannot help the Alcoholic in Your Life quit drinking until they want to quit drinking – the keyword being, “want”. Who knows when this time will come?
In the meantime, family members of alcoholics are struggling to deal with their own battles on top of worrying about the alcoholic in their lives, arguing with them and going through very traumatic experiences because of them.
Since we do not know, nor can we tell, when the Alcoholic in Your Life plans on getting help for their addiction, we need to focus on what we do know. We know that you can help yourself now.
In fact, it is easier to help yourself cope with the situation, first, rather than trying to make the alcoholic want to quit drinking or waiting for them to want to quit drinking. This way, you can learn to accept that this situation is out of your control. You can find your own happiness. You can make the situation more tolerable to deal with. You can find the normal you have been searching for.
In order to do this, you need to: Create normal in your life, Organize your priorities and make yourself #1, Never enable the Alcoholic in Your Life, create a Thought journal to sort through your problems, Reinforce the normal in your life, Only help when the Alcoholic in Your Life wants to quit and Look for support from those close to you. Or, you need to take CONTROL of your life and your happiness.
Over my struggles with my father, I have found out that it is better to help myself to deal with the struggles that I have gone through in lieu of my father’s drinking habits. I had spent a lot of time and energy trying to get my father to see that he had a problem, however, he continued on like what I said does not matter. This angered me for a little while because my father always resisted my attempts and I only wanted him to stop drinking so he would be able to live a long and healthy life.
But, after I realized that I do not have power over the situation, I decided to move on and help myself deal with the feelings of anger and distress over my father’s actions. If I am not able to help him, I will at least help myself deal with the ugly truth that my father will never be the same until the day he decided to opt for a healthier lifestyle.
So, my advice for people who have to go through a similar situation, is to try and not let the alcoholic in your life’s problem affect your own life as much. Each day, try to make your life better and do not let yourself get down if you can not get through to the alcoholic in your life.
My father used to come home from work every night, eat dinner with his family and retire to his favorite chair in front of the television. This was his relaxation time. A relaxation time to unwind from the daily grind with a glass of whiskey.
I never thought of this as any different than a daily nightcap or just one daily drink. In fact, looking on it now, he probably drank more than the one drink I initially thought.
All I can remember is the tall cocktail glass with ice in it. Just one glass. It never occurred to me that this glass could be refilled. It is not like there were beer cans lying around to make me think “dang, he drinks a lot” – the single glass could easily be refilled without my notice.
For one thing, I did not notice because he would drink when was getting ready to go to sleep – when I could not keep tabs on his drinking, even if I wanted to or paid attention enough to keep tabs on his drinking. For another thing, I did not notice that this was a bad thing. I thought my dad just had one drink a night, I never thought of looking for signs that he was an alcoholic because I thought one glass of whiskey a day was normal.
As an elementary school kid, I was too young to understand the concept of habits or alcohol abuse. It was not until later in my high school years that I realized something was off about him drinking so much. I was much older when I realized, I never saw it coming.
Hi, my name is A.L. Concord and my father is an alcoholic.
Yes, that’s right, my father is the alcoholic. I’m just a normal kind of guy who has had to deal with the emotional distress that comes with having an alcoholic in your life.
The funny thing is, my dad has not always been an alcoholic. From the time I was born, up until a few years ago, my dad used to be the type of person who would enjoy life. Let me tell you a little about how he used to be.
My dad would wake up early every morning to get a head start to his day, even on his days off. He was a very caring person who always put his family and friends first. It was like he could not wait to have a good time or do something with his family and he always made sure that everyone around him was having as good of a time as he was. He was a great person and everyone in his life felt proud that they knew him.
Unfortunately, all of those things that I spoke of have dissolved away slowly over the past few years. This is exactly what has encouraged me to be here today. To share my experiences with you.
I am not writing about my experiences because I think I have had it worse than others or writing because I think my life is awful and I want people to feel sorry for me. I am writing because of the exact opposite reason. I am simply here writing this blog because I know what it feels like to lose someone close to me over an addiction to alcohol.
I know that I am not alone here. I know that there are people out there dealing with similar situations as mine, or situations that are worse than mine. So, I have decided to reach out and help those who are dealing with the alcoholic in their life – to let them know that they are not alone and encourage them to speak up about it because those who deal with alcoholics are hurting too.
If you have dealt with or are currently dealing with an alcoholic, feel free to share your story or comment on my post, so others can feel like they are not alone either. We can take on this together.