After years of frustration, I finally began learning how to live with the person who was struggling with active alcoholism in our home. It wasn’t until I sought out to get help that I learned how to better control my emotions in the midst of this delicate situation. Living with someone who drinks alcohol all of the time is very difficult. If you do not have the proper emotional tools in your pocket, living with someone who drinks all the time can be stressful.
I’ll never forget when I walked into the room of my first support group meeting for family members and friends of alcoholics. An older man greeted me and introduced himself. As I poured out a little bit of my story, he handed me his telephone number and said that I could call him any time and discuss the things that were bothering me. He then added even late at night it would be OK if I was really having a tough time dealing with the active alcoholism that was happening in my family.
Now that was eight years ago and many people since have testified that they felt the same way that I did when I first attended the support group. I had reached the point of either getting a divorce (which I didn’t believe in) or out right hurting them as an outward expression of my inner frustrations. I could not do that either. The program began to work for me because I was desperately hungry for someone to help me deal with the dysfunctional mess.
So, what happened is that through attending meetings regularly, I began learning how to live with an alcoholic and still love them. Even in the middle of a huge dysfunctional mess, I was able to eventually learn how to control my emotions. The pain I was feeling when I first attended the group meeting lessened over time.
The first huge revelation that I got was in relation to my constant obsession of the alcoholic’s behavior. After a few Al-anon meetings it became very apparent that I had an issue with constantly thinking about what the alcoholic in my life was doing. Once I had the awareness of this problem, I began to learn how to stop obsessing over all the things that she was doing. As I put many of the things into practice my frustration level lessened and there was a lot more peace and serenity in my life.
The only way of really learning how to live with an alcoholic who drinks every day is to attend support group meetings. As you listen to others methods of dealing with the problem drinker in their lives you begin to learn how to do things differently. These tips and techniques have been passed down the line through decades of Al-anon meetings. The ideas are discovered from people who have been in the program for many years and through reading the literature on a daily basis.
Is it possible to learn how to live with active alcoholism in the family? I say yes! Learning how to do this is just a matter of setting a goal to learn how to do things differently. Once you stick to your plan of recovery, one day at a time, you will begin to see changes occur. It’s a slow gradual process that unfolds like a beautiful rose. I have literally witnessed hundreds of people who came into the Al-anon program devastated and after several months had learned how to live with a smile on their faces again. Learning how to live with active alcoholism is just a matter of making changes. You cannot do this on your own though. It’s going to take the help of people who know how to overcome the frustrations that accompany living with an alcoholic.