We tend to spend our lives taking care of ourselves and many others who may be employees, family members or friends. Where do we draw the line when relating to the alcoholics in our lives? If we have a business we are conditioned to let the customer always be right, when we are married we care for our spouses. Even our pets seem to get a lot of our attention as we care for them. Where does this care-taking fit in having a relationship with an alcoholic?
Most therapy groups teach that we must learn to love ourselves and take responsibility for our own actions because we have no control over others actions.
The alcoholics in our lives have a tendency to be very needy at times. It seems like they have no problem trying to manipulate us into supporting them and providing for them. It’s not uncommon for them to ask for money or even to request that we bail them out of jail. The list becomes very long of the requests and demands that they seem to place on our lives.
We tend to get frustrated as we mother them and somehow become the martyrs as they continue to have no respect for us as we give and give into their lives in hopes they will change. The truth is that they will never change as long as we continue to enable them to take advantage of our good nature. When they continue to drink alcohol, we get really frustrated and feel as though they are taking advantage of us and not owning any responsibility for their own lives.
Should we begin to have tough love with an alcoholic and let them be responsible for themselves? Even if it means they will have no roof over their heads due to the poor choices they have made?
If you have never battled with having an addiction yourself, you may have a very hard time relating to the alcoholic’s behavior. They are very sick with a disease and need to get well.
The only way they can overcome this horrible addiction is by asking for help themselves. Most alcoholics don’t do this until they hit bottom. As long as we continue to take responsibility for them, the problem drinker may never hit the bottom that will cause them to look up and ask for help. It’s a good idea for you to learn how to prepare for when an alcoholic hits bottom.
Find a support group in your area. There are people all over the world who are sharing their stories as others are relating to the devastating things that are happening in their lives. This is the beginning of making changes in your life by taking responsibility for learning how to deal with the alcoholic in the family.