I became so enmeshed with the the person I loved. I let their dominant personality effect me too much. The alcoholic in my life at one point could just look at me wrong and I would be devastated.
“What happened to that sweet person I fell in love with?”
Coping with this enmeshment problem takes a while. Perhaps because you are reading this you have an awareness of some of what is going on in your life as it relates to interacting with an alcoholic.
I don’t understand how it happens, but they can be so nice to us in one moment and the next raving mad for no reason at all. It’s one of the personality traits of a problem drinker. The technical term is dysfunctional behavior.
Should we say that we are codependent? To me this would mean that my emotions of feeling good or bad are directly “dependent” on how another person treats me. The answer to this problem is found in discovering yourself again. Who are you without this persons opinions about you? I found that as I developed healthy relationships in my church and through support groups like Al-anon, I started to like me for who I am. My emotional stat was no longer dependent upon how the problem drinker treated me. This took a while, but it is possible to achieve this place where the actions of the dominant alcoholic no longer effect how you think about yourself.
How do we break away from being effected by an alcoholic’s dominant personality? This is certainly going to be a process that will take dedication to wanting to get well. Yes, you are sick just like me. We are because we let the actions of others dictate our happiness or sadness during the day.
Protect Yourself from the Dominance of an Alcoholic
Here are a few suggestions that can help you protect yourself from the alcoholic whose opinions about you are constantly effecting your moods. The answer lies in understanding that they cannot meet our needs because they are emotionally bankrupt themselves.
Try to find a support group specifically designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics. Do this today. The sooner you start interacting with others who are dealing with alcoholism too, the better off you will be. Living with an alcoholic is almost impossible without help from others who understand the disease.
When anyone says something negative about you, ask yourself this question; “Is that true?” The chances are that most of the devastating things that the alcoholic is saying to you are not really true. They have a way of belittle us with lies that for some reason we think are the truth about us. So many of our negative emotional responses to their lies about us stem from wanting to be accepted by them. Our codependency causes us to become devastated even when what they are saying is totally not true about us.
They cannot make us happy. This is an inside job that we must take care of. We look to them to make us happy and that’s an impossible task for them. The sooner you accept this truth, the better off you will be. Thsi is an excellent read: Being Happy With An Alcoholic.
Start keeping a journal so that you will begin to recognize the times when the alcoholic’s dominant personality traits are starting to effect you.
Begin setting boundaries. There are ways of protecting yourself from the mood swings of an alcoholic.
Learning how to break the enmeshment associated with being in a codependent alcoholic relationship takes work. It is a process that takes time to get through. As you start setting boundaries and attending meetings with others like you, you will begin to learn how to deal with an alcoholic who tends to have a dominant personality. Your feeling of being rejected will be less as you understand yourself and the problem drinker more.