Have you ever heard that being happy is an inside job? What makes us unhappy in relationship with an alcoholic?
Have you ever wondered how you got involved with this person? Here’s a little clue, most people who drink too much at some point were a lot of fun to be with. This is oftentimes how a dysfunctional or co-dependent relationship gets started.
Somewhere along the way in the relationship things took a turn for the worst and we began obsessing over the alcoholics behaviors.
For me it was right after my girlfriend that I was living with stayed out all night when one of her sister’s friends came to visit. I later discovered that he was supplying the drugs. Over the next eight years she progressively got worse and worse. This was what forced me to start attending alcoholism support group meetings.
The program I started in was Al-anon. I remember listening to one of the open readings during a meeting that says; “you will find there’s no unhappiness to great to be lessened.”
How could this be? If only the alcoholic would stop drinking, then everyone in our lives would be better. That’s exactly how my thoughts were at that time about the relationship I was in.
I soon learned that my happiness was not dependent upon what anyone was doing or had done. Having the expectation that the alcoholic in my life was responsible to make me happy was totally off base.
You see, they are going to drink no matter what. Anything that I say or even try to do will not cause them to quit. If my happiness is dependent upon another persons decision to consume alcohol or not, I will never find any depth of true contentment.
It truly is an inside job that starts with me.
Make a list of things that you love doing. Preferably a very personalized list that has nothing to do with the person who is an alcoholic in your life. Then, start taking steps to enjoy your life by actually doing some of the things on the list.
Here’s a look at my favorite things to do:
Watch a movie
Write songs with my guitar
Playing board games with friends
Working with youth
Spending time with God
Buying a new CD and listening to it
Attend support group meetings
All of the above things can be done without the problem drinker being present in my life. They will also help me to get my mind off of what is happening with the alcoholic. As we start and continue attending alcoholism support meetings, we begin to do things differently. In Al-anon, one of the daily reading books is called, Courage to Change.
It is in those three little words that the keys to finding true inner contentment will be discovered. We are responsible for our own happiness. As we begin to change the way we have been doing the things that are causing us to be sad, new life brings experiences of joy that are literally inexpressible in words. Perhaps one could say; “I feel like I’ve been born again.”
Think about this for just a moment, is what you’ve been doing working as it relates to having a relationship with an alcoholic? Could the answer to many of your challenges be found in a worldwide organization that has literally helped millions of people deal with alcoholism in a different way? Find a support group meeting today and make a commitment to try no less than six meetings. You may just find a level of peace and happiness in your life that you have never known before.
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