I stopped trying to control the actions of the alcoholic when I realized they were uncontrollable. Has anything you have tried to do to get them to quit drinking worked? Is it common for them to get angry when you mention their drinking problem? How long have you been chasing after them trying to convince them that they have a problem?
The times you have tried to control them, has anything truly been productive?
I’m guessing that if you were honest in answering those questions that you will admit that nothing has worked that you have tried. There’s a reason for this, it’s because the alcoholic is literally uncontrollable. For that matter, no one is really under our thumb except young children and even then we often fail at getting them to do what we want them to do.
Letting go of an alcoholic is really hard to do, but now that you somewhat understand that the things you have been doing are not working, perhaps you will consider my suggestions.
My first suggestion is that you begin to attend alcoholism support group meetings. This is where you will meet the people who can teach you how to stop trying to control the actions of another human being. In addition, you will make many new friends and learn some great life-long skills that will help you to be a success with most of your relationships with friends, co-workers and family.
Learning to detach from an alcoholic is going to also require rediscovering who you are. We have such a tendency to get enmeshed with the person suffering from this disease that we loose ourselves. A good place to start this rediscovery process is through making a list of all the things that we really enjoy and doing them. Once the list is made, start experiencing who you are again by doing some of the things you put on the list.
In this process of changing our behavior to stop trying to control an alcoholic, we can also quit obsessing over every little thing they are doing. Here again we have a tendency to have them on our minds constantly. We worry and fret about whether they will be coming home tonight or if they will work today. The way to stop obsessing over an alcoholic is a difficult one.
It takes time to undo all of the negative habits we have become so accustomed to. I would suggest that you start by not trying to figure out how much they have had to drink or whether they have been drinking or are drunk. Do this by turning to the things you enjoy doing, like reading a book, listening to the radio or watching a movie when you start obsessing over them.
It’s going to take discipline every time you want to check the beer stash or look at them to try and see if they are drunk. You are going to have to white knuckle it and stop trying to figure out everything about their alcoholic problem. Turn your focus on your life and away from theirs.
Why should you stop focusing on the person who is drinking all of the time? Well, the obvious answer is so that you can focus on the things in life that you enjoy again. This will bring a level of peace and serenity into your life that you have not experienced for some time. Most twelve step alcoholism recovery programs promise that you will have more peace as you continue to work the programs.
Remember the alcoholic is uncontrollable. You will not be able to control his or her drinking, EVER!
Go easy on yourself. Having an alcoholic obsession is not an uncommon thing among people who are dealing with an alcoholic. You will discover that you are not alone in your struggles once you start attending support group meetings.
The very first step you will have to get a grip on when you begin to go to therapy groups is that you are powerless over the alcoholic’s drinking and irrational behaviors. You cannot control their drinking habits or anything they choose to do. They are totally uncontrollable.
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