Is there any way to help an alcoholic quit drinking? Somehow, I used to think if I paid their bills, covered phone calls for them when they didn’t show up for work and kept tabs on them that this would help the alcoholic in my life. It wasn’t until I began attending alcoholism support group meetings that I realized nothing I had been doing was making them quit drinking.
In fact, all of the helpful things like doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids, just gave her more time to go and party. I supposed I was pathetically in love with trying to win her over by doing all of these nice things.
The result of all of my efforts is that she didn’t express love back to me. The reality of the situation is that she was in love with the party life, drugs and alcohol much more than she was with me.
This is true of most people who have a drinking problem. The bottle always takes priority over everyone and anything.
Does that sound like your story? Well, you are not alone. I’ve attended literally thousands of meetings with people dealing with an alcoholic husband, wife or child who share in your frustrations and pain.
I do understand how much you need help living with an alcoholic.
Is it possible to help an alcoholic?
Here’s the thing, it works totally opposite of how we have been taught to help someone. A person who is battling with any kind of addiction will not really hit bottom until the pain gets bad enough for them to want to get help.
When an alcoholic is constantly being helped with finances and living arrangements, then they are living a comfortable life in the middle of their addictions.
They are masters at playing on our sympathy and manipulating our emotions.
Did you get what I said a little while ago?
As long as we continue to make life comfortable for them, the less chances there will be that they will get help for themselves. When they have to deal with the consequences of their actions rather than having us rescue them, then there is hope for change.
You can learn how to set boundaries with an alcoholic by signing up for our Free email mini-course in the sidebar area. This is the first step to learning how to help them by not enabling them all the time.
My ex-sister in-law use to get up in the morning and start drinking. She would sleep and drink all day long. Her mother would pay for all of her bills because her daughter had three children living in the home. The groceries were paid for, the rent, gas for the car and they were even given spending money.
Now why would the grandma do all of that?
I suppose it was because she thought she was helping the situation. The reality of it all is that the daughter almost died on two occasions. Both of her close calls with death were directly related to her inebriated state.
Had the daughter been left to deal with life on her own, perhaps she would have chosen to get sober. Instead, what was the point in her changing at all? Life was good because everything was handed to her on a sliver platter.
The worst thing she had to deal with was the controlling nature of her mother.
If you want to help an alcoholic, then stop helping them and let them decide to get the real help that they need to get sober. Then, after they have proven themselves worthy of being helped, through staying sober for a long period of time, help them periodically.