I hear people all the time say that they don’t want to deal with the insanity that is associated with the disease of alcoholism anymore. There are constantly things that rock our world when there is an active alcoholic/addict in our lives. Many people come to our blog looking for advice about how to deal with an alcoholic husband, wife, child or family member. Sometimes an individual will leave a comment on our website or even send me an email explaining that they are DONE with all of the drama associated with having a relationship with an alcoholic. They have reached the point of no-return, even before they try our suggestions. It’s sad when that happens because our materials have helped thousands of people cope with their dysfunctional relationships.
I do, however, understand what it is that they are going though. The anger, pain and frustrations associated with being with an alcoholic eventually wear individuals down. Prior to joining the Al-anon program, I too was lonely and frustrated. I had reached the point of wanting to leave my alcoholic spouse. The distance slowly grew between us with every alcohol related event that was damaging to our marriage.
You know, like the time when she disappeared for two days. Oh…and there was the time when she said she would be home in an hour and a day later she came straggling in high on coke and exhausted from not sleeping. There was the time too when she said she was going to her moms (who lived two blocks away) and would be right back. I discovered later that the reason she was gone for over twenty four hours was because they took a trip across the state to see a doctor who would write them three months worth of prescription pills in one visit. Through the years these types of events create damaging wedges between a husband and wife. We had grown so far apart by the time I entered into the Alcoholism support group meetings.
When the pain of living with an alcoholic becomes greater than the fear of living without them, drastic change usually begins to take place. One of the things that is suggested initially when someone enters the Al-non program is that they wait at least six months before making any major decisions. This is recommend because it allows the person to have time to learn how to deal with an alcoholic. It also gives them time to calm down because usually by the time they start attending support group meetings they are really angry, hurt and confused. It’s best to let your head get clear before making major decisions in anger.
The insanity of being with an alcoholic is manifested in many different ways. Let’s take a look at some of the things we are constantly faced with.
It is totally normal for an alcoholic to cause those around them to live in fear. They want us to be worried that they may kill themselves, have an affair, get fired from their job or not come home. Perhaps, we fear if we do not do what they want us to they will scream at us as in times past. Some alcoholics are abusive in many different ways.
There are hundreds of tools to be used to counteract the fear associated with being in a relationship with an alcoholic. A good one is learning how to live in the moment. This helps us not project drastic, “negative” outcomes in the future. If we can stay present in today, our emotions will remain more at peace.
Much of the fear factor can be eliminated when we learn how to communicate with an alcoholic. There are ways of maneuvering through conversations that can help you not feel so intimidated by the addict in your life. There is an expression that says; “we walk on eggshells when we are around the alcoholic.” Learning the proper communication techniques greatly helps reduce anxiety attacks associated with being around them.
You can also circumvent insane behaviors by learning how to get out of harm’s way. I have written several articles that deal with detachment form alcoholics. The bottom line is that you do not have to accept unacceptable behavior from anyone. You have options. These options are taught in our audio lesson course on coping with alcoholics.
Unreliability Of The Alcoholic
This is probably the most insane behavior that addicts play out. They will tell you straight to your face that they will do something for you and then when it comes time to do it, they are nowhere to be found. Alcoholics also have a tendency to tell us the things they think we want to hear. They usually have no intention of following through with what they have said. It is a momentary band-aid they use to make us feel good about what the alcoholic is doing. If this isn’t “insane behavior” then, I don’t understand the meaning of the term.
You can overcome the insanity associated with an unreliable alcoholic by having a plan “B”. This is simply something that you can do when the alcoholic fails to follow through with their commitment. I used to always keep a book with me in case the addict never showed up for what we had planned. I also carried a phone list with me of people in the Al-anon program in case I had tickets to do something and the addict ditched me, I could call a friend. At one point, I made a list of all the things that I really enjoyed doing by myself. When the alcoholic ditched me and was nowhere to be found, I would resort to my list of things to do, pick one and go have some fun on my own.
Here are a few others without explanations of how to deal with them:
-Thinking about them all of the time.
-Getting into disagreements.
-The compulsion to confront the alcoholic.
-The constant barrage of lies.
-Loneliness associated with alcoholic relationships.
-The overwhelming need to snoop through their things (email, phone messages, or paper paper mail).
There are thousands of ways to handle the insanity of being involved in an alcoholic relationship. Our audio lesson series gives specific advice on how you can deal with the challenges of being involved with an alcoholic. The wisdom we share will greatly change your life.