If you are not involved in support group meetings designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics, the concept of serenity may be foreign to you. Prior to attending Al-anon on a regular basis my life had little peace and serenity. Most of my time was spent obsessing over everything the addict in my life was doing or not doing.
The tips I will be revealing will lead you into having more peace if you feel as though your life is in constant turmoil due to interacting with an alcoholic.
Here are only a few of many suggestions that will work for you:
Refuse to argue-When we are constantly fighting with the addict in our life there is little room for calm. We must learn how to stop arguing with an alcoholic. The battle in this area for me was learning how to zip my lip. One of the things that helps me do this is a slogan I learned in a twelve step meeting that says: “mind your own business.”
Don’t answer the phone-One of the dominant characteristics of the addict I used to be involved with was she would call me repeatedly after I had told her that I didn’t care to discuss whatever we were talking about anymore. If I answered the phone there would just be a barrage of anger directed toward me. By not answering, I can avoid being even more upset than what I may already be.
Don’t listen to nasty messages-You know the routine, especially if they are under the influence, they leave horrible messages on the phone when they don’t get their way… I’m giving you permission to delete those messages without listening to them. This is all a part of having tough love with an alcoholic and protecting yourself from the negative influences that accompany interacting with an alcoholic.
Do not integrate them (this is a huge one): The more we learn about letting go of an alcoholic, the more potential we will have to live more serene lives. What the alcoholic does with their time is their business. When we ask them a bunch of questions, the chances are great that they are going to just lie to us anyway. Save your breath, nothing you have said in the past has made a difference in their drinking habits and poking around in their lives isn’t going to make them quit drinking. So, why get all worked up about how many they have had to drink or the certainty you have that they are not telling you the truth about something. Learn to let things go.
Stop snooping around-Have you been going through their mail, checking their email, scrolling through their phone history, listening in on their phone conversations, driving by their place of work or even going through their wallet or purse, if so, stop it! This type of behavior only leads into crazy making in your head.
For more helpful ideas like these check out our 37 lessons on coping with alcoholics.
The more ways that we can learn how to detach from an alcoholic, the greater the serenity will be in our lives. The key to living a healthier and happier life is found in letting go of the things we cannot change. Unfortunately, we have no power over what the alcoholic in our lives chooses to do.
Today you can choose to take care of yourself by valuing your serenity. Strive to find it and once you find peace guard it by focusing on yourself and not on the alcoholic. This is easier said than done. You can have a tremendous amount of peace in your life while living with an alcoholic, but you are going to have to learn how to get it and how to keep it. The quest for peace in the midst of alcoholism is a journey that takes time, but is well worth embarking on.