I’ll never forget when I was gripped with fear because the alcoholic continued to threaten to divorce me. I was on vacation in Kentucky by myself and was having a conversation with the addict over the phone. For whatever reason, she started telling me that she was going to divorce me. I had been attending Al-anon for a couple of years at this point and called a wise friend in the program as soon as I hung up from talking with the addict. I was sobbing as I explained the threats the alcoholic had been making for a couple of weeks. My friend pulled me out of the fear of losing the marriage by laughing and saying; “oh, don’t worry about that honey, they say those sorts of things all of the time. Worry about it if it happens. Right now you are in KY. So, enjoy your time away from the chaos. It won’t be the end of the world if she does file for divorce. No matter what happens you’ll be fine, I promise you.”
Here are three ways to overcome the fear of losing an alcoholic:
1. Live life one day at a time
2. Establish a relationship with God. Faith overcomes fear every time.
3. Learn how to love yourself
One Day At A Time: If you are afraid of losing the alcoholic, try to live your life one day at a time and enjoy the moment. We have an article that reveals the two weapons alcoholics use, anger and anxiety. They say all sorts of things to keep us under their feet. One of the characteristics they have is that the alcoholic places blame on those around them. When we can separate ourselves from taking the heat and see that the truth of the situation is that we are doing all we can to keep the relationship together, then their constant belittling has less of an effect on us.
Establish A Relationship With God: Some of the fear we experience is due to thinking we cannot survive without the other person. We feel as though we aren’t a whole person. Much of the problem also has to do with the burden of finances. We are afraid if we lose the alcoholic that we won’t be able to survive financially. This is sad, but true, many men and women stay in dysfunctional relationships because of financial fears. I think in order to overcome these fears one needs to establish a real relationship with God. Once God becomes real to someone, there’s nothing that they cannot get through on their own. As long as faith is placed in the alcoholic’s ability to provide the financial security, then there’s always going to be a tremendous amount of control the alcoholic has over a person’s emotions.
The only thing that drives out fear is perfect love. The only source of perfect love is God. Wanting the alcoholic to show me love is just not something that they are really good at. They spend most of their energy on romancing the bottle.
Learn To Love Yourself: We have to learn how to love ourselves. Alcoholics make us feel worthless. We must learn how to not let their opinions bring us down. This article, “Facing Alcoholics With Courage” is filled with tips that can help you feel better about yourself. It’s hard to have a good attitude about who you are if you are constantly putting yourself down. Work on changing how you think about yourself. Instead of saying you are ugly, confess that you are beautiful. Rather than thinking you are a failure, make a list of the things you are good at. When we start replacing the negatives with positives, out attitudes will change for the better. One good way to start liking who you are is by getting around people who are non-judgmental; I discovered friends like that in the Al-anon program. Their encouragement and support really has made a tremendous difference in my outlook of who I am. Support group friends will replace the lies that alcoholics say about us with uplifting truths about our personalities.
Dress nice today. Hold your shoulders back and your chin up. Decide to smile often today. You are a beautiful person. There’s no one on earth exactly like you. You have special qualities that make up who you are.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. If you want to overcome being afraid of losing an alcoholic get involved in Al-anon today. The program is filled with people just like you who are dealing with the disease of alcoholism. Many of them have lost all fear of losing the alcoholic. You can learn how to love yourself. You can establish a relationship with a loving God in order to find the faith needed to drive out fear. You can learn how to live life one day at a time. Make a decision today to do things differently.