Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guest Post About Living With Alcoholism

Dear Friends, Today I am posting a guest blog from a friend who is experiencing the hurt caused by the disease of alcoholism. I am honored to post this article in the hopes that it gives therapy to the writer and hope to others affected by this disease. You are not alone.

Alcoholism...If there is an alcoholic in your life, like mine, you know it is like a cancer to that relationship. I live with the alcoholic in my life. I love the alcoholic in my life.

The alcoholic in my life knows her drinking habits aren't healthy, but she has not admitted there is a dependency on alcohol – this is the key difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

The alcoholic in my life is what experts call a “functional alcoholic” – she hasn't put others in danger or caused any physical damage, but the emotional damage runs deep.

Alcoholism is a disease like no other – there is no cure, and there is nothing you can do to start the recovery for someone else. What you can do is take care of yourself. One way to start is to seek out help from organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon or Change my Relationships. They will get you on the right path.

Personally, I believe the Al-Anon organization is genius! The first few meetings are hard, and you think the group is not for you. One of their sayings is, "After a while, you'll discover that though you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you." This is true.

Also, the Serenity Prayer is one of the best first steps I took. After saying it a couple of times, and taking quiet moments to reflect on my day's actions, I have changed how I live with the alcoholic in my life. I have started to live in better harmony with the disease. Make no mistake, this is the toughest thing I've done, and I am nowhere near good at it, but imperfect progress is the olive branch, and it works.

Another hard thing I'm learning is the 3 C's – and I do not mean color, clarity and carat! The 3 C's of addiction are cure, cause and control. This is difficult for me because I am a control freak. But I have learned this disease is something I can’t control.

I also can’t control this person’s actions. In fact, trying to do so would be a very bad idea. The only thing I can do is approach her when she is sober and say, "When you do _____, it makes me feel hurt."

I am also learning about the abstract idea of “detachment with love.” How do I detach my emotions around the disease from the person and treat the person with the love and respect every human being deserves? Especially one that I loved and respected before this unfortunate disease took hold. If I can figure this one out, I deserve a Ph.D. in something equally abstract.

I can't cure the alcohol addiction in the person I love. It has to be her choice. I hope and pray she will hit rock bottom and seek treatment, but there is no timetable for this – months, years, or more years. Only imperfect progress can help one get through this seemingly infinite time span.

I've babbled enough for a blog that is usually short, sweat and profound. I do have more to share, and this small part has been incredibly therapeutic. Thank you for allowing me to be a guest on this site. If there is a person close to your heart, or in your life, with an addiction, I hope you can find a piece of serenity while dealing with the disease.

Sincerely, A Loving Husband and Father 

1 comment:

  1. We need people that shares. This will surely serve as an inspiration to everyone who has the same issue. Not everyone has the courage to share. Without understanding how you are, you will not be able to get to where you wish to be.