Work Together as a Family to Help an Alcoholic Loved One.

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 20, 2015 10:37:00 AM / by Ellie Hyatt


Family Recovery Series: 6 Things You Can Do to Help an Alcoholic Loved One.

Part 4: Work Together as a Family

Last month we talked about the importance of setting limits and sticking to them, so the alcoholic learns to take responsibility for their own destructive actions. Family members must take care of themselves if they’re going to be able to help and setting limits is a key piece of self-care. 


If you’re new to this series, please read the first three entries:

Part 1: Educate Yourself About Alcoholism.

Part 2: Get Support for Yourself.

Part 3: Set Limits and Stick to Them

Now, the fourth thing we can do to help an alcoholic loved one is: 

4. Work Together as a Family to Help an Alcoholic Loved One.

It is not unusual to have different ideas about how to support and help a loved one. Alcoholics are skilled at side tracking our decisions to set limits and take rational action. They use various approaches to cause an emotional reaction in us. They might offer us hope that they have learned their lesson, and will change.

They might say something to suggest we are responsible for their use, and we react with guilt. Another emotion that can stop us from taking action is sympathy; they are already suffering, how could we make things worse? The underlying emotion is fear. What if we say or do the wrong thing and cause them to drink?

Each family member can get emotionally side-tracked by the alcoholic in different ways. Sometimes the alcoholic may play one family member of the other. Even family members can become frustrated with each other in the face of these differing reactions. However, it is important that the family work together to ensure that the family members’ reactions are not making it easier for the alcoholic to remain comfortable in his or her addiction.

It takes courage to move forward with action and it is easier when we understand the true nature of alcoholism and we are getting support for ourselves. This is why it is also so important for family members to support each other and get support for themselves when they are confused and scared.

The experience was transformational for me and my mom. The ripple effect has already started within our family members.

~ Son of an alcoholic, participant in The Retreat Family Program

It is important to remember that you are not alone. We are always here to help. For More Information Download our Free Family Brochure!

Learn More About Our Family Program!

*Next Month: The fifth thing you can do to help an alcoholic loved one: Talk About Your Concerns with the Alcoholic.

Don’t want to wait until next month? Download our free PDF: 6 Things You Can Do to Help an Alcoholic Loved One.
Download Now: 6 Things You Can Do to Help a Alcoholic Loved One!

Topics: Alcoholics Anonymous, family recovery, alcoholism, Family Sober Support, Recovery Program

Ellie Hyatt

Written by Ellie Hyatt

Director of Family and Spiritual Recovery at The Retreat

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