Family Recovery Series: 6 Things You Can Do to Help an Alcoholic Loved One.
Part 4: Work Together as a Family
If you’re new to this series, please read the first three entries:
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!
*Next Month: The fifth thing you can do to help an alcoholic loved one: Talk About Your Concerns with the Alcoholic.