Loving An Alcoholic

I’m not really sure where to begin… Loving an alcoholic is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions daily. You wake up each day not knowing what is in store for you. Not a single day, or single moment is predictable. Some days you wake up and the day is going fine and then out of the blue something switches and BOOM! It all comes crashing down.

When these moments arise, you’ll try every tactic to try and keep your loved one from drinking again. I’ve gone at it at every angle, ultimatums, compassion, giving in, silent treatment, you name it and I’ve tried it. None of it works… In fact it always makes the problem worse. The addict is going to do what the addict wants to do and unfortunately I will never be chosen over the alcohol until they choose it to be that way.

As much as I wish and pray my words and actions would help change the mind of the alcoholic, it just won’t happen until they decide that they want to change. It’s one of the most heartbreaking situations I’ve dealt with. Why can’t this person just see that I’m trying to help them? I only want what’s best for them. Why do they always think that I’m the enemy? These are questions and thoughts anyone has that deal with any type of addict.

The truth is…they don’t see or hear any of it while under the spell of addiction. Their brain has to be rewired and consistently worked on if they do want to change. Until then, any person who is extremely close to the addict will suffer greatly by their actions and behavior. They will never see in the moment how their decisions affect the most important people in their life.

The real problem is that, addicts are so broken inside and don’t have the proper tools to work on themselves. Nine times out of ten, addicts suffered a great deal of childhood trauma which set them on the path of self destruction. The only survival skill they have is to numb the pain, and quiet the thoughts and emotions. It’s a viscous endless cycle until they put a stop to it.

Why do I stay??? It’s a question I ask myself on some of the hardest days. Only a person who is in my shoes would understand, to the rest we probably seem crazy. But I’ve been with the alcoholic through sober times and drunk times. This person is a truly kind loving person. I’ve seen the beauty and I’ve seen the beast. I feel that every person on earth is deserving of love and less rejection. I know this persons trauma but I’ll never be able to feel it the way they do. All I can do is support them through the good times and the bad.

Addicts need less judgment and rejection and more compassion and understanding. We don’t have to make excuses or accept horrible behavior, but we do need to see through those actions and understand they are crying out for help and wanting to be loved and accepted. There is always hope for someone struggling with addiction and a big player in their success is their support system.

Please feel free to comment!