Alanon Can Help You Survive Living with a Drug Addict or an Alcoholic

Is An Alcoholic Driving You Crazy?

Alcoholism affects as many as one out of ten people.  The alcoholic, in turn, affects the lives of many others ... their spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends.  Almost everyone seems to know at least one alcoholic who is driving them crazy
Alcoholism affects as many as one out of ten people. The alcoholic, in turn, affects the lives of many others ... their spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends. Almost everyone seems to know at least one alcoholic who is driving them crazy | Source

Problems Caused by Alcoholism

Alcoholics are difficult to live with! Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, they can also be impossible to avoid. The alcoholic that is causing you problems may be your spouse, your child, your parent, or your sibling. Although you can avoid them sometimes, you can’t always stay away from them. As though watching them ruin their own lives is not bad enough, they also have a tendency to spoil our parties, blow up over insignificant problems, or just pass out when we need their help. In short, they drive us crazy!

However, even if someone you love or live with is an alcoholic, you don't have to let them ruin your life, too. What steps can you take in order to survive your life with an alcoholic?

Remember: You Did Not Cause Their Alcoholism

There is a slogan that is often used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon. It has helped millions of friends and relatives of alcoholics. The slogan is: You Didn’t Cause It, You Can’t Control It, and You Can’t Cure It. Repeat that slogan over and over, until you really believe it.

Remember that you are not the cause of someone's alcoholism, even if they blame you for it ... which is common. They didn’t develop their problem with alcohol or drug abuse because you have made them feel angry, resentful or frustrated. They began to abuse alcohol or drugs because they simply have not learned how to handle the normal obligations of life, and because they have probably inherited a genetic predisposition to alcoholism and substance abuse. As a result, they escape into booze or by getting high. Don’t accept the guilt they want you to feel. Don't accept the blame. Drug addiction and alcoholism are diseases … and you didn’t give it to them!

Once you stop taking on the feelings of guilt, you will become comfortable with the idea that you are entitled to live your own life, enjoy it, have peace and be able to seek our friends and activities you enjoy. You have just as much right to have a good life as anyone else!

Learm More About How Alanon Can Change the Family Dynamics

How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics
How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics

How Al-anon helps families might confuse you at first. This book does an excellent job of helping your understand how their program can help you get your life back.

 

Stop Keeping Track of Their Drinks

It is very tempting, if you live with an alcoholic, to count how many drinks they have each evening, or how many quart bottles you throw out each week, or how many cases of beer your loved one buys at the liquor store. Stop now. Keeping track of the amount of alcohol they are consuming will not change their behavior. In fact, it may make it worse. On the other hand, it may also cause them to do an even better job of hiding their alcohol abuse. That is not the solution, either. It simply makes it easier for you both to deny that there is a problem.

Accept that you are powerless to control their drinking, and that you have to move on with your life. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to move out, or divorce an alcoholic spouse. It just means that you are going to stop spending your life focusing on what someone else is doing. Believe me, you will feel much better!

Go to an Alanon Meeting - You Will Find Help There

Find a meeting of Alanon Family Groups. That is where you will find other people who also have to deal with alcoholism and drug abuse among the people they love. They will give you the emotional support and information that you need to rebuild your life, and to get the rest of your family life back on track, again. You’ll get tools that will help you improve your life. You’ll learn how to stop fighting with the alcoholic, and how to stop nagging them.

There are other benefits of attending Alanon meetings, too. Sometimes, it causes other family members to find Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Even if that doesn’t happen, at the very least it will put you on the road to peace, harmony and serenity.

I hope you find some peace and joy in your life!

If The Alcoholic is Your Spouse, This Book is Invaluable

The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage
The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage

I don't think I could have survived my marriage to an alcoholic if it had not been for this book. It really helped me see things more clearly and put some balance back into our relationship. Although my husband is sober now, the book still helps me with our relationship.

 

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Comments 23 comments

mentoru2wealth profile image

mentoru2wealth 5 years ago from Minnesota

Co-Dependency is the flip side of Alcoholism. Like the drink is to the Alcoholic the Alcoholic is to the Co-Dependent. So if you go to Alanon go for yourself and if you look you will find the fellowship that you seek. If you go with the thought of fixing the alcoholic you are in for more pain.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California Author

You are sooo correct, that is important that people go to Alanon to help themselves survive, not because they plan to fix the alcoholic. Once in a while, it happens, but you sure can't plan on it!!


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

A very helpful hub. I had a friend that was and alcoholic. I just accepted him as he was. God Bless You.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I have known a few alcoholics and not much I could do about them. If it's a family member you are right Alanon would be a good place to go and be able to talk to other people. I've had relatives spoil parties and they weren't even drinking!


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

You are right that people can completely spoil a family event, even when they are not drinking. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Both of my parents were alcoholics, my whole life. I spent my childhood protecting my mother from my father and trying to get them to stop drinking. I never blamed myself, but I always wanted to "fix" it. I didn't go to an alanon meeting until I was about 17. It was there, that I finally realized that I could not "fix" it and that they would only get help when they wanted it, not when I wanted it for them. Learning this, helped me tremendously. I wish I had found alanon much sooner. Great hub, voted up and useful! :)


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Your story of trying to "fix" an alcoholic, as well as solve the problems in your family is so common. I am so glad that you found Alanon and got some peace of mind. It is wonderful that you found this wonder 12 step program while you were still in your teens. So many people take years to begin their journey of healing.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

My grandfather was an alcoholic and he would sometimes abuse my mother and my aunt and uncles when they were kids but my mother got it the worst because she was the youngest. And now my mother is a drug addict but has seemingly stopped for now but may start again. My grandfather did eventually stop and get help but my mom has not and wont because she doesn't think she is doing anything wrong.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you will try going to an Alanon meeting someday. There you will find other people who have lived through similar situations and get even more ideas about how you can survive through the tough times.


jcressler profile image

jcressler 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

Thanks Deb for another well written story on alcoholism and recovery. I've been in the sobriety business for over twenty years and have learned to both respect and love ALANON.

"When there's an alcoholic in the house - the whole house is alcoholic."


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Thank you for your endorsement of the Alanon program. I love your quote that "When there's an alcoholic in the house - the whole house is alcoholic." So true! Perhaps that is why the first step in Alanon is "Admitted we were powerless over alcohol." Even those who don't drink are powerless over the alcohol consumption of the drinker!


jcressler profile image

jcressler 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

...swear off all booze and be just as sick as the one who drinks every night.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Strangely, a lot of people exhibit the behavior you have described here, and for some people behaving this way seems to be a genetic predisposition not related to alcohol so much as to the inability to achieve abstract thought.

Good advice to stop trying to manage other people's lives and instead concentrate more on controlling and improving one's own, whether it's alcohol/substance related or something else.

Sharing with my followers.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

This is an important article and I hope everyone reads it, but especially people who find themselves in a relationship with a substance abuser, so that they will know there is help and hope. Shared again.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

Al Anon saved my life, literally. Anybody who is dealing with an alcoholic owes it to him or herself to join and get the support and help they need. Unfortunately, I wrote a similar article quite some time ago and barely anybody read it...I guess people do not realize how important this is. I hope your article fares better.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California Author

TimeTraveler - Thanks for sharing your experience with Al Anon. It has made a tremendous difference in my life, too. I hope that people will start reading your article on the topic. We all need to spread the word because so many people are suffering because of the alcoholism of another person.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

Too late. I removed it quite some time ago, but maybe they will learn from yours. I certainly hope so.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

With Christmas now behind us and a new year looming, this is a good time to think about making changes and improvements in our lives. This article may be just what someone needs to read in order to make the changes that will improve their lives and make their lives 'normal' again.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 2 years ago from London, UK

Very useful to know. First time i have read about it.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Living with an alcoholic or drug addict can be very stressful, whether that alcoholic/addict is your child, spouse or parent. I have found that Alanon is a wonderful source of help, encouragement and emotional support.


smine27 profile image

smine27 2 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

Very timely advice for me. Although it's a good friend of mine that's an alcoholic, it's very hard.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California Author

Alanon helps friends of alcoholics as much as they do family members. If anyone's drinking bothers you, you may want to get some Alanon literature or go to a meeting. It can really help you.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 18 months ago from Orange County, California Author

Everyone deserves to have a good life ... even if someone in their family has a problem with drug or alcohol abuse.

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