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10 Constructive Ways To Deal with An Alcoholic: Coping With My Father's Alcohol Disease

Updated on April 21, 2013
The different faces of alcohol.
The different faces of alcohol. | Source

I have withstood the different phases of crisis in life. It seems to arrive congruent to my age. As I grow older, it becomes more fitting to my situation and maturity... But I always look back at the past, trying to learn continuously from the experience of living at home with an alocoholic.

During my childhood, the worst crisis I encountered was alcoholism. My father was an alcoholic. He was addicted to alcohol since I could remember. Every single day, nothing fazes him when it is time for his drinking binge.

During my adolescence, the first thing that comes into my mind every time I woke up in the morning is to run and hide. Run and hide from my father. I knew trouble is coming. Before the day is over, chaos is just around the corner.

But in reality, I have to deal with my father's disease. Alcoholism causes erratic behavior. My father had unusually sensitive feelings towards everything. If you stay close or around him, the emotional toll will be high. No one seems to be able to resolve how I felt inside, except myself. It is a battle I have to face emotionally on my own...

I fairly survived my childhood. Coping with my father's alcohol disease was never easy at all. I learned many lessons dealing with the disease, and I would like it to share it with you. Here are constructive ways to cope alcoholism at home.

1) Distance Yourself - Usually, alcoholics are verbally and/or physically abusive. Especially when drunk, social norms and good relationships doesn't exist in their vocabulary.

My advise is, concentrate on doing something productive during the day. Go to school, volunteer yourself to activities that interests you, read in the library, meet up with a mentor, etc. In other words, don't deprive yourself the desire to succeed. An alcoholic's repetitive verbal and/or physical abuse at home should drive you more proving yourself.

2) Meditate- Clear your mind and renew your spirit. When your mind is refreshed, it arms you for your next emotional battle.

Meditation can be done in a quiet place like inside a church, synagogue, outside in a quiet park, on the beach or in a safe room inside your house.

3) Don't show vulnerability - An alcoholic is like a predator waiting for their prey. They will pounce on your weakness as soon as they sense it. Perhaps it is a way for them to bring you down to their own level.

You need to be firm and strong for the alcoholics to see that they can not abuse you. They need to realize that you are big enough for them. I do not refer the physical strength, but the power you have to lead a successful life one day. A person you will become that an alcoholic will look up to.

4) Talk when sober - Openly talk about your feelings when an alcoholic is sober. There is hope that they will understand the pain they are causing you from this disease.

But, be ready when he tells his friends about your personal dialogues. They betray trust and confidence when drunk.

5) Surround yourself with people who cares for you - Surrounding yourself with people who truly cares help affirm your value and importance in this world.

The presence of love and support in your life makes you stronger.

6) Seek help from law enforcement - Protect yourself from harm, always! Call the police or any available law enforcement when you feel that your safety is threatened.

This is usually the hardest choice to make. But calling law enforcement actually protects both the alcoholic and the victim/s from further harm.

7) Talk to a pastor - Pastors are trained to deal with this kind of crisis at home. You need to ask who are qualified to do so.

Did you know that not all pastors are qualified to give advise? They go to school and train for it. They specialize certain fields of counseling.

8) Talk to a family counselor - They are equipped to deal with this situation. These are the therapists, psychologists, psychiatrist and licensed counselors.

This is an expensive form of counseling. Others charge by the hour, per session, etc. Some government agencies provide these services for free. You need to ask.

9) Send an alcoholic to rehab - If you can afford to do so, seek help from a good rehabilitation facility.The facility is like a school with dormitory, with the strictest discipline. They re-learn the facts of life, get the medical attention they need and undergo the counseling sessions. Inside the rehab center, you will know if the they are progressing or not.

Don't make your expectations too high. The disease will not be cured like magic. Drinking alcohol for many, many years have various and lingering effects on the human brain and body.

10) Help others - Reach out to somebody who is having a hard time dealing with alcoholism. Let them know that they are not alone. Going through a similar situation with a friend makes the road less harder to travel.

It is more noble though, if you save one person from becoming an alcoholic and not develop the disease.

Five years after I sent my father to rehab, all of us are all still dealing with the remnants of the disease. Fixing broken relationships is a very rugged path. The many years of hurt couldn't possibly be healed in an instant.

Improving his health is also another concern. Abusing your body with alcohol takes toll on your health. My father is one of the lucky persons on earth. Despite more than thirty years of alcohol abuse, he didn't acquire a severe disease.

Lastly, opening better lines of communication needs to be reestablished among family members. The healing process needs comforting words. Sincere words such as "I am sorry".

I can't change my father. Change should come from within oneself. This is one of the hardest challenges my family members have to face. But the important thing is that I did my part. As a daughter, I tried my best to help him get out from his alcohol addiction. I seek medical help for him. We had family meetings to help him overcome the addiction. He is my father and no one can take his place in this world... What hurts him, hurts the family too.

Copyright © 2012 The Girls. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without permission prohibited.

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    • the girls profile image

      the girls 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thank you for reading me Faceless39! I appreciate your support. Blessings to you always :-)

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Great tips to keep in mind for anyone who has a friend or family member who is an alcoholic.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • the girls profile image

      the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I truly appreciate your comment teaches12345. As the saying goes, I can't choose who my parents will be... I am happy to know that I can help others through this experience.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing from your experience how to deal with an alcoholic. I am sorry that you had this experience, but how wonderful to see that you are able to help others through this difficulty. God bless you. I enjoyed this read and have voted it way up!

    • the girls profile image

      the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I appreciate your encouraging comment hawaiianodysseus. Thank you very much for reaching out to others. Blessings :-)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Very well written, and definitely from the heart! I can relate to you on several levels. Thanks for sharing this, and I especially love how you take a serious social ill and provide others--especially youngsters in your audience--positive and constructive strategies for dealing with a family member's alcohol abuse.

      Voted up and more, and socially shared!

    • the girls profile image

      the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thanks for reading abbykorinnelee. I happy to know you made a better choice for yourself. We both know it is hard to be in this situation and needless to mention how harder it is to be in it longer. I appreciate your sharing.

    • the girls profile image

      the girls 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thank you Funom Makama 3, I appreciate it.

    • abbykorinnelee profile image

      Abigayle Malchow 5 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

      I had an alcoholic boyfriend once, he was a wonderful man and was so intelligent and had great ambitions sober, but abusive and emotionally and mentally damaging drunk. It kept getting worse and I feel for you having to grow up with it but its definitely something I am glad you shared.

    • Funom Makama 3 profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 5 years ago from Europe

      wow. Beautiful. Thanks for the share and definitely voted up