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

Updated on February 12, 2019
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah has several alcoholic relatives. She became active in Al-anon, for families of alcoholics, over 37 years ago, often helping others.

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 who 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. I have been a member of Al-Anon for over 35 years and this book has been an indispensable tool.
 

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.

Alanon was a life saver for me when there was active alcoholism in our family. It helped me learn how to keep my own sanity, avoid conflict with the alcoholic and learn to live my own life.

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.
 

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Deborah-Diane

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