Living with an alcoholic (or addict) feels like living with someone who is demon possessed! You never know what version of the person you'll get. They sometimes say and do very inflammatory things. If it feels like they are drawing you into an argument, it's because they are! Living with an alcoholic or addict truly will make you feel like your crazy.
If you want to know exactly how/why they make you feel crazy, check out our series on How Addicts and Alcoholics Manipulate Their Families!
Just remember, your loved one is still inside of there! Don't spend time arguing with the demon. It's a waste of time.
Here are a few tips for living with an addict.
If you feed the demon, it will continue to get worse! Don't feed into this behavior.
They're trying to throw you off course. You are smarter than that and on a mission to beat this demon that has ahold of your loved one!
When you realize your loved one is going through a tough phase or venting to you, use these phrases:
"I'm sorry you're going through this."
"That sounds tough. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"I believe in you!"
"Let's get your mind off of this"
When you enable someone, you take away the consequences of their addictive behavior, and their motivation to change often goes right along with it.
You have to figure out what behavior is unacceptable to you, figure out some reasonable consequences if these boundaries are crossed.
Protect Yourself & Mental Health
Supporting yourself is an important part of maintaining your mental and emotional health. Just like the people in your life, you have needs and they should be met if you are going to be happy and continue to be happy. This could look like going to therapy, going for a walk, sitting with a friend, etc.
Focus on other things in life other than your loved one’s substance problem.
Living with an addict isn’t an easy task, but it is often a choice that we want to make. Making space for yourself, for their changes, and for getting help together as part of an ongoing process of recovery is important for getting through this difficult time.
Hope for Families Recovery Center