This is a challenging issue to tackle. No one wants to hear that they have a problem. This is why we all have the natural reaction to resort to denial. Before you can discuss the problem with your loved one you need to assess the situation. The following article discusses not only how to discuss this issue with your loved one but how to prepare yourself. Remember that you want to get your loved one back, not alienate them.
You need to be realistic. You can’t stop someone else’s behaviour. It is ultimately up to them. The drinker has to help themselves and more importantly want to help themselves. This is not to say you have no power. You can influence them to come out of denial. They’ll never admit it to themselves. You do need to watch the way you talk and behave around them. This is a delicate issue.
You need to be honest with yourself. Do you enable their alcoholism? The alcoholic appreciate the negative attention they receive from you. They confuse your fussing over them as caring. Your putting them to bed, caring for them when they are intoxicated, cleaning up messes and paying their fines is not helping them. You love them but their constant mistakes are not your responsibility. We all have to be independent.
What to say
Firstly, you need to be prepared. Start by telling them that you love them but you hate the addiction. Then you need to explain to them that you can’t stand by whilst they drink but will stand by them when they decide to quit. You will need to explain how much more you appreciate their company when they are sober. Finally, explain how they are not the same person you met and loved. You want your loved one to associate being sober and positive things like your attention. They need to know that they will have your support when they are ready to work towards sobriety.
These situations can be challenging so don’t afraid to reach out for help. Places like Malibu Horizon can provide you with a lot of information. It can also help you when it comes to talking to your loved one. You want to have information ready for them. It will show that you have prepared yourself for the discussion. You can’t force them to get help though. It has to be their choice. All you can do is let them know you will support them. When they do decide to get help just be there for them. This ultimately is their journey to take.
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