The 5 Worst Things About Having an Alcoholic in Your Life

1. You can’t fix it.
You see someone hurting themselves or others our first instinct is to want to fix it. You want to help them stop inflicting the harm. You want to protect them or those around them. When it’s an alcoholic, your hands are tied. You can’t fix them. The only way an addict is going to get better is by fixing themselves. You try anyway but you only end up enabling them. It is the worst, most vicious circle of pain and damage you ever encountered. You’re completely helpless to it but it takes you a really, really long time to realize it.

2. You have to hide everything.
I mean everything. Weapons, booze, money, your children’s piggybanks, your valuables, breakables, medicine, your make up, anything and everything that could cause harm or that can be used to get high must be hidden from the alcoholic. You’ve just become the parent of the alcoholic even if they are your spouse or your parent, even if you are only 4 years old. The alcoholic is now the center of your known universe no matter who they are to you because their addiction and their inability to conquer it has taken over your life.

3. You have to lie… to everyone.
When there is an alcoholic in your life, shame take on a persona and your goal is to hide the shame from everyone. How do you hide the shame? You lie. You are ashamed that this is what your life has become so you pretend for as long as you can that everything is fine.
“The reason that I am out here shoveling the snow mere days after major abdominal surgery is because I enjoy it! I love hauling 6 inches of wet snow off the pavement, doesn’t everyone? Oh, this old thing, it’s only 72 stitches in my mid-section…nothing to be bothered with really. It’s certainly not because my drunken lout of a spouse is passed out again and can’t be bothered to make sure we don’t end up sued because our walks are impassable and a hazard to all comers.”
“Oh, Timmy isn’t my dad such a card?!?!?!” “Yes, he always screams at my mom and calls her a c*nt after he naps…he’s just joking, really he is.”
Move along, nothing to see here I assure you

4. You are always afraid.
You’re afraid that they will be drunk, you’re afraid that they won’t be drunk. You’ re afraid people know what’s happening in your house. You’re afraid that they don’t know. You’re afraid they are going to kill someone. You’re mostly afraid that the someone they kill is going to be you.

5. Rock bottom really means rock bottom.
You think you’re in the clear. They’ve done horrible, unforgiveable things but they beg for forgiveness, they are in treatment and you forgive them. You are going to survive this with your family intact. Here’s the problem with that, your alcoholic hasn’t hit rock bottom yet. Au contraire you say to me, they have hit rock bottom and they are now in AA. We will make it. Nope, you won’t. They will go off the wagon just when you think everything is coming up roses, they tempt fate and take a sip…just a small one many months later. And the rollercoaster begins anew but worse. They get bad immediately, they get nastier, they blame you for everything. Rock bottom happens when the alcoholic loses the people closest to him. Rock bottom is the addicts best chance at recovery but even that is not guarantee. My alcoholic did not truly become clean until I left him and filed for and went through with a divorce. I left before you see but I came back, and the comeback was like a great bright beacon of enabling. Rock bottom means you leave and stay gone. That’s often their only chance to recover. You can be friends later, but you must walk away and ignite the bottom for them. It’s a very hard thing to do especially if you have children but it’s even more important if you have them to end things.

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