Indian cinema and life is full of tales of a husband, who comes home drunk and beats up his wife and children. The women, on the other hand, sob, whimper and wait for their sons or brothers to come and rescue them. The brothers and sons, in turn, take the whimpering women out of the house and promise to give them a life free of an alcoholic husband… What about the alcoholic father? Does he deserve to be given up on, like his wife and son did? Would you really give up on a spouse, friend or child who is turning to alcoholism? If you really call them “loved ones” they do not deserve to be given up on. They may act as if they do not deserve our love or understanding, but that is your cue to understand that they need it the most at that time. It may not be easy dealing with a loved one who is turning to alcoholism, because many of them are in a denial of the situation – they do not realize that they are becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. It is up to you to realize and act fast. Here are some of the ways in which you can help your friend, lover or child, who has fallen or is falling into alcoholism, get over it and become sober again.
Helping An Alcoholic
Knowledge is Power
The more you know about alcoholism, the better. It may be difficult to help an alcoholic spouse, child or friend if you do not comprehend the meaning of addiction. Check out and read books on alcoholism, visit sites on the internet that talk about alcoholism. Approaching a situation uniquely and realizing that you are not going to be able to heal the alcoholic may be the first step in helping both you and the alcoholic. You can and will not be able to fix the person, only offer your support. You may, in the process, also know as to exactly which stage of alcoholism your loved one has reached and as to how much time and effort it would take you to help the person through it. This would prepare you for the journey hereafter.
Practice detaching from the situation. Do not take care of the alcoholic's financial affairs. If the spouse, child or friend causes unwanted attention, do not make excuses to others for fear of embarrassment. It is only normal to cover up another person's mistakes, especially those of a loved one who has alcohol issues. However, covering up and taking care of their business, will only enable them to drink more and will teach them that they are not responsible for their own actions. Let them to face the music once in a while and feel responsible for their actions themselves.
Emotions in Check
In a situation, wherein the person you are trying to help has lost control of his/her life, it becomes increasingly important for you to maintain control over your feelings. It does no good for the alcoholic person if you continue to shout, accuse and create scenes. They would only be pushed further into the habit either out of self pity or out of vengeance. Many alcoholics are uncertain about the love of their near and dear ones, which makes them drink all the more; they are often bogged down by inferiority complex and believe that no one accepts them. By shouting and accusing, you are only proving them right, when you had actually set out to prove them wrong.