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Archive for January 4th, 2013

much younger daysThis is a message to family members and loved ones of alcoholics.

This message has two parts….what you owe an alcoholic and what you don’t owe an alcoholic.

First, what you owe them……love and compassion!  If you have an alcoholic who is a member of your family, or is just a beloved friend, then by definition you owe them love and compassion.  That is the definition of love, is it not?  One does not love only when times are good.  Love is unconditional and yes, it should be expected even when dealing with an alcoholic who is ego-driven and prone to hurting you.

Compassion is owed to an alcoholic because they are a sick human being.  Alcoholism is a disease, and the same compassion you show a cancer victim should be given to an alcoholic.

Now for what you don’t owe an alcoholic!booze

You do not owe them any acts of enabling.  You do not owe them a call into work saying they are sick when in fact they are hung over.  You do not owe them understanding and you do not owe them forgiveness.  They have harmed you and they are the ones who must make amends to you.  The onus of recovery is theirs and theirs alone.

Alcoholics require tough love.  They need to be told straight up that they are hurting others and you will not put up with it, but if they want help you will help them find the assistance they need to recover.

Yes, alcoholism is a disease, but once armed with that information then the alcoholic can find relief from that disease….all it takes is a willingness to do so.  Unlike a cancer patient, the alcoholic can return to a normal life….but again, it takes a willingness to do so.

If the alcoholic in your life is not willing to do so, you owe them nothing but love and compassion.

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