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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Let them fall...

From the day we are born we are taught to be a “good”, “kind”, “loving” person. We are advised to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. It’s all part of being a moral person. In the insanity of the world of alcoholism being that “moral person” isn’t always the best way to get through the chaos.

Would you allow a teenager to take your car out for a ride without permission? When that teenager is caught, would you not issue consequences for the misbehavior? As we go through life, there are consequences to every action – some bad and some good. Nonetheless, they are a part of life and they are there as a reminder of things to do or NOT to do.

If you, as a person who loves an alcoholic, removes the alcoholic’s consequences for drinking, they will have no reason to stop drinking. However, if the consequences are faced, it might give the alcoholic something to remember as to why drinking was not a good idea.

Let’s get real for a minute. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you will know that whether or not the alcoholic drinks is really not something I concern myself with very much. What DOES concern me is how the non-alcoholic manages to get through all the crap that the alcoholic creates.
Letting the alcoholic reap the consequences of his actions is really not about making the alcoholic think once or twice before drinking. It’s about YOU not fretting over the fact that the alcoholic must pay his piper.

If you’ve been involved with an alcoholic for more than a day or two you will experience the unpleasant circumstance of watching the alcoholic do the same things over and over and dealing with the same unfortunate results. They don’t seem to learn. They CAN’T learn because they have damaged brains from all the toxins that reside in their noggin.

Riley would go out and walk around the neighborhood when he was 56 sheets to the wind. He would get picked up by the cops and end up in the drunk tank. Of course, I was ALWAYS called and asked to come to the station house and pick him up. My answer was always NO! It happened so often that I knew the schedule of who was on the duty desk on each night. Still, my answer was NO. It didn’t change Riley’s routine of walking around the neighborhood. It didn’t stop him from drinking.

What I gained from saying NO was the ability to stay in my nice warm bed and get a comfortable night’s sleep knowing he was safely ensconced in a jail cell until morning. When the morning came… the answer was still NO. I was happy with my coffee and getting ready for my day. Riley’s presence, or lack of it, didn’t have anything to do with me getting on with what I needed to do.

Riley did not change. The alcoholic doesn’t change because you did or didn’t come to the rescue. When/if they change it will because they are ready to make a change. You can’t force the issue. Oh, yes, you might be able to manipulate the alcoholic into rehab but if he/she is not truly ready, it will be a waste of money.

Save yourself. Let the alcoholic fall and don’t try to pick up the pieces. There are things you can do to try to prevent the fall from crashing into your glass wall. Much like baby-proofing your house when there is a toddler living there. You can keep your money separate and out of the alcoholic’s access. You can keep your car keys in a place where the alcoholic will not easily get them. That’s just a sample of the things you can do to keep from dealing with the consequences of the alcoholic’s behavior.

The monkeys that belong in the alcoholic’s circus can run amok in your life if you let them. When those monkey’s climb to the top of the flagpole – I doubt that they are going to fall. But, if they do… let them.

If you are struggling with ideas of how to keep yourself safe from the alcoholic’s consequences… e-mail  me and let me lend you my ear when you are going through the tough times. You’re not alone. Drop me an e-mail at LindasFrontPorch@outlook.com and let’s set up a time to talk that is convenient for you.

1 comment:

Kellz said...

My husband is an alcoholic. Woe-is-me type. Not abusive. Is rather condescending though...

Anyway, we're up to a 12 pack a day. He is a dual diagnosis case, with Bipolar I and depression. Lately, he's not been eating, has canceled every single appointment he's had this month. Beer is the only source of liquid and nutrients he's getting. I'm sure he bleeds beer...

He shuffles his feet to move around now. Can't get up on his own. Urinated on himself a few days ago because he couldn't get up to use the bathroom. I found a wound on his arm today and asked what happened. He had no idea it was there. It's like a 3-inch gouge/abrasion. I cleaned and bandaged him up, asked him if he fell. He said he had no clue. He keeps saying he has a pain in his stomach. Won't go to the doctor. And if I bring it up he gets angry about it.

I watched him sit in front of his computer, dazed, looking at the cozy that covers his beer can. I asked him if he was ok. He looked confused. He finally came to sit on the couch.

I'm at wit's end. He has told me he has no intention of stopping drinking. That right there may send some of running. Why am I not running? I'm dealing with the dual side here now.

He's depressed. And would become suicidal if I left. We've had conversations that if I were to die (like a car crash or something) he'd kill himself. One can only make the connection that would happen if I were to leave. He can play the game. He has played the game with medical professionals both medical and psychiatric.

I'm so unhappy. I'm now just waiting for him to die.