Living with an alcoholic doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is still drinking. While the term can describe someone who actively drinks, you might be living with a husband, wife, or parent who is a recovering addict.
Your loved one might be on the road to recovery. And if this is the case, you’re likely relieved and hopeful that they’ll continue on this path towards success. But even if they’re currently clean, the following worries are always on the mind of someone living with a recovering alcoholic:
- “What should/shouldn’t I do?”
- “Will my loved one start drinking again?”
- “How can I help my loved one maintain a sober lifestyle?”
- “How will my loved one’s recovery impact my lifestyle?”
In this article, we’ll provide useful tips to live with an alcoholic. You’ll learn what you should do for yourself, how you can help your loved one, and the warning signs of relapse. After reading this article, you’ll have a firm understanding of what it’s going to take to help your loved one achieve the best transition possible as they work towards a sober lifestyle.
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Taking Care Of Yourself
Remember — while your loved one’s sobriety is important, you need to take care of yourself. You’re likely to have to handle high stress levels as a result of relationship issues within your family and the anticipation of what could happen. With this in mind, don’t forget you’ll need to heal as well.
Your loved one’s abuse of likely had an adverse impact on your life. Thus, support groups can be therapeutic. You also might want to consider individual alcohol counseling as you work on healing.
Don’t be afraid to seek support from your family. You can also look into outpatient family therapy programs. These kinds of programs guide families through communicating with one another while helping them to develop skills that reduce stress. The skills you’ll learn by attending this kind of program can also assist in coping with trigger situation.
Therapy sessions are also beneficial for people in recovery. Since it improves their awareness of unhealthy behavior and highlights dysfunctional roles that your loved one’s addiction has brought into your family, the whole experience can have a significant impact on their attitude.
Helping Your Loved One Maintain Sobriety
Promoting a clean lifestyle in your home, especially during your loved one’s first year of recovery, will increase the likelihood of success. Remove any alcohol from your home and get your loved one to participate in events or activities that avoid consumption. Abstaining from alcohol consumption yourself is also an excellent way to support someone you love as they go through recovery.
While your loved one needs to maintain sobriety as they work on their recovery, there’s more to living a sober lifestyle than the physical aspect. The emotional and psychological aspects of sobriety can also take a toll. With alcohol having been such a significant part of any addicts life for so long, it’s ideal to find something to replace that addiction.
Consider some new activities to get your loved one involved in something else. Hobbies, charity work, a job, family involvement — anything that can help to get your loved one to continue living a clean lifestyle. Assist them in finding something they like to do and encourage them to continue participating in that activity.
While you will help your loved one achieve long-term sobriety, you need to be prepared for painful emotions to surface. Alcohol dulls these emotions, and it’s possible that your loved one might not be ready to handle them at this point. For example, childhood trauma might have had a significant impact on your loved one’s life and drove them to the bottle.
Painful memories relating to an incident could come back when the liquor isn’t dulling your loved one’s emotions. While you don’t need to enable them, apologize, or even take responsibility for these emotions, it’s nice to hear them out. Consider their feelings and help them get through these emotions to the best of your ability. These anger fits might target you, so it’s vital to remember that they have nothing to do with you and are not your fault.
Stressful situations are all too common when living with someone in recovery. Whether it’s a family conflict, relationship problems, financial troubles, work or school issues, or legal problems occurring as a result of the alcohol abuse, you can help your loved one cope with the following strategies:
- Maintain communication with your loved one.
- Avoid blaming your loved one or demeaning them.
- Keep encouraging them to stay active in support groups.
- Stay supportive, and try to avoid dwelling on stressful situations and how they’re coping with them.
- Relieve stress by laughing. Whether it’s your loved one’s favorite comedian or reminiscing good times, laughter and smiles will help with relieving stress.
Spotting The Warning Signs Of Relapse
Being capable of noticing warning signs that might help predict relapse can help your loved one stay sober. Stay observant of your loved one and keep a lookout for the following warning signs:
- Romanticizing or daydreaming about previous alcohol use.
- Losing interest in their recovery.
- Shifting their behavior or attitude.
- Beginning to reconnect with friends from the times when they used alcohol.
- Isolating oneself from family and friends interested in helping them maintain a sober lifestyle.
Does someone you love need help putting down the bottle in Florida? With Transitions Recovery, your loved one will find the best transition of themselves through our alcohol addiction treatment program in Florida. If you think your loved one needs treatment, please contact our Florida treatment center today by calling 1-800-626-1980.