Living with an alcoholic can be very tough, from feelings of enablement to mirroring the description of walking on eggshells. Setting boundaries, understanding emotions, offering empathetic support, and disenabling alcohol exposure are all necessary yet very difficult actions to maintain.
While the effects and diagnosis of addiction are inevitably challenging to digest and live through, there are however steps that you can personally take to ease this period for yourself and your loved one/friend.
How to manage living with an alcoholic will take some understanding, some education, some consideration, and some strong boundary setting. With that being said, management is possible, while also encouraging the idea of rehabilitation through intervention.
See how we can help you through a family and friend referral here at Rehab Clinics Group, along with some tips on living with an alcoholic partner, parent, sibling, friend or loved one. Feelings of worry, disappointment, confusion, anger, and anxiety are all common throughout this step. Reach a point where your support can benefit your loved one, and your home life, by discouraging alcoholism.
Am I encouraging alcoholism?
It can be easy to unknowingly encourage alcoholism when living with an alcoholic. Whether that’s through purchasing or personally consuming alcohol to homing an influential environment, it’s very important to be aware of actions, influences and triggers. It’s also vital to be in the know of signs and symptoms of alcoholism, with the potential to spot the signs of addiction, requiring treatment.
Maintaining sobriety can be difficult when first experiencing the vicious cycle of addiction, and secondly while surrounded by reasons and triggers to continue consumption. If consumption is made accessible, if emotions are high, if support is lacking, or if the concern is minimal, encouraging alcoholism can be the case.
Before learning to manage living with an alcoholic, being aware of your standpoint and influence is essential, to understand and implement change, helping to disable alcohol exposure.
How to manage living with an alcoholic
Once you’re aware of discouraging behaviour, it’s time to become aware of encouraging behaviour, around how to manage living with an alcoholic. Here are some dos to consider surrounding everyday life, from setting boundaries to encouraging supported rehabilitation.
- Be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism
There’s a clear difference between binge drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Knowing the signs and symptoms of alcoholism is therefore very important, before assuming that a problem is present. Factors such as physical and psychological changes, low motivation and interest in life, heavy alcohol consumption and prioritising alcohol-fuelled options are indicators that a behavioural habit has developed.
- Offer empathy and understanding
If you are aware of an alcoholism diagnosis, to live amicably, without enabling consumption, offering empathy and understanding will be recommended. Following this approach when sharing concerns over consumption will be key to maintaining the trust and a good relationship. It is however vital to remain level-headed and fully focused on disabling alcohol exposure, as protecting relationships, or opting for an easier life without tension can result in an exposure.
- Manage a clean, neutral household
One of the most effective ways of how to manage living with an alcoholic focuses on accessibility to alcohol. By managing a clean house, which maintains a neutral and relaxed standpoint, reducing possible triggers will be likely.
- Maintain a daily routine
Routine is one of the most effective structures when considering addiction recovery. By maintaining a daily routine, which promotes normality and balance, unpredictable behaviours or influences can be kept at bay.
- Discourage alcohol consumption and purchases
Without arguing, it is important to try and discourage alcohol consumption and purchases. Providing access or standing as accepting can normalise heavy alcohol consumption, reducing the credibility of your concern later down the line.
- Set boundaries
Boundaries must be present when living with an alcoholic, to ensure that blame isn’t present, that enablement is avoided, and that limits aren’t abused. Setting boundaries will be personal, depending on your relationship and how severe alcoholism is. Tough love, to a degree, is required to support a loved one through alcoholism.
- Practice self-care
You need to feel personally stable and balanced in order to support a loved one and manage living with an alcoholic. It can be very stressful to do both, which will require a level head. Clarity and logical thinking can be found through stable lifestyle choices, ultimately embodied through self-care. Practice what makes you feel happy and positive, in order to be strong and able to remain patient and present.
- Look for outside support
Outside support will be invaluable through this time of life, to emotionally offload to, to gain perspective, and to also find some more tips. There are a wealth of helplines, support groups and services out there to support families and friends of alcoholics.
Effects of an intervention
If alcoholism does develop, being concerned about your loved one will be a natural response. Encouraging rehabilitation and support will be one of your first instincts. However, such recommendation may be difficult to voice or may be unwelcomed through lone approaches, requiring an intervention.
An intervention is where concerned loved ones and friends come together to voice their worries, to motivate withdrawal and to share opportunities for rehabilitation. Arranged by professional rehab services, an intervention can act as the first port of call, sometimes requiring further encouragement. Yet it can be highly beneficial to offer perspective, to show support, and to reduce the strain of living with an alcoholic.
If accepted, residential addiction treatment, such as detoxification and therapy can be experienced, including family therapy to promote all-around healing. If unaccepted, being patient, disabling consumption and maintaining a clean, positive household will be encouraged.
We at Rehab Clinics Group can assist with an intervention, to ease the load through this difficult time.
Starting with a family and friend referral
Family and friend referrals are the best way to start the process of voicing concerns. Further details on how to manage living with an alcoholic can be sourced, along with emotional support to guide you through this challenging time.
Alongside support, arrangements can be made to openly communicate with your loved one/friend, to increase the consideration of rehabilitation. Alcoholism is a difficult condition to live with, both personally and as an onlooker. Reduce the struggles by following our above advice, along with considering a referral.