Does Someone You Love Drink Too Much?

Ask yourself these questions to determine if your life is being affected by a loved one’s consumption of alcohol:

  • 1.  Do you lose sleep because of someone’s drinking?
  • 2.  Do many of your thoughts revolve around drinking situations and resulting problems because of that persons’ drinking?
  • 3.  Do you try to control the drinking by asking for promises to stop drinking?
  • 4.  Do you make threats, and then not carry them out?
  • 5.  Do you have increasing negative attitudes toward the person?
  • 6.  Do you mark, hide, or empty bottles of liquor or medication?
  • 7.  Do you think that everything would be okay if the drinking situation changed?
  • 8.  Do you feel alone, rejected, fearful, angry, guilty, exhausted?
  • 9.  Are you feeling an increasing dislike of yourself?
  • 10.  Do you find your moods fluctuating as a direct result of the drinking?
  • 11.  Do you try to deny or conceal the drinking situation?
  • 12.  Do you cover for and protect the person?
  • 13.  Do you feel responsible and guilty for the drinking behavior?
  • 14.  Are you beginning to, or have you withdrawn from friends and outside activities?
  • 15.  Have you taken over responsibilities that used to be handled by the other person?
  • 16.  Are financial problems increasing because of the drinking?
  • 17.  Do you find yourself trying to justify your feelings and behavior in reaction to drinking behavior?
  • 18.  If there are children in the home, are they showing any stress and behavior changes that could be related to the drinking situation?
  • 19.  Do you have any new physical symptoms like headaches, indigestion, nausea, shakiness?
  • 20.  Do you feel defeated and hopeless?

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, it indicates a problem. The problem is how alcoholism is affecting your life!

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The following are practical suggestions for you, as you put denial behind you and seek to address the problem with God’s help!

DO

  • 1.  Begin with yourself!  Learn all the facts and put them to work in your own life.
  • 2.  Attend AA meetings, Al-Anon meetings, and if possible go to some educational workshops on chemical dependency.  Visit a hospital treatment program and talk with an experienced counselor.  If you have a Christian background look for an Overcomers Outreach support group, where Scriptures are studied along with the 12 Steps of AA.  Overcomers glorify Jesus Christ and pray for one another.  But go for yourself – don’t send your alcoholic.
  • 3.  Remember, you are emotionally involved.  Changing your attitude and approach to the problem can speed up recovery.
  • 4.  Encourage all beneficial activities of the alcoholic and cooperate in making them possible.
  • 5. Learn that love cannot exist without compassion, discipline and justice, and to give it without these qualities is to destroy it eventually.

DON’T

  • 1.  Don’t allow the alcoholic to lie to you and accept it for the truth, for in so doing you are encouraging this process. Truth is often painful, but get at it.
  • 2.  Don’t let the alcoholic outsmart you, for this teaches him/her to avoid responsibility and lose respect for you at the same time.
  • 3.  Don’t let the alcoholic exploit you or take advantage of you, for in so doing, you become an accomplice in the evasion of responsibility.
  • 4.  Don’t lecture, moralize, scold, praise, blame, threaten, argue when drunk or sober, or pour out liquor.  You may feel better but the situation will be worse.
  • 5.  Don’t accept promises, for this is just a method of postponing pain.  In the same way, don’t keep switching agreements.  If an agreement is made, stick to it.
  • 6.  Don’t lose your temper and thereby destroy yourself and any possibility of help.
  • 7.  Don’t allow your anxiety to compel you to do what the alcoholic must do for him/herself.
  • 8.  Don’t cover up or abort the consequences of drinking.  This may reduce the crisis but will perpetuate the illness.
  • 9.  Don’t become obsessed with your alcoholic.  Find recreation and hobbies for yourself, and turn your focus on your own relationship with God.
  • 10. Don’t put off facing the reality that alcoholism is a progressive illness that gets increasingly worse as the drinking continues.  To do nothing is the worst choice you can make.

Start now to learn about, understand and plan for recovery and healing for you and your loved ones. Parents, children and spouses are all affected by the practicing alcoholic (or addict).

Alcoholism affects the entire family, so the family should seek help and support as well as the alcoholic. In addition to personal counseling, many find help by attending support groups. The local phone book should have listings. Pastoral staff will often have additional information and suggestions.

For healing to take place a few simple steps must be taken:

  • Recognize there is a problem
  • Get Help
  • Follow direction and suggestions

When we acknowledge that there is a problem it means we have begun to move out of denial. Next we must identify our part and seek help. As we accept help, our trials become assets and we move out of the problem and into the solution. The key ingredients to successful recovery are:

  • Honesty
  • Open mindedness
  • Willingness

You are not alone ..

Many other Christians are hiding this problem and struggling just as you are.  But many are finding hope and help if they are willing to reach out for it. Our prayer is that you will be able to “let go, and let God” handle your loved one, and that you will actively seek the support you need! We cannot change another person – only God can do that.  But we can change our own reactions and attitudes with God’s help. Support and genuine caring are available in meetings of 12 step recovery groups, such as Al-Anon Family Groups worldwide. These rooms provide a safe place to share what works (and what doesn’t) with others who have found a solution to the same pain you are experiencing. Literally millions have received the help they needed so desperately and they are now ready to help you. Are you willing to ask?

HELP FOR THE INDIVIDUAL

Alcoholics Anonymous (212)870-3400

www.alcoholics-anonymous.org

HELP FOR THE FAMILY

Al-Anon (888)425-2666

www.al-anon.org

HELP FOR BOTH

Overcomers Outreach uses the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Holy Bible to discover the wisdom of God and apply His teachings to our daily lives. We claim Jesus Christ as our “higher power” and share our trials and victories with one another in a confidential and secure environment. We meet weekly in loving support of one another, not as a substitute for, but rather a supplement to other 12 step groups. We are non-professional and non-profit, and we welcome anyone who is not opposed to our general method of recovery, whatever his or her presenting problem.

OVERCOMERS OUTREACH

12828 Acheson Dr.

Whittier, CA  90601

1-800-310-3001

www.overcomersoutreach.org

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