I’ve spent twenty years of my life trying to understand alcoholism. I have gone to Alanon for families who deal with alcoholics. I’ve tried a more spiritual route such as prayer and church. I have read articles, books, and case studies.
I retired in my role as the provoker years ago. And I have exhausted myself as the martyr in recent years. Oh yes the martyrs. They are the ones who hope there is a day of awakening for the alcoholics in their life. Those that they either love or have loved.
The martyr has moments of hoping there will be a day the alcoholic feels bad for the deeds they have done. They just want to see apologies and recovery. Most of all, they want healing.
I have gone head to head with the ones who maintain the roles of being “the rescuer”. Years ago I was considered the rescuer too, so perhaps that is why their rescuing affects me like it does. I’d clean up the messes, apologize for many horrific social scenes of drunken stupor and I’d make excuses for the drunkenness all the time.
Over the course of time I got sick of being the provoker. I was tired of demanding respect, maturity, love and so forth. I got tired of telling stories of the things I would wake up to. I was tired of feeling embarrassed, mistreated, and unloved. So, I went on strike after that.
To me, the rescuers seem just as bad as the alcoholics themselves. They appear to have every excuse under the sun for the behavior of the alcoholic. Nothing is the alcoholics fault. And I mean nothing. Everything is blamed on people in the past or present days of the alcoholics life.
The rescuers claim they love their alcoholic but tough love has gone astray. They can’t find it no matter how hard they look. And they just can’t stand up to the alcoholic in effort to get them the treatment that they need.
Sometimes the alcoholic wants help but they do not have one person whom they respect to look them in the eyes and say: “Man you have a problem and you need serious help. Are you ready to get better yet? Because I can’t keep watching this. It is hurting everyone around you but mostly you!”
Questions of the day for the rescuers:
If your loved one had any other disease like Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease etc. and everyone around them could tell just by looking at them…..wouldn’t you try to help them?
Or would you make a bunch of excuses and blame others for the loved one not being in their best health? Would you claim other people gave them their disease? Would you say they had no disease regardless of their diagnosis?
Or would you continue to say: “Screw those people, they are all crazy. You’re just fine dear. Now I would help you but I just love you too much. And if I help you then that means I’d have to admit that I was wrong about you to all those people! So we will just keep this between us and go on about our business. Okay?”