Life With Alcoholics- Lesson #3843

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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?”

Make Today Matter

walkEverything is temporary. Our homes, our cars, our health, our minds, our bodies, our children, our family, our friends, our pets, and all material items. Although some seasons last longer than others, what and who we have today can be gone in the blink of an eye. As we all know, life is short and nothing is promised to last forever.

Make today matter. Love yourself. Leave nothing unsaid. And let people know what they mean to you. Release the negativity and embrace the positives. Love your enemies. Be kind. Be polite. Be courageous. Be strong.You’ve got this.

Loving Endlessly

So many people waste time and energy loving people incapable of loving them back. The relationship is dead, yet they hang on until that frayed rope finally snaps. They make themselves sick with worry.

Instead of focusing on whats wrong with that part of our lives, we need to focus on what is right everywhere else. There are plenty of people who already love you. There are also plenty of people you have yet to meet, ready to to love you too.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Celebrate Today

Life is short and changes momentarily. We never know when anyone’s journey will end.

As a result, we  must leave no words unspoken, or take a single breath or person for granted.

For today:

Take today to show those you love how much they mean to you. Celebrate their life.

Tomorrow is never promised, and this day is simply a gift.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Families Of Alcoholics And Their Contribution To The Disease

The definition of alcoholism can vary from person to person. It is defined by Miriam Webster as continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. Or, a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.

(For me personally an alcoholic is anyone that depends on it. It is someone who needs it to get through a day, or week. It is someone who binge drinks. None the less, it is anyone dependent on it  or its effects.)

It is important for family, friends, and loved ones of an alcoholic to realize that they can not fix, cure, or control the disease. The alcoholic must decide for themselves to quit, bottom line.

You can however find support by attending Al-Anon meetings in your area.  Al-Anon is a 12-Step program modeled on the well-known program for alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous. It provides wonderful support for families of alcoholics. These support groups offer a lot, and will help keep you sane while battling such a nasty disease.

If there are addiction signs such as regular consumption or binge drinking, it is important to know what role you play in disease progression. Alcoholics tend to surround themselves with like-minded people or people who will enable them. By enabling them we allow the disease to progress further.

Friends, family, and loved ones of an alcoholic often fall in to one of the three categories below. Many do not realize that they are actually contributing to the disease.

The Rescuer

The rescuer basically “covers” for the alcoholic. This person will clean up after the alcoholic, deny the problem, and hide the issue. They may take over responsibilities for the alcoholic such as finances, and other areas. The rescuer feels that he/she is protecting the alcoholic. When in reality, covering up and covering for the alcoholic is only contributing to the problem. The rescuers are in denial, therefor they lie to themselves and lie for the alcoholic.

The Provoker

The provoker is one who will punish, chastise, and ridicule the drunken behavior. The provoker doesn’t care who hears, and will tell everyone what an awful person this alcoholic is. The provoker is angry, and the anger brews. The provoker often leaves the alcoholic over time. And takes a grudge with him/her when he/she goes.

The Martyr

The martyr is ashamed of the alcoholic and his/her behavior. The martyr speaks of their misery in dealing with the situation or withdraws completely.  The martyr tries to get the alcoholic to feel guilty for his/her behavior by using emotions and feelings as a tool. What the martyr doesn’t realize is that the only emotions and feelings that can be seen, felt, or heard by an alcoholic is their own. The martyr is often at risk for depression.

It is very important to seek help if you are battling this disease with a friend, family member, or loved one. Although we can’t control the alcoholic or the disease we can control ourselves. By seeking help we can prevent ourselves from being destroyed by the disease.

Their disease is not our fault but if we allow it to dictate our life and happiness, then that is our fault.

Death Of A Loved One: The Stages Of Grief, And How To Celebrate Their Life

Death is inevitable. It is something we must all face through the lives of others, and eventually we face it ourselves when our number has been called.  Some are lucky to escape death a few times, before being taken to their final resting place. Some are taken very young, and some even volunteer to jump in the grave. No matter how they have passed, it is hard to accept.

The initial phases of the grieving process in death are shock & denial. We can’t believe it has just happened. We had just talked to them and they were fine. We had plans to do something with them, they just can’t be gone forever. Without warning, NO! This can not be happening. Not now! They had so much left to live, they were so young. They deserved more than this. This phase can last for an extended amount of time. In fact, there is no time period for any of the phases.

Once the shock and denial have faded, we may begin to bargain with God. We start making deals with Him. Sometimes we even become angry with him, which begins phase three of the grieving process. Anger. We become angry that it happened, and angry at ourselves. We begin to think that there is something we could have done. This is when the “should of, could of, would of” factor comes into play. We begin to have regrets about things in the relationship, and shortly after we begin phase IV.

Phase four of the grieving process is depression. We can’t imagine life without them. We needed them. They were suppose to be here. We find it hard to get out of bed at times, holidays are not the same, and we withdraw ourselves from life in generally. We lose interest in things we once loved, and struggle to take life one day at a time. We may starve ourselves, or eat until we are sick. With depression, we may even consider taking our own life. Depression, is frightening. And often times, needs medical attention.

When acceptance comes into play we have been through all of the stages of the grieving process. Acceptance is phase five. This is when we usually begin to celebrate their life. Wether it is holding a memorial tournament in their honor, purchasing that memorable plaque to place in the town square, or fighting for things that person that affected your life believed in. By looking for the good that they brought to your life, taking the lessons they taught you and applying them you are proving their purpose for your life. By spreading their beliefs, their stories, and your memories of them for generations to come; you are celebrating their life.

Death is a painful process. These phases can occur, and you may find yourself going back into a phase you previously completed. There really are no rules to grieving. But there is a rule when it comes to losing a loved one. Celebrate their life. Do something in honor of them. Carry on, smile, and know that you have one beautiful guardian angel watching over you now.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Who Do You Love?

Love is the willing sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of others, without the thought of return. With that being said, how many of us truly love? We say things like “Well I did this for them, they can at least ____.” We keep score in our head of who has done what in the relationship such as who visits who, who calls who, etc. We don’t always admit that we do this, but we do.

So, I guess the question here is “Who Do You Love?” How many people have you loved to this degree? When is the last time you loved someone and expected nothing in return? Have you done a favor for someone you love, and when the time came for you to have a favor done for you nobody came through? Were you irritated? Did you expect them to do for you what you once did for them?

If everyone memorized and lived by this definition, we would all be a lot easier to love. Love isn’t easy, but certainly was never intended to be a battlefield. It was intended to be the “willing and sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of others, without the thought of return.” Yes, that is love. True love.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.