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6 Things You Need to Know If You Love a Recovering Alcoholic

6 Things You Need to Know If You Love a Recovering Alcoholic

Fighting addiction is a long and arduous process. Not only does it take courage to admit to being an addict, but taking the first step toward recovery is just as difficult. First of all, the addict himself needs to have both the need and will to go through it. Then, the loved ones need to do the same. Having each other’s support is highly important during a recovery.

Unfortunately, alcoholism is nothing new to the world, and each year we have statistics showing which country has the heaviest drinkers. More than 3 million annual deaths are related to alcohol consummation. This translates to 5.9% of all deaths, according to WHO (World Health Organisation). Moreover, people don’t just die from drinking too much alcohol, e.g. as a result of liver failure, but also from accidents cause by their impaired mental capacities, e.g. large number of car accidents, fires, or falls. Evidently, these statistics paint a very dark picture.

Nevertheless, even though alcoholics face many serious issues, they can still get out of the gutter. With a little bit of help from support groups, and friends and family, they could become healthy again. So, long as they are willing, a second chance could be around the corner. And if you are close to a recovering alcoholic, whether it’s a friendship or a love relationship, you need to understand how to deal with the situation. Here are some of the major things to know.

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1. Some problems can linger on even after the drinking stops.

As mentioned in the introduction, fighting any addiction is a process. Even though they have decided to give up alcohol, new problems could arise during the recovery process. These may or may not be related to wanting to drink again. For example, social communication could be a problem for the recovering alcoholic, and things like being unable to concentrate or be attentive. Additionally, sleep problems could occur, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, which in turn may lead to more serious issues.

All of these are possible and totally normal. It is important to know that nothing can be, nor should be, done by force. You should have patience and help them gradually crawl back into a normal routine. Moreover, you can always seek help from a professional such as a therapist.

2. Relapse can happen in moments of weakness.

This is one of the things you need to be on the alert for. The worst thing that could happen is for the recovering alcoholic to go back to his old habits. However, there are a few signs to pay attention to in order to prevent a relapse. A sudden change in behavior, such as aggressiveness or seclusion, could be first signs of giving up.

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Also, if your partner starts hanging out with the wrong crowd, once again, you should take extreme action and put a stop to it. But try and approach them in a calm manner. Any judgment or rash movement could scare them and push them away even further. You could also suggest going to an AA meeting or spending more time with their sponsor. If you are really scared or have major doubts, you can always make them take a drug test, to be sure they haven’t relapsed.

3. They will sometimes use their condition as leverage.

They will be fragile and prone to moments of sadness or depression, from time to time. They will likely use their condition to manipulate you. The important thing here is not to fall for their tricks.

They might say they are unable to do something because they are having a hard time. Or perhaps, blackmail you into giving them something because of the hardship their recovery carries. Either way, do not accept this and be strong. You will probably feel sorry for them, but you should actually push back and defy them.

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4. Love and support aren’t enough—you need to seek out professional help.

When times get rough, and when you cannot handle the situation by yourself, reach out to someone. Maybe talking to a friend or consulting with a therapist could help you relieve the excess stress. Perhaps, going to AA meetings regularly could get you through the rough patch. And you could attend those meetings together.

This would give you a different perspective on how your loved one really feels, and what are the issues at hand. In the end, you could have a couple’s therapy, if the problem is in your romantic relationship. All in all, do anything you can to help both of you.

5. Pulling them away from a bad environment may seem like you are suffocating them.

As said, you need to go above and beyond while supporting your partner. They could become weak and succumb to a temptation, such as hang around people with bad influence or bars—actually, any place that could trigger them. You shouldn’t be too hard on them in your quest of helping.

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Maybe you should keep them away from these conditions in the beginning, but as they progress, you could start involving them in social events like going out to clubs or having a drink in front of them. Be careful to do this step by step; it will be hard for them, for sure, but it is a necessity that cannot be avoided.

6. They are not the only ones who need support and understanding.

The same way your loved one needs help during this period, you will need it, too. Helping someone overcome an addiction is a demanding task, both physically and mentally. The first thing you will need to do is educate yourself on alcoholism and its consequences, as well as how to help an addict. What is more, you need to stay active all the way through the process.

Nevertheless, if you start feeling exhausted or lonely, misunderstood—ask for help. There are various support groups for friends and families of recovering alcoholics. Being in touch with people who are in the same position as you could be of great benefit. Not only will you get encouragement, but you will also be able to express yourself and your concerns along the way.

Although things can get quite difficult, it’s important to remember why you love that person and understand that he or she is going through the most difficult time of their lives. However, you should also set boundaries and find some support for yourself as well. Be strong, and take things one tiny step at a time.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we make in our days shapes our current reality. It shapes who we are as a person because we habitually follow through with the decisions we make without even realizing it.

If you’re unhappy with the results in your life right now, making the effort to changing your decisions starting today will be the key to creating the person you want to be and the life you want to have in the future.

Let’s talk about the 7 ways you can go about making life changing decisions.

1. Realize the Power of Decision Making

Before you start making a decision, you have to understand what a decision does.

Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. When you decide to pick up a cigarette to smoke it, that decision might result in you picking up another one later on to get that same high feeling. After a day, you may have gone through a pack without knowing it. But if you decide not to smoke that first cigarette and make a decision every five minutes to focus your attention somewhere else when you get that craving, after doing this for a week, your cravings will eventually subside and you will become smoke-free.

But it comes down to making that very first decision of deciding whether or not to pick up that cigarette.

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2. Go with Your Gut

Often times, we take too much time to make a decision because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen. As a result of this, we go through things like careful planning, deep analysis, and pros and cons before deciding. This is a very time consuming process.

Instead, learn to trust your gut instinct. For the most part, your first instinct is usually the one that is correct or the one that you truly wanted to go with.

Even if you end up making a mistake, going with your gut still makes you a more confident decision maker compared to someone who takes all day to decide.

3. Carry Your Decision Out

When you make a decision, act on it. Commit to making a real decision.

What’s a real decision? It’s when you decide on something, and that decision is carried out through action. It’s pointless to make a decision and have it played out in your head, but not doing anything about it. That’s the same as not making a decision at all.

If you want to make real changes in life, you have to make it a habit to apply action with your decision until it’s completed. By going through this so many times, you will feel more confident with accomplishing the next decision that you have in mind.

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4. Tell Others About Your Decisions

There’s something about telling other people what we’re going to do that makes us follow through.

For example, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to become an early riser. Whenever I tried to use my own willpower, waking up early without falling back asleep felt impossible. So what I did was I went to a forum and made the decision to tell people that I would wake up at 6 AM and stay up. Within two days, I was able to accomplish doing this because I felt a moral obligation to follow through with my words even though I failed the first time.

Did people care? Probably not, but just the fact that there might be someone else out there seeing if you’re telling the truth will give you enough motivation to following through with your decision.

5. Learn from Your Past Decisions

Even after I failed to follow through my decision the first time when I told people I was going to wake up early and stay up, I didn’t give up. I basically asked myself, “What can I do this time to make it work tomorrow?”

The truth is, you are going to mess up at times when it comes to making decisions. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn something from it.

Ask yourself, what was good about the decision I made? What was bad about it? What can I learn from it so I can make a better decision next time?

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Remember, don’t put so much emphasis focusing on short term effects; instead focus on the long term effects.

6. Maintain a Flexible Approach

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but making a decision doesn’t mean that you can’t be open to other options.

For example, let’s say you made the decision to lose ten pounds by next month through cardio. If something comes up, you don’t have to just do cardio. You can be open to losing weight through different methods of dieting as long as it helps you reach your goal in the end.

Don’t be stubborn to seek out only one way of making a decision. Embrace any new knowledge that brings you closer to accomplishing your initial decision.

7. Have Fun Making Decisions

Finally, enjoy the process. I know decision-making might not be the most fun thing world to do, but when you do it often, it becomes a game of opportunity.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the way, you’ll feel and become a lot more confident when you’re with yourself and around others, and making decisions will just become a lot easier after you do it so often that you won’t even think about it.

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Anything you decide to do from this point on can have a profound effect later on. Opportunities are always waiting for you. Examine the decisions that you currently have in the day.

Are there any that can be changed to improve your life in some way? Are there any decisions that you can make today that can create a better tomorrow?

Final Thoughts

Some decisions in life are harder to make, but with these 7 pieces of advice, you can trust yourself more even when you’re making some of the most important decisions.

Making a decision is the only way to move forward. So remember, any decision is better than none at all.

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Featured photo credit: Justin Luebke via unsplash.com

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