When my husband was an alcoholic (correction: my husband is an alcoholic still but not an active alcoholic) I went through a stage of thinking of myself as a victim, that these things were happening to me. Then I finally realized that things don’t just happen to me – they are a result of me not taking action or were a result of me repeating actions that didn’t work. This was my comfort zone and it took a hell of a push for me to step out of it and say “No More!”
Not Caring Anymore
The same way your body fights infections, your mind creates coping mechanisms, ‘barriers’ to protect your mental health.
Many times when I felt strong and my husband was drinking, I thought to myself, “If he just got on with it and died now, I could get on with my life.” This was my mind’s defense system kicking in.
When living with an alcoholic, your own mental health hits all-time lows. Repeated disappointments make you numb. Think about it -the human mind is strong enough to make someone crave a substance so much that they are willing to risk everything for it and likewise, it is strong enough to develop an invisible barrier to emotion to stop us from being hurt over and over again – to survive.
You may feel the alcoholic knows what he’s doing to you and that he’s killing what love is left. You may feel you don’t care if there’s help for him anymore or if he becomes well or not, or if he lives or dies.
This is not a natural way to feel about someone you love; it is your mind protecting you.
Alcoholism is a mental illness which affects those living with the addict also. Illnesses are nobody’s fault, not yours and not theirs. Your negative thoughts and feelings are normal.
It is possible ,however, to hate the problem of alcoholism and love the person who is drinking – both at the same time. This is called detachment.
You can learn more about how to detach with love at free Al-Anon meetings in your area or in my book ‘How To Live With An Alcoholic And Still Enjoy Your Life‘.
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