loving an alcoholic

Respect for Yourself

When you live with an addict you can find yourself doing and thinking things that are alien to the person you believe you are. You may have hateful thoughts, become bitter and resentful. You criticise and mock the person you once loved with all your heart. You roar, rant and scream in ways and words you never thought possible. You do things to spite the person …  ‘I’ll show them!’

Your confidence becomes low and you find it hard to recognise the person you have become.  You do everything in your power to change loved one’s unacceptable behaviour.

Changing someone else is not possible. Change must come from within them.

The same goes for you. You must change from within and become the person you were or want to be. This needs work. You need to change your reactions to their unacceptable behaviour. You need to be true to yourself and learn to love yourself again.  The first step towards this is taking care of your reactions and knowing and respecting your own limits. Telling your ALO (Alcoholic Loved One) what you are going to do the next time they drink does not make a difference, instead decide what your limits are, decide the course of action you are going to take and then act  if the time comes. Do it for you, not for them.  Start respecting your own reactions and establish behaviour that reflects integrity and the person you want to be.

“He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow