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What if My Family Drinks?
It can be challenging if you live with a parent who has a problem with substance use. Not only can it affect how you feel, but also how you act. If you’ve been asking, “What if my family drinks?” you’re in the right place.
In this article, we will address the question, “What if my family drinks?”. We will also talk about what you can do if your family drinks.
What’s It Like to Live With a Family Member Who Drinks
Living with a family member who drinks is different for each person for what it’s like. People with family members who excessively drink might feel:
● Embarrassed, angry, or sad about a family member’s excessive drinking
● Worried about the health or safety of their parent
● Scared, alone, or unsafe in their own home
● Relieved when the parent decides to take the steps to recovery
How Family Members Who Excessively Drink Usually Feels
Alcohol is a drug, and it affects a person’s body and how they feel and behave.
Drunk people may have various feelings. These feelings include dizziness, silliness, or happiness. They may also feel out of control, angry, violent, sad, tired, or nauseous.
Moreover, after having a lot of drinks, people may have trouble remembering. Even other tasks like talking, standing, walking will be hard.
Why Family Members Keep Alcoholism a Secret
Most of the time, people don’t want others to know about their alcoholism, and they also may worry that other people will think badly of them.
Moreover, people who suffer from alcohol addiction worry that others will see them as weak. This happens if they admit to having problems with alcohol.
They may also worry that admitting they have a problem with alcohol might lead to other issues. These problems include losing their jobs or scaring their family members. At some point, it could be as bad as leaving an impression to other people that they’re horrible people.
Kids may also think that if they talk about their mom’s or dad’s drinking problem, their parents will be in trouble. Moreover, children worry about getting themselves in trouble.
Can My Family Members Stop Drinking So Much?
Yes. Fortunately, people who have problems with alcohol can get better.
Other people can manage to drink less, and some can completely stop drinking alcohol.
However, stopping drinking can be extremely hard. It may take a long time for a person to change, and some may change for a while but eventually go back to drinking again after just a day or week of quitting. This case is called a relapse.
Contrary to popular belief, a relapse is a part of a person’s process of getting better. However, this doesn’t mean that the person won’t ever stop drinking.
What Can I Do?
Bringing up your concerns may make the person angry. Sometimes, they can also become defensive. Others may lash out or simply deny that they have a drinking problem.
In addition, it’ll likely become worse if you don’t speak up.
Hence, you must be honest and open about your concerns. However, you also need to remember that you cannot force someone to stop abusing alcohol.
You can offer them steps to address their problem, though.
1. Choose a time when your loved one is calm and not drinking.
Pick a quiet and private place. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted in this place. Then, turn off your phones and other gadgets to avoid distractions.
2. Express your concerns in a caring way.
Be compassionate. Remain neutral. This way, you get better chances of helping them than when you judge their behavior or shame them.
3. Encourage your loved one to open up.
A lot of different factors could contribute to their drinking.
However, your loved ones need to address any underlying causes of their drinking habits for them to stay sober. People with drinking problems can do this by opening up.
4. Consider staging an intervention or a family meeting.
Rather than bullying, accusing, or venting anger towards the person with the drinking problem, take this as an opportunity to care for them.
What to Avoid
Here are the things you must avoid when talking to a family member with a drinking problem:
● Don’t take negative reactions personally.
You might need to try a lot before you can talk to your loved one about their drinking problem.
In addition, you should expect pushbacks and denials from them. Hence, you must give time and space to the person so that they can come to terms with your concerns.
● Do not attempt to threaten, punish, bribe, or even preach.
You must avoid raising any emotional appeal.
This only adds to the problem of the drinker’s feelings of guilt, and it also increases their compulsion to drink even more. Instead of ultimatums, offer advice instead.
● Don’t cover up for your loved ones or make excuses for their behavior.
Shielding them from responsibilities will only prevent them from seeing the negative consequences of their drinking, and it could also delay them from getting help.
● Don’t blame yourself.
You’re not guilty nor responsible for their behavior, and you cannot make them change. Hence, the guilt, responsibility, and blame should not be on your shoulders.
If you’ve been asking, “What if my family drinks?” you should know better than blaming yourself or your loved one. You must be compassionate and take the necessary steps to help them get better. Using a sobriety app can significantly help your loved ones.