An Al-anon opening reading says; "Living with an alcoholic is just too much for most of us." That seemed to be an understatement to me at first. This illness effects everyone that is remotely connected to the problem drinker. It is a relentless bombardment of negativity that may cause people involved to lose themselves in the process of interacting with a problem drinker.
Since my first alcoholism support group meeting over thirteen years ago, I've attended thousands more. In the process, I've attained an enumerable amount of methods of handling dysfunctional relationships that work. Like most of us, I've been effected by people with drinking problems for the majority of my life.
Below are a few guaranteed ways of reducing anxiety, stress, depression and fear levels associated with living with someone suffering from the disease of alcoholism.
Avoid Major Issues
Never discuss serious matters with them when they are intoxicated. If someone you know just came out from having a major operation and was under the affects of a sedative, you would not try to talk to them about real-life issues, would you? Of course not! Well, there's really no difference between that scenario and someone being drunk.
Refuse to Fight
Avoid fighting with them at all costs. It's pointless to go around and around with them having heated discussions. These type situations are what alcoholics feed on. For some reason many of them love to argue.
There are very specific methods that you can use to avoid having disagreements with them. One way is by not reacting to the things they may say about you that you know are not true. Oftentimes we feel a need to defend our character because of a false statement they have made about us. When we do react, this usually just adds fuel to the fire. Just say something like; "That's your opinion" and then say nothing else. That's one of many responses that I use that really work well.
Take Care to Not Get Entangled to Much
Be very careful to not become overly obsessed with their behaviors. This is something that happens over time when living with alcoholics. It's rather easy to get so FOCUSED on everything they are doing that we miss out on enjoying our own lives. There are many ways to break this habit of always wondering what they are doing. For starters, try doing some things that you enjoy for a change. This will help you get your mind off of them.
Those are just a few of literally thousands of ways to reduce the stress and anxiety levels associated with living with an active alcoholic. It does not matter if the person you are being affected by is your spouse, friend, child, or co-worker, these methods work for all types of dysfunctional relationships.
It's possible to live with a problem drinker and be happy, joyous and free. I know this for a fact because I've done it on more than one occasion. The fear, stress, worry, depression, and anxiety you are experiencing can be overcome.
Here's the thing, the alcoholic is not going to stop drinking until they decide to make changes on their own. To save yourself form letting them have damaging effects on your life, you will need to change the way you are interacting with them. This is just a fact of how alcoholic relationships work.
You can continue living with a problem drinker and learn how to enjoy your life to the full, even while they are still drinking. You just need to learn a few more proven ways of handling your life in the midst of interacting with dysfunctional people.