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How to recognize alcoholism in your family

Alcoholism is a family disease. If you are living with an alcoholic, whether it is a spouse or a child, your family is dysfunctional. There is much shame associated with alcoholism. It is not fair but there are judgements put on you and your family.

Many people think that you should be able to control or cure it. Many say that they would never live with an alcoholic. They will tell you that they would never tolerate that kind of behavior. Sometimes the very people who are the most judgmental are living with alcoholism themselves.

There is a stigma with alcoholism and a belief by many people that alcoholism is a sin. Ironically our society fully embraces drinking as a lifestyle. People see no problem with drinking alcohol, even drinking in excess, it is drunkenness that is considered shameful. Unless a person gets arrested for drunken driving or public intoxication they don’t even realize that they are drunk. Oftentimes they say that they have been set up. They will tell you that they haven’t been drinking that much.

Sadly not all alcoholics can be detected that easily. Many people still believe that alcoholics are mean and disorderly. They believe that they are stumbling down drunks and don’t realize that you can be an alcoholic and not appear to be out of control. If you find yourself counting a member of your family’s drinks or watching how much they are spending on alcohol, it doesn’t matter if they are alcoholic or not. What is important is that it is affecting you. If you are worried about someone’s drinking it is a problem.

When confronting a person about their drinking, be sure to do it in a loving way. Don’t yell and accuse or threaten the person. Tell them that you are concerned about their drinking and that you are afraid that they may have a problem. After you confront the person about their drinking, they may try to control how much they drink. If you are still bothered by it, it is important that you do something to help yourself. You do not want to enable them or become obsessed with their drinking. It is time to call for help for yourself and your family. Oftentimes the alcoholic doesn’t want help. It is important that you get help for you and the rest of the family. There are support groups in all areas of the world that can help you. Alanon is for families of alcoholics. Do not worry about whether your loved one is an alcoholic or not. If their drinking is a problem for you, it is a problem.

Never under any circumstances accept physical abuse to you or your children.

The only other thing that I will stress is that if there is physical abuse, do not under any circumstances live with abuse. Your life and the lives of other members of the family are more important than living in fear or danger. Not all alcoholics are violent though. That is a misnomer. Please if you are living with this problem, get help. You will find a whole new way of life by reaching out for help through Alanon.

source: The Examiner

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