While living with someone in active alcoholism can be very stressful and scary, transitioning into living with this person as they are recovering from alcoholism can be just as intense. Although you might not know the best ways to help or what you’re doing, you still want to be supportive and give help and assistance whenever its need. The problem here is that many people who have never had a problem with alcohol abuse don’t know what’s helpful and what isn’t. So to help make this relationship and living situation work for everyone involved, here are three pieces of advice on how to manage living with a recovering alcoholic.
Support Them In Dealing With Challenges
Once someone is committed to breaking the habit of alcohol abuse, there are a lot of pieces of their life that they have to try to put back together. This process can be very hard physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. Because of this, it can be challenging to know what you can do to help. But according to Recovery.org, the best thing you can do is be supportive of what your loved one needs. This could include going with them to counseling sessions, helping them manage their finances, or even just being someone to help them take their mind off their constant struggle.
Be Aware Of What You’re Saying
If your loved one’s alcoholism has its foundation in emotional issues, you may be worried about saying or doing something that could be a trigger for them. While you can’t know exactly how anything you’ll say will be taken, there are things you can do to help yourself be more careful about what you’re saying to your loved one. Promises.com recommends steering clear of words or phrases that express pity, belittle their disease, are too intrusive, or show very little hope. Although you may think that saying something of this nature may feel intuitive, it really will do nothing to help a recovering alcoholic and could even make the process harder for him or her.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Helping someone through a tough spot in their life is hard for everyone involved. There will probably be times where you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t sure if you’re being helpful or supportive. You may make choices that, at the time, seemed right but now may feel wrong. To those in this situation, Jim LaPierre, a contributor to ChooseHelp.com, advises you to not beat yourself up too much. If you have positive intentions and are genuinely concerned for the wellbeing of your loved one as they’re recovering from alcoholism, nothing you do or say will be irreversibly bad. So just as you’re giving your loved one a break, give yourself a break, too.
If you are or will be living with a recovering alcoholic, use the tips mentioned above to help make this transition process come together smoothly.