Have you ever met someone that could charm your socks off one day and the next day you don’t even know them? Well, that’s what it’s like living with an alcoholic. They can be the nicest person you’ve ever known and after a few drinks they start changing into this person you don’t even want to be around.
The alcoholic hurts himself every time he takes a drink. It doesn’t really matter what type of drink. As far as an alcoholic is concerned ‘a drink is a drink’. Their body gets weaker and weaker, usually because they don’t eat properly anymore. Their bodies are missing all the important nutrients that are needed. Some alcoholics turn anorexic and don’t eat at all. Some how the alcohol effects their thinking ability, they loose their sense of time, the forget what they said only a few moments ago, and some even forget who they are. Imagine trying to carry on a conversation with a person who repeats themselves three or four times within ten minutes. It really gets scary when they don’t even know who you are. They ask “Who are you?’ and you just want to cry.
The family of an alcoholic has a lot to deal with. You never know what to expect when you get home from your day at school or work. It affects every member of the family in ways that may not always be visible to anyone on the outside. The alcoholic can say some cruel things when they are drunk, it hurts just as bad as being stabbed with a knife. The next day when you’re still hurting, the alcoholic will be wondering what’s wrong with you. They have usually forgotten what they said the night before.
Sometimes the stress gets so bad that it can affect others in the family. The stress can cause high blood pressure, overeating, depression, and isolation from friends and relatives. The stress can also cause your own anger to explode on the alcoholic, or other people. This is not good. You end up pushing the people you need the most away, when you need them the most. Then you’re left all alone.
Alcoholics often loose their tempers easier and faster than usual and react in so many different ways. There are times when they can abusive by just yelling and putting other family members down, even calling them hurtful names. The kind of abuse is the unseen kind and the hardest to prove.
Then there are times when they become so angry that they use violence as a means of abuse. This is when it really gets scary. The scariest is when you look in their eyes and you don’t see anything. They begin screaming at you and if you say anything, POW, you just got hit. Even if you don’t know the answer, they could hit you. You try to run, but your feet won’t move. It must be because you are in shock at what or who is standing in front of you.
Everyone around you says to put them away somewhere, so they can sober up. It’s just not that easy. If they are not ready to give up the alcohol and change their life, it would be just a waste of time. When they sober up, they just come home and are angrier than before. The is another excuse to drink again. The law can’t even step in unless physical abuse has happened. Then they can only lock them up for a short time and guess what they come back and it starts all over again.
You ask. “Why don’t you just leave the alcoholic?” Well, that’s a good question. Alcoholism is like a disease, if someone you loved had cancer or some terminal disease, would you leave them? Think about that for a moment. Then there’s that Vow of love you made, ‘for better or worse’ that keeps popping into your head. No matter what you do it just repeats itself in your head. Of course you need to think of the other family members (the children) and how this affects them. Your decision will effect their lives almost more than yours.
It’s the whole family that is affected by this awful disease. The whole family has to work together towards the right solution. If the solution you choose doesn’t work then you try another and another until you find one that finally works. Hopefully it works before it’s too late. Some alcoholics don’t want to be sober. They are happy with their life the way it is. They don’t realize what is happening to the people closest to them. They just continue until one day they pass out and never wake up.