Facing the Consequences
As long as the alcoholic has his enabling devices in place, it is easy for him to continue to deny he has a problem — since most of his problems are being “solved” by those around him. Only when he is forced to face the consequences of his own actions, will it finally begin to sink in how deep his problem has become.
Some of these choices are not easy for the friends and families of alcoholics. If the alcoholic drinks up the money that was supposed to pay the utility bill, he’s not the only one who will be living in a dark, cold, or sweltering house. The rest of the family will suffer right along with him.
Tough Choices, But Choices
That makes the only option for the family seem to be taking the money intended for groceries and paying the light bill instead, since nobody wants to be without utilities.
But that is not the only option. Taking the children to friends or relatives, and letting the alcoholic come home alone to a dark house, is an option that protects the family and leaves the alcoholic face-to-face with his problem.
Those kinds of choices are difficult. They require “detachment with love.” But it is love. Unless the alcoholic is allowed to face the consequences of his own actions, he will never realize just how much his drinking has become a problem — to himself and those around him.
Often those closest to the alcoholic or addict believe if they can just get him to stop drinking or drugging, it will solve all of the problems. They may attempt a family intervention and many other tactics to try to “solve the problem.”
But many families find that even if the alcoholic or addicts quits and gets into recovery, the problems linger. For families dealing with either an active or recovering alcoholic/addict, there are many resources available to help and support you through the difficulties. Many family members have found that joining mutual aid self-help groups such as Al-Anon Family Groups or going for family counselling have changed their lives completely.