Family members spend as much time obsessing over the behavior of an alcoholic as “they” do thinking about where they will get the next drink. If you get the awareness on this point you will be on the road to changing your behaviors. Let’s try doing a short survey to see if you have an obsession problem.
1) Do you ever drive around looking for the alcoholic or their vehicle?
2) When the alcoholic doesn’t come home– do you begin to analyze them wondering if they have been drinking?
3) When you are near them-do you try to smell if they have the fragrance of alcohol on them?
4) When they tell you they are working late-do you obsess over whether they are lying or not?
5) Do you go through their things to see if they are hiding the booze somewhere?
6) Is there a level of constant anxiety and worry that they will be drunk during the day?
These are just a few of the things that will help you gauge whether or not you are obsessing over the alcoholic in your life. It’s a habit that can be broken. Breaking the habit will require changing your way of thinking and acting.
I have to tell you the funniest story…
When my wife was at the height of her addiction and always lying to get to the next party or place where she could have a drink, I did the funniest thing. She drove a small red two door Chevy Corvette convertible. One day as I was driving down a six lane highway in the city we lived in near Dallas Texas, I saw the car. The driver was going in the opposite direction and she looked like my wife. But wait… “my wife is supposed to be at work across on the other side of town??” I quickly did a U-turn and suddenly burst out laughing…I was driving the Corvette!
The obsessions that we are addicted to when our spouses or children are drinking alcohol daily are relentless. From the time we awaken we begin to obsess over them til we go to sleep at night. Sometimes we don’t sleep at all because we are pacing the floor while they are out at a party all night.
Here are a few steps for breaking the habit of obsessing over an alcoholic.
1) Learn how to talk a lot on the phone to friends. Preferably friends that you have made in the group meetings that you have been attending to help you get over the obsession with the alcoholic in your life.
2) Start doing things that you enjoy. Go to the movies, take long walks on the beach or buy tickets to the opera or something. Just get busy enjoying life and stop worrying about what the alcoholic/addict is doing all of the time.
3) Make a decision to stop engaging in the “double taking looks” when you see a car that your child or alcoholic spouse usually drives.
4) Don’t look at them when they walk in the door to see if they are drunk or not.
5) Read books when they come home to help you keep your attention on something other than them.
6) Let them go to live their life and then you start living yours. You are powerless over the alcoholic.
7) Just go to sleep when the alcoholic doesn’t come home late at night. There’s nothing you can do about their defiant attitude anyway other than protect yourself from becoming an emotional wreck…hopefully we can help teach you how to do this.
The process of breaking the habit of obsessing over another’s behavior is going to take some work, besides they say that it takes twenty one days to break old habits. This obsession is something that you did not suddenly fall into and it’s going to take work to get out of doing it continually. Just take it one day at a time and soon you will notice that you have not been obsessing about what the alcoholic in your life is doing all the time.
Reader Shares Her Story…Please feel free to comment below!I am so glad to have found this site; reading the article about MY obsession with the alcoholic was eye opening. My obsession drives me to look in every crevice of the apartment as soon as he is out of the door, or passed out. Repeatedly.Yesterday, after picking him up from work, he asked if I still had some rum left. MY obsession for knowing exactly what was left before I left for work and knowing exactly what was there when I got back came through for me again. You see – I had to know exactly what he wasdrinking (and therefore lying about). When I had gone to bed the night before, the bottle was about half full. When I left for work in the morning, the bottle had less than a swallow left, and all of the small bottles that he had bought for himself were gone. When I got home from work, the bottle was half full.My answer was, yes, there was some rum left, since he had been so kind to refill it earlier in the day. I was really surprised that he didn’t lay into me verbally for that little gem.My driving need to know is so wrong. No matter what – I’m never going to know the real truth, and it will just feed my fear, jealousy and contempt. It’s eating me alive, as much as the lies and nastiness that I’m bombarded with.
Although there are some serious issues within these four walls right now, my biggest problem is really a problem with me. Too much time and energy are being fed to this monster. I do need to claim my mind-space and peace of mind back.
I need me.