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Loving an alcoholic is not about taking care of them, but about taking care of you. You have a responsibility to protect yourself from any of the alcoholic’s negative and destructive behavior. Setting boundaries for you is how to become healthy, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You may have to change a few personal things and schedules around the house a bit to accommodate your boundaries, but this is how you protect yourself from the insidious disease of alcoholism. All the boundaries I suggest are always detaching from the alcoholic in a loving way.
Don’t be around the alcoholic when they are drinking. Does this sound difficult to do. Well it isn’t if you have your own bedroom, or other room, with a television, desk, phone, cell phone, laptop, etc. Be prepared to leave any room the alcoholic is drinking in. When the alcoholic asks you why you are leaving the room, let them know the truth; you are powerless to control their behavior and you do not want to be around them while they are drinking; it’s as simple as that. You are taking care of you!
I went to a party, Mom. I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mom, so I drank soda instead.
I really felt proud inside, Mom, the way you said I would.
I didn't drink and drive, Mom, even though the others said I should.
I know I did the right thing, Mom, I know you are always right.
Now the party is finally ending, Mom, as everyone is driving out of sight.
As I got into my car, Mom, I knew I'd get home in one piece.
Because of the way you raised me, so responsible and sweet.
I started to drive away, Mom, but as I pulled out into the road,
The other car didn't see me, Mom, and hit me like a load.
As I lay there on the pavement, Mom, I hear the policeman say,
The other guy is drunk, Mom, and now I'm the one who will pay.
I'm lying here dying, Mom. I wish you'd get here soon.
How could this happen to me, Mom? My life just burst like a balloon.
There is blood all around me, Mom, and most of it is mine.
I hear the medic say, Mom, I'll die in a short time.
I just wanted to tell you, Mom, I swear I didn't drink.
It was the others, Mom. The others didn't think.
He was probably at the same party as I.
The only difference is, he drank and I will die...
The following are unsolicited, direct quotes from real people who have been ministered to by CIR. Though Jesus Christ, CIR impacts lives, saves lives and changes lives.
The CIR site is a central meeting point for many who may otherwise not have found and entered recovery. Especially Christians who struggle with secular recovery programs. They find other Christians in the CIR program they can identify with and they can freely speak about their Christian faith and beliefs. ~ T.B.
"Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same — will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 5:19
A great many people are careful about breaking large commandments and committing heinous sins — while they commit "little sins" continually and without scruple.
They would not tell a direct lie for the world — but their speech is full of little falsehoods!
They would not steal money from the purse or drawer of another — and yet they continually commit small thefts! For example, by mistake the grocer gives them a penny too much change — and they do not think of returning it. Through the carelessness of a postal worker, the postage stamp on a letter is left uncancelled — and they take it off and use it a second time.
They would not purposely try to blacken a neighbor's name or destroy his character — and yet they repeat to others the evil whispers about him which they have heard, and thus soil his reputation.
They would not swear or curse in the coarse way of the ungodly — but they are continually using such minced oaths such as, Gosh! Gees! Heck! and other mild, timid substitutes for overt swearing.
They would not do flagrant acts of wickedness to disgrace themselves — but their lives are honeycombed with all kinds of little meannesses, impurities, selfishnesses, and bad tempers.
Collection of ebooks and software FREE for CIR Members
On the surface, codependency messages sound like Christian teaching:
"Codependents always put others first before taking care of themselves."
(Aren't Christians to put others first?) .
"Codependents give themselves away."
(Shouldn't Christians do the same?).
"Codependents martyr themselves."
(Doesn't Christianity honor its martyrs?)
Those statements have a familiar ring, don't they? Then how can we distinguish between codependency, which is unhealthy to codependents and their dependents, and mature faith, which is healthy.
I have little or no value.
Other persons and situations have all the value.
Ask Angie: Hi Angie, I was reading your article titled "Do You Love an Alcoholic - Setting Boundaries for You". I'd like to follow these suggestions, but I have some questions. How long should I detach myself before I should move out? We have two kids (3 and 5). How do I go about detaching when we all live together? Should I move me and my kids out for a while? How do I explain to them what's going on?
How Long Should I Detach Before Moving Out?
Ask Angie: Dear Angie, I have been married to an alcoholic husband for eight years now and we have two young children together. We have taken marriage courses and I have been reading the Love Dare. I have tried the detach method but it is difficult since he starts drinking every day at around 9 or 10 in the morning (since he was laid off over six months ago) and drinks until he goes to bed which is usually midnight. If I don't talk to him when he's drinking he gets angry. How can I make the detachment work in this situation and how can I protect our children from his anger?
It happens without warning. It creeps into your life and all of a sudden, you're hooked. At first you're the life of the party, and later you're the drunk of the party. When you're young, twenties and thirties, your body can handle all the booze, no problem. But mentally it impairs the way you view and feel the world around you.
Most of the time, alcoholics don't know that alcohol has taken hold of their life. This is called the denial stage. Alcoholics feel if they can get up and go to work everyday, even though secretly they have an excruciating headache, they don't have a problem.
But what keeps the alcoholic going throughout the workday is in knowing that after work, they'll have those highballs or beers, which will in fact; make them feel like their old self again.
Question: I need help, I am the typical enabler and victim and I do not want my life to continue this way. Please help!
Guidance: I know your pain and suffering first hand. My experience comes from both sides. I grew up with an alcoholic step dad. When I got married I was the alcoholic and my husband was the enabler. I can now look back on my behavior and see how sick mentally, emotionally and spiritually I really was. Only when my husband stopped enabling the addiction did I get help for myself. Praise God I have been sober for 15 years! My personal testimony is written in the book Journey on the Roads Less Traveled.