Life can sometimes best be compared to a series of games that you have to master in this limited time frame you’re given. There’s the aspect of it being like a puzzle that you have to figure out- except there are new puzzle pieces always appearing. Then there’s the Monopoly concept of having to be a functional person in society while running your way around the square cardboard span of life. However, collecting $200 and going to jail repeatedly isn’t all what it boils down to, (although that is the story of my life). There are all sorts of games, but alcoholic thinking is like dominoes. Once we tip over a few, the resulting chain reaction is one that cannot be stopped without intervention, various forms of rehabilitation, and numbers of support groups.
Most of the time, our families and friends are never ready for the dominoes to tip over when they do. Sometimes it happens out of impulse, and other times it happens accidentally. Either way, it catches everybody off guard and can create levels of discomfort for everybody involved in the project. Of course, this is all still a metaphor for addiction and alcoholism. Whether dealing with a relapse, active use or a loved one has finally gotten the nerve to get clean- everybody involved with this person has been affected in one way or another. However, just when the game gets tough and everybody is struggling, we pull out the instruction manual. This is where support groups come in because everybody needs coaching on something- especially sobriety and recovery. There is always somebody who knows a little more than somebody else. Why not spread that wisdom in a beneficial manner that others could take away from?
Here, There, and Everywhere
Unfortunately, chemical dependency is not a contained disease- it’s a family disease. Meaning that it will grab its host and through the inflicted alcoholic thinking of that person, it will somehow affect all those that love this person or are close to them. As this person begins to lose who they are through their ripping and running, they will begin to abuse not only their relationship with themselves but with everybody batting for them. Even worse is when they are in the thick of their usage, addicts, and alcoholics do not see the world in a rational light. They cannot see the harm being caused upon those that just want to help them. Those of us that love somebody struggling with this disease don’t realize the toll it’s taking on our own selves until half those dominoes have already fallen. We’re always so caught up in their latest web of lies or drama that we stop tending to ourselves in the manner we’ve needed. Out of love, we find ourselves enabling the addict or alcoholic over and over again with no resolve but us getting hurt again and again. This is where finding support groups for our sanity come in.
Finding a safe place to listen, relate, and understand others is the same concept addicts and alcoholics based their Anonymous meetings off of. We all need somebody to bounce our thoughts off of or advice to be given to us. Let’s face it: therapy and counseling are extremely expensive in today’s day of age (even though the majority of us could use it). Nobody wants to feel like they are experiencing this own version of crazy that nobody else has ever had to go through- that would be so defeating. Finding specific support groups such as
- Codependents Anonymous
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
can be extremely therapeutic for anybody willing to dedicate the small amount of time a meeting would take.
These support groups can be for families, friends, or anybody for that matter that finds themselves dealing the mushroom clouds that addicts and alcoholics are prone to leaving behind. It’s nice to be able to sit down somewhere and listen to other people being put through the same nonsense you are with your addict. Yes to some, that may seem cynical and could be revolved around the idea misery loves company, but to others, it is an opportunity for growth. Going to one of these support groups is a chance to vent and run ideas off one another in an effort to produce a solution to the ongoing problems at stake. One of the worst things about addiction and alcoholism is that they cannot be stopped until the person using is truly ready to end it. That person has to admit and accept their alcoholic thinking and become ready to move on. Like they say, you can always lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink. So these support groups are a way to deal with your stubborn horse in the meantime until it wants to drink water on its own.
To be on the outside of it and understand that addiction is a disease and not a weakness is hard to process. There are millions of addicts and alcoholics who would do anything in the world to be able to use normally or drink socially with their friends and family. However, the reality of the matter is that they can’t take their substance of the day and walk away from it afterward like most others could. That is their dilemma but it is theirs to deal with and not our burden to take completely. Until they recognize it for what it is and acceptance becomes their answer, those of us surrounding them have to find manners such these support groups to cope with the stresses that alcoholic thinking’s madness brings us daily.
Before and After
Support groups can be helpful regardless if your addict is still using or has made it to greener grasses. It can be intimidating to know that addiction and alcoholism are always right around the corner and having dealt with them in any manner leaves their lasting impression. On the other hand, maybe the day comes where your loved one is truly ready for help. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a supportive direction that you can proudly stand behind.