Alcohol Awareness Week
Did you know that this week has been Alcohol Awareness, with a particular focus on ‘alcohol and families’? I have blogged about how alcohol can affect you as an individual before. In this blog, I will focus on what it is like being a family member of a drinker and what support is available.
Someone might need help if:
- They are unable to control the amount they drink
- Their behaviour changes because of their drinking
- Their drinking is causing problems in everyday life
Growing up with someone dependent on alcohol
Children usually know that their parent is dependent on alcohol from an early age. Clients have told me that they always knew as soon as they arrived home from school
- Whether mum / dad was having a good or bad day
- Whether mum / dad was emotionally available or perhaps under the influence of alcohol / hungover
- How, as a child, the client would adapt their behaviour accordingly or learn to be self sufficient.
The emotional toll of having an alcoholic parent may carry into adulthood, impacting on relationships, self esteem and your own choices around alcohol. Therapy can help you recognise how these triggers have affected you and help you feel more balanced now.
Being with a partner who drinks heavily
Are you worried about a person in your life who drinks heavily but won’t change or stop when you ask? Perhaps you are living with someone who seems to want to always continue the party long after everyone else has stopped? It can impact on everything from social relationships to lifestyle choices to carrying feelings of fear / anxiety / worry / anger / shame to feeling isolated and alone. Perhaps you are worried about how the drinking is affecting your children. Being the family member of someone who drinks harmfully can leave you feeling stigmatised or isolated as it can be difficult to talk to family and friends about your concerns. The first point is …. You are not responsible for your partners drinking. Therapy can help you examine how it makes you feel, and look at how alcohol is impacting on your life.
Being part of a social crowd where everyone drinks
Being with a social circle which focusses on alcohol related activities and not feeling able to say no to the round of drinks or the ‘one for the road’. Are you worried that your social life will deteriorate if you decide to be different? As a therapist, I can help you understand what you can do to change these situations and your reaction to them.
Useful websites and resources
- Speak to your GP if you are concerned about yourself or a family member as there will be local community based services in your area
- Drinkline – free advice helpline for those worried about how you or a loved one are using alcohol – 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm)
- http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/ – support groups for family members affected by alcohol and Alateen for teenagers affected by those using alcohol.
I hope you have found this blog useful.
I am a counsellor, hypnotherapist and BWRT Advanced Practitioner & Coach and I work with many people who are either wish to change their personal relationship with alcohol or who have been affected by alcohol via other people. Sessions are confidential and non judgemental. You can explore how you feel and be confident to move forward in a way that is right for you.
Get in touch for a free, no obligation consultation.