How to Forgive an Alcoholic
Understanding the Disease of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that is characterized by engaging in alcohol consumption at an excessive amount or consistent basis and it can be difficult to learn how to forgive an alcoholic. It is defined as a chronic disease as it tends to progress over a period of time and continues to develop and worsen the longer your alcohol abuse goes on. The more your alcohol abuse progresses, the more you become tolerant and dependent on alcohol to function leading to addiction to alcohol that can be challenging to overcome on your own.
While it is clear that alcohol addiction will have significant impacts on the person engaging in alcohol abuse, it is important to remember that alcohol addiction impacts the alcohol abuser and loved ones that are around you. As you experience physical and mental health impacts from your alcohol consumption, loved ones will experience stress and worry as they witness their friends or family experience the damages and impacts that alcoholism can have. Oftentimes, individuals with an alcohol addiction will experience conflict with their loved ones due to mistrust in the relationship, secretive behaviors, and irrational behaviors that can occur resulting in discord within relationships. To effectively treat alcohol addiction, the alcohol abuser must undergo individual therapy sessions and family therapy methods to treat the underlying cause of addiction while working towards mending the relationships between loved ones.
How Alcoholism Impacts a Person Physically and Emotionally
Engaging in alcohol abuse has significant impacts on both physical and emotional health, a concern that is well-addressed by programs at drug rehab near Los Angeles. Prolonged and consistent alcohol consumption leads to various health concerns directly linked to such abuse. One of the major risks of alcohol addiction is the increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular and heart diseases, as well as liver disease, which can escalate to liver failure as alcohol consumption continues. As major organs sustain damage due to alcohol abuse, the risk of serious complications rises, potentially leading to alcohol-related fatalities if not addressed. Seeking treatment at a drug rehab near Los Angeles can be a critical step in preventing these severe health consequences. These facilities offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs that are crucial for reversing the damaging effects of alcohol on the body and helping individuals embark on a path to recovery and better health.
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Why Family Therapy Matters
During your active addiction to alcohol, you are aware of your addiction’s impact on your own life. However, addiction is a disease that has a ripple effect on those loved ones that are around you. As your loved ones witness how alcohol addiction wreaks havoc on your day-to-day life, they want to do what they can to support you but experience pushback as you want to isolate yourself from others during your addiction. Alcohol abuse will often cause individuals to behave in ways that are out of the normal such as engaging in verbal or physical altercations, lying or stealing from loved ones, and losing connection with each other as they attempt to hide their alcohol addiction from those around them.
Family therapy is a crucial aspect of any alcoholic’s healing journey. To have long-term success in addiction treatment, you must be able to surround yourself with people that have your best interests at heart and will help hold you accountable to your goals of remaining in addiction recovery. Before turning to your loved ones for support, you must acknowledge the hurt that your loved ones may have experienced during active alcohol addiction. Family therapy allows each family member to process the emotions that have occurred and engage in conflict resolution to put any previous mistrust and conflicts in the past. Families can establish new trust and boundaries with one another to ensure that each person shares the same vision of remaining sober and holding each other accountable to the boundaries, roles in the familial unit, and commitments to the recovery process.
7 Steps You Can Take to Forgive an Alcoholic
Watching a loved one engage in alcohol abuse and experiencing some hurtful or painful behaviors from your loved one can raise questions about how you can forgive them and move on with your relationship. Your experiences and emotions are valid, and the forgiveness process does not discount your own experiences for what you have gone through. There are steps you can take that will validate your personal experiences while beginning the process of relieving yourself of the burden of grudges and moving forward in the relationship with a new foundation of trust and support for each other that is mutual.
The following are steps you can take to begin the process of forgiving an alcoholic:
- Understanding that alcohol addiction is a disease that must be treated
- Releasing any guilt or feelings of responsibility for your loved one’s addiction. You did not cause your loved one to become an alcoholic.
- Process and release any feelings of anger. Anger is an emotion that limits your ability to feel happiness and is ineffective in healing.
- Eliminate the feelings of hurt and pain that you have been feeling and start fresh on a new path toward happiness and stability
- Write a list of all of the reasons why you love the person with alcohol addiction. Reminding yourself of who your loved one is to you outside of their addiction
- Inform your loved one of your love for them and speak your emotions to them about their addiction has impacted and hurt you
- Saying “I forgive you.” This is not meant to forget about what has happened or invalidate your experiences. It is simply providing you an opportunity to release the negative impacts that this has had on your life and granting you the ability to move forward.
Commit to Treatment at Muse
Muse Treatment Center offers a comprehensive treatment program for individuals living with active alcohol addiction. We understand that addiction goes beyond impacting only the alcoholic. Families need support throughout this healing process. That is why patients are provided with an individualized alcohol treatment plan that is centered around their unique needs for healing and offering loved ones the opportunity to process and heal from the impacts of alcoholism within the family. Our whole-person integrated approach to healing will support patients and their loved ones with a treatment program that will heal patients physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually from the depths of addiction. Your road to recovery can start now. Call us at (800) 426-1818 today to begin your recovery journey.