This article is for people who are close to someone who has issues with alcohol. In other words, this is, very likely, for everyone.
Whether you are aware of it or not, someone you know is weathering the storm of alcoholism. If you care for them, and want them to remain safe, this is for you.
This is also for the 30% of adults in the U.S. who personally suffer from some form of alcohol abuse. And the 12% who will become dependent on alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
Especially, this is for the 9%—3 out of 4 alcoholics—who have not yet chosen to get any help.
If you are weathering the storm of alcoholism, there are things you can do to move toward safety, and you will find resources to help you do that below.
The Whirlwind of Insanity
When our boys were young, a tornado ravaged an area close to our home. Our family was driving around looking at the damage, and I decided to video what we were seeing.
On a whim, I turned the camera on our older son, who was 5 or 6 at the time. I asked what he thought about what the tornado had done and the people affected. His answer touched me, and remains vivid even today, when he said, “It hurts my heart.”
This article is about another type of storm.
Alcoholism is also a tornado which can wreck the lives of people it strikes. There may be warning signals, but it may also strike unexpectedly. Either way, it can leave devastation in its wake.
If your life is adversely affected by alcohol, it hurts my heart.
Alcoholics lose their sense of self as they get sucked deeper into the vortex of the storm. They become different than who they were before, and not at all the person God made them to be. Their lives become marked by denial, deception, and shame. They don’t know how to escape the storm within so, to calm their world for a while, they drink some more.
I know. Because I’ve been there. And, if you are there now, it hurts my heart.
The loved ones of an alcoholic are also drawn into the whirlwind, and they feel helpless and afraid. Someone they care about has turned into a different person. The insanity of self-destructive behavior swirls around them, and they are buffeted by fear, anger, pain, and frustration.
I’ve been there too so, if that is you, it hurts my heart.
Once a tornado has passed, the damage remains. But, houses and apartment buildings can be rebuilt, and so can lives.
That’s where Recovery comes in. Like the Red Cross after a tornado, understanding supporters can help repair the damage. One piece at a time, self-worth and positive relationships can be restored.
And what is rebuilt can be even better than before! Stronger and more resilient. Better able to stand up to any new storms that come along.
I am there, so I know.
Weathering the Storm of Alcoholism
If you are in the 9% of Americans who are alcoholics but have not chosen to go into Recovery, it hurts my heart. I know you are in pain, but there are steps you can take to move toward safety:
If you are in the 12% of people who have become dependent on alcohol, you need to know the danger you are facing:
If you are in the 30% who sometimes abuse alcohol, you should realize a storm may be coming:
If you know someone who has issues that could lead to substance abuse, you can help create a safe haven for them to come in out of the storm:
- “Moving Toward Safety”
- “Who Do You Know Who Could Relapse?”
- “What To Do if Your Teenager is Taking Drugs” (2-part series)
If you are not weathering the storm of alcoholism right now but want to lessen the chance of such a tornado hitting close to home:
- “A Vaccine for Addiction” (4-part series)
- “How to Help Protect Your Kids Against Addiction”
- “10 Mistakes Parents Make”
No matter how dark it seems, there is hope. Start by talking to someone or going to a Recovery meeting. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are weathering the storm of alcoholism, I pray you will take steps to avoid disaster. By now, I hope you know why I feel that way.
It hurts my heart.
Question: Of the categories of people described above, which fits you the most?
Action: If you are weathering the storm of alcoholism, take a first step toward safety.