Ever say that to yourself when trying to have a conversation with a drinker? It’s impossible, isn’t it … That’s because the person you’re trying to communicate with is temporarily insane. There’s nothing ‘upstairs’ except for a saturated brain swimming in alcohol.
Unfortunately, there is no immediate resolution to this dilemma except to remove yourself from the drama. When a drinker lays off the sauce for a week or so, only then does sanity BEGIN to return as the brain begins to act without the effects of alcohol. It doesn’t happen all at once – only in increments. So attempting to have a sane conversation with your loved one when they’re only a week sober likely will not result in the outcome you’re hoping for. It’s not that the person doesn’t want to – it’s that they can’t. Their faculties are simply not available for it.
Patience and support are the bedrock for an addict getting sober. And I’m not talking about support in the form of ridicule, or ultimatums, or insults, or shaming. Those things aren’t supporting. They’re harmful and hurtful and can help manifest the exact behavior you’re hoping to smash out of existence.
If you can’t say something kind to your addict – keep your mouth closed. Seriously, anything else will not work. If you want or need to go scream – take it to your pillow. Write it down and then burn it. Find a safe and loving (towards yourself) way to get it out of your system so that it doesn’t eat you alive.
And remember, when you’re taking care of yourself, you can convey this to your addict without shaming him or her. Finger pointing never elicits positive change. Think about it.