Bottled Up

E is for Encourage change

E is for Encourage change. Anyone changing any behaviour needs encouragement and affirmation. Drinkers are no different in that respect. Giving encouragement also helps you to feel part of that change, that it is a team thing, rather than something that s/he is struggling with alone.
OK, we can just hear that protests, but they are still drinking, so what’s to encourage!? Over the last few decades we have come to regard change as all or nothing, especially in drinking. The disease model of alcoholism tends to promote that attitude.

If we adopt that criteria for change – drinking vs not drinking – then many will be disappointed as it does not always happen like that. Sometimes changes can be small, like drinking less or less often or respecting a boundary that you have agreed, or agreeing to look for .help.
Recognising these small changes and affirming them can help to produce more and bigger changes. It can also help you by increasing your sense of hope.

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V is for valuing your drinker

V is for valuing your drinker. It is all too easy to forget your drinker’s good points, the things that attracted you in the first place. Hardly surprising, if s/he is drinking excessively and become undependable and lies about the drinking, it is difficult to have positive feelings towards them.
If your feelings are becoming increasingly negative (again, not surprising) then they can leak out, or even just become the way that you communicate with them. If that is the case then, unknowingly, you may be exacerbating the problem, both for the drinker and for yourself.
In this video we explore how you might start to reverse this process and feel better about your drinker, and about yourself.

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O is for Optimise your time when they are sober

O is for optimising your time when they are sober. There is a great temptation to ‘punish’ the drinker in some way when the alcohol has worn off. The ‘punishment’ may take a number of forms, eg the silent treatment or picking a fight.
These are very natural reactions to the heavy drinking that has preceded the period of sobriety. However, regardless of how justified those reactions may be, they are unlikely to result in any positive change. In fact, in many cases it may exacerbate the drinking instead.
In this video we discuss another approach. The rationale behind this approach is both short term peace and a demonstration that there is life after alcohol.

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L is for letting the negatives happen

L is for letting the negatives happen. When an alcoholic drinks, negative things happen, the may get into arguments or fights, they may have an accident, they may fall asleep on the couch and never get to bed. There can be many negative outcomes.

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Love an alcoholic You must be joking

LOVE is one of the powerful tools that are exclusive to Bottled Up. It was created to provide some guidelines on how to live with an alcoholic in a way that was positive and therapeutic.

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Is guilt free detachment possible?

Can you detach from your drinker without feeling guilty and that you are betraying or abandoning your drinker? Does even the thought of detachment make you feel uncomfortable?

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Is forgiveness just permission to drink again?

One of the issues that can hinder people forgiving someone that they feel has wronged them is the fear that they are just saying that "it was ok to hurt me" and that the wrong may be repeated. In this video we discuss some of the delicate issues that surround forgiveness in a relationship where … Read More >

Journey out of Secrecy

Secrecy is very often a feature of families when there is a problem drinker in the family.  The family often closes ranks because of the stigma and shame associated with alcoholism in the mistaken impression that they are protecting, or being loyal to, their drinker.

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Is my loved one an alcoholic?

There is no doubt that the way you view a problem, not just a drinking problem, will inform how you deal with the problem.

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Resentment and Forgiveness

This is a huge and a difficult topic.  However it is one that we feel is so important that we have actually recorded two videos about the topic. The first video is from a professional point of view, what therapists would say to you and what the research shows.  The second video is from a … Read More >

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