Live with an alcoholic: A Survival Guide to Xmas

Christmas – a magical period or a time of dread?

Xmas is surrounded by hype, with the media presenting it as a magical time when everybody is happy and love and joy abounds.  For many, expectations run high that the festive season will be wonderful.  However, for people who live with an alcoholic the lead up to Xmas can be a time of dread.  How much is she going to drink this time, when will he start arguing and shouting at the kids?  Expectations and reality seldom match up.  So to help you survive Xmas we offer 4 tips.

1/ Don’t build your expectations too high.  If she has been drinking all years then this is not a time when she is going to stop.  Much of the world over-indulges at Xmas so to expect that he is going to become abstinent at this time is unrealistic.

2/ However this is not to say that you should give him permission to drink to intoxication all day.  Instead it might be useful to say something like – “I know that you are going to drink at Xmas, I am not asking you to stop at this point.  However, I am asking you to observe some boundaries so that we all have a peaceful day”.  Then, depending on her style of drinking you can negotiate some rules, for example no drinking till after Xmas dinner, no spirits only beer till evening.  Whatever you negotiate will depend on the drinking style.

3/ Be prepared!  Think back to the past problems and put plans in place to avoid them.  For example if you go to a party and he always wants to stay much longer than you then before you go tell him that you will drive the car home when you are ready to go.  Just make sure he has someone who will drive him home or the money for a taxi.  Or if you have people over who drink a lot, instead of inviting them in the evening, invite them to lunch.  Plan ahead, you know where the flash points are, think of ways to reduce the effect.

4/ As we often say in in Bottled Up – Look after yourself.  Remember its your Xmas too.  Use the resources in Bottled Up, the program, the videos, the forum to get help and support for yourself.  And if you are not a member of Bottled Up then maybe that is a Xmas present you should give yourself.

Have a happy and peaceful Xmas.

Live with an alcoholic: A Survival Guide to Xmas

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