Dealing with an alcoholic parent is never easy. They can be the kindest people in the world when they are sober and start throwing all sorts of incoherent negative baggage at you when they pick up a drink.
Although it helps to see the dichotomy as the alcohol talking, rather than the true thoughts of the parent, it is not cut and dry in every case. Some alcoholics are on a permanent drunk and suffer a great deal from personality and emotional disorders that diminish their positive virtues.
How to Deal with Drunk Parents
If you are dealing with an alcoholic mother, you can expect more mood swings. Women are generally more affected by emotion while men are affected by so-called logic. In either case, the emotional or logical reason for the drunk parent is exaggerated and irrational.
Fathers can become hypercritical over money because they feel burdened with expenses as a result of their lifestyles. Mothers can be relentless in pleading a self-pity case through bombastic rants that make them feel like victims.
The first step to dealing with an alcoholic father is to say to yourself, “My dad is an alcoholic.” If you don’t know how to deal with an alcoholic father, you will be baited into arguing with them when they are drunk and trying to win arguments.
This will only escalate the emotional battle that they are struggling with internally. You may become the object of derision, the iconification of the adversarial spirit that is operating to influence their minds with sophistry.
Alcohol can make anyone more emotional and serious about superficial things. The most light hearted joke can take on a grave and serious tone. No one knows how to live with an alcoholic father except another alcoholic.
The Solution to Parental Alcoholism
It is important to get your parents into treatment if they are drinking. You have to sit down with them when they are sober and have a concrete plan of action. You have to first get them to admit that they are not happy with their lifestyle and addictions.
If they can admit that they are jaded and using alcohol as a crutch to feel normal, this is the first step. If you can have them admit to simple weighty truths in writing, this can start the ball rolling.
Most feel hopeless to change a lifestyle progression that has trapped them in a small circle of friends and a limited station in life. Introducing them to the 12 Step program is a start that forces them to recognize the problem and to have faith in recovery.
It is then time to sit down and look at the benefits of being sober. If your drunk parent can sit down and consider the benefits when they are sober and in a good mood, they may be open to making some changes with an incentive and your pledged support.
Parents are often carrying a lot of negative baggage that overwhelms them when they don’t drink. Using a technique called mindfulness that focuses only on the positive things of each day is one method of substituting alcohol with simple psychological thought process modifications. Mistakes are part of the human experience that have to be forgotten but not repeated relentlessly.
Finally, once your drunk parent has agreed that they have interest in changing and that they are ready to join a support group, you can work out the financing. Joining a group of sober-minded people who believe in positive thinking is the most certain path to recovery. With a supportive sibling in their corner, the road is a whole lot easier.