If you have someone close to you, a friend or family member, who is striving to recover from alcoholism you need to understand a few things. There is a reference made that they will hear all-too-often that you should also appreciate. Realize first that the question of what does a recovering alcoholic go through to have as many answers as there is alcoholics.
There is one important thing to remember when you ask yourself what to expect from a recovering alcoholic. It’s often best to understand that sometimes there are no concrete answers.
The disease of alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful, and ultimately, patient as well. Here are two things, though, that you can expect from a recovering alcoholic. If you as a supportive friend or family member can learn to appreciate these things, you can help the alcoholic to do the same.
Isolation and Self Loathing
Many alcoholics tend to isolate during periods of active drinking. This problem can compound itself when they first attempt to get sober. Try not to overwhelm someone who is new in alcohol addiction recovery with an over sense of compassion. As many programs insist, keep it simple, especially at first.
This tendency to isolate may be the result of a sober sense of guilt for wrongs they have done during their drinking. What you can expect from a recovering alcoholic, once they commence to working through a 12 step program is growing peace.
As they learn how to come to terms with what was once an overbearing sense of a guilty conscience, you will notice an opening up of their emotions. Early recovery may involve a seeming tendency to isolate into seemingly constant meetings.
If an alcoholic has been through a treatment program, they may also be wise to consider a period living in a sober environment. While there is nothing like guaranteed sobriety, taking advantage of a sober living house can make a difference. Be mindful, this is all part of recovery.
Recovery is a long process. The road will certainly have a few painful challenges, but it is road founded on progress not perfection. Recovery is not some point or destination. It is a journey, and a delightful one for those who continue successfully along its path.
Isolating because of a guilty conscience or self-loathing will evaporate. Those who are not alcoholic may ask at 5 months sober and what to expect from the alcoholic. Non-alcoholics often think they should be cured by now. Just remember, time takes time.
Early Emotional Challenges
There are some new things that a recovering alcoholic will be presented with. The first is how to live with life’s endless bombardment of challenges without picking up a drink. One of the hardest things that family and friends of recovering alcoholics must avoid is trying to overly express a sense of understanding.
The truth be told, if someone is not an alcoholic, they may never appreciate the unfathomable mental urge to grab a drink rather than deal with an unpleasant situation. This mental obsession is further fueled by an unexplained physical reaction that ignites in an alcoholic almost as soon as that first sip crosses their lips.
Casual drinkers understand that life is full of challenging opportunities. However, an alcoholic may have self-taught themselves how to be artful at escaping the emotional challenges that come with everyday life. These challenges will get easier as recovery progress. Soon, situations that used to baffle the alcoholic will no longer.
These are two things to expect from an alcoholic in early recovery, or in some respects, one who has been part of a program for a while. Each person must find their own journey in recovery. It is helpful to have the support of family and friends.
This help will prove most fruitful if it appreciates these two important things. Just the inherent wreckage that alcoholics produce as a result of their drinking may cause a tendency to isolate. Be kind and appreciative of these feelings, especially during early recovery from alcoholism.
Recovery is a fresh new start into learning how to deal with life on life’s terms. Be gentle with a recovering alcoholic like you would a child just learning to walk. Besides, it’s a pretty accurate analogy.