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Embarrassed By An Alcoholic/Addict

25 May 2017 Written by 

My husband often suffered blackouts as many alcoholics do. He had strange unpredictable behaviors while looking quite sober. He had no idea what he was doing and later would have no recollection of his outbursts--like telling off the clerk at the bowling alley, or walking outside in his underwear. Those who live with raging alcholic know how agonizing it is to be the spouse, parent, friend or co-worker caught in the middle of unpleasant behavior.

My grown children can also embarrass me. I have three grown sons, and one or more of them have been known to drink too much at family events like weddings. You probably know what that looks like. Over the years I've had different reactions to these scenarios, and in time I learned that I had a choice of how to feel and how to get over it. Often family members feel like victims because they suffer so much from the behavior of their addict loved ones. I chose to recover from the alcoholism in my family on my own when others were not going to recover with me. The first thing I learned was that I didn't cause my loved ones to drink, and I can't stop them from drinking. I can, however, change myself and how I feel about it. Recovery is empowering.

What exactly triggered my embarrassment

  • Ego has a lot to do with it. Your pride is wounded when someone you love is out of control. When you worry about what others are thinking, your are sure to be embarrassed and ashamed.
  • Expectations precede embarrassment. When I come into a situation expecting my loved ones to act normal, then I can be disappointed and embarrassed when they drink and act out. 
  • Envy also plays a big part embarrassment. It's hard not to be jealous of families that behave well and seem happy. Embarrassmentand shame that I don't have what they do can easily follow.

How did I learn to regain my balance when I fell into the pit of embarrassment?

At first I thought the only cure was to avoid all socially uncomfortable situations. That solution was not realistic since life is often unpredictable and I can only control me. Some people do hide out. That is not a healthy solution, though. Moving on from addiction is the only solution that can cure the pain.

Recovery Plan That Worked For Me

  • Don’t invite active alcoholics to events I am hosting. Just because someone is family doesn’t mean they have access to my serenity and my party.
  • Keep in mind, “This too shall pass.” No matter how humiliating something is I can remember that nothing lasts forever.
  • Remind myself that it isn’t about me when a family member acts out of line. Not everyone is looking at my 34-year old son and thinking where is his mother? They are often looking at him alone.
  • Remind myself that my children are on a spiritual journey, and I am not invited. Their lessons are best learned without my judgmental attitudes staring at them from across the room.
  • Love my family members and accept them. I may not like everything they do, but I can accept the fact that this is who they are today. They may or may not change. They may or may not ever find recovery, but I can love them just as they are. If I choose to spend time with them that is my choice as well.

Addiction is often exhausting and embarrassing, but I can learn many lessons about myself when I start to feel the flush of shame and embarrassment on my face. I can look to step one, “ I admitted I was powerless,” and change what I can.

A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop 

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Read 5640 times Last modified on Sunday, 25 June 2017 17:24
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Madeline Schloop

Madeline is the widow of a man who died of alcoholism and the mother of 5 young adults whom she parents with the tools of Al-Anon. Her children continue to be affected by the disease of alcoholism. Her stories  deal with life's daily trials and what has and hasn't worked.
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