How To Not Lose Yourself Loving an Alcoholic
“Every time I put the alcoholic first, I put myself last. On second thought, I never even made the list!”
—Grace W. Wroldson
A Slow Suicide of Self and Soul
Buried alive in a relationship with an alcoholic, I eventually asked myself…
“Do I have to lose me to love you?”
Loss of Self in an Alcoholic-Codependent Relationship
I started to notice my loss of self every time we got back together. This was disturbing to me. Very, very disturbing. It was like watching a slow suicide of myself and my soul.
I realized that my alcoholic demanded (passively and covertly) ALL of my attention with his issues. (Later, I would learn that the disease of alcoholism does this to everyone caught in its cycle.) His issues became my issues. He made them mine. I made them mine. It was a trap.
Focusing on Myself: Detaching from the Alcoholic
By being in that relationship year after year, I had new issues of my own. As I spent more time in the alcoholic relationship, I discovered I had issues buried deep inside that kept getting triggered. When I focused on myself, my issues came to the surface and screamed for my attention. However, his issues were so BIG that they forced me to push aside my own and neglect myself. Basically, I was getting sick by loving him because I was not loving me!
The Stress of a Dysfunctional Relationship with an Active Alcoholic
Over time, my body deteriorated from the stress of it all. My soul hung on but was slowly deteriorating too. It was a slow suicide to stay in the relationship.
So YES, sadly, I had to lose myself to give him the love, time, and attention he desperately needed. The dis-ease of alcoholism demanded this from his close contacts. He was the actor and I was the reactor. There was a negative drain of energy from a give-and-take relationship. Those were the conditions that alcoholism (and my codependency) placed on me in order to stay in the dysfunctional relationship. To keep the relationship, I had to keep the insanity up and lose myself. I was the constant giver and he was the perpetual taker. It was never a healthy balanced give-give relationship.
A Healthier Way to Live: The Choice to Save Myself
But NO, I didn’t have to do this. I could choose not to. I just needed to know that I had a choice which my own dis-ease of codependency, left unchecked, prevented me from realizing on my own. As I became aware of my own issues regarding self-harm, self-abandonment, and self-betrayal issues, I started to look for help for myself instead of him. I wanted to get out of this type of toxic love scenario and save myself.
Recovery from Loving an Alcoholic
I sought recovery for my codependency and my own addiction to loving him. I healed and continue to heal by using books, the Twelve-Step Al-Anon recovery program, therapists, retreats, yoga, meditation, and other self-help tools. You can too!
I use what I call the “Self-Love Solution.” With self-love intact and active, I was effectively safeguarding myself from losing myself ever again.
Want to learn how I broke free and repaired the relationship with myself? Read my book, So, You Love an Alcoholic?: Lessons for a Codependent – Available on Amazon!
In my revealing book, I share 25+ powerful lessons that I learned which facilitated my healing process, so I never got lost or buried myself again. I was able to stop this soul-suicide by opting out of the draining alcoholic-codependent relationship. But first, I had to learn several important lessons. And *spoiler alert* . . . I had to change. First, I needed courage through connection, and that’s what I found in others who had made it out alive and intact from alcoholic marriages, engagements, or relationships. They were my emotional support people and my team that helped me cross the bridge into self-preservation. Need a support group for yourself? Join here!
—Grace W. Wroldson, mother, author, survivor, and thriver of 5 self-help books available on Amazon
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To learn 25 more powerful lessons, pick up my first book! So, You Love an Alcoholic?: Lessons for a Codependent
For follow-up lessons to learn, buy my second book! I Loved an Alcoholic But Hated the Drinking: 11 Essential Strategies to Survive Codependency and Live in Recovery with Self-Love
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