Often those of us who live or have lived with someone else’s problem drinking either blame ourselves or the drinker. “If I were a better spouse, he wouldn’t be drinking.” “If she really loved me, she would have kept her promise and given up the alcohol.”
When we understand that alcoholism is a progressive disease that affects the drinker as well as those close to the drinker, we realize that blame is as relevant with this disease as it is with diabetes or Alzheimer’s. The more we know about the disease we are dealing with, the better we are able to make healthy choices as to how we react.
“Many of the symptoms of alcoholism are in the behavior of the alcoholic. The people who are involved with the alcoholic react to his behavior. They try to control it, make up for it, or hide it. They often blame themselves for it and are hurt by it. Eventually they become emotionally disturbed themselves.”
From Alateen—Hope for Children of Alcoholics, page 6
The chapter, "Understanding Alcoholism," from Alateen—Hope for Children of Alcoholics, describes the ways in which alcoholism affects the alcoholic and the family and friends. This book gives a basic, easy to use explanation of alcoholism and why Alateen helps.