Is alcohol more important than I am? Why do they keep choosing drinking over me? Why don’t they love me enough to stop drinking? Sound familiar? Loving someone who is addicted to alcohol is so hard. There’s one thing I can assure you of right now – it isn’t that they don’t love you enough to stop drinking. It’s that they don’t love themselves enough and – quite honestly – they don’t feel worthy of your love!
No One Chooses This Life
I’ve heard so many times that addiction is a choice. We choose to drink. Choose to use. The truth is that addiction is a response to trauma. Our bodies are designed to seek what alleviates the stress or trauma we are experiencing. So when we innocently reach for a drink after a stressful day, we don’t set out to create an addiction. But chemically our bodies and our brains respond to alcohol in exactly the way they are designed to. They demand more of that thing which made us finally feel good again. The problem is that each time it takes more and more of that thing to feel good. We hit a point where it stops making us feel good but at that point, we don’t know any other way.
Our brain now believes it needs alcohol in order to survive. We are no longer drinking for pleasure.
There have been studies done in mice where researchers have gotten them addicted to something and then they’ve put them across a hot electrical grate that will burn and blister their little feet to reach the addictive substance. They will walk across it. They will burn their feet, ignore their young, and even forego food and water in order to get to that addictive substance. That is what alcohol will do to us.
Why Don’t They Love Me Enough To Stop Drinking?
I can promise you that nowhere on this journey does any of us intentionally drink to hurt another. In fact, it is quite the opposite. We loathe what we are doing. We’re filled with shame, guilt, regret, and hatred for ourselves and for what we’re doing to those we love.
Instead of asking yourself, “Why don’t they love me enough to stop drinking,” flip that script. Turn that question around into, “How can I help them love themselves enough to stop drinking?”
The only way we can truly help someone to change their drinking is by making them feel worthy of loving themselves and accepting the love of others.
Lead With Compassion
Science is super clear on this subject. Compassion is the key to lasting change. Compassion from those we love and self-compassion. Choosing compassion means removing the blame and the shame. Eliminating guilt. Negative emotions can never bring us to a positive place for change. Mindset matters and creating a positive and loving place to begin from sets the foundation for change.
If your loved one knows that they can count on you to support and love them without any resentment or negativity they are more likely to believe in their own ability to change. Love – whether you’re giving or receiving it – feels good and natural.
The Science Behind Why We Keep Drinking
One of the best ways you can get an answer to “Why don’t they love me enough to stop drinking?” is by reading the science behind why people drink and what keeps them drinking. That is exactly what This Naked Mind does. Start reading the book now and get the answers you’re looking for. Download the first 40 pages for free.
Be Their Safe Space
The greatest thing you can do for a loved one who drinks too much is to be their safe space. Be the person they can turn to without fear of judgment or retribution. Show them that they are worthy of both your love and the love they need to have for themselves. Model that in how you treat not only them but also yourself.