101 Tips for Life with an Alcoholic

wondering woman

Many people who live with an alcoholic are codependent. They are in relationships where someone is addicted and they have become addicted to the addict. Here are tips to help the codependent person start to break free.

  1. When you are addicted to the addict it’s called codependency, face it
  2. No one can put you down without your permission, don’t give it
  3. If it feels better when the addict in your life is high, drunk or gone, you are probably addicted
  4. Assertiveness is better than passive or aggressive responses. Learn to be assertive
  5. Be mindful of the emotions that keep you locked into codependency
  6. Learn to set boundaries for yourself
  7. Tend your own boundaries
  8. Learn to like yourself
  9. Accept yourself including faults. No one is perfect
  10. Do not accept being hit or manhandled
  11. People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs need help and will not just get better regardless what you do
  12. Be responsible for your own behavior
  13. Find people who build you up and learn from them
  14. Do not believe under any circumstances you are to blame for someone else being addicted
  15. Quit fixing the mess and covering for the addicts behavior
  16. Caring for an addict may result in you feeling needed but you pay a high price. Quit enabling
  17. When you stop enabling you may experience guilt. You have nothing to be guilty for when you are being responsible for yourself
  18. Do not take on the shame from someone else’s addiction
  19. Find a friend who is not codependent and learn from them
  20. If you have been in codependent relationships learn how to stop codependency before starting into another relationship
  21. Chances are you learned codependency from seeing it from your family of origin
  22. It serves no purpose to blame others for your codependency
  23. Learn not to be a slave to your emotions
  24. Recognize your own strengths and use them
  25. Recognize your own weaknesses and learn to deal with them in a healthy way
  26. Treat yourself with the kindness you expect others to use on you
  27. Do something nice for yourself… without guilt
  28. Begin writing in a journal your thought and feelings (Confidential)
  29. Do not feel sorry for yourself or indulge in self pity
  30. Remember codependency is not about how you look or how much you weigh it is about how you choose to relate to others
  31. There is no better time to learn how to stop being dependent on an addict
  32. Learn how to express your concerns without blame or guilt
  33. Take a personal inventory of your relationships and identify issues of codependency. What do you learn from each one? List what you have learned
  34. Allow yourself to STOP and THINK before you ACT. This will prevent REACTING
  35. If you are a parent, remember there are little eyes watching you to see how relationships are supposed to be handled
  36. Change takes time and effort. It is frightening but rewarding. Work for change
  37. Never stop working on eliminating codependency
  38. Learn to handle disappointment when it comes. You can deal with it
  39. Emotions go up and down and are not the result of others. They are the result of what you think
  40. Learn to change your thoughts
  41. Positive thoughts will result in you feeling more positive about yourself
  42. Do not let small things become mountains. Deal with small things as they come
  43. Trusting someone needs to be based on consistent behavior over time. Don’t just turn it on because someone says ‘trust me’
  44. Do not accept abuse under any circumstance
  45. Learn to be responsible for what you think feel say and do
  46. Learn to not take on the responsibility for what others think feel say or do
  47. If you fall, get up! If you fall again, GET UP
  48. Guilt is only appropriate if you did something inappropriate. Not because someone was displeased
  49. Learn to look to your Higher Power for strength to be your best
  50. What you need to be okay will best be found within rather for dependency on another person
  51. Hang around positive people
  52. Limit your exposure to people who drag you down
  53. Life is like a play; you are on stage and own all the tickets. Give them to your best fans
  54. Strength may be coming to understand what you are not good at
  55. Take time daily to improve your relationship to self
  56. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy mentally
  57. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy physically
  58. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy emotionally
  59. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy spiritually
  60. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy socially
  61. Spend quality time learning how to be healthy in your choices
  62. Allow yourself not more than 5 minutes a day to criticize yourself
  63. Remember putting someone down does not build you up. It is quite opposite
  64. If you build others up you will be built up as well
  65. No one can make you do something, choose for yourself
  66. Learn to examine your choices, consider many before you choose
  67. A hasty choice is likely one that should not have been made
  68. Learn patience in contemplating your choices
  69. All choices come with consequences, but most are not permanent
  70. If you cannot sort out your emotions consider a life coach or a counselor
  71. Relationships change when ONE person make a change
  72. YOU can make a decision TODAY for changes in your life
  73. Learn to say ‘NO’ it’s okay
  74. Learn when to say ‘YES’ because it really is up to you
  75. Enmeshment is when who you are is so tangled up with someone else you cannot sort it out
  76. It is not healthy to stay enmeshed
  77. It is healthy for all concerned when enmeshment is stopped
  78. Addicts need to be responsible for their own behavior. Let go of it. You are not responsible
  79. Addicts need accountability. Codependent people need to have someone they check in with who will hold them accountable for not acting codependent
  80. If it does not seem easy it is because it is not easy
  81. Breaking codependency is worth the effort
  82. Anything worthwhile is worth the investment
  83. It takes time and effort to break codependency
  84. Take each day and apply what you know to do every day consistently
  85. Believe in yourself
  86. Trust in yourself
  87. Do not put yourself down
  88. Learn to use self talk
  89. Make a list of positive things to use when you practice self talk
  90. Alcoholics and Drug addicts who are not in recovery will use, that’s what they do
  91. Alcoholics and Drug addicts in recovery may slip and use. It is not your fault. They need to choose recovery
  92. You cannot make someone recover
  93. If a person does not choose recovery it is not a reflection on you it is the addiction
  94. It may seem easier to be codependent than independent, it is not in the long run
  95. You can be whole as an individual
  96. You can be healthy as an individual
  97. You are an individual
  98. It does not take someone else to make you whole
  99. Codependency does not have to rule your life
  100. Don’t stay codependent… do something!
  101. You are worth the effort it takes to be whole

These tips are intended to cause you to think and find support in your journey to wellness as you relate to others, family or friends who may be addicted.

Do you have a tip for others to consider? Share it in the comment section below.


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Here’s What 2 Other People Thought...

  1. mfuerst

    This is another helpful article. I’ve printed it out and placed it inside my journal so I can refer back to it many times. I haven’t quite decided if I am codependent. Some of it applies to me but most of it doesn’t. I work real hard at trying to remain positive about the situation and about myself. Sometimes it’s a struggle when you are constantly put down.

    • FreeMyAddict Team

      I’m not big into labels. It’s more important you take what works for you than to take on a label. A good thing to remember is “no one can put you down without your permission”. I say don’t give it. When you know who you are whatever someone says can’t change what you know!

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