The “Real” Cost of Alcoholism To Your Family

red teeter totter

Have you ever thought about how much addiction costs your family? The pain… emotional, mental, social, physical and financial?

You can’t measure the loss of friendships or intimacy.

The question is…

What can you do about it?

My goal today is to challenge you take a look at what your family experiences as the REAL cost of alcoholism.

I remember as a child I would play on the teeter-totter during recess. When one of us was done we’d simply get off.

You know what happened then… It banged to the ground and felt like you had been sent to the principal for a few whacks.

The object of this lesson is to realize when you’re DONE with what his addiction has cost you it’s time to get off the teeter-totter.

I am not saying to leave your alcoholic.

I want you to be able to DO something to make a difference.

Here’s the First Challenge

If you are like most people you go through the month not quite sure where all the money goes.

For this exercise you’ll become aware of how much money is being spent and what the general purpose is for the expense.

There’s no need for you to be rigid about it, but make an effort to keep receipts for what you spend.

At the end of the month sort the receipts into two piles… Nothing to do with Alcohol and Alcohol Related.

Nothing to do with alcohol is where the utilities, food cable bill etc go.

Alcohol related pile is where ANY expense that has alcohol in it. If you go out for dinner and he has 3 beers… it goes in this pile.

At the end of the month you can see how much was actually spent on alcohol or alcohol related activities.

The Second Challenge

How much of the following has been robbed by the addiction:

  • Your relationship – what happened to the intimacy and romance
  • Friendships – how many friends have you lost due to addiction
  • Lost opportunities – promotions, vacations, goals and dreams
  • Accidents – what have you spent on injuries because of addiction

You can’t put a dollar value on these items.

Only you know how much these things are worth to you.

Why Do All of This?

People in recovery typically ask each other, “So, what did it take for you to hit bottom”. By this they mean what happened to help them make the decision to get clean and sober.

It’s a GOOD thing for the addict to ‘hit bottom’.

Now that you better understand the cost of alcoholism to your family…

Ask yourself one question.

Is the cost of the addiction enough for you to “get off the teeter-totter”?




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