My Not So Secret Diary

Advice for Supporting a Loved One in Recovery

There isn't an easy way to deal with someone who has stopped drinking. The problem is, if you ignore it, it becomes this huge, awkward, elephant in the room. It makes things far harder than they need to be. So here's a little list of things that might help.

Other people’s attitudes and actions have been one of the hardest things to cope with, one of the biggest things to rock the boat so to speak. It’s not just when people say the wrong thing, it’s actually probably worse when they don’t say anything at all.

  • Please offer me a drink. Just because I don’t drink alcohol anymore, doesn’t mean I am no longer thirsty.
  • Don’t assume what I want to do. Ask me.
  • Don’t assume what I can do or can’t do. Ask me.
  • Don’t talk about me with other friends. I already feel like I’m the object of everyone’s interests so please don’t make it worse.
  • If I’ve told you about my problem, respect that, and keep my trust.
  • Invite me out, and let me make the decision of whether I want to go or not.
  • Put up with me changing my mind too. Sometimes what I want to do will seem like a good idea and then I’ll realise that I’m not ready. Or that I just don’t want to do it anymore.
  • Don’t try to offer me advice unless you’ve been there.
  • Don’t make judgements for me.
  • Don't make excuses for me. I'm probably quite good at making up plenty of my own already!

This list is by no means definitive, and only based on my personal circumstances, but I think they might be transferable. So let me know what you think and if there’s anything else you’d add to it.

If you want to read a little more, please click here.

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I write because I've been there, and I understand how it feels to be at war with yourself. You might like to read my blog posts here.
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