Before You Lend a Hand: Personal Wellness Questionnaire for You

If you believe that you would really like to help someone who may be presently struggling with a loved one or friend who is an alcoholic, we cannot place enough stress on the fact that your personal wellness must be solid. To provide you guys with a better sense of the state of your wellness, feel free to use the questionnaire we’ve come up with.

Support System

Do you have a good support system right now?

Before you aim to be part of someone’s support system, it would be important to ensure that you have your own intact and effective support system. When you have a trusted support system, they can help to keep you accountable for your feelings and any issues you may have struggled with.

Is a mental healthcare professional a part of your support system?

While having peers in your support system is good, it is even better to have a professional therapist to be part of your support. They will be able to give you a highly learned evaluation of your wellness status and give you a stronger understanding of your progress.

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Emotional Wellness

Have you accepted responsibility for your own wellness above the troubled person in your life?

Your wellness is your own responsibility. It is not something that you hand over to someone else and you do not make things better by prioritizing the needs, feelings, or emotions of the alcoholic in your life.

Are you presently engaged in a healthy relationship with the alcoholic?

This is not something that you should force. While it would be ideal to make your peace with the troubled person in your life, it is ultimately best to be secure in yourself.

Physical Wellness

Do you have a regular productive activity?

It does not good for your wellness to be too caught up in the problem. It will be important that you allot time to doing productive things that will help you distress.

Have you established a good workout routine?

Physical health is just as important as your mental health. Establishing a fairly regular physical routine can help better your chances of reclaiming the power over your life.

Please Remember

Helping other people is good but you must never sacrifice your own safety and wellness. If you feel like you are ever in danger of having your own issues reawakened, it would be best to seek counseling or to abstain from any activities that have to do with exposing yourself to difficult situations. To have a stronger sense of your wellness, don’t hesitate to review the questionnaire that we’ve share above. If each and every single one of them is in the positive, then you have nothing to worry about.

How is your personal wellness questionnaire doing?

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Friends Don’t Let Friends…What? The Fallacy of Permissiveness

No matter how old you get, peer pressure is still a big thing. It can be quite difficult to settle the line between having a fun time with friends and feeding their destructive or negative behavior. The trouble with having friends who have alcoholic tendencies or even are full blown alcoholics, friends have a hard time trying to find the balance of being a friend and crossing the line into being a caretaker of sorts.

After all, friends aren’t supposed to be the source of issues and it can be quite easy to just simply cut off contact since they aren’t really related to the troublesome person. However, for circles of friends that do enjoy a rather deep bond, distancing from the troublesome individual can be extremely difficult.

Fallacy of Permissiveness

Permissiveness refers to allowing a significant amount of freedom regarding a behavior or attitude. For a social setting, there are certain things that we go along with because it’s what’s “cool” or we do not want to offend. We also tend to believe that friends should be more accepting since they are not our relatives and therefore do not have the same strict standard of behavior that family members usually have.

The trouble with this permissiveness is the fact that it often ends up empowering and enabling truly bad or destructive behavior. There is a very good reason why a lot of people tend to do drugs in groups or even drink until they’re pretty much incapacitated. People tend to get carried away in the heat of the moment. It is a sort of social hysteria, if you care to think of this that way.

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How do you avoid falling into the fallacy of permissiveness?

Set Boundaries

It is always good to have set boundaries. If your friends are truly your friends, they will respect those boundaries. Before you guys go out to have a good time, be clear on what you think would be too many drinks or what sort of behavior will not be acceptable.

Do Not Feel like You Have to Save Your Friends

Often an alcoholic will try to find a truly sympathetic person to latch on to. They will try to manipulate that person into enabling their destructive behavior. Asking for “one more shot” or something as extreme as bailing them out of jail all feed into their bad habits.

Please Remember

If you truly cared about your friend, you will not feed their behavior. If your friends cared about you, they will not put you into a difficult position of enabling their selfish desires. So if you presently have anyone like this in your life, you must seriously consider getting them the help that they need.

What boundaries do you have to avoid the pitfall of permissiveness?

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Strength in Numbers: Why Joining a Support Group Is Important

When it comes to battling the effects of someone else’s addiction, it can be quite easy to feel like you are in a hopeless situation. It is also quite easy to fall into the incorrect belief that no one else can quite understand what you are going through. Today, we wanted to put emphasis on why joining a support group would be important for a loved one or a friend of anyone battling alcoholism.

What is a support group?

A support group is routine gathering of individuals. While many of them are led by a healthcare professional, it is also entirely possible that they are held by peers that are part of organizations. They can also either be an open group—one that allows people to just walk in and join. Or them may also be a closed one—a type of group that has a select schedule and set members.

One of the flagrant incorrect assumptions about the concept of support groups is that only the ones battling addiction will need them. Addiction is a truly terrible thing and it affects not just the addict—it also affects those who are around them.

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Why join a support group?

A support group, specifically one that is geared toward family and friends of those struggling, can be quite important. Here are a few reasons why:

Camaraderie

Whenever a person undergoes a difficult time, it can be quite easy to simply internalize the pain and the difficulty. Many of those who have been exposed or subjected to the difficulty of living with an alcoholic will often believe that others will not understand what they are going through.

A support group will immediately teach attendants that they are not alone in their troubles. Alcoholism is an addiction that afflicts many and affects the lives of millions around the world. Support groups allow individuals who are going through the same situation to meet and discuss their concerns.

Learning Useful Information

Those that hold support group meetings are often armed with a lot of truly helpful discussions about the troubles of those who have to live in a difficult situation. Discussions often involve a lot of practical information on how to build strategies that can result in better chances to obtain wellness.

Attendees can also learn from the success stories of those who were able to successfully navigate a relationship with someone who struggled with alcoholism. Support groups often have a lot of effective recommendations for literature and activities.

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Please Remember

Socializing with others going through or have gone through the same thing you presently are going through is highly valuable. Not only is the camaraderie and the information important but the hope that it provides is critical as well.

Why do you think joining a support group is important?

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Teens Need Help Too: 4 Signs of Depression You Really Should Not Ignore

The effects of having an alcoholic can be really hard on adults but they can be even harder on teenagers. While adults have the emotional maturity to sufficiently deal with ups and downs, teens may not have the same mechanisms in place.

When there is an alcoholic in the family, it can get pretty hairy. When teenagers are involved, they can start to exhibit a variety of issues. One of the primary ones could be depression—which is why it would be highly important to understand some common signs of depression in teens.

Signs of Depression

Stark Changes in Eating and Sleeping Habits

Depression can make people do certain things differently. It can make people suddenly change personalities and habits. For example, someone who would usually be a morning person suddenly find themselves preferring to stay up late at night. It could also manifest as someone who used to eat in moderation now prefers to binge.

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Constant Irritability or Anger

While a lot of movies or TV series like to depict teens as being moody, that isn’t exactly something that counts as their default setting—so to speak. Teens, when not going through anything stressful or traumatic, are usually inherently cheerful and happy. So if your teen suddenly exhibits constant irritability or anger, it may be a sign of depression.

Withdrawal

Happy and well-adjusted teens do not just start shutting themselves away for no good reason. So if your teen suddenly becomes withdrawn, you may need to pay a bit more attention. It is important to note that while they may withdraw from you; this does not mean that they will withdraw completely. Teens like companionship and will usually still open up to someone they truly trust.

Heightened Sensitivity to Questions or Criticism

When a teen is depressed, they tend to be highly defensive. This is predominantly due to the fact that they are often plagued with very low self-worth and a general sense of powerlessness.

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Please Remember

The symptoms are not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of deal. Different people display different symptoms. While there are some symptoms that can be quite common, it would still be important to get professional help. We highly suggest that you introduce your teen to an Alateen organization close to you. They are an organization much like us but are specialized toward the concerns of teenagers.

Has there been a teen around you that has been exhibiting any sign of depression?

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Taking a Suitable Break: 3 Productive Activities to Help You Release Stress

There is no denying the fact that life can be pretty stressful. This is exceptionally true when there is someone struggling with addiction in your family or circle of friends. While it is good to help them out, you need to also take care of yourself. It would make very little sense to give all you’ve got to help someone else and not leave anything for yourself.

When you are trying to help someone who is struggling with alcoholism, life can seem like it is wound up pretty tightly. It could be fine one day but one wrong word or odd action can set off a rather tense and toxic environment. If you are planning on helping anyone out with their issues, it would be best for you to pick up activities that can help you release stress. Here are three productive ones:

Yoga

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It is scientifically backed up that physical exertion is one of the best ways to help your body sort out stressors. Exercise also produces dopamine which triggers the pleasure sensors of your brain. Doing yoga can do more for you than any sort of exercise because it involves meditation and grounding as part of its flow.

Yoga can help you work out and find your center.

Writing

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The act of writing down your emotions can be a pretty cathartic exercise. You get to say what you want down unto the paper without having to vocalize anything that may set off the situation. The simple act of writing is a great way to unburden your feelings and still stay responsible.

A popular activity that often suggested by therapists is to write a letter to a particular person and then burn it afterwards. You get the emotional release without having to worry about how the other person is going to take it.

Baking

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Routine and structure is often a good way to bust out stress. If there was anything that has both, it would be the act of baking. Baking has very precise instruction which also do not require significant thought.

Baking can keep you preoccupied and getting what you’ve made at the end of the activity is a great way to sort out your emotions and just keep your mind away from troubling ideas.

Please Remember

When it comes to helping others, it is very important that you are well-adjusted. It will not help anyone if you have your own issues that aren’t sorted out. Chances are you will just end up clashing with the troubled individual. So we hope that you’ll try out the activities we’ve mentioned above!

What productive activity do you use to help manage stress?

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Mental Health is Wealth: Where to Seek Help When You Need It

The general goal of anyone is to have a pleasant and uncomplicated life. So it can be quite difficult when it is the decisions of other people that end up damaging or complicating our lives. It is strange but common to have the actions of others have a toll on our emotions and quality of living.

This is very true when someone in your life is struggling with being an alcoholic. While most of the focus is on the person undergoing the addiction, those around them need just as much help as well. Being around someone undergoing addiction can really do a number on those around them. If you are such a person, you know very well what we are talking about.

Any environment that has an alcoholic in it can turn into a toxic one really fast. The addicts’ inability to stay away from the drink—using anything or saying anything that they can to get another glass can be quite detrimental to those they love—especially if violence enters the picture. If you are reading this, we understand what you are going through. We have gone through it ourselves and we know first-hand what such an environment and what such a person can do to your mental health.

If you are thinking of seeking help, it would be important for you to know where you can find it. This is what we wanted to discuss today. If you are looking for help, these are some pretty good places to find it:

Self or at Home Detox Programs

Many addicts will try this option before seeking outside help. It’s because the addict doesn’t realize how badly the addiction has taken control of them. There are some at home programs like the ones from Synergydetox.com. While we don’t know the actual results of these types of self-detox programs, we would highly recommend one of the below solutions since addiction many times requires outside help for a successful road to recovery.

Local Rehabilitation Centers

Maryland is the home of some state of the art rehabilitation centers. The mental healthcare professionals that have their practice in the area can help you by providing you the knowledge and—if necessary— the medication that you need.

Local Police Department

It is no secret that a person battling addiction can be a threat. If you feel like your personal safety or the safety of anyone else in the home is in imminent danger, do not wait. Pick up the phone and call 911. They can provide a good way for you to establish a secure space for yourself and your family.

Local Al-Anon Organization

Al-Anon is there to provide you the emotional and mental support that you will require. We and other organizations like us prioritize the friends and family members of alcoholics and help them to regain their sense of wellness.

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Please Remember

You are never alone in the struggle to get your feet back to solid footing. Help will always be available for anyone who knows where to look for it. We hope that you will utilize the options that we’ve mentioned above.

What other avenues for help can you go about?

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Stop Feeding Unhealthy Habits: Steps to Cut Off Codependency

One the pitfalls of human behavior is that we tend to try to be as supportive as we can when it comes to people we love. While that may seem to be a good virtue, we inadvertently fall into a pattern of codependency.

What is Codependency?

Codependency, in its strictest definition, is the over reliance on a person for support or affirmation. This is something that usually occurs because of addiction or an underlying mental issue. When experts were studying the concept of codependency, they found that this is commonly found between someone struggling with addiction and an enabling significant other, family member, or friend.

Signs

There are several signs that point to a codependent relationship. Here are a few of them:

  • Feeling of being trapped
  • Repressing voicing your thoughts out of fear of an argument
  • Inability to say no to a partner’s demands
  • Consistently making excuses or covering up a partner’s problematic behaviors

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Cutting off Codependency

There are several ways in which you can start your way toward actual healthy relationships. Here are a few steps:

Recognizing the codependent behavior

It can be quite easy to think that something you are doing “out of love” or “out of respect” would not have any negative consequences or was something that was entirely normal or even expected in a relationship. However, the trouble occurs when one cannot tell the difference between loving behavior and feeding an unhealthy set of habits.

When you recognize the existence of codependent behavior, you are well on your way to setting healthy boundaries and recovering your sense of wellness.

Choosing to challenge any self-defeating thoughts or actions

People in codependent relationships are often carrying thoughts that are often self-defeating. They believe that they should refrain from trying to change the situation because “it won’t change anything” or the partner will be angered by it.

When you choose to challenge such thoughts, decisions, or actions, you empower yourself and start to break away from the cycle of unhealthy behavior.

Please Remember

Codependency is something that is developed. This means that it is also something that can be wholly unraveled with the right decisions and set of habits. So while there are other steps that can help you break free of codependency, those would be something that you can discover with your support group or your chosen therapist.

Consider the facets of your relationships; are you in a codependent one?

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You Need Help, Too: Coping With an Alcoholic in the Family

Having a problematic alcoholic in the family is never an easy scenario. More often than not, it is the family members that suffer the most as they are predominantly manipulated and affected by the alcoholic’s addiction. It can be extremely difficult to live with someone who is in the midst of alcoholism.

Even if the addict gets better, the emotional and in extreme cases physical scars can be quite difficult to get over. So we’re speaking directly to anyone who has ever had an alcoholic in their life. There are a few universal truths that you need to remember about coping with an alcoholic:

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It’s Okay to Admit You Were Manipulated

One of the biggest issues that those who continue to have alcoholics in their lives is living with the fact that they have been and will continue to be manipulated. A very common attribute of alcoholics or anyone that suffers with addiction is that they are master manipulators.

The very love and goodwill bestowed upon them by friends and family members will be turned into weapons that will use time and time again. They will say and do anything to get their next hit. It is never easy to admit that your judgment and emotions were used and manipulated.

It’s Okay to Admit You Feel Powerless

Having to navigate through the often mercurial temper of someone with alcohol addiction can really chip away at your self-confidence. A lot of family members and friends of alcoholics often struggle with rediscovering the strength to regain the control over their relationship with the alcoholic.

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Please Remember

You do not need to tackle this alone. One of the best things that you can do for yourself and even the troublesome person in your life is to seek help. Your capacity to help them goes beyond just saying ‘no’ to disruptive behavior. If you want to truly be helpful and cope with the issues present in your life, there needs to be stability and peace on your part.

What sort of help do you think you need?

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Getting Started: Just What Exactly Is Al-Anon?

Hello and welcome to Al-Anon. We’re very glad to have you here with us. Today, we wanted to provide you with a better idea of what you can come to expect from this site and what we aim to achieve with every new discussion.

The concepts of addiction and recovery have vastly been centered on the person undergoing the struggle. Being addicted to alcohol is extremely difficult and we do believe that they need to get sufficient help. However, it is not just the addict that is affected by their bad decisions and their struggles.

In a home environment where there exists an alcoholic, the addiction affects everyone in that environment. While a majority of the emphasis was for the addict and not so much their friends or families. Recovery programs often neglected to mention how the addiction would affect the other people in the life of the addict. It was only in the recent couple of decades that healthcare professionals also considered that the people in the immediate sphere of the alcoholic. This is what we aim to help with.

What Can You Expect From Al-Anon?

In this website and through this organization, will be touching on critical points for those who presently or have previously have had an alcoholic in their life. We will be discussing topics like:

Mental Health

Being around a troubled person can be extremely trying and turns rather toxic. We are going to explore ways for friends and family members of alcoholic to care for their mental health.

Effective Support

A person’s journey to sobriety is not something that they do alone. So we also want to discuss ways to effectively become a positive support for each other and for the one who is trying to achieve sobriety.

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Please Remember

Al-Anon is here to help you. We believe that in order for us to effectively help others, we need to sufficiently help ourselves first. After all, we cannot give something that we do not have. If we want a loved one to successfully achieve their wellness, we need to be at that level of wellness as well.

What would you like for Al-Anon to do for you?

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