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Old 02-26-2016, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Using Techniques from LOA to Cope With Relative's Alcoholism - Working Practice Thread


I have studied the LOA for quite some time. I like to listen to Abraham Hicks vids on YouTube.

I have a history in 12 Step, but am no longer interested in focusing on the problem - want to upgrade to focus on solutions and "reach for better feeling thoughts."

If you are interested in helping each other reframe stuff and "reach for better feeling thoughts," and explore someone else's bothersome actions from a LOA standpoint, that would be awesome.

I know the principles, but need the practice to deal with real time events.

One of the theories is that it is not helpful to tell the story - that that only creates more of the same - which I want to avoid like the plague. So I will be vague and say that I am having worries about my relative and see him in a negative place and am struggling with some old memories and beliefs I have - also projecting scary scenarios into the future. One of my main beliefs is "I can't cope" - so fear.

I use the Emotional Guidance Scale to see where my thoughts are on any given subject. Today, I started making a list of some of the things that are bothering me - and then "reaching for a better feeling thought" on each problem. I was able to move up one or two numbers on each problem, so that is progress.

Besides the LOA, I also use EFT (I like to do it in the shower), and aromatherapy. When I have posted about this stuff in other sections, I was sometimes ridiculed. I am hoping that in this forum, I can attract some like-minded people and really make some progress in the thoughts and beliefs that tend to be problematic for me.

Today, I did not want to get out of bed. Abraham Hicks teaches that when you are in a negative thought space, sleep resets you - so naps are encouraged when you're not feeling great. I did get up and did some basic stuff - and then went outside/went shopping - noted my mood uplift a bit - wrote some of the things that are bothering me down, printed out the Emotional Guidance Scale, did some work on going up the scale a bit on some troublesome thoughts and now am posting in this forum.

I still don't feel great, but I am hopeful that I can do better and better. I am going to take a bath and then relax some more.

I feel I am somatizing my fears cuz my body is achey. An initial concern was that I might be feeling my relative's pain. I do tend to do that.

One of the thoughts I have that is helpful is that "Everyone is on their own path." I am now expanding that to thinking about everyone's sovereignty . . . I want to do some more work to strengthen this idea . . . this does relate to my spiritual beliefs, so it's not "secular," per se, but working on it in this forum, as opposed to 12 step forums is "secular" for me. My thinking is that everyone comes here (to Earth school) for a reason - to expand consciousness - and what they then do here is their own soul's business. I can nurture someone as a child and try to inspire health and well-being, but if that doesn't take, then I haven't necessarily failed or wasted my time (thoughts I sometimes have) - I believe that every kindness is never wasted . . . so if something does not resonate with someone else, it's because we are not on the same wavelength (it's a vibrational universe and everything is vibrating at certain frequency).

I also struggle with wondering how I can be happy if the person I love the most in this life is unhappy. I feel we have deep bonds and connections (as opposed to pathologizing "co-dependency" theory, which puts empathic/nurturing people into a box labeled "sick"). I believe in past lives and know I had many with this person and see this person as a teacher to me in this life - that we had a pre-life agreement that he would do "x" and I would do "y" for growth. I "believe" these things, in theory, but I must have other conflicting beliefs because I look at's what's happening and get all freaked out (hard to put distance between it).

These are just some of my thoughts today.

If you have some similar thoughts, and in particular, would like to use LOA theory and other alternative modalities to cope with someone you love's addiction, I hope you will post on this thread.

And if no one does respond, I might use this thread to try to work on these issues myself. I do hope some people will respond, though. I am always looking for like-minded people to form a support group.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1) What techniques do you use to stop worry?
2) How do you stay in the now and prevent worrying about future expected bad scenarios?
3) How do you combat negative thoughts?
4) How do you shut off concern for the alcoholic/addict's health and well-being? (What do you tell yourself that helps you?)
5) How do you enjoy your life, your food, your health, your warmth, when you know your loved one is suffering and you "should" not "help" them (because helping hasn't helped them)?
6) How do you make decisions that you are sure are morally sound (such as "not helping")?
7) When you get "bad news" how do you handle it?
8) How do you make sense of your loved one being alcoholic/addict and evidently not learning from the horrible experiences that has brought (i.e., jail, hospitalization - almost dying, etc.)?
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess this is kind of a dead forum.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll take a stab at this.

1) What techniques do you use to stop worry?

Worry for me is a useless emotion, and generally indicates that I am trying to control something that isn't mine to control. If I feel worry, I ask myself: "is there an action I can take to positively change the outcome?" If so, I take it. If not, I let it go.

2) How do you stay in the now and prevent worrying about future expected bad scenarios?

See above. In addition, I make a real effort each day to focus on the present. The past is gone and the future cannot be predicted.

3) How do you combat negative thoughts?

I have goals in my life. I run my own business and have financial goals. I am learning Spanish (I speak French and some German) and plan to live in various South American countries for several months each once I have accomplished my business goals. If I find myself in a negative space, I go out for a long walk, or I meditate and bring myself back to my priorities.

4) How do you shut off concern for the alcoholic/addict's health and well-being? (What do you tell yourself that helps you?)

Notice that my above goals aren't focused on other people. I don't allow people into my life who will interfere with me reaching my goals. This includes addicts and alcoholics. I don't use drugs and I rarely drink. I make no apologies for this, and I don't have much tolerance for people who limit their potential by using substances. What has helped me most in my recovery is to focus on ME. It may sound egocentric, but I am doing no good to the world when I am miserable because I am hung up on other peoples' problems.

5) How do you enjoy your life, your food, your health, your warmth, when you know your loved one is suffering and you "should" not "help" them (because helping hasn't helped them)?

My loved ones will do what they choose to do. If they sink, I don't have to sink with them. In my view, Self-sacrifice is a flaw, not a virtue.

6) How do you make decisions that you are sure are morally sound (such as "not helping")?

What do you consider to be "helping?" If I have money, I might consider helping to pay for rehab, but just once. I will not sit and listen to someone's sob stories, or do for others what they can do for themselves. And I absolutely will not allow myself to be abused. I don't care if the loved one is "sick." That is a line that they will not cross with me, or I will take immediate action to get them out of my life.

7) When you get "bad news" how do you handle it?

I say a short prayer, and ask God to handle it appropriately and with mercy. Then I put my focus back onto myself. What will be will be. I do not control the outcomes of other people's actions.

8) How do you make sense of your loved one being alcoholic/addict and evidently not learning from the horrible experiences that has brought (i.e., jail, hospitalization - almost dying, etc.)?

Experience is the best teacher there is. If someone in my life, no matter how much I love them, cannot learn from experience, then they certainly aren't going to learn anything useful from me, no matter how much effort I put into it.

I accept that I will never understand even half of what goes through the heads of my family members, friends or business associates. I have a hard enough time understanding myself most of the time!

But ultimately, the people in my life have their own paths to walk. As do I. I'm in my 50s, and my thoughts on all this are very different than they were when I was younger. But the older I get, the more I appreciate that the world is set up this way.

Thanks for posing these questions. By answering them, I can see how far I've come in my own happiness.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You've got some good, solid boundaries and thought/action trajectories. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQmGCnPLszo
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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unexpected bad scenarios-with the addict/alkie?

The alkie/addict here always has or creates an 'emergency' to get what they want like a ride, a few bucks etc. I've gotten good at ignoring, that false sense of urgency doesn't affect me as much as others. I think most are weak at improvising or thinking on their feet.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I gave up on these forums a long time ago. I spent many years going to alanon - but not into 12 step anymore . . . I find that I only want these forums when there is a crisis going on . . . BUT . . . I do not wish to take a "victim" stance - I most just want to "report" and "process" what is going on - to come to acceptance so I can cope.

I have taken the role of "rescuer" in the past - when it appeared that things were going to get better - the pattern had not developed yet.

My relative is young (under 25) and has been in and out of treatment and facilities since he was 18ish.

It has been a nightmare for the entire family, as all of you probably know and understand. It is tremendously stressful to have alcoholic(s), addict(s) in a family.

Part of what I want to do is vent at alcoholics/addicts - I am deliberately not an alcoholic/addict, because I care about my affect on other people. I actually take that into account in my daily living. I have been failing myself, in that respect, because I have become very grouchy and unpleasant . . . I have been recovering myself from all of the stress of the last few years. The alcoholic had been sober since last year at this time (just relapsed at the nearly one year mark).

I can always sense in my body when things are not going well with my relative and I become anxious - and anxiety is exhausting.

Right now the relative is on a bender and no one knows where he is . . . so the stress of "not knowing" is eating up a lot of energy - just the suspense of it all: "WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?" - It's just crazy - we're all on pins and needles to see what he is going to do next! (This is why I feel like a victim because I can't figure out how not to wonder or care).

He has shown up on my doorstep many times, so I am not in touch with him - not calling or texting, even though I heard he is threatening suicide (which really pisses me off) . . . I believe that each person is responsible for their own life - I can't "save" anyone (he has thanked me for "saving" him a couple of times, and I don't believe that is true. I think I played a role in assisting him, but I think he and higher powers "saved" him . . .

I do not wish to take him in this time and hope he stays away.

One of the things I check is FB to see when he logs in (because this is a way to tell if he's dead or alive).

You have to understand that up until a few days ago, he was part of the family and we all had good, positive interactions with him - and now this - so it's hard to process it all.

He is not going to work - so I assume will be fired if not already. It's just crazy.

He told his ex-girlfriend that he couldn't kill himself and would have to die passively (I guess through drinking). Obviously, people who drink alcoholically are self-destructive, but to have dying of alcoholism as a game plan is just beyond the pale. It really makes me angry, and the anger helps me detach. I have a belief that "we're all here for a reason," even if we don't know what the reason is - so "act as if" there IS a reason - and respect your life and your health.

Don't take a perfectly healthy body and destroy it! That is so disrespectful. It sickens me to the core. This I feel is morally wrong - even evil. It makes me hate the person for doing this (the same emotions I feel when I see people hurting animals or children). It's just wrong - so when I think about this, I realize the alcoholic/addict is really my enemy - I don't want self-destructive, crazy people in my life.

I want to live a life of peace and joy with people who respect themselves and nature.

I love this person, AND cannot witness or hear about self-destruction. I feel trapped by my love of this person . . . I don't understand what is happening, or why. I will never understand WHY someone would choose to hurt themselves and others - and it is a choice - it's not like it's a "mistake" - it's a deliberate choice to walk into a liquor store and buy booze when you know what will happen. It's a choice to not call your sponsor or not attend meetings - and you're basically saying F - You to all of the people who have been cheering for your sobriety and health - we see you don't REALLY care about anything other than numbing yourself, even after you've learned everything about alcoholism and how to address it. The choice to drink is not a "mistake." And once the choice to drink has been made, it's also a choice to continue, instead of saying "oops - I made a mistake, I better call my sponsor or get to a meeting."

End of rant for right now.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Since no one reads this forum, I'll just post my processing here.

It's great to have this space.

I want to be able to live my life and find joy in each day.

I had been feeling depressed in the mornings, and I think it had to do with picking up on his mental state prior to relapse.

I am an empath and very connected to him (had been - am putting up shields and boundaries right now to protect myself).

I actually feel better mentally than I have in awhile. There is always a lot of lead-up to a relapse, and I had been feeling it for awhile and it was taking a toll on me.

My anger at the relapse is helping me not be in despair - despair is absolutely the worse place to be and where I feel like hopeless victim.

It's much better for me to see that this is his choice - his life is ultimately his - I make my choices, he makes his. I am here for me, he is here for him.

He knows what to do to stay sober. He is on his own spiritual path, which has nothing at all to do with me.

I am not going to allow him to co-opt my life and make it miserable, just because he is choosing to be miserable - before I felt I was chained to him and would have to go wherever he went, for good or bad. I am trying to free myself from that - the problem is that he is still very much on my mind, as I have no clue where he is or if he's dead or alive . . . so the curiosity itself is an issue.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not really focusing on LOA much anymore, but I do believe in the principles.

So in this case the way it might help is focusing on his good points and not focusing on the relapse . . . for me, I must process my anger and disappointment first. I still love him (the true essence of him, not the acting out addict) - so there is love underneath the anger.

For me right now, it is just honoring my feelings in the moment.

I have been keeping busy - I feel some sadness but it's not debilitating.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi, seek. Good to read your thoughts.
I am not familiar with LOA or Abraham Hicks, but I like a lot of what you say in your posts, so I will check him out.
This forum doesn't seem to see a lot of activity. You might get more of a response by posting to the Friends and Family of Alcoholics forum.
That, sadly, has a lot of traffic and buzz.
I say sadly because some of stories or experiences are heartbreakers.
Anyway, thank you for your thoughts.
Peace.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you. The regular forums don't seem to work for me because I am not a 12 Step person and also most of the focus is on "the problem." I rarely hear people talk about HOW they are coping - they mostly post about what the alcoholics or addicts are doing - not how they're doing . . .

I just listened to a podcast that was interesting - posited that it is better for people with mental illnesses to live amongst anyone but their families - because the criticisms, hostilities, and "over-involvement" inspire "relapse" (confused about that term when talking about mental illness) . . . what I took away from it is that people have to find their own solutions . . . I didn't like the blaming the families for being critical or hostile though . . . they said acceptance is the most healing - I think in theory and from a distance, that is true - but if you are living with or are close to an active alcoholic, "acceptance" might be nice for them, but I don't want to live MY life like that. It is NOT all about them (that's one of the things I am trying to escape from) . . .

I had some interesting work done lately - I thought I was just getting a massage but the person was trained in psychotherapy and did Jin Shin Do and it really helped me let go of some negative feelings that had been stuck in my body. I'm going to do more next week - and we talked about me feeling trapped by this problem . . .

I want to be free of feeling jerked around by another person's hurtful decisions.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You raise some interesting points about alcohol dependent people and how they affect others' lives.
I struggle with acceptance of another person's choices that affect me negatively, so I get what you are saying.
It's true that the problem and how to deal with it is the subject of many posts here.
And beyond this forum, I don't know if there is someplace on this site to discuss how to cope.
I mean, it comes up in the odd post, but there doesn't appear to be sustaining continuing discussion.
How do I cope? Being outside is healing. Planting and growing gives me pleasure. Walking, riding my bike, going to the beach when it's warm, volunteering at an organization in which I believe. All of these things make me happy.
How do I deal with the alcoholic in my life? That is a lot tougher.
I have such anger and resentment toward him, not because of his crap life choices. That's on him, but because he lives with my mother, who is aged and needs my help, and often his crap choices affect her and, by association, me.
I don't know how, as you say, to be free of feeling jerked around by another's hurtful decisions, short of cutting that person from your life.
Right now, that I cannot do.
That's my conundrum.
Is Jin Shin Do body movements that release negative energy? Someone posted about that not too long ago. I will look into it.
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Old 05-12-2017, 02:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, I just looked it up. It's acupressure.
Good.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It's more than acupressure, but I'm not sure if that is because my practitioner is also a clinical therapist - my background is also in psychology, and I have tried many, many modalities, but this one really helped.

Your issue is different, for sure. Your poor mom - how horrible - but a good reminder what can happen to us if we "enable."

My mom lived to be almost 97 and I managed her care for 11 years. It wore me out, but glad I was able to survive!

My problem is that I "love" this alcoholic. I think detaching is much easier if you don't love them!

I started paying attention to the AA dictates about "HALT," and noticed when I get tired I start getting depressed.

The alcoholic in my life has "gone dark, " which means he is probably drunk - on a bender . . . so worrisome, cuz he could be dead, and I would have no idea.

I am going to check the jail web site after this.

One thing that bothered me tonight was thinking what would happen if he drives drunk and hurts someone else. That is a really painful thought. Using LOA, I "should" not be thinking that and I know better than to dwell on stuff like that, but it does cross my mind and then makes me feel bad.

I also love the beach and nature - I live two blocks from the beach, so I am very lucky in that way.

Thanks for sharing with me what works for you to enjoy life and be happy - please say more, if the spirit moves you because I need all of the ideas I can get about how to occupy my mind. I tend to be obsessive, and especially about him and his health and well-being (because I helped raise him and was very invested in his health - and now, throughout his "recovery," I have been a main support person. I am currently quite pissed that he indulged himself and basically said F You to all of us who love him . . . hope he is okay. I do pray during these times (otherwise, no - it is too exhausting) - I ask that he be protected and also pray that I will heal and be able to function - have no idea who I am praying to - don't believe in a traditional "God" - do call on angels, but don't know if I really believe in anything like that anymore. I do it because it seems to put me in a higher vibration where things feel more hopeful - but I am not sure why.

One thing I am very happy about is I used to have prophetic dreams - I asked that those be removed, because they were so disturbing, and I haven't had any and I am so grateful for that. I don't want to know when he is relapsing before the fact. TMI
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Like you, I also volunteer . . . and it gives me great joy. A friend and I started giving out supplies to homeless people on the street. I started a GoFundMe and we have been out with our carts full of stuff a few times. I raised almost $1,000 and every penny was spent on snacks, water, dog food (!), socks, toiletries, etc. Such a good feeling and I like to talk to the people too . . . so on that level, I don't judge - only when it's personal.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Tomorrow I am going to a meeting at a pet food aid organization that seeks volunteers to deliver food to pet food banks. Dunno where this will go. I would very much like to help animals in need, and do through financial contributions, but have been really reluctant to volunteer at a shelter. I think it would just tear me up.
Going with an open mind.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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That sounds wonderful. I hope it is a good fit. So many animals in need of a kind person to interact with.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have begun reading about the Law of Attraction. It's a bit confusing at this early stage, but will soldier on.
Peace and good night.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I never liked reading it. I started watching YouTube vids (either by most recent, or the subjects you are interested in) . . . it can change your vibration - whether or not you "believe" every word or idea . . . it just helps!
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