The family members of an alcoholic also get ‘addicted’ – they spend as much time obsessing over the behavior of the alcoholic as the addict does over his drinking. He keeps worrying about where he is going to get his next drink; family worries about when he is going to drink next. He tries desperately to control his drinking; family members desperately try to control his drinking. If you are able to see this type of behaviour, you are ready to get on the road to changing your behaviors. 

Let’s try doing a small quiz to see if you have an obsession problem. 

  • Do you ever chase the alcoholic, searching for his or his car? 
  • When the alcoholic doesn't come home do you begin to analyze and check where they might be drinking?
  • When you are near them do you try to smell if they have consumed alcohol? 
  • When they tell you they are working late or attending a meeting, do you obsess over whether they are telling the truth?
  • Do you go through their things/ rooms to see if they are hiding the bottles somewhere?
  • Do you experience constant anxiety and worry about when or where they will be drunk again? 

These are just a few of the things that will help you determine whether or not you are obsessing over the alcoholic in your life. It’s a habit that can be broken. Breaking the habit will require changing your way of thinking. 

Here are a few steps for breaking the habit of obsessing over an alcoholic. 

1. Start attending Al-anon meetings in your neighborhood. Don’t just attend the meetings – make friends.

2. Talk a lot on the phone to such friends.

3. Start doing things that you enjoy and may have stopped due to your obsession with the alcoholic’s condition. 

4. Go to the movies or mall, take long walks in the park or join a Yoga class. Just get busy enjoying life and stop worrying about what the alcoholic/addict is doing all of the time.

5. Don’t look at the alcoholic when they walk in the door to see if they are drunk or not, and stop smelling them for signs of alcohol consumption. 

6. Read books or browse the net when they come home to help you keep your attention on something other than them. 

7. Let them go to live their life and then you start living yours. You are powerless over the alcoholic – you can’t change him with your obsessive control strategies. 

8. Just go to sleep when the alcoholic doesn't come home late at night. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. 

9. Remind yourself that your obsession is not helping the situation. It is only causing more stress in you. 

10. Get in touch with a professional rehab for alcohol de-addiction treatment. That way, you will bring some hope in your life and get some sound advice about dealing with the situation. 

The process of breaking the habit of obsessing over another’s behavior is going to take some work and time. This obsession is something that you did not suddenly fall into and it’s going to take time to get out of this habit. Just take it one day at a time and soon you will notice that you have not been obsessing about the alcoholic. After all, it is your life. Live it. 

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