Experts refer to alcoholism as a family disease not just because of its hereditary components, but because it affects everyone in the individual’s orbit. While it is not an easy reality to accept, every person facing this struggle must know that he/she is not alone and that there are an abundance of resources available and family love to be harnessed.
Dina*, a mom of six, called us desperate for guidance as her husband is an alcoholic who was refusing to get help, which was creating an unhealthy environment for the entire family. He was drinking heavily every night, which sometimes led to disappearing and blackouts; they were all suffering, but no one more than Chaim*, their 12 year-old son who was preparing for his bar mitzvah and yearning for his father’s involvement.
The situation required a multi-pronged approach. Our case manager directed Dina to some educational and therapeutic resources that could help her manage her own struggles; she also assisted with finding a good therapist for Chaim to process his feelings and develop tools of resilience to move forward. He began weekly sessions and has been progressing well; and Dina found ways to feel more in “control” so that she could be in a better emotional place to care for her family.
There are no quick fixes for alcoholism, but Chaim’s father did eventually become aware of how his actions were affecting his loved ones; and he began seeking help to move forward on the right course. He is still drinking, but is taking steps to becoming completely sober so that he can get healthy for himself and be a better husband and father.
A few months in, Dina is feeling more calm, knowing that she and her husband are finally on the same page and that she has her partner back. Their son has reached a solid place where he feels supported and loved; he and his therapist together decided that he could take a break; he now needs only occasional sessions when a particular challenge arises. We maintain contact with the family and look forward to wishing them a heartfelt mazel tov on their upcoming simcha.
If you or someone you love is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Amudim is just a phone call away and here to help.
*Names and details have been changed for privacy purposes
Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.