Alcoholism is a serious disease. It has become the fourth leading cause of death (preventable) in the United States. Those stats include both those from alcohol caused accidents and direct fatalities like those through illnesses and poisoning. It is a shocking figure and one that doesn’t get nearly enough focus in a world dominated by worry over the opiate and meth epidemics.

When you are an alcoholic it is likely not these figures that have pushed you to work on your sobriety. Personal reasons are far more compelling, as addiction impacts every part of an alcoholic’s life. With there being a 50 - 90% relapse rate in alcoholics following recovery, those working through sobriety have a lot to face and resist.

Ideally, it is with the support of friends and family that this process becomes successful. But what happens when those same loved ones aren’t taking your disease seriously?

Denial: Not Just For Addicts

You have probably done the whole denial song and dance before, convincing yourself and others that you don’t really have a problem. The first step in overcoming your alcoholism was admitting you were an alcoholic in the first place.

Friends and family of addicts have to face the same reality and they aren’t always ready to do so. Maybe they don’t want to think about you having something so serious to deal with, or they have a problem themselves and don’t want to face it. Some might just not be able to look beyond their own concerns to see what you are struggling with.

Denial can be deeply frustrating. Waiting for them to take the plunge and approach you isn't always an option. It may help to create a self-intervention, getting these people together in one place and talking openly about your struggle. Tell them why you know you are an alcoholic, and how you plan to overcome it. Provide ways they can help to support you.

Realize That Your Loved Ones May Not Understand

There is a lot of misinformation about addiction, and your loved ones may not understand what it is you are going through. They may think that it is just a lack of willpower, for instance, and that you are unable to control yourself because of a general weakness. Or they might just think you overdo it a little and can hold back.

Try having a serious discussion. Point out that experts agree alcoholism and other addictive behaviors are likely a disease of the brain. You are not just unable to control yourself because you lack the will. You cannot physically ingest alcohol in a responsible manner.

Begin Cutting Out Toxic People

Occasionally you won’t be able to get through to some people. They will continue to take your alcoholism as a joke, or just won’t respect your boundaries. In those situations it may be necessary to cut them out of your life. It is a difficult thing to do, but it may be the best thing for your progress moving forward. Your health, happiness and success come first.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn