"It’s not my fault”- Reflections of the wife of an alcoholic

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I am a wife of an Alcoholic. There I have said it and it’s out in the open.

Why do we feel the need to hide this fact? He is the one drinking, he is the one who is abusive, he is the one who is not earning and I have to sweep everything under the carpet and keep quiet because we want to protect the family name?

I am the one dreading family gatherings or shudder at the thought of calling friends over. After all, who likes to be embarrassed? So that makes me the spoilsport and he is always the life of a party.

So, I’m saying this aloud. “I am a wife of an Alcoholic”. And what I wanted to write about and give importance to is how over a period of years I have learnt to deal with it.

However, before we go there let’s talk about the alcoholic first and typical traits.

  1. Do you see your loved one finding an excuse to drink - good news, bad news, indifferent news- anything is a reason to drink.
  2. Do they start hiding their drinks? This not only helps them to access it quickly but also helps them to hide the amount of alcohol they have consumed after all they don’t want you to see that they finished X amount of bottles already!
  3. They only want to attend parties and gatherings where there is booze available freely. Everything else is a waste of time and boring! Never mind if you were looking forward to spending some quality time with these people or were so wanting to go hiking in the mountains or for a stroll in the garden.
  4. They gradually start drinking earlier and earlier in the day. In my case these days he is already high by 10 a.m. That’s the only way he can step out in the world.
  5. Money starts going missing from your purse; you might have some jewelry missing too. That’s when you learn the hard way that your belongings all need to be under lock and key always. Imagine having to stay like that in your own house.
  6. Then they stop eating proper meals, always on the lookout to have a drink only and start neglecting personal hygiene and that’s when you realize that you have an issue at hand. He goes without brushing his teeth for weeks, let’s not talk about baths! This is when the verbally abusive behavior begins. Physical abuse is not far away.  

These are just a few typical traits and mostly what I relate to however there will be plenty of other warning signs and trust your instinct… Always... it’s never wrong.

Sometimes you don’t need to read about typical traits after all the blood-red eyes, hangovers, the smell; the disheveled appearance is right in front of your eyes… all in plain sight.

I have been married for 18 years now and he has been an alcoholic even before we met. During our engagement phase, I didn’t realize it or rather did not take heed of all the warning signs and for various other social pressures went ahead with the marriage after all you are living in India and arranged marriages are a norm even now. Has been a roller coaster ride ever since.

 And through my entire journey of living with an alcoholic there is one thing that I have realized and that is I am powerless over his drinking.

You can drain his drinks down the drain, hide his bottles, don’t give him money, try to reason with him, put him in rehabilitation centers, try to be more loving or go the opposite way and threaten him with different consequences but all these are just ways to aggravate the situation more and waste of time if he is not ready to see reason. I have even left home twice now but nothing changes. Earlier it was easier for me because I would escape to my mother’s place every weekend which would make the week ahead bearable but after she passed away 4 years ago I lost that privilege too.  

That’s when I was told about Al Anon. This is a group for the family of an alcoholic. It’s a worldwide group where people with similar situations come together once a week. You can say it’s a byproduct of the Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) group because alcohol doesn’t destroy the alcoholic alone; it takes a toll on his/her family too.

I attended meetings for a couple of months and I realized that though the purpose of the whole thing was to give some semblance in my life this particular group was not working for me. Not that the group was not helpful or most caring but due to my own inhibitions.

But there are some learnings that I picked up from these meetings which have been embedded in my mind since then. It can be hard to hear that you need to change yourself when a loved one is living with alcoholism. After all, it's their problem, isn't it? Unfortunately, you can only change yourself, and the only way you can interrupt and change the current course of your interactions with an alcoholic is to change your reactions. I have tried to incorporate them in my daily life and it has really helped me cope up with my situation(not always successfully but patience is the name of the game and my friends do tell me that I should get an award for the level that I have reached). Anyway, let me share some of these with you.

My Life Learnings

1. Acceptance

The first learning out of this that one needs to take in is that of “Acceptance”.

The first and foremost advice that I would like to share with you is to stop trying to change him. You need to accept the fact that it is a choice that he is making of staying in this drunken stupor and only he can decide when to stop. To say it in simple language it means that you can take the horse to the well but you cannot force it to drink water. You also need to accept that Alcoholism is a disease just like any other disease like cancer and should not be underestimated.

Nothing works for the simple reason that YOU are trying to change him. If you tell him how he looked, how he acted, what you think of him for it, it won’t work. He’ll just fall back on the old excuse, ‘She’s picking on me again,’ and he’ll have a grievance against you again and another excuse to drink. They never want to discuss what triggered us, just how you reacted! You have to say what you mean but you have to say it without being mean and let him draw his own conclusions. He has to learn that there are always consequences for each and every action and he has to take responsibility for his actions. He is an adult and you cannot control him, accept that it is for his own good. It is very difficult to do it, trust me I have been in such situations. Your maternal instinct kicks in and you want to avoid an ugly scenario and help him however you can but LEAVE HIM BE.

I have learnt this the hard way. He had taken money from some moneylender and when he was not able to pay back there were thugs who came home and threatened the entire family with dire consequences if we did not pay up within the next 48 hours. I did pay up at that time but refused the next time.

Another time a person actually called the police and as he had contacts they came and took him in, beat him black and blue and kept him overnight at the station. Sounds like I am heartless but he had to bear the consequences.

An active alcoholic will always be in a stage of strong denial and will never accept that he has an issue. He can come to a stage where he realizes that he is unable to get out of this vicious circle and needs help. A stage where he accepts that alcohol is a cause of all his troubles and he wants to come out of it. This is where we can help him/her with the help of Rehabilitation Centers and AA Meetings till then you are completely helpless and nothing you say or do is ever going to work.

You also have to accept that he might never reach the stage where he realizes that he has an issue. Such cases can go to the extreme where he can have multiple organ issues and might not make it. Harsh truth but it is what it is.

2. Expectations

The second thing that we have to learn is “Expectations”.

We feel that if he really cared about me and if he really wanted he could stay sober and avoid drinks totally.  We have too many expectations not from ourselves but from another human being. Why?

I so wanted to get inside his brain and turn the screws in what I thought was the right direction based on what my expectations were. Why can’t he be a sober husband with a good job, a loving person and a caring and supportive father? 

There are days when he is sober and he makes all types of promises. “My drinking is not that serious, I can stop whenever I want”, “I swear I will not drink again”, “I swear I will be a different person now just help me out from this situation” etc. And the very next day when he comes home drunk again I am so hurt by the broken promises and take the lies personally.  We naturally expect them to be sincere to us.  This is what expectations looks like.

What seems like a reasonable expectation in some circumstances might be totally unreasonable when it comes to someone with an addiction. Is it reasonable to expect someone to be honest with you when the person is incapable of being honest even with themselves and admit that they have a problem and need help?

In reality, we as a family should do nothing and can do nothing. When a person with a substance use problem reaches a crisis point, sometimes that's the time the person finally admits they have a problem and begins to reach out for help. It is very difficult to sit back and let it play out to its fullest extent. When an alcoholic reaches the point that they get a DUI, lose their job, or get thrown in jail, it can be a difficult concept to accept that the best thing you can do in the situation is to do nothing. It may seem like it goes against everything you believe and against all your expectations.

In a nutshell, the only person you can work upon is your own self. Once you realize this trust me life will let you breathe easy. When you reach this stage you will feel a burden on your shoulders and will be able to admire the view. My happiness, my peace of mind, my attitudes, the way I look, the way I stay, the way I behave are all my responsibility. Only I have the power to change all that and the thought that I don’t have to take responsibility for the alcoholic’s behavior is such a relief.  

I hope this has helped in bringing some sense of comfort and ease to your life. If you know of any dear and near ones who are going through the same situation and feel that it could help them in any way then please do share this.

And to end this let me tell you that working on Acceptance and Expectations is less than half the battle won. You can then move on to what I call the second stage.  I shall touch base on that another time. Till then keep repeating the three “C”s of Al Anon to yourself:

I didn’t Cause it

I can’t Control it and

I can’t Cure it

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Anika Manocha- Changing perspectives, changing lives

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Managing Stress during the Pandemic Webinar

 

 

We can all agree on this, staying away from negative news is impossible nowadays. Be it social media or your google news feed it’s a reality, that we all are dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty.

We have anxiety and fear due to a lot of issues such as apprehensions regarding contracting the Coronavirus, the health risk of family members, keeping kids occupied while being indoors all-day, managing to get work done from home or simply coming to terms with the separation anxiety. As the days go by, the stress can eventually build up -affecting us both physically and mentally.

Hence Glo-Community has collaborated with Anika Manocha to help you manage stress during the Pandemic.

Ms.Anika Manocha is a Master's in Psychology from KUK, Haryana, a counseling psychologist and a Certified CBT trainer.

Anika has been actively involved in Uplifting children who are victims of Child Labour and is also a Marriage & Family Counsellor and has been successful in bringing about an improvement in many relationships. She is a Visiting Counselor in schools and takes online Counselling to help people understand their problems and find a better solution in their day to day life.

Register for the Webinar on "Managing Stress during the Pandemic" On 7th August - 

Time - 1 pm to 2 pm

 Key Takeaways:

  1. Recognizing the difference between pressure and stress
  2. Understanding the symptoms and causes of stress
  3. Consequences of not managing stress
  4. Circle of influence and control – how to take positive action
  5. Adopting the right mindset to handle stress effectively
  6. Practical tips for managing stress

 

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Online Businesses You Can Start Quickly And Earn Well!

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Online Business you can start quickly and earn well

Highlights

The article guides you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home.

Staying at home has caused many of us to explore the inner Creative Gurus in ourselves.  Personally, I find myself doing things I otherwise couldn’t imagine indulging such as baking a cake, trying out a FAD diet just for the fun of it, counting my steps (Not to brag, but I’m way past the 10K a day mark, *cue applause*), taking new courses on recycling, brush lettering and novel writing and my favourite: trying a new steak sauce recipe. Can you imagine the kind of proactiveness it takes to want to try out a new steak sauce recipe? (For the record, balsamic barbeque For. The. Win.) 

It’s not uncommon to look at your social media feed and feel discouraged about not doing enough. Change can be mighty frightening for some people and takes them a whole lot of courage to ride the wave of change. You might look at monetizing some of your various talents but shy away because “a million people already seem to be doing the same”. Layoffs and paycheck cuts can increase this pressure of wanting or worse: needing to make some quick money to make ends meet. 

Take a deep breath in before you read this article and remind yourself that you’re not alone in this.

While it may first seem overwhelming to start an online business out of the blue, especially when your career so far has been more non-virtual and hands-on and you seem to have very little knowledge on the subject, it’s important to note that rapidity is what sets these businesses apart. Most online businesses are almost worth the risk, simply because the investment that goes into building one is almost nothing as opposed to the massive amount of learning that comes with it. (even without a clear success at first attempt). Glo has taken this subject as one that’s close to our heart, and more so now, to guide you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home and the mini-steps you can take for each of them that will lead you to success: gradually, but surely. 

11 Online Businesses you can start quickly and earn well:  

  1. Practice Affiliate Marketing

You’ve probably already heard of the term affiliate marketing before and associate it with a complex growth marketing tactic. But it’s a rather simple concept to grasp if you learn about it. Affiliate marketing is essentially the process of earning a commission by means of promoting someone else’s (or another company’s) product. For instance, if you own a website of your own, and promote products of another brand by providing links to their catalogue, and a sale is made through this link, then you’re entitled to earn a commission for the same. 

But how do you get started with affiliate marketing? 

  1. Amazon: If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you can be lost. A lot of affiliate marketers find success with amazon. Not only are there a million products to choose from, but amazon also kind of makes it simpler for a beginner with its Amazon Associates Program.
  2. Informative Products: Promoting video series, ebooks, membership sites, new releases, etc can earn you over 50% or more in commission and even has lesser barriers to entry. These products are also easy to find and promote if you know where to find them. 

In fact, a lot of great marketers, including Neil Patel, have spoken of how to find a niche for affiliate marketing and earn profits quickly - so learning how to get started should be the least of your worries. Although, in addition to affiliate marketing, it might also be really helpful to know (at least the basics) of SEO and copywriting. Some great books on the subject are SEO for beginners 2020 and The art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine optimization.

You’re wondering if the last bit was affiliate marketing, aren’t you? 

  1. Set Up An eCommerce Site

Before you start scrolling down assuming that “building a site” is only for the techies - hear me out. If you have an idea and possess basic knowledge of how an online store works, there aren’t a lot of barriers to overcome before setting up your very own e-commerce store. Sustainable products, local products, handcrafted goods, sanitization products - these are some markets that people are currently exploring vastly - and if you have the means to bring these products online, then the technology of it shouldn’t stop you from doing so. In fact, there are several websites ( such as Airtable and Bubble ) you can use today with possessing no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Shopify is built for e-commerce and you can use it to build your very own virtual shop with low investment, no coding skills and a free 30-day trial to experiment with too!

Things to remember before setting up an E-commerce site: 

  • Study about the internet market experience. What are customers drawn to, what is it that they seem to interact well with, resonate with 
  • Find a market that’s profitable. Do some keyword research and try and find an untargeted niche. There might be a hundred online stores selling furniture, but you could pick dressers (for example) as your niche and ace that space. 
  • Do a profit analysis. If you're selling a product whose manufacturing & distribution costs are almost as much as your selling price, there’s no point dealing with such minimal margins and putting in all that effort for nothing.
  • Assess if the product you aim to sell is part of a growing market. Something that's already reached its peak in the market is not very easy to scale and sustain (like VCRs for example). You need a product with solid growth potential. 
  1. Start That Blog You’ve Always Wanted To! - And Monetize It

Starting a blog is not just a fantastic way to voice out your thoughts and opinions on different subjects, it can also earn you quite a bit of money if you’re consistent and adept with all the available tools you can utilize to grow your audience. It’s easier than ever to start a blog in 2020 and make it a potential source of income. But you’ve to be willing, patient and consistent to reap profits from your writing. You also need to generate valuable content that is engaging and educating to capture the interest of your audience. 

Eventually, you can aim at monetizing your blog by selling relevant digital products or ads, sponsored posts, ebooks, etc once you have a good number of readers who come on to your page. 

  1. Become a Facebook Ad Expert 

Many companies struggle with running successful ad campaigns. Read that again. Facebook and Instagram give you a seamless journey as a user who’s trying to display ads for their brands - it almost feels like following these steps are enough. But there are few businesses who run successful ads and this is only after some serious studying of the Facebook ad metrics. If it were so easy to run ads that worked, do you think people would be selling their “How to create successful ads” courses for thousands of rupees? The answer is, of course, no. 

A lot of companies are in need of Facebook advertising experts and if this interests you, you can take the time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook, how to get the most return on an ad investment and reach out to businesses to assist them with your expertise on the subject. 

  1. Become a Skype (or Zoom) Coach

If you truly consider yourself to be an expert on a subject matter - be it yoga, knitting, nutrition, meditation, business & strategy consultation - or anything else that people might be interested to learn too - you can start by building a client base and coaching these clients online either daily, weekly or monthly. 

There are coaches available for everything today - dating, health, life and even things like palmistry, astrology and tarot card reading. These are areas people seem to be getting interested in of late and could use some guidance from an expert. 

Furthermore, you can always aim to increase your client base by appearing credible - enlist yourself on curated websites, set up your own website and but up blog articles to educate people and market yourself well, get certified if you must - all this makes people feel like you know your stuff and sign-ups become a cakewalk once you appear credible. 

  1. Dropshipping

Dropshipping essentially means creating an online store but to sell other people’s products. One of the main reasons people opt for dropshipping is because they don’t have to do any of the manufacturing or shipping and still get a commission on every sale made. The main benefit is that you’re not at risk of stocking up on a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The barrier to entry is low and so is the investment. It is, of course, easier for an already established e-commerce brand such as amazon (who also sells their own products) to practice dropshipping, and the competition is massive - but the key is to figure out a product niche that has an audience but not many competitors selling within this niche.  

There are apps like Shopify and Oberlo that also help connect you with suppliers to import products to your store.

Ways to make dropshipping a successful business: 

  • Gather the same products from different suppliers, to create a store that serves variety within a specific niche.
  • Offer a superior value proposition through quality content and top-notch customer service that creates value way beyond selling products
  • Target an untapped region on the world map (but be sure to pay attention to shipping costs).
  • Target different set of audiences with the same product (for example, target music festival stalls with led gear) 

The Truth About Dropshipping: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. Technical Writing

While Creative writing may require a whole other process and headspace, there’s something about technical writing that people seem to have a grasp on even without any prior experience. Do you see the instruction manuals on a new remote control car? Or safety compliances of the various products displayed online? - That's essentially the job of a technical writer. 

How to Become a Technical Writer: A Beginner’s Guide

Even writing resumes, cover letters and press releases are options you could explore, besides technical writing. People are always on the lookout for jobs - and they’re always looking to prettify their resumes and cover letters. If you think you could be good at this stuff - you can always give it a shot and find interesting work online. (Freelancer and Upwork are popular sites) 

  1. Start a Print-on-Demand Service 

If you’re good at designing, or even have a fairly good hand with design software - this is something you can explore. Again, you would have to cater to a specific niche - like doctors or gamers or cat lovers, for example, and create customized digitals to get them printed on various merchandise including mugs, t-shirts, posters and stickers. A lot of people are making tangible products out of their beautiful yet quirky designs today and in the process - turning their Instagram accounts into virtual gift shops! 

What's more, is that if you have a printer at home, all you need to do is buy heat transfer sheets and you can start printing at home using just an iron box!  

  1. Convert Your Service Into a Product

One of the obvious downsides to running a service-based business is that you only get paid strictly for your time and skills. It’s not flexible. If you “Productize” your service i.e, you create a physical/digital product that sells your expertise as a package, you can add additional revenue streams to your business as well. 

Examples of “productising” a service include: 

  • Courses
  • Downloadable reports
  • Digital templates
  • Merchandise
  • eBooks

Most of these ideas involve digital media that has been packaged as a product, which means there’s no inventory to keep around. If you’re running your home business on Shopify, you can also sell digital products effortlessly using the Digital Downloads or SendOwl app.

  1. SEO and PPC Consulting 

If building your website from scratch isn’t for you - you can always guide others’ websites to rank high on google search results. When a website ranks higher, it gets more and more relevant traffic and in turn, naturally makes more revenue.

This is a highly valued skill in the world of internet marketing - but not an easy one since google is always changing algorithms. You have to be committed to being on the leading edge, learning as well as testing new strategies. If you manage to master SEO, companies tend to pay quite a lot for it. 

Similar to SEO (but not quite), Pay per click advertising helps rank your ad at the top of google search as “sponsored”. It’s a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee every time their ad gets clicked. Unlike SEO, PPC is buying visits to your site (which is a short-cut, but equally effective nonetheless) 

If you master these basic digital marketing techniques, you’d be of high value for any business trying to scale online. 

  1. Start Your Own Clothing Line

Have you ever thought of owning your own clothing line but were not quite sure about how to take off with just designs on your hand? We’ve got good news. Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or similar product sourcing apps automatically link your Shopify store to apparel printers and manufacturers. They also take care of the retail fulfilment process giving a whole lot of freedom to design and ship a range of clothing pieces. 

So all you really need to kickstart your very own clothing line is the skill to design creative/trendy clothing and a Shopify store to sell the same. Amazing, isn’t it? 

It is indeed a satisfying process to create products that people will use every day. Plus, as soon as your Shopify store is built, you’ll be able to start selling your clothes almost instantly. Besides, the feeling of seeing one’s own designs come to life by transforming all the creativity into something real and profitable is truly unmatched.













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