Skip to content Skip to cookie consent

Podcast

How to support people with an alcohol addiction

A recovering alcoholic tells his story and discusses how we can help others who are struggling with addiction

2022

How to build community banner image
How to build community - a podcast series with Arukah Network

From: How to build community

A podcast series for anyone wanting to help their community to thrive 

About this episode

Jon is a recovering alcoholic from the UK. In this podcast episode he talks about his struggle with addiction and his long journey to recovery. He also reflects on some of the best ways to support people around us who are facing similar challenges.

Total Time

Total Time

Download audio file | 29.3 MB
‘I said to myself, “I cannot do this anymore. I do not want to do this anymore.” ’

Podcast Highlights

  • Jon was a teenager when his relationship with alcohol began, and it was a long time before he realised that he had a problem.

    He says, 'It certainly wasn't the taste of alcohol I fell in love with, it was what it did to me as a person - it managed to reach inside me and remove all the fear I was experiencing and all those insecurities and all the shyness - I turned into someone who I was not and I loved it for that reason.'

     

    Jon was a teenager when his relationship with alcohol began, and it was a long time before he realised that he had a problem.

    He says, 'It certainly wasn't the taste of alcohol I fell in love with, it was what it did to me as a person - it managed to reach inside me and remove all the fear I was experiencing and all those insecurities and all the shyness - I turned into someone who I was not and I loved it for that reason.'

     
  • By the time his son was born a few years later, Jon knew that his addiction was controlling his life. He decided that it was time to do something about it, but despite his best efforts he soon went back to drinking. His addiction badly affected his behaviour making life very difficult for the people closest to him.

    ‘I just wanted to be in blackout so I didn't have to face the reality of everything I had created,’ he says.

    Eventually Jon reached such a low point that he was finally able to admit that he needed help: ‘Ironically, it needed to get to that level of darkness and pain for it to crack me enough… It had to get painful enough for me to realise that the problem was in me, it was not anywhere else.’

    ‘I said to myself, “I cannot do this anymore. I do not want to do this anymore.”’

    With the help of a support group called Alcoholics Anonymous, Jon was able to talk about his alcohol problem with other people struggling with addiction. This was a turning point in his recovery. Over time he was able to stop drinking, learn to love himself again and rebuild relationships with his family and friends.

    By the time his son was born a few years later, Jon knew that his addiction was controlling his life. He decided that it was time to do something about it, but despite his best efforts he soon went back to drinking. His addiction badly affected his behaviour making life very difficult for the people closest to him.

    ‘I just wanted to be in blackout so I didn't have to face the reality of everything I had created,’ he says.

    Eventually Jon reached such a low point that he was finally able to admit that he needed help: ‘Ironically, it needed to get to that level of darkness and pain for it to crack me enough… It had to get painful enough for me to realise that the problem was in me, it was not anywhere else.’

    ‘I said to myself, “I cannot do this anymore. I do not want to do this anymore.”’

    With the help of a support group called Alcoholics Anonymous, Jon was able to talk about his alcohol problem with other people struggling with addiction. This was a turning point in his recovery. Over time he was able to stop drinking, learn to love himself again and rebuild relationships with his family and friends.

  • It is often very difficult to know how to help friends or family members who are struggling with addiction. Often the person with the addiction will defend their actions and become even more difficult if challenged. Jon says, ‘Unless the person is ready, they will not want to hear you’. 

    Jon talks about the importance of ‘letting go with love’. Jon always knew he was loved – even when his relationships were being damaged by his addiction – and in the end this made it possible for him to recover. His advice: ‘Let them know that you love them and you are there for them – but you are not there to enable their behaviour. It is a fine line to walk.’

    It is often very difficult to know how to help friends or family members who are struggling with addiction. Often the person with the addiction will defend their actions and become even more difficult if challenged. Jon says, ‘Unless the person is ready, they will not want to hear you’. 

    Jon talks about the importance of ‘letting go with love’. Jon always knew he was loved – even when his relationships were being damaged by his addiction – and in the end this made it possible for him to recover. His advice: ‘Let them know that you love them and you are there for them – but you are not there to enable their behaviour. It is a fine line to walk.’

Book magazine resource

Related resources

  • Alcoholics Anonymous

    Alcoholics Anonymous is a global network committed to helping people overcome their drinking problems. The support they provide is based on the simple foundation of one alcoholic helping another.

About this podcast

How to build community is a podcast and radio show from Arukah Network and Tearfund’s Footsteps magazine. The podcast gives people the opportunity to inspire and motivate others by talking about their community projects and ideas.

Please get in touch if you have any ideas for future podcast episodes.

Young man listens to a podcast on his phone

Never miss an episode!

Subscribe to Tearfund Learn emails and be the first to hear about our latest podcasts and publications.

Sign up

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Get our email updates

Be the first to hear about our latest learning and resources

Sign up now

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.