Feeling sad? Frustrated? Anxious? Go get hugged.
If you’re living with an alcoholic, chances are you’re dealing with the unimaginable. What you need is support. And a little of that human touch.
From Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics to medical research, it’s clear that we all need to hug and be hugged.
Dr. David Fryburg explains in his Psychology Today article, “Why Does a Hug Feel So Good?,” that touch is a powerful means of communication, “hugs are one type of touch that relays the message: ‘I care about you. You matter.’”
Hugging can increase positive feelings, decrease negativity–even lower blood pressure. During the days of my husband’s rock bottom (or what I thought was rock bottom), I developed high blood pressure due to stress, a health condition I never had before, nor since.
You’re so focused on the alcoholic–your life takes a backseat; your troubles are put on the back burner; your wants and desires are overlooked for more pressing issues. You’re ignored, underappreciated and overwhelmed.
Fryburg notes that “being touched in a loving and caring way not only decreases stress but also helps nourish the recipient and helps them heal, recover, and grow.”
The trauma you’ve been through or are still living with necessitates healing. You may be so caught up in the alcoholic’s hopeful recovery, you’re unaware of your need to recover and heal. On your journey–regardless of the alcoholic’s journey–it’s important to keep up with your health, your life, your needs. Including the need for human touch. Since alcoholics are often withdrawn and unresponsive, the idea of a drunk husband hugging and cuddling may seem like a tall order, or totally unwelcome. This is where your support system comes to the rescue. (Obviously, nothing inappropriate. You know who you can and cannot hug.) But with the right people, don’t be shy. Give a hug of thanks to your children, parents, close friends, longtime neighbors–and you’ll likely get hugged in return. And in the future. Perhaps it sounds silly. Or overly simplistic. It’s not. Hugs are healthy. Hugs can make you happy. Hugs help.