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NEW HERE living with an alcoholic
April 12, 2009
2:32 pm
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BRIGHTLIGHTS
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Hi anyone?..I'm new here..but not new to this situation i'm in. I need to talk to someone who understands living with an alcoholic.

April 12, 2009
2:50 pm
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atalose
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Brightlights,

Welcome and yes I’m sure there are many here who can relate to living with an alcoholic and how unmanageable life can be.

I’ve attended al-anon in the past to help me deal with the alcoholic in my life which was my father. I’ve been in a long term relationship with a recovering alcoholic and if there is any advice or support I can offer, I’d be glad to.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 12, 2009
3:25 pm
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Thank you...its a long story..i'm sure you know how that is...I've been with this man for 9 years..not married..(was married once)..for five of those nine years..he was totally sober...I was too..to support him..no alcohol in the house at all. When my mother passed away unexpectedly ..i had a few beers ..and so did he...I can put it down and be done but he is very different. calls it "I have to drink to medicate" He has a history of dt's and that worries me too. He's been to detox...well i've lost count now how many times..I know that the detox center is what its going to take again, but he seems to be in denial. says if he sleeps the day away he'll be ok. I know as soon as he gets up no matter what time it is..he will drink. He is not abusive to me, but becomes a danger to himself from lack of balance. there is sooo much more to this whole picture. I've become so wrapped up in his problems I don't know who I am anymore, I also have a teenager who is handicapped. my level of stress and sadness is overwhelming, i find it hard to even call my father. I guess part of my question is how do I deal with this? I can't stand being around him when he's drunk, he knows that..he also knows I'm at the end of my rope. At the same time I do my best to "keep this" from my child. even at such a young age "they have already seen too much..not here..but with their real dad.

April 12, 2009
3:32 pm
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i must go for a while ..don't want him to know i'm here...he is up now, but I will check back later. hope you can write to me. thanks.

April 12, 2009
3:42 pm
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atalose
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WOW you have an awful lot on your plate. When you say you are at the end of your rope, what does that mean for you? Does that mean you want to leave this man and begin a new life free from an alcoholic so you can focus on your child? OR do you really mean you want him to stop drinking so your worries will go away?

Unless HE wants to get sober there really isn’t much you can do except try and detach from the consequences of HIS drinking and allow him to be responsible for them not you. If he’s off balance let him fall, he’s a grown man, help him act like one.

Besides detaching which many find almost impossible to do I’d say begin a plan to leave this unhealthy environment for yourself and your child. Besides love what is holding you back from leaving?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 12, 2009
3:44 pm
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peace4all
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(((BrightLights))))

Hello and welcome, I have a suggestion for you and it is for you to start attending Alanon. Alanon will help you take the focus off of your alcoholic and put it back on you, learning how to deal with this very difficult situation. When we share our lives with someone who drinks alot we become obsessed with their behaviour and feel like we are losing our minds. If you can, please try to find an alanon meeting in your area, if thats not possible...there are many online groups with meetings and chat-rooms. Just type in alanon and you will find one to go to, in alanon we have a saying and it is called the 3 C's...You didnt cause it.
You cant cure it...And...You cant control it......Do your self a favor and try to find an alanon chat-room, it always helps to know we are not alone..Blessings to you...
Love in recovery, Peace4all

April 12, 2009
3:52 pm
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atalose
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peace makes a great suggestion with al-anon.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 12, 2009
4:26 pm
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I have a moment to come back...thank you both soo much..and i really need to talk more..when i can. yes he is up ..and going...well guess...to get more. He does want to quite, and I think we are both in aggreance that he is going to a detox center tomorrow morning, when my child is not here. I alread looked up an alanon meeting..i've heard some of them are "closed" sessions..this one is listed as...O, D, .does that mean open discussion...and
B= book discussion?? I know he can be sober..he was for 5 years..I'll just never know how long. Theres so much more..a co-worker of his..is a drug addict...very bad addiction problem...I thught about also taking this person tomorrow to the hosp. detox center...is that a good idea or bad...this person very much needs help too, only doesn't have anyone that is willing toooo help..or am I biting off more than I can chew...got enough onmy plate?..my concern is my other half being around this person..with a continueing problem..they seem to "feed" on one another..if that makes any sense.

April 12, 2009
4:28 pm
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ps. I don't want him out of my life..and money is an issue here even if I did, he would have to leave, I pay for everything here anyway..but money is very tight. I couldn't find a cheaper place than where I am now.

April 12, 2009
4:32 pm
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Really sorry this conversation is so chopped up, but I must go again. I may be here tonight...and if he really goes in tomorrow I will certainly be here in the late afternoon..or so..Thank you again

April 12, 2009
7:12 pm
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atalose
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I think you need to just focus on you and your husband not his co-worker. You can’t control his co-worker, it’s really none of your business what this person does. If you think you can control your husband by getting his co-worker addict help you are wrong.

I think if your husband is seeking this detox on his own without you pushing him into it, then it’s great other wise if you are the one pushing it will no doubt backfire on you.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 13, 2009
11:06 am
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StronginHim77
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First of all, forget the coworker. He/she is not your problem. You have enough on your plate.

Next, get this man into detox. Then pack his clothes and personal belongings and change your locks. Book him a bed in a halfway house program. Inform him that he is going straight to the halfway house, after completing his detox. This will not make you very popular with him. (They usually rage at their enablers when we stop enabling.) But a solid halfway house program is his only hope for sobriety.

If you allow him to return to your home, I guarantee that he will be drinking in a matter of days or weeks. Guaranteed. He has a serious disease which requires long term treatment in a facility which has professionals who cannot be snowballed, manipulated or conned. And these guys are MASTERS at all of those "arts."

He is using you, financially and emotionally. You need to get him out of your house, until he has demonstrated sobriety for a MINIMUM of 8-12 months in a halfway program. If he is unable to enter such a program, then tell him, "tough. You have nowhere else to go, because you are NOT returning to MY home." End of story.

This is called tough love. But it is the only thing that works for these guys.

I also urge you to get involved with Al-Anon. It is so important that you learn how enmeshed you have become in his disease...how deply it has impacted and limited your life, drained your finances and sapped your strength. This is also going to damage your child. No child in the same household with an active alcoholic remains unscathed, no matter how good a job you think you are doing of hiding it from him.

You will need to let go of your Fantasy Hope: that he will miraculously return to the sober wonder who lived with you for five years, before returning to his bottle. Right now, liquor is his god...the true love of his life. And you are simply someone who enables him to have his true love.

Think I'm exagerating? Drop the bomb that he cannot return to your home after detox...that he must enter a halfway house program...and see how he rages. This man does not love you. Alcoholics don't love ANYONE. Yes, they can turn on the charm (and the pity-me stuff) when they feel their significant enabler withdrawing...but don't fall for it. He will never recover, unless you detach and cut him off.

If you love him, do it.

Mostly, do it for YOURSELF.

- Ma Strong

April 13, 2009
12:40 pm
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Brightlights- My X husband is an alcoholic. In September of last year I got fed up with his drinking. It caused nothing but chaos and confusion and I could kick myself for ever allowing him to be around my kids. So, I made an executive decision called his probation officer who came over to my home and arrested his intoxicted ass and sent him to state prison for 11 months. Alcoholics dont understand words only actions. There he is in a situation he couldnt talk his way out of (prison) and most important it gave me time to work on my self and put my life back together.

Yep, like you I had an alcholic in my life at my expense. It drained me so much financially that I almost lost my home. I wrote him a letter in jail telling him that I did not want to have anything to do with alcoholics or drug addicts and I didnt want anythng to do with him if he engaged in those activities or associated with anyone who did. Of course he raged back in a letter and I ignored him. Just to show him I wasn't stupid and I meant business I finalized my divorce.

As soon as I went on with my life and let go of him and his issues things got better for me and him. I didnt write him or visit him didnt take calls. When he asked where he was going to live when he got out of prison I sent him an application to an apartment. I told him he could go there or to a bush next to the place I didnt really care. As far as his alcoholism was concerned I told him that was a promise that he had to make between him and his higher power it wasnt OUR issue. Again I told him I didnt care what he did about it and stood firm on staying away from me as long as he was involved in it or anyone that did it. He asked me if I loved him I told him I did but I didnt love what he was doing.

The only time an alcoholic will quit drinking is when they decide they want to quit. Just because they quit drinking or go to rehab does not mean that your life will improve. The only way your life will improve is if you decide you dont want people in it that are bringing you down and put you and your child first. Then go to whatever counseling, classes, etc. that you need to make your life better.

From personal experience the only thing that worked for me and my X was when I let go and left his recovery in his hands.

On that note on his own he found a job, attends AA, goes to church 2 hours a day and sent me his whole paycheck! He actually contacted me concerned about a health problem I have and his desire to drag me to the doctor to get my self fixed.

April 14, 2009
12:46 am
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TO MOST THAT HAVE REPLIED TO ME THANK YOU...TO "STRONG"..I DON'T THINK YOU KNOW ENOUGH OF MY SITUATION TO MAKE HALF THE STATEMENTS YOU HAVE. THIS MAN DOES LOVE ME..WE'VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 9 YEARS. AND GUESS WHAT ..HE WILLINGLY WENT TO DETOX TODAY. I'VE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH CRAP IN MY LIFE THAT I DON'T NEED SOMEONE BEING JUDGEMENTAL, ESPECIALLY BASED ON VERY LITTLE INFORMATION. TO ME YOU SOUND LIKE A "BOOK SMART" THERAPIST. THERES A BIG DIFFERENCE AND THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WHERE I AM..AND HAVE THE B*LLS TO ..WILL AGREE..I KNOW I MUST THINK OF MY DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES..AND I HAVE AND I STILL AM. ONE OF MY CHILDREN HAD CANCER AT AGE 3 AND I ALONE WALKED THROUGH THAT WITH THEM. SOMETIMES I NEED AN OPINION..AN OUTSIDE OPINION ..AND I AM VERY OPEN MINDED...EVEN CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISISM...BUT TO FLAT OUT SAY THIS MAN DOES NOT LOVE ME IS A GUESS ON YOUR BEHALF. TO ALLLL THE OTHERS WHO WISH TO RESPOND TO ME ..OR EVEN THIS LETTER...I AM OPNE MINDED AND WILLING TO LISTEN. "BRIGHTLIGHTS"

April 14, 2009
9:03 am
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atalose
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That’s very positive that he went to detox yesterday, that’s the start towards recovery for him. I hope he finds it in him self to follow some kind of program like AA or counseling after detox that will keep him moving in the right direction.

Have you given any thought to a program for you like al-anon?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 14, 2009
10:14 am
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Stronginhim- I agree with Bright lights your post came across as HARSH. Why dont you get real and tell her your experience with alcoholics. And your own experience with the disease. From what I recalled you enabled your neighbor and got burned for it. You knew your neighbor was an alcoholic when you met him and instead of telling him all this crap you are ordering Brightlights to tell her husband you gave him money, stood by his side while he detoxed, took him to doctors, etc.

I dont agree with advising Bright lights to treat her husband like he is some stupid dog that needs to be told what to do or dragged around by the collar so to speak. Alcoholics are human beings. They deserve to be treated with dignity. Brightlights husband is a full grown man not a child. It is very inappropriate if not downright dangerouse to advise her to be packing his things, putting him into detox, booking him in a half way house, ordering him there, etc. That is clearly not her responsiblity. The last time I looked a human being can decide what to do with their belongings or where they would like to live, or what if any treatment they would like to get.

Most therapists recommend that people involved with alcoholics attend Alanon for support or go to individual counseling cause the problem is complicated and serious. It also takes a very long time to resolve. Most recommend that alcoholics go to AA and get a sponser.

I went through the same thing as Bright lights it took me years to get out of it. Timing is everything. Things will happen when the time is right.

April 14, 2009
10:34 am
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Brightlights- A lot of people here are dealing with the same thing you are. It takes a long time to get a grasp of what is going on and to figure out what to do.

I was with an alcoholic for years. It took me a long time to learn about the disease and decide what to do about it.

What helped me was typing in searches such as alcoholism, should I stay married to an alcoholic, or whatever question came to mind. I also spoke to recovered alcoholics for advise. I also saw a Phd Psychologist and psychiatrist that helped tremendously. You can go through the school of hard knocks which will take you 20 years to graduate from or you can seek out professional advise which can take you to the same place in a matter of months.

Alcoholics can and do love people but not in a normal healthy way. They cant cause their brains are soaked in alcohol. Alcohol impairs someones judgement and causes them to be irrational and illogical. Its part of the disease.

It took my X husband years before he attended his first AA meeting. This was after I decided I had had enough and couldnt live with him any more. This was after I let go of him and his disease and told him I would leave it in his hands. I told him that I trusted him with the ability to make whatever decision he needed to make towards his recovery.

I cant tell you what is right for you I can only share my story. You will learn to be the expert in deciding how to handle your situation. Dont give up, keep posting. Take the advice that you want and leave the rest.

Remember, you will find your way to recovery one day at a time.

April 14, 2009
11:42 am
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Thank You Destinystar, I'm glad to see that there is someone out there who agree's with me. I am not stumbling through this blindly. its just that sometimes the road is a little foggy. I know he hates the alcoholism and is struggling to do right. I don't believe in kicking someone while they are down, nor do I agree with enabling. He had tremors and was sweating pretty bad when I took him yesterday, I know this is part of the detox, in the car he said God I hope this is the last time. I told him flat out...it IS the last time for me. I told him last night whan he called ..all the alcohol is out of the house and this house will remain alcohol free. At the same time I offer reassurance and let him know i'm proud of him going there. I have considered alanon..but I have two fears there..one is just walking in alone..not sure what to do..the other is that they will function much in a manner as "Strong" did..I do not need that. Being here has helped me think about different things..avenues, re-consider thoughts of, and about myself..and how to handle things in a positive manner for all involved. Most have been helpful to me.

April 14, 2009
12:10 pm
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Brightlights- Forget about what Strong in him said. Alanon is not about that. It is about you. And supporting you. They will support you if you stay or leave. The focus is on you not your husband. You will get a sponsor. Go to a meeting then decide for yourself. You are free to walk out. It is a great support system and resource.

De-tox is dangerous. I am glad you took him somewhere for supervision.

Do you have health insurance? Private therapists are a great source of comfort, support and information. Find one that understands alcoholism. I found a GREAT one. Really helped me clarify some issues in record time.

There has been some studies and alcoholics who are married and have a supporting wife have a much greater chance of getting sober and staying sober than some one who is not.

Even though I dont live with my X and divorced him. Emotionally I am sooo there for him. He is doing better than ever. We are so much happier now. But, it took time, a lot of it, years for me to get to this point. It was a complicated journey. We are still not out of the woods but closer to the light than ever.

And I admire the church people, therapists, who are their for prisoners and alcoholics. Also the families that see them through. Its worth it cause they make up such a small percent of the population but cause most of the problems.

Keep blogging. Give us at least a day to day update on how you, your husband and your family is doing. There is hope. Things can and will get better one day at a time.

April 14, 2009
12:16 pm
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atalose
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Bright,

Al-anon does not tell you what to do, at least they shouldn’t. Depending on the makeup of the group, there should be newcomers as well as seasoned participants. No newcomer is expected to participate in discussions until they feel ready. Usually there is someone who runs the meeting and that person should welcome you and explain some things. They do have some books the one I would recommend is “The Courage to Heal”. I don’t know the cost of that book it’s minimal. Also a collection of money is taken up, usually each person puts in a dollar.

As far as a sponsor or receiving a phone list of people you can call, they may come after you begin to feel comfortable at the meetings.

Some meetings focus on a subject, one of the steps for example. I attended several different meetings until I found one that felt right for me. It’s recommended you attend at least 6 meetings before you decide if it’s right for you or not.

Hope this helps.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 14, 2009
12:26 pm
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Hey Brightlights, thanks for your input on my MDR post.

This is a very tough situation for you, and I'm so sorry. My ex-bf of two years was an alcoholic who killed himself after his third DUI arrest.

He was unwilling to get any help, and although he could acknowledge he had a drinking problem, he used it as a shovel to push himself deeper into his addiction as opposed to admitting he needed help and being proactive.

Good luck in trying to balance all of this stress. It seems as though you have had some good advice here. Sometimes posters do come across as a little harsh, especially when discussing alcoholism because it seems to be a big issue for many people. I think sometimes the anger and regret over a personal situation comes across the wrong way.

Case in point, when I first arrived at the board, I was freaking out over my boyfriend going to the bar with his friends 3-4 nights a week. I felt it was unneccesary and wanted him to stop and posted about it on the board. I got feedback telling me he was a drunkard, he would always pick the bar over me, dump him, blah blah blah. And for the most part, they were just picking up on my own hysteria over my fear that my bf would end up being the same kind of asshole the ex was.

But you know what? I went home, applied the advice I thought suited the situation and all is well that ends well because we ended up talking about it and meeting a happy compromise. Plus it was a good convo starter for me to open up about how panicked I feel over dealing with alcohol-related issues based on my past.

Good luck and hugs to you! We're hear to support you!

April 14, 2009
2:53 pm
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Hope you will accept my genuine apology for offending you. My knowledge of hardcore alcoholics is -- unfortunately -- not "textbook." My late husband of twenty years was an alcoholic/addict. I have served two years as a prison chaplain...two as a police chaplain. I "Baker Acted" my alcoholic neighbor and arranged a family/landlord/employer intervention which got him into a halfway house program. He is now making great progress towards sober living, after nine detoxes. The last three relapses nearly killed him, as he had consumed enough alcohol to be toxically poisoned. I guess I would rather give tough love now, than see another one die.

So, again...my apologies for coming across as harsh. I wish you both the very best and commend you for your willingness to support him in his recovery.

- Ma Strong

April 14, 2009
3:06 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dear Destiny -

You are quite correct. When I first met my alcoholic neighbor, I stood by his side, helped him financially, took him to doctors and stood by him through countless detoxes.

Then, I changed. I Baker Acted him and arranged an intervention to get him into a tough, halfway house program. He is doing well in it. It is my hope that he will adjust to sober living with the support of those professionals, since he could not do it on his own.

It is always my hope that every alcoholic and addict will make it. Most of us make alot of wrong decisions, while trying to learn the best path to take to help them beat their disease. I am certainly no exception and I do not claim to be a professional or to have the right answers. I only gave my opinion, based on my own mistakes and history. Sorry if I offended you or BRIGHT.

- Ma Strong

April 14, 2009
5:16 pm
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Hello Brightlights -
I am new to this site also. I 2nd what peace4all said earlier about attending Al-Anon meetings. After debating the issue for the last 10 years, I finally took the plunge and went to my 1st Al-Anon meeting last week. I was nervous, but I felt very welcomed. Just after 1 meeting, I felt like I could exhale a bit, so I'm going again tonight. And I'm going to keep going. I didn't know how much I needed it until I went. My father and sister were both alcoholics and I've been married for 20 years to an alcoholic and going to that Al-Anon meeting last week was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made.

April 14, 2009
6:56 pm
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BRIGHTLIGHTS
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Thanks to all of you ..and apolopy accepted Strong. I will say it doesn't matter to me who a person is or what a person does for a living, that holds no bearing to me, as everyone on this planet is equal.no better than another because of race, religion, or career. I spoke with my other half earlier today and he is doing alright, he is suppose to come home thursday or friday, mentioned something about wanting to come home tomorrow..my response was..do you really think that is a good idea?..don't push it, you hate it there..but your in there now...so let it be done right...take your time. He agreed with me. I must say I feel comfortable being here and talking. still considering the meetings.

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