Addiction Survivors


Unread 03-18-2008, 10:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
Posts: 2
Default My Newbie Introduction

Hey there! I've been lurking for a few days and decided to jump in and join the conversations.

I've been with my husband for 15 years...and I've been on the rollercoaster since my oldest daughter was born, almost 9 years ago. We owned a bar and he drank at work, and at home, and on the way home...well, you know how that goes. He swore that once the baby was born, he'd stop.

Well, she's going to be 9 soon and guess who is still drinking? And guess who can't tolerate as much as he thinks he can?

The slightest comment when he's drinking makes him assume that you've just blamed him for something. And that starts off the barrage of inconsistent accusations directed at me.

After such a tirade, I have to wonder...How many things can an alcoholic find to turn the whole situation around and make themselves appear to be a Saint (at least in their own warped minds)?

Let's see...last night I heard:

1. You are lucky to have me here drinking and not out spending money at some bar!

2. You are lucky I'm not out with other women!

3. You are lucky I'm not out blowing our money on gambling!

There might have been more but I had had it by that point and just gave up.

Lucky, am I? Well, in my world, lucky sure as heck does not mean stuck in a miserable marriage where I'm the only one who can be trusted to make a decision (and look at me! I married HIM! Maybe my decisions aren't so great either?!). Lucky does not mean staying overnight in the kids bedroom to comfort them, and the cat, and the dog, because he's ranting and slamming doors. Lucky does not mean being preoccupied with the black hole of misery, that spews from him and eats up every bit of happiness anyone in the house attempts to share, to the point of distraction.

I'm not too bitter, am I?

I've been blogging about my life for over a year and a half now. I started it purely so I'd have somewhere to vent. It was my therapy for a long time. I'm mostly complaining on the blog, or falsely announcing that it's all better or making excuses for my own tolerance of his addiction. I've heard from people how it's an illness and how he's not in control. I personally think that is a crock. If a person can stop because their family leaves them and gives them that ultimatum, they could have stopped all along. They are weak and selfish. They want one form of pain or discomfort to go away and will destroy everything in their life to stay in that comfortable little bubble of drunken bliss.

I have non-drinking friends who are married to non-drinkers, and they have such normal problems. And the part I love...when they have a disagreement, they sit down and discuss it, compromise and/or solve it, and then go on with their lives...

That must be so wonderful. relaxing to have things go along as they should.

But those of us living with alcoholics are obviously into torturing ourselves. We prefer to beat our heads against the wall and then wonder what in the world we were thinking?? The head beating/wondering cycle normally goes along with the drunk/sober cycle...or not, it could be in the course of realization that this can not go on any longer.

That something has to give.

Something must change.


Or else.

And in a small smile, sheepish grin, hug, kiss and a night of "He really does love me!"...we revert back into the cycle that we seem to be stuck in forever.

(despite the depressed tone of this writing, I'm actually just venting some thoughts that are stuck in my head and I'm on the flip side of depression and am optimistic and excited for my future - a future without a drunk in my life)

I'm glad to have found this forum and anticipate many returns to recharge my motivation to end the insanity.


WendyTheArtist is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-18-2008, 10:56 PM   #2
SLynn's Avatar
Posts: 866

Hi Wendy

Welcome to the site and I'm glad you found us.

Sounds like you are ready to make some changes in your life and I hope we can be there for you every step of the way.

I want to post a couple definitions for you:

A behavioral syndrome characterized by the repeated, compulsive seeking or use of a substance despite adverse social, psychological, and/or physical consequences, and a need for an increased amount of the substance, as time goes on, to achieve the same effect. Addiction is often (but not always) accompanied by physical dependence, a withdrawal syndrome, and tolerance.

The American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Pain Society, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine recognize the following definitions and recommend their use:

Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving

a condition that results in medically significant symptoms in a human; a disorder with recognizable signs and often having a known cause; dis-ease, the opposite of ease, when something is wrong with a bodily function.

In the context of addiction, some people reject the fact that addiction is a disease, despite that top medical organizations proclaimed it true over 50 years ago. The word disease may imply to some that addiction can be treated with medication alone. Proper addiction treatment requires psychosocial care as well.
__________________________________________________ _______________________

There are extremes to everything but what remains is the fact that this disease takes over most rational thoughts. I'm not excusing his behavior but just know that even though he believes what he is saying at the time, the changes the alcohol has made over time really startes to do the talking. Deep down he has to realize that his life is crap and just doesn't know how to get out of it. He doesn't feel strong enought to get out of of or isn't ready to fully believe he needs out of it. It's a sad thing.

My parents were alcoholics and my father was at his worst with me and my brother. However, after my mom divorced him, he remarried and then quit drinking when his new wife got pregnant and she gave him an ultimatum. I don't want to believe that his new family was more 'worth it' but rather it was just a time in his life that he was more ready to face it. He has been sober for about 22 years.

Again, welcome to the site and keep talking with us.

SLynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-19-2008, 02:00 AM   #3
Senior Member
Posts: 113

He will rationalize the behavior because he doesn't want to stop.It is a compulsion.He drinks because he thinks he has to.The more he drinks the more it will set him up to want more.Get the big book on "How alanon works" There is also a website on yahoo "groups" called afg alanon-chatters.Check it out.You can also vent on that website.
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Unread 03-19-2008, 04:01 AM   #4
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SLynn: Thanks for that definition. I think I just have a hang up about the word "illness" when this comes up. When I hear someone say it's an illness, I really "hear" that it's not his fault, he's got no control, he's so helpless, etc, etc. He does have control though! If he didn't have any control, he'd NEVER be able to fix the problem. It's not like some magic fairy drops control in his lap one day and he can suddenly stop drinking. He's got it, he just doesn't have the willpower to use it right now.

Also, I'm not talking from a "I've never had my own addictions" point of view. I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt! My own addictions were before I met my husband, and I have told him that I can totally understand where he's coming from, and that I'm here to help.

There are some differences between us that I think effect how we treat our addictions. I'm not afraid of confrontation, I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong, I try to learn from my mistakes (in a totally nerdy kind of way - I head to the bookstore to read about it when I screw up), and I can deal with trauma with the best of them. My husband, however, has no coping skills and would rather not get into a confrontation with someone he knows (he will, however, drag people he's never met out of the bar without a second thought). He was taught as a child that when you get stressed or mad or happy or drink. And your family just deals with whatever the outcome is. And they keep it to themselves. That's another difference, my family is there to help, no matter what the problem. No food? No power? No home? They haven't got much money but someone is there to feed you, give you a couch to sleep on, listen to you cry, help you come up with ideas and just support you emotionally when you need it. His family is just emotionless. Actually, they get mad alot and yell about who's to blame for this or that, but that's about the only emotion I've ever seen from them. I had no idea until we moved near them. If I had seen this before, I'd have been more cautious about the whole relationship.

And now that I've convinced myself that I'm strong enough to conquer anything and he's been shipped out of the warehouse without the proper tools...

Why am I still in this insane cycle of hopelessness??? And what could be done to help someone learn to cope with stress? I know I can't make him want to stop drinking. I know I can't get him to see that he has a problem until he wants to. But it's so frustrating to stand here and know what he's got to do and not be able to help him do it because he won't let me.


Right now, he's in bed staring at the ceiling fuming over something (most likely something he's decided that I've done wrong). And he's not talking to me at all because I'm pretty much done with the drama and told him so.

I told him I was making a list of things I wanted from the house and he could review it, we would hash out the details and he could keep whatever I didn't take. He said, "If that's what you want to do." To which I replied,"No, it's not what I want to do, What I want is for you to admit you have a drinking problem, get help and let me start working with you to fix this relationship and our life." He's not spoken to me since.

Now I'm going through the house and making a room by room list of what I want to take with me. I'm going to go get a storage unit, put my stuff in it and go stay with a friend while I find a house to live in.

I have no clue what is going to happen, and I'm scared to death to go forward and lose my family, but I didn't break up this family. It's not fair to put my two little girls through this. They are learning that it's ok to be this way. That is my inspiration for change. That is what keeps me moving toward the future I know we deserve.

Holy cow I can babble, can't I? LOL

I came in to see if anyone thought I was a raving loon, and now I've replied enough to prove I am!


Well, if you can all stand my long winded replies, I'd love to continue to visit and vent my soul to people that I know can really understand the frustration of this whole situation.

and sassygirl: thanks for the advice.

WendyTheArtist is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-19-2008, 04:28 AM   #5
Posts: 525

Welcome to the board.

What you are planning to do is scary. But it sounds like you have a plan. And you certainly have your reasons.
It may be a bit of a test but you sounds like you have been preparing.

All the best.
Stay in touch.
jerryg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 03-19-2008, 12:51 PM   #6
Senior Member
Posts: 188

Wendy, hello, You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. One thing you have to understand is that this is a disease. We are powerless over it. It is a fact that we have to except. Now that doesn't mean we roll over and die. I think you are doing the right thing. He has to hit rock bottom before he can climb back out. You have to be there for your duaghter. You have to keep in this cycle. Explain things to her. I know you may think that she is too young. But trust me when I say this they know more than you think. Do what is right for you. Be selfish. Relearn the love that we have for ourselves. I learned a long time ago that you have to make yourself right before you can help any one else. Realize that he is powerless. That is not an excuse. I hate this disease. It sickens everyone it touches. You have to get out from the hold of this disease. With any disease there has to be a treatment which in his case is AA. You can not cure a disease if you don't get treatment. That includes you. You need treatment as much as he does. Good luck, may God give you the strength. Come back we are always here. I try to check every day. I respond to a lot and ask my friends for advice. We are all friends here we are all going thru the same problems, different but the same.
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Unread 03-19-2008, 03:24 PM   #7
Junior Member
Posts: 1

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the site and have found it to be very helpful.
I wanted to go to Ala-non meetings but if my drunk husband found out It would definatly start yet another fight. When he drinks I never know what kind of mood it will trigger. Somestimes he loves me to death (only when he's drunk of course), and other times you would swear he hates me. Both the children have grown and no longer live at home so I have nothing to preoccupy my time.
Everyone tells me start a new life of your own, but where do I start?
Any advise more than welcome!
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Unread 03-19-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
Posts: 44

Hello all! I am also a newbie! Wendy, we are in the same boat. And it amazes me how our alcoholic spouses use the SAME words. He blames me for the drinking because I don't communicate with him, I don't talk to him about stuff (of course, when I do talk he does not remember the conversation) So many times I don't know when to talk because he is ALWAYS under the influence. I was in denial a long time. I thought he only drank on weekends. Boy was I wrong. He has not been able to hold down a job in 4 years! (mind you, we have been married 20 years, we moved to a different state to get away from the big city life, which I thought would help him too) we have no family here, so I really feel alone. Although I have been talking to my sister and she is livid that I am going thru this. They all want me to move back home, but it's soooo hard to pick up and leave again. my 2 girls are in great schools. but as I said, he has not been able to hold a job for the 4 years that we've been here. I have been on my job for 3 years now. His best friend had encouraged him to relocate here, but guess what, that best friend is no longer a friend. he does not come around anymore, his wife does not come visit as much as she used to--(we used to have Saturday girls day with our daughters)but my husband says they are just jealous of him, because we have a bigger house! Go figure----he tells me that I have no friends, but in realty, I realize that he twists it because I have many friends, even the ones in my old home town used to call me, the only one who calls him is his drinking buddy----I have blamed myself so long that i am nothing but a shell. I have read many books lately that talk about verbal and emotional abuse. I am trying to get myself back together. I need to be strong for my 2 girls. I have been emailing my best friend back home and she has been very supportive, but she is a point now that she is tired of hearing my stories. GET OUT ALREADY is her response. I have been to a lawyer already, and then I put off any further actions, I keep going back and forth, because I keep thinking maybe he is right, maybe i am the one with the problem. I'm 41 he's 54, he always tells me he's older so he knows more. My best friend and my sister both tell me, I am not in a normal relationship. I deserve to be treated better. Truth be told, I have never really felt loved by him. because right after we were married, it all went down hill---he wouldn't hug me, kiss me. All he wanted was sex ALL THE TIME. Sorry im rambling. But I'm glad to meet you all---I need a place to "vent".
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