Lovers and friends of alcoholics tend to dread Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I always did. This year he’s been off the drink for 14 months and life is good for us – real good. However I’m still not having the movie style New Years Eve when everyone clasps hands and sings Auld Langs Syne and looks perfectly in love. He’s not feeling good ‘man flu’ or it could be just memories of past New Years drinking catching up with him. We were supposed to be going to my parent’s and brother’s house but they all have a tummy bug so that was cancelled. I’ve just splashed grease on my good top so changed into my old PJs, the hairdresser went on early holidays so my roots haven’t been done in 8 weeks and I look like a scarecrow and the dog just threw up… but himself is sober and the house is calm and my kids are healthy… I sometimes feel frustrated that life is not like it is in the movies but then I think back as to how it used to be and how happy we are now.
It’s not like the movies. It’s real, he’s sober, we are genuinely happy. There is hope for you too, because we were where you are now. Hang in there, there is a new year ahead and new hope. So whatever you are going through tonight, the despair, the sadness, the anxiety, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, 2013 is going to be the year that you start living your life again – it can’t get worse, it can only get better! xx Happy New Year friend.
Since my last post things deteriorated rapidly. He took so many xenox that he ended up vomiting on the kitchen table while unconcious which blocked his airways and he stopped breathing. I slapped him across the face which made him breath again and I called the hospital but he refused to go. Our 13 year old daughter talked him out of suicide twice – this made me so angry as no child should be subjected to such responsibility. I left with the kids but came back as I felt I shouldn’t be the one leaving our home.
A few horrible days later he fell backwards off the chair and our young son came to tell me daddy was lying on the floor and not moving. He was unconcious again and cold – I thought he was dead. I put him in the recovery position, got him breathing and called an ambulance. By the time they arrived he was concious and they got him sitting up and talked to him. I had sent the kids on a walk with the dog so they wouldn’t witness the ambulance arrive. I had packed bags for me and the kids an hour earlier and had them in the car. So when I walked the ambulance men to the door I closed the door behind me, got in the car, collected the kids and dog on the road and drove to my brother’s house. I didn’t say good bye or give an explanation or make a drama, I left with the commitment to myself not to live with this man again until he stopped drinking for good. Not a threat to him but a commitment to me because I respect myself and value everyday of life. I didn’t know if I ever would see him alive again but if he was going to continue being like this he was as good as dead. However I realised things and events, pass into the past and I knew by the following week this ‘event’ will be in the past but I had to decide if I was going to let it repeat and repeat again and affect my precious life. Life is precious – most partners of alcoholics realise this more than most everyday folk as we try to tell our partners again and again what they are set to loose if they don’t change their ways and how much of life they are missing. Do you do this? I know I have lots. So instead of saying it to him again I said it to myself and take my own advice. If I didn’t change my ways of dealing with this it would just repeat. I can only change my life not his. So I left to protect my kids from any further negative exposure and to do something about my actions.
That was a week ago and it worked! So much hashappened in that week (tell you in detail in the next post!). I am now sitting on the sofa with my husband watching the world cup. Our daughter is reading and our son is drawing a picture of the Universe! My husband has been going through the DTs for 4 days. It’s been hard but I know he wants this to work this time and he is determined not to drink again. There is alot of repair work to be done o our relationship and I am not sure what that will result i, but by making a decision about how I want my life to be (ie. I do not want to live with an alcoholic), he changed. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but today I can truly relax and enjoy this ‘normal’ simple moment.
After he went back to bed this morning I was feeling very aggitated, I found it impossible to work so I forced myself to take some time out for myself. I have been neglecting myself to care for others so I took a long overdue trip to the hairdressers and got my premature grey coloured. I found myself having to take deep breaths at times to ease the sense of panic of feeling I should be at home managing the situation, thinking he would be up and marching the floors looking for drink, but Iforced myself to be selfish and it worked. The hour or two out for myself made me feel better and gather some new strength. When I got home he was still asleep so there was no need for the anxiety.
We got through the day without a suicide threat but now he is getting very drunk quickly by sneaking drink so I am going to bed to avoid confrontation or pointless discussions. Tomorrow is another day.
You have to stop leaving your fate and your happiness in the hands of someone elses actions and behaviour. You have to take 100% responsibility for how your life is going and the path it is taking. You may be feeling that you are suffering the consequences of bad choices, ‘I should never have married him’, ‘I should never had children with him’, ‘I shouldn’t have given him control of the bank account’. These are decisions that you made in the past and the past cannot be changed. You are older now but have you changed? Have you become wiser? You may have become more cunning in dealing with your alcoholic but have you progressed? When I look back on the years of my husband drinking, it just seems years of the same thing, the same routine of crisis management, financial disasters and an all consuming time of constantly trying to control his life and actions while neglecting myself and my life. I was a survivor, at times a martyr for the cause, a warrior, a saint, a strong headed woman. But when I look back on it, all I was, was a fool for not taking real responsibility earlier and as a result living in chaos for years. Do I regret it? No, there is no point in regretting the past, I admire the fact that I eventually did drag my feet out of the sludge and took the hard gallop to a better path – I did this by taking one hundred percent responsibility for my own life.
For a short period I went through a stage of thinking of myself as a victim that these things were happening to me. It was only when I got a grip of myself and admitted that things don’t just happen to me – they were a result of me not taking action or continuing to repeat the same reactions that didn’t work. This was my comfort zone and it took a hell of a push for me to step out of it, in hindsight I shouldn’t have let it get to that stage.
Avoiding confrontation, keeping the peace or not approaching the issues when the person is sober incase you send them on a binge is not dealing with the situation. It is important to confront the situation, this takes courage, intelligence and planning. There is no point in opening a discussion about how you feel when someone has drink taken, you do have to find the perfect moment and when it arises you need to be ready. You need to be clear with your feelings and get them across quickly and calmly. You have to state the facts. It may take a few times to get the message through but by getting your message across, you are taking back control of your life and taking a decisive step forward.