Coming Out?

Hi All,

As you know I write this blog anonymously. My alcoholic husband first went into rehab nearly 10 years ago – he had a few ‘slips’ (I hate that word –  factor 10 life shattering earthquakes would be a better description)in the years that followed. The last one was nearly 2 years ago and he has no interest in going back there. I’m thinking of coming out from behind the veil of anonymity – if I do so I feel I could reach more people. I’m thinking of doing a weekly  video post which people might find supportive.

I’m holding back because I’m thinking ‘what will people we know think’. I don’t want people to change their opinion of me or my husband (being protective of an adult again!). We’re in a good place now and I want to show others it is possible. Alcoholism is such a wide spread disease but soooo hidden. Do you think me being non anonymous would make a difference – would it give you more of a connection?

 

18 thoughts on “Coming Out?”

  1. I don’t think it helps or hurts if you expose yourself. It is a risk you are taking so if you feel it will help you, you should do it. I don’t think it would help me by knowing what you look like. The message is enough.

    1. Thanks Kar. I think you are right. I suppose I was thinking if I wanted to reach out to people through media to let them know about the blog. But I think I will wait a while until I am 150% sure that I am strong enough. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  2. I just found your blog now. I understand wanting to remain anonymous. I do for now. My husband needs to get where your husband is now. I am trying to learn how to live with this “disease” he has.

    1. Thanks Jean, Hopefully this blog will help you. Maybe try an Al-Anon meeting too – it really helps to meet other people in the same position. xx

  3. I too am living with the “don’t let the secret out.”scenario. I understand the anonymity. I couldn’t even write a blog. You are so brave already.

    1. After stumbling to your website one night, actually one of those sleepless nights in a really depressed state, I found your website. After 13 years of living with an alcoholic your blog encouraged me to go to one of my very first Al-Anon meeting. It was an eye opener to meet real people like myself, going through the same thing as I have been going through. ‘Coming Out’ for me has given me strength to deal with this disease. I’ve opened up to friends and family, and its given me courage. Has it changed people’s perspective on us as a family? I think for some it has. For example, we are taking our 11 year old daughter on an overnight camping trip with eight if her friends, with the exception of a cousin, who’s parents I believe, made up some bogus excuse why she cannot attend. At first it upset me, but then I realized, that if it was the other way around, and it was my daughter, then maybe I would think twice about sending her….I guess my point is, do what feels right to you. People’s perspective may change, one might judge you, but in the end, and what I have read so far in my first Al anon book, is that you have to put yourself first and start doing things for yourself, right?

      1. Thanks you so much for writing this! It really encourages me when I hear that my blog has helped someone. There are so many people out there living the same hidden life. I wish you and your family all the best, stay in touch!

    2. Thanks. I have always found writing great therapy. You don’t have to do a blog to get the feelings out, sometimes jsut writing stuff down and burning it later if you have to can help!

  4. I just read your blog , wow i hope n pray my partner stops drinking . Two dui’s n now she has to do thirty days in jail for driving with a suspended license. Ay ya yiy.

    1. Hi Lourdes, This maybe her rock bottom – thankfully she is going to jail and not in intensive care after crashing. I wonder will they allow her see a counsellor while in jail? Could you arrange for someone from a rehab centre visit her and talk to her? She won’t be able to drink in prison so give her a week to dry out there and then maybe bring in some books about giving up alcohol and rebuilding her life. Also take the time to look after yourself and be yourself without having to attend to her. Hope this helps.

  5. Seeing your face isn’t what is important. Having a voice speaks volumes. Alcoholism is hard enough without other people prejudices attached. I guess if you do show your friends you will find out who really are your true friends. I found when I was growing up with my mother’s drinking that her so called friends just liked getting together with her so they had a good story to tell behind her back. Unfortunately as a young girl, they forgot I was in the room. I was very hurt by their comments. People are cruel, really cruel with someones else suffering. I figured out awhile ago that I don’t have to have those people in my life. My partner, an alcoholic, and I surround ourselves with friends and neighbours who know that life is a struggle and that we need to change and grow everyday. It’s exciting and scary, wonderful and sad all at once. We are not attached to the past as much as we were anymore, there is hope even in the hard times. Maybe my point is lost here or maybe my point is that your decision will not be right or wrong, it will another path chosen that will have some new things to deal with.
    Thank you for opening the doors for the rest of us.

    1. Thank you so much for your wise words! That was an awful experience to have as a child – people often forget children have ears too and better hearing! It’s great that you have the support of family and friends it really helps in the journey to recovery. My family have been very supportive and a lot of my old friends would know what we went through. It’s our kids friends and parents I am probably thinking of I think. It’s not going public on the blog I’m concerned about but more about doing interviews with the media so that more people can benefit from the blog – I think I will wait a while longer until I am really sure it’s the right thing to do!

  6. i have just stumbled across your blog after looking for advice online about living with an alcoholic. i’ve had 3 years of it and cant take it any longer.
    but i have, just this week, started to ask for help and told a couple of friends my situation. i’m attending my first Al-Anon meeting on monday after putting it off for 6 months.
    my partner drinks at home, blind drunk every night after starting around 11am. his work is sporadic but he gets paid well which enables him to stay home for months at a time and drink.
    he cant see that life is passing him by and blames me for his drinking. i ask him, what was your excuse before you met me. no answer.
    i do not want to leave him and i have no intention of doing that. without alcohol (he makes his own vodka), he is the most witty, funny, sexy man i’ve ever known. i want him like that 24/7 not just a couple of hours a day.
    i do have faith that something will turn everything around. i’m not sure how it will happen but the Al-Anon meetings will surely sort my head and heart out, or knock some sense into me.
    the reason i’m writing this to you, Been There, is to thank you with all my heart for your honesty, commitment and candour in telling us strangers about your very personal situation. you have helped me see that i need to focus on myself, which i had not been doing.
    so thank you and i wish you all the very best with your husband and your family.
    warm regards, scaredy cat, australia

  7. Hi Scaredy Cat!

    Thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad you found this helpful. It is such a relief when you share with people what you are going through isn’t it? I found it was like a weight being lifted from my shoulders. You might find that some friends will not understand why you are staying with him or want to stay with him. However Al Anon will not judge your decisions. If you can find a friend who won’t judge your decisions – maybe someone who is a friend to you both, that you can call when things get too much (don’t forget to call when times are good too!) it’s enough to get you through the hard times.

    You are so right about helping yourself first and getting strong – I always compare this to the emergency drills on aeroplanes – they say if the oxygen masks drop you put on your own first before you attend to others. You have to have strength and will power before you pass it on to others.

    I know exactly what you mean about wanting your perfect man like that 24/7 – I felt the same about my guy – that is why I knew I had to figure out a way to make it work and get him back on track. It’s a rocky road but you will both be stronger people at the end of it and have amazing respect for each other for what you have both gone through. I remember someone saying that to me when we started on our journey and I felt so impatient I wanted to be there now! I am there now and it was worth it. I can’t believe how far we have come after such a long battle but it seems like a distant memory now.

    It starts with you taking action which is what you have done. Well done and remember to be gentle on yourself! Stay in touch. xx

  8. feeling paralyzed. not able to leave to find al anon meeting to find him even drunker, if possible. just hopelessness now, so unhappy. we have been together 26 yrs and last 10 very difficult….never known anyone who drank like this, into a total stupor every few months…

    1. Hi J,

      How are you today? I remember that numb feeling of just getting through the hours in the day and the night. No matter how long you have suffered the first step is to to look after yourself. You can’t change someone or control another person. The only actions you have control of are your own. The same goes for the alcoholic. When you start taking actions to improve your own life they will often follow. Stay in touch. x

    2. Maybe this will make you feel something positive – my husband drinks himself into a stupor multiple times a week. We’ve been married 26 years and I’d say things have really deteriorated the last 5-10 to the point the he’s almost unrecognizable to me – except when he is being angry and abusive. It is a sorry state of affairs. I have never felt so at a loss as to what to do in my life. I have always been the one who steps up, gets things done, organizes the family. Now I am at a loss. I had a long heart to heart talk with him at the beginning of the summer and tried to get him to go to a treatment center. With him, there is always some activity coming up that he can’t imagine not drinking at. There’s no 28 days in between where he could “take off”. I’m ready to call it quits on our marriage but I am so encumbered with the place we live, our kids, finances. I don’t know how to get out of the tangle.

  9. Hi M, There will never be a right time for them to go into rehab. There will always be an excuse. At least he must be recognising that he does need treatment after your talk? The first step would be to get him to agree for both of you to go to have a chat with a person in the rehab centre to look at options (i.e. you could word it as ‘options that will help your relationship last because I need advice too as I can no longer go on like this’). If he agrees, you make the appointment – this make several attempts as he will probably find excuses not to go.

    At the appointment you can be blunt about the problems his drinking is causing in front of him. The counsellor will know the best way to get him to see that he needs help and will talk through options. There are non residential part time programs too. Also if he is recognising that there is a problem and can’t find 28 days to ‘take off’ (we’d all find excuses why we couldn’t take 28 days off if asked, especially if it involved doing something we really didn’t want to do), there are AA meetings. Find out where they are, the times and have another heart to heart when the time is right – preferably an hour or two before you know there is a local AA meeting on! Try to get him to agree to go to an AA meeting. If he agrees you have the info ready to give him and he won’t have time to think of an excuse not to go or time to get drunk. Something might click and resonate with him at the meeting.

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