Tag Archives: addiction

Can Alcoholism Be Cured?

This week my husband and I heard a radio interview with an Irish Comedian (Tommy Tiernan) He has been sober for 3 years and started having the odd pint now and then and is finding it ‘fine’ . He’s comfortable with it and so are his family.  It sent shivers up our spines. That was us. That was our story.

When my husband got sober the first time he attended a few AA meetings and one of the stories he told me always stuck in my head. There was a man who had been sober for 25 years. He went on holiday with his family and had a drink and he was fine. His wife was delighted cause they could enjoy family events again together. He started to have the odd drink and realised he was different to others, he was cured. Two years later and  he  had to go through the whole painful act of getting sober again. He said he suddenly got worse han he ever had been.

My husband stayed sober for 3 years – he didn’t find it difficult. He was perfectly comfortable with people drinking around him and had no cravings. We went to family functions, parties, the pub together and he would just have a non alcoholic beer. Three years on and we went on a business trip where there was the best of drink available and free. He decided one wouldn’t do any harm – it didn’t. I was delighted he could drink normally. The comedian on the radio said it was his wife too that encouraged him to have a drink because he was boring without it.

My husband drank ‘normally’ again for two years. We came to the conclusion that he wasn’t really an alcoholic, he just had an excessive personality but he could control his drinking. His normal drinking became hot ports every night and then just straight port and wine. Still, it was fine – it was how he was ‘normally’.

Then I began to become more aware of his drinking it was getting earlier each evening, every evening. I said it to him that he should maybe just leave it to the weekends or when we were out. But he was fine, sure he wasn’t causing any harm. It went on. And then after nearly three years of ‘drinking normally’ our world seemed to suddenly collapse. It was like over night he became worse than he ever was – all the horrible memories came back to me of how he used to be and why he ahd to give up the first time, because we ewre suddenly reliving them – Except this time it was worse. I wondered how I had forgotten how bad it was (like childbirth we block out the pain and pretend it was really not that bad!). He stopped breathing twice during this time, he was suicidal and insane. Luckily we managed to get back on track and he got sober again, but not after alot of pain and hurt.

They say alcoholism is a progressive mental illness. So if the alcoholic starts drinking again it is only a matter of time that it picks up where it left off and progresses rapidly. To Tommy and his wife I truly hope your story does not the same, but my advise to you would be to turn back now, why risk it?

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married to an alcoholic

Married To An Alcoholic

You want your alcoholic to take responsibility for their actions and stop their current behaviour that is wasting away their life, don’t you? However for you to be of assistance to them in this endeavour you need to apply the same formula to your own life.

You want them to stop behaving the way they do? Well to achieve this, you need to stop behaving the way you do and blaming them for your resulting unhappy life. If you don’t want to be a doormat then get up off the floor!

Your life path or your quality of life is not their fault or a result in their actions. It is a result of your reactions. This is the same in reverse; their drinking, quality of life or life choices are not a result of your actions. Their drinking is not your fault, their actions are not your fault, their quality of life is not your fault. They are an adult and they are responsible for their day to day life choices. The same as you are responsible for your day to day life choices.

Look at your partner’s life… think about how they are wasting precious days of their life. Now think about your own life, how many days recently have you spent looking after your own dreams and happiness? If the answer is none, then those days that you just existed or existed to deal with the results of their addiction were also wasted.

You don’t have to do anything drastic – just small steps. For instance this week why not  take time out to meet a friend for a few hours or to go to an al anon meeting without letting your mind race about what your partner might be doing while you are out, without worrying if  they will be drunk or sober when you get back. Without feeling you have to get back home to ‘control’ their behavior. Turn off your phone so they can’t harass you with calls and don’t call them to check on them. They are an adult, you are an adult! The first few times you do this, you probably won’t be able to focus on relaxing and being you, but with practice you will learn that they coped without you.

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Get Help

One thing that helped me was to get involved with Al-Anon meetings. You get to meet  people who understand what you’re struggling with to call on. They can recommend books to read that can guide you through tough situations and help you grow as a person. You get to  learn to take care of you, and not suffer the results of the alcoholics choices.  To locate a meeting http://www.al-anon-alateen.org  click on “Find a Meeting.”
It will take you to local sites that list meeting schedules.

Set Goals & Feel Good Again

Decide to take steps to feel good again. Remember feeling good? Relaxed? Not on edge? What you’ll find fascinating,  is your reactions to verbal abuse and disapointment change. It’s as if, the more you learn and concentrate on becoming the person YOU want to be, the less upset you’ll be about impending  bad behaviour, and it gets easier and easier to blow off. I came to the conclusion that I could have a satisfactory life without my alcoholic partner meeting any of my expectations and I stopped feeling the need to treat him badly or like a child anymore. By developing yourself and growing  stronger on the inside you will be more ready to decide to stay with him/her and you will no longer feel miserable as you will be in charge of your own life. Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of all the things you want to achieve in life (EVERYTHING no matter how strange or unlikely!) Read it aloud once in the morning and once before you go to sleep at night. Concentrate on it. Without any other effort you will find subtle changes happening in your life which lead you to fulfil your goals. It works – try it!

Tree alone in desert

Reaching Rock Bottom

They say that before an alcoholic can reverse their ways they have to reach rock bottom. I think the same goes for the spouse, partner or the loved ones of the alcoholic. My rock bottom was when my husband crashed the car with our one-year-old son in it, I had already decided to leave him earlier that day but the crash gave me the final push and strength I needed to stick by my decision. If it hadn’t happened maybe he would have persuaded me like all the other times that things were going to change. T

he crash stopped me softening to his threats of suicide should I leave him – so I left him, I walked out while he placed a loaded shot gun in his mouth, pushing my baby’s pram in front of me I got stronger with every step. I didn’t care if he blew his head off, all I knew was that no matter what happened my life was going to change, I was in charge of me again.

The result – I stood strong, he went to rehab and came out four years ago today and we are now one of the happiest couples ever. It was hard but it can be done.