Hi, I have been with my partner now for 3 years, we have a beautiful little girl who will be two in 2 months and I am 7 weeks pregnant with my second child. I first met my partner when I was 17 and kind of fell in love straight away but we didn't get off to a good start as he was sent to prison shortly after our first date for a violent assault which he was later found not guilty for. I then met him again when I was 22 and within 4 months I was pregnant. At the time I was so happy and so was he, or at least it seemed. During my pregnancy I started to notcie there was some serious problems with my partner, he was very aggressive and seemed to binge drink. He had a very bad relationship with his mum, who from everything I have seen and know about her has always tried to be there for him and has supported him financially his whole life (he is now 28). He has never hit me and that is his claim to fame if I try to complain about hi behaviour. I have sat him down so many time and explained to him that his anger and his drinking episodes are affecting our relationship very badlly but he will just apologise and be good for a week or two until he needs to drink again and then he will cause a huge row so that he can take my money and go and get very drunk. I really wouldn't mind him going to get drunk every two or three weeks if there wasn't severe consequences that came with it. For example, he never has any money to buy drink as he doesn't work so he will demand that other people give him money and buy him alcohol. This normally leads to him being very aggressive towards the peson her is trying to get the money from. He doesn;t think he has a problem because he doesn't drink every day, but I am sure it must be an illlness if he cannot get on with his life without having a binging session every couple of weeks. I really am at a loss now because I have tried everything from braking up with him, to crying and even trying to hurt him, nothing seems to make him realise how bad things are. Now I am worried for my little girl because the arguements can be so ferocious and there is no stopping him once it starts. Really dont know what to do......................
"He was just a social drinker, social every night, he enjoyed a drink or two or three or four" (Woman in the Wall. Beautiful South) At what point does a social drinker cross the boundary and become an alcoholic? Is it a glass of wine each and every night or is it when that glass becomes two, then three, then the bottle, then the bottle and a beer, then the bottle and a couple of beers or a and then before you know it a bottle becomes two bottles and you become selfish with it. Hogging the entire bottle to yourself. It's a steady downward spiral and one which develops slowly over time. Its not like you wake up one morning and think I know I'll sink two bottles tonight but you do reach a stage where a glass isn't quite enough to help you relax at the end of the day and then suddenly a bottles not enough either. The stereotypical alcoholic is a smelly old man on a park bench reeking of urine and drinking the cheapest thing they can get their hands on out of a paper bag at 10am. The more common but less well known variety is an ever growing number of functional alcoholics. Not the binge drinkers that you see puking at 11pm on a Saturday night but those who have families, mortgages, very successful careers and who are incredibly intelligent people and are very successful in their daylight persona. Behind closed door though these people are very different. They walk in the door from work and relax with a glass of wine, have another whilst spending quality time with their children, cook dinner whilst having yet another glass. Eat dinner round the table with their families whilst having another glass or two. Tuck the children into bed, sit down and watch a bit of television and have another glass or two or three or four and go to bed. Sometime in the small hours of the morning paranoia sets in and the verbal abuse of their spouses commences. It's nothing major at first but they appear to think its perfectly normal and acceptable to wake their spouse to tell them that they've not emptied the dustbin. The next night they wake them to tell them they haven't emptied the dustbin or vacuumed a carpet. Whether or not it's actually happened doesn't seem to matter. A pattern of sleep deprivation sets in but not for the alcoholic who sleeps soundly and generally has no recollection of the events of the night. A pattern develops whereby the abuser wakes their partner and rants incoherently for hours at a time and then sulks the following morning on the off chance that their will be reprimanded for their behaviour from the previous night. Slowly the cycle of abuse escalates and the victim begins to expect the abuse and even consider that they deserve it. As a victim you find your confidence slowly and constantly eroded, you start to believe that you may actually be the cause of their drinking and so you seek help. The most obvious place to turn is Alcoholics Anonymous as they also offer support to families although this support is about as much help as the handle of a chocolate teapot and says in a nutshell you didn't cause it, you can't do anything about it so shut up and live with it although they wrap this up in fluffy terms and call it "detachment". If you are suffering this form of abuse and it is abuse no matter how much you love the person doing it please remember that life is too short to be miserable. There is help out there. Womens Aid is as good a place to start as any. Don't suffer in silence.
It's so hard to accept that I cannot help my husband to get free of this. All my efforts have just resulted in me becoming more entangled and trapped in the situation and have had no impact on him. I keep looking for miracles in his life but this obessesion has left me almost as hopeless and desolate and self-obsessed as he is. 2 years ago I freed myself from this situation and left him but fear of what would happen to him if he were left to his own devices drew me back. Now I am where I was before only now more trapped as in order to 'help' him, we now own a house together and are married. I thought that the responsibility and the demonstration of my committment to him would give him a reason to get control of his life again. There were so many promises made and I so wanted to believe we could have our happy ever after I ignored all the warning signs. I now know that living with him sober is not an option. I need to live with the drunk or not live with him at all and I hate the drunk. Either way I can only see pain ahead but I know that I need to put my daughter first. She at least still has a future. My strength in the last 2 years has been not to hide what he is but to talk openly about it. It is not my shame and I need the support of others who understand. I have found the US Al anon message board a good support - it's a shame there isn't a UK version as I can't get to our local meeting as it;s in the evening and I can't leave my daughter here with him and Christian Wives of Addicts is an ok site but more based at sexual addictions rather than alcohol. I am keen to correspond with others though for mutual support and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
My boy friend is an alcoholic. Or at least, that should now be ex-boyfriend, as he walked out for the umpteenth time ten days ago. I feel very guilty about not talking to him about his problem in the weeks leading up to this. Actually, I feel guilty full stop. I have only come to admit to myself the extent and reality of his addiction in the past two months, previously (we were together three and a half years) I buried my head in the sand and tried to ignore the problem, as this would mean dealing with it. So in a way, I am no bettter than him. In fact right now I think I am possibly worse as I am not the one with the problem and should have at least tried to get him to seek help. I am very sorry that this is rambling and probably sounds extremely self pitying. I am feeling very confused and emotional about the whole thing as I do not know what to do. He walked out last year too and I didn't hear from him for three months, at which time he got in touch and told me how sorry he was and how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I was so overwhelmed with happiness at being back with him that I didn't address his penchant for drinking til comatose (the stronger the better - Super lager, Vodka, JD, Rum). So now, I am trying to deal with the fact that he may have left my life for ever. Or he may turn up again - next week, next month, next year. What to do if he does? My head and my heart say very different things. My head tells me there is only so much of this heart break I can stand. I want a future that doesn't involve watching the man i love drink himself to death. But my heart tells me that the future I want is with him (sober) and that i want to offer him all my love and support in trying to kick the booze. I just don't know anything right now.
I had been happily married for twelve years, and we had borne three children when the world changed. The reality is like one of those horror films which opens with a pastel-tinted scene, all smiles and laughter, no cares in the world. Gradually, little things happen which make you blink (did you imagine that?), events occur which grate against the grain of your shared concept of normality, and you discover horrid secrets. To live with an alcoholic you have to be strong. How you use that strength is an independant decision slowly evolved as you circle your opponent. I say opponent because no matter how much you love them, indeed, because you love them, the alcoholic in your life will treat you as the enemy. Every trick of guile and deception, bare-faced lies and emotional torture will be utilised against you. They know that you, the rock of reality, is all that prevents them from achieving their objective of total self-destruction. The bizarre thing is, they do actually still love you. Their emotional bond is however working on a different level now. In many ways they need your love/support more than ever. The difficult decision is whether or not to give it. WornPick
Ever since I can remember my mother has drunk she is an alcholic but wont admit it anytime anything goes wrong shes off to the pub. When I was little she was never there she used to give me money so she could go to the pub. I had an older sister but she had left home because she had enough. My mother was drunk most nights and when I came home from school I had to sit on the doorstep and wait for her to leave the pub I sat out there come rain or shine not pleasent for a young child some times she brought blokes home imagine how disturbing this is for a child. We were taken in to care as she could not cope she was to busy drinking we were just an inconvience to her we were allowed home and things did change for a little while we moved house but then she got worse coming home so drunk she woke the whole house up not been able to get up for school so we barely attended school. She always said it was not a problem she could give it up but she could not she always had a new boyfriend who used her for sex. All I wanted was a normal mother all she wanted to do was drink she always had an excuse such as life was hard when she had been drinking she would become a different person. Over time I got used to it but it was affecting my life aswell she cared more for drink than me and would pass me from pillar to post so she could drink herself stupid. Even when I moved out she was the same if I wanted to see her I had to go to the pub not healthy for a newborn baby(my son). I thought maybe having grandkids would change her but it did not when my son slept over she would get her friend to watch him so she could go for a drink and on several occasions my son said his nanna had give him alcohol enough was enough she had already damaged me she was not going to damage my son so I stopped him going up harsh you say but I hoped it would stop her drinking but today she is no different and now we have no contact at all.
*my experience* I am very proud to say that I have been alcohol free for about 1 month and 17 days. God I craved Vodka yesterday but I got through the evening by popping a couple of valium (a mood calming drug). When your recovering from heavy drinking you need to take one day at a time. I havent given up drinking for the rest off my life but I have given up drinking for today. I started out drinking a few pints now and then (most the time with the intention of getting drunk). A couple of pints turned to 3 and 3 eventually turned into 9 pints a day or half a bottle to a bottle of whiskey a day. The thing that annoyed me the most when I was a boozer wasnt the cost of booze or the way it made me stink but the fact that the desirable effects (feeling calm, feeling numb, laughing a lot) disappeared. In the end when I drank I just became verbally abusive to my brother and felt extremely exhausted and ill. So what happened next? Basically I came to my senses and said right thats it to hell with this! *how have you been feeling since quitting?* To be honest with you most the time I have felt fine! Occasionally I will get a very strong desire to drink but then I ask myself do I really want to ruin all the effort and self-control I put into not drinking? No! *what causes alcohol problems?* When it comes to any drug addiction you do need some self-control to quit. In my opinion Genetic make-up and ones family background plays a big part in substance abuse. I am now 16 but when I was young my parents argued a hell of a lot, which left me feeling very insecure. Having seen two very good head doctors and a psychoanalyst I have managed to deal with my overanxious parents. I was walking through an underpass today and there were a couple of teens smoking drugs. The one was right out of it. As I walked out the underpass I just wanted to help them because I have been where they are and it aint nice. The thing is how can y ou approach a couple of drugged up (possibly violent) teens and tell them you want to help them? The fact is you cant without loosing half your teeth. If you feel you are drinking too much please get yourself some support. You really dont have to do this alone. Thanks for reading. *feel free to comment*
When I was 13, I met my best friend. His name was Vince*. He was 12. Apart from family holidays, we spent almost every day together for the following 6 years. We knew each other inside out and upside down. We began to drink. Life in the village was a pain, so Vince and I would buy copious quantities of quality alcohol, for example Thunderbird and Concorde wine. We'd then drink it until we passed out...usually with laughter...these were the good times! This went on for 2 years, Vince and I slowly alienating every friend and family member we had with our obnoxious behaviour, and general disregard for everyone around us. Vince gradually became totally dependant on alcohol, by now preferring to drink Jack Daniels, neat and by the bottle. He met a lovely girl, and one day they told me that they figured she might be pregnant. I marched them to the family planning clinic, the 3 of us sat there in shock when they told us she was 4 months pregnant. She was only 15, Vince was 17, I was 18. Her family weren't best pleased, but they were willing to accept Vince, if he'd been able to straighten up and give up the booze. He couldn't. We argued blind with him, and he always meant well, but he couldn't stop drinking. Rehab was a joke, as he seemed to come out knowing much more about drugs than he should have done.We were sort of living together by then, and he used to shake violently when he woke up, until he'd had a drink. Then it was like he was sober. I had some family problems, and he was there for me totally. He was as supportive a friend that anyone sober could have been, and then some. I was suffering from depression, and he was always there, looking out for me. Things started to go very wrong, when I, in my totally rational frame of mind, decided that Vince had somehow betrayed me. I packed up my belongings and left. I mean, I really left, I moved 100 miles away. We stayed in touch, as I was very close to his brother too, who was understandably worried by my decision to just up and leave. I visited every few months, and at first things between Vince and I were really strained. I couldn't tell him how miserable I felt. I couldn't admit I'd made a mistake, and that I missed him. His girlfriend gave birth to his son, and they split up soon afterwards. She just couldn't cope with a baby, and an alcoholic. He wasn't violent or anything, and he loved her. But it just couldn't work while he was so pissed all the time. When she left, he went crazy, started using drugs as well as the booze. Over the next few years, he continued to party all of the time. He lived in his local pub, and became a local legend because of the amount of alcohol he could sink in one session. Women came and went out of his life, but no one ever matched up to her. He got very sick. He'd stay awake for 5 or 6 days at a time, taking massive amounts of base and ecstacy. Booze, to him, was like water. He actually seemed to need it to get sober. It severely effected his already fragile mental state. His will to live was fading before our eyes. He was dying. We tried to get through to him but he just wouldn't listen. He saw his GP, and recieved counselling for mental problems, but he wouldn't admit that alcohol was the problem. I was in a really bad relationship, and had just found out I was pregnant. Like her, I couldn't bear to be around him. I left him alone for a second time. I had a daughter. Soapy. He asked to see her so I took her to the village where we grew up. She was 6 weeks old. He was high. Whenever he asked to see her again, I made an excuse. I got Post Natal Depression, and left Soapys dad. Vince wrote to me about twice a month, and he had started to sound much better. He actually managed to get a job! Within months, he'd been promoted to Supervisor. He was visiting with his son, by now aged 3. I got a letter from him, looking back, it was saying goodbye. I got better, and I rang his mobile. It was the orange answerphone, so I wrote to him, telling him I was going home at the weekend. I was too late. He'd committed suicide just days before. I didn't go to the funeral. I couldn't. I couldn't face it. I thought his family must hate me for leaving when he needed me the most. I was also really angry at the time. I don't think I realised what it meant, the fact that he was dead. 5 years have now passed, and it's starting to sink in that he's gone. But I still can't quite get to grips with it. Maybe I should have gone to the funeral, said Goodbye, I don't know. It's hard to deal with. Really hard. Sometimes I sit and cry for hours. I miss him. It hurts so much, it's like a physical pain in my chest. He was only 23 years old. When someone you love takes there own life, you want to ask them so many questions. It's really frustrating because you can't. They eat you up inside. I keep in touch with his family, and am still best friends with his brother. What Vince did has totally screwed them up too. I don't know what I think about booze now. Vince had given up the illegal drugs when he found work, but was still consuming vast amounts of Jack Daniels every day. I don't think he'd have taken so many drugs if he hadn't been such a big drinker. I don't think the drugs sent him mental either, I believe it was the way he mixed them with booze. Should it be banned completely then? You tell me. Need help? Drink to much? Try this site for more info : http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/ * Vince is not his real name, I couldn't have written anything at all if I'd tried using that. ***Hastily Added Ending*** After reading afew comments, I figured I'd just add this on. We've all been kind of working through t his, and I believe I'm getting through ok. I've started to remember the good times we all had, smashed out of our boxes listening to G n R and Poison, and of course Motley Crue ( hmmm...where did the name Vince come from? ) I've totally turned my life around since he died, it's made me view the world so differently. I now firmly believe that I control my own life, and it will be what I make it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am :) I just wish we all realised it sooner :)
I grew up with the knowledge that my dad was an alcoholic. My dad wasn't there, he and my mum split up when I was only four or five. But it was always there....no you can't visit your dad, he can't be trusted; I can't let you stay with him, he may do something stupid. Added to this was the fact that he lived in Southern Ireland and I in England. My Mum was so terrified about what he may do if I ever visited that I had hardly any contact with my father for about eight years, which is a long time in the life of a child. When I was eleven, my dad finally came to England to see myself and my brothers. I didn't realise he had a problem, though we spent a lot of time in the pub. In this time, I discovered him to be a lovely bloke, who really loved me, was affectionate and wanted me even more to visit. My mum made vague agreements, but it never happened. I grew up, my dad came to visit again when I was about 17 and I thought he was great. I couldn't understand my mum's resistance to my relationship with him. When I was 19, I finally went to Ireland to visit him and what I saw really did scare me. My dad was an alcoholic. At first I didn't understand the implications of 'having a drink together'. It was completely normal to me. It soon became clear that for him, it was a problem. One morning I got up to watch my dad in his sitting room, shaking so much that he was almost a blur; he was paranoid and a complete mess. At this stage, he needed medical help and had to be admitted to a drying out centre. I came home shocked by what I had seen, but it wasn't, and still isn't, the end of it. I found out that when he drinks, he is a pathalogical liar, he doesn't really care about anything, and if can blame his latest binge on his nearest and dearest, he will. I have been there to find the never ending supply of bottles to pour down the sink and christ! the places he hid them! Washing machine, s ides of chairs and sofa, under the bed, behind the fridge, and on and on.... Now, he is in a dry stage and I think will remain that way for a while. He has been drinking for about 40 years and it has had an impact on his mental health. The father I knew who was a tough guy and a 'bit of a lad' has now gone and in his place is a very lonely, paranoid, anxious man who tells me at the age of almost sixty, is just waiting to die. He can't interact with people in a social situation without a drink; he doesn't know how. I love my dad, he's an intelligent man and I've always found him to be aggreable when not drunk (i'm not sure my mum would agree mind) and I find it sad and hurtful to talk to him and realise that he knows he's thrown his life away, but is resigned to it. Alcohol is, in my opinion, one of the worst drugs out there.........and it's legal! Alcoholism tends to run in families too, but I like a drink, it hasn't stopped me, let's hope it doesn't take over my life...from what I can tell, anyone who suffers from this terrible disease is in for a never-ending battle.
My first husband was an alcoholic and it was so soul destroying to watch him ruin his life. A hardened drinker does not take kindly to being criticised about their habit and I found it too much to handle, so I left him. This was eighteen years ago and I believe he has dried out a few times but always seems to slip back into it again. It is an illness I truly believe that, because he was an intelligent person when he was sober he felt so miserable about what he was doing but he just could not help himself. He loved me very much and absolutely adored his children, but the call of the bottle was a bigger thing for him unfortunately. We met when I was eighteen and he was twenty- two he was a good looking chap with a good career ahead of him in the Royal Navy and we married within six months. He liked a pint with his mates he could handle quite a few actually and with me being so young I didn’t really think much about it. Sometimes when he had had one too many he would become argumentative but I thought that was normal married life, everyone argues occasionally. Over the next five years we had three children and he left the Navy. His drinking had got heavier and I was beginning to realise that he had a problem but he didn’t think he had. He would drink a few pints after work then down a bottle of whiskey until he literally collapsed. There was many a morning when I would find him collapsed on the sofa in a filthy state. When he was sober we would talk about it and he would insist that he was ok. He could stop drinking anytime he wanted that was something he used to say so often. I remember the lies he used to weave just so as not to get caught out, alcoholics are terrific liars. When the electric company cut us off he insisted that he had paid it and I think he started to believe himself in the end, he even went down to the showroom and rowed them for being incompetent. I would go to the bank on pay day to withdraw the house keeping and find no money because he had gone into overdraft to buy booze the previous month, or Id go home to find the washing machine and television set missing. The tales he used to give me about coming into an open front door and how we must have been burgled. He was really taking desperate measures to get his drink. Life was getting a bit tough for the kids they were getting teased at school because their Dad was seen in the local park drinking cider he just would not try to help himself. He was starting to hide the drink from us, he certainly didn’t realise how he smelt of it, he would stand in front of me and swear on a stack of bibles that he hadn’t touched a drop. I stopped nagging him, and tried to help him by buying him a bottle and giving him less and less each day, that didn’t work he was just humouring me or so I thought. Tidying out the airing cupboard one day I found about thirty empty vodka bottles stashed behind the spare blankets. He needed professional help and pretty fast. I was getting really fed up with him and I think he must have been desperately unhappy himself if he felt that he had to hide the empties like that. I managed to persuade him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He wasn’t keen at first because he did not have a problem, but he finally agreed to give it a go. I went with him and sat at the back for his first visit he was so nervous and my heart went out to him. He attended about three meetings then went back on the bottle. I stopped loving him and started to hate him after that, I sometimes wonder if I should have tried harder but it was effecting the whole family and he embarrassed us all. I think he gave up trying to quit the booze at about the same time I gave up on him. He was a good father when he was sober it is a shame that he had to lose his family, but he asked too much of us all and I couldn’t cope any long er. Should I have been stronger? Could I have eventually got him off the booze? I will never know the answer to that now.