Al-Anon helps us deal with relapse

Published by at 4:47 pm under Common Concerns

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Philene, Marianne, and Mike are with us today. All are active Al-Anon members. Today we’re going to talk with people whose loved ones experienced a relapse during their recovery.

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124 comments

124 comments on “Al-Anon helps us deal with relapse”

  1. Kayla says:

    I am going to try and make this as abbreviated as possible

    my best friend of 13+ years has slowly been turning into a person I don’t recognize. we’ve known each other since middle school and have been two peas in a pod ever since. in those years I watched her struggle with her own fathers addiction begging him to stop and dealing with his irrational thinking and lashing out due to him being a HFA (He is finally sober) . She was completely straight edge as some would put it because of the addictions she had watched tear her family up. Wouldn’t even touch a drop of alcohol didn’t like it one bit.

    Well about three years ago I convinced my best friend to move to CO with me and live the life we had dreamed of when we were kids. It was fun at first we were hanging out making good friends, building memories, we got a dog. We both even got into seemingly healthy relationships and were moving forward with our lives in a positive manner. Now I don’t know what exactly clicked and made her slowly turn into this person I don’t recognize whether it was watching her relationship slowly burn into something really unhealthy,me coping with my relationship burning into something unhealthy, her getting super sick and almost dying , or things from her childhood coming up unresolved. I have no clue and I’ve racked my brain about it. but she started to change , and I tried to get people to notice at first calling on our good friends to not drink around her thinking that would help. I even I tried employing her (now ex-) boyfriend to help (who is also an alcoholic) and got nothing naturally.

    I’ve done everything I could think of:
    not drink myself
    buying stuff I think she would hate when I did drink
    telling her family
    telling all her friends
    telling my family
    letting her try and wean off
    trying to limit how much she drinks a week
    changing what she drinks (she was drinking 750ml of southern comfort a day)
    hiding alcohol when I find it
    confronting her when I think she had been drinking
    therapy
    talking to her from compassion
    intervention on her birthday

    everything I could possibly think of, and this weekend she tried to accuse a friend of stealing. which is a whole other issue , but I realized when she told me i doubted her. I doubted her because of her drinking and her sneaking alcohol, drinking my alcohol and putting the empty bottle back, driving drunk with my friends even though they have asked her not to drink with them in the car.

    So I put my foot down and told her “if you can be sober for a week ill talk to you about what is on my mind” thinking I much rather deal with sober her than influenced her. And she blew up she attacked me and claimed I wasn’t a friend and at least the alcohol makes her feel better rather than her best friend who makes her feel worse. she defended every part of the alcohol , and it broke my heart and my spirit. I’ve never had to deal with something like this and I am struggling so bad. I cant stop questioning myself.
    is this my fault?
    did I encourage her behavior?
    am I exaggerating?
    am I being controlling and “manipulative” by giving her an ultimatum?
    all kinds of things eating me up cause I care so damn much.

    my mother has talked to her dad and he is looking into inpatient treatment , which she is going to HATE me for but I cant sit here and do nothing.
    Im going to my first Al-Anons meeting tonight after work because I just cant hang, I even called the hot line and left the most heartbreaking message hoping someone could call me back and help. I guess we will see how tonight goes.

  2. Angie says:

    My husband quit his job, and went to rehab for alcoholism. It was the first time he ever seeked treatment. We have a one year old, and I rely on his help with our daughter and his financial contribution. But he was getting help, and everything was gonna get better. He doesn’t like my teenage son / his step son. My son isn’t the easiest teen, and can be very disrespectful. When my husband drinks I worry that he might loss his cool with my son.
    So he went away, and it was SO scary ( to say the least).
    He stayed at the program for 2 weeks, got clean. He had a total of 32 days sober . And yesterday he relapsed. Not sure what to do. Without him I m withdrawn and not a great attentive professional and mother. But with him I feel like I am neglecting myself and my 17year old son.

  3. Karen says:

    My husband of 2 years relapsed a week ago. We have been together 6 years total. He always had the problem. Sometimes i feel so foolish for staying with him knowing he had this problem.
    Now we have an almost 1 yr old. She means the world to me. And I do not want her to see any of this, ever. He seems regretful. He went to treatment in August(2016). Been sober for 4 months. Everything was going well. I wasnt terribly upset about the relapse when i found out because i knew it would happen. The outcome of relapse is too high for it not to happen. I was more upset about him lying and saying he would do all he can to get sober again. He has been home all week. No work. While i go to work with a cold. Come home and take care of our daughter. Do house cleaning & more. I am more frustrated than anything. I love the man and maybe i show him too much tough love because he thinks im so rude. I am rude because i dont feel the appreciation and love from him. I feel like i have always supported him. But I’m foolish to think he can have sympathy for me while drunk. He is very emotional. I am at my wits end with all this.
    I want things to work but at the same time im done with all of it. I just want to be the best mother i can be to my daughter. Im torn as to weather i should still hold on to hope or realize this will never work.

  4. Sandrine says:

    Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 3 yrs. hes my soulmate and my bestfriend, but he has a huge problem with alcohol, pot and cocaine. We broke up for 6 months because he wasnt able to get a grip on his addiction. We got back together 4 months ago when he got sober again. He promised he would go to an outprogram, which he never did. He also hasnt seen his therapist in a while. He works in the bar industry and ive been trying to get him to quit but even tho he says he will, im not so sure its gonna happen. He relapsed 4 days ago and hasnt been home since. I have no idea what to do. I tried to be supportive the first days and letting him know he could come home whenever he wanted but he didnt. He keeps saying hes not strong enough and that hes sorry and that i deserve better. Than i told his brother he relapsed. My bf got mad at me for doing so. Im over the point of caring that hes mad. i told his partner at work that if it got too much he could let me know and id have his brother pick him up (like if he passes out or needs to go to the hospital or if he hurts himself) . His partner got mad at me saying i was running his brunch because dan would be mad at him if he knew i texted him and that i should think about the consequences of my actions. I have no idea what to do so i told my bf id be out of his way. Based on previous experiences, when he relapses, im scared for his own safety. He has tried to commit suicide by taking pills while he was drunk. He also deals with bipolar disorder which makes things even more complicated. I still have no idea where he is since now he just doesnt text me anymore. He was doing so good and we were even talking about the futur and trying for a baby. Right now im just waiting for him to hit rock bottom, a bit concerned about my own safety and a lit about his.

  5. Mary says:

    So my boyfriend was almost 60 days sober, he didn’t come home last night. We live with my mother, who is 22 years sober. He relapsed last night and I don’t know what to do, cause I don’t want my mom to think he he is a failure or to be mad. I have been crying all night.

    He said he is trying to figure what he has to do next. He starts his out patient program on the 20th, so he doesn’t have a sponsor. I am freaking out. Idk what to do anymore.

  6. Tired says:

    Hello. I’m having a hard time today. I’ve been married for 22 years. More than half my life. My husband has always been a drinker, but in the past several years it has become very heavy. 2 years ago, I told him I was done. He asked for help and went to the doctor (Big step for him). He’s been sober 2 years. Last night he came home drunk. I am a mess. I don’t understand?? I know it’s not my fault, but I’m the type that thinks I can “fix” everything. Tonight he’s literally home trying to talk to me like nothing happened. There have been a few times throughout the past few months where I’ve sworn I’ve smelled alcohol on him, but then think to myself that I’m just imagining it and being pessimistic. There was no denying it last night. Now I sit here unable to control the crying and not knowing where to go from here.
    I just feel lost.

  7. kelly says:

    So relapse is a part of recovery…. but what does that mean for us? we just have to cope with that fact and live with it?? that’s where I struggle… alcoholism and addicts have been apart of my life for my entire life… Even when I grew up and fell in love. I fell in love with and had my daughter with an alcoholic.. One who I love so deeply I allow his struggles and pain to override my need for happiness. always putting his problems above my own. all because he suffers with addiction… one that brings out an animal in him… one that takes away everything we have.. yet I love him still so deeply. I feel a hugeeeee since of responsibility for him and when he falls I feel it’s caused by me. when i take a stand and feel like I’m putting my safety or needs first. then he falls and suffers and I feel horrible. I want so badly for him to beat this disgusting game he’s playing. playing with his life. yet he has no control. he cant snap his fingers and make it all go away. when he gets help an is doing well I feel like he has won. feel like everything will be ok… boom, then relapse happens. I crumble and fall in sadness. I feel the weight is back on top of me and will never get better. I fight so hard for him to succeed just to be broken when he doesn’t. like how the hell do I fix myself?? fix the need for my happiness to depend on his sobriety? how do I ever walk away? walk away from my sense of family.. future with him and my baby. feeling like she could lose her daddy as I did mine.. the feeling like im all he has and can’t do it without me… My love for him doesn’t fade, it only grows deeper with his struggles.. I never wana feel like my life doesn’t have him or him to feel alone. I’ve tried to “save” him even though I know how stupid an non factual that really is. I want to be there for his highs, for him feeling like he concurred the sickness yet wanna run and hide when he falls. But me running only hurts him and takes him lower. I hate the responsibility I feel. but how the hell do i stop it?!?!

  8. Dee says:

    My husband has always been a functioning alcoholic ever since we started dating and the was 12 yrs ago . I knew his drinking was bad but he kept dismissing me . Over the few months he lost his job and he told me that he is also addicted to cocaine .. I was so shocked , dissapointed and angry all at the same time . I thought this is the end of my marriage because but through counseling I was advised to let him go to rehab . He went and came back a new man . For the first time in my life I was hopefull . But that was shortlived because 2 months after rehab I staterd to see changes in his behaviour and last week he came back high but denied it when I asked . our psychologist advised me to get drug test kits at the chemist so that when I suspect I can test him , and he told him that he must do the test to clear his name and rebuild the relationship. now as I am writing this he did not sleep at home and he has not called or come back home . I am tired of this life , I understand that he needs support but I need to focus on me and my kids . My kids know about daddy’s condition and when he dissapears it really stresses them out and I always have to calm them down and that is not fair . I have just been put on anti depressants because I suffer from panic attacks . I feel like my kids need one healthy parent and they deserve to grow up in a healthy enviroment . I know he does not work but if he does not change I am putting an end to the relationship..

  9. Lorraine says:

    I’ve been married to my husband for 11 years. He was 3 1/2 yrs sober from drugs and alcohol when we got married. He was 1 1/2 years into recovery when we started dating. I’ve didn’t know him when he was using. He just relapsed 3 days ago… After 15 years!! He blames it on the fact that he stopped going to meetings. We started going to church and have been faithful and committed Christians for almost 6 years. He claims that he can’t stay sober with God alone, that he should’ve never stopped going to meetings. The reason…he can’t be himself at church. His addiction and disease are frowned upon, judged, and misunderstood. Although many addicts find there way to the cross and the feet of Jesus, it’s still an “uncomfortable” or “taboo” topic to discus amongst fellow believers because they don’t understand the disease, they only see the sin. My heart is breaking for my husband. He feels like such a failure. 15 1/2 years sober, and now at 3 days ????. As his wife, I’m lost and confused on what I should do (if anything), how to feel, or how to help. I feel I’m to blame for his relapse, and now feeling guilty and that I could’ve prevented it. I’m scared for our marriage and our future. Trust has been lost.

  10. sunny says:

    Hi Hops
    I am in a similar situation, second time over. What advise does the AL-anon group give to spouses like us who have done everything to support a recovering addict at their own cost, but the spouse considers that we should be okay with repeated relapses and that we are not being supportive.

    where does it stop ?I have being told that I should understand it is a disease though my husband is choosing to pick up that drink again, in spite of having all the support.

    In spite of going to rehab twice and trying to remain sober for short periods. He has gone back and become worse. Please advise.

  11. L J says:

    So my husband of 11 years is a functioning alcoholic, I knew when I married him that he was but never having any experience with this selfish disease I did not know about all the repercussions associated. 30 beers a day for 30 years up until last August when he pulled an unforgivable stunt that broke my last straw. I split for 2 days with him begging me to come back, like an idiot I returned home then took off 3 days at work to arrange first a medical detox then unto a 90 day stint in rehab. Foolishly thinking I could actually believe his empty promises I chose to “give our marriage another try”. Six months clean he begged me to allow him to have 2 beers a day so he could feel normal again I work days he works nights, I’m not his mom so I can”t babysit him I finally gave in, moreover because I was tired of this being the only conversation we seemed to be having. Now I have just learned he is buying a six pack a day, stopped going to meetings and quit therapy. Angry, disappointed and reeling from the deception and broken promises,I feel like I have wasted 2 years of my life. Can I just say that I am SO TIRED of hearing” It’s a disease “, in my reality “It’s a choice”. The only reason I stay is because I am tied to the house, on the mortgage as a co-owner and can not afford to pay for the house without his paycheck, nor can he if I left. I have never broken any promises to him, never betrayed him and have always been there FOR HIM in the worst of his times,I have just recently pulled the house out of foreclosure due to his lack of paycheck while in rehab and that was not the first time, also rescued the house when he was in jail. I am 55 years old and need to seriously get my shit together, my 25 year old son and my 28 year old daughter (he is not the father) are baffled at my decision to not only come back that night last August but to stay now.
    I am baffled myself- I am either the most co- dependent or the most foolish person, I don’t know who I am more angry at myself or him. I know each situation is different but if I had known that being with him was going to be like being alone-I would not have married him.

  12. Abby says:

    I don’t know where to start. I feel numb and I don’t know where to turn. My husband has been struggling for the last couple of years with his sobriety, so I’m not entirely surprised he started drinking this week (but very disappointed). I find myself disgusted with him when he’s been drinking. The lying and deceit is what I hate most. I can feel it destroying our relationship bit by bit…and it’s been years of lying. What has really messed me up is that he came to pick me up at work today and I should have known better but I let him drive. You see, I had confronted him a few days ago and asked him if he was drinking which led to a big fight. So I didn’t. I went against my better judgement and let him drive me AND OUR 6 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER home. I should have known by the way he walked into my office. He almost slammed into the car in front of him because he accelerated instead of braking. When we got home, he could barely stand up straight. I am utterly disgusted and horrified that he drove with our daughter while completely piss drunk. I don’t know what to do. I started looking at places to rent for him. I thought about asking him to move into the guest room. I thought about calling his mom and asking her if he could stay with her (she doesn’t know about his addiction). I thought about ignoring it and moving on. But none of these options seem “right”. I’m lost. Nothing seems “right” anymore, even my marriage.

    I don’t want to end my marriage though. Crazy right? I do love him. I love the man he is when he’s sober. I want to support him but I don’t know how. I want to be by his side and walk with him through recovery but I don’t know how long I can wait. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so lost. And so very sad.

  13. Martha says:

    I met the love of my life in high school, we started dating in 2007. We got engaged in April and got married in June, not living together at the moment because we are hoping to buy a house asap. He is an alcoholic and went to rehab for a month, he was clean for 3 months and life was perfect for a few months. Last week he got in touch with a “friend” and had some beers, the next day he got drunk. We spoke and he reassured me that it wouldn’t happen again. I believed him and continued our plans. Last night he lied to me and got drunk, he didn’t go home until 5pm today. I’ve been with him thru so much that I don’t know what to do. I want to leave but I love him so much that I’m not capable of doing it. I’m scared of what will happen to him. I’m desperate!

  14. Olanna says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year now. When I met him, I quickly caught on that he drank a lot, but so did I on the weekends so it all seemed fine to me. But then I noticed he was taking a suboxone,and drinking with it. Once I googled what that was I got really scared that there was alot more to it then just hard drinking on the weekends.
    I confronted him about it, and he admitted he has had some issues in the past with drugs and alcohol and was working really hard to change his life. We wait for awhile to officially be dating because of his situation. But it just kept getting worse and worse, and I told him he needed to get some help, or we couldn’t be together. So he went to rehab for a month in Florida, and I even went out to visit him and he was doing well.
    Finally, when he got home, his family and I realized he was doing drugs and drinking again. I was so upset, he then promised me that he would fix his life for us to be together and went immediately to a faith based rehab in Arkansas for 8 months… but the 8 months turned into 2 months cause he left and decided he wanted to go home. I was happy to see him, but nervous that he would relapse.
    The first week back he was doing really well, keeping busy and working out. My friend came to visit, and we stayed over with him at his parents house, we were pretty much keeping an eye on him, which I tried to pretend wasn’t happening cause I know its embarrassing. Towards the evening, he started to act distant, and wanted to be alone. He then came downstairs, and I saw him grab his brothers car keys from my bag ( I was holding them just in case) and tried to hide it from me. I confronted him and he got really upset and went upstairs. He has a complete break down and started saying his life was no good.. I didn’t know what to do. I just told him to breathe and that it was going to be okay. I went downstairs to grab him something to eat, and he was gone. He jumped out the window and took his brothers car. I called him so many times and he never picked up.. I found out later that he got vodka and heroin. His parents found him in the truck at 2am in the morning. Everything just escalated so quickly, I love him so much, and dont know if I should continue to support him after he let me down so many times.

  15. Timtam says:

    I’ve been with my alcoholic boyfriend for over two and a half years. In the first year, he tried to get sober, the first attempt lasted for 2 months, with help from meds. After a long relapse, I gave him an ultimatum, go back on meds or move out. He was back on meds, exercising to go on a competition, working hard, and we went on holidays overseas. It was the best 6 months. He suddenly stopped taking his meds without me knowing and relapsed. Since it has been a nightmare. So many attempts and relapses. He refuses to go back to the hospital, some of his drinking buddies told him the meds would mess up his brain. He refuses to go to counselling, he says it’s a waste of time, and he will try to stop drinking on his own. His so called friends are the worst. Everytime he tries to get sober and tells them he isn’t drinking, they always call him to go out drinking. They aren’t even alcoholics. Some of them for sure are using him because he always pays for drinks. His behaviour while drunk is getting worse, doesn’t go to work, and spends all his money on alcohol. He doesn’t drink every day, but when he does, he binges for at least a weak (non-stop). He also suffers from depression. I have tried to give him my support. I’ve been to Al-Anon (unfortunately the only Al-Anon group in my city doesn’t have regular meetings, and the few times I went there there was no one) to help myself, went to see a therapist but stopped because it was too costly (around $150 an hour). I currently live in Korea, there isn’t enough support system for alcoholics, there’s a stigma attached to alcoholics (if an alcoholic go to seek advice from a doctor, they have to seek help from what Koreans called “crazy people doctor”, and it is recorded so if they want to fine a new job or get a life insurance, no employer will take them and no life insurance will take them as they are labelled “crazy”) I feel helpless, I do feel sorry for him, but this is affecting me lots. I am considering leaving him.

  16. Chris says:

    My fiancee is an alcoholic. 15-20 beers and a half-pint or pint of liquor every night for the first 5 years we were together. He went to the doctor a year and a half ago and quit the next day. He didn’t indicate what the doctor had said, but I strongly suspected there were health issues that drove his decision to quit.

    I didn’t realize how stressed I was about it until he quit. It was an adjustment at first; he wasn’t nearly as affectionate when he was sober, but it was so nice to know I could depend on him to be straight and focus on the future together. We bought a house and things are going better than ever for us.

    He started drinking again 3 weeks ago. Not every night, but I expect it to end up that way. I feel like the man I lived with for the past year and a half just up and left without saying good-bye. I feel broken-hearted and disappointed. My parents, his parents and his children have health issues that I’m now facing alone. In addition to the stress associated with him driving or doing something else while drunk to create more issues.

    I’m just devastated and don’t understand why now when things were going so well?

  17. Marissa says:

    My boyfriend of over 4 years went to his first rehab facility in February for alcohol abuse. He was doing so amazing, making so much progress. I was going to Al-Anon and making my own progress as well. He came back home and things felt so right.

    For so long before he decided to get help, all I could think about was, “How am I going to get the hell out of this relationship?” But now since he has been working to get clean, I have been able to think about our future, marriage, children. Not just about how to escape the misery. I love him with all my heart. I am 24 yeas old, about to be 25, and he has been there for me ever since my mother died 4 years ago.

    He had about 60 days clean time up until last week, when he relapsed. He started going back to his old behaviors of playing pool in bars with his “friends” and missing out on meetings. He said the relapse was a learning experience because now he sees how much of a hold drinking really has on him. He thought he would have no problem keeping sober, and he did. He does. A big problem.

    He said it wasn’t worth it. Then for a few days we tried to have things go back to “normal,” but I knew this would happen again. He wasn’t attending meetings, and he was complaining about the ones he did go to. He complained about his outpatient treatment and made excuses about getting a sponsor. He refused my advice to tell his cousins or uncle in recovery about his relapse and I just knew this was going to happen again.

    I was right. Last night he said he was going to go skateboarding for just a little while with his friend that I actually find really supportive of him being sober. Hours went by. I called him around 1:30 am and I heard that familiar slurring and that nasty tone that I have not heard in months, that I have nightmares of hearing, and there it was, right in my ear like it was months ago.

    I could barely understand him and when I asked him if he had been drinking he just said “Text me” and hung up. I did not try to call him back. I just buried my face into my pillow and cried until I fell asleep.

    He came home at 3:30 am and went to sleep. I pretended to be sleeping to make sure he would not cause a drunken mess like he used to, but he didn’t. I woke up this morning, and before I left for work, I set the alarm for him. He has outpatient at 10 am. That is a joke. I know he won’t go, or sleep through it.

    I feel so helpless and hopeless. Reading a story on his chain made me really think. Even if my boyfriend gets sober and clean for months or years, he is the type who will test his limits. He would probably try to drink years after getting sober, thinking he could handle it and we will be right back here. Except I will be older and maybe even have children. Then I will really be screwed.

    Thinking of going to Al-Anon at lunch time today. Say a prayer for me.

  18. Isabella says:

    Can’t believe I am writing this. Just lying here in my bed while my daughter who has just turned 1 is sleeping beside me. My partner, who has recently finished 6 weeks in rehab, just relapsed. Actually, he is probably enjoying taking drugs as I write this (I am angry).

    I feel so disappointed and devastated. He was doing so well, things finally started to feel good for a change. I was just starting to hope, something I haven’t allowed myself to do as I am so used to being let down by this man.

    I want to get back to work after having my daughter, & be able to plan. I don’t want to be on this roller coaster & I certainly don’t want this chaos for my daughter. The thing is, I love this person. You try to be there to support, stand by them, etc. But it becomes all about them.

    I am a first time mum & I find this has taken over the 1st year of my daughter’s life — it’s has been all about him. He finally got some help and went into residential rehab & here I am back here with drugs again. I know he’s an addict and relapses are to be expected. I naively thought I would be okay, but I don’t know what I do now.

    He went to rehab because I had reached my limit. I told him I couldn’t deal with him not seeking professional help, so I was walking away and it was up to him whether he chose drugs or got help. So he eventually got help. I just don’t know what else I can possibly do.

  19. Madison says:

    My mom and dad are both drug addicts. My mom is cross-addicted. I’m only 16 years old and I’ve had experience myself, of course. I’ve learned the hard way. I have an older sister who’s 20 and she’s addicted to OxyContin. I have a younger brother and he used to smoke weed and pop pills. But a blessing in disguise happened to us. DSS got involved and my younger brother and I got taken away. We were placed with a foster family, and then we got moved to a group home. I’ve gotten really close with God then, because He was my only hope. I know He’s the only one who heard my cries when I had nobody. March 26th was a year since we were taken.

    Today I went to see my mom and I could tell she had done something. We’d been cleaning this trailer that we were planning to move in, but something was telling me to look in her pocket book. I did and there was a bottle of liquor. My heart just broke. I thought to myself, we’ve came a long way, why throw it away now?

    I’ve come to realize that the devil won that battle. She was a little tipsy, so she didn’t realize what was so wrong, she just kept saying I want to be normal and take a drink every now and then. But what she failed to realize was she’s an addict and anything like that can trigger it off.

    My little brother and I were sitting there talking, both upset and crying, thinking if this is really happening for a reason, and why is this happening to us–why us? It’s hard to comprehend this, but we’ve decided that we’re gonna fight through this battle because God always wins the war. We’ve also decided that we’re going to let this make us and not break us because God has a special plan for each of us, and we’re trusting in Him. And always will.

    I believe our struggle and all the tough times will pay off. You all are in my prayers and I ask for the same. God will never leave or forsake us. Little do we know, this too shall pass. My brother and I have come a long way and we’re not giving up now and never will. We’re sticking through it together.

  20. Josephine says:

    End of February, my 70-year-old mother might have died if not for an out-of-state relative’s phone call to me saying she wasn’t answering her phone. Normally, I would have figured she was out doing Saturday errands. But like the “caretaker” child of alcoholic parents I am, I went to her house with my husband. She was sprawled out on the sofa at 11 am, more or less incoherent. A receipt on her table and the empty bottles indicated that she blew through about 4 liters of the hard stuff in 5 days.

    She did not get up to use the bathroom until 2 pm. Long about 10 pm, and after sitting with her for hours of vomiting and refusing to go to the hospital I finally called an ambulance after she was unable to get back to the sofa from the bathroom with my help. She spent three days in ICU, being detoxed, and several more in a regular hospital room to get the internal bleeding, severe esophagitis, and pancreatitis under control. I insisted to the doctor that she get some home health care when she was released, because I did not think it would be a good idea for her to go right back to her old ways so fast. At least this way, a nurse would be checking on her progress (I clued the nurse in outside when she was leaving after the first visit.)

    After she got “cleared” by the home nurse, she asked for her “stuff” back. The stuff is all the booze I removed from her house. Her excuse is that she had nothing to serve when her friend was over, and so she “had” to buy a bottle of rum. She had to buy a 1.75 liter bottle, which I saw at Easter. I was tempted to stop the next day and see if the level went down, but I’m too tired of trying to change what goes on– she would just lie to me about it and think the lie worked. I think the asking for the stuff back was to cover for the booze she bought being in her house–she says she hasn’t had any alcohol. Bull. I am her power of attorney, and I can look at her bank account and see the amounts she writes to the grocery store– it’s not all food, believe me.

    She thinks she doesn’t have any kind of “condition.” You should see the amount of vitamins she had to take after being pumped full of various IV’s in the hospital. B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, prenatal vitamins, probiotics, along with stuff to control acid reflux and liquid to coat her stomach so she could at least eat something. Her system was totally depleted and she was malnourished– her eyes were sunken and her skin is getting very crepe-y. I think that she was at the beginning stages of “alcoholic wet brain” the night I called the ambulance, because although I was supporting her walking, she thought she was falling forward when she was leaning backward on me– and this was close to ten hours after I arrived at her house, after drinking water all day long (and vomiting it up)– meaning that although she had not had alcohol for that long, she was having trouble walking.

    I think my mother has had her brain damaged by alcohol (liver and other things, too.) She does not fully understand what happened to her and is definitely in denial that she has a drinking problem. She lies and she thinks that her lies are believable. She turns my concerns back on me and tells me I have a problem. It takes an extreme amount of restraint to keep from telling her that any problem I have is a direct result of growing up in an alcoholic household. She cannot empathize or relate to what she put ME through as a child, and is still putting me through.

    I recently read “Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” I always knew there was a problem with my parents–I saw a lot of stuff no child should ever see. I always knew it was not my fault, unlike a lot of people in that kind of situation. But what I did not know was how it shaped my personality and thinking and the way I see the world. I would recommend this to anyone who had/has alcoholic parent(s).

    I think I have been in recovery for about 20 years, although I did not know it until I read that book. I have been slowly distancing myself from my mother and alcoholic brother over the years. My husband has helped me over the years see the craziness and the bizarre logic that goes on in my family. Before, I was just used to how my family was. More recently, I have been stepping away from people who are unkind or thoughtless or selfish. I think this is me choosing to take care of myself and my own needs–finally. Right now, I am just exhausted and burned out from all of it. But understanding I have a right to be happy and a right not to be mistreated or take care of their problems is giving me hope.

  21. SHEILA says:

    My husband is an alcoholic who has relapsed. He was a year and a half sober and now he is back to drinking every day and lying to me about it — when I clearly know that he is drunk when I get home from work. I love my husband with all my heart and I don’t want to walk away from him. I do not know what to do anymore, though. He says he does not have a problem, and he won’t go get help. I am trying to help him, but I don’t know how.

  22. Barbara says:

    I’m 22 and live with my 53-year-old mom. She used to be clean, but ever since I was in high school, around 10th grade, I discovered she had been drinking, hiding it away, becoming angry if I didn’t buy her beer, even stealing my money.

    Now she doesn’t care if she drinks, but she’ll get mad if I bring it up that I want her to stop. I am trying to finish college and get a job, a car, and move out one day, but I feel no matter what I do it’s not good enough.

    I quit college to help her out and I feel bad, because it’s my dream. People who don’t have parents like this will say to leave them alone and deal with your life, but how can you when you can’t stand by and watch the people you love destroy themselves?

  23. Alexa says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I’m writing this. I got married to a wonderful guy almost three years ago. We have a 20-month-old baby. He is an alcoholic, but I didn’t know it til after we got married, because we met online.

    He drinks every single weekend on Friday and Saturday. He stays at home, but every morning is a nightmare for me. I don’t want my son growing up with such a bad example. I asked him to stop and he gave me a date that he is breaking today. We are in a hotel in a conference and I found the beers in the refrigerator. I’m so tired of this. I don’t know what to do.

    It gives me comfort to think I’m not alone.

  24. Hops says:

    I’ve been with my spouse for 8 years. We have a beautiful 6-year-old son. He was a pot smoker when I met him. It wasn’t until we moved in together, after 6 months I realized he was a functioning pot-head and an alcoholic.

    We always enjoyed a few drinks together, I don’t smoke or do drugs. After finding out we were expecting, I thought things would change. They didn’t. They got worse.

    We would fight about his pot smoking daily. When our son was 3, he quit smoking pot. I was very proud of him. He had been a chronic smoker since his early teens and was 35 when he gave it up. He was smoke-free, but continued to drink more and more. I couldn’t take much more.

    I justified all the reasons to stay. He was a good father (but was he?). My husband was dedicated to our son. We spent a lot of time together as a family, but it was tiring. Always being on guard and watching how many beers he had. Always making sure he didn’t drive, watching him spend hundreds of dollars a month on alcohol. So when he started smoking again and hiding it from me a year later, I left. I couldn’t deal with the lying.

    Then, stupid me, after a year of talking and working on things, my son and I moved back in. Little did I know in the year we were apart, he became a full-blown alcoholic and cocaine addict. Easy to hide the latter. He insisted on keeping his “social schedule,” drinking and using several nights a week with his buddies. I confronted him a few times over 6 months. He said I was crazy and that he was only drinking, and staying up all night was his prerogative.

    In Sept 2015, I found the evidence (I already knew I was right anyway). I confronted him and told him, get help or get out. He stayed off drugs and alcohol for a few months, but replaced it with a new found addiction to video games. He’s not going to work anymore, playing for hours and hours. He justifies it, just like he did the drinking and drugs. He’s been sober, or should say was sober until last Saturday.

    We were at a family function, and our son was with my parents. He had told his own family he stopped drinking months ago. But his mom insisted that it was ok for him to have a few. So he did. More than a few. Got hammered. I’m angry and annoyed. 4 months in and he couldn’t say no, even with me there.

    I should never have come back. I should have known better.

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