Need Advice....sorry for the long post!

Old 05-30-2016, 08:25 PM
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Need Advice....sorry for the long post!

This is my first time posting so hello all!

I am 33 years old and an alcoholic. I have been an alcoholic in my opinion for the last 8 years.

My alcoholic tendencies first came to light when I moved in with a former girlfriend at age 27. I found myself increasingly sneaking drinks, hiding bottles of wine in my car, and just overall being a deceitful alcoholic. After 6 months of living together she brought up the elephant in the room and I admitted I was an alcoholic. She has alcoholics in her family (as do I), and my admittance really hurt her and eventually ended our friendship and relationship. I had moved out and tried to mend our relationship over the next 9 months but I continued to drink and never fully quit. She met someone new and at that point I went from a functional alcoholic to someone whose life spiraled out of control.

I continued to maintain employment and excelled at work. Kept in shape and from an outsider's perspective had my life in control. Inside I was a mess however. I drank alone and went from a bottle of wine or 4 beers a day to three bottles of wine or a fifth of vodka a day.

I had lost many friends through this process because most took my former girlfriend's side (and I don't blame them) and I didn't have many independent friends. I spent the next 2 years drinking everyday and then really drinking on the weekends. I'm ashamed to admit it but I would frequently drink myself into oblivion and hire escorts because I was so lonely.

In 2012 I had an opportunity to move to a new city with my employer and took this opportunity as a way to start fresh and escape the pain and memories from where I lived.

So I moved and really loved being in a new and larger city. But unfortunately, my drinking continued and I was still consuming on average three bottles of wine a day. At this point (age 30) I began to have symptoms develop from my alcoholism. Nausea, shakiness, lack of appetite, etc. I decided at this point that I needed a break and went to a doctor, described my problem and history, and safely detoxed using Ativan. I'd maintain a few weeks of sobriety and then slip up and eventually be back at the doctor asking for a prescription of Ativan or Librium to detox. This went on for 6 months or so and although I had drank less during this period than any time in my prior 10 years the process clearly wasn't working.

I decided I needed to see a psychiatrist who specialized in addiction and scheduled an appointment. I worked with this doctor to address my underlying emotional issues and the triggers that caused me to drink in the first place. In my opinion, much of it was emotional trauma suffered as a child watching my mother die of cancer and through that process my father becoming an abusive alcoholic especially towards me. I had never spoken with anyone about my demons and the resentment I felt towards him as well in addition to the pain I went through watching my mother die of breast cancer over the course of 6 years. To this day I can still vividly remember holding her hand in hospice and her somehow gaining the energy to open her eyes and tell me she loved me as she took her last breath. I was the last one to see her alive and was alone with her as she died (family was outside having said their goodbyes).

Anyways, I am still in recovery and do drink but it is a fraction of what I used to and I feel that I have dealt with my emotional pain. My psychiatrist prescribed me baclofen which I've now taken for 3 years. It takes away my cravings and I no longer drink alone. As I mentioned I do still drink but it is always socially and very rarely do a have more than 4 drinks (usually craft beers or nice wines with meals) per week.

During this period I also started a new relationship which has been going on for three years. My partner is a successful doctor who to my knowledge has no idea that I'm an alcoholic. The baclofen takes care of my cravings and since I've been with her the pain from my former girlfriend and what I did to her keeps me in check. Also, during this period I've had great career success and started a PT MBA program at one of the top schools in the country.

Both my partner and I have discussed marriage and I'd like to propose to her at some point in the next 6 months. We both love and care for each other, are in good spots in our life, and feel like we are ready to take this next big step.

MY BIG QUESTION FOR EVERYONE IF THEY ARE WILLING TO SHARE THEIR OPINION: do I reveal to her I'm an alcoholic and I've been medicating for the last three years in addition to regularly seeing a psychiatrist. I want to be open with her and honest. That said, the experience of revealing this part of me last time (6 years ago) is still so painful and put me in such a bad spot as I couldn't repair the relationship that being truthful worries me. She has dealt with alcoholism as a doctor and understands that it is a complicated disease but I still don't know what to do or if being truthful is the best route. Can I just continue with the baclofen and what I consider my managed drinking forever? Or should I reveal myself?
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:53 PM
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IMO- While it is usually a situation where we only give as much info to folks as we feel comfortable with, a fiance really deserves the whole truth. It probably WILL come out at some point, one way or another.

Also, don't discount the possibility that your partner may become a valuable ally.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:02 PM
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Tell the truth.....ASAP!

If she's the one, she'll stay!

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:31 PM
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Welcome to SR hikebike. Honesty to ourselves and others is the cornerstone of sobriety in my opinion. Would you really want to start a life together and try and somehow keep this a secret?
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:52 PM
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Honesty is good... Better to be honest now than later
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:23 PM
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Hi Hikebike

I would truly recommend that you tell the whole truth and not just the last three years. This will for both your sakes especially yours. Imagine keeping up the deceit and being in perpetual fear that you will be found out. That anxiety will only make things worse. There is only upside by being transparent and honest. If you explain your addiction and the reasons behind it, then if she truly is the one, she would be understanding and supportive. If she isn't, then you know her character and beliefs aren't a match ( and you've probably dodged a bullet down the track). Just as importantly, the burden of lying will be lifted from your shoulders. That is liberation !

Take a deep breath, add some grit and be brave ! We're rooting for you !

Oh and maybe think about abstinence...just sayin'
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:35 AM
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I would be very hurt if I were your girlfriend and you didn't share
this information, especially as you are still actively taking medication
to deal with it.

I think carrying the burden of not telling her would be much heavier
than coming clean as well.

A person has a right to know these things before linking their life
to yours legally and emotionally, and especially before having any kids
if those are in the picture down the road.

I also agree with above that you should not be drinking in any amount.
It's a slippery slope, and easy to tumble down just when things are
looking great.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:50 AM
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Are you really an alcoholic? No alcoholic I know could sustain your drinking pattern over any length of time. I have known a few people with issues that they "medicated" with alcohol, and when the issue was resolved so was the drinking. While medicating, of couse, they appeared to have all the symptoms of alcoholc use disorder.

I imagine there are quite a few alcoholics who have tried the approach you are using, and have been unsuccessful. Recovering control is not something we can usually do, nor would we particularly want to. Drinking without consequences would be a preferable option.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:15 AM
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your question sounds more like: do i have to tell her? can't i just carry on the way i have been...

you can do whatever you like, of course.

and i understand about fear of revealing. fear about letting the other really in and see. fear of rejection. fear of being found insufficient.

if you don't feel safe enough with this person to reveal, then getting married to her is not the thing to do. entering marriage with a big secret to keep spells trouble.
not just for yourself. this is a big thing about you, your past and present struggle.

if you do not tell her, you are taking a choice away from her. you are taking away from her the possibility of making an informed choice about her own life and her life with you going forward.
you'd be cheating both of you.

and if/when you tell her, she may well decide to postpone any talk of marriage. or she may leave entirely. or she may stay. but in order for her to make the decision, she needs the truth.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:33 AM
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I relate very much to your story. The painful childhood, death from cancer (and my own 2 cancer scares), loss of a relationships, etc etc.

Sooooo. Hmmm. First of all, you aren't in recovery. Yes, you're drinking less, but you are walking a very very fine line if you are alcoholic. And you're lying. I'm sorry if that hurts but lets keep it real. You are seeing a psych, taking meds and dealing with substance use disorder which is a mental illness. And you're considering marrying a woman who has no idea. Yikes. Our secrets make us sick. Lying is never ok, no matter what the lie is. Alcoholics, me included, are expert liars and manipulators. There is no logical rational here.

Marriage is for life and it is a HUGE commitment. She has the right to know. That or risk hurting her in an irreparable way and eventual divorce. So yeah, you owe her the full truth. You owe yourself that.

If you are alcoholic then you need to get into action and grab recovery with both hands.

Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:18 PM
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now's the time
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HikeBike, it's a question of consent.

I totally get why you don't want to tell her. But by doing that you're taking away her right to give her consent (or not) to being involved under these circumstances.

Some secrets are OK in a relationship; no one is completely an open book. But if the information might change her willingness to be in the relationship, then keeping it from her is a fundamental betrayal.

It's not as bad as cheating, for example, which would be you explicitly changing the agreed terms of the relationship without her consent. But it's along the lines of not telling her if you were in the country illegally and could get deported, for example, or involved in the Mafia and could get shot, or something. It's a big dangerous secret that could totally change her life one day -- or never! -- and she's a smart and successful woman who deserves to make that choice for herself.

It's scary but I think the odds are in your favor. She knows you and loves you. Give her the chance to show you that she has chosen the full reality of you. And don't live your life knowing that you're deceiving the person you love. Your drinking history in terms of volume and ages is almost exactly like mine and I know that progression is no joke.
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