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I don't know if I made the right decision. It is killing me.

Old 11-12-2010, 08:53 AM
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I don't know if I made the right decision. It is killing me.

Sorry so long - but I feel it is all necessary to describe what I am going through.

My boyfriend and I have known each other for about a year. We talked on the phone almost every day, and met up a few times, and knew we were going to be in a relationship together. We were both just waiting until we were ready as we had both been through bad breakups in the last 1-2 years. I knew I loved him long before we started officially dating, which was a little over 2 months ago. I stayed at his house a lot, and we would drink together a lot. I thought it was a little excessive, but I enjoy drinking so didn't think too much of it.

Then I started to notice him drinking in the morning, brining alcohol everywhere. I knew he had a problem. And I was going to talk to him about it, but he actually came to me with it. He woke me up one morning and said he couldn't do it anymore. That he had a problem. That 2 years ago he was actually in rehab for 3 months and started drinking again a year later. He said he couldn't afford rehab but he had to stop. I offered to help him detox and to take care of him. So that's what we did. It took about 6 days before he was feeling better. But on the 3rd day I went to the grocery store and while I was gone, he woke up on the floor, not remembering anything, to see a table knocked over and his face bruised and bloody. I told him it was probably just a symptom of the withdrawals.

After the sixth day, I needed to go home. There was a bottle of wine in the fridge, that he had never opened, and I stuck it in my bag before I left. But he saw me, and got mad. He told me that he can drink if he wants to, and to leave the wine there. So I did. And later that night he told me he was having one glass of wine. And I went there the next night, and there had only been one glass of wine gone. Anyways, eventually after about a week he was full-blown drinking again. I didn't try to stop him after getting advice about not interfering and letting him do what he wants. I hated being around him while drunk because he would either sleep all of the time, or be really happy and tell me things that he wouldn't remember. He was always contradicting himself or telling me that he had told me something, when he actually hadn't. And then making me feel like an idiot because I don't remember.

Anyways... he came to me again, saying that he messed up, and needed to detox again. So I agreed to help him through it. But this time he had just started a new job and could only do it over the weekend. So he stopped drinking Friday after work, and I spent the weekend with him detoxing. It was a lot easier for him this time. He had to go to work Monday morning, still with the shakes. I got a call from him later that night that he was in the hospital. He had had a seizure at work, and they called an ambulance. The doctor said he had grand mal seizures, and that he should see a neurologist. I asked if he told her that he had just quit drinking, he said yes. But I'm not sure if I believe that. He was put on a medication to help the seizures not come back, but he needed to see if he had a brain tumor or lesions that were causing the seizures. I was/am convinced it was because of the withdrawals.

He had been sober for a week and a half. Things were so good. I thought he had done it. But 2 nights ago, I was on the phone with him and he sounded drunk. I asked if he had been drinking and he said no. I was talking to him for about 45 minutes, and then he just stopped talking. He wouldn't answer when I called back. He eventually called me back, and said he thinks he just had a seizure and he could barely talk. Crying, short of breath. And then he started making awful noises, like he was having another seizure. But then it would go away, and I would try to talk to him but I couldn't understand him. I told him that I was going to call him back in 2 minutes, I was going to go get my things and then drive down to his house (which is 45 minutes away). The entire drive down there, he was on the phone with me, crying and screaming in pain and making strange noises, then he would calm down, say he is fine, tell me not to call an ambulance, and this would repeat every 5 minutes. I got there as fast as I could.

When I got there, I laid in bed with him and comforted him, and he had some more of these mini-seizures. He told me that he was scared because the medication hadn't worked, and he said he has been having the mini-seizures for a week, even at work. I doubted that, because I don't know how he could hide the flailing and pain while at work. Eventually he went to sleep, and I looked through his kitchen for signs of liquor. And sure enough, there was a bottle of vodka that looked like it had maybe 5 shots taken out of it. I called some friends for advice, then went to sleep on his couch. I woke him up in the morning, and then went back on the couch. I heard him get up, pour some juice, and then I heard the cupboard with the vodka in it open, I heard the lid open and close. He went into the shower, I looked everywhere for the bottle, but it was hidden.

I went to my car, and started writing him a letter. That I loved him so much, and wanted nothing more than to have a life with the sober him. But that I couldn't watch him kill himself anymore. That I saw the bottle, I know he had been drinking. That is has been too painful for me to watch him like this. That those seizures he is having is because of the alcohol. That he needed to make a choice, whether he wants to be this person, or if he wants to be serious about being sober and healthy. And that until he made that decision, I couldn't be around him while he is drinking. I told him it was so hard for me to say this, and how much I loved him. I told him that if he wanted to talk about this, to please call me.

I went back into his apartment. I gave him a hug, and a kiss, and while he was asking what was wrong, I handed him the letter. And I said I have to go, I love you. Then I left.

This was the hardest thing I had ever done. Because I know that I was risking our relationship by doing what I was doing. But I felt I had to.

A few minutes later, I got a voicemail from him saying 'I haven't read this whole letter yet, but I just wanted to tell you that I want my keys back. I was hoping to get them from you while you were still in town so you don't have to come back here. But yeah, I'm going to need those back.'

Since then, I have been devastated. It has been two days and I have not heard from him. I can't stop crying, I can't stop thinking maybe I did too much. I don't want our relationship to be over, and I don't want him to be angry with me. I just don't know what to do. There is nothing more than I want to call him and try to get him to talk to me about this, but I am not sure if that would be a good thing. I am completely, utterly fearful that he is not going to want to be with me after this, and that he is not going to want to get sober. Or that he is going to end up drinking so much now that he dies. I don't know what to do. I love him so much and I don't know what to do. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:03 AM
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Welcome to SR. Take some time and read the posts from others who are or have been where you are. The stickie posts at the top of this forum contain a wealth of information.

The question to ask yourself is whether you are prepared to be in a relationship with him as he is right now. Because that is the only kind of relationship he can offer you at this point. He isn't done drinking regardless of what he says or however many times he comes to you admitting he has a problem. Of course, it may all be moot since it appears he is ready to end the relationship. Trust me, you are much better off just returning his keys and letting him do whatever he is going to do. He'll do it anyway but at least you won't have to deal with the madness.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:08 AM
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Hi jluebs, and welcome to SR!

It is painful to know that someone is slowly destroying themselves with alcohol.

Since he had previously been in rehab, he has the tools to live a sober life. He made the choice to start drinking again.

Are you attending Alanon? If not, I highly recommend checking into meetings in your area because there you will find face-to-face support among those who understand. Those of us who have loved an alcoholic need our own program of recovery to heal from the effects that alcoholism has had on our lives.

"Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is an excellent starter book.

Please take the time to read through some of the sticky topics at the top of this forum and educate yourself on alcoholism

There are 3 C's to remember:
You didn't cause his alcoholism.
You can't control his alcoholism.
You can't cure his alcoholism.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease.

Please do continue to post and know that you are among friends.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:11 AM
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You have a boundary. You will not be around him while he is drinking. That is good. Excellent. You have done the right thing. Do no lose yourself. Keep that boundary in your mind at all times. Keep doing the next right thing. You'll know what that is, not because it feels good or easy, but because the right thing will be the thing that honors yourself, and your boundaries.

Mail his keys back and then wait and see what happens. IME brace yourself because he'll soon be drowning you in all kinds of words. Pay attention to his ACTIONS. Those are what matter. Those are where the truth lies. Honor yourself. Attend alanon meetings.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jluebs View Post
I am completely, utterly fearful that he is not going to want to be with me after this, and that he is not going to want to get sober. Or that he is going to end up drinking so much now that he dies.
I'm sorry, sweetie...but these fears are completely justified and exactly what you must prepare for. Alcohol has a very strong grip on this young man and if seizures and detoxing and the ER aren't enough to 'wake him up' then I'm afraid you may have met your match.

Your dilemma now is to come to grips with the fact that there is absolutely nothing you can do for HIM other than pray. You can talk to him, you can sleep with him, you can detox with him, you can do anything you want...but the fact remains that until the pain of drinking becomes greater than the pain of quitting, he is not ready. And then, even if he did seek recovery, he has a very long road ahead of him....with the possibility of relapse after relapse, which is an integral part of this disease.

I am sorry. I wish the reality were very different. I know it's not what you want to hear. You want to know what you can DO!

I suggest to you that you stick very close to this message board, read all the stickies at the top of the forum, think about attending an Al-anon meeting, and read everything you can about alcoholism and co-dependency.

Let us know how we can help.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:16 AM
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PS - Mail those keys back to him.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:21 AM
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jluebs (((hugs))) Hope you are doing okay. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Very smart girl for writing that letter!!! I am impressed!

Here is my feedback and advice. Please take what you like and leave the rest.

1. Acknowledge to yourself that this is not REALLY killing you. Thinking that way is called "awfulizing" and it makes things we need to be able to handle worse.
2. He is a drama queen who uses your goodhearted nature to get you to enable and baby him. He (and his alcoholism) thrives on the attention. Tell him that the next time he calls you with seizures you are going to hang up the phone and dial 911. Then do so. Then go take a nice, long bubble bath and/or curl up in bed with a book.
3. "I want my keys" is an emotional manipulation. He wants you to panic at the fear of "losing" him. Don't fall for it. Detach emotionally. If you do not know how to do this, you can learn it at Al-Anon. You can also Google "how to detach emotionally" and probably get some good information. The thing here is DO NOT drive those keys to him. If he wants his damn keys, he can drive the hour to get them and the hour back himself. This is also a power play and by getting you to OBEY, he keeps the upper (alcoholic) hand.

So, do you have friends and family close by that you can spend time with to keep your mind off his shenanigans? Glad you are here. Keep coming back and reading people's posts and soon you will see that you are not the only one going through this.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:22 AM
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Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am going to an Al-anon meeting tonight. I am just struggling right now with not knowing whether to contact him. I feel like if I could just talk to him and explain it more, and that what I did was out of love and not meant to hurt him, that he would be responsive. Besides him hiding drinking from me at times, we have always been able to be very open and honest with each other. I am just afraid that I did too much, and that he feels like I am abandoning him. I didn't want him to think I didn't want to talk to him, I just didn't want to be around him while he was drinking. Right now, I am coping, because I know he is at work. But in 40 minutes that will change. I wish the meeting was sooner than 7pm =/ Again, thank you everyone. I appreciate it, and your words have not fallen on deaf ears.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:27 AM
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Thanks, Learn2Live. You are right on the money on all 3 points. Especially #3. That is one thing my mother told me that morning when I told her what he said. She said it is the disease talking, and that it was a response out of anger. And a way to hurt me where he knew it would hurt me most.

I do have people around that I can spend time with, although their availability is undesirable. I am a strong person and need to be able to focus on myself and learn to deal with this when others aren't around.

P.S. - I'm not a girl, I'm actually a boy(man) No offense taken, though!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:43 AM
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I am going to an Al-anon meeting tonight.
Excellent!

I am just struggling right now with not knowing whether to contact him. I feel like if I could just talk to him and explain it more, and that what I did was out of love and not meant to hurt him, that he would be responsive. Besides him hiding drinking from me at times, we have always been able to be very open and honest with each other. I am just afraid that I did too much, and that he feels like I am abandoning him. I didn't want him to think I didn't want to talk to him, I just didn't want to be around him while he was drinking.
Right. It IS a struggle. We DO feel like we need to explain and we DO worry about their feelings and that they misunderstand. Or we think maybe they did not hear us right. We want to make sure that we are perfectly clear to them how we really feel and why we really behaved the way we did. So we tell them over and over again exactly what is going on. And we keep telling them and none of it ever makes a difference. It is like trying to reason with the Tazmanian Devil.

He knows all this instinctively. THAT is why he left the "I want my keys back" voicemail. To get you to second-guess yourself, to get you to react, to hurt you emotionally so that you have to run back to him. It is up to you to step off the merry-go-round, which you have done. You have made up your mind to take care of yourself by staying away from this very sick person. Now it is up to you to MAINTAIN this mindset and STAY OFF the merry-go-round. But it is just like the addict or alcoholic, we make up our minds not to drink or drug again and then two days later, we are back to where we started.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:43 AM
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Oh sorry! I made an assumption. My bad.
P.S. Your mother sounds like a smart woman!
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:48 AM
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Wow, I'm astounded by your strength. I must have taken everything for you to write that letter and calmly walk out, without any drama. Kudos to you for that.

As for whether or not he won't want to be with you, that is entirely outside the realm of your control, just as his addiction is. I don't know where your spiritual beliefs lie, but to be honest, it is through my experience with an alcoholic partner that I discovered my faith in a higher power. It made me realize my utter helplessness in the face of addiction and taught me how to surrender to my higher power. I know it sounds like a midnight informercial, but I truly and honestly believe that everything happens for a reason.

Your decision to leave your ABF (alcoholic boyfriend) may lead him to reach that all important bottom and find recovery *for himself*. In addition, your crisis with your relationship lead you here, to SR, where support and hope abound. I'm so glad you're here. I hope you keep posting and reading as much as you like. SR is always open (and we don't charge an entrance fee )
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 AM
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P.P.S. One of my old BFs (not an alcoholic or addict, very good head on his shoulders, etc) once told me that because I am such a caretaker, I tend to baby people. He told me I should get a small dog and spend all my caretaking and babying on the dog. I am wondering if maybe I shouldn't do this. I also got the impression (and I apologize ahead of time if I am wrong jluebs) that you may also be a caretaker. It sounds like you have a very big heart. I did come to realize this about myself when I first got into Al-Anon. It was eye-opening.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:55 AM
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I am not a doctor and cannot make a diagnosis but I just wanted to jump in here and say that, while the seizures may be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal (and it's very dangerous to attempt to detox at home), they were also a symptom of end-stage alcoholism in my late boyfriend. So whether you want to pursue a relationship with an active addict is your business, but the decision may be made for you if your boyfriend is, indeed, an end-stage alcoholic and he continues to drink and avoid treatment. And for most folks, including me, that is too big a burden to carry.

And while it is a much healthier and prudent choice to pursue a relationship with an emotionally available, emotionally healthy, and physically healthy partner, I realize that you will do whatever you currently deem best for yourself, regardless what folks here recommend. So I will only say welcome to the forum and we are here to offer support, answer your questions, and share our experiences.

And one more thing, Alanon is a wise choice.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by FormerDoormat View Post
I am not a doctor and cannot make a diagnosis but I just wanted to jump in here and say that, while the seizures may be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal (and it's very dangerous to attempt to detox at home), they were also a symptom of end-stage alcoholism in my late boyfriend.
I am so sorry to hear about your late boyfriend. And no offense, but I hope I am not in your shoes some day... It seems that he is getting the seizures now from drinking a lot, and not just in the period after quitting drinking. Is this what your boyfriend experienced?

This is where I am not sure what to do. Because if he ends up dying from this soon, I feel like I could have done more. I feel like I just need to go down there and have one conversation with him, talk some sense into him, try to get him to realize that this is actually killing him - and he will die if he doesn't stop. I know it is stupid to think that he may not know this, but he has not been through this kind of thing before on his own. I feel like if I could just tell him that one more night of drinking can kill him - that I can maybe shock him enough and get him into some sort of treatment. I feel like I have to talk to him now, our relationship aside, the last thing I want is for him to be dead. I am convinced that I need to try this one time. I am so scared for him now...!
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
P.P.S. One of my old BFs (not an alcoholic or addict, very good head on his shoulders, etc) once told me that because I am such a caretaker, I tend to baby people. He told me I should get a small dog and spend all my caretaking and babying on the dog. I am wondering if maybe I shouldn't do this. I also got the impression (and I apologize ahead of time if I am wrong jluebs) that you may also be a caretaker. It sounds like you have a very big heart. I did come to realize this about myself when I first got into Al-Anon. It was eye-opening.
Heh - yes, I already realize this about myself. This is one of my biggest issues in relationships. I tend to care so much about the other person that I stop caring about myself. Which is why writing that letter and doing what I did was so hard. I had never done that before, I have never put my own relationship at risk by a direct action on my part. I usually let people walk all over me until they have had enough and leave me in the dust. But now I did something different, and it is very hard for me to adjust to. I have the biggest heart. Sometimes too big!
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jluebs View Post
Because if he ends up dying from this soon, I feel like I could have done more. I feel like I just need to go down there and have one conversation with him, talk some sense into him, try to get him to realize that this is actually killing him - and he will die if he doesn't stop. I know it is stupid to think that he may not know this, but he has not been through this kind of thing before on his own.
It isn't going to make a bit of difference what you might say to him.

He is going to do what he is going to do.

He's been through rehab.

He knows the potential consequences of active alcoholism.

If any of us had the incredible power to make an alcoholic see what they are doing, to 'wake' them up, to shock them, there would be no need for places like SR or Alanon.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:28 AM
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This is where I am not sure what to do. Because if he ends up dying from this soon, I feel like I could have done more. I feel like I just need to go down there and have one conversation with him, talk some sense into him, try to get him to realize that this is actually killing him - and he will die if he doesn't stop. I know it is stupid to think that he may not know this, but he has not been through this kind of thing before on his own. I feel like if I could just tell him that one more night of drinking can kill him - that I can maybe shock him enough and get him into some sort of treatment. I feel like I have to talk to him now, our relationship aside, the last thing I want is for him to be dead. I am convinced that I need to try this one time. I am so scared for him now...!

Dear, almost every one of us have felt this way. We thought that surely there was something we could say that would cause them to suddenly realize the path they were on. That because we love and care about them, we have the power to make them see how badly they are hurting themselves and those that love them. That just one more talk with them will open their eyes and they will make the decision to get help and stop the self-destruction.

Sadly, almost every one of us have found out that we are just not that powerful. That until the addict/alcoholic is in such discomfort and pain and disgust, they won't change the path they are on. It has to be more painful for them to continue as is than it would be to make the hard choices and change. Until they are at their most miserable, there is nothing any of us can do for them. We have to realize that all we can do is take care of ourselves.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:36 AM
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As much as we who post on these boards like to believe our words have a certain power of persuation, if my words ever changed anyone, my XAH would be clean, sober and healthy.

He's obviously not.

Hi. I'm NoDaybut2day. And I'm powerless about a whole bunch of things, including other people's addiction.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post

Dear, almost every one of us have felt this way. We thought that surely there was something we could say that would cause them to suddenly realize the path they were on. That because we love and care about them, we have the power to make them see how badly they are hurting themselves and those that love them. That just one more talk with them will open their eyes and they will make the decision to get help and stop the self-destruction.
Well, see - that is my issue. I have never had a talk with him like this before. The first time I ever have expressed how much his drinking hurt me and that I couldn't handle it anymore was in the letter I gave him two days ago. Everything else we went through he admitted to himself and I was just supportive. I feel like I have to have a talk with him about this. I have to at least try. Because I haven't really yet. That letter was the first time.
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