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Losing the person I love...

Old 11-20-2010, 10:26 PM
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Unhappy Losing the person I love...

It's my first time posting here. I don't know what to do anymore. I really just need to vent right now so thaks to whoever may listen.

I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years now. Last year we moved very far from home to start a life togther and I'm beginning to wonder if it was a mistake.

I love him very much but he has a drinking problem and to make things worse he is a bartender so he is surrounded by alcohol every day. Sometimes he gets very sick after an all day binge (throwing up all day, shaking and complaining that he hurts) but in a couple of days he goes and does it again. I don't understand. He just doesn't seem to be able to control himself.

I have threatened to leave a couple of times because on rare occasions he has been very mean and scary when he's drunk and it is too stressful for me to deal with. He always apologizes and he stays in control of himself for a little while but the he inevitably relapses.

I, myself, am probably a boderline alcoholic now, though I almost never to the point where I black out or get sick. I usually just like a drink or two after work and that's all. I wish my boyfriend could enjoy alcohol in a moderate and healthy way but he rarely seems to be able to.

He really is a wonderful, intelligent, kind person and I love him very much. I believe he sincerly loves me too and yet he choses to continue on this self destructive path. Why? I hurts me to see him suffering and to watch our relationship fall apart because of this. It is extra stressful for me because I am thousands of miles from home and my friends and family. I feel so alone most of the time. I have always struggled with depression but that is another story altogether.

At this point I just want my best friend back. I'm afraid to present him with an ultimatum because I really don't want to lose him. I feel like my heart is breaking. Alcohol is not the root of all our problems but it certainly isn't helping.

And before anyone suggests it, I'm not a huge believer in AA. In reality it just isn't any more effective than cold turkey and I think a lot of the principles behind it (higher power, being "diseased" ect.) are ********. If it helps you then great but there is no way in hell it would work for my boyfriend. I'm not about to get into a debate about it with anyone here. No offense.

I'm sure when he wakes up tomorrow morning he will be happy to see me. The last thing I will want to is get into a serious discussion with him about how his drinking is affecting our relationship but I know sooner or later I won't be able to handle it anymore. Even if our relationship doesn't work out (and it sometimes feels that way) I hope he will someday be able to lead a balanced life and be able to be happy with or without alcohol.

I don't know what I'll say. Wish me luck.
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:35 AM
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Not 1 reply? Really? Thanks a lot for nothing...
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:05 AM
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Sorry the forum is a bit quiet just now.
Even on a big worldwide board like this we have quiet times

Whether you believe the ideas behind the organisation or not, they have a motto in al-anon called the 3Cs - you didn't cause your bf's alcoholism, you can't control it and you can't cure it.

From my experience as an alcoholic with two failed relationships behind me, I believe in that 100%.

Ultimatums never worked for me, I'm afraid.

The only thing that did work was me reaching the point where *I* wanted to stop....and no-one, however much they bullied me, or cajoled me, or loved me could get me there...until I was ready.

I know you want to help your bf. But that's not your job. That's his job.

Your job is to help yourself. Your job is take make sure you stay healthy, have definite boundaries with your bf, and don't slip further into the hard drinking whirlpool.

And I know that folks, with way more experience from the other side than me, will be along to help you with that.

Welcome to SR
D
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:50 AM
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Hi outsidethecage

Sorry we didn't get back to you sooner. I hope you check in again soon.

I am an alcoholic
I am thousands of miles from home where they dont even speak english
I am not too keen on the AA thing either
I am seriously worried that I am going to lose the person I love (and we have been together for 33 years!)

but
today will be my day 13 of sobriety and I am feeling very positive about the future (not just for myself but also for a lot of other alcoholics who are doing their damndest to quit this mess)

I gotta say that being a barman would be virtually impossible for me - I have cleared the house of even any fumes of alcohol to make it easier.

There are 2 main differences for me this time
1) I am getting soooo much support from other alcoholics in the early stages of recovery on this forum (they speak the same language that I can properly understand)
2) I concluded that "never" drinking again was "never" going to work for me. It was way too big a task. So each day, I am doing my level best to not drink "today"

and it seems to be working!!

I have done quite a bit of research on the options available to people who are sceptical about AA and the primary thing I came up with is that you do not need to hit rock bottom before you get help - on the contrary, if people can get help BEFORE they lose their wife and job, then their prospects are remarkably good. Also, if spouses can seek treatment TOGETHER there is a much better chance of success. It is very true that your BF needs to be the one who wants to quit, and no amount of badgering from you is going to make any difference. I frequently used alcohol as a mute button to turn off the noise!

Have a look at this site where they talk about the physical effects on the brain and WHY alcoholics just keep on going back to alcohol even though they may want to quit.

Feel free to PM me if you want some other links

This is a fantastic forum and there are loads of people with loads of experience here, all wanting to help.

Dont give up on him. All the very best of luck to you both
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:16 AM
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I tried to help and support both my late AH and my now RABF thru their drinking days and this is over a 46 year period of time. My late AH became a different man entirely after being my beloved husband for over 20 years, due to alcoholic dementia and I had to leave after 5 years of hell. The only things that stopped him drinking were strokes, broken hip and being bedridden in a nursing home for 3 years.

My finally letting ABF fend for himself thru home detox, to where he got proper help and my no contact while he did his thing,.....was what led me to find my freedom from being enmeshed with him and HIS alcoholism, and led also to him still be sober for a year to now.

As lots of folks posting here have partners who don't know about SR, or that their partners come here, it means different post times as and when these folks can safely come online. Time differences also mean some are still working Friday while us Aussies are sleeping in Sat morning, and weekends are slow as family, friends and the A's may be stopping others from even trying to post here.

Keep coming and posting, read the stories of the many here in your situation. Every A believes they are special, that they are different to anyone else, and lots of those who come here are dumbfounded that their story is a repeat of lots of others.

No-one here is in a never before heard of situation, because somewhere at sometime, someone has posted the same words.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:41 AM
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It's A Long Walk Back To Forever . . . . .

[excerpt from mothersofaddicts.com]

"The other night, I was checking out in a local grocery store and was listening as the cashier chatted with one of her friends that was in the line behind me. Both girls appeared to be 19 - 20 years old and the entire topic of their conversation was about getting "blown away" later that night.

I've always wondered why young people referred to the high they achieved from alcohol or drugs, as getting "blown away" so I took a chance and looked up the word "blown" in the dictionary. Here's what I found:

blow/blown: (1) to move with speed or force, (2) to talk windily, (3) to move or be carried by, or as if by wind, (4) to melt when overloaded (as an electric fuse), (5) to shatter, burst, or destroy by explosion, (6) to spend (money) recklessly, (7) to rupture by too much pressure, (8) to lose one's composure, (9) to become violently angry, (10) to go crazy, (11) to overwhelm with wonder or bafflement, (12) to inform against.

After reading Mr. Webster's definition, I began to wonder if he had fathered a chemically dependent teenager himself.

I wanted so badly to say to these young girls . . . . that if they only knew what I knew, or had seen what I had seen, then maybe they wouldn't be so overwhelmed with the desire to get "blown away" .... yet knowing full well that it wouldn't matter to them what I had experienced, they could not understand the full impact of the devastation that can come from [alcoholi] or chemical abuse, until they had experienced it themselves.

So, I paid for my groceries and left the store, feeling a helpless type of burden for these young girls ..... young girls that I didn't even know .... for you see .... this was the night before Thanksgiving. My own young daughter, age 17 wouldn't be spending Thanksgiving with us because this very day, she had been released from a six week rehabilitation program of chemical dependency and was entered into a three month halfway house program.

The long walk back to forever had just begun . . . . .

The day I started this site was January 22, 2000. The story that you just read, "It's A Long Walk Back to Forever" .... was written by me ..... in 1984. I had such high hopes for my daughter back then. I thought we had caught her addiction early. I thought that when she came out of the program, that she would be "fixed".

The ugly truth is, she wasn't "fixed" then ..... and now, so many years later, she still wasn't "fixed". Her addiction had grown to huge proportions over the years.

Addiction isn't prejudiced. It doesn't matter who you are .... it doesn't matter what color you are .... how much money you have .... if you're homeless .....or if you have a family who loves you dearly ...... it can happen to anyone.

At first, I was so ashamed of her problem .... I tried for a long time to hide it from everybody. But you see .... having an addicted person in your family, is like having an elephant in your living room. It's so big ... it destroys everything in its path. It's so big .... no one can make it go away. So finally, everybody tries to ignore it. You step around it ..... you clean up after it ...... you fix the things it breaks. Problem is ... pretty soon .... it has destroyed so much of your life ... your family .... that you just can't ignore it anymore. And it's "broken" so much .... that you just can't continue to fix them.

[Alcohol] Drug addiction not only destroys the user, it also destroys the family. Addiction robs you of your money, it robs you of your spirit, and finally, when you have nothing else left to give it .... it robs you of your soul.

And that's how I was feeling. I had picked up after that "elephant" for way too many years now, I've cleaned up after it, I've paid for all the things it's broken, I've watched it trample over people I love. I've felt the pain of watching someone I love die a little more everyday. At this point, I had nothing else left to give it. I was too tired to clean up after it anymore. I had no more money to pay for the things it's broken. I had no more heart to keep watching it destroy the people ... and the things I love.

I had reached the end. I had finally realized and accepted the fact that there was nothing more that I could do. What I had to do, at this point, was to concentrate on "fixing me." With God's help, I had to turn her loose. Give her over to Him. I knew that He was the only one who could possibly "fix" her.

My daughter has died! She wanted to get off the [alcohol] drugs so badly. She really wanted so much to be free from her addiction, she just couldn't do it.

“Lord, Give Me Patience, and Give it to Me Right Now”


Uploaded with [URL=http://imageshack
"Guardian Angel - Prodigal Daughter"
Luke 15: 11-32

This image shows the justice and mercy of God as the Spirit of God in the form of an angel guards the prodigal daughter who has run off to the city. The angel occupies the same space as the girl but she is unaware. In a final moment of desperation she lets out a cry. The sword in the hands of the angel represents the word of God ready to defend her. So the angel protects her from her suitors. With one leg in the gutter the trail of her life can be seen. Above her head is a stain glass window that shows the welcoming arms of Jesus taking children on to his lap. This is her longing, "Could someone really love her?"
- Rik Berry -

************************************************** ****************

The Cold Embrace

Did you ever really notice when I hid my face,
When I ran to the city for the cold embrace.
You know I wasn't gonna stay for more than two weeks.
I just wanted freedom, to have some space.
I scream inside, you saw me leave
You saw me hide, I had no choice.
Mamma can you hear my voice -
Mamma tell me, can you hear my voice?
I think you feel, my burning tears
My forgotten life, come and find me now!
Daddy can you hear my prayer -
Daddy tell me, can you hear my prayer?
Did you see my smile on an empty face?
The trick is pretty easy when your past disgrace.
I'm waiting for the future life to pick me up or send me down.
I look into his eyes and scream, "Turn the page!"
Now I'm seventeen and I've lost the race.
Something's changed and I can't keep up the pace.
God if you can hear me send an angel to my side.
Do your arms still reach, is your lap a safe place?
Now I'm going down for the last time.
O God it wasn't really what I had in mind.

- Rik Berry -
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:41 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by outsidethecage View Post
It's my first time posting here. I don't know what to do anymore. I really just need to vent right now so thaks to whoever may listen.

First of all, welcome to SR! I'm sure you'll find lots of support here. I'm new to recovery but there are plenty of others who have a lot more experience on here who will soon offer their words of wisdom and experience...

I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years now. Last year we moved very far from home to start a life togther and I'm beginning to wonder if it was a mistake.

I love him very much but he has a drinking problem and to make things worse he is a bartender so he is surrounded by alcohol every day. Sometimes he gets very sick after an all day binge (throwing up all day, shaking and complaining that he hurts) but in a couple of days he goes and does it again. I don't understand. He just doesn't seem to be able to control himself.

It's very hard being in love with someone who has a drinking problem. I understand this because I have been there...Alcoholism is progressive and it's very hard to understand. It's taken me years to come to terms with and accept my XADFH (ex alcoholic defacto husband) alcoholism.


I have threatened to leave a couple of times because on rare occasions he has been very mean and scary when he's drunk and it is too stressful for me to deal with. He always apologizes and he stays in control of himself for a little while but the he inevitably relapses.

Yes, it can be very scary when they drink too much and lose the ability to control their behaviour. They lose their reasoning mind whilst drunk and this can result in the behaviour you've described. My ex has psychotic episodes whilst drunk and becomes abusive and violent...

I, myself, am probably a boderline alcoholic now, though I almost never to the point where I black out or get sick. I usually just like a drink or two after work and that's all. I wish my boyfriend could enjoy alcohol in a moderate and healthy way but he rarely seems to be able to.

Alcoholism is different. I too used to wonder why my ex couldn't drink in moderation. From what I've discovered, people with alcoholism process alcohol differently. Some people are able to have a drink or two and leave it. Others cannot. If you're feeling like you're borderline alcoholic yourself, this may be something you may wish to look at, at a time that's right for you...first things first though....

He really is a wonderful, intelligent, kind person and I love him very much. I believe he sincerly loves me too and yet he choses to continue on this self destructive path. Why? I hurts me to see him suffering and to watch our relationship fall apart because of this. It is extra stressful for me because I am thousands of miles from home and my friends and family. I feel so alone most of the time. I have always struggled with depression but that is another story altogether.

He sounds like a good person with a horrible addiction.It's so hard to think that the person you love and who you know loves you is under the grips of alcohol and leaving a trail of heartbreak and suffering.

At this point I just want my best friend back. I'm afraid to present him with an ultimatum because I really don't want to lose him. I feel like my heart is breaking. Alcohol is not the root of all our problems but it certainly isn't helping.

Oh yes, I understand the heartbreak. It's a terribly painful thing to go through because in all reality, which is so hard to come to terms with, we cannot control whether they drink or not. We can only start to look after ourselves. As they say in Al-Anon and as I read here often. You didn't cause it, you can't control it, you can't cure it. ( I hope I got that in the right order?) As for giving him an ultimatum, I believe you will know if or when it's the right time to tell him "it's me or the booze". You seem to already know that this may result in him choosing the alcohol.

And before anyone suggests it, I'm not a huge believer in AA. In reality it just isn't any more effective than cold turkey and I think a lot of the principles behind it (higher power, being "diseased" ect.) are ********. If it helps you then great but there is no way in hell it would work for my boyfriend. I'm not about to get into a debate about it with anyone here. No offense.

You sound like I used to regarding alcoholism not being a disease. There was no way I would believe it was a disease either. I too thought that was ********. I always believed it was a choice. Even my dad, sober and in AA couldn't convince me it was a disease, not that he tried to 'convince' or force me to believe that. It was a good friend of mine who finally awakened me to the fact it may be a disease. This is due to some honest discussions with her as I've seen her progress from a regular drinker to an alcoholic. Because I trust and love her, she was the one who gently questioned my philosphy on alcoholism. Now I believe that it may start out as a choice but in time it changes the neurochemistry in the brain and in fact every cell in the body is affected until the person is, in fact, in a state of dis-ease. I don't know enough about it to say anymore but I think on SR in the forum alcoholics, there's some good info on it. As for AA, my ex was court ordered to it but he never really worked the program. My dad would be dead without AA, so I suppose it's about finding the right fit. I've been to AA and I actually get a lot out of it as they say alcoholism is a three fold disease, emotional, spiritual and physical. Other than AA, I believe there are other programs out there like SMART. I don't know of any other type of treatments....I'm sure other people do.

I'm sure when he wakes up tomorrow morning he will be happy to see me. The last thing I will want to is get into a serious discussion with him about how his drinking is affecting our relationship but I know sooner or later I won't be able to handle it anymore. Even if our relationship doesn't work out (and it sometimes feels that way) I hope he will someday be able to lead a balanced life and be able to be happy with or without alcohol.

I would suggest attending Al-Anon for you for some face to face support, however it works on the same 12 step principles as AA and may not be the right fit for you. However, you're here on SR and hopefully you'll find some support here...

I don't know what I'll say. Wish me luck.
I wish you all the best Outside...

Last edited by Floss; 11-21-2010 at 05:44 AM. Reason: My spelling...again!
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:00 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NoAlcoholToday View Post
Hi outsidethecage

I have done quite a bit of research on the options available to people who are sceptical about AA and the primary thing I came up with is that you do not need to hit rock bottom before you get help - on the contrary, if people can get help BEFORE they lose their wife and job, then their prospects are remarkably good. Also, if spouses can seek treatment TOGETHER there is a much better chance of success. It is very true that your BF needs to be the one who wants to quit, and no amount of badgering from you is going to make any difference. I frequently used alcohol as a mute button to turn off the noise!

Have a look at this site where they talk about the physical effects on the brain and WHY alcoholics just keep on going back to alcohol even though they may want to quit.

Feel free to PM me if you want some other links

This is a fantastic forum and there are loads of people with loads of experience here, all wanting to help.

Dont give up on him. All the very best of luck to you both
It's truly refreshing to read that some people don't have to reach rock bottom before they decide to get help and that if they get help before they lose everything, their prospects can be good! Congrats on your 13 days NAT. To the OP. I just realised after I replied that NAT had already put up a link about the physical effects alcohol has on the brain......
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:31 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
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welcome and venting is just fine.

I love my AH and watched something similiar - not the getting sick part but physical injuries from falls and walks to/from the bar since I took away the keys. I would call to pick him up but he just cursed me out or hung up so be it. He tried to stop many times, succeeded some but never could maintain it. He would tell me how hard it was. He did well when in AA but would relapse when he stopped.

I started out giving him the option to stop or leave so he could drink in peace. He would stop and come back and eventually start all over again. So, I then I set firm limits on what I would or would not do and eventually detached fairly well. The more I pulled away emotionally, the worse he got with the drinking.

We are separated and have been for awhile... he got sober and relapsed over and again. I look at the behavior and try not to assume what he thinks or feels. I can only decide how I want to live my life and how I want to be treated.

When we first met, everything was great! He has a lot of positive attributes and seemed to really get me. I saw our relationship as a surprise and gift until things took a turn.

The hardest part of this illness is the loss of our wishes, hopes and dreams. But as my step-son (who is in recovery) put it so simply... if he wants to drink we can't stop him and will hurt ourselves trying to fight it. It hurt to lose the dreams, I don't want to hurt anymore so I let go of the fight. It hurts for awhile but we all have to go on living.

Keep posting and reading. You may not agree with everything but it is useful. It got me to the place I am at and I never imagined it possible when I first came. This is a complete reversal for me.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:43 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
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Welcome to the SR family!

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed. At the top of each section of this website there are sticky (permanent) posts. These posts contain personal experiences and loads of wisdom.

I have learned a lot by reading the experiences of others in my situation. It really helps to know that I am not alone. I am not the first woman to be in love with an alcoholic, and I am not the first woman to find myself addicted to alcohol.

Hi, I'm known as Pelican and I am a recovering alcoholic.
I am also the recovering ex-partner of a 14 year marriage to an alcoholic.
I am also recovering from my co-dependent traits.

My recovery is multi-dimensional with one common theme:
I am only in control of my choices.

This is my one precious life. I must choose how to live it.

Here is a link to a sticky post that contains excerpts from the book "Under the Influence". It helped me wrap my head around how a normal, loving person can become addicted to a liquid substance and loose control of their life.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html

I am also including a link to another sticky. This post shares steps some of us have taken when dealing with our alcoholic loved ones:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:04 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
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Welcome to SR. I can't say enough good things about the stickies at the top. There is so much information there.

I'm sorry you are in such a difficult position so far from home.

I believe he sincerly loves me too and yet he choses to continue on this self destructive path. Why?
Because he is an alcoholic that is why. That is what they do. The sad truth is an alcoholic will pick drinking over every thing and any one in their life. Alcohol becomes the primary relationship. Alcohol is what they protect, what they follow.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease so unless someone embraces recovery, it will only get worse. There is nothing you can do or say that will convince him to embrace recovery. That, I have learned, is an inside job - only he can decide when and if he is ready.

You can begin to take care of yourself by reading here. Codependent No More is a book by Melody Beattie that I found really useful. I also learned a lot about how to manage my own life while loving an alcoholic by attending alanon meetings. From the alanon site.

Many who come to Al-Anon/Alateen are in despair, feeling hopeless, unable to believe that things can ever change. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change. We all come to Al-Anon because we want and need help.

In Al-Anon and Alateen, members share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other. You will meet others who share your feelings and frustrations, if not your exact situation. We come together to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.
Since you do not like the concept of AA I'm not sure how you feel about Alanon but it might be worth a try.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:26 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
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i agree that working in a bar is not a good situation for someone who needs to address alcohol issues. My A worked as a bartender, and before he finally got sober, over the years he worked minimal shifts at a bar, so he could drink, having clear access to booze everyday.
Also, the time that he worked there, he did get so bad at times, that he wanted to seek help. I actually witnessed people who frequented the place, and other employees actively sabotage his efforts. They ridiculed him, derailed him. They did not want to see their star drinking buddy get sober. He was too good of a life of the party to let go.

It is hard to realize that your relationship is unhealthy and that it is not something that you cannot change or control on your own.

You cannot do anything for him.
You have no control over what he does, what he says, how he treats himself.
You DO have control over what you choose, what you do, what you allow yourself to be exposed to or whether you stay in a relationship that feels bad for you.

I guess you could start by weighing out how much you want to invest.
If he does not see a problem enough to get help, you may need to take some space and think things through.

you deserve happiness and health
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:26 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
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I actually witnessed people who frequented the place, and other employees actively sabotage his efforts. They ridiculed him, derailed him. They did not want to see their star drinking buddy get sober. He was too good of a life of the party to let go.
That is really really sad.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:33 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
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hi outside, I also moved to another city away from people I loved and the boyfriend I had, someone I never thought could hurt me turned out to be an alcoholic and he also said horrible stuff while drunk just to act normal the next day.

That was 2 years ago and we still work together but I try to stay as away as possible from him and his "friends" . And he is still drinking like hell.


It gets much better. I do not believe in "not giving up on him". He gives up on you and himself everytime he gets drunk and abusive. You say he gets mean and scary. I hope you take care of yourself. My ex was mean and scary and always drove and sped regardless of whoever was in the car and which state he was in. He keeps doing it. I do not believe we need to sacrifice ourselves for these kind of people.

The only person you can change is you.


I hope he will someday be able to lead a balanced life and be able to be happy with or without alcohol.


If he is an addict he will never be able to lead a balanced life with alcohol.... a life of happiness would mean being sober for a long time and also inner work using therapy/12 steps for years and years....... and still many relapse and many die as a result of their addiction... it is heartbreaking, but it is also exhausting for the people around that have every right to live a normal life without constant hurting, scares & stress.

Take care and please check out the Sticky material on top of the page .
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:47 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
I AM CANADIAN
 
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@Floss, this HBO site...what is the title of the "series" you are referring too...I am so interested....thank you

Alcohol Drug addiction not only destroys the user, it also destroys the family. Addiction robs you of your money, it robs you of your spirit, and finally, when you have nothing else left to give it .... it robs you of you

*sigh* then along comes AL ANON for the family, and AA for the alcoholic him/herself
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:41 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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I want to explain why I would not have responded.

You say you need to vent. To me, that means getting your feelings out but not really wanting any advice and so, giving unwanted advice would be crossing your boundaries from my understanding.

And you told us what you did not want or believe in and that is fine. But I wouldn't have known what kind of feedback you would be seeking other than a welcome to SR and as for that...I would have let it go figuring that someone else would be able to figure out how to respond better.

So, now I know you do want responses but still no idea what you are looking for?

Welcome to SR!!!
It saved my life!
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:50 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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outsidethecage,,

i understand your frustration. when you need help right now and no one was here.
from what you describe, it sounds like your boyfriend is addicted to alcohol.
there are other methods for recovery besides AA, but AA and AlAnon are what I am familiar with.
There are some links in the stickies, such as SMART and Rational Recovery.
I believe there is no higher power in either one of those recovery programs.

Anyway, I am glad you posted and hope you come back.

Beth
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