I don't know what to do

Old 01-26-2011, 06:01 PM
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I don't know what to do

My husband has always been a heavy drinker. He holds down a job, we cope ok financially, so it's not been much of an issue. Occasionally he cuts down but his job is stressful so he starts drinking again. He only drinks when he gets home from work, and rarely suffers from a hangover. And if he does he just works through it.

I am starting a full time university course soon. It will be hard as we have 3 kids, only 2 at school, and I will be working shift so I need him to take care of the kids when I can't (daycare and school picks ups, drop offs). Also we need to cut back on everything for daycare costs.

Last night my husband told me he has been trying to cut back, or stop drinking, but he can't. If there's no beer in the house by 7pm he has to go and buy some. He bought a slab of beer (24 bottles) and drank it all in 2 nights. He has been keeping beer in the garage and only putting one six pack at a time in the fridge so I didn't notice how fast it's been going. He has been spending a fortune on beer, and if there is no beer he will drink my cider or wine (I don't drink much so tend to have a bottle of one or the other in the fridge for those occasions when I fancy a drink). Most weeks he has been drinking over 80 units of alcohol. I had no idea he drank that much.

He told me because he was ashamed, and knew he was drinking too much. He says he has known this for a year now. His last beer he threw down the sink (before telling me) and already he is worried about how he will cope not drinking again.

I don't know what to do. I am so angry that when I should be leaning on him to support me through my course, instead I am going to be a shoulder for him whilst he deals with this. I know my anger is not helping. I dialled AA 24 hour helpline and handed him the phone, and he said the man was helpful and said a lot that makes sense. He has agreed to go to an AA meeting tonight, but he is embarrassed and keeps making jokes about it. I don't know if he will go.

I just don't know what to do. I feel helpless and lost.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:09 PM
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Hello Meggy, I know you will find support here. I did. Folks will come along with stories very similar to yours and show you how they found their way out of feeling helpless and lost.

As others have told me, "you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it."

While you are waiting for others to respond you might want to look at some of the other posts and you may find some helpful thoughts there.

Take care.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:10 PM
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to SR Meggy.
I would just like to say that alcoholics in general have very poor coping skills. This is something they can learn. AA will help him in this regard. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your husband, and your family tonight. While he seeks out AA, you may want to seek out AlAnon.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:40 PM
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Well, there's a couple of hopeful things in here (welcome, BTW!).

The main one being that HE brought up the issue of being concerned about his own drinking, and confiding that to you, and showing some willingness to get help. Those are BIG positives. It's the people who look for help only to get a spouse or parent off his or her back that are lousy risks.

He may not recover right away, and there may be some slips and he might not go to AA right away, preferring to try to quit on his own, first. None of those things have to be considered terribly alarming. The point is that HE knows he has a problem and wants to deal with it.

I wouldn't worry too much about his recovery efforts causing any huge problems with your schooling. If his drinking hasn't been causing huge problems, it's unlikely that he is going to suddenly go to pieces because he is in recovery. Sometimes there's some irritability at first, and he may have to be off attending meetings a lot in the beginning. But it's a small price to pay if he gets sober before you have a huge drinking problem to live with.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:10 PM
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I just don't know what to do. I feel helpless and lost.

Deep breath!

You don;t know what to do because your whole body is screaming "Action" and yet it is not you that can change the drinker or the drinking.

An alcoholic will drink. They drink when they promise not to. They drink at the worst possible moments. They hide their drinking. They may make a stab at a recovery program if it will just get everybody off their back for a that they can drink!!!

We have absolutely No control over this and most of our efforts to "help' them actually do us a lot of harm.

The place we can make changes is in our selves and our own lives. I know the first time I heard that it made me so mad. I had to get over my mad self before anything changed for the better!

Glad you're here! He will do what he will do - go to AA, sober up, find recovery - or keep drinking. It is rarely a straight path. And his recovery is entirely up to him 100%. And yours is up to you.

And that's actually great news!!

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:21 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I am feeling a little less stressed having looked around the forum. We are struggling to pay for an operation my son needs and we could have easily funded it if he wasn't drinking, I think maybe that (and the fact he has finally admitted he can't stop even when he wants to) might be the "rock bottom" that everyone has mentioned on the forums. I hope so. I can't cope if he hits any lower.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:51 PM
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Hi Meggy!
welcome, Im new here also but have found SR to be tremendously helpful already.

I agree with Lexie - the fact that HE brought this up by himself is a good sign - a GREAT sign in fact.

Its only the first step, but its a start!

How old are your kids? are they aware of anything?
It sounds like he kept it hidden well, and was a 'steady' like mine. just buzzed all day long, rarely falling down drunk.
That almost worse someimes!
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:33 PM
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same planet...different world
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Hi Meggy and welcome to SR!

Take your time and get settled in
have a look around
do a little reading
and some research here and there...

I would like to add that
anyone drinking a large quantity of alcohol
is risking their life if they
attempt to stop cold turkey
without direct medical supervision.

SO before he tries to cold turkey
or whatever -
please let him know that
a doctor needs to supervise
and advise him
on the best way to go about it.

safety lecture over.

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:01 PM
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Well he's home from work, drinking cups of tea, but saying he thinks he'll be fine without AA and he won't need to see a doctor because it's not like he drank that much

I've said I will not force him
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:06 PM
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Well, there's a couple of hopeful things in here (welcome, BTW!).

The main one being that HE brought up the issue of being concerned about his own drinking, and confiding that to you, and showing some willingness to get help. Those are BIG positives.
I second Lexie. Even if he's not ready to do it now, just admitting that he has a problem is a huge thing.

I feel like I want to reach through the screen and hug you (OK, I'm an old fart and a hugger, so it's not creepy, think of it as a grandma hug!). I recognize so much of what you're saying from where I was when I first came here: He's keeping a job and he's blaming the job stress for drinking and you love him dearly and you're scared for him and protective of him at the same time you want to wring his neck for not being there for you like you need him to be.

Al-Anon saved my sanity. I truly believe that. Learning about how addiction works, and also learning about what coping techniques I had developed in the relationship, and also learning what I was doing that wasn't helping, that was monumental. And Al-Anon did two more things (at least) for me: It gave me a place to feel normal, a place where everyone nodded like they recognized it when I talked about hidden bottles and fear of whether he was really sober when he drove the kids to school the next morning, and it also gave me the tools to live a surprisingly happy life with my AH for several years.

I ended up leaving. Many don't. But the tools and knowledge you can get from Al-Anon, and from the collective knowledge & wisdom here, can give you the strength to stand on your own two legs and determine what you want your life to look like, and work towards that. All is not lost. (((hugs)))
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