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i think i've hit MY rock bottom, never mind his...

Old 03-19-2011, 09:13 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Suki, again I am amazed at how fitting your tagline is - the quote from the Eagles...

Took me a few tries before I accepted things as they were. Took quite a few people telling me my husband was an alcoholic before I could accept it. Accepting meant dealing with it and I wasn't ready for close to a year. I knew, but I didn't know, because I didn't want to know, but I knew...you all here know the drill.

Pandora, good luck to you. There are many resources available to you when and if you are ready...you know where to find them...

~T
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:14 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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kittykitty, findingpeace and tuffgirl i didn't see your responses when i posted my reply just now.

i think what it boils down to is this. i would rather put up with this, painful as it is, than consider a life without him. that is why i WON'T threaten to leave him and then not follow through on it. i have already told him that i will not leave him because of this. what i really want is some advice on how to live some kind of semi normal life with a functioning alcoholic. i know things may NEVER be normal with him. but i am in this for the long haul.

i think that reading all your responses, although meant with the best intention and with caring and compassion, has made me realize that right now i AM willing to put up with it. for now. i know you probably all think i'm crazy but i have to be honest with myself. when i say for now, it means that if things DO get progressively worse (and i know that there is a great possibility of that) then i will reconsider my position. but no, i am not strong enough to walk away from the man i love. i want to stick by him.

he actually just woke up now.. and commented 'that's quite a gash on my hand' and we talked about how myself and my friend constructed a tourniquet out of a trash bag because i couldn't find any bandages.. he has gone to the bathroom and i am going to talk to him when he comes back.

wish me luck....
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:24 PM
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i also have to add: i am going to talk to him about him making some sort of commitment towards quitting drinking. that is what i ultimately want. i am not saying that i am just gonna give up and accept things as they are. thanks again for all your responses. and i am doing a LOT of thinking about this.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:57 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I would be concerned about that friend that was choking him when he was bleeding? In your first post you described a drunk Wrestlemania. If he is drinking so much that you are worried about him staggering out into the hallway naked then he needs serious help. It's great that you want to stay with him but you cannot be his solution to this life or death problem. Believe me with what you described, it is life or death.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:24 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I see the love you have for him but knowledge is key....the reality is he is already putting his life at risk. It only takes ONE bad night of excess for acute alcohol poisoning to occur, and unless you are a paramedic, nothing you will do can save him from that.

I am a normal drinker (whatever that means) and I do not aside times for the sole purpose of getting drunk. There isn't anything baffling there. If I did that, I would no longer be in the 'normal' catagory, I'd have a serious problem.

The term 'functioning' is misleading. It doesn't make the risk or danger to his health any less because he can hold a job. There is a difference between a 'good' relationship and a 'healthy' one. Getting along great with someone doesn't necessarily mean that the relationship is healthy.

Glad you are really thinking about this because there is a lot to learn and so the more you can inform yourself, the more realistic of a picture you will have.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:11 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Hi Pandora :-)

Lots of sound advice here for sure.

Your posts tho regarding how you feel about this guy reminds me somewhat of an exp' i had with a girl, who i loved tremendously.
How i felt about her, would at times have me brimming with tears. Id wade through King Tut's army itself just to hold her hand. Indeed she loved me the same also, and said for a long time through-out 10yrs she would always stand by me, and help me out of my addiction with Alcohol.
I have to say honestly that i am still at odds with the "didn't cause, cannot control, cannot cure it" statement. However! it was most certainly the case with us.
The truth is, my addiction was well under way when we met (being as clever as she is, she realized quickly), but still had some way to go to peak, which came some yrs after we broke up.
During the time we were together, i broke my own heart so many times by seeing her cry
out of pure disappointment, time and time again. I cannot put into words how i felt about her, but Alcohol had such a grip it was like "the other woman" (sorry how that sounds folks). She would say things like "Stimmed... you think more of the drink than you do me..." To hear that hurt me so much i cant tell you, as i felt my love for her had fallen into doubt.
I think now that when she began to feel this way, she felt as if she was loosing the fight.
She'd double her efforts, and i would too but my addiction was always there to cramp her style. My addiction, or me (not sure which) quite literaly wore her out.
Finaly she left and took everything we made with her.
I felt like i was on some kind of plane, with nothing above or below, complete emptyness.
Except for one thing... Alcohol.
At that time i had no boundries at all and i became completely consumed in my addiction, going down-hill both quickly and sharply.
I believe tho she had the 'Ace' and kinda knew what would happen. It took another 7yrs free-falling to the bottom, but i got there, and boy did it cure me! Id lost almost everything, finding myself homeless for about 6yrs.
I met her again 10yrs later for the first time, last Christmas Eve but one. We went for a chat, heh and she still told me off! She also said, "it wasn't that i couldn't help you anymore, i just couldn't watch you do it anymore" and her voice started to shake, "but im glad your alright"
I told her how sorry i was and thanked her for everything, she really did help save me in her own way. I also like to mention something i feel is very important...

I learned that it took her quite some time to recover herself, not from the break-up, but from the mental strain she put 'herself' through out of love. Alcohol really is not worthy of doing that to anyone, never mind someone who you are supposed to care so much about.

Just some guys perspective...

What ever you decide i hope it all works out, gl :-)
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:45 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Hi Pandora..

K.. lets look at this objectively..

You love your BF and he loves you.
Alcohol and drunken behaviour aside.. your relationship is good.
Your BF drinks to excess.
Your BF's excessive drinking causes/results in (for him): missed days at work; sleepwalking; inability to control his actions and a disregard for his physical well-being; physical injury.
Your BF's excessive drinking causes/results in (for you): worry, concern, hyper-vigilance; fear; sadness and tears; second guessing; a catalogue of pictures and videos of evidence of the consequences of the drinking.

Are the positives enough to outweigh the negatives? If yes, then stay. If no, then I suppose a change has to be made and that change has to come from you.. you are the only thing in this scenario you can control.

Only you know how it feels for you to be in this. Only you know how it feels for you to live this. Only you.. can know what is best for pandora. This all comes from you..

Tx
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:05 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Just want to say "hi" and I'm glad you found SR. Remember to come back whenever you need some support.

Have you thought about attending Al-Anon? (I'm surprised nobody has suggested it yet!) Do you need help finding a meeting?
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:01 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.-Confucius

You know whats best for both of you. You'll find out whats needed for you soon enough.

Take Care,

BTW, I got 999 miles to go !
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:27 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Hi, Pandora,

I remember cleaning up blood a lot of times, dealing with drunk friends, yadayada.

My suggestion is this. You won't be ready to leave (or even to consider leaving) until you are ready. Period. That was true for every one of us. He won't be ready to quit drinking (or even to consider it) until he is ready. That is true of every alcoholic I have ever known (and I've been married to two of them, and am an alcoholic in recovery now, myself).

So please stick around here and keep posting. But most of all, READ. And keep an open mind. When some of the things happen that we predict will happen (and I promise you, they will), keep an open mind to changing your "I could never"s. That's all. Just keep an open mind.

Realizing what you are dealing with is a process. To help you understand what you are dealing with, I highly recommend that you read AA's Big Book, an online version of which is here. The first 164 pages describe what happens in an alcoholic's mind, and what is necessary for him or her to recover. The rest of the book is personal stories about recovery from alcoholism. The Big Book was the first thing I ever read about alcoholism, and it was a real eye-opener.

The other book I recommend that you read is "Under the Influence", which you can order online.

FWIW, your boyfriend sounds a lot like my first husband, who took several months to go to AA on his own (after I split up with him for awhile), but has now been sober for 31 years. The only thing I did that I think helped him was to give him a copy of the Big Book. Nothing else I did helped him. And even with that, as I said, it was several more months and a breakup before he got sober.

With my second husband, he almost died of liver failure, went to AA for awhile, and then went back to drinking himself to death. My first husband was ready to quit, the second one wasn't. Either way, nothing I did, personally, made any difference.

I highly recommend that you get involved in Al-Anon. It will help you regain your mental balance and help you to avoid doing things that might get in the way of his being ready to recover (avoiding enabling, for example).
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:48 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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"what i really want is some advice on how to live some kind of semi normal life with a functioning alcoholic"


well then, new topic. From my experience the best way to live with them is to compartmentalize the drinking away into a little corner. When they drink, don't worry about it. Don't look for alcohol. Don't question whether they have been drinking. Expect them to behave badly and when they do, flick you hair and say out loud, "I never did worry about the little things".

We tend to compartmentalize the wrong things, and then fret about the drinking. Fret about physical abuse. ignore the drinking.

If he makes an arse of himself in public, ignore it. Laugh it off. Do you best to NOT go and pick up the pieces. Treat him like an errant school boy you have no control over. In fact, let other clean up his vomit. You'll get plenty of that at home. They will look at you with disapproval, as if you somehow have control over him. Remind them all he is a grown man, and this is his choice. You have nothing to do with it.

Expect to lose friends. Accept this as a natural consequence from those who outgrow the drinking and don't want to be a part of it. He'll make new ones. The cycle repeats.

You should take over all of your joint financial concerns, and give him an allowance. Just like you do a teenager. Do this now, so later when the drinking worsens, you will already have the mechanics in place.

Expect to live paycheck to paycheck. You will never have money in savings, unless he doesn't know about it. Hiding some reserve money is a good idea.

Try to keep his credit cards saddled with a very low balance. In a few years, they will be maxed out to what ever the debt ceiling is.

Never try to have a meaningful discussion. Make all your conversations small talk.

Never attempt to argue anything. It is 100% pointless. Try to accept the different point of view with a non threatening statement; "Well, I can see how you think that. And I might think the same thing if I were wearing your shoes. Based on my experience I see it differently. Could we just agree to disagree?". This will save you a lot of yelling. Really.

Don't let him drive the nice car. It will get dents in it. Lots of dents.

Do not have children with this man. It is a crime to knowingly bring children into an alcoholic family. Children will not make things better.

While all this may sound flippant, it is truly from the heart. These coping skills will help you. The sooner I put all these in place, the sooner my life improved. Although I must admit I did have kids with mine, and that is why I'm still here. 20+ years of experience living with an Alcoholic. I don't wish it on anyone.

Good luck.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:42 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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...everything ZRX said plus a couple more very important suggestion: Don't marry him. Don't co-mingle your finances. Don't sign a lease with both your names on it.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:46 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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zrx- wow.

thanks
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:53 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Now, looking back at the last few posts from people who have been there, done that...who would willingly make that choice?! I know I wouldn't, if I had the chance to have a do-over. I think I deserve better than that kind of life, and am done dealing with active alcoholics. If my RAH stays sober and in AA and on the right track as he has been so far, then we have a chance. If not, then I move on. And I won't look back.

Something I've quoted here before and think is relevant again:
"If you are in a relationship with someone who has a relationship with a substance, you have a rival with whom you cannot compete. You need to give some long, hard thought to the relationship and to your expectations about the relationship; you need to make a careful assessment of what really exists versus what you would like to have exist."

Emotional Unavailability, Bryn C. Collins
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:29 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I was going to tell you that if you want to stay, you have to stop trying to control his drinking...completely stop. But, zrx laid it all out perfectly for you--EXACTLY how live with him.

Also, you will have to accept that most of what he says to you will be lies. Recognize the lies, and adjust accordingly. You will ultimately find that you stop asking him questions because you won't believe what he says anyway.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:57 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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thank you justfor: yes i am very concerned about this 'friend' of his.. who is a WORSE drinker than my bf and i feel a bad influence on him. it is not the first time he has laid a hand on him (he's punched him, they have this silly game of hitting each other for fun sometimes on the arm etc when they're drunk) and yes i do consider this to be a life or death situation.

babyblue: yes i am scared that he is going to drink himself to death. because i cannot always be there to protect him (i have been revolving everything i do around him, to make sure that he doesn't hurt himself.. however that night's events hit me hard because i was literally in the next room and i couldn't stop him from getting hurt).
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:35 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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stimmed: thank you so much for your perspective. i have said a few times to him that i it seems that he puts alcohol over me. it is very hard and a constant worry for me. sometimes i avoid drinking just so that i will not be impaired should the need come to carry him home, talk our way out of some situation etc etc. so it affects my enjoyment of some social situations. yeah it's a drag, honestly.

hi tallulah yes the good does outweigh the bad.. but now i am reflecting on the fact that he could literally kill himself through drinking and i am 'condoning' that (by allowing this relationship to continue the way it is. this is a harder decision that i thought.

hi tjp613: i actually went to one meeting back when he made the decision to quit hard liquor. there was only one guy there (hosting the meeting) and me.. so i never went back again. i would be down to go to another meeting if there were actually some people there!

hi Lexiecat: i am keeping a very open mind, and actually some of these recent replies have really helped look at things in a different way. i am considering the fact that staying with him because i can't bear the thought of living without him could cause him to stay in the alcoholism for longer.. does this make sense? at the moment he doesn't have a reason to quit.. because i am still here when he comes home.

thank you zrx and buttercream. it's a lot to think about. i have tried to do the distancing myself from it and letting him just get on with it but then the worry and paranoia sets in and i have to go in and 'fix' everything. i know that some of things i have done have probably enabled him to go on drinking. over a year and a half ago i confronted him about his problem (he was drinking a bottle of whisky a day) and he immediately gave up the whisky but he has replaced it with beer, and doesn't drink every day but perhaps this is just prolonging the problem rather than helping..

rayn3drop: yes, you're absolutely right, to a certain extent..APART from his heavy drinking (which doesn't happen every night, say between 1-4 times a week, which yes is still a LOT) our relationship is happy. but yes, it is tainting and threatening to destroy a relationship which could be perfect. and you're also right about the friends. if he didn't have a problem with drink he could easily say 'no', but i also feel that some people are just bad energy and it's best just not to be around them.

an update: we had a LONG talk last night, kind of productive but he still didn't commit to actually STOPPING. he wanted to look at compromises, i said that we had tried that before but it wasn't really working. i said that i couldn't promise that i would stay with him if he continued to drink and suggested perhaps moving out (i didn't say i would outright but wanted to put it into his mind as something i was thinking i would do) and he got very upset and said he didn't want me to do that. he said he didn't want to see me this unhappy and i said that the only thing that would make me happy would be to see him not drinking any more. i said that he couldn't have both. drinking and me.

we also discussed the fact that certain friends would probably drop him if he stopped drinking and i said 'well they weren't much friends to begin with if they only want to be around you if you're drinking, we have plenty of friends who would respect the fact that you aren't drinking'. we also talked about the activities he enjoys doing that don't involve drinking. it is a START at least. he was very quiet at the end for a long time, thinking. we went to bed and i left today to go out with friends and just got back now so we haven;t had a chance to talk again about it. it was the most productive talk we have had so far about his drinking. he knows i am serious and i think he is starting to take me more seriously. i PRAY that this will be the start of something positive. please keep us in your prayers. thank you all again. this site is wonderful and i think i am going to be here for a while....
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:31 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Stimmed thanks, your post helped me tonight.

pandora another tip, please sleep with your room locked. Perhaps in their drunken stupor they think its fun to go to your room. I say this with love as your post reminded me of a time when an exABF and his friend drank ALL night and XABF kept coming to my door. They could have easily done me harm.

God protected me that night.

I have you in my thoughts.
Read "codependent no more" you'll benefit from it in many ways!! well it has helped me...
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:41 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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You say that your boyfriend is a wonderful boyfriend when he is not drinking. You then go on to say he is drunk 3-5 times a week and blind drunk 1-2 times a week. So when is he wonderful and not drunk?

Do you know what enabling is? It's where we do things for the alcoholic that makes it easier for them to drink. Like looking after them when they're drunk, drinking with them, making sure they get to bed, making sure they don't bleed to death, making them agree to promises they can't keep...

YOU are exhibiting CLASSIC codependent traits and unless YOU get some help YOU will get sicker and sicker until you think you're losing your mind.

You can't make him stop. He has to want to stop for himself and he doesn't. This behaviour will continue for YEARS and YEARS until YOU do something to make it stop.

Alcoholics don't have relationships, they have enablers.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:09 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Pandora, you may find a theme running through the posts here in your thread. We are all talking about how to take care of yourself. You are still talking about how to help/save/cure your boyfriend and asking us to wish you luck on that. None of the old-timers here will do such a thing; they will say a prayer for you that you find your own peace and enjoyment in life instead of spending so much time worrying about someone you can't control nor cure. Al-Anon would really benefit you right now...I hoep you consider trying some meetings. You won't find the answers you are seeking here, though.

One other suggestion that many of us do occasionally - go to the alcoholism forum and post your issue there. Let the recovering alcoholics talk about how they reached their bottom. Read their stories. Go to an open AA meeting in your town. You'll find a common theme there, as well. Do this before you completely throw your life aside to "protect" someone else who doesn't really want nor need your protection. He's a grown man who will make his own decisions, whether you like them or not.

There are many good books out there on alcoholism. One I read early on was, "Why don't they just quit", by Joe Herzanek. In order to truly combat alcoholism you'll need to understand exactly what you are fighting against and develop a strategy that takes that into account.
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