Beer to Whiskey

Old 11-09-2011, 07:57 PM
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Beer to Whiskey

My AH is almost 62, he has been a heavy drinker most of his life. He is up and down on the drinking, when he drinks it is with an all or none attitude. He was downing an average of 90 beers a week when he drank. He may drink for weeks or months at a time, then quit for days, weeks or months. Here recently he has switched from beer to whiskey, the whiskey affects him differently, he gets staggering, slobbering, sloppy drunk, besides loud and obnoxious. I can't wait until he passes out.
It used to be my stomach would just knot up at every pop of the beer can, now the smell of whiskey makes me almost sick. I know this is stressing me and I want to be able to just let it go, but the gut wrenching feeling knowing its gonna be another drunk night, just gets to me.
I never say anything to him about his drinking other than his health is not good already and drinking is not a healthy option. I hold it all in and suffer in silence over what it does to me. Or should I say what I allow it to do to me...
He just recently got out of the hospital for pnemonia because he has COPD from many years of smoking. He quit smoking when we got togather, but the damage was already done. He has also had heart attacks, triple bypass heart surgery, lung surgery, back surgery and only one functioning kidney.
So, here is a man who is not all that healthy drinking a 5th or two of whiskey a night.
I just needed to vent, he is sober tonight and sleeping after a hard drunk last night. At his age and with his health problems, my biggest fear is that one day this hard drinking is going to be the end of him and I feel totally helpless to stop it.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:37 PM
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Accepting the helplessness is the hardest part of loving an alcoholic. It's the most frustrating thing -- to want so desperately to help someone who needs it, but the only thing that can help them is for them to make that decision themselves.

Totally unfair.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:50 PM
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That's really sad. You fears are quite justified. It's tough to have a front row seat at a show you didn't want to see. You can always leave the show, though. Because it's going to go on whether or not you're there to watch it.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:07 AM
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I hope you find an Alanon meeting. It will help you learn to cope. They have been where you are and will help you alot. They totally understand what you are going through and will help you learn to cope.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:50 AM
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Hi tlm, and Welcome to SR!

Those of us who have had to deal with an alcoholic know all to well that hopeless feeling. I can tell you, however, that you can be happy again whether the alcoholic in your life is drinking or not.

Keep reading, keep are among people who understand.

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Old 11-12-2011, 07:34 AM
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As a recovering alcoholic ( 4yrs. yesterday ) I understand his behavior.
I was, in a way, slowly committing suicide...and there was really nothing anyone could do to stop it until I decided to.
I would highly suggest an Al-Anon meeting, at least try going to 4-5 if you don't feel comfortable at will gain perspective and understanding on your role in this and whether or not you care to continue on in this relationship.
Alcoholism IS a family disease, everyone suffers.
You've done the right thing reaching out, please continue to do so.
Best of luck to you and your AH.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:06 AM
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Tlm welcome and keep venting away, most of us here understand the emotional/physical toll along with the helplessness that comes with loving an alcoholic.

Glad you found us, hope you stick around!!!
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:02 AM
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Hi tim56-

Glad you're here - just as you know your husband would benefit from seeking and accepting help - so we know you will benefit from seeking and accepting help. Loving an A or living in an A family can be very isolating - even we may have friends but there is always that gnawing sick feeling of shame and dread about the home life. Yuk. It took work but I overcame those bad feelings and found peace of mind, whether my brothers drink or not I choose joy!

You're not alone (((hugs)))
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:26 PM
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Alcoholism is a selfish disease takes down the alcoholic and those watching him or her slowly die ..I feel for you ..big hugs!
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:22 AM
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Sorry to hear about your situation. Maybe he switched to whiskey because it takes less volume to get drunk. The volume associated with beer can fill the stomach and exert upwards pressure via the diaphragm and make breathing more difficult especially in COPD. Asthmatics also report this when they overeat, gets a bit tough to breathe.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:31 AM
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My AW made the transition a few years ago. I'm convinced that she was already alcoholic before she switched, though. She would down a case of beer on the weekends, popping one right after another. If we were on a long drive, and stopped at a convenience store for snacks, she'd buy a quart of beer to drink.

I'm not sure why she switched... maybe she was worried about the calories from drinking 12 cans of beer in an afternoon. In any case, I almost wish she'd go back to beer, because the Vodka turns her into a drooling zombie, and the beer never had that effect.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:02 AM
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My AH went from wine and beer to vodka, and it's definitely a different kind of 'drunk.' He's more aggressive and gloomy on vodka.

It all weighed me down so much until I got involved with Al Anon and SR. Now I can see what there is nothing I can do to stop or help him. I have to care for myself and our children and let him go. Once I experienced that mind-set, the burden of AH's addiction lifted off me and I was able to release him.

If you can, try attending some Al Anon meetings in your area. I tried several until I found one that felt like a good fit. Just a handful of meetings and a lot of reading made all the difference in the world. Hugs to you!
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:13 PM
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I have been thru the beer to whiskey, to whiskey and buy beer to sit out on the table to cover for the whiskey drinking! Except there would only be one beer open and still full inthe morning!!! How hard it must be coming up with all these creative hiding ideas! Oh yea, I'd find the wild turkey bottles in my pine trees out the back door - the wind would blow and they would fall out!! LOL! Glad I'm out of the chaos, found Al-Anon - only focusing on me!
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:22 PM
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Good God - how does he afford to keep that up? By my calculations, that's easily $100+ a week on booze (from the liquor store) - more if someone is drinking like that at a bar.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:22 PM
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Don't know why hard alcohol would have any different effect on a person than the ethanol from beer.??? Ethanol = ethanol, the same alcohol.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by steve11694 View Post
Don't know why hard alcohol would have any different effect on a person than the ethanol from beer.??? Ethanol = ethanol, the same alcohol.
It's just more concentrated. More bang for your buck. :/
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CagedBird View Post
It's just more concentrated. More bang for your buck. :/

That would depend on price of bottle vs 24 pack and ethanol equivalent content.

Chivas sure costs more than a 24 pack and probably has less total ethanol content.
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