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HeyImme 11-28-2011 07:52 AM

A little nervous to "say" it out loud...
...but I think it might be time to call my AH a RAH. Some background:

When I joined SR in late January/early February of this year, I was at my wits end with my AH. This great guy I had married had begun to drink in excess about three years into our marriage and had now been an active alcoholic for about a decade. It took me a while to realize he had a problem in that I do not have an addictive personality and neither does anyone else in my family. Although "high functioning" seems a somewhat ridiculous term, that was how most of us would have labeled him in that he had a high paying job, did not drink and drive, and went through the motions of participating in most things. While he drank 12 to 15 beers five or six nights a week, the only difference most people would have been able to notice in him when he was drunk was that he talked a little more. Compared to some of your stories, it was a cake walk. But somewhere in this journey of alcoholism, I had lost myself just as much as he had, and what I was doing just wasn't working anymore. I know I don't have to explain that in any more depth, because you have all been there or you wouldn't be here.

The final kick in the gut came when he announced he was taking a new job in a different state...hours away from our hometown where we were still living and where all my family was still located. In his defense, his current job was taking hits due to the economy and wasn't going to work much longer, and the job he was taking was a big pay raise and right up his alley. Also, there weren't really any other options where we were. But I was just so fed up with him at that point, and the thought of leaving my family for more of that nonsense sent me into a tailspin. Funny now that I can look at that crossroads as a blessing in that it led me to SR and the beginning of my own recovery.

He took the job, and we stayed behind for almost six months until the house sold. In truth, I wasn't in any rush to come with him...I was debating whether I was actually going to come at all. I am a stay-at-home mom, and not following him would mean huge changes in my life and in my kids' lives, but I was seriously contemplating making that all honesty, I wanted to make the would have been easier to make the change. But I just didn't feel released from the situation yet. I felt like I was supposed to make the move with him. This was definitely easier for me to do with the knowledge that I could come home at any point, move in with my parents and go back to my old job as my old boss had been begging me to do for years.

So we moved, and I didn't die. It wasn't the worst thing in the world. I realized I would be as happy as I chose to be. I continued to work on my recovery. I was not discussing or reacting to his addiction anymore. At one point he voluntarily mentioned my new attitude to his drinking, and I told him I had joined an online community to get help with that very thing. He had a shocked look on his face, but didn't continue the conversation any further. I could tell he just filed it away to think about later. He was still driving me crazy from time to time, but I was staying true to my recovery.

So here's how it went down: He had been talking about quitting at least weekly since we got here (July-ish). He had attempted to quit a handful of times before, usually only making it a day or time he made it two weeks, but he was a bear the whole time. Whenever he brought it up and seemed to want encouragement from me, I would just say, "Well, I'm sure you'll feel a lot better if you choose to do that." But at the beginning of October, my 9 year old came out into the kitchen one morning and saw several empty bottles sitting out that he hadn't thrown away...this didn't happen often, and she had never seemed to notice before. But on this morning, she said, "Did Daddy drink all those?" When I acknowledged he had, she told me she was worried he might have an addiction. I was very honest with her and we had a long conversation. I was so angry that I was having to discuss this with my child...that he had put me in this position. But I was also somehow was like it had taken off another layer of my codie-ness...the part where I still tried to make sure my kids didn't know what was going on. I'll spare you all the details of that hard conversation. I will just say the worst of it was when she said, "I'm worried we'll have to end up leaving Daddy, because we won't be safe." Now, she had been given no reason to feel unsafe with him at this point...this comment came from a conversation she had overheard about an acquaintance who lost his kids because he was an addict and an abuser. But I told my AH about my daughter's discovery and the conversation, and he was devastated that she would worry about that. He didn't bring beer home that night.

That was seven weeks ago, and he hasn't drank since. Now, I know seven weeks is nothing compared to a decade of drinking. But I will say this: he's talked about quitting off and on for five years, and for most of that time, I've just said "That's good, honey", while thinking, "Yeah, right. We all know how this will end". This time, he didn't actually ever say he was quitting, but I knew that's what he intended yet again, and I still didn't think he'd make it. We were about four weeks in before I started to think he might actually do it this time. On the one month anniversary of his quitting, he said, "I'm not sure if you realize it, but it was a month ago yesterday that I had my last drink". What am I? Hard of noticing? Now we're seven weeks in, and I have the man I married back. He is a totally different person. It is amazing. While he hasn't joined AA or anything of the sort, he's also not white-knuckling it...he had a two or three hour period the first weekend that I could tell he was struggling, but other than that, he has been totally happy. He had a very upsetting event family-wise over Thanksgiving, and drinking to cope didn't even seem like a remote thought to him, as far as I could tell. He processed it all in a very mature was surreal. I'm so happy for him...for all of us. It is scary to let my defenses down, but I have to admit that I finally have hope...

But here's what's even better than that: I know now that whether he makes it or not, I am ok. I know I will no longer allow active alcholism in my home. I know my HP is looking out for me. I am blessed. And I am thankful for has given me back myself.

If you made it this far, thanks for "listening". It has certainly helped me to type it out. Whatever you're going through today, know that there is someone who is thankful that you're here and sharing your journey.

akrasia 11-28-2011 08:11 AM

"What am I... hard of noticing?!" Lol.

I'm happy to read all that. I hope it lasts, too! I know some people think AA is the only way to do it but honestly I think each case is different. To my mind he would benefit from support along the way but that's up to him to work out.

I remember when my AH gave up drinking for several months--after only a few weeks he began to notice how much easier it was to cope with situations. Yet the three-month mark was hard. He said he'd thought it would be like giving up smoking: after an adjustment period he felt wonderful after going smoke-free, like a new person. At the three month period without alcohol he'd expected to feel SO MUCH BETTER but instead he only felt like, "Eh, kinda better. Still want a drink."

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