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What to do when rock bottom doesn't make him want to quit drinking??

What to do when rock bottom doesn't make him want to quit drinking??

Old 05-28-2013, 05:50 AM
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What to do when rock bottom doesn't make him want to quit drinking??

My boyfriend's alcohol use has progressively gotten worse, especially in the last 6 months. In the last 6 months, drinking alone on the couch, hours after I go to bed with the goal of getting fall-down wasted has been the norm. In the last 6 weeks or so I have noticed his hands shaking and him getting really grouchy if he hasn't had a drink (or 4) by about 6pm.
This weekend I woke to a gun shot IN MY HOUSE. He shot the hardwoods. Where he was standing he could have shot through the wall and killed me. I am afraid. He is minimizing the situation. About 20 minutes after it all went down- I bolted out of bed thinking he'd shot himself! Relieved and livid to find him standing there like the village idiot, swaying with arms out (to balance?) and his eyes like saucers with the gun and magazine already separated and sitting on a chair. I grab the gun, ensure its truly unloaded and scream at him... repeatedly. I may not have handled it the best I could but considering the situation I think I did okay. 20 minutes later he says he heard a noise outside. Yes, a noise outside at 2am is not cool but we do live in a neighborhood and its not that unusual. Also, there was no noise. I am a light sleeper and was aware of what he was watching on TV. I honestly think he was hallucinating. I am terrified to be in the house with him while he is drinking now. If this does not make him realize he needs help, I honestly don't know if he can be helped. I have already spoken to his brother and sister-in-law and plan to sit down, just him and me, tonight. Any advice is more than welcome. I need help, I need guidance!
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:58 AM
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Welcome to SR. I'm sorry you have been dealing with this. The question in my mind isn't so much whether HE has hit HIS bottom, have YOU hit YOURS? Living with an alcoholic can be a nightmare, but when guns are involved, it is insanity.

I urge you to do whatever is necessary to protect yourself. The next bullet could very easily hit you. Don't stick around and wait for it to happen.

I suggest you post in our Friends and Family Forum. There are many people there who are dealing with or have dealt with an alcoholic. You'll find a lot of support. Here's a link...

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:26 AM
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I have hidden the gun... but I feel ridiculous even saying that. If he is going to be destructive he will find a way.

I know he loves me but I also know he doesn't know what he is doing and he is addicted. I can't give an ultimatum like "its me or the alcohol" because I know in my heart that wouldn't really be a choice for him.

I told his sister-in-law and younger brother that he had done something very dangerous that could have killed him or me but did not want to share details. Not yet anyway. His family is incredible so even if I hit MY rock bottom in all of this, he has a support system that won't leave him. His older brother is a recovering alcoholic, a few years sober. I am going to ask him to have an honest conversation with him as a starting point. If he is not willing to do that I don't know that I am willing to stay in this situation. I mean... seriously, if "accidentally" discharging a firearm isn't your wake up call, what is?? I need him to get sober and healthy or I need to get out. This is just not the life I want.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:34 AM
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First of all, get the gun out of the house. He could have killed somebody--you, himself, a neighborhood kid--running around drunk with a loaded gun.

Maybe this will have shaken him up to the point where he realizes he must quit drinking. Typically, though, alcoholics first need to try to "control" their drinking. This never works. He may "control" it for a short period of time, but it won't last long. In addition, if he is shaking, he is going through withdrawal on a daily basis and really should undergo medically supervised detox. Otherwise, quitting drinking is likely to be extremely painful, if not dangerous.

See if he will agree to go to detox followed by an intensive outpatient treatment program, or AA. AA will send someone over to talk with him if he is willing to listen. You can call the number in the book. Usually a recovered alcoholic has the best chance of getting through the denial surrounding the disease.

Good luck. Have you decided what you are going to do if he refuses? Don't make any threats or ultimatums unless you are SURE you are willing to carry them out. And regardless of what else you do, or what he does, I hope you will get yourself to Al-Anon.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:38 AM
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I can't give an ultimatum like "its me or the alcohol" because I know in my heart that wouldn't really be a choice for him.
Or maybe you know which choice he would make?

Hitting your bottom is for you, not him. It doesn't mean he'll get better and you staying doesn't mean he'll get better, either. You're just there, in the thick of it. You have a decision to make.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:41 AM
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Sorry it's getting rough for you. During that sit down ask him if he would be willing to see an Addiction Therapist/ Psychologist. I found that when I felt accountable to a professional I was less likely to relapse. First things first though, it sounds like he will need medical detox at a facility if he is shaking during withdrawal.

It's not an easy situation but you are doing the right thing by talking about it and getting other loved ones involved. I hope you can convince him to make an effort to stop but keep in mind that he has to want it for him. You have to get him to realize how scared you are not only for you but for him and his health. Convince him his own life is in danger and maybe he will be receptive. Just remember, he may have dangerous withdrawal symptoms and medical supervision may be necessary.

Good luck with your talk and keep us in the loop.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:48 AM
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what looks like it should be a "bottom" to others, isn't. we can't predict it, in fact, it's only really possible to see way after the fact that "x" really was the bottom, becasue actions since that event have been different.

so what is your "bottom"? this is the only one you have any control over, you deserve to be able to sleep in your own home without being terrified. Take note of his actions i.e. what he has done/is doing not what he says he will do.

Gun out of the house, no going back on it, whatever the consequences. you at the very least deserve that. whether he heard a noise or not, is hallucinating or not, he cannot safely be near fire-arms and other human life. you are allowed to take the steps necessary to make yourself safe.

p.s you handled it in a very human way - sometimes stopping and thinking if I have to learn how to "perfectly" deal with an alcoholic who is shooting guns in my home whilst I sleep, perhaps I don't need to be working on my handling of situations, but the situations themselves so that I don't have to know how to handle them.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by alcoholicBF View Post
I can't give an ultimatum like "its me or the alcohol" because I know in my heart that wouldn't really be a choice for him.
What wouldn't be a choice? Would he choose alcohol?

I've heard several people wishing that their wife/girlfriend/someone had given them that choice. I myself too. I also heard people being thankful that they were given it. If he continues drinking he will destroy 2 lives. I absolutely think it can be the best thing to do.

But before that, I would confront him while he is sober, you and his brother together.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:06 AM
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I would be looking for a new place to live.

Your life may depend on it.

This is beyond unacceptable behavior.

Of course, he is minimizing the situation, and IMHO, so are you. If someone was firing a gun in my home, I would be calling 911.

His brain/mind is currently under the influence of a drug. He is not gong to process what you say to him like a normal person would. He is either going to deny there is a problem, or promise to quit/curb his drinkng.

This is how the addicted mind works. Her will say, whatever is needed, in that moment, to protect his addiction and shut you up, that is the # 1 priority of his life. Remember that, his addiction is #1, not you, or his family, his addiction is #1.

Exactly, what are you getting out of this relationship/ toxic situation ?

There is no way in hell, I would ever spend another night under the same roof with him.

He is an out of control loose cannon.

Keep yourself out of harm's way.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:16 AM
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** to clarify I was out of the bed and next to him within a second of the gun shot, it was 20 minutes of panic and rechecking the gun when he started to minimize the situation and make excuses**
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:21 AM
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Doesn't sound like it was his rock bottom. Rock bottom is when the addict realizes they need help and then goes out and gets that help. His rock bottom could be death. That is the case for many alcoholics. Of course, if you end up shot, will that be his rock bottom or will it be yours?
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:26 AM
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Thanks Lexie, I have the gun in pieces and stashed around the house and garage. I am not comfortable asking someone to hold a gun for me. (Should probably look up how to remove the firing pin.) I am going to sit down with him tonight to talk and I will go to a meeting (alone) tomorrow night regardless of the outcome this evening. Thank you.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:33 AM
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This was my rock bottom suki, in that I know its time for a change, a time for help. I am not ready to leave him.

Knudsen, I think right now, at this stage in his addiction and denial he would not be able to chose anyone or anything over booze. I feel I need to make him feel unconditional support, I just don't see an ultimatum being helpful.. not yet. Especially since I am not ready to give up on him or walk away, I wouldn't be able to follow through on an ultimatum yet.

Sudz, you're right. I should have realized it but there is so much swirling through my head right now... If he is shaking, he obviously needs medical supervision. I am just so close to it that I am blind or not taking the thought process a step further.

Thank you all, all of this is helping.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:38 AM
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I am concerned about your well-being....

So far, I agree with the feedback you have received....
You can sort the details out later....
In the meantime, can you make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative?
Being a prisoner in your own home is unacceptable. Period.

I remember needing a lot of validation myself, when dealing with active alcoholism. And yes, although, what you are witnessing with him "looks like" it "should" be his bottom, he may not be capable of recognizing the same because denial, is a HUGE part of this terrible illness.

I can totally understand your desire to intervene, but given what you have shared, I am concerned that your message to him, regardless of your very best intentions, is not going to be well received, due to his current condition.

In my experience, attempting to reason with an individual who is addicted is as productive as talking to the wall....

May I suggest when you do talk with him, that you go into the conversation with the intention of setting some boundaries that are in your best interest?

As odd as it may sound, the best way to love him is to begin by loving yourself.

I really do feel for you....

I'm sure (once upon a time) he wasn't like this....

But, unfortunately, Alcoholism is a progressive illness and unless he chooses to enlist in on-going treatment and support, this will only get worse....

Believe me, I wish I had better news for you....

At times like this, I know how easy it can be to neglect ourselves....

In the meantime, be good to yourself....

Sending healing light your way....

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Old 05-28-2013, 08:08 AM
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Would involuntary commitment be an option? Since he could cause harm to himself or others...
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:16 AM
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I escaped from an abusive alcoholic marriage.
That colors how I see this. FYI.

A gun is just a gun.
You can remove that and take it apart and lock up the pieces and he can come at you with a knife, a baseball bat, a bottle, a chair...

It's not the weapon that is the issue.
It is the unstable person wielding a deadly weapon that he should have respect for and control over, while drunk, without consideration for your safety.

His alcoholism or survival is secondary here.
Your survival is first.
I would consider removing myself from
The situation immediately.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:20 AM
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Hitting "bottom" is something that some alcoholics never do unfortunately...My STBXAH didn't hit bottom when he went to prison, the first time, the second time.....the fourth time. He didn't hit bottom when he was in the hospital having his stomache pumped and was seizing with a BAC of .5...he didn't hit bottom when he used my pregnant stomache as a punching bag because in an alcohol induced stupor he believed I got pregnant on purpose to trap him.....
Sometimes, the only thing you can do is analyze your own bottom and get out of the way!
You have gotten some great advice already here. Think about what you want for your own life and if that is possible with your AB.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:31 AM
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All of this is hard to hear [read] because I know it is true. lillamy- The unstable person is the issue, not the gun. You're exactly right.
Diva- We both own our own homes- the fact that he has been able to hold on to his for 10 years is evidence to me that his addiction has progressed. There is no way he could have maintained for 10 years the way he is now. That being said, I don't know how long he can maintain.
choublak, I think I would have to call the police (which his brother has suggested I do next time) and then beg the judge to sentence him to rehab. I would feel like I was ruining his life with a criminal record but what's the alternative... Death? His, mine, someone elses when he is driving or wielding a weapon?
Tryingtoletgo: I am glad you're safe. I hope your child is healthy. Mine is paranoid about me getting pregnant to trap him (a seed planted by his insanely controlling mother) when in reality, that is the LAST thing I want. I can't wait to be a mother. I want him to be the father, my partner. He is not capable. I know I would never be able to trust him with our kids. ever.
I am a NO DRAMA person. I feel like I am not in my own life right now. This is not my life. I guess the addicts are the only ones in denial sometimes.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:38 AM
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**I guess the addicts are NOT the only ones in denial. I know I am minimizing because I don't want it to be real.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:51 AM
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I don't know when this transpired, but I think you should report it to the police now and have it documented.

Please don't wait until something worse can happen. If you feel he may be hallucenating you don't know what he could think of while you are asleep. You need to realize that you are the only person who can take control and stop this, protect yourself.
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