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To drink or not to drink?

Old 01-29-2002, 05:24 PM
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Caitlyn
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To drink or not to drink?

My A has been sober for 10 days. We are going out to a party on the weekend (at a bar).

Should I drink in front of him? I only have 2 or 3 glasses maximum and rarely drink at home (half of glass of wine with dinner). I want to be supportive but not act unnaturally.
 
Old 01-29-2002, 06:24 PM
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Hi Caitlyn...
At 10 days, it seems a little precipitous for your A to be IN a bar.

Drink in front of him? Personally, I would not. Ever. For the rest of our association. Seems taunting, somehow.

Whattya say gang?

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Old 01-29-2002, 06:53 PM
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Hi...Listen, try to understand...a recipe for disaster is someone going to a party at a bar who is trying to stay clean. Drinking in front of him is not healthy either. I doubt you will find anyone here who will testify that they had the will power to sustain that type of temptation..That's why we are here...we are completly powerless over drugs...including alcohol...Many of us have tried..we paid a price...as well as our significant others...You did not mention if he has started attending any type of support group...Is he..? or is he trying the white knuckle approach..?(Self-will-power)

P.S. I had to come back and add how precipitous your boyfriend being in a bar with only 10 days clean is....I have been clean 13 years...and I still don't go into bars...In my opinion for me to do so would still be too hasty..I can even count on one hand the restaurant's I have been in that serve alcohol...Many say...that's a little extreme..well I have experienced enough relapses in my day..that today help me not to even think about testing my committment to stay clean...

Just my experience. Hope it helps..

[This message has been edited by RovenRev (edited January 29, 2002).]
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Old 01-29-2002, 08:31 PM
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Caitlyn
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Thanks everyone. We are getting help. We have our first session tomorrow. Hopefully after that we will attend different sessions, but we want to get some direction advice about where to go from here.

Since he decided to stop drinking we have been at family dinners where alcohol has been served and some drank and some didn't. My A didn't drink.

Is there a difference between someone who has an alcohol problem and someone who is an alcoholic ie. addict? A counsellor I spoke to said some ppl have a problem which they can finally "manage" alcohol - this was from a clinic which specialises in addiction. She also said that she didn't agree with the theory that alcoholism can't be "cured". I am a bit confused. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys - I have felt most welcome here.
 
Old 01-30-2002, 12:57 AM
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Jon
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It's "counselors" like that who have the inane ability to kill and mame. Now, think about this: If in fact someone could "manage" their drinking, why the hell would they be in a counselors office!!!

While it's true that the only one who can diagnose alcoholism is the alcoholic himself, professional USUALLY are the first ones pointing them to a twelve step program. Why? Supportive,readily available and FREE! (Some professional really hate that last part, and by the way, I work in the recovery field as an assesment case manager and a counselor).

Heres the difference (sometimes) between "problem" and "alcoholic."

These questions relate to common problems with using alcohol. Only you can decide if you have a "drinking problem" and whether you want to do something about it.

1. Do you lose time from work due to your drinking?
2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
6. Have you gotten into financial dificulties as a result of your drinking?
7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?
9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?
16. Do you drink alone?
17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your drinking?
18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking?


Tell me how many are answered YES, and I'll save you some time and money.



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Old 01-30-2002, 04:15 PM
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Caitlyn
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Thanks for all your advice everyone. I will let you know how it goes.
 
Old 01-31-2002, 04:52 PM
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Caitlyn
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Thanks jons5150 - here are some answers from your questionnaire - please tell me what you think. The counsellor we went to lastnight couldn't give me any answers to my questions at all!?!!?!


1. Do you lose time from work due to your drinking? NO

2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy? YES

3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people? NO

4. Is drinking affecting your reputation? YES

5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking? YES

6. Have you gotten into financial dificulties as a result of your drinking? NO

7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking? YES

8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare? NO

9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking? NO

10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily? NO

11. Do you want a drink the next morning? NO

12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping? NO

13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking? YES

14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business? NO

15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles? YES

16. Do you drink alone? YES

17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your drinking? YES

18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking? NO

19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence? NO

20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking? NO

Thanks for your help


 
Old 01-31-2002, 07:38 PM
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Caitlyn,
I cannot imagine anyhting more cruel than going with your A to a bar and then drinking in front of him. I am guessing that he worked damned hard for those ten days and to jeopardize his recovery this way would be senseless and, in my opinion, evil.
There was a time when I felt that, although my sig. other had paranoid delusions and hallucinations while using...I could handle my drugs. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that if I had to have my drugs even with the risk of suffering the fallout of his mental problems at that time, perhaps I could not handle them after all.
If you are finding that you cannot stop drinking, even to spare your "A", perhaps a visit to the mirror is in order. If you love this man, you will not force him to dance with his demons on the flagship to his own private hell.
I will confess that I have a personal issue with this based on the cruelty, I felt, with which my sig. other would ask me what kind of beer I wanted?!? Or how he said, in passing, to one of his buddies one night that he was not done with the dope. This was after I began fighting with everything I had to get recovery. This was after I quit, not only because of my own insanity but because I loved him too much to ever want to see him go through his brand of insanity again.
And for the record, my psychiatrist, who has been in the field for some time after over a decade of study.... informed me that addiction disease IS present BEFORE the addict ever touches the first drug. Based on the fact that he has spent years becoming educated and many more years in practice, when this man talks about addiction as a disease, I know he is coming from a learned and proven position.
So please, show your A some compassion and don't drink anymore. Take care of you. Love and light.

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The lie is dead...We do recover!

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Old 01-31-2002, 08:35 PM
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Caitlyn
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Sick In The City

I think I have to clarify some things:

1. To go to the party is HIS idea - it is his close friend's engagement party. I have asked him if he would prefer not to go and if that is the case, I would be totally cool with it.

2. I ask about the drinking because my fiancee is very proud and does not want everyone to make a big deal over his problem. He is happy we are all supportive but wants us to all live normally. In the past two weeks he has twice asked me if I would like a glass of wine with my meal (out of consideration for me). I could not care less if I didn't drink in front of him. I RARELY drink in any case, at most 2/3 drinks at a party. Only about half a glass once a week with a meal. I only wanted to see what the "right" thing to do was ie. what the "right" thing to do for him to support him in his recovery.

3. There is some discussion between our counsellor and us about whether in fact he is a "alcoholic" or merely is a problem drinker. I do not care what the label is, I just want him to get help and he is. Whether this means he can sometime in the future drink occassionally or whether he can never drink ever again does not affect me - I just want him to be HEALTHY and SAFE.

I understand you have some issues with your partner - I hope you are both well and taking care of each other. I just wanted to clarify my position and the reason why I asked the question. It is not self motivated at all. I just want to see what was in the best interests of my fiancee.

Thanks for your post.

Take care.

Caitlyn
 
Old 02-01-2002, 10:35 AM
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Caitlyn,

When my husband first got into recovery, he very biligerently said to me,"I don't want you drinking either". I told him, "fine". It was no big deal to me either way, and my feeling was if my not drinking helps him not to drink, I was more than happy to do that. The further he got into working his 12 steps, the less of an issue it became. His attitude now is, whether I or anyone else drinks or not, it has nothing to do with him. He didn't start drinking because of me, or anyone else for that matter, and he didn't stop because of me or anyone else either. He stopped because he lost control, and couldn't stop after that first drink. Now, if we go out to a restaurant, I may order a drink, but just as often I don't. He is amazed that I can stop at one, and sometimes, like you said, only drink half of a drink, but we have spent a lot of work together on our boundaries, where He begins and I end, and it is no big deal anymore. Of course, it took several years to iron this out and get to this point. This is just my experience, I hope it is helpful. I am in no way trying to suggest what is right for you, only you can decide that. Good luck.
 
Old 02-01-2002, 11:15 AM
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As you can see from all these posts, everyone's situation is different. It seems to me that for someone to say you can no longer drink in front of your alcoholic is somehow saying that you can CAUSE your alcoholic to drink, and that, of course, is simply so untrue! We don't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it. The alcoholic him/herself has to have some kind of program in place to get through some of those times when alcohol will be served since this is so common in our society. Either that, or become a hermit!

Personally, when my A stopped drinking 10 years ago, my drinking in front of him was NEVER an issue. I'm not much of a drinker, but he would always ask me if I wanted a drink while we were out, and sometimes I would and sometimes I wouldn't. I did worry that it would influence him, but once he got it in his mind that he could not drink, he just didn't. Going to a bar with only 10 days of sobriety is a bit dicey. But if he does go and nothing happens, that will show him he was able to have control over alcohol at that event. I think it is really up to the alcoholic. You will be right by his side, so do you think he'll really start drinking with you there?

Unfortunately, there are no right answers. And, hindsight is 20/20. Let us know how it goes.
 
Old 02-01-2002, 01:19 PM
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My intention was never to imply that you could be the cause of your man's "problem drinking". Addicts and alcoholics are very gifted at doing that all by themselves.
I appreciate your clarifying your situation because I took a totally different motivation out of what you were saying. I apologize for that.
As for your significant other, I think he may be dancing with fire but it is for him to determine whether or not he is an alcoholic or not. I can see where it would be important for him to attend this engagement party. And I imagine he would feel more than a little self-conscious if he felt everyone were waiting and watching for his problem drinking to begin. I can relate to that.
However, I think I also see shades of him wanting to "do it himself" rather than ask for and accept the assistance of others who are going through the same thing. Even if he doesn't have close friends who are problem drinkers, his close friends could also provide valuable support in his efforts to stop drinking. I was the type of person who thought I could hadle my problems all by myself... I could not. Granted your sig. other may be different, but for those of us who are stubborn in this regard, accepting the support of others in these matters can be a liberating act of surrender.
He is very lucky to have such a supportive woman in his life. I hope things continue to go well for you.
Oh, and one more thing. I have had friends who enjoyed several years of "clean" time yet they would continue to hang out with other folks who used. Eventually, these friends used again and it was very devastating for them. You go to the barber shop and eventually you get your hair cut. If you guys determine that your Sig. other IS an alcoholic, A.A. could work miracles for him. I wish you well.

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The lie is dead...We do recover!

Gettin' Better!
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Old 02-01-2002, 08:50 PM
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Okay... analogy.
I do not order dessert when I go out to dinner with my friend who just found out she is diabetic. I certainly do not think I caused her diabetes. I know how much she misses such things. I simply could not enjoy it if I thought she might be pining away across the table. And SHE would never EVER want anyone to change the things they did on her account either. Know what? I don't really miss it.

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Old 02-03-2002, 03:22 PM
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Caitlyn
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OK - so here is my update. We went to the party, there was lots of alcohol (but it wasn't messy). I didn't drink, but within the first half an hour my fiancee came up to me and handed me a glass of champayne. This is typical of him, when he is sober he takes very good care of me and is very very considerate. I wasn't going to drink, but he handed it to me and so I took it, drank it and had another 2 glasses throughout the evening. It was like he was saying he knew that drinking was bad for HIM. He drank softdrinks - we had a good time (I didn't notice him having a lot of difficulty abstaining) His bestfriend (who he's spoken to regarding his excessive drinking) asked if he was drinking and he said no, and he was totally supportive of that. A few hours into the night, my fiancee asked if we could go home and I said sure, whenever you're ready. We went home shortly after. I as very proud of him and told him that.

He is continuing counselling.

We have not fought since the day he decided to stop drinking. In fact our relationship is back on track (we were going through a really bad few months where we called off the engagement, then got back together but things still weren't working out).

I know there is still a lot of work to do, but I think the problems we were experiencing with the alcohol were mirrored in the ways we dealt with other issues in our relationship and if we start taking care of ourselves and setting boundaries, these tools will help with other aspects of our lives.

I hope everyone is well.

Caitlyn


[This message has been edited by Caitlyn (edited February 03, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Caitlyn (edited February 03, 2002).]
 

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