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Old 07-14-2019, 06:51 PM
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Need Someone to Talk To

Hi Everyone

I am brand new here. I went looking for an online forum tonight after a particularly difficult night.

My live-in boyfriend struggles with alcohol abuse. His father was an abusive alcoholic when he was young and literally drank himself to death. Now he seems to be following in his footsteps. The entire family struggles with mental health as well.

The hard part is that 70% of the time, he is a wonderful, sweet, amazing person, I am sure that sounds like a naive cliche, I understand that. Most of the time he is able to manager moderation when drinking and he is fully aware that he needs to do this. But then stressors happen and he buys a bottle of liquor while I am at work and drinks the entire thing. He cannot stop himself. When he drinks like this he becomes a different person. I can see his eye changes in to someone I don't recognize. There is anger and pain and sadness.

Tonight was a particularly rough night. Yesterday we went out to an event and he brought a water bottle full of tequila, drank the entire thing. What I didnt realize was that he had already chugged a significant amount of the rest of the bottle before we left. He has been significantly less angry lately. He would cuddle me at night but mumble how I am a worthless bitch as he fell asleep.

Today he was off work (he is waiting on a new job to start in a couple weeks) and when I came home he was already drunk. There is a 3L bottle of vodka in the fridge. He was the worst I have ever seen him today. He vomited on himself while sitting on the couch. He swayed and swerved as he stood or walked. He spit at me several times. He punched a hole in my wall. I finally got him to bed around 7pm. He tried to get up to pee and fell over on to the floor and couldn't get up. Like a sad movie. He is back in bed now and I can hear him snoring. I know I should check on him but I don't want to wake him and have to deal with him again, I am debating sleeping on the couch.

Earlier today I found some completely free programs for alcohol addiction in my area. A counsellor will meet him with for sessions and connect him with a peer mentor and provide treatment options.

I just need people to talk to. I need accountability. Tomorrow he will wake up and tell me how sorry he is and how much he wants to change. How much should I take care of him and help set things up before it becomes enabling? I can't just let him fail, not when I have the resources available.

This is awful. I feel for anyone else in similar scenarios. I really hope I can find a person or people to talk to. I just want to vent and have someone listen without judgment.

Thank you for listening
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:41 PM
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Hi Looking Busy
Sorry for what brought you here but glad you found us. You will find a wealth of information here including personal stories that unfortunately are all very similar.
The most important thing for you to realize is that you didnít cause it, you cannot control it and you cannot cure it. You may have all these wonderful resources for him available to help him get sober but the sad truth is that no one can make him quit. You might be able to make him quit briefly but unless he is quitting because HE wants to he will not be successful. My ex quit several times and it never lasted because he did not really want to quit, he did it because I asked him too. By the time I hit my rock bottom and gave him an ultimatum that I was willing to follow through on he was actually ready to quit but needed that final kick in the butt. He ended up going to rehab and he is almost 3 years sober but it was too late for me,

Also you may think he is drinking in moderation most of the time but Iím willing to bet he is drinking in secret as well, has a stash somewhere.
Your BF is a full on alcoholic from the sounds of it. Unless he seeks recovery (meaning treatment/counseling/meetings) it will only get worse. It sounds like lately he has progressed rather quickly. As hard as it is to hear, there is nothing you can do to help him, even if he tells you he is ready to seek help it is still 100% his responsibility. You helping him find a counselor, getting things organized etc is not helpful at all. He is an adult and if he is motivated to quit he will do all this himself. If you have to do all of it he is just doing it to please you for awhile and pretend like he is really giving it an effort. He will not succeed. You can give him places and phone numbers but the rest is up to him.
My ex the second to last time he quit told me how he knew he could never drink again but that didnít last. He was clean for a year but didnít actually seek help so he was a dry drunk.
Get your self educated on alcoholism. I knew so very little about it and Iím a medical provider. I recommend you read codependent no more, also, if you can find it I highly recommend watching Pleasure Unwoven. It is a really good documentary that explains alcoholism in laymenís term.
Even if he decided he was going to get díťlan tomorrow ,g et help etc. Recovery is a long road and it takes at least a year to see if they a real really changing, to get rid of their alcoholic brain. The substance is only a small part of the problem. They self medicate, unless you treat/address what they are self medicating they wonít stay clean. He will need to learn healthy coping skills, he obviously grew up in a very dysfunctional home so never learned any healthy coping skills. This is not something that changes in a few weeks, it takes months or even years depending on how intense their treatment it, it took my ex 7 weeks of rehab before he finally started to see his manipulative ways, learning better ways of coping. And that was with inpatient rehab. It is a long road, there are no guarantees. He will always be an alcoholic,. If he gets sober there is always a chance that he will relapse, whether it is 6 months from now or 25 years from now.
It is not normal to drink because you are stressed, it is just an excuse to drink. Most people donít drink when they are stressed. Addiction is ugly and recovery takes long time. Educate yourself very well and see if you are willing to live life with an addict. How much fun are you really having in this relationship because it doesnít sound like a good time for a big part of it. Learn about boundaries, what are you willing to tolerate and stick to them. Also true recovery is a pretty selfish process, you will be put on the back burner if he is doing it right. They have to be selfish for a while, and that is if he is wanting to get clean. If he doesnít, what will be your next step? Most people donít succeed the first time. Relapse is common. You need to figure out what you are willing to put up with.
Iím sorry to Spainís a fairly bleak picture but that is reality of addiction. Read around and you will find lots of very similar stories. One thing to think about, all the love in the world you have for him will not matter. If love could cure addition none of us would be here. Add itís are very selfish and manipulative people and their alcohol comes first, o matter how deeply you might love him. And being drunk doesnít not make it ok to be a jerk. There is no excuse for that

Good luck with everything, I am glad you found us. I wish I had found this site a long time ago, it may not have changed the outcome but it wouldíve helped me cope better I am sure.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by LookingBusy View Post
How much should I take care of him and help set things up before it becomes enabling? I can't just let him fail, not when I have the resources available.
Hi LookingBusy and welcome.

What you said there, that you can't "let" him fail. The fact is you don't have that power. You are not in control of him (and shouldn't be really) he is a grown man in control of his own choices.

You didn't Cause it, can't Control it, can't Cure it (the 3 Cs).

As for enabling. It's kind that you looked up the resources, how much should you do? Well you can give him the phone numbers and the information you were given and leave the rest up to him. He has to WANT this, the fact that you want it is good, but it doesn't have any bearing on what he is going to choose to do.

You are enabling him right now by helping him deal with the result of his drinking. There is a book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie that you might want to check out, it's very often recommended here.

Getting sober when you are an alcoholic is a tough, tough road. Until he is ready to do that work, it's not going to happen. There is also no quick fix. Getting sober is one thing, seeking true recovery is the big job.

You might want to browse some of the excellent articles and threads in the stickies found at the top of this forum, this is a good place to start:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)

Learn all you can about alcoholism, this will help steer you in the right direction for you. The question really becomes, what do you want for your life?
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:10 AM
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LookingBusyÖ...it will help when you learn more about boundaries.


I think that this is a good rule of thumb to go by, when you are wondering about what is enabling-----Don't do for someone what they should and can be doing for themselves. If you are doing for them what they should be doing for themselves...this puts you in the position of the "rescuer". Mark my words...before it is over...the rescuer will, eventually, become the victim.....
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
LookingBusyÖ...it will help when you learn more about boundaries.


I think that this is a good rule of thumb to go by, when you are wondering about what is enabling-----Don't do for someone what they should and can be doing for themselves. If you are doing for them what they should be doing for themselves...this puts you in the position of the "rescuer". Mark my words...before it is over...the rescuer will, eventually, become the victim.....
Looking busy ó what Dandylion said ^^ is the absolute truth. Eventually you will become the victim.

Been there and done that. Donít be me.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:52 AM
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Thanks everyone. I've done some research already and a lot of this is stuff I know, but it helps to have people who understand say it as well.

I guess my issue with helping/enabling is personal protection as well. I understand that he can make his own appt, take a bus places, etc. I mean more when he is drunk at home and my options are to 1) take care of him as a way to diffuse the situation in hopes of getting a little peace myself that night or 2) don't help him and face the consequences.

Last night if I didn't help him he would have peed on my dresser (thinking it was the bathroom), continued yelling until a neighbour called the cops, physically hurt himself or more. At least when I got him calmed down and in bed by 7:30pm, I was able to have alone time in the living room, albeit very quietly in hopes I wouldn't wake him. I know I should probably have just left for the night but what would I have come home to? More holes in the wall? He once locked my cat out on the balcony by accident and was throwing small things at him, don't want to let that poor little thing suffer. He had also left the oven on, etc.

Today he seems to want to get better, it is just a hard thing to trust. I said very little this morning, from a mix of being tired and frustrated and angry. He says he genuinely wants to be happy and have a better life. He is at the consolate getting his passport done this AM and then will make his appt with PAARC to get an assessment. He even talked about rehab today.

I hope that I can trust myself to know when enough is enough. It feels awfully close at this point.

Thank you all again. Sometimes I just need someone to listen for a bit.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:56 AM
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I went through this for many years with my girlfriend. Episode after episode and hidden alcohol drinking. Each time she was caught she found a new way to try and hide it. Now she seems to drink in workplace to try and hide it.

Verbally abusive like your situation and also doing some unsavoury things while wasted from being socially embarrassing to falling down stairs to soiling herself and the bed.

i gave up trying to help her frankly
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:22 AM
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LB, I'm sure you know this but be wary of the "morning after" apologies and expressed desire to get better. While I am sure there is a part of him that wants to mean what he says, it would be naive not to consider that he knows what you want and need to hear after a rough night like that, and it costs him very little to say it.

I would also, gently, urge to resist the idea that you are somehow controlling his behavior or the consequences thereof. And by getting in the way of his consequences (and yes, I understand, in your situtation those are sometimes YOUR consequences, too), you are making it easier for it to all happen again. That is the very definition of enabling.

There are other ways of protecting yourself from his consequences while also not shielding HIM from them.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post

There are other ways of protecting yourself from his consequences while also not shielding HIM from them.
Yes, that is a good take-away message. I am trying to prepare options to keep in my backpocket for next time, so I don't feel lost trying to find them during an episode. Thank you

Last edited by LookingBusy; 07-15-2019 at 08:23 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:36 AM
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LookingBusy…...the whole idea of personal boundaries are to protect You and your best welfare. When he was going to pee on your dresser...of course, don't let him do that to your dresser. If he is about to vomit on your couch...of course, get him a trashcan to vomit in. If he is raising holy hell...and, you can get him to lie down in bed...of course, do so, so that you can have some peace for yourself. Each case will be scenario-dependent...always weighing what will offer the most protection for YOU.

Like many drunk people...they can be a danger to others...to the cat..and, to you...like leaving the oven on, etc. You have to do what you have to do for your (and the cat's) protection.
Many people on this forum relate that they finally drew the boundary, for themselves, that they would not live with alcoholic behaviors....

LookingBusy….there are lots of principles around establishing your boundaries....for example--It is your own responsibilities to enforce your boundaries.....and, boundaries can be changed when you feel the need to....and, you don't have to "announce" your boundaries--unless you want to....

Really, boundaries are how we protect ourselves as we navigate through the world...without them, we would be like a turtle without a shell....

If you look in the book section of amazon.com...you will find a lot of books about boundaries
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by LookingBusy View Post
Today he seems to want to get better, it is just a hard thing to trust.
Why would you and should you? Probably not. How many times have you heard this (maybe actually do a rough count).

Based on how drunk he was he was probably still buzzed when he got up this morning. It's a lot easier to talk about doing something about your drinking when you are still half drunk (not in withdrawal yet) and feeling like an ass for your behaviour.

A good bench mark to decide on whether to trust this is to watch his actions. ACTIONS not words. When you get home tonight has he called the places you sourced or is he having a beer?

He may want to get better, recover from alcoholism, that might be true and why he sounds sincere. Saying and doing are two different things, as you are no doubt well aware at this point.

I'm not trying to paint him as some "bad guy" I'm sure he has some really good attributes.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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Reading your story gave me a painful reminder of my past. Iím so deeply sorry you are going through all this. Itís really such a horrific way to live... taking care of an active (& destructive) alcoholic. I did everything for my ex too... everything I could to save her and myself. It was a 24/7 babysitting job... hate to say that, but it was. She went through periods of falling down stairs... passing out on the street... having seizures outside. I was constantly terrified she would fall on a table... fall on one of our dogs... leave the stove top on (she did that BTW!)... or just blackout/die from a massive seizure.

Watching someone you love self harm and destruct is the most tragic and heartbreaking experience. I still worry... not to the same degree thankfully! It takes time but like many on here... it came to a point when I couldnít give one more single ounce of myself. I was empty... done... I was sick of feeling sick! I was tired from feeling tired. I was completely done caring for someone who wouldnít take the steps to care for themselves!!! I literally had a breakdown.

We all share similar stories.

We are here for you.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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A little bit of both today. He had one drink but also called two recovery places. Left a message at one and made an appointment with the other one. So I guess thatís some sort of action.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by LookingBusy View Post
A little bit of both today. He had one drink but also called two recovery places. Left a message at one and made an appointment with the other one. So I guess thatís some sort of action.
It is and in fact it's not a good idea for him to quit drinking cold turkey without medical supervision (whether that is an actual detox or visiting his GP to have him oversee it and possibly prescribe him something to use).

Very dangerous for alcoholics/heavy drinkers to stop without this.

When is the appointment for?
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:24 PM
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Thanks.
The appt is for August 8. We are on the borderline of the two places for catchment areas so hopefully the other place calls back with a closer date.

He has also decided to only stick to beer and wine for a while. No liquor. He plans to only buy what he plans to drink each night. So he plans to buy two beers at a time to leave in the fridge. Heís been pretty reliable for that in the past. Itís the liquor thatís the biggest concern. He canít stop himself once he starts.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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LookingBusy…...I know that you are hopeful that he has made an appointment....and, I know, from my own experience, that it can cause hope to surge.....
so, I will repeat what so many others have already said....because....I think that for us who want so badly for our alcoholics to do a turn about....we need to tatoo it on the insides of our eyelids!
WATCH THE ACTIONS....not the words....

"They will know us by our actions."

***By the way...he is free to go to AA...he doesn't have to wait for the rehab place....
The rehab will, likely, involve AA, anyway....as most rehabs include the 12 step program...
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:51 AM
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We had an interesting night. After arguing about some of the things he did (but swears he didnít) I pulled out my phone and had him listen to the audio clip. I had left it recording in the background the other night. He knew he turned in to a jerk but never fully realized how bad because he had the luxury of being black out drunk during those episodes. It really shocked him to hear himself. He said it was the same voice he heard from
his abusive drunk father as a kid.

He seems to genuinely want to get better. That could be partially manipulation again. Most likely somewhere in the middle. Guess time will tell.
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