Just a Symptom of A Bigger Problem?

Old 04-15-2010, 06:20 AM
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Just a Symptom of A Bigger Problem?

I'll try and make a long story very short so I don't prattle on and bore people to death.

I'm 39. My dad has over 20 yrs in AA and my older bro has about 15. I was in and out of AA meetings as a kid (with my dad, not as an alcoholic). I was into Alateen for a while and then later, Alanon. I did my 12 steps. I'm familiar with how the program works and how Alcoholism works and affects family dynamics.

My mom and all her side of the family are pretty moderate about drinking. A glass of wine with dinner is not uncommon at my mom's house. That's the side of the family I fell into. I could take it or leave it. A six-pack of beer could sit in my fridge for 2 weeks or 2 months.

Flash forward to 2005: Met my soul mate. Got married for the first time. Was overjoyed to have 2 beautiful step-sons. Life was good. I was ready to settle down and be a momma and wife.

Flash forward again to 2010: The ex took the kids and we lost a lot of visitation time. I had 4 miscarriages, my last one occurring Christmas of 2009. I have been told no more - no kids. It's not going to happen. We were sued by the ex and along with my husband's burdens of debt from that 1st marriage had to declare Chapter 13. We moved to a small town where DH finally found a stable job, which was a huge change from eviction notices and getting food at the local food bank. However, we live in a small rural community and I have struggled. I gave up my career goals to be here and have really floundered job wise. I think, after 4 years, I may have found my niche, but man, it's been hard. I have struggled for 5 years with mil and a few weeks ago she physcially assaulted me in my home in front of my step-sons. The police were called and child services got involved. Now my happy marriage is under the gun and we need counseling, which DH has agreed to. I am also in grief counseling myself.

Somewhere in all this mess I changed: I'm no longer the take it or leave it girl. I'm the have to have it girl. I started drinking coffee again. I smoke about 2 times a week to calm my nerves - I've never smoked before. I drink every night to destress. I'm on meds from the doc to help with depression and anxiety, and as I said, I'm in counseling and take herbs and vitamins to try and help keep me balanced and somewhat healthy. I've stopped exercising all together. I'm also seeing someone for spritual guidance.

That's where I am at. If alcoholism is just a symptom of a bigger problem then do I really need to worry about becoming a card carrying member of AA? I live in a small enough town that if I were to go to the one or two meetings a week we have, people will talk and I could lose the new job I just got. I'm not making this up. People around here don't like drug addicts and alcoholics. Not to mention the shame and embarrassment DH's family would express, which would furhter aggrivate the mil situation and further harm my marriage. Anonymity is important and I just won't have that here.

I'm doing everything I can to right things in my life and get a handle on my grief and pain after losing 4 babies. I just switched counselors and am trying Cognitive Behavorial Therapy. I'm going to begin a series of meditation classes soon.

Sorry for rambling. I gues this did end up being long. Sorry.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:04 AM
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Alcohol is definitely a symptom of a larger problem for me, as well. The problem is, it's the symptom I use to cope with that larger problem, so as long as I am drinking, I'm stuck coping with it dysfunctionally, and can't actually solve it. For me, the issue is just general anxiety and occasional depression. In fact, I recently realized that my entire life (probably 95% of the choices I make in daily living) revolves around coping with anxiety. Now, a few beers did a good job of shutting that off in the immediate term, but so long as I was blocking it out, I wasn't learning to live with it.

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:22 AM
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you have had a LOT on your plate and have dealt with it as best you know how...if i were in your shoes, I don't think I could handle the tremendous stress.

I don't have any concrete words of wisdom for you, but this is a wonderful site to vent and *talk* to others without worrying about judgement or finger-pointing...24/7 there is usually someone you can connect with.

the last 2 months I've been here have been a blessing to my physical and mental health.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:15 AM
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god bless you lyriclady.

i have not been in your shoes so i can't really speak to your situation.

the biggest thing i learned from this site is to ask myself whenever a temptation to drink comes up 'would introducing alcohol help'

the only time that i have ever thought it might would be to come out of my shyness a bit but that is the only one. (i still didn't do it....219 days)

i doubt you need to come out of your shyness with your mil. every other time i've asked myself that question the answer was always no.

you have no idea how much the alcohol is adding to whatever problems you are going through. i know i handle familial confrontation 100 times better when i'm sober than when i'm lit up.

just because you stop drinking, it doesn't mean that everything is happy, happy,'s not, but it is so much freakin' better i can't put it into the proper words.

go ahead and stop now...if you're like me, then you can't be a casual drinker and if you're not a casual drinker you're a problem drinker. you'll be very happy with the results if you stop. it gets better every day that you're stopped.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:22 PM
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Hi lyriclady


Some people turn to alcohol or drugs in times of stress or sadness and then, when that time is over, they stop or revert to former patterns of use.

I can't say if you're one of the ones who can stop/revert, but I'm one of the ones that didn't, or couldn't.

I may have started drinking for specific underlying reasons, but I also became an alcoholic along the way.

It's important for me to realise I need to work on my alcoholism just as much as I need to work on those long standing underlying factors. Working on both areas is vital to me.

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:41 PM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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You are doing several positive things....Congratulations!

While I do use AA for my's not the
only way. I suggest you give CBT and your meditation
classes ...counseling time to see if they are beneficial.

Blessings to you your husband and the boys
welcome to our recovery comunity ...
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:31 PM
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..such a sad,sad thread...

..glad you found us...
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:05 AM
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If you are scared for you anonimity, you can definately find support right here.

I was also wondering, is talking about it to you father and/or older brother about this an option? It seem like they've got a lot of (admirable) experience and can maybe figure the alcohol part out together with you and your other resources? If you have a good relationship with them, might do you a world of good to open up to them. Just a suggestion.
But I think you are doing great things, give yourself time to heal.

Ps: being from europe, I didn't get the word mil...what does that mean?
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:35 AM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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Of course ....some of our cyber lingo/short cuts are new to you
Let me share some with you....


AH=Alcoholic or Addict Husband

RH=Recovering Husband

AS=Son who is addicted or alcoholic

RS and RD=Recovering son or daughter

ES & H=ssharing your experience strenth and hope
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:02 AM
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Thank you so much Carol!

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Old 04-16-2010, 05:48 AM
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1 bite&all resistance crumbles
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Welcome like Dee I used alcohol to cope with stress (or lack of it!) and along the way I became an alcoholic. Hang around, read some posts, see how you feel. You are very welcome and I'm very sorry for your troubles, it sounds really hard but also sounds like you are taking action - including reaching out. AWESOME well done.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:22 AM
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I agree that alcohol is the symptom and the alcohol needs to be removed, but at the same time, you need to deal with the underlying issues. I also turned to alcohol to self-medicate through a particularly stressful time and, so quickly, alcohol took over my life.

I hope you keep reading and posting.
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