Advice: telling family?

Old 11-23-2010, 04:19 AM
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Advice: telling family?

I am trying to decide whether I should tell my parents how bad my situation is. They have been divorced for years and have dramatically different attitudes about alcohol. My dad is a causal drinker and my mom claims he had an alcohol problem, but she is a total abstainer and she thinks all drinking is excessive. I have my doubts about telling my mom about this right now. She has offered to help me with my move and I don't want her to change her mind. Also, she's aware of the separation but I've had relationship problems for a while now and so it comes as no surprise. I have also told my dad about the separation.

My dilemma is that my husband told his parents all about my drinking in great detail and they are urging him to tell my dad. I had asked him to please not do that, and he's respected my wishes to the best of my knowledge. However, he wants me to tell my dad and he's also thinks my family will judge him for living with a single mother in the new town. I told him I suspect my parents are just keeping mum since it's a well-established fact that I have had serious issues of some variety or another since childhood.

I don't want to tell my dad about it right now but I wonder if I should... do I need to tell everyone? I'm just hoping to keep myself from looking bad in my family's eyes at a time when I feel worse than ever. I figure that if I keep to the straight and narrow during my transition, everyone will see that things are improving. I feel like it would break their hearts to hear the details of outrageous quantities or how I act if I've been drinking. Also, I lived with my dad for a while a few years due to my DUI and I think he'd be greatly troubled to hear I've been at it again.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I've been laying in bed since 10 p.m. and it's 4:16 a.m. now. Too many thoughts!
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:26 AM
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If it helps, they probably already know a great deal. Just be honest.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:28 AM
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Hi STella, I don't know how, when and what to tell my parents either. I wonder, do you need to tell them why you aren't drinking and how bad it was? Can you just say: "I've decided not to drink alcohol for the moment" ?

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:52 AM
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I went to inpatient treatment twice, so my parents were well aware of my drinking. I stayed sober for years inbetween, but then started back and they knew that too. They didn't know that it was getting bad again, though, and so I didn't tell them the gory details. When I got sober this time I just told everyone I decided that even moderate drinking wasn't for me because it was too easy to get dependent on it again.

I say just decide what's best for you. My parents have always been really supportive, but I understand not all families are the same.

Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:10 AM
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Thanks for your input. I'm scared to tell my dad. I'm ashamed of how I've acted drunk. I pass out like a slob. I start stove top fires. I do really weird things with no forethought. I get really mean with people. Never my daughter, but with my husband I do. There were a couple of recent incidents where it became physical. I don't want my family believing that a sober me, who is a perfectly nice friendly person would have such a dark drinking side. I have a lot of anger and it comes out with alcohol. I wasn't always an angry drunk but the last six years I have felt stuck in my life, no surprise alcohol went hand and hand with that. To other drunks, I'm sure none of this is surprising, but to people who haven't dealt with that, it is abhorrent behavior.

I think my husband wants my dad to respond to my crisis situation because he did choose to tell his own parents. He has my daughter in his care, so it's an unavoidable topic for him, I guess. They are much more enmeshed as a family compared to mine, and I've tried to keep a limit on how much my family knows. I think he wants my family to have less sympathy for me and a lot of sympathy for him. I don't blame him since he's borne the brunt of my problem.

Thanks, I have some things to reflect on here. Now if I could only sleep! There is some loud clunking sound that keeps happening intermittently in the basement below my bed and I have no clue what it could be. I just went down to check on it, a little apprehensively, and found nothing obvious. It's spooky.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:40 AM
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My opinion is that you should stop worrying about telling other people and about what other people think about your addiction. Early recovery took ALL my energy. If you don't want to tell your family, then don't tell them. Once you tell them, it can never be taken back, so be sure before you take that step.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:47 AM
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I agree with Anna. I understand your husband's perspective, too but I would just tell him that you don't want to tell anyone anything right now. You just want to deal. And in time you'll figure it out. Reassure him that you're not blaming him to them. Just that you're telling them it's private (and it is).

Good luck on your continuing sobriety!
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:18 AM
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I think you should "come clean" with your family because it's possible they will imagine much worse than the truth. I don't think you need to tell them any details about what you did while drunk just that your drinking got out of control and you've decided to stop. I was not close to any of my family and had chosen to live thousands of miles away from them my entire adult life, I had not seen any of them in 10 yrs when I quit drinking and rarely spoke to them, the moral support and encouragement they have given me in the past 3 yrs has been absolutely amazing and a vital part of my recovery even though those thousands of miles still separate us.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:13 PM
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hey, i know that feeling of 'should i tell them, shouldnt i?' . i lived on my own for so long so my parents didnt know how bad i was, then i decided i really need help to stop and went to detox and didnt tell anyone. and considering they usually hear from me every couple of days it was really hard to keep under wraps my problem and where i was, i even left early against my counsellors advice.

to tell you the truth even after i left i had no intention of telling my family, especially my parents (my sister who used to live with me was the only one who knew because she was the one who had to put up with me for a long time)

anyways, i went to my moms after to check ni and say hello, and before i knew it i had broken down and was telling her everything, then went and told my dad about where i was and how bad it was....what im getting at is after i had done that, i couldnt believe the amount of weight that was liffted off my shoulders and made my recovery come a bit easier because they knew and would check in on me lots.

i dont know how your relationship with your parents are, but man, it feels really good to come clean with people. i think if you have a feeling that you WANT to tell them, then do it. the support you recieve from them maybe be alot more than you would have thought it would be...mine was anyways.

good luck! Vanilla
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:16 PM
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If you have doubts, then leave it. Don't let others bully you into doing things. This is your life and your recovery.

I told everyone - but then there wasn't much of a secret - I'd become the neighbourhood drunk. It was kinda cathartic to do that, but I'm lucky noone took it badly - I really wasn't thinking about consequences back then.

These days, tho, I agree with Anna - recovery takes a lot of energy - use all your energy to get to where you want to be - then you can think about what you need to say and how you should say it, from a position of strength and surety.

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:54 PM
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Take it easy. Take it slow. Most people probably already have a glimmer of an idea, really.

Think about you.
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