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Readers Respond: Have You Been Playing a Role in the Life of an Alcoholic?

Responses: 334


Updated September 22, 2012

Good morning to a drunk?

If you greet him with a "Good morning, dear, the coffee's ready!" just as if nothing unusual had happened, you have done your part right.? I do appreciate this writers view overall. But this kind of thinking shows how hard it is to recover from co-dependency. The woman here, and anyone else to say otherwise, should just state bluntly that she does not want a drunk that sleeps in trenches at night. For her own dignity, and self esteem. that is battered in these kinds of cases - not good morning sweetheart to a smelly pig.
—Guest webby

At breaking point

I've been with my partner since I was 14 and now the father to three school aged boys. Over the years alcohol has always been a part of his life. I drink socially and I'm wondering weather or not over the years that has enabled him to reach this point of needing to get help. I started to notice over the years he would have these months of being really neat. Home after work (reasonable time) wanting to go out do things with the kids, being affectionate towards me etc. Then there will come those times where he'll veer off, come home late after drinking, stay away for a couple nights and so on. Then as per usual he'll be texting me wanting to come home (after hes had his "good time"). I can not even recall the amount of times I have ever let him back into my home? Its destroying my soul, and happiness just seems like a blur to me. It has become worse within the last 2 weeks, he's confessed saying he drinks everyday even when I am unaware of it. He wants to get help. Do I let him move back in again? Advice?
—Guest what to do

Not Worth It!

I was married to an alcoholic for 91/2 years. He physically and emotionally abused me in every way possible. We had two sons together, but nothing ever made him happy, except the booze. The abuse got so bad that I became physically ill, having bleeding ulcers and literally wasting away to 85 pounds. That is when I decided that my life was worth more than this. I picked my two sons up and left. It helped out when he told me that all that he wanted was his mommy and daddy and sisters anyway. He died 8 years later of liver failure due to the alcoholism. I remarried a man that makes a good living that does not drink and I have a doctorate in nursing. People, you do not have to put up living with a substance abuser! Life is too short!
—Guest Patti

He didn't drink but his family does

Eight years into our marriage, our first niece was born. Although she seemed all right, she also seemed slow and awkward in some ways. After a year of looking into possibilities that included Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy. I stumbled across *The Broken Cord* that indicated she may have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. And then, when my SIL became pregnant again, I tried to tell her what I had found out about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I carefully worded the Surgeon General's warning about drinking before, during and after pregnancy. She thought the warning was all a great joke. And that since beer and wine were "natural", they were actually good for the baby. That was 22 years ago. We now have three children who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (her second pregnancy resulted in twins). Since then I have worked in the field of FAS prevention and information.
—Guest Peggy

I am the Alcoholic

There is a solution. And there is hope. Dear friends, please continue to love us and pray but understand you can't cure us. You never could. Take care of yourselves first. Don't make up lies for our children they have eyes and you don't want to make them doubt their reality. Don't pick us up from the bars. We didn't need help getting there. Let us be picked up by the police. We are a danger to ourselves and others. Don't bring us our drinks. If we must struggle to get them maybe the struggle will get to hard sooner. It takes what it takes. Recovery is the greatest thing I have ever experienced but I wouldn't believe I needed it until I had ruined the better part of my life. Alanon saved me. Me the alcoholic. It taught me to love myself and that I was sick. Those people loved me until I learned to love myself. And then AA taught me to love life and how to live it sober. For this and so much more, I will always be grateful !
—Guest Desiree

My Father

I'm a 17 year old girl who deals with an alcoholic father. I lived with my father up until I was 6 years old, and have very little memories of him. He came home every other week, and looking back, all I remember was him taking me to the bar down the block. It's sad to say the man knows nothing about me. He tries to be my friend, but alcohol and cocaine seem to capture his attention more. He's been an alcoholic for almost 30 years, and it's going to be impossible for him to stop. He overcame multiple major surgeries, it's almost a miracle he's still alive. I love my father dearly, I want him to change, but that would never happen, not even in my dreams. I hate to say that I gave up on him, but I did. I wish I could be there for him every second of the way, but I simply can't. Rehab has never worked. I recently told him to forget about my life because he told me I was no one to him. He hasn't called me ever since. I guess that means he doesn't care about his daughter.

My boyfriend and best friend

Some days I really want to know why I put myself through this for so long. I knew him since I was 13 and we started dating about 2 years ago. He has put me through hell is all I can think. I've actually had to wake my son up, put him in the car and drive half an hour to pick him up at 2 am because he couldn't get back. Once I picked him up from jail after he had gotten a public intoxicated charge and he literally walked right into the bar before even going into this house. We have since split but tried to remain friends but its so hard being his friend. I just want to help him get better, he's reached out for my help and I do want to be there for him. I've began seeing someone else so it's complicating that a little but, I just don't know what to do to fix it. How do I call his mom and tell her that he needs rehab. Something has to change, I have to move on but I also have to know he's okay. I'm still trying to figure out how to walk away and yet be able to live with myself.

My father

When I was in fourth grade to about sixth grade my father was a severe alcoholic. He never hit us, but I was thrown into the middle of an emotional warpath between him and my mother. I watched my mom cry when he screamed at her. When she told me she wouldn't leave him because of us, the kids, I was so guilty. It's only been 5 years, but my father is a changed man. He has been this way since a day in 6th grade. I got home from school happy but I knew from the look on my mother's face that it was one of those days. I sat at the table and colored in a coloring book (I don't know why I still used coloring books) he was yelling at my brother for some made up thing and my brother got so angry and so done with it that he threw a plate onto the ground and nearly cut an artery. All I remember is that red crayon I was using and how I tried so hard to be strong, to block it out, but I heard the crash and I watched the teardrops land on the pages.
—Guest Michelle

Why didn't I do this sooner?

I have been told I should try Al-Anon for about 3 years now. Now finally I am at that point. I just started looking up stories about Al-anon. I can't believe how everyones story is just like mine. I love my husband of 20 years but not the man who drinks. I am not alone. That is bittersweet.
—Guest Stephanie

I can only help myself

My ex blamed me for everything. He used that to abuse me when I had only got better at not caretaking for him. I had to finally realize he is poison to me. If he never gets help, I can't do a thing about it. A person has to at least see they are sick first. I have to move on. That's living in the answer, as painful as it is.
—Guest valerie

I also live with my husband who drinks

It's been 8 days now with no booze for him once again he failed and 8 days fell down back to 1 again. Ive lived with this all my life. I always meet men who drink. I don't no what to do. I left many times, now back again living again with the same problems. I hate it.
—Guest Gail

Walking Away

After 10 months of dating, I recently decided to leave my alcoholic boyfriend. As much as I love him, he has to be the one to decide to seek treatment. I can't "love him" out of it; he has to want it and follow the path of treatment to recovery himself. The hard part for me is the not knowing is sometimes just as painful as knowing what he's doing. I wonder if he's still drinking, if he's gotten thrown in jail, if he's even still alive. I feel anger, worry, anxiety, depression. But most of all right now I just feel sadness. Sad for him and sad for myself as well. But I believe this is the right decision. Everyone else in his life enables his behavior and doesn't see how that contributes to his decline.
—Guest Ex-Girlfriend

Drinking husband

I feel for you. I always let husband get the best me letting him get away a lot of BS. He has his second DWI no longer have a vehicle. Oh well, what can I do? Been there done it. He will go to court either jail/or treatment. I can't wait. Looking forward to him not being here. I pray in his absence I will do what I need to get well. I feel bad or began to understand why I'm not in love him. You heard this before but he is great husband/father when sober. I have lost many years because I allowed him to continue his drinking/behavior. I want to be happy and really enjoy been alone. I'm not there yet but with His help I will continue my recovery going to Al-non/counseling. My hurt and marriage will pass. Lessons are a part of living.
—Guest lifeisgood

Enabler and martyr

I grew up with an alcoholic mother. and then married an alcoholic. Why did I make the same mistake as my father. I was always taught to enable. I don't know how long I can stay on the vicious roller coaster.
—Guest Daughter/wife


My first husband was addicted to meth and this time the culprit is alcohol. I am not trying to fix my husband. It did not work with the first. I am an addictions counselor, but also human. The best thing we can do for the addicts we love is to stay focused on our goals and realize this is their battle. Let these words comfort you instead of hurt. We can't fight it for them. I have read that some of the people posting think they help addicts by helping pay fines, fees, and other various acts. The best thing we can do for the addicts in our lives is back off and help them when they are ready. The cornerstone to recovery is a solid support system. There is a fine line between support and enabling. Cornerstones maintain the stability of a structure. To be one you have to stay strong and stay focused on yourself. Focus on your hopes and don't lose yourself while trying to hold someone else together. How can you fix something that is broken if you are broken too?

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Have You Been Playing a Role in the Life of an Alcoholic?

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