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

Responses: 340


Updated October 09, 2014

The three Cs of Al-Anon

That saved my life: We didn't CAUSE it We cannot CURE it (only they can) We cannot CONTROL the disease or the behavior of alcoholism. So, we must: learn to control how we react to theirs. Us mothers, fathers, siblings, spouses, especially husbands and wives, we so want it to stop. If you follow the rules, you get a 50-50 chance of success. It is not that easy at first, as we are all fed up, frustrated and angry, hurt, sad and so emotional. So now, everyone, take a deep breath, and ONLY for a few minutes, think about our health issues cause if you do not, your health will begin to fail. Now, who will be there to clean up all their messes if we are not. (Ponder that one for a second or two.)

Dear, Tired Numb and Anxious

I hate the meetings too but you can purchase at least one little book and read it. All is written by people like us. Some succeed and some don't. Please do not give up on your daughter. She is so young and maybe if you "get better emotionally" she will come around and try to make her mother proud. Just know this please as I am pulling for you. Do not give up just yet.

Dear, can't do this any more

Sweetie, you are breaking all the rules I broke. I am once again "trying to prove to everybody I am not losing my mind." This will make you all think you are insane. Please, get yourself help, then, when the boyfriend is not drunk, absolutely no ultimatums, as they tend to drink more when given one, then sit and ask quietly, with no yelling, rudeness, only concern, ask him if he needs help. If he says yes, then you are lucky. If he says no. Make an important decision. Stay with the drunk and get treated like a doormat, or start over. I know how difficult this is as I am having to make the exact same decision right now. First, I have to prove my sanity for the second time in 3 years. Good luck and God Bless your situation. Also, as I give you all advice, I am helping myself to become calmer, everyone here is in the same stupid boat: denial, anger, frustration, and we all need to lean on each other so very much right now. Not much else online now is there?

Dear, Need Protection

Please do not allow your son to hurt anyone, including himself. Call 911 if necessary. At least in prison, he cannot drink. I know how you feel and please, seek help from Al-Anon or church or someone you can trust. Do not trust friends and family as they will not understand. I will say a prayer for you, just in case. If you need assistance, find it as fast as you can. Please remember alcoholism is a disease. They would quit if they could, but it is an addiction. Treat it like a disease, but very carefully. Don't let your son abuse you. Do you deserve that? Absolutely not. You are his mother and he cannot respect you while is is poisoning himself with alcohol. Seek treatment for your son and yourself. If he refuses, kick him out and treat yourself for free. I can post rules here if you wish. I have all of the Al-Anon books, slogans, etc. Just say the word. Thank you for reading this post.

What I've Learned so far the Hard Way

Al-Anon, (AL) http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ We are the enablers victims provokers doormats we allow us to "appear" to be crazy frustrated emotional fearful talkative anxiety depression stressed! They help or sit and wait for them to die (unacceptable) but do not expect help from friends/family. I frantically stupidly tried so lost many friends. No, they lost me. A 12 step program: support, love, strictly confidential. You go to meetings, in your area and learn the rules. No stories about drunks. They only treat us: the doormats, the enablers. They teach you remain calm, or get yourselves locked up. I nearly did just last month. My drunk keeps telling me I want to die while drunk. does not want to quit ever. So, out of stress, anxiety, you all know the rest, I nearly went out of my mind trying to get help. alcoholism is A disease even genetic, recognized by Medical Society but it is the most misunderstood and shameful one in existence so learn all you are doing wrong.

Married an alcoholic/becoming one too,

I began seeing a wonderful man during a hard time in my life. He was a good escape from my reality. Drinking and having fun every night. Been almost 3 years and the fun drinking is over. Now it is more arguments and outrages. I have acknowledged I need help and seeking. I try to not drink but not good at saying no when THE BOTTLE comes in the house. I like to drink but know the end result it usually negative. Kids in the house that see it. We have now hide it in the bedroom so we are not SEEN with it, but they see. I know it will be harder to get better if I don't leave, but I can't. He can get verbally mean when he drinks and it is someone else's fault. He says he can stop if he really wants to. What does that take? I love the sober man and the happy drunk is still fun. Confused and trying to make the right choices. No more excuses.
—Guest finally acknowledged

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
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