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coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
Rachel35
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Rachel35 » 25 Aug 2008 16:35

Hi Bupster

I'm sure in his heart of hearts he would be pleased, but sceptical about me seeking help. I don't think that he will change his ways as a result. The funny thing is though, I don't suffer from handovers (or only extremely rarely) and I always get up early in the morning bright and breezy. I have never been late for work or taken the day off because I am worse for wear.

My OH does drink and I find this a problem as if he decides it is alright for us to buy a bottle of wine or go to the pub then everything is OK. But if I decide, he will dig his heels in and make me feel bad about it. In fact, I do believe that he did have a period of drinking a few years ago when he had a bottle of wine every night. You would think that this would mean he was a little more understanding and helpful. I think he believes that if he can deal with something, then everyone else should be able to so. So I'm probably on my own here, apart from the lovely people on this forum.

I actually feel quite excited at the prospect of giving up the booze and not having to lie anymore. I just bumped into a neighbour outside and was glad I didn't have to cover up any sign of alcohol or squiffiness. I'm under no illusions though. I know this is not going to be easy but I think support is a real key. I'll keep you posted.

Rachel :D

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Bupster
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Bupster » 25 Aug 2008 17:00

Hey Rach,

Typical bloke, thinking if they can do something anyone can. It's different for everyone. I gave up smoking two years ago but it took me ages to prepare for it, other people can just stop. You're dead lucky not getting hangovers - but it sounds like there are other problems? I got to the stage where I seemed to be constantly existing in a state of low-level hangover, so much so that stopping drinking seemed far worse than carrying on because I felt worse the next day if I hadn't had a drink!

Maybe he does enjoy having the moral high ground. There's not a lot you can do about that, except separate what you're doing from him in your head - which is hugely difficult to do, I had something similar with my OH. Ironically enough, now I'm sorting myself out, his drinking's got worse, but other posters on the forum say they just got on with making their own changes and often their partners eventually followed. Maybe if he's not being supportive you should take a break from talking to him about it? Just work out some goals for yourself, and share them with him if he seems interested, and with us whether he is interested or not. That way you know someone's listening and understands what you're doing regardless of whether he does.

I found that a period of coming off the booze helped, there were loads of advantages but one that helps in social situations is that other people - including your OH - get used to you changing what you drink between alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks and it gives you more freedom when you're cutting down in the future. You can say it's a health thing. I just offer that up because it sounds like drinking with other people, esp your OH, is a bit of a trouble spot and that's maybe why it's been easier to drink on your own. Of course I might very well be talking out of my backside, and I should point out that it took me 15 years of regularly insane drinking to get it together to have a 'period of coming off the booze'.... makes it sound so easy, doesn't it? hee hee.

I haven't read all your posts yet, I'll go do that now (I'm rubbish). What's your drinking like now? For a lot of us it's daily (it is at the moment for me, next goal to break that habit). Have you had any long periods off it? or even short periods?

All the very best, and well done for your enthusiasm. It's such a big thing to feel excited about something that isn't alcohol. Just remember that it's your fight, nobody else's, and that you'll do it in your own time - that might well take a while and you might fall down occasionally but it's not the end of the fight if you do.

xx bupster
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

Rachel35
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Rachel35 » 25 Aug 2008 17:16

Well I know you are right, in that, this is my fight regardless of his opinion or judgment. My drinking has only been a problem which has gradually increased over the last 3 years. Before that I hardly ever drank and definately never at home. Now it ranges. I have cut down recently and feel that I have done OK but I can feel it increasing again now. I know I am an all or nothing drinker. I don't understand why someone would choose to have one alcoholic drink and leave it at that. For me, you might as well have a soft drink as one alcoholic drink. After all the effect of alcohol is the lure, surely, even if it is just one. I suppose I feel like a yo-yo dieter.

How about yourself? How are you doing? I think, like yourself, totally keeping off it is the only answer

Big hugs <:)>

Rachel

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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by C F » 25 Aug 2008 17:22

Its interesting Rachel how you say no-one at work would have a clue about your problem. Its the same with me and probably loads of others on here. Sometimes they joke and say that I like a drink but its only because I dance when Ive had a drink and its on a night out. They have no idea that I drink more at home than I do when I go out!

Its also encouraging to know that Im not the only one who has had to pretend to be sober when the neighbours pop round or someone phones up. Ive had phone conversations with people and havent remembered the next day what they said!

Hopefully thats in the past and I can be honest with everyone and stop the drinking
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Bupster
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Bupster » 25 Aug 2008 17:36

Hi guys,

I've had three months completely sober out of the last eight, and I'm drinking very little at the moment - one bottle of beer on each of the last three nights - with a view to cutting it down to only drinking two or three nights a week. Baby steps! The two separate six weeks off each made it easier to keep my drinking more sane when I started again, though I don't know if this would work for everyone, and I don't even know if it'll work for me. At least after my two sober periods I'm no longer scared of the idea of never being able to drink again, it feels much more like something I could appproach with understanding and acceptance instead of the sheer terror that accompanied my original thoughts about knocking it on the head!

The one drink a night thing is very, very new. Before recently I was exactly the same - it was an absolute mystery to me why anyone would go out for a pint. What's the point? I'm still not sure what the point is! But I'm doing it anyway and it's quite pleasant. I'm actually choosing not to have a second so I don't have to go to the loo so often in the night (I'm on crutches for a broken ankle).

Of course if I were really free of the Evil Alcohol Fairy, I probably wouldn't bother at all. But at least I'm recognising my behaviour instead of (dragging myself back on topic) lying to myself and other people all the time about what I've drunk, whether I'm drunk, filling in gaps in conversations where I'm clearly supposed to know more than I do because I was out of my head when the earlier conversation took place, breaking promises all the time because I made them when drunk when everything seems possible and easy and then waking up feeling dreadful and unable to face anything, avoiding people because I was too hungover to cope with them and then drinking because I mysteriously seemed to have no friends sober, and all the other stuff. I think the definition of drinking is living a lie. For me the first two steps, whichever order you put them in, were to stop drinking, and to be honest. Everything else seemed to flow from those.
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

Rachel35
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Rachel35 » 25 Aug 2008 18:36

Thanks Darcy,

I phoned him about half an hour ago to ask him when he would be home so I could talk to him. I did tell him over the phone that I have begun actively seeking help today but he seemed disinterested. We'll see. I'll let you know.

We're all here to support you through your bad patch. We know the struggles and daily challeneges. Keep with it.

Rachel <:)>

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Bupster
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Bupster » 25 Aug 2008 19:29

Good luck tonight Rachel, do post and tell us how it went. And don't forget this is primarily about you, not about him, or the relationship. So if you don't get the reaction you want and need from him, it doesn't matter, because the point is that you've decided to do something. Focus on that, and if you're feeling down, or angry, or even elated, let us know <:)>

Maybe keep it simple tonight? Just tell him how you feel, and what you're doing, and let him say anything he needs to, then go off and do something else? You could "book" yourself a long hot bath, or sorting out a cupboard, or something else that takes up time and maybe energy and that is just you doing it, to give you a chance to think things through after you've had a chat? Just ideas.

And Darcy - what's the counselling like? I'm really thinking about it as I'm housebound at the moment. Only trouble is I'm a bit skint too! Wish you all strength for crisis time.

Bupster xx
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Tosca » 26 Aug 2008 19:10

Good luck tonight Rachel. You are brave beyond words. It is hard when they are disinterested. Everyone is right- this is for you. It's your heart and soul that matter. The rest will fall into place when you feel good about your accomplishments and start to give yourself a pat on the back for little things as well as big. (pat...pat...)

Man...did everything on this thread ring a bell for me. I ran out of liquor stores - I have to go out of town to find one who doesn't know me. I would ask the gal behind the til if this wine went well with fish for my dinner party. (That bottle is dinner!) I made plans over the phone for my sister with my mother and totally forgot. The lies I thought of around that should be in the Actor's Studio! The number of things I have bought from late-night info commercials is ridiculous - but I really needed them!

I want to stop this cycle. I want to, but it doesn't seem like I'm really trying. I'm still drinking - except I'm thinking about it more. As in, I feel even more guilt when I go overboard but I still go overboard. I don't really know where to start to stop, I guess.
Tosca

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Bupster
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Bupster » 26 Aug 2008 22:09

Hey Darcy - thanks, I'm going to try it. And all the very best with what you're going through, I send you all my best wishes.

And Tosca, you're already starting to stop, by being on this forum. I only joined a couple of days ago, I can see that you've more experience than me, but I've found it so useful I can barely keep away. It's exactly what I needed right now and I hope it's what you need too. I know how guilty drinking can make you feel, but if you can, shuffle the guilt to one side and see if you can find something in your life that makes you feel positive and good about yourself that isn't drink - could be a job, could be going for a walk, could be a person - and think about how that makes you feel. Guilt and drink isn't everything that you are, there's a lot more, and that's already trying to get out. I wish you all the very best as well and I'll be here any time you want to talk.
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

Tosca
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Tosca » 26 Aug 2008 22:26

Hey again, Bupster and thanks again. You're right. I have to change my brain and I've been saying that to myself for a little while now. Guilt and drink are not all that I am, but it's very easy to lose myself in those thoughts. But! I'm here and I get so much from everyone. This support is like a warm blanket.

Sounds like you've really been working hard. Congratulations on only one pint a day! That must feel so rewarding. <:)>
Tosca

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Bupster
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Bupster » 26 Aug 2008 22:32

Thanks, Tosca! Nothing at all tonight, going to try to lay off until Friday, when I have several friends travelling to my city from a long way away and traditionally we have several drinks. One's actually a very good friend who's had his own battles with the booze, so I think I can say to him that I'm trying to go easy and it might make it easier for both of us to do that.

This thread has the best title of any of them, I think. I can't imagine going back to where I was a few years ago, where everything was lies, including what I told myself. Being honest with myself was the best thing ever, like opening the window in a dark sweaty room and letting some light in. Though there were some pretty horrible things to tidy up :D That's why I think you'll do so well, because you're already having a word with yourself.

All the best (and hugs back),
Bupster <:)>
Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. George Herbert

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Stephen_A
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Stephen_A » 27 Aug 2008 04:16

Hi Rachel,
It's tough dealing with the bottle and even tougher when we find our nearest and dearest seem to be non supportive or even distant. I feel that I'm with Darcy on this one. Your other half might not have a happy relationship with drinking and the action you are taking is threatening. The male ego is an awfully fragile thing.

Support is great, but even with all the encouragement in the world the biggest battle is with ourselves after all.

My personal honesty came about when I admitted to myself that I am not one of those people who can enjoy a drink. Even on the occasions I would join in with happy happy and sociable drinking, I would go home and finish it off with oblivion. Most of the time it was drinking alone though. After admitting this, the path giving it up completely was inevitable.

Stephen.

Rachel35
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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Rachel35 » 27 Aug 2008 09:06

Hi Steven,

Thanks for your thoughts on that. It is really difficult not to receive support. But you are absolutely right. I am doing this for me. Unfortunately, I think OH thinks I should be doing it for him. Problem is, even if I combat this (as I said to him yesterday) will he pick on something else about me. And guess what, this morning he did! Suggested that it probably wasn't booze that made my personality change, I'm just moody anyway. Can't win. Never mind, I'm not going to retaliate.

Well I've completed 2 days without a drink and I'm proud of that. I went out last night, picked 3 friends up and dropped them home again and only drank 2 glasses of coke all evening. And I had a good time. The funny thing was I kept thinking, all these people think I'm only on soft drinks cos I'm driving. They have no idea what a turning point it is for me to actually do that. I also wondered how I would have been behaving had I been on the wine. I probably would have been dominating the conversation (a bit like my manager was!) It felt good to be in control and to be able to listen to other people and to be thanked for driving!

Hope you all have a good day. I'll check in a little later. Bye for now.

Rachel :lol:

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Re: Being Honest or living a lie

Post by Tosca » 27 Aug 2008 14:44

Wow, I can't tell you (or maybe I can!) how awesome everyone has made me feel today. I had only one drink before dinner last night and stopped! I don't know if I've turned any pages, but at least I read 1/2 the piece of paper.

Jos, you give me hope and I will keep reading and posting. Maybe I'll switch one habit for another and this is a healthy change. "Action follows thought." I like that and I'm going to hold onto it.

Bupster, you sound like you've gone through a lot to get where you are today. Your words are inspiring. Good luck with your friends on Friday. I'll be thinking about you.

High Hopes, I've washed the towel and I'm ready to throw it in, but still hesitate. It's a friend I'm throwing away and I don't know who I am without it. Thanks for letting me know it can be done even with the mind-set I have going on right now. 13 weeks! Wow...you have every reason to beam.

Rachel, you're on the road! (Excuse the driving pun.) Two days AND you went out with friends who were drinking. Now you know that you can do it. You said you can't win. You just did! You won a battle for yourself.

Stephen, I really relate to what you said. I do the same thing after drinking with friends. If I could stop that part of it, maybe I would be able to go out once in a while and be 'normal'. But, I think my honesty is that I'm not normal and never will be. It will always be a struggle.

Off to work now without a hangover! That's always a good thing!
Tosca

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coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by queenie » 18 Sep 2008 07:42

do you live a lie? a lot of us do. this topic is about whether and how we tell people close to us that we are struggling with our drinking.
how many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change...

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Re: coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by whyme » 22 Apr 2009 06:32

Hello Everybody,

Came across this thread and ended up reading all of the posts, so many things hit home.

I find that it makes me stop and really look at the past. I had a Partner for 16 years who would always find something wrong with me to keep me down, didn't realise it at the time. I was so depressed and felt worthless that I would drink, on my own, as I wasn't allowed out because he didn't trust other men with me, since found out that since leaving him that he had more affairs than I had bottles of vodka!.

I would binge drink, then just stop for sometimes months but during that time I would be fat, stupid, ugly, clumsy, disorganised, then I would be, in his opinion, too superior and that I thought I was far better than him and this went on for 16 years, a downward spiral to oblivion BUT I went to AA and made the biggest decision of my life and left him.

My new Partner (I vowed I would never have another one but he is so lovely) is so different, he listens and tries to understand, I have told him about my past and I would not feel happy him not knowing but this has given him cause to worry. He so wants to help me and would do anything for me but he does not understand t me, I have a problem with alcohol but I can see it in his eyes, he is so trying to understand but he never will. I know that but I am trying to let him down gently so that I do not hurt his feelings. I know that I must do this by myself.

I have never worried about telling people that I have a drink problem or a problem with drink but I have come to realise that even if I don't they do.

Once said you can't take it back and your relationship, in my opinion, changes forever. I have found that it is so much easier to talk/chat here because I know I can be honest and to be honest about drinking and how I feel is so hard when talking to people who do not have the same problem.

I have found that since finding this site my relationship has improved dramatically, there is this piece of me that I need to deal with by myself, I know there should be no secrets in a relationship but I don't consider that I am being secretive, I am doing what is best for me and then as a result everyone else close to me benefits.

I hate the fact that I have always put that "doubt" in my OH's mind, will he come home and find me "legless" he has told me, that is, what he so worries about when he comes through the door in the evening "What will he find"

I am more focused than i have ever been and having this site where I can go anytime I want to is so very reassuring.

Thank you all

Love Kate X <:)>

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Re: coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by damson » 07 May 2009 22:01

sounds like a good plan Nick. Take things slowly, dont put too much pressure on yourself. One day at a time is what you'll hear lots of us saying on here. baby steps.
As you so rightly say there is plenty of time in the future for confronting stuff that may need confronting - but now is not the time. Myself, I don't like revisiting the past, I prefer to look to the future because I can do something about that.... but we must all do what is right for us.
All the best, hope you enjoy the journey - expect some rocky roads ahead but we'll be here to support you,
Damson

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Re: coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by Gump » 07 May 2009 22:04

You are brave Nick. You are good.
I expect to join you in your decision soon. Gathering strength...
Well done and keep it going. You are an inspiration for others (at least for me you are).

<:)>

Jo
"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can."

"People who say it can't be done shouldn't interrupt those who are doing it."

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Re: coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by Tony » 08 May 2009 08:23

NOW IS MY TIME

Boy oh boy, do i love that one Nick. So, so positive.

Remember it Nick, live it, breathe it and recall it during difficult moments (maybe add it to your signature).

tony x
Keep your shield up at ALL times. Keep your promises, reach your small targets.THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK.

European Duvet Diving Champion Nov 2006.
AF 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014 & 2015. Woohoo, it's possible folks.

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Re: coming out as a drinker to people close to us

Post by archie » 29 May 2009 20:04

Have told my three closest friends that I have to be tee total now... support was great and they weren't surprised at all as they've been so concerened about my drinking for such a long time.

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