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Supportive Partners

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
brackishbetty
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by brackishbetty » 16 Dec 2009 13:19

had big argument last night but today the booze has gone. tried to explain its not personal. he says his christmas will be spoiled now. i said go to your mates and stay over one time. just hope i can have a dry christmas. need the rehab to break the cycle of binge drinking. thanks for support <:)>
in the midst of winter, i found within me an invincible summer

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 16 Dec 2009 13:28

Betty sounds you've suggested a good course, a nite out with the guys.
Be strong and stay focused on how important this is to you. <:)>
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

Finnie
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Finnie » 17 Mar 2010 21:21

Hiya
I am struggling to figure out how to create a new topic here. But the supportive partners pretty much fits what I am interested in.

My partner is clinically depressed (has been for 10 years, on anti-depressants) and developed a serious alcohol habit last year (we only got together last year).

This was after some serious counseling which, in my opinion made things worse by extracting everything bad but not enabling him to deal with the memories. He turned to drink.

He drinks beer. In cycles. Around 8-12 beer when he is down. Then one or two weeks of only two when he wants to stop. Then crumbling again and so on and so on.

He wants to stop. He loves his life when he is able to live it. But collapses into not being able to work, meet friends or leave the house when he is drinking. He suffers immensely. And so do I.

I want to be supportive but it is tricky and I often give up telling him anything about the drinking/ giving advice., as I know that HE has to deal with this. He has to want to stop.

We have both called helplines and asked for counseling via the council. It has been a disaster. They lost his record numerous times, don't call back, turn him down, and let me wait for 3 months on the waiting list for partner counseling.

It really seems like noone is out there to support. Being a supportive partner also is difficult because of the number of people who will always just answer with one phrase: Leave him!

For me this is not an option. Noone will ever be in another person's relationship, but I love him. I can see the pristine, wonderful personality he is. The creative person that does not want to drink but whose mind cannot cope with the world sometimes.

So what next?
Please reply to this I am desperate for some quality talking rather than the usual "good advice" a la "he has to figure it out himself". SIck of that, since that is true but there is still a relationship.

MANY THANKS!

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Andy
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Andy » 17 Mar 2010 21:46

If he wants to stop, he could do a lot worse than to join here himself, as you will soon see from looking around the site. There are almost always plenty of people around to offer advise, this advise will come from different peoples personal experience, a lot are similar but they are all different if that makes sense.
Journey started 22-Feb-10.

Finnie
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Finnie » 17 Mar 2010 21:59

PHM wrote:If he wants to stop, he could do a lot worse than to join here himself, as you will soon see from looking around the site. There are almost always plenty of people around to offer advise, this advise will come from different peoples personal experience, a lot are similar but they are all different if that makes sense.
makes good sense and thanks for replying so fast.
he has not discovered this forum yet - how do I put his attention to it without being too pushy (in which case he wont look at it)?

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 18 Mar 2010 12:05

Or maybe, read through the joke page and laugh out loud and when he asks what is so funny you can say "brighteye joke" page?
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

Finnie
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Finnie » 19 Mar 2010 11:08

Thanks guys.
He is reading already. So far says it's a cool site but I think it will take him a while to post something if at all.
especially the relapse threads are good for him I think. o well.
right now he is distracting himself from everything again, wants to forget it all. and i am always hoping he will at least collect himself a little again. it's hard cause we are both unemployed at the moment. anyway - just lamenting here.

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 19 Mar 2010 13:10

Eary days, Finnie. But you have made a bit of progress here.
Sending best wishes to the both of you. <:)>
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Andy
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Andy » 19 Mar 2010 13:37

Hi Finnie,

It's at least progress :-) Get him to look at some of the SOS stories, some will show things can get pretty bad from no where!!!

Also, have you seen the Rain in my Heart series of documentaries on You Tube, major wake up call!!!

Unfortunately, at the end of the day you can lead a donkey to water but cant force it to drink ;-)

Anyway best of luck to the both of you :-) Hope the w/e goes well...
Journey started 22-Feb-10.

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Andy
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Andy » 08 Apr 2010 17:30

nice idea
Journey started 22-Feb-10.

kimbowbill
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by kimbowbill » 19 Sep 2010 18:35

Hi

My partner, well now ex partner as he has left me again, we would have been together for 18 years on and off, we never ever argue only over his drinking, he went into detox 16 months ago and has had 3 relapses in that time, each time I take him back and promises not to do it again, the cold turkey and disruption is quite unbearable, however, I keep supporting him and giving him a lifestyle I thought he loved, we have a motor home and often take to the country in secluded wild camping spots, he loves that, he gets stuck into the garden and makes things to keep himself occupied, but this just doesn't seem to be enough, he still hits the bottle, I manage to get about 6 months of abstinence, this last bout started by me going away for the weekend with my family, I came back to the house in absolute disarray, he was asleep on the settee with an empty bottle of vodka by his side, when I woke him he said it was what he had found in a hedgerow and thought he would play a joke, is this total denial? His family all blame me, saying that I should never give him all the chances, am I wrong to give him those chances? He has now taken an overdose and is seriously ill in hospital, his family are blaming me for that now, I am at my wits end, why do i feel so guilty? what am i doing wrong? is there anyone out there who is getting the blame like i am? do all alcoholics blame others?

misana
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by misana » 20 Sep 2010 23:29

Hello kimbowbill,
The guilt that you feel is tragically commonplace and unjustified. It really isn't your fault. All alcoholics seek to deny responsibility for their problem as a way of avoiding taking action to deal with it. Unfortunately lies and deceit are an intrinsic part of the condition. I drank alcoholically for a very long time and caused considerable hurt to people with behaviour very similar to your partners. Nobody forces your partner to drink and whatever the underlying mental health problems may be, alcohol will only make them worse.Please don't blame yourself.

Sincere best wishes.
Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.
Aldous Huxley.

kimbowbill
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by kimbowbill » 21 Sep 2010 11:34

misana wrote:Hello kimbowbill,
The guilt that you feel is tragically commonplace and unjustified. It really isn't your fault. All alcoholics seek to deny responsibility for their problem as a way of avoiding taking action to deal with it. Unfortunately lies and deceit are an intrinsic part of the condition. I drank alcoholically for a very long time and caused considerable hurt to people with behaviour very similar to your partners. Nobody forces your partner to drink and whatever the underlying mental health problems may be, alcohol will only make them worse.Please don't blame yourself.

Sincere best wishes.
Thank you, your words are very comforting, good luck for the future

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AlexT
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by AlexT » 04 Nov 2010 13:21

Hi All,

Some great posts on here really informative and usefull (::) (::) Wish you all continued success.

Im not having the best of times with my OH right now. We have been together 5 years, 4 of those in the UK and the last one where we moved over to Sweden as she was so homesick and well I love her and her family and we are very happy over here.

The troubles stem from us coming from totally different upbringings when it comes to the drink. My family is full of creative, hedonistic types, all self employed. Dad and mum are antiques dealers, sister is a 3D animator and im a music producer. We have all long liked a drink. Mum and Dad drink far too much wine every day of the year, but my sis and I have always been bad weekend binge drinkers. She used to manage a few bars and well with my djing you can imagine the environment I have worked in over the years. My other half meanwhile comes from a loving, outdoorsy Swedish family full of more rational types and a culture that doesnt revolve around drink the way the british social culture does. Everyone in her family drinks on occasion but its very slow and moderate and they are not bothered about drink really.

It basically all means she doesnt entirely understand the struggles I have in trying to quit drinking (the fact I only drink one night a week means she fails to see I even have a problem in the first place). I think in her own way she tries to be supportive but the bottomline is she can totally 'take or leave' drink as can all her family members. Myself and my family, like many on here will understand, love being sociable and getting pissed. I just have a hard time breaking out of these weekend binges. As per my signature I am a weekend alcoholic (no im an alcoholic who simply has controlled his pattern to the weekend)

We have been invited to a friends house warming this weekend with most of our friends over here going. I have politely declined and confided in both my OH and her best friend (who is having the house warming) but neither understands and they both think im being silly in not 'confronting the demon head on' and coming to the party on the soft drinks. I think most will know how hard it can be to get through that first one or two weekends without the drink. I don't feel strong enough to tackle a party environment yet. I totally agree and recognize that simply shutting oneself off to social situations where everyone will be drinking, is not dealing with the alcohol monster. Perhaps more would be achieved with tackling it head on. I just dont feel strong enough to resist the temptation should someone place one of my favourite ice cold wheat beers infront of me

Its so hard when your own partner doesnt truly understand what it is to be addicted to something (be that physically or psychologically) and what a struggle it is to not drink on those situations. Hard, really, really hard. I wish I could be like her and all her friends - moderate drinking Swedes who can have 3 glasses of wine and then hit the waters...How do people do that?? My girlfriend says she hits a point and then feels sick if she doesnt stop, I've never had that. My friends and I wore our hurculean drinking bouts like a badge of honour on our lapel. Funny when you are 15 maybe, not so 20 years later at 34 when alot of your other friends have babies and are slowing down, not going out (whether they drink more now at home I dont know).

Someone else said on another post that what helped them quit was realizing that like an illness, us drinkers are potentially hard-wired differently, that the buzz alcohol creates in us is physically craved by our bodies and hence the withdrawal syptoms. These 'normal' moderate drinkers dont get that. My OH being a prime example. Our chat about the party actually got quite heated until she said, 'have a bit of willpower will you for gods sake' , to which I retorted that she really didn't understand me or what it was to struggle with heavy drinking. Its like saying to fat people 'oh for gods sake just stop eating so much then'. So easy to be on the outside of someone elses addiction and see how easy it may be for you but not for them!

Anyways great to have somewhere to share as my partner really doesnt understand me. What that means for our relationship I dont know.

x
reforming weekend alcoholic and music lover
http://www.artizanmusic.co.uk

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zarajenkin
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by zarajenkin » 04 Nov 2010 17:51

Hi Alex,

Don't have much time to write right now but read your post with interest. My OH does understand as he is a hedonist himself and not good at moderate drinking.

I just wanted to say that I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from. We have my husband's parents coming tomorrow to Lewes - we have a huge bonfire celebrations here - they always bring bottles of wine.... I am planning not to drink and won't drink but just thinking about starts the cravings and I shall be relieved to wake up on Saturday morning!

Got to go now - but sending you lots of support to Sweden. <:)>

I am going to a party on Saturday too where I plan to be sober. Week days are almost always no problem whatsover - but at weekends I start feeling I am missing out and become upset and resentful even though I know I am doing the best - only! - thing possible. I have three kids and don't want to be a drunken mother.


zara

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AlexT
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by AlexT » 04 Nov 2010 18:14

Hey Zara,

Thanks for that <:)>

I hear you. For me its completely associative like that. All about the environment im in and the people. Not one to crave drink on my own (although im not judging anyone who does btw! x) but I just get the itches at weekends. Sometimes I miss one weekend and its great but then by the next weekend im DOUBLE-RARING to go :roll: Such a constant cycle of boom-crash boom-crash.

I remember reading an article a while back about us weekend heavy drinking types and it said that we are in a state of 'middle health', we do our jobs, we go to the gym but all hell breaks loose at the weekends. We are therefore neither healthy nor totally unfit but as far as Im concerned thats not good enough when one gets older and I still find it alcoholism but just controlled to the weekends. God how I wish I had that ability to jsut have 3 or 4 beers and call it a night but that was never a 'party' for me. Maybe this whole method of controlled drinking (damage limitation I call it haha) is also a root problem, psychologically I save up my units and do them all in one go but because i dont 'allow' myself any drinking during the week it tends to always be a big binge when I do. Then again, on the times I have allowed myself midweek drinking I've just felt strangely unsatisfied by just a couple of afterwork beers...like its not doing it properly on a school night, it was always about Saturdays and staying out late and drinking like a crazy person :roll: :lol:

Any thankyou for your reply and bestest of luck to you at staying sober and a SUPERMUM!! :)
reforming weekend alcoholic and music lover
http://www.artizanmusic.co.uk

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Neal
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Neal » 04 Nov 2010 18:45

Bang! And out of the blue come a few posts that remind me (and probably us all) of why ‘I’ am here. The few posts above have been very poignant and moving. Finnie, Kimmbowbill, Misana, Alex and ZaraJ, thank you for the openness. I add my sincerest best wishes with (and send them to) Misana.

I know that I often feel that this is all about me, and in a way it is, but I forget that my BH and my DD are in (emotional) recovery too. I was beginning to toy with the idea of trying to have a drink again – I think it was thinking about Christmas that set John (Barleycorn) off, telling me it’ll be ok to drink. He’s been saying that control can happen. And I was starting to believe him.

I was beginning to feel aggrieved at a conversation I’d had a couple of weeks ago, with my BH. We were at her folks and her dad was asking, like he does these days, if I was still tea-total and I was saying, like I do these days, that I am still not drinking and not really caring about that and not really missing it. Then he remarked that I’d maybe have a few at Christmas, and I said, “Aye, I might have a couple of wee drams along the way.”

I hadn’t even got the full-stop out when my wife said under her breath, “Aye? Do you still want to be married?”

I sniggered at the time, but it has obviously been niggling away somewhere, because John ‘the Bastard’ Barleycorn used it in his train of thought. I’m not sure where it would’ve gone – and maybe I still don’t. But...

Those posts above, reminded me of what those around me have been through because of my drinking for twenty-odd years – longer, even. They also reminded me of some of the low points, how really low alcohol can and has taken me. All those times I’ve said “Never Again, I Need To Stop” and all those times I said “Tomorrow” and how I would have wished to be where I am just now. So, now, lumped in with those comments is, “Aye, I might have a couple...” I will not have a couple. I don’t think I could ever just have a couple. I know the hurt, futility, anger, great sadness and penury booze has brought to my life and the lives of others in the past. That is why I am here. To fix me and to fix things I broke. I often forget that because it is regretful and painful and we must move forward. But the posts above, served as a reminder to me of what it is I am really leaving behind. It’s not nights ‘oan the swally’ with the lads, or champagne at celebrations, or a Chablis with my fish course and red with my steak... What I am really leaving behind is what happened because of booze.

My wife, who has been through so much with all of the wanton waste, with all the wine and whisky, also said that the new me makes her happy, really happy. What more do I want?
"...all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it... and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

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Neal
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Neal » 26 Dec 2010 09:43

Well, a home-made Christmas present reduced me to tears several times yesterday.

The final present I opened contained a letter and an oval shaped tin. The letter (and gift) was from my wife. She wrote about how life is filled with ups and downs with some beautiful metaphors. She wrote about the difficulties we’ve faced this year (financial, work, bereavement) and wrote about her gratitude that I was such a strong support and had been there in a capacity to be dependable, decisive and so on (all on account of sobriety, I hasten to add).

In the accompanying tin, all carefully rolled up like tiny little scrolls standing on their end (about 1 cm wide/tall), were around two hundred tiny printed happy memories from my own life. These, my wonderful wife said, are to be used a bit like a compass if I feel I’m losing my bearings. I pluck one from the tin, read it, and take myself off in my mind to that happy place and fill my mind with the warmth of remembering. (A bit like a promise box a saw once or twice, for Christians.) Taking the lid off, it was beautiful. Like looking at little, round, paper honeycombs. Myriad wee rolls and curls of scrolled intricacy.

The thought and work and uniqueness and time put into this gift makes it priceless. As Christmas presents go, it is perhaps the most cherished I will ever receive.

I suppose I should share my first one (since I wanted to see the sort of thing written on them).
The first one said “Eating the spring lamb lunch in Eugenio’s flat”. Now, that related to a time when I was helping an Italian friend with his doctoral works – he had to write a certain percentage of his papers in English and I helped with translation and proofing work. To show his gratitude, he invited me to Rome for a weekend to stay with him and to thank me he cooked a very special lunch. (In his hometown, far south from Rome, a little hilltop village, he had helped an old woman to recovery from a serious illness. To thank him, she had the finest lamb killed for him and gave him the meat. He had frozen this for a special occasion and he cooked it for me on a Sunday in January several years ago as I proof read some of his final doctoral works.) I was able to recall so many details from that weekend spent in Rome – but that lamb and rosemary is the finest I’ve ever eaten. What a lovely memory.

It was, coincidentally, a great memory to choose. It reminded me of the lucky life I’ve had so far. It reminded me of my selfless, caring wife – she was happy for me to go to Rome (her favourite city) alone for that weekend but, also, she has included events in my memory box that are my own as well as ones that we both share. (I did look at another two.)

A compass, if I start to lose my bearings. Amazing!

What a work of genuine generosity and selflessness. I well up with emotion even to think of it.

Neal
"...all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it... and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?"

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Maddie
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Maddie » 26 Dec 2010 10:19

What a truly lovely gift Neal. That brought tears to my own eyes reading that. To have such support and through everything you've been through really is a gift. <:)> <:)>

Maddie X
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe

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Jjjj of Old
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Jjjj of Old » 26 Dec 2010 19:05

Neal - thanks for sharing that. I think it's one of the most beautiful and touching posts I've ever read here. You already know how lucky you are to have your wife; and I reckon she's pretty darn lucky to have you, too.

Best wishes to you and your family for the rest of the festive season (and the coming year),
Mark
"Addiction doesn’t go away when we stop drinking." ~ Tai

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