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My Story Living With An Alcoholic.

by Kat

My story isn't here to depress, scare or upset anyone. Unfortunately my story is a reality for many.

I met him when I was 19 and he was 26, in a bar of all places. We got on instantly, he was funny, intelligent and fun to be around. We had a great time together and the days we spent together quickly rolled into weeks, months etc.

He was quite a heavy drinker, we were young and had no responsibilities, we'd go out on a weekend and have a good time. He always handled his drink well and it never seemed a problem.

As our relationship developed we moved in together and were happy, after a few years we had a daughter together, the minute he saw her I knew he was in love. He was a fantastic father. He worked hard to provide for us and I wouldn't mind when he went out to bars and pubs on a weekend to unwind after a long working week. Our son completed our little family two weeks after our daughters 2nd birthday.

As the children grew a little older and started Nursery and school I got an evening job to help support our family. It was some time around then that I started to see his drinking as being a problem, our kids were 5 and 3.

He stopped going out as much as I was working, but would buy beer or lager to drink in the house. On a weekend he might get a bottle of Whiskey or Bacardi. I mentioned a few times that his drinking seemed to be getting heavier, he argued that he spent all day working and all evening caring for our kids while I was at work; couldn't a man relax?...

He was stressed out with work and would regularly be asleep when I got home from work at 10pm, it seemed the time we saw each other was getting less and less.

Gradually his personality was changing. Gone was the happy go lucky man I met. He would complain if he didn't think I had done enough housework during the day, he would hide things behind furniture and argue that if I had cleaned the room properly I would have noticed a random piece of lego behind the Sofa etc. I was on edge and he was always on the look out for things to shout at me for.

One day he came home from work early, he was very ill, he was sweating and shaking and his heart was racing, not one to go to the Dr's I was shocked when he booked himself an appointment. The Dr said he was stressed, his job was too much pressure and gave him beta blockers to help with the heart racing feeling.

That night he was so ill, he couldn't sleep, couldn't sit still and eventually woke me up to say he thought he was going crazy, he could see dust falling from the ceiling and there was someone in his car outside and he would scream out as he saw spiders crawling all over his body. I was terrified and we went to see the emergency Dr.

It was there that the Dr asked for a urine sample, his urine was very dark, I presumed it was from the dark brown tablets he was taking, it turned out to be blood in his urine. The Dr asked if he drank a lot and it was then that he said he had been drinking up to 18 cans of Cider a night and sometimes half a bottle of Vodka.

I was astonished, he had been drinking all that while I was at work and was in charge of our children. He'd realised his drinking was bad and had stopped. He was suffering from Alcohol withdrawal and suffering DT's and hallucinations. He was admitted to hospital for a full detox under medical care.

A week later he was allowed home from Hospital, he was a different man, happy, colourful and had an appetite and seemed like the old man I knew. We spoke about his drinking, he confided all. We both agreed to get help and he decided to stop drinking.

He was sober for two weeks until he said he felt well enough to be able to just have a few drinks a week. Before long it was 4 cans a night (and an extra 4 he thought I didn't know he had hidden).

The downward spiral started, he was drinking heavily again and would be so angry with me. We would argue and I would spend hours on the internet looking for help - he wasn't interested, he wouldn't drink as much if I cleaned the house more, was more affectionate ... anything so he could blame me.

After trying to get sober again a few months later we went to an AA meeting, we sat and listened to the speakers and I had nothing but admiration for the people who were battling against alcohol. I walked out with a renewed sense of hope - we could beat this, we were armed with phone numbers of people who offered to be there anytime day or night should he need it...he said he felt better, he felt reassured that he wasn't an alcoholic, he wasn't as bad as some of those 'losers', he hadn't lost his job, family or home. He was OK, he just needed to 'cut down'.

Months passed by and we had done nothing but argue, he was drinking worse than ever and I lost MY job because he couldn't be trusted to care for our kids. He would call me awful names and tell me I was worthless and constantly tell me to 'get a job' and his favourite name for me was C*nt. After a few months of hell he decided he needed to go back to AA. And started attending meetings alone - always calling to the pub on the way home.

I was getting paranoid, I would check the house for booze, I would ring him constantly to make sure he was OK, so he started to say he was staying away as I was nagging so much.

One day he was late home from work, I called him just in time to hear the Police asking him to put the phone down, he had been caught driving whilst drunk. He spent the night in a cell and was found to be FIVE times over the legal limit. He promised to get help and stop drinking.

With no car he found it hard to work, so his father came out of retirement to work with him so he could drive him to work. Then we realised he was drinking while at work. He lost many contracts due to not turning up to work. I once saw him in Town asleep on a bench, too embarrassed to say anything I went home - he came home later and said he had been working all day.

The kids were losing their Father, I tried my hardest to shield them from it, but they heard him arguing and eventually started to see him falling around and often found alcohol hidden in their rooms.

We went to the Drs numerous times together, but they offered little help until he could be sober for a month or so, he seemed to do cycles of 2 weeks drunk, one week recovering and one week sober then he would drink again. I was at my wits end. A bag of nervous energy.

He had got so bad he would sleep all day and drink all night, only waking up to drink more, he would sometimes just hang his head off the side of the bed and throw up and go back to sleep.

It got to the stage where I was thankful of him being so drunk he was blacked out, that way he didn't argue. Because when he was awake he was violent.

He would go out and sometimes get brought home by strangers as he had passed out, sometimes he wouldn't come home at all and had spent the night in hospital as he'd had a fit or collapsed.

I had no money and my kids were seeing way too much, I felt like a total failure.

In the times he was sober he would cry, he was going through hell, anyone could see that. Not drinking made him ill, drinking made him sad, ashamed and angry.

I would scream and cry at him to stop and get help, I'd throw photos of the kids at him to see what he had to live for, nothing seemed to help.

Christmas Eve 2007 he was drunk, I pleaded with him to be sober on Christmas day to see the kids open the presents my sister had had to give me the money to buy. He was sober but suffering severe withdrawal and vomited all over their presents.

I lay in bed that night and knew that I could not spend another year like this, I knew if I did I would either kill him or myself...not a nice thing to admit but things were so bad.

January he got angry at me as I wouldn't let him have the kids inheritance from my Father, he punched me in the head in front of the children and said I deserved it.

I called my sister asked her to come and get me and I left with nothing but the clothes on our backs. And vowed never to go back again.

We split and sold the house and he moved into a BAR! When he was sober I allowed him to see his children, but those times were few and far between. After a year he got his own place and seemed to be happier...sober more often.

After a few months the kids wanted to start staying over night, I would let them but they always had a mobile phone and I was just around the corner and never left the house when they were with him.

He started to lose weight, and was quite clearly ill. He loved spending time with the kids and they loved seeing their Dad sober - they knew he would be fine for a while and then they wouldn't see him for a couple of weeks while he was drinking. It wasn't an ideal situation but they loved him and he loved them, I couldn't bear to not let them see each other.

He would call me sometimes and told me he was ill. I offered to go to the Drs with him but he always cancelled on me. I wanted to help him so much, he was the Father of my kids and without drink was a wonderful man.

In October 2010 he passed away in Hospital, he had been admitted to hospital for Jaundice and was due to be home on Wednesday - that morning he suffered an oesophageal haemorrhage and bled to death at the age of 40, leaving two kids aged 10 and 8, fatherless and heart broken.

I don't know if this story will serve any purpose. I suppose I am hoping someone will read this and it will shock them into getting help and stopping drinking.

I still carry guilt to this day that I couldn't help him, that I had to finally walk away with the kids as it was ruining everyone's lives.

I wish for everyone that posts on here or visits here that they get their happy ending. It takes time and a tremendous amount of courage, but I hope you find sobriety either for yourself or your loved one, I truly do.

Comments for My Story Living With An Alcoholic.

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Apr 17, 2012
by: Kat

Adina and Anonymous,
Thank you for your posts. I find it a somewhat cathartic experience writing about it, it was a massive part of my life and has shaped the future for me, I hope to work with people who's loved ones are suffering addiction.

Adina, I can understand your frustration- it goes against human nature to not help someone when they're suffering. The truth is I know no matter what I did my Ex would still have carried on until he got to a place where he knew he needed to stop- and more so truly wanted to stop.

At times for me it was easier near the end of our relationship for him to drink, when he was drunk he was too out of it to be verbally or physically aggressive. He was usually in a drunken stupor, sleeping off the booze.

Your sister in law certainly isn't making things any easier- for herself as much as your brother, sometimes in the depths of despair and drunkeness you can have a moment of clarity and I hope this happens for your brother. I am sending you lots of love at this hard time, the worst feeling in the world is feeling useless and unable to help.

Anonymous, I love to hear people's stories of sobriety, some people don't always have empathy with what alcoholics have been through, I have nothing but admiration as I have seen what it can do to a strong, intelligent person.

I hope you're very proud of yourself.

Mar 14, 2012
Your guilt
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing....I am a 34 year old recovering alcoholic. I wouldn't stop drinking because of the severe withdraw symptoms, it's like food poisoning times 10 with major sweating and shaking, it's miserable and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Mentally I kept drinking because I was so ashamed of what I had said and done while drunk, drinking helped me numb that guilt and pain.

I finally got sober when my family took me to a homeless shelter and made me stay with no phone or money. I decided it was time to face my problems and live my life. But it's not easy, Alcohol is everywhere.

Remember, it's not your fault, you did the right thing and this is coming from an alcoholic. No matter how many treatment centers or jails I was in the drinking didn't stop until the alcoholic (me) decides they have had enough of that terrible life.

You sharing your story and helping others is the ultimate defeat over alcohol, thanks again

Mar 10, 2012
My sympathies......and siblings suffer too.....
by: Adina

First, my condolences to you and your kids. In your sorry saga (as in most)it is you and your kids who are the real victims. Your husband is no longer here to witness the wreckage he left behind!

Although our situations are very different, they are also similar, especially in the suffering alcoholism has caused loved ones. Similarly, my brother (who I love very much)has been an alcoholic for approx 25 yrs, he is now in his late 40's and has three school age children.

Although a highly functioning alcoholic career-wise, (at least until recently)the ravages to his body are now clearly visible. I tried everything I could to stage a medically supervised intervention a decade ago, but his wife would have no part of it.I tried several other tactics since then, all to no avail.She always stops me and my sisters cold.

Compounding the issue, his wife enables him to the degree that even an ER chief physician's recommendation (when he was brought in for severe alcohol poisoning 2 yrs ago)wouldn't budge her to sign him into in-patient detox. She has also allowed him to drive drunk with the kids for yrs. Imagine that. Her mantra is always, "she has it(she never explains what 'it' is) under control". Guess what? She doesn't.

Over the past year he has become gaunt looking, has on and off extreme skin itching, the signs of Dupuytrens Contracture and his habit of repeating the same thing has gotten worse.

Despite the fact that I (and my siblings)have tried everything to help him (even telling his wife we have her back if she divorced him, hopefully to shake him into getting help)we are convinced we are now watching his slow death. His wife has always provided him a 'safe harbor' to have it both ways-to drink AND to live in their beautifully appointed home. As an alcoholic he had NO incentive to stop, having a great career(high level law enforcement!)very pleasant physical surroundings AND the ability to drink.

At the end of this 'death dance' there is still one truth-those who drink themselves to death surely didn't dream of living life this way, but it is also the case that every adult must be responsible for themselves. Our duty, as loved ones, is to offer our help and love.IF they fail to grab our hands, then there is little else to be done.

God bless.

Feb 27, 2012
Thank you.
by: Kat

Thank you for your replies, they mean so much. The destruction addiction causes will never leave me- for everyone involved.

A recovering alcoholic once said to me when I said that if I left he would have nobody, he said "Until he has nobody, the bottle is all he will ever need/want" and that struck a chord.

I hope everyone who visits this site gets the help they deserve.

And to anyone who is suffering and battling against addiction I have nothing but admiration for you; we may not fully understand addiction but as a bystander I DO understand the strength it takes to fight it- keep going, it will truly be worth it in the end.

Feb 23, 2012
This is My Boyfriend
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately- I see this being the end for my boyfriend too. It hasn't come yet, but I think it will as its all leading up to that especially when you said, he would cry when sober- he knows,he needs help, but can't bring himself to committ so I walked away, I fineally kicked him out after months after we just went through his first bout of severe DT's which he swears was the morphine not DT's he hasn't gotten any help and back to drinking. He just turned 41

Feb 22, 2012
by: C-P

Absolutely heartbreaking reading your story, but thanks so much for having the courage to share it. Know that you did absolutely everything you could. You have nothing to feel guilty about. It would have ended tragically irrespective of what you did. Focus on being the best possible mother you can be ... and on healing the pain of your past. It will no doubt be a difficult and rocky journey at times, but you have so much to give and share because of what you've been through, and others will take great strength from that. Take Care.

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