Does your partner think you DON'T have a drinking problem?

Safe to say, my husband is now assured I do in fact have an alcohol addiction, but there was a time before that...

I have been with my husband for nearly 9 years and we definitely went through a time where he didn't seem to really grasp the full extent of my alcohol addiction. I'd have times where I would stop drinking and at first he would be very supportive, but then he would reach the stage of, 'how long is this going to go on for?'. He would keep telling me that HE wanted me to just be able to 'have 1 or 2, or a couple more on a big night out'. I understand it's hard for partners as well and he was just expressing his wishes.


I kept trying to explain to him that it felt like a light switch, I was either 'on' or 'off' and once I got a TASTE I just wanted more, more, more. My mind USED to tell me 'if something tastes so wonderful and makes you feel so good, WHY would any sane person want to stop'. I now know my dopamine receptors would have been going off like crazy and I do genuinely believe I have a genetic predisposition due to alcoholics in my family (that have even died from the disease). Genetics are not an excuse, however I consider genetics 'a' factor.


Anyway, so my husband and I would keep having this discussion. I'd get confident I could moderate, sometimes I could, or I'd START out moderating and then before I knew it I was a full blown mess again.


Well, last year was the worst year of my life. My marriage fell to pieces, my dog got run over and died (I still struggle with that to this day he was my baby). I got whooping cough and so did my son. I got a promotion and took on a full time FULL ON position (all I did was work) and it was a toxic environment. I got to the point, where I just didn't care, I was in SO much pain and so run down. I had no time for anything at all. Once again the pattern of moderating and then increasing happened with my drinking. 


When I moved back into the family home (where my dog who was run over lived), my drinking started to increase. I would drink every day. And I didn't care. Life was all just too hard, I thought. I KNEW in my heart what road to get on - I KNEW I had to do it. I found it so hard to do from a place of 'not caring', it's different when you're all motivated, but to do it from a place of pain and not caring - maybe that is why I'm now so proud of myself.


It took me weeks to see my Dr, the medical centre knew my history. I went to another Dr because I was so ashamed to tell my own Dr I'd relapsed (same medical centre though). I kept making appointments and not showing up. One day I went to the appointment, hungover of course, and got the script for Naltrexone. Then it sat in my draw for some time while I kept "trying". I didn't feel well for 2 days and hadn't had a drink, this was so rare I took this as a sign that this was fate (or whatever you want to call it) telling me, STOP NOW, do it today. So I did. I didn't WANT to stop drinking. I was quite comfortable just drinking my pain away. That's why this time I feel, know, I'm not going back. Nobody made me, not even myself in a way, I just *really knew*.


So the whole point is, after all of that process, my husband finally gets it. I can't have 1 or 2, I used to 'wish' I was THAT woman, I kept trying to find a way to be that woman but it was so painful and ridden with guilt and shame and pain. Now I just accept who I am. I cannot have one. Other people are not going to understand that - that WILL be tough for me to deal with, but now (at last) my husband gets I need to be in recovery and my family also now seems to accept that I cannot drink with them. I have a great Dr, I have my blog and other support forums. I have me. So there is this amazing support system behind me.


For years I had people telling me 'oh lighten up, have a drink, you are not THAT bad', or 'you're fine, you just get a little carried away sometimes'. People couldn't see my problem (I mostly drank at home). It's not about others, it's about you and what you want for yourself, but it's a very hard place to be in.


This time around, the other night, I asked my husband if he 'liked' the sober me or if it was a bit boring. He said yes and I asked what he liked, he said 'EVERYTHING'. It's hard to get it out of him (haha) but it seemed to be that I'm calmer, less moody, don't get stressed as easy and that he 'knows where I'm at' (emotionally) more so than when I was drinking.


I'd rather not be at the stage where someone is ASSURED you do have a problem but it actually has made it easier for me. I know many men and women struggle with this issue - please let me know what your experience has been like? I'd like to think our significant others would support us to lead a healthier life but we live in such a 'drinking culture' that you're the odd one if you DON'T drink!

IJCDx


Comments

  1. Your experiences sound very similar to mine 10 years ago.... which was when I realised I had a problem that only I could sort out - no matter what anybody else tried to tell me. High stress job, four stone overweight (lots of calories in wine!) and doing nothing but working and drinking really. Family/friends were always saying 'just have one', 'go for quality rather than quantity', 'you don't have a problem' - mind you, they didn't see me after two (or more) bottles which I drank (alone) every day after work. My poor mother must have thought I had dementia - I would regularly have conversations with her, then ring her to tell her exactly the same things as I'd completely forgotten that I'd spoken to her. Sounds, though, that you've arrived at the only conclusion that works. You can't have a drink. I've now been dry for over 2 years and I haven't regretted a single day being sober. Whereas I used to regret every day being drunk. Good luck, and welcome to a better life!

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    1. Those black/grey outs were horrendous weren't they?

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    2. Hi Pattik,
      Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with me. Congratulations on 2 years sober! Likewise, I could relate to your story - people did not see us (generally speaking) when we were highly intoxicated. I don't know about you but I became calculated in where and how I drank (i.e. at home) to avoid judgement and not have to worry about 'how to get home'. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration.

      IJCD
      x

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  2. I kept my alcohol dependency well hidden (I hope) from most people, but my nearest and dearest all knew I had a huge problem. But, no-one knew the true extent of it but me. It had to be me and me alone that made the decision to quit. Even after I hit my personal 'rock bottom' I could have continued to drink, but I chose not too. You have to be selectively deaf when it comes to those 'normal' people who tell you that you don't have a problem. If you think you have a problem, you do.

    I've been sober now for about 234 days and it is the BEST thing I have ever done. Good luck and keep on going!

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    1. Thank you SO much for the encouragement - I love that line, 'if you think you have a problem, you do'. I wasted a LOT of time trying to 'figure out' whether I had a problem or not. I tried everything, moderating, spacing drinks, drinking on certain days only - I'm sure most of us did - until finally, the conclusion dawns upon us that one is just too many. It's why I called the blog 'I just can't drink', so literally every single time I logged in I would be reminded. I want to constantly reinforce this message to myself! Congratulations on your 236 days (I think that's what it now would be). Are you going to celebrate when you reach a year? I have it in my head I'd like to hire a house and have a 'bbq and pool party'. I am determined not to let sobriety take away FUN from my life. This is just a bit of a 'pipe dream' of mine at the moment but it's fun to dream. :-)
      Take care and I appreciate you always commenting, it's really encouraging to me.

      IJCD
      x

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  3. I just wrote a post about this very subject on Sunday. I've been married 22 years, even through all the bad times, and there were many, he still wishes I could drink in moderation, but I cannot. He knows the truth, but he still struggles with the idea I'm sober for good. With time, I'm hoping it will all work out for us. He's a good husband and I love him.

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