SRS My boyfriend is/was? an alcoholic.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by stiffay, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. stiffay

    stiffay Active Member

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    My boyfriend and I have been dating now for almost 5 months... he turned 19 in March and I turned 18 in December.
    At the beginning, when we were just friends, I noticed he would drink, and not just at parties, but at home... pouring himself glass a glass of double rye with ice and coke. When he would finish that drink, he would pour himself another.. and another.
    At first I thought he would just drink socially, around his friends when they/we were hanging out. Then I started to get real close to him on the phone and would hear him drinking, or pouring something and I would ask what he was doing. "Pouring myself a drink."
    -"Oh... what kind?"
    -"The usual."
    So then I realized, ok, this guy obviously doesn't ever drink just a soda. I guess he just likes to drink a lot. I wasn't one of his bestfriends though at this time. I felt I didn't have the right to say anything. I really liked him and I didn't want him to think I was being nosy or intrusive. We had only known each other for a month, hanging out off and on. But everytime I was with him, not only would he drink, I would drink too. I started to be around his 4 bestfriends day in and day out, sleeping over at my new found girlfriends house almost every other night, even when I had school the very next morning. We would drink all night, go to sleep, drag ouselves through the day and do it all over again. I would go to school hungover pretty much everyday, since the problem had started to become more consistent. My friends started to notice, and then after a while I just stopped caring if I had missed class, or if I even went to school. (Which, mind you, has fucked me up BAD, I failed classes my last semester of school, and now I have to take online courses just to get my highschool diploma.) My bestfriends started telling me how they never saw me, and were always wondering what I was up to. I would have tons of stories to tell about this "new guy" and they all seemed so happy for me but now that I look back, they tried so hard to be serious with me, sitting me down, telling me I had to start going to class... I can't come to school every day hungover on my graduating year. I would sorta joke around and be like "Yaaaaaa... I know :p"
    My bestfriend and I got in a few fights. This guy or should I say, the alcohol were the only 2 things I wanted to be around. Before I had met him, I had just gotten out of a year and half relationship. I was still in love with my ex. But this new guy came into my life like a fresh ocean breeze and made things matter again. Alcohol made things matter again. I was turning into him, and I didn't even notice.. starting to get one of my bestfriends into the routine of drinking. She was smart and knew she was starting to miss school too much and pretty much stopped the routine of drinking every day.
    When Adam and I started to become extremely close and official his habits rubbed off on me and he started drinking even more. On weekends we wouldn't do anything, drink all through out the day. I felt so good. He bought his new motorcycle though, so the drinking cut down a little. But then he started to choose drinking over riding his bike again. I stopped drinking as much after 3 and half months or so and when ever he would pour me a drink I would tell him no. It obviously made him feel bad, I could tell. I hated not drinking but I wanted him to know that I was getting mad about him drinking so much and so often.
    About 1 month ago, I sat him down, told him how much I love him, told him I didn't want to see him get hurt, told him everything I was feeling about him drinking so much and I asked him to stop. He told me how hard it was and how he can't and how he has tried before, and the only way he can stop is to COMPLETELY quit drinking, and how he can't even drink 1 drink. Or he'll get hooked again. But he told me how much he loved me and saw that I was upset about it, near tears, and promised he would try his best, as long as I help him. Then that night he told me something I didn't know, he went to the docters around 2 months ago and found out his liver was already getting fucked. The docter told him if he doesn't stop drinking, he will die in his late 20's. I couldn't believe it. I asked him how long he had been drinking and he told me ever since he had met me he had cut down. 'Cut DOWN? I thought, wtf, how is that cutting down??'
    Apparently he has been drinking ever since he was 13, it started out by going over to his bestfriends house every day, the dad practically forcing him to have drinks, he wanted to feel cool, choking down every last gulp of what he thought was disgusting. The dad would offer another, he would say ok, and it went on and on until he needed the liqour to get through the day. He suffers from serious depression when hes sober but is going to get back on anti-depressents since hes going to 'quit' drinking. I just couldn't believe that his drinking with me (drinking all night, hard liqour drinks, to waking up in the morning at like 9 and pouring himself another drink) was nothing compared to himself living off of alcohol before he met me. He drank over and over every single day except at work.
    So its been a month, but he hasn't totally cut off drinking. He has the occasional drink but I don't see any bad habits coming back and there is never a bottle of liqour on his computer desk like there was before all the time. He asks me when ever he can have a drink if he wants. I say ok, when he does, which is maybe 3 times a week. But he told me he needed to completely quit for his addiction to vanish, so I don't understand. Is this bad? Does he need to completely cut it out? Will his habits eventually come back? If he stops drinking will his body repair the damage he has already caused it? Is there anything I can do to make him feel better? He said when ever he isn't with me hes so depressed, all he wants to do is drink. But when he is with me, I make it better and its easier not to drink for him knowing it will make me happy and that it will make him happy in the end. We ride around on his bike every day in the summer heat and we actually do things now. Went to banff, went hiking, we go to movies, out to dinner, we are sober all the time now (almost), and he got a new construction job that keeps him busy from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening..:) but, I just want to know if it will all end soon.

    On a side note, I know i'm not an alcoholic but I miss drinking so much. It helped me through family problems, it made everything go away, my ex didn't exist when I drank. I have a crown royal bottle under my bed and crave the occasional rye and coke. But I feel horrible for drinking and not telling him. I guess theres really no point in me telling that but, just to add, i'm not perfect at all.

    Thanks.
     
  2. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    "The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death."

    from "Alcoholics Anonymous", p.30

    There is no middle ground for an alcoholic. He needs to completely quit and will benefit from your support, but you shouldn't enable him. If he's only quitting because of you - it'll never work. If he's asking you every time he has a drink - you're his moderator. Go to a few AA meetings and/or read the literature online.
     
  3. Great suggestion. I couldn't have said it better myself.
     
  4. stiffay

    stiffay Active Member

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    Alright. Thanks for taking the time to read, I know it was long.
    He has mentioned not only is he quiting for me, but for him as well.
    Today he mentioned he was already feeling healthier from working and not drinking as much. He is quitting the job he is working all day this friday though so I will see what he is going to be up to during the day... make sure no bad habits come back, make sure hes keeping up to something productive.
    But he seems fine.
    So I shouldn't let him drink at all? Not ever just one drink? :sad2:
     
  5. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    If he's an alcoholic of the type im familiar with... he should not drink at all, as its only a temporary experiment in futility. Total abstinence is the only arrestor of alcoholism... otherwise it is a progressive disease which inevitably leads to incomprehensible demoralization.
     
  6. It has nothing to do with you. You have no say or power over whether he drinks or not. If you feel the need to try to impose your will on him and have him stop [i.e not letting him drink], then consider going to Alanon meetings in you local area. Alanon group support is based off the 12 steps of A.A. and is for family and friends of Alcoholics.
     
  7. stiffay

    stiffay Active Member

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    I do have a say in whether he drinks or not though. He does not drink unless I say its ok if he asks. We have maybe one night every two weeks where we drink excessively with friends. I DID just finish highschool, so its hard to not party with friends, and he is one of my bestfriends.
    Is there a link or anything containing information for the Alanon group support?
     
  8. nukegoat

    nukegoat New Member

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    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

    furthermore, you SHOULDNT have a say in his behavior regarding drinking - otherwise he's leaning on you to moderate him.

    i know you just finished high school... i got clean & sober at 19 tho. it wasn't easy but definitely worth it.

    total abstinence is better than perfect moderation
     
  9. You'll find Alanon useful then. All of us affected by someone else's Alcoholism either wished we could stop it or thought we could stop it. But ultimately nearly everyone realizes after a painful period of time that they can not manage it, or control it. If we try to control someone's drinking, they will merely do it when we're not looking. If we pour the bottles out, they will simply hide bottles in locations we either aren't aware of or don't have access to. The hardest thing to do when you think someone you love may have a problem with Alcohol is to have to hear someone like me say "You can only help yourself, and you can't control anyone else." And even then, most peoples first response is "But I'm not the one with the problem, why do I need help?" Unfortunately that's not true, the Alcoholic and those living with him or her both have their own unique problem.

    If you feel compelled to try to control someone else's drinking that's a fundamental indicator that you yourself have been affected by Alcoholism. It's not your fault, or his fault, and no matter how strong an individual is - Alcoholism can and usually is always stronger.

    Nukegoat is right. Those of us who have been beaten down and gone thru the chronic difficulties [which appear to just be starting for you] know how difficult this can be. We know you're going thru a hard time, and that it might take time for you to understand what's in your own best interest.

    To answer your questions, there are something's you can do to help him. And this is going to sound impossible to do, but the truth is the only way to help someone who is suffering from Alcoholism, is to first focus on yourself [get treatment, and keep going to treatment every week], and then second, [Don't enable the alcoholic, or try to control the alcoholic. ] and third support the Alcoholic by not harping on them for drinking, don't manipulate them, or guilt them with your resentment - instead work your program [the one you learn from Alanon] and detach with love. Love the alcoholic, but don't control them. Live your own life in the face of the Alcoholics adversity.

    This is painful advice. These suggestions are brutal for all of us - but ultimately this is the straightest line between where you currently are, and where you say you wish to go. The choice is yours.

    Links to Help You:

    (1)Alcoholism & Alanon Education Resource
     
  10. I will post two articles to answer some of your main questions. Anything which Nukegoat or I have not answered will probably be answered in this articles. If not, you can visit the link from the post above listed under "Links To Help You."

    How Can I Get Him to Stop?​

    Q: How can I get him to stop drinking? What can I do to make him see that he has a problem?

    A: By the time family members or friends ask this question, the drinker has usually crossed over from occasional alcohol abuse to actual alcohol dependence.

    In other words, they continue to drink in spite of obvious problems caused by their drinking. Personal, social and perhaps legal problems that would cause any reasonable person to conclude that their drinking habits should be curtailed or eliminated, do not seem to have much effect on those who are alcohol dependent, at least not in the long run.

    The reason for this is alcohol dependence is almost always accompanied by denial that there is a problem. No matter how obvious the problem seems to those around the alcoholic, the alcohol dependent person loudly denies that drinking is the cause, and usually blames the circumstances or people around them instead.

    When visitors to the Alcoholism site at About.com ask the above questions about the drinker in their lives, via email, on the Forum bulletin board, or in our chat rooms, the answer they usually receive is, "Unfortunately, there is not much anyone can do, until they admit they have a problem."

    Forcing Solutions

    If the alcoholic is not ready to reach out for help, efforts by friends and family to try to force them to admit to the problem, usually causes more problems. It's only when the consequences of their drinking becomes painful enough will they reach out for help.

    Sometimes in extreme cases, when the drinker's health and well-being becomes critically threatened, a professional intervention may become necessary, but even then sometimes the attempt will create even more problems.

    So, what do we tell the families and friends when they ask what they can do to help? We suggest that they attend Al-Anon meetings in their area, or join an online group to learn more about the family disease of alcoholism.

    In Al-Anon, family members and friends can learn more about the unhealthy roles they may be playing in the life of the alcoholic, and whether or not their actions may actually be enabling the alcoholic to continue in their behavior, without them realizing it.

    In Al-Anon Family Groups, people can learn how to detach from the alcoholic's problems -- not the alcoholic -- and can find a wealth of Al-Anon literature to read that can help them to find solutions that lead to serenity.

    Reference

    (1)Alcoholism.about.com - How Do I Get Him To Stop
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2004
  11. Why Do I Need Help? He's the Alcoholic!​

    Alcoholism is a disease that affects every member of the family [It also affects lovers, and friends], to the extent that the kids who make it into the Alateen rooms report they generally have more problems dealing with the non-drinking parent than they do the alcoholic.

    What? But I don't have a problem! He... him... he's the alcoholic! He's the one who causes all the problems! He's the one in trouble all the time ...

    True, but he's also predictable. Kids can read the alcoholic like a book. They know exactly when it's the right time to ask for extra money, or to go somewhere with their friends, and also know when it's time to make themselves scarce and get out of the way. They know the routine as far as the alcoholic is concerned. But they never know where the bedraggled non-drinking parent is coming from next.

    One minute she (or he as the case may be) is screaming at the alcoholic -- threatening him with everything from from divorce to death -- and the next minute she may be compassionately rescuing him from the consequences of his latest episode -- dutifully cleaning up his messes, making excuses for him and accepting an increasing degree of unacceptable behavior.

    The truth is the disease of alcoholism has affected her life, her attitude and her thinking perhaps more dramatically than it has the drinking spouse and she may not even realize it. Why? Because it crept up on her slowly.

    Frog In The Water

    A few years back, there was a story going around the 12-step rooms [Another name for Alanon, or A.A usually] about a frog in the water. It goes like this:

    If you put a frog into a pan of boiling water, it will jump out faster than the eye can see. But if you put the frog into a pan of water that is the frog's body temperature and then slowly turn up the heat the frog will stay in the water -- even to the point of boiling alive. Why? Because the frog does not notice the gradual change in temperature.

    Alcoholism works the same way... the heat is constantly turned up but nobody notices. Cunning and baffling! A progressive disease. It may start out with casually accepting unacceptable behavior -- Oh, he didn't mean that, he just had too much to drink last night. A few years down the road the behavior has slowly grown more and more intolerable, but it is still being accepted and becomes the "norm."

    She ends up with chaos in her own home that a few short years ago would have been unthinkable. If she looked out the window and saw the same kind of things taking place across the street at the neighbor's house, she would probably pick up the phone and call 9-1-1 to get those people some help!

    An Insidious Disease

    As that same type of behavior becomes routine in her own home, the last thing that would occur to her is to pick up the telephone and get help. She has slowly been drawn into the thinking that the alcoholic should be protected. She has learned to cover for him, lie for him and hide the truth. She has learned to keep secrets, no matter how bad the chaos and insanity all around her has become.

    Few who have been affected by the disease of alcoholism realize that by "protecting" the alcoholic with little lies and deceptions to the outside world, which have slowly but surely increased in size and dimension, she has actually created a situation that makes it easier for him to continue -- and progress -- in his downward spiral. Rather than help the alcoholic, and herself, she has actually enabled him to get worse.

    The heat increased so gradually, over such an extended period of time, nobody noticed the water was beginning to boil and it was time to jump out of the pan.

    The disease will continue to progress for the alcoholic until he is ready to reach out and get help for himself. Waiting for that to happen is not her only choice.

    The other people can begin to recover whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. But it can't happen until somebody picks up that telephone and asks for help.
    There is hope and help out there.

    Reference

    (1)Alcoholism.about.com - Why Do I Need Help? He's the Alcoholic!
     
  12. One last tip: All articles about Alanon, or Alcoholism are useful to you, whether they talk only about family members living with an Alcoholic, or a girlfriend, or boyfriend dating one [like your case]. So read them without discrimination.
     
  13. stiffay

    stiffay Active Member

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    Thank-you. :)
     
  14. Demon Of Dreams

    Demon Of Dreams Feed me with lies and hate, and from that, I will

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    not an alcoholic?

    not to be rude... but if you have to hide drinking, miss drinking, and use it to hide from your problems...
    in my book, that makes you an alcoholic...

    sounds like y'all could both benefit from everything above and a good meeting or 90 :o

    just my few pennies...
     
  15. eligh

    eligh Go To A Meeting

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    :bigthumb: I'm going to have to agree with the Demon on this one. I think you should start going to meetings, from the way you described your alcohol use, I'm sure you could benefit from them. Tell Mr. Boyfriend he can tag along if he wishes, but be sure and take care of #1 first.
     

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