Skip to comments.Please help! Trying to quit alcohol but facing challenges from family.
Posted on 07/04/2014 9:02:19 PM PDT by proud American in Canada
I never, NEVER, thought I'd post this here. But at this point, I have no one to turn to.
I'm a 51 year-old housewife/reporter and photographer who tries to make money doing proofreading, editing, writing,taking pictures, and oh, yes, selling ads for a phone book belonging to a dear friend of mine who was on Gatineau's city council (that's how I met him; we broke a lot of stories here).
I need to make a profile on FR; it would save a lot of time. :)
Long story short. I grew up in Des Plaines, IL, met my French Canadian husband about 20 + years ago; we moved to Denver and had a son and daughter there. Thank God they were born on American soil! :)
About 15 years ago, my husband got a job offer and we had to move north. I felt like he'd punched me in the stomach; I couldn't breathe. I fell into a depression after moving the kids, by myself, driving all those miles (my husband had already bought a home and begun work with the government up here).
A year after we moved, 9/11 happened...and even though I was far away, I felt even more depressed, probably because I was separated from the country I love and knew was hurting, but I couldn't do anything. Thanks to FR, I sent care packages to the troops...
Anyway. Fast forward to today. I began drinking hard, and now, it seriously imperiled my health. I have to stop, and I do, for periods of time, but then... something happens and I fall back into old habits.
Example. I`ve never had a D.U.I. (I never drink and drive), but I lost my drivers license at the hospital because my brain chemicals were out of whack (too much ammonia?). I'm on lactylose.
Last weekend, a long weekend here because of Canada Day, I had a lot of errands to do with the car, so I needed hubby to drive me around.
Things were okay... until at some point, he kept being so sarcastic, so .... fake ... he kept saying, "where should we go right now? Please, let me help you!" (fake, fake, fake). I started to cry in the car. He'd beaten me down after two days of me asking him to drive me here and there to help my (Gatineau city) councillor friend make money...
I cried and gave up, and bought some booze at the grocery store, while he bought "make your own pizza" fixings...I had said, "we can get all of that at Walmart.." (where they don't sell alcohol). Instead, he chose a grocery where they sell alcohol the one thing I didnt want him to do).
Long story short, I feel like I'm pushing up the proverbial rock while my husband is kicking it, hard, back into my face.... all while doing that in front of our kids so that they have no respect for me. btw, when I don`t drink, we have the same fights... just not as emotional on my side. What do I do? How do you deal with trying to fix yourself when everyone seems to be aligned against you? Any advice would be appreciated. And I feel so embarrassed to reach out like this, but Im at my wits end. My husband seems closer to our daughter than he does to me, and it hurts. Julie
One of the tenant’s of AA is that you need to take care of yourself first. I recently celebrated three years sober last Sunday. Prior to that I hadn’t had a drink for a year. My life didn’t improve until I started going to AA.
You have to become a non-drinker, someone who doesn’t drink.
Playing the game of someone trying to quit, is a path to repeatedly finding reasons to fall off the wagon.
There will always be a reason to fall off the wagon, every few years something truly catastrophic befalls us, a child dying, a parent dying, or even losing our job, losing the transmission on the car and our husband leaving, all in the same month, one has to decided that they are no longer a drinker, so that there can be no drinking to fall back on.
I am probably the last man on earth to try to give someone advice. However, my suggestion is, go to the nearest church and ask for help. Priest preacher or rabbi, I don’t think it matters. Then have a long talk with the Lord.
Good luck and God bless.
My advice would be to get involved in things that focus your attention outside yourself. Church, charity work. See if you can do some of your editorial work for a local church, even for free. Get busy, and shun being inactive.
1. Visit your medical doctor and be assessed for depression. You may be self medicating with alcohol.
2. Do not blame yourself and do not blame your husband for the circumstances you are both in. He is caught in the spiral too.
3. Get to a counselor to help you untangle the causes of your behavior and to work on them with you. Pay for it if you must because it can save your life and your marriage.
4. Don’t stop trying to get better, even if you have a set back. Get up and go at it again. Millions have quit drinking. Many of them have had to take a few tries to quit completely. You can only get there if you keep trying.
There are a lot of good groups around if you really want to quit. Find one which fits your style and join. Your local AA chapter is a great place to start, but if that isn't your cup of tea, many caring Christian churches offer similar programs which can be equally or even more effective.
Unless you are an exceptionally strong and religious person, it is a difficult thing to do alone. There is no shame in seeking out one of these groups and asking for help. You don't even have to have a serious problem with alcohol to do it. I went because I feared I was going in that direction and didn't want to.
Blah..blah.blahblahblah..Quit drinking. Find your local AA and ALANON. If you can’t do that, don’t bother posting.
Advice is what you ask for when you already know the answer, you just don’t like it.
You know the answer. It’s displayed in your words. You just need to see it.
Congratulations, Mean Daddy. I think AA is the way to go; at least there is someone you can call (?) when things get difficult.
I hate this!
I am in a program, but it’s weekly. They say that at three months, your brain chemicals change and it gets a lot better (dopamine, etc.).
I don’t know when things shifted from normal to impossible.. You know? It would have been nice if God had given us a heads-up. ;) Although maybe that’s the point. :)
Thank you for the smile on my face... I wish you the best, always, FRiend. :)
I was going to chide your for what sounded like lack of appreciation for your husband. I’ll hold my tongue, though, and urge you to get help, for your sake and for the sake of your man and your kids.
I’ve never had the problem as badly as you (I can have the occasional wine or beer without getting drunk), but I found that when I rediscovered my favourite hobbies and spent more time with non-drinking friends, my alcohol consumption plummeted. It is unfortunate that your husband is not more supportive, because nothing helps more than friends and family.
developing inner power, this may help you. You have to start feeling good about yourself first and foremost.
"You have to become a non-drinker, someone who doesnt drink.....
‘Blah..blah.blahblahblah..Quit drinking. Find your local AA and ALANON. If you cant do that, dont bother posting.’
Thanks, guy. You just reminded me why I never wanted to speak to people here, knowing I’d be blasted.
However, I know, and believe, that there many people who have seen my post and perhaps will realize that others are in the same boat. So if I’ve embarrassed myself, so be it. I will do as you suggest, as I have done before. It is a lifelong struggle.
In any case, take care.
Having said that. You have to find the resources and help that helps you accomplish that.
Praying for you Julie!
My dad drank too much. So growing up with that I never had the desire to drink. Never did and I’m 42.
Obviously I’m no help at all.
Like you, I have never had a DUI. At 48 I had had enough. I would quit for extended periods of time to see if it had me. Problem was my life never got better.
It’s not the extreme things in life that get us down, it’s the day to day things. AA gave me the tools to level out the highs and lows.
There are many programs to quit, AA works for me. I always believed in God, but AA has given me a spiritual life that I’ve never had.
Before going to AA, I never thought I had choices. I thought when I got angry, it’s the way I was. AA gave me choices and pause in my life. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Don’t pay attention to the ‘negative’, stick with those who are sincere.
‘Playing the game of someone trying to quit, is a path to repeatedly finding reasons to fall off the wagon.
There will always be a reason to fall off the wagon, every few years something truly catastrophic befalls us’
You are right. Thank you.
No drinking to fall back on? Yikes! :)
Well, I have begun running in the past week; I got new shoes (my old running shoes are over 20 years old).
It’s not as quick, it’s not as easy, but running really makes a difference. I used to run a lot when I was in my 20’s and I think this will help.
Giving up nicotine was very tough for me. You decide you don’t need it, and you put it down.
Quitting’s easy. We’ve all quit some things several times. Tell yourself this is the last drink (cigarette) you’ll have, then quit for the last time.
All I can advise about is my experience. My brother went through an AA experience and it really helped him. Even if you are not an alcoholic, it really really helped the rest of the family as we went through the program, too.
God bless you as you seek to work through the issues in your life.
To quit you gotta want to quit.
If you don't buy it you won't drink it.
Think of the effect you are having on your children.
You have to be the best example you can for them.
Thank you. I am a regular at church but have recently been thinking about getting more involved. For example, every Good Friday we carry a very heavy Cross from one Christian church to another in this small sector of Gatineau.
I would like to find out the history of this cross (apparently, it was made from some logging trees that got caught up in the ‘Rapides Deschenes’, a very dangerous part of the Ottawa River.
I’d like to write that story and share it with our community. Thank you both. :)
You can never go wrong by visiting a church...ever. God gives peace, He gives answers.
I have known people who have dealt with this in different ways. The important part is just not picking up a drink. You are the only one who can do that.
I believe that acknowledging the issue is the first step. Sounds cliche, I know, but it is true. I know of someone who has real problems with alcohol and just does not admit it. It is tough to watch.
I wish you the very best and agree with most of the previous posts.
My brother went to 30 day rehab and it saved his life. My mother and I attended a family program to help learn how to deal with him after he came home. Helped immensely. That was 28 yrs ago and he’s clean and sober. Involving the family is important because the whole family is “sick”, so to speak.
Will keep you and your family in my prayers and hope for success! YOU CAN DO IT!
When you pray spend some time thinking of Our Lord’s Passion.
Giving up nicotine was very tough for me. You decide you dont need it, and you put it down.
Quittings easy. Weve all quit some things several times. Tell yourself this is the last drink (cigarette) youll have, then quit for the last time.
It’s funny, tumblindice (OMG, I have to listen to the Stones now! LOL!)... that is so true. The times I’ve stopped, it was like I said to myself, that’s enough. I’m done. And mentally, something changed, and I was actually done.
I just have to watch out for triggers to get me started again. You guys are awesome! :) :)
Do not think: Do.
One bleary morning many years ago, knowing I needed help, I went to the phone book, looked up the number for AA, and made the call. I found where a meeting would be held that evening, went to it, found a whole bunch of people who’d travelled the same road I was on, and my life began to change. Make the call. There is a wonderful world out there to be found if you go through that door. God bless.
I don't want to seem to demean you by saying this, but don't buy the psycho-babble nonsense that it's "a disease." It's not a disease, but a character flaw. There is no shame in facing this.
character flaws are just the deep scarring of sin. And the only remedy for sin is prescribed in bold in the owner's manual. Go there and nowhere else. The others are impostors.
‘Used to drink just socially but was creeping into “habit” territory the day ObaMao was voted into office.’...Did so the day he was sworn into office and have never taken another drop since
Well, Vigilanteman, I guess the Obamanation has done one good thing in his time in office. :)
Please take care of yourself! :)
What the hell is wrong with you?
You have not embarrassed yourself. You know that you need advise and are asking for it. Nothing more. We all have our problems in life and it takes intellect to know when you need more input and courage to admit that and ask.
One thing that I hold on to is my faith.
Jesus said “I am with you always”.
For me it helps.
“I was going to chide your for what sounded like lack of appreciation for your husband. Ill hold my tongue, though, and urge you to get help, for your sake and for the sake of your man and your kids.”
Thank you, Larry. :) I’ve seen your posts very often, and appreciate them.
My husband is upstairs clearing his throat and reading; I’ll answer as many people as I can, and then I have to get upstairs and to sleep.
My husband is a good man, for sure. I’m just not sure we really love each other anymore. But that’s a topic for another day...
” Take all the fun out of tormenting you by not responding”
LOLOL!!!!! Thank you! That is too funny. I have been trying, but you’re right, that’ll work.. ;)
Take care, Excellence,
Thank you both. I will check out the Youtube video.
I lived in Canada for 2 years and hated it. For me it just didn't have the life that the US has. I think it's better now under Harper though.
I'm so glad you posted...I will pray for you. And I will send some prayer up for your husband too. It sounds like he's not the most sensitive of men.
Psalms says "it's only in Him that we dwell in safety". This is so true. You may already be in the scriptures. If not, please spend a half hour or so each day (Psalms are beautiful and build strength...when I am in a hopeless situation I recite a verse of two in my head all day long to myself. It helps). Lots of Blessings of Grace on you! Prayers up!
I second the advice about going to AA. I just celebrated 4 years in May and I couldn’t have done it without AA. You can’t do it alone. But you have to stop blaming other people for causing you to drink. You have to take responsibility for your sobriety. It’s tough at the beginning, but AA will give you support. Just keep going to meetings and listen and keep listening. Take it one day at a time, or one minute at a time if necessary. Read the Big Book. Get honest with yourself. You can start over - life really does get better when you stop drinking. Hang onto the promises - “sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly”, but things DO get better. Get a sponsor - do the steps - they change you from the inside. They say in AA that it’s an inside job and it is. You learn humility and it stops being just about you. Please just go - you’ll meet people who will love you until you can love yourself. God bless you - with His help you can do this!
The first thing you should do is take care of your liver.
Second, call a truce with your husband even if it’s unilateral. With your health, you’re going to need his help. I would say there’s been some long term grudges in your marriage due to the move to Canada.
“Praying for you Julie!”
Thank you, TropicanaRose! :) I’ll send you a FReepmail. :)
They often become fearful if you get sober you won't need them therefore they unwittingly sabotage you.
Go to AA for the drinking, only place you'll find where everyone there wants you to make it! GO TO MEETINGS,STICK UP YOUR HAND and ask for help.
Check out Recovery International for the mental issues and contact a psychiatrist as well. No anxiety meds or any other potentially addictive meds. Antidepressants can helpful till you get on your feet.
Consider a rehab (AA supportive), getting 30-60 days away from influences has helped many get a good start.
Can't stress Recovery International enough (Dr. Abraham Low). It will teach you the tools to deal with fear, anxiety, anger and depression. Typical triggers for alcoholics.
Pick up Sermon on the Mount by Emmit Fox keep it handy! Let go and let God!
FWIW, I think by posting for “help”, you have made the first most important step to recovery! Takes a lot of courage to admit one has a problem.
I’ve been sober 22 years. When it finally dawned on me I was either going to drink myself to death, lose another wife and family, I went and spent 10 days in a detox center. I proved to them I was committed to stop drinking I was transferred to a group home based in an apartment complex with a hundred or so people just like me.
After 90 days, my wife and kids visiting me and saw the change, I moved out and back home. Focused on family and my job. I attended AA meetings but after a couple years stopped going to them. I turned my life over to God and have been sober since. I have no desire to drink at all, none.
I made a commitment to God and family and have kept it. YOU have to want this, when YOU have made the sincere decision, PRAY and the strength will come, God helps those who reach out to Him.
I’m not a fan or a non-fan of AA. If you need it, it’s great that it’s there. I once had an employee who was my friend’s Dad. He was, without question, the single most dedicated drinker/drunk in human history. If he didn’t go to an AA meeting 365 days a year, and yes, I include his birthday, Christmas, anniversary....all he would have to do was to drive by a liquor store and he would be literally face down in the gutter within 75 yards of that store.
However, he was hands down the most awesome salesman for the particular type of computer hardware I was selling at the time and I jumped at the chance to not only hire him but to build my company around him. Because he knew absolutely everyone in the business.
It doesn’t sound to me like you are in a condition where you need the rigamarole of AA, but again, I have no opinion of it, nor am I a licensed or experienced therapist. I have known both exceptionally talented people and entirely ordinary people who required it and benefited greatly from it. I also have what I consider lots of experience with drunks and drug addicts, more than I would wish on anyone.
I believe the key is to get busy with stuff that takes your attention off yourself. Editorial stuff w/the local church, or churches, friends, anything. And be selfish about why you are doing it, know that you are doing it to keep yourself occupied. The value is not the money you might earn, but the distraction from getting overly internal and the acknowledgement you’ll get from those who value your presence and contribution.
Should that not work, go to AA by all means. But this (what I am suggesting) is not “thinking about it”. This is doing it, putting your body in motion. The alcohol is about dulling the sensation of disharmony between the external physical environment and the internal mental/emotional environment. By getting busy doing things you might enjoy, you get yourself into the habit of working to change your external environment while supporting the idea of changing your internal powerlessness and feelings of low-value.
Just from experience, you need to part ways. It happens. Good luck to you both.