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Topic: Battling the booze

  1. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    Hi 5022. Take care of yourself on Chrissy day. Remember, you are never alone with this battle. I had difficult days to start with, but each time I thought about drink, I would think about self damage, damage to my kids (the hurt on their face). My bf was very much there for me, and one thing he said that stays with me. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. That means the urge is always there. It does ease over time, depending on your strength. You can choose to either walk away and keep walking, or you can succumb and keep giving in. If you succumb, we will pick you up, again. I have a job which means drink has no place in my life. I tick every 'dry' day as a victory. If I 'slip', I class it as a mistake or a 'fall'. I have been 'dry' 7 months, not easy, but my determination, plus the knowledge of who I let down is constant. There was also the health factor for me. Good luck for every day. Merry Xmas.

    Lynda

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Kazzl
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    21 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hiya Lynda! Good to see you. I'm so glad you're still going strong. Well done you!

    Merry Christmas hun

    Kaz

    xx

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  3. 5022
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    32 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to pipsy
    Hi Pipsy, thankyou for your support. My kids faces and a future with them are my motivation and keeping a home that they love too live in ( every second weekend) I aways remind them this is their home too when we make choices where the veggies will grow ect. I mentioned on another thread thst alcohol lies to me and it does, it has made nothing in my life better and at the moment I remind myself often as I'm on a mission to avoid the Xmas meltdown. I too have tried aa and found it a bit religious, and came away craving a drink after talking and hearing about it for 1 1/2 hours I went twice and drank after the second meeting! Im on a mission too get through whatever christmas throws at me with a strategy. Have been too the supermarket walking distance for food and using the far exit from the bottleshop since i resolved alcohol will not be making any decisions for me at christmas. I will deal with new years after christmas. One challange at a time.. X nae
  4. Kazzl
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    21 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    That's great 5022. If it starts getting really hard, go back and read through earlier posts on this thread - there's some helpful stories there. If you've been near a bottleshop and not caved in at this early stage you are doing very well. Go you!

    Also hun, myself and other Community Champions will be keeping an eye on the forum on Christmas Day, so if you're struggling, come on here and sing out. I'll be watching this thread.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful
  5. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl
    Thanks kazz your 10 minute advice is great, i count it buy seconds to decide bottle shp or other exit. I choose other exit at the moment. Will i drink i hope not. I'll stay sober so i cope with christmas good or bad rationally. I keep telling alcohol it has told me so many lies. Thankyou for this thread. Your an angel x nae
  6. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    21 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz. The knowledge I'm not alone in this makes me feel better. The strength comes from the admitting you need help. Before I joined BB, I felt so isolated and alone. Drinking meant I didn't have to face 'alone'. Sobering wasn't an option as I couldn't stand what I had become, but drinking, meant I 'lost' myself. By that I mean I would rather lose days, than face the constant loneliness. I now look forward to every day, and have my life back. There is occasional 'alone' time, but never lonely. Being alone means I choose to listen to music, watch t.v, go for a walk. I have reclaimed my life and going backwards is not an option. Thanks again Kaz, knowing you and Geoff are there is fabulous.

    Lynda

    1 person found this helpful
  7. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    22 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Thankyou kazz. Its comforting too know there is support over Christmas. I hope I'll be making good choices.

    And thankyou Pipsy. There is actually lots of good advice in your last post.

    A problem shared isn't fixed but it sure helps x

  8. Kazzl
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    22 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    Thanks lovelies.

    I've walked the path before you. I know how treacherous it is, and how liberating when you get to where you're going.

    Here to help.

    xx

    2 people found this helpful
  9. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    23 December 2016
    Well I'm just posting my thoughts. I'm glad ive kept too my strategies. Kept busy, as i catch the bus I am finding the need to be organised a great distraction from the drink. As a nurse I am a carer and healer by nature. Being in a position to extend a hand and take a friend shopping ( my friend can't cope with Christmas ) and make jokes along the way about all the annoying things about Christmas, feeds my soul. Alcohol doesn't. The power of helping another is not unfamiliar too me I just love how helping another gives me comfort. Nursing doesn't anymore because its all about how long a patient has been in a bed and pushing them out. Good deeds x
  10. Kazzl
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    23 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    Yay 5022! You're going really well.

    Cheering you on hun.

    Kaz

    xx

    1 person found this helpful
  11. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    24 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz. I think the hardest part for me was going out for dinner, being offered drink. I would accept the drink, not eat, drink won, I lost. Now I have the strength to refuse drink, accept soft drink/water, eat food. I never apologize for refusing drink, I now know I have the right to say 'no', where before, to me, the strength lay in being part of the crowd. Even watching my dad repeatedly 'waste' himself when I was growing didn't deter me. I wanted/needed to be just like him. I felt if I was like him, he would love me. The desire is lessening with each 'dry' day. I know I'll always be an alcoholic, now, though I'm 'dry', and intend staying dry. Going back is not an option. Nice to know you're there for me too, Geoff's been a wonderful support too.

    Lynda

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  12. Kazzl
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    24 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    It gets easier the longer we stay dry Lynda. It becomes a special kind of freedom. And eventually 'the crowd' just get used to the fact that we don't drink and there's no pressure anymore.

    I am so very pleased for you hun. Stay strong tomorrow and look forward to a hangover free Boxing Day. Isn't it wonderful to wake up clear headed on days we would normally have to sleep off a hangover!

    Merry Christmas to you my friend.

    Kaz

    xx

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  13. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    24 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz. Knowing that what I'm doing is good is keeping me 'dry' too. The hangover part I would counter by drinking. The 'hair of the dog' metaphor was my life. It's the most destructive, soul destroying problem. These days I wake up and remember yesterday, and the day previous. I don't fear waking up. Being told how foolish I had behaved would have me reach for the bottle to 'drown' the memory. Can I ask if you 'clicked' when you met me that I had a problem. Evidently Geoff did. He's a wise, caring man, that one.

    A very merry Christmas to you and your wonderful supportive hubby.

    Lynda

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Kazzl
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    24 December 2016 in reply to pipsy

    Hi hun, he is indeed, a treasure. In all honesty, no I didn't click. I was pretty self-absorbed at that time though, I'd been diagnosed bipolar that week and I was a bit of a mess.

    I am so very glad things are good for you now lovely. What are you doing tomorrow?

    I'll pass on your wishes to The Pom (he is a good fella - a keeper I reckon 😄) I'm thrilled you have a good one too!

    Cheers hun

    Kaz

    xx

    1 person found this helpful
  15. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    24 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz. Just enjoying a quiet day with daughter, SIL, g'son. My son and DIL are away, which is why my g'son is here. How are you coping with the bipolar, did it come as a shock, or did you suspect? My support system is excellent, plus I have a great volunteer job which I enjoy. My daughter has been excellent as has my son. This past 7 months have been difficult as I had breast surgery, followed by radiation. Then I did a stint on jury duty, so it's been pretty full-on. Mind you, with everything that happened, drinking was a no-no, so something good came from something bad.

    Keep in touch, love hearing from you.

    Lynda

    1 person found this helpful
  16. autumngreen
    autumngreen  avatar
    13 posts
    24 December 2016

    Hi, I wondered if I could ask a question about a friend who has an alcohol addiction. I will try to explain as simply as I can.

    I have been in close contact with this friend for over a year, he is a strictly platonic, very dear old school friend. With his help and support Via messaging and phone calls, I have come to realise that my partner of 22 years has been abusing me, and with my friends help and support, I am in the process of separating from my partner.

    My friend has been very intrumental in helping me, we have been in close contact. However, he began to drink again (I understood that he was a recovered alcoholic of over 12 months when we began to communicate), and he has now has two episodes of drinking for several weeks and then stopping and returning to 'normal life'. When he drinks he loses co tact somewhat, but when he is recovering, he disappears completely, no communication at all..he won't reply to simple messages asking if he is safe or okay..I know he isn't necessarily 'ok', but I need to know he is safe..he will not respond.

    I fear that I have perhaps come to rely on him too much, albeit only over the phone or in messages, but nonetheless, I find it difficult to not have his support and contact now that I have had that for so long. Recently he has disappeared again, no replies to messages, voicemails..nothing, he won't reply to let me know if he is safe etc. this hurts a lot because I have become close to him and I worry for him, it isn't all about me and him helping me, I also am concerned for him.

    I wanted to ask, is this usual for a person who is struggling with quitting alcohol, or someone who has just stopped drinking? He has never asked me for anything at all, he has been a true friend and support and I have always told him how grateful I am and how fortunate I am to have a friend like him. I ho early have not asked him for anything or pushed him to help me..

    Any suggestions or guidance would be most appreciated as I am so worried about him and the lack of response. He lives in a different country so it is impossible for me to visit to check.

    Thank you.

  17. Kazzl
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    25 December 2016 in reply to autumngreen

    Hi autumngreen, and welcome. It's wonderful that you care so much about your friend and want to help him.

    From what you've said, my thoughts are that he is not quitting alcohol, he is binge drinking. Sadly, this isn't uncommon for people who have quit in the past and start drinking again. It's a horrible thing to go through. We tell ourselves we won't drink again, go for a while without drinking, then decide we can have 'just one' or a few, and the addiction takes over again and turns into a bender that can last days or weeks. Then we repeat that again sometime later.

    Only the person drinking can decide to quit, no-one else can make them. However, you can talk openly to your friend about it, express your concern and offer your support. There's no guarantee he'll take it but at least he will know you think there's a problem and you're willing to support him.

    I don't know what country he's in but there will undoubtably be support services, including AA, if he makes the decision to quit.

    If he is quitting, it's a day by day thing, for quite a long time. I suggest you keep up your messages, he will need regular contact and support. He might not want to lean on you because he feels you have enough to deal with already. In that case I think you might need to make it all about him for a while.

    Do you know if he has friends or family where he is? Maybe suggest he enlists their support too.

    Keep in mind though that this is his problem and, while you can help, only he can make the decision to address it.

    Best wishes to you, and feel free to keep talking here if we can help you.

    Cheers

    Kaz

    1 person found this helpful
  18. autumngreen
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    13 posts
    25 December 2016 in reply to Kazzl

    Hi Kaz,

    thank you for your reply and advice. It's really helpful to know this as I don't have any experience with alcohol addiction and I am so worried about him.

    From what I understand, he had an alcohol problem in the past - I am not certain how bad or for how long. When we started to communicate last year, he had been sober for just over a year and he didn't really say or discuss and I felt that he was over that part of his life - at least that is the way it seemed.

    During UK summertime, (June/July) he began to drink again and he stopped all communication with me, prior to this he was in touch regularly and actively seeking to help me/talk/message. While he was drinking, to begin with, even though he was drunk he would still call me occasionally and talk to me and seem 'jolly'. I once asked him why he drank again after all the hard work he'd done to remain sober and he said he did it just to test whether he could.

    i didn't hear from him for months and I missed him so much. I also worried endlessly about him on a daily basis. I message him and let him know that I felt sick with worry about him, but even knowing this, and him also knowing what I am going through myself, was not enough to make him respond to let me know.

    Aroind September I visited UK for family purposes, I contacted him and he seemed to be just getting himself back together but his mood was angry, defensive, stand offish, nothing like the person I'd known at all. Slowly over the 3 weeks I was visiting, he began to go back to 'normal'.

    I returned to Australia and communication was Great, he was back at work and back to himself, his relationships were improving. Then another relapse - or so I believe. Again, he stopped responding, I began stressing and worrying and apart from two phone conversations a month or so ago, I haven't heard from him, he won't reply to messages or calls. He promised he would never do this again, I don't blame him - I just feel confused and worried for him and I miss him. I want to offer my help and support and I have told him in a voicemail, that I will do whatever I can and I will continue to offer him my support and I won't wait to be asked, I will just keep offering. I have told him he has never let me down, I don't think any less of him for his drinking, I want him to be well. He is a good person no matter what.

    I guess I want someone to say, 'yes this is what happens when people drink'. I can't think of anything I have done wrong.

  19. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    25 December 2016 in reply to autumngreen

    Hi A. You have done nothing wrong, his addiction is overpowering and he is fighting a daily battle with it. Alcoholics as a rule try to abstain, but they need help. A recovering alcoholic, that is, someone who has managed to stop drinking is usually better equipped to help as alcoholics understand more so than someone who has never experienced the addiction. I understand you mean well, but for you to assist him, you would need to have experienced an addiction yourself. I 'slipped up' some time ago. By that, I mean, I had abstained for about 2 and a half months. I had a neighbour move in who had a drink problem. I managed to steer clear of her for a while. One night I felt ill, I had a cold or something. Anyway, this neighbour and her bf visited me, he brought some alcohol which I drank, I was unwell and it 'seemed like a good idea'. I felt unbelievably guilty and sick next day. My daughter had 'clicked' something wasn't right, she contacted my bf who emailed me. I had to admit to slipping. My bf totally understood, but because he himself is a recovering alcoholic, he was able to 'blast' me for slipping. From one alcoholic to another, he was able to understand exactly what had happened. He told me I had let him, me, and my kids down by 'slipping'. Yes - he understood but, just telling me 'naughty girl, don't let it happen again' is not always enough. He told me that, had he been closer to where I was, he would've literally shaken sense into me. He has told me that being an alcoholic is a life sentence - it is. I still have urges, but losing him, my kids and my job is not an option I want to consider. The strength to abstain does come from within - yes, but, admitting to the addiction then asking for help and guidance is where the strength comes in. You can help by letting him know you are there and won't judge but sometimes being harsh works better than platitudes. If you contact AA, you may also get some guidelines.

    Lynda

    2 people found this helpful
  20. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    26 December 2016

    Hi A. Thank you for your posts. I am not sure I am equipped to offer any useful advice except from my own experience as a drinker. I am a closet drinker and i know in the padt 6 years that most of my drinking was done alone, away from the world ond others both because of the headspace i was in at the time ( trying to run away from personal probs) and i didnt want anyone to know i was drinking. I would not respond too my phone for days sometimes. Everyone needs someone to care. Your friend will read your messages and be grateful you care and you must do things that are good for you during this time of absence. As for the reason, I don't want too speculate.

    I am glad too be able to post my own update on Xmas, that is was a sober one. No alcohol making bad decisions, and my children present.

    Alcohol was not nurtured, given a special place to hide then given a very undeserved special importance. Let's see what new years brings.

    I hope everyone found some joy and peace in their Christmas. X

  21. geoff
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    27 December 2016 in reply to pipsy
    dear Lynda, I know that it was an extremely difficult decision that you have made to stop the alcohol, but certainly one that you finally made and now you're so happy about doing this, now your life has turned a full circle, discovering new ventures, those that you didn't know were out there, or probably too scared to find out, but it has made a much better and loving person out of you, because you have found a new direction, well done in doing this and 10/10. Geoff. x

  22. Kazzl
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    27 December 2016 in reply to autumngreen

    Hi autumngreen - yes, this is what can happen when people have a problem with alcohol. And you have done nothing wrong, you are being the best friend you can be. It really is his decision.

    What he needs is for you to stand by him. Keep sending him messages of friendship and love. When he is ready to quit, he will know you are still there, and that will be a blessing for him because so many alcoholics lose everyone before they get to the point of facing their problem.

    5022 - a very big congratulations on your sober Christmas! That's fabulous, well done. Hold onto the good feelings - no hangover, no fear of being found out, no embarrassment, feeling proud of yourself. Sit quietly and contemplate those feelings - feel them over and over. Store them up inside you and bring them to mind when the urges hit. You'll get through New Year, I know you will.

    Hiya Lynda and Geoff. Thanks for being such a wonderful, kind presence on here. xx

    Cheers

    Kaz

  23. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    27 December 2016 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff. Having to face me the next morning was something I don't want to do ever again. I was asked if I could look at me after drinking - short answer - no. I am so pleased to be able to say I haven't had a drink, since that time. I guess I will always experience urges, but I now overcome those by concentrating on things I know I can do. My kids love being around me, I'm happier. I know the man in my life is over the moon. But the biggest thrill for me is knowing I did something right for me. Abstaining for others doesn't work, abstaining for yourself is strength. I know my daughter gets concerned I will 'slip', but as time goes by and she sees me continuing as I am, she will relax and realize alcohol (like my ex) is past. I accept I will always be an alcoholic, but now I'm a recovering alcoholic. Note the 'recovering' in heavy words.

    Lynda

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  24. geoff
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    27 December 2016 in reply to pipsy
    hi Lynda, how pleased that makes me. Geoff. x
  25. geoff
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    27 December 2016 in reply to autumngreen
    hi Autumngreen, I think from memory that I have replied baack to about this post on the main forum, but it's great to put it in the section.

    5022, I too was a cupboard drinker, because if my sons saw any grog they would throw it out, so if you can see this is where we are hiding all our problems, wouldn't tell anyone just as we wouldn't tell people about our depression, but perhaps it wasn't because we were in denial, just we felt as though no one would listen nor understand what sort of troubles we were having. Geoff.
  26. 5022
    5022 avatar
    32 posts
    27 December 2016

    Hi Kazz Lynda and Geoff. It is encouraging too read your posts.

    Reading that you still have urges Lynda makes me realise how long this road will be. For me at the moment its about boredom and changing the well i guess daily ritual of drinkingdrinking, im still planning what i will do today too keep me busy so that if i do succumb it will be later and hopefully then it will be bed time.waking up sober, remembering the movie on tv the night before is such a feeling of freedom for me.

    Geoff i often wander although i know it makes no difference now that if i was able too drink socially ( i decame a closet drinker after my dui which had a huge influence in family court matters five years ago) would my relationship with alcohol be different today. It is what it is today and there is also freedom in knowing it. You csnt fix something you dont acknowlege. Will i ever be able to drink again, just one or two like you can, i dont know and too be honest at the moment im hoping i will be able too but thats maybe because alcohol is such a love hate relationship for me, focusing on why i hate it for the moment.

    Thankyou all for your kind andhonestt wordswords. Nae

  27. Jimsmit
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    4 posts
    29 December 2016
    This is, as you can see, my first post on here. I have been married for seven years to an alcoholic. She drank throughout both pregnancies, although not to the same excess as normal. Over the Christmas period she drank 68 standard drinks over the four days, and this is fairly typical. Alcohol, bottles/casks of wine are regularly hidden throughout the house and although she knows she has a problem, nothing changes. My daughter starts school next year and I am becoming worried about what she sees and hears. I've read up a lot on alcoholism and feel I have tried everything to help, but nothing has worked. I guess I am just at the point where I can't do another year of this life. Is exhausting. I don't know whether leaving is the best thing to do, or supporting her. It's affecting me, as I find myself tired and increasingly angry. I get that it's a disease but I don't know what to do to help her. She wants to be better but doesn't know how. She's been to aa and a rehab facility briefly. I love her but its strained. The kids are my priority
  28. geoff
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    30 December 2016 in reply to 5022
    hello Nae, you pose a good point here, but you have to ask yourself can you stop at two drinks or do you need to keep drinking, or another scenario could be, are you able to walk passed a bottle shop or hotel at peak time, say 6pm, or do you have to go in, I'm saying this because if you want to only have two drinks, but then need to go into the pub, then two drinks won't work for you.
    What you could do is just talk your way into having two drinks, if that's what you really want to do, but you will need to have a strong constitution, so you limit yourself to 6 drinks and then slowly decrease it down to 2 drinks, but when you think of it, is it worth it, because there could be every chance that you drink too much if something bad happens.

    hi Jim, yor wife is exactly where I was when depressed, hidden casks, anything that was alcohol, and it was one reason why my wife divorced me, because there was nothing she could have done to stop me, I was depressed and needed to self medicate.
    I do understand how difficult it would be to live with an alcoholic, not only by what I was doing but an elderly friend had a son who stole money from his dad to buy alcohol, and he was meant to be his carer, so I ended up looking after him while his son got the extra payment from centrelink, but that was never enough money so he stole and 'borrowed' from his dad, he has now passed away.
    Going to AA and rehab are not always the answers she is seeking, but you have to know why she does want to drink, but I'm sure she doesn't even know, however with rehab it maybe fine while she in there, but as soon as she's out then straight back to the bottle.
    Nothing is going to change at the moment so it's a decision you have to make, but your kids aren't growing up in the environment you wish them to. Geoff.
  29. pipsy
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    2255 posts
    30 December 2016 in reply to 5022

    Hi Nae. With me I could never limit myself to one or two drinks. I'm not strong enough. I always hoped I could, but I can't, it's that simple. With my health scare, that, to me, was a 'wake-up call. Then when I was accepted as a juror, that was another no-drink zone. I had to walk past a couple of pubs on the way to and from the court, talk about temptation with a capital T. The challenge was enormous. I had to keep reminding myself I was due back in court tomorrow and the next day etc. That was a while ago. By the time I was finished with radiation, plus jury service, the drink temptation had sort of eased to the point where the addiction wasn't so great. Yes- I still have the occasional urge, but the knowledge that one drink leads to two, leads to ???? I can't and won't go back there. Every decision I make now is made 'clear-headed'. When you make a decision and drink is involved, you wake up the next morning and you question whether you actually just thought about he decision or whether you made it under the influence. I would tell myself 'no more alcohol', nearly every morning I would tell me that. Give myself a few days, then back to the booze. It totally ruled me. I can honestly say, since I stopped alcohol and accepted I can't stop once I start, the pain has gone. The pain of knowing alcohol ruled. Now I rule.

    Lynda

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Kazzl
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    30 December 2016 in reply to Jimsmit

    Hi Jimsmit, welcome mate. That must have been a difficult post to write.

    Firstly, I have to say that only the alcoholic can make the decision to stop drinking. And we are most successful when we make that decision for ourselves - because we value ourselves and the life we could have enough to stop. In other words, while your love and support is essential, your wife must really want to quit, for her.

    That said, if she does want to get better as you say and AA and rehab haven't worked, I suggest she (both of you together?) talk to her doctor about a prescription drug that can help people quit.

    I haven't used it, but my husband did when he started his sober journey (now six years sober).

    It's worth a try Jimsmit, it might be what she needs just to get beyond those early weeks where it's so damn hard. Also, as she will need a prescription for it, there will be the opportunity for the doctor to monitor her progress.

    Very best wishes to you and your family.

    Kaz

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