Tag Archives: alcoholic

How Do Other People See You When You Have An Addiction Problem But You Are In Complete Denial About It?

This is an interesting topic because I know my husband was in denial and would blame everyone else me, his family, a stranger, the dog across the street….(LOL) You get what I’m saying!  However, at other times he would sit down with me when he would hit what I thought was his bottom, (but it was just a bad drinking day).  He would admit to me that he is an alcoholic and say he needs to stop or that he needs help.  However, that is short lived because when he felt good enough again he was right back to drinking, right back to the denial of “I don’t have a problem, you’re the problem just let me drink”.  You cannot reason with addiction because their is no truth in it.  It is living in an altered reality of what the drugs and alcohol create for you.  When you see the world through beer goggles it isn’t the way we see it.

Sadly I believe this is how we loose so many people.  To me addiction is like the devil whispering in your ear telling you how sweet this is, and no matter what loved ones say it doesn’t usually penetrate that evil because the addiction has consumed not only their body but also their mind, heart and soul.  My husband has been sober for almost 5 years now and we have heard of many people passing.  We have been to many celebrations of life and it never gets easier to see the broken families, the heartache and pain of not understanding, Why?    There is NOTHING good that comes from addiction as far as I am concerned.  It takes a person who was once kind, innocent, and loving and turns them into a self destructive monster who ruins many lives.  I have been part of that collateral damage and let me tell you, it’s no picnic it is devastating!

When my husband was drinking and we would go out, he would consume mass amounts of alcohol and make a total ass out of himself and I was just along for the humiliating ride.  I have had people ask me if he has a drinking problem and in the beginning I would make excuses not understanding exactly what I had gotten myself into saying “Oh it’s the weekend he’s just having fun”.  When he would become rude or fall all over or embarrass me people would look at me with disgust at times, but mostly I got pity looks like they felt sorry for me.  They would just shake their heads and walk away, it was super fun (I say totally sarcastically).  There wasn’t an event we didn’t go to where I wouldn’t cringe at the thought of because he would start drinking at home or he would fill up a back pack and then when that ran out buy more alcohol where ever we were.  It is a very expensive bad, bad habit.

One time a good friend of ours went with us to see KIZZ in concert.  She and my husband are both alcoholics.  They came up with this plan to sneak in their booze because drinks at those events are so expensive so they would buy one and fill their cups with the Rum and coke they put in a giant Ziploc bag that my husband hid in his pants……..Yes folks alcohol smuggled in your pants is where this disease can take you and they have absolutely no shame, and she just had surgery 7 days earlier so I had to wheel her in a wheelchair.  They were hammered by the end of the night, it sucked! 

I can tell you after years and years of disappointment and heartache for not only myself but for our kids, our family, even for my husband I saw him as a disappointment.  This is what I would see.  My husband, the man who was in love with me, and paid so much attention to me and made me feel so special sharing life with me was gone.  He was a shell of his former self.  As the years went by and the alcohol starts to take a toll it doesn’t come without health concerns.  He was unreliable, lazy, cruel, selfish, (SO SELFISH), judgmental, verbally abusive, not accountable or responsible for ANYTHING, egotistical, careless, wreck less, he abandoned our family, he was a liar, a cheater, and a thief, and I could go on. 

You basically become addictions puppet and what it tells you to do you do!  Recovery is the only way to change these things.  You simply cannot put down the bottle, needle, pills, powder, you have to clean yourself emotionally from the inside out if you even want a shot at changing your life.  Without addiction controlling your life, the world has endless possibilities for you!  My husband went from being a total monster to a decent person in society who is now reliable, caring, works hard, kind, responsible, ETC,  my husband may always be an alcoholic but today and for the past 1,700 and some odd days he is a recovering alcoholic and he has chosen to live a new life outside of the bottle.  He has his family back, our marriage has been renewed, he has mended many family relationships with our children and others.  His addiction is no longer an addiction that controls him, but the desire to thrive in life as a whole person, not just one that lives drunk in the shell of a body and merely exists.  He is a part of life and gets to remember things and enjoy things.  Life isn’t perfect but he tackles every thing life throws our way sober, without addiction as a tool.  Really, all the alcohol was doing was telling him a lie, it was killing him!  Now he can see that being on the other side and he has no desire to go back.  I am so proud of him everyday that he found the strength within himself and others to beat his disease.  Everyday he knows it is right there wanting to pounce on him and take him back but my husband’s will is much stronger than to allow it to ever ruin his life again. 

Today we are all grateful for his recovery, we live everyday trying to give back and be better than we were the day before.  He knows he has to stay on top of his recovery to be the best version of himself and to continue to be the man he wants to be, because he knows he never wants to be the person he used to be ever again.  As his wife, his recovery has been such a blessing because we were given the opportunity to rebuild our life together and today we are solid and unbreakable.  I know alcohol will never be a part of our lives again, but the memory is always there to remind us of what can happen!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity………….Hamrony

 

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WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE???

Someone recently asked me what advice I could give to others in the same situation or thinking of getting into this type of situation.  I can only speak as the wife of an alcoholic and I can only share from my own experiences.  I have come to find that there are commonalities in every person who has an addiction problem no matter what the substance is.   Which outside of alcohol and drugs can also be food, shopping, gambling, and so many other things.  I can’t tell someone whether they should stay or go.  We all think and feel differently.  I can share some things that I learned along the way…………as the photo quote above states “I still loved him through it all”.  Not everyone will make it out together!

Alcoholics can have all or some of these behaviors, manipulation, lie, play the victim, blame, twist words, be emotionally and or physically abusive, leave for days at a time, loose a lot of money, infidelity, SELFISHNESS like I have never seen, broken promises, secrets, steal, and there are so many more; but you get the point.  It is so hard to separate the “alcoholism” from the person.  Addiction is just pure evil!  People try to escape their pain by numbing it and pretending it doesn’t exist but it follows you wherever you go, and until you confront and resolve it in some way there isn’t a drink or drug in the world that will make it go away!  Alcoholism isn’t a choice, it is a sickness of the mind!  It isn’t an easy life loving an alcoholic.  I can tell you that no amount of begging, yelling, or crying will change the alcoholic.  Until they are ready to seek help for themselves and admit they have a problem there isn’t anyone or anything that can get them to stop drinking.  It is a very heartbreaking life to watch someone you love slowly kill themselves and destroy their innocent families.

So many nights you spend alone.  You become their caretaker, you are responsible for everything.  You are a two parent home yet only one of you actively participates in raising the children.  You keep secrets from other people about your life.  You make excuses for your alcoholic.  You lie for your alcoholic.  You live in shame due to their addictions.  Somehow with as often as they blame you for everything and even though you know it isn’t your fault, you start to believe that somehow it really is YOUR FAULT!  The whole family gets into this dysfunctional cycle and soon it’s like you are on a hamster wheel and the cycle repeats continuously with no way out and the entire family becomes so sick from one persons addiction.  I believe the spouses and families of alcoholics suffer so much worse than the alcoholic does, in different ways.  The spouses try to take the blunt of everything, they hide and protect the children and the rest of the family from their alcoholics behaviors.  The spouse allows the alcoholic to beat them up with their emotional abuse to save the children.  You try and make life “normal” for your family.  You become an enabler and you don’t even realize that is what you are doing, sometimes they even get the children to enable their behaviors too. The family becomes just as sick as they are!

You find yourself slipping away into what feels like a black lonely hole of HELL!  You feel your soul being crushed from the inside out.  You feel your heart breaking everyday because no matter what you try your alcoholic doesn’t see things the way you do, they don’t have the ability to see things the way they really are.  They see things through the eyes of the alcohol bottle, through a false sense of reality, to escape what is really happening due to their alcoholism.  Which is why when you try and paint them a picture of what it is like from your perspective they will blame you, they will tell you that you cause your own pain.  They will crush your sprit, they will emotionally cripple you and use that as an excuse to drink!  They will twist your words to suit them because an alcoholic will not take responsibility or accountability for anything bad, it will always be someone else’s fault…..and it is usually the one closest to them…….their spouse!

I know by now you are saying “why in the hell did she stay with such a monster”?  Because the truth is he isn’t a monster the “ISM” is.  The addiction takes over their body and mind, they become a shell of the person they used to be before the disease set in.  There is a person connected to the alcoholism, they are in a great deal of pain that they felt nothing in life could help cure until they got lost in the bottom of a bottle.  One drink felt good enough to make him relax so three could really help numb the pain and before you know it those few drinks turned into bottles of the harder stuff.  Sometimes they blackout and that is much better than dealing with what drove them to drink in the first place and the cycle quickly gets out of control because when they feel the pain they drink to stop it and before long they are drinking everyday throughout the day because their tolerance is building and one drink just isn’t enough anymore.  It is too painful to face reality so they become a victim to their own circumstance as does the family.  

 Know you can’t ever control an alcoholics behavior and until THEY hit their own personal bottom and THEY realize for themselves that THEY want to change and THEY want to live a different life and THEY choose to get into recovery nothing will change, it will get worse!  In your life together when they are actively drinking you will see them have moments of clarity and they will see themselves for a moment through your eyes and they will be apologetic for all the pain they caused you and the family and they will promise to stop and do better.  And they are better for a while, but it is always short lived because the hold the addiction has on them is far greater than their strength at this point.  Suddenly you have all the HOPE in the world.  You believe them and just know that THIS TIME it will be different, until it’s not.  I believe in those moments they are fighting the disease within themselves to get out of the prison they live in, in their own mind and that is how the alcoholism keeps them coming back.

One blog post just isn’t enough to share everything about this topic but I can tell you that it is not an easy life.  It has been my journey and I chose to stand by my husband through it all.  There were years of hell and serious heartache, a lot of damage.  Although he is now in recovery going on 5 years in October he has to stay on top of his recovery.  My husband will always be an alcoholic, but now he is a recovering one, but the disease is always within him waiting to come out and take over again.  As long as he stays present in his mind and uses the tools and the program to keep his life on the right track he will be OK, we will be OK.  We have rebuilt our marriage and we have to work on it everyday.  Life still goes on and bad shit happens all the time.   People we love die, you get behind on bills, loose jobs, family gets sick, the list can go on but I have learned that if you are not able to be grateful for what you have in your life at every moment then you are not eligible for anything more until you are!  Here is an example…….if you live in an older home and the area is less than ideal and your roof leaks but you don’t have the money to fix it just yet and all you can say is “I hate it here, I hate my house, I wish I had a nicer house” well you are missing a great life lesson my friends!  It’s called GRATITUDE!!

You see I learned a long time ago that you have to give more than you get.  You have to pay attention to your loved ones when they are hurting.  You have to find the positive in even the worst of situations (because I promise you it’s there).  If you are always being negative then that is what will come back to you.  We all do the best we can and other times we fall short of being the best version of ourselves.  If you choose to stand by your alcoholic just know it isn’t an easy journey and it’s a lifelong one at that, BUT sometimes even in the darkest moments if you close your eyes and listen with your heart and soul the answer will come to you.  Life isn’t always easy sometimes it straight up sucks, sometimes it is so painful you feel like you just can’t go on.  In those moments hang on tight don’t let go, don’t give up, there is always a better way, reach out for help!  There is always someone out there that needs you, that needs to hear your story, your voice.  Not everyone can and will be saved, lives are lost everyday to addiction, it is truly heartbreaking.  You may be the person who helps save another person, even a stranger.  You may never even know the affect you have on someone and how your presence in this world changed their life, but they will know.  You never know who is listening and why.

Know this…….no matter how long we are here on this earth we all have a divine purpose. I believe we all make a difference to someone.  Life is a gift, and for those that are struggling with addictions, my hope for you is that you find help.  That you change your life to become the best YOU that YOU were meant to be!   We can’t make someone with an addiction problem get help but we can be there when they reach out for help.  For those of you that chose to leave your alcoholic please know this……. you have nothing to feel guilty about.  You did nothing wrong, sometimes you have to save yourself because an alcoholic will take you down with them.  Please don’t take my words wrong.  I am not bashing alcoholics I am the wife of one, I am simply being honest about it, and my husband would tell you the same thing.  He supports everything I write because it is all true.  I am not going to paint a pretty picture when it can be an ugly one.  I am the friend that tells you that your outfit looks awful.  Sugar coating a lie doesn’t make it easier for someone because those lies eventually all come out at some point.  As hard as the truth may be to hear at times I would rather know than not know. 

Although recovery is a lifelong process for both the alcoholic, spouse, and family it is possible to rebuild.  It is possible to start fresh and heal.  I get to see and hear miracles everyday in meetings.  Not everything is rainbows and unicorns!  We are all human we struggle at times, an alcoholic can fall back into old behaviors without picking up a drink.  People sharing their stories and their everyday problems with others helps to create healing for all.  It helps us to stay in reality and not get caught up in all the bullshit life can throw at you.  Relapses can be part of an alcoholics story but they have recovered from it time and time again.  Not everyone gets it their first time around but wanting it to be different and to keep showing up to try is what makes all the difference in the world. Never loose HOPE and hold onto believing that one minute, one hour, one day clean, sober and most importantly in recovery is better than a lifetime using!!

Wishing you Peace and Serenity……….Harmony

PART TWO……….CAN TRUE FRIENDSHIP SURVIVE ALCOHOLISM?

funny-friendship-quotes-a-good-friend-would-offer-you-an-umbrella1This little photo quote cracks me up!  My friend and I laugh so hard at these stupid little minion quotes. We have weird sense of humors, sometimes dark sometimes just crazy! You have to learn to laugh at the shitty things that happen in your life at times. When you put a twist on it, it can change your whole outlook. There is a silver lining even in the darkest cloud….Look for it! Anyway on with the story. We had just done a half ass intervention on her Dad’s 70th birthday (still feel like a jerk for that) but there is no good timing to help save a friends life.  The other friend and I talked for a short time after this happened, she had a very hard time accepting that our friend wasn’t speaking to us. I tried explaining that we went in knowing this could be the end of the friendship for a while. I kept telling her to stop calling her, give her time to digest what happened just let her be for a while when she is ready she will talk to you. As for me I had already decided to walk away until she got help for herself. I wasn’t judging her but what had happened is our friendship was me being the friend and her not so much. When I really needed her she wasn’t there for me and I was going through my own hell with my life that I would put aside to be there for her and it just became too exhausting.

So she buddied up with this other woman and started posting all these photos of them on FaceBook and ALWAYS with drinks in hand. I remember one in particularly that stood out to me a few months after this happened. They were in a pool at 9:30 A.M. drinking and appeared to look drunk already. Her caption was “Hanging with my BFF” I thought “good lord she has really gone off the deep end”. One thing about me to know is I am an absolute animal lover and will rescue any animal. They are part of my family! Our Rottweiler had battled breast cancer for 3 years and was nearing her end of life and my friend always knew when that happened I would need her. Well all this drama with her happened in July of 2011 and our dog passed away a few days after Christmas that same year, I was devastated. I assume Her daughter told her what happened and a few days later I found flowers and a card from her on my front porch saying “how sorry she was that we lost her”. I sent her a message and told her how shocked I was that she took the time to do that but also how much I appreciated her thoughtfulness. We sent a few casual messages back and forth and that was it.

Meanwhile my husbands alcoholism had gotten so bad my life was just falling apart. My fathers MS was progressing and his health was declining. It was all a mess and the one person I could talk to daily was gone, I could no longer trust her, I felt so alone. My husband ended up getting a DUI in 2012.  It was a crazy year. I had heard that she met some guy on the internet and married him six months later. I knew that was a huge mistake. We didn’t talk for 5 years. One day in March of this year 2016 some photo memories came up from years ago on FaceBook with my dad and the rest of the family and her having a game day at Mom’s and something compelled me to send her a message. I reached out just to let her know that I never meant for anything bad to happen that day I was just trying to look out for her and do what was right and that I hoped life was good to her. That led to a few messages back and forth and then a meeting at Starbucks. I learned to listen to that inner voice of mine!

friendship-quotes91We are those people that just seemed to pick up where we left off. It was as though those 5 years went by in the blink of an eye, yet in the moment it seemed like forever. I told her I finally got to write and publish my book and she told me she is with another guy who has addiction problems and she isn’t happy. Part of me thought “oh no she’s the same”.  She started to tell me about her life and what had happened since we last spoke.  She always said she wanted to marry a man with money. I always told her how superficial she was and how that isn’t where true happiness will come from. She finally found that man and she was miserable. In fact so much so that even living in Barbados she was in HELL! She told me that he was lazy, lied, drank all day just wanted to sit in front of the TV, manipulated his boss & hardly worked, he wasn’t the man she thought she had met. She said she was drunk everyday just to cope and took Xanax. She had the ocean for a backyard and she was miserable! She said she always felt if we were friends during that time that she would have NEVER married him. I told her that I didn’t believe that to be true because as much as she thinks I could have “saved her” from making that choice in her life the truth is it was all supposed to happen. And not to long before that I tried throwing her the life boat she just kept popping it she didn’t want to be saved. There is a lesson in everything we go through and if we look really hard we will eventually feel the meaning behind it.

I brought her a copy of my book Married Under The Influence because she wanted to read it. She read it all in 3 days! She said she could not believe even though she was always around us and we talked all the time she could not see what was happening in my life with my husband and kids. She said she didn’t know how bad it really was. She genuinely apologized and that was all I needed to feel from her to know she was sincere.  I told her that’s because she herself has a drinking problem and it’s hard to see past the alcoholism.  She explained to me that her drinking got so out of control she convinced her parents that we exaggerated.  She had told me that she wasn’t working at one point and the female roommate she had is also a problem drinker.  She said for a long time she would wake up and start drinking, drink all day then go to bed drinking.  She said I have no idea what the hell happened to me but it became such a serious problem I couldn’t stop drinking and I didn’t want too.

Then about 3 weeks before we met her son had asked her to see if she can go just one week without a drink. She said it really opened her eyes and made her think so she stopped. She was trying to do it on her own though and she lives with someone who has their own addiction problems so by the time I saw her she was struggling to keep it together. She wanted to stay sober but didn’t think she could because she had no support from home. She started going to one AA meeting a week with my husband and I but she wouldn’t go to any other meetings. The thing about my friend is she is a follower, she likes to fit in and be accepted, she is afraid in a way to be her own person to stand for herself. She remained alcohol free for about 3 months but then when friends would come over if they asked her to drink she would. She has a few other friends that she always drank with and that is all their friendship is about. I had explained to her that when she becomes truly sober and stops drinking and is around old friends who want to continue their addictions she will see that the friendship doesn’t seem to have that bond it once use too. I explained that it is the alcoholism that they have in common not necessarily a true friendship. It Doesn’t mean that it isn’t a true friendship either that is just what I have witnessed so far. I told her that a true friend will not pressure you to drink, get mad if you don’t drink, and will support you in what you want and what you need to do to take care of yourself. However another alcoholic will not be able to see this reality because they themselves are fighting the same evil demons she is and they want company.

So we have had our family game nights again, we get together for lunch, we talk often. She and her kids are family they have always been family and always will be. Right now she has fallen back into the trap of “I don’t want to be the only one NOT drinking”.  My response was “do you want to drink”?  Her response was “No I don’t but I feel I have too”. I understand that vulnerability that people have. When you are afraid if your not doing what the other people in your life are doing because they will judge you or not be your “friend” anymore you are giving in to the demonic part of alcoholism, the disease that will control your life and take it if your not careful. You know the one that convinces you that you don’t have a problem! Now she wants to get out of her living situation with this man who also has the addiction problems but she has become “comfortable” in her words. It would be almost impossible for someone like her to become sober and get into recovery living the way she’s living. It would almost be like a crack addict living in a crack house trying to remain sober, it just wouldn’t work it isn’t healthy.

I have learned that every friendship is different and every person is different. In my own opinion I think a true friendship may be able to survive alcoholism but not without serious changes, or time away from one another.  Once a person finds recovery and is serious about it and seeks the help they need they will change.  As the poison that once filled their minds and body begins to detox reality starts to creep in and for the first time in their life they are able to see things the way they really are and not the way they wanted to see them. It certainly doesn’t happen over night but what I know is this. My friend had 3 months of sobriety and during that time she had one foot in recovery and the other hand on the bottle. She has God in her heart, a little AA on her mind and the devil somewhere in between.  She wants to take a step onto that right path but I believe she is afraid she will miss her old “fun life” not realizing that it is all a façade it is the addiction convincing you it’s all real everything is fine. That couldn’t be further from the truth.  When you can take a look back at the trail of destruction alcoholism leaves behind you, you’d never want to live that life again!

I will always help her where I can but I have to be careful not to get so involved in her problems that they become my own. I have learned with our time apart how to separate myself out of her problems and know I am just helping guide her to the place and person she is fighting so hard to be. I literally can see the alcoholism eating away at her. She tries to please everyone by being the type of people they are when she is around them, but that isn’t who she is. I encourage her all the time to be true to herself, to really find the true essence of the person she is inside not to worry about who she loses along the way because if they leave they were only meant to teach her a lesson. She has a very strong faith to God, she goes to her favorite church every Sunday. But even today I saw her for lunch and she is struggling so hard with her current situation because of the addiction home she lives in, she says “I know it’s wrong and its hurting my heart everyday I know God doesn’t want me to live like this”. It then follows with “but I’m comfortable” what that means is she is terrified of the unknown so even if “comfortable” means bad she will deal with it.  We have all been in that dark place and it is no fun to be.  All I can do is be her friend, not judge her, be honest, communicate and help her the best way I know how.

tina-and-kim

Like I said to my friend today. “Remember God may have a plan for you but it won’t happen if you aren’t willing to listen and take that first step to put it into action”. I have my friend back in my life and Even if I don’t always agree or like the choices she makes they are hers to make. When she needs me she asks and what I give her is complete honesty and she respects that. I have learned no matter how much time apart we may take, we will always be friends, we will always be family and that will never change!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity…………Harmony Rose

 

ALCOHOLIC OR NOT AN ALCOHOLIC THAT IS THE QUESTION…….BUT WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

18b45a890e2a86f9a0e2e4a3beb915f9[1]Is that a mouthful for a topic or what! I am not an expert in this field per say however, I feel like having a husband who is a recovering alcoholic that I have been with for over 16 years gives me the experience to speak my mind on this topic. It can be a confusing question though. According to the Medical News Today online it states that “while there is no unique definition for alcoholism, it can be described as a physical compulsion, together with a mental obsession. An alcoholic is a man or woman who suffers from alcoholism, they have the distinct desire to consume alcohol beyond their capacity to control it, regardless of all common sense”. An alcoholic is the person and alcoholism is the illness”. I know people believe it is an excuse and not really a disease but it is! Read the photo above about the difference between SOBER and DRUNK this is exactly the way that it works and denial is a Big part of it all!

There is also alcohol abuse, which generally refers to “people who do not display the characteristics of alcoholism, but still have a problem with it-they are not as dependent on alcohol as an alcoholic is: they have not lost complete control over its consumption “yet”!  In our life my husband admits and knows he is an alcoholic, yet there are people that try to say that he is NOT an alcoholic and has no problem. This we do not understand at all. People like this clearly have no understanding about alcoholism and are in serious denial. My husband has almost 4 years of recovering sobriety which isn’t the same as being dry and sober. When you use any addiction as a crutch most of your life it is difficult to know how to live without it. It becomes foreign to you on how to handle stresses and problems that come up in your life when before you masked it all with alcohol, now you no longer have that crutch to numb you thru it.

My husband and I attend AA meetings together on the weekends which has been so amazing for us because we get to be around people that understand what we have gone thru and continue to go thru because they have lived it too. My husband was once the biggest master manipulator, liar, cheat, thief. He would do anything he had too so he could go out and drink. He would hide booze out in the shed. He was very verbally abusive which trickled down to the children. In his words “his next drink was what was most important”. His reality of life was no where near the truth. He told himself lies to make himself feel better for what he was doing. The way the family suffers at the hands of the alcoholic is just something awful, terribly devastating the way addiction tears people apart and destroys so many lives.

I myself abused alcohol and drugs when I was younger so I was confused whether or not I was an alcoholic. I am not. I never had the mental obsession, only during the time of drinking and using did I NEED that stuff. When I chose to quit and move forward with my life that was it for me I left those friends and that life behind me and I never struggled with it, so I know I abused alcohol and drugs but that was the extent of my addictions.

The most important thing to know is that if you are questioning whether or not you have a problem. If you feel you are spinning out of control. If you feel you NEED that substance to function. If it has caused any problems with your job, family, or personal life in any way, then chances are you do have a problem. Whether or not you are just abusing or addicted I can’t answer that, only you can seek out the help you need and choose for yourself. To be a witness to the amazing transformation in my husband tells me that recovery programs do work IF you work them, because they don’t just work themselves. If you are willing to SURRENDER (that is the key word here) then your life will change. You can’t go to a meeting or program and expect that alone will change things for you because it will not, you have to do the hard work ,and what’s the reward?……..A brand new wonderful CLEAN life for you and your loved ones!

We have lost people to addiction. We have watched marriages and families fall apart. We have watched people struggle. There is so much destruction within the walls of alcoholism it is truly amazing when you start to recover and heal to look back and see just how sick and how evil addictions really are! My husband and I talk about it all the time. Addictions take over your mind and hold you prisoner and tell you everything you want to hear. You see addiction will convince you that it is everyone else with the problem and not you! The truth is it takes over your life until it controls your life and sometimes it will take your life.

13466028_10206986273871321_4545967841221518694_n[1]The reason I wrote my book “MARRIED UNDER THE INFLUENCE” BY Harmony Rose is to share it with others who I know felt ashamed and isolated like I did. I couldn’t tell people for many years what I was going thru because I was told that I was the crazy one and it wasn’t his drinking that was the problem it was me! That is what alcoholism does, it drives that person to believe a false sense of reality and convinces them that the alcoholism isn’t the problem it’s everyone else. Truth is addictions can take the most amazing person you know and turn them into someone you do not know. It is such a debilitating disease that without help I believe you will suffer. It is just as debilitating to be dry and sober than it is to be drunk and clueless! 9781480810501_3c016[1] - Copy (2)

Whatever recovery program works for you reach out and get help today. The most important thing to know is that alcoholism/addiction of any kind is about so much more than just putting down the bottle, the needle, the pills, the pot, Etc. it is about working from the inside out. People use addictions to escape things but the problem is it will follow you until you face your demons whatever they may be. Once you begin to face your challenges being sober in recovery you will see them start to resolve one by one. Each day you will feel better than the day before. But life happens, there will be big challenges that happen in sobriety as well but the best day for you will be when something big happens and before when you use to grab for the bottle to make it go away you will find yourself not even wanting to grab that bottle because the tools you have now are much more powerful than any bottle could ever be and one day at a time piece by piece your life will get better and you will wonder how you ever lived that way feeling as good as you do now ,nothing could ever replace that peaceful feeling knowing “YOU GOT THIS”!!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity……….Harmony

My Drinking Won’t Effect My Children…………….

large[1]I saw this photo quote image online and knew I had to write a blog about the affect’s alcoholism can have on children. This is going to be an emotional one for me.  I think I was in denial as to how much of an impact my husband’s alcoholism would have on our children, especially our daughter.  As I sit here looking back over the past 16 years I can see things much more clearly now.  What people don’t realize is that one persons alcoholism affects an entire family, you all become sick and dysfunctional without even knowing it!

Although it wasn’t my place to raise his kids I am glad I was here to make some positive impact in their lives.  My husband use to drink at home until one day he heard the girl’s counting his beer bottles for recycling 17, 18, 19……..that was only for one night and they were all his.  Then his son said to me “when I grow up I’m going to be an alcoholic”!  I said “don’t you say that you do not have to be an alcoholic, you can be anything you want to be” he was 10 years old!  One day our daughter came home from school and showed me a picture she drew of our family with sayings in caption bubbles and over her dad it said “Honey go get me a beer”.  I can’t imagine what the teacher must have thought about that.

My husband started spending more time away from home sitting in the bars instead of drinking at home because he thought the kids wouldn’t know.  I lied to them often making excuses for him, mainly saying he had to work late. I didn’t want to hurt them, they were so young they didn’t need to know.  Over the years I watched my husbands alcoholism get much worse.  He was emotionally unavailable for all of us and he was verbally abusive.  Fast forward to when my step-son was 13 and got in trouble with the law for the first time for vandalism, destruction of property, breaking and entering, stealing, Etc.  I knew it would get worse, I tried to warn my husband I could see the kid was crying for attention and help but nobody wanted to listen to me because somehow I was just the “mean” step-parent!  I should also mention that I am the only parent that didn’t drink.  His dad, step-dad, and mother are all alcoholics.

At 16 years old my step son had an over dose on heroine. This kid is lucky he didn’t die that day.  I watched these kids have virtually no structure or guidance in their lives.  I tried so hard to be that person but in my experience with the people in my life that were alcoholics lets just say they were selfish, in denial, took no responsibility or accountability, they had no idea how to be good parents because they were so sick in their disease they couldn’t see the reality of any situation.  They stepped all over me and made it as difficult as they could for me to be anyone these kids should respect!

My husband & I argued a lot (mostly because of his drinking) which wasn’t good for the kids.  I tried to get my husband to see he had a drinking problem but I was just told I was crazy and I was the problem.  As I said in the beginning you become as sick and twisted up in their disease as they are.  There was so much that happened with the kids over the years that I couldn’t possibly share it all, but the highlights are things like when my step-daughter graduated high school which let me tell you I am the biggest reason why she did graduate.  She got married shortly after and I was NOT allowed to attend the wedding (Yet I am the one who spent most of the time trying to raise her).  My oldest step-daughter moved out with her baby 3 1/2 years after we were together because of an argument her and her father got into.  My step-son ended up in and out of jail and finally prison.  Then our daughter moved out in a matter of days after she found out her dad was unfaithful to me she had enough and left.

Now these are of course big moments with a story behind each one but what I am trying to emphasis here is that one persons addiction can have a greater affect on others than you may see.  My husbands behaviors caused problems with his family, with the kids, with our marriage, his work, every part of our life.  The worst part is he shifted most of that blame onto me because my husband is an alcoholic and there is no accountability in this disease!  therefore life for me was terribly heart breaking.

When my husband first got sober the first 10 months was worse than when he was drinking!  He became explosively verbally abusive with me and our daughter.  He threatened her all the time to “pack her shit and move out of HIS house”.  During that time he was also unfaithful.  The words that were spoken were so damaging and destructive.  He literally tore apart her heart and soul.  He shattered the very image of what a good man and what a good father looked like.  He shattered her world because of his behaviors he showed her that people lie, cheat, manipulate, & hurt others just to get whatever it is that they want!  Her trust in people and relationships was broken.  I have never been more heart broken in my life than when I had to let my daughter go because I knew it was the only way she could break free from this sick evil disease of her dad’s alcoholism and it would be the only chance she would have to heal.

It has been a long and sometimes very painful journey these past 3 1/2 years of my husbands recovery.  On the flip side of that it has also been amazing and we have been blessed.  Our daughter is still healing, she still has things to deal with but she has learned to forgive her dad and they continue to grow and repair that relationship.  My husband has a relationship with all of his children and they have all forgiven him and so have I.  My step-son struggles the most with addiction.  He has an uncertain future if he doesn’t get the help he needs for his addiction so he can get clean and stay clean.  He struggles with sobriety.  I worry about him and what may happen.

What I can say is that my husband being in recovery has helped our family to heal but it caused a lot of damage and some of that will never go away.  Today we are healthier and strive to be that way everyday.  We still continue to work on things and heal. It is a daily process.  If I could get a message out to anyone it would be this…………

Parents don’t be the one that says “NOT MY KID” it is all our kids!  Kids see and hear a lot more than you know.  Talk to them, be involved in their lives.  If you have any type of addiction problem please take that first step and get help for yourself.  If you suspect your child may have a problem don’t worry about their privacy you find out that is your job as a parent to keep them as safe as you can.  Be Honest with your children, talk about drugs, alcohol, sex, they need to know.  I carry guilt about what my daughter went through, and wondering if I could have pushed it more with my step children, but given the situation I feel I did the best I could at the time.

I will say this about all our kids.  The oldest is married with 3 children of her own and I would like to believe because she had an alcoholic father and a mother with mental problems that she will be a better more protective & structured parent.  My step-son goes back and forth with being clean but he is now “daddy” to his girlfriends little girl and he has learned growing up that in his words “he doesn’t want to be like his mom was” he does go over board with the structure because of that so I hope he finds that balance in his life.  My youngest step-daughter is married and moved out of state but recently had serious marital problems heading for divorce. However, they recently were able to work through things and they are now living back together and they are happier than they have been.  Then there is our daughter my baby girl who I raised the way I wanted because I could.  She is very independent, she is a hard worker, she is honest, she will be graduating college in two months with a Bachelors degree, she has such a kind heart, she is a strong young lady!  I am so proud of her resilience and her drive to make her life the way she wants it to be!

Believe me when I tell you that you think your sheltering your kids and they aren’t “really” exposed to this that and the other thing but let me tell you they are exposed, they do know what happens, and they pick up on your vibes. It is so devastating to them it affects them as they grow up and into their adult years.  Be a good example for your children, if you need help show them it is OK to reach for it.  Let your whole family be a part of your recovery because it is NOT just a you disease it is a Family disease and everyone needs to heal not just the alcoholic.  We have been blessed with miracles in our life that recovery promises!  Take those steps do what works for you.  Everyone can heal, it doesn’t mean everyone will stay together sometimes it is best for people to go there own ways but that doesn’t mean forgiveness can’t happen, it doesn’t mean you can’t repair your life but it all begins with your recovery and taking that first step and admitting that your life has become unmanageable due to whatever addiction has it’s hold on you.  There is Hope, just believe and know everything will work out the way it is suppose to work out!  Look at your kids, Look at your Family…….. that should be enough incentive to put down the bottle pick up the phone and get yourself into recovery today!  Don’t live with regrets start with a clean slate, right now in this moment is all you have!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity……….Harmony

Hope for loved ones of addiction

IMG_3748Hope is never completely lost, although sometimes it feels as though you hang on to it by a thread.  That hope is what got me through all the years of my husbands alcoholism which came with selfishness, terrible choices, debts, lies, abandonment, infidelity, etc.  I dedicated my book “Married Under The Influence” to my daughter and one part I would like to quote is this, “Sometimes the worst situations have the best endings.” How is that possible you may say to yourself?  Because when you keep hope and faith alive, nothing is impossible if you believe!

There is hope for every person out there dealing with any kind of addiction, it doesn’t matter if it is alcohol, drugs, food, money, etc. addictions are not just a substance in any situation where there is an addiction there is damage done to not only yourself but to your family.  I stand for what I believe in and with who I believe in, even if I am alone.  I never gave up on my husband because I knew that his disease had taken control over his life and it was in the drivers seat with his behaviors and with his emotions.

It is a powerful evil force that until the addict realizes for themselves that they do in fact have a problem, they may not seek the help you can clearly see they so desperately need.  I believe that addicts don’t like how they feel much of the time, but they get so lost in that world the only world some may have ever really known and it’s hard to find a way out.

That’s where we come in. We love them and give support in the most positive ways you can without losing yourself in the process.  Share literature and statistics on addiction with them although they may get angry. Denial is a huge factor in addiction, but don’t let that deter you from your purpose.  As much as they don’t want to hear you, some things do get through.

No amount of anger or tears in my case led my husband to see he is an alcoholic.  It was easier for him to blame me for everything than to take accountability for his own actions.  Another part of addiction is blaming someone else.  There is so much help out there for people with addiction problems, rehabs, recovery programs, etc. but usually until the addict themselves is ready to admit they have a problem, the program may not work effectively.

In some cases an ultimatum, an intervention, a giant shove into getting help is what works best for others.  My husband was one of those that none of the above worked for him, nothing made him get help until he hit his own personal bottom and had his A-HA moment!  I had to find myself again because I became so caught up in his alcoholism I became just as sick as he was.  I went to a therapist because it helped me understand things in ways I was not able to do by myself .  Slowly I was able to regain the ability to help my husband in a positive way. I learned how to stop enabling his alcoholism and most importantly I learned how to open my heart and let go, to forgive all the resentments, bitterness, and anger that had built up year after year.  True, complete forgiveness allowed me the freedom out of the emotional prison holding me hostage.

The day I surrendered and asked for help was when I found a power greater than myself and only then was I able to love my husband in ways I was never able to before.  It gave me the ability to see past the addiction and see the person inside struggling with his own demons, trying to break free of the addiction that held his true self hostage.  We are all different and what works for some may not for others, but I believe you don’t have to give up on someone because there is an addiction problem. Be the support they need.

I am part of the solution, I am part of my husbands sobriety.  I go to meetings with him every weekend.  Be an active part of your loved one’s sobriety. Listen, encourage, practice empathy, practice patience, and once they start working the program into their own lives, you too will be a witness to how miracles really do happen. You will be happy you never lost hope!

Remember not to lose yourself in this process because as the addict learns how to live a life clean and sober, you’re all still healing from the damage that the addiction had caused.  You are growing together. Be one another’s support because when you go through recovery together the bond you create with your loved one is extraordinary!

Wishing you peace & serenity……….Harmony

Why I shared my story of being the wife of an alcoholic

IMG_6777I would like to introduce myself. I am Harmony Rose, the wife of an alcoholic, and I want to share with you why I wrote my book, “Married Under The Influence.”

I have journaled most of my life, which I have found to be very cathartic for my soul. It is helpful to gain insight and use as a tool to go back and read your thoughts and behaviors. We are not always capable in the moment to understand why or how things go wrong, but when you’re open and have an opportunity to step back as I have, you begin to realize it isn’t all just one person’s fault (most of the time).

I felt ashamed, lonely and lost. I bought book after book, searched online and I found helpful things to read but most of the literature I found is geared toward the alcoholic, not the spouse or the family. So I started to think how I could possibly help someone else who feels just like me. I decided that I would open up my journal and turn it into a book and tell my true story of being married to an alcoholic. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or if this was an amazingly wonderful idea, but I jumped in with two feet and went for it because the worst thing that could happen is it would flop. The best thing that could happen would be that I have helped others– and that became my motivation.

I had a front seat to the effects that an alcoholic can have on an entire family. Children can become rebellious, feel unloved, have a hard time trusting others, and as they grow into adults it has a big impact on their lives.

The alcohol destroyed me as much as it did my husband– and I don’t drink! We became dysfunctional and found a way to live a very sick life for many, many years. My life was a nightmare, but at the same time I didn’t want to walk away from my marriage or my husband. I had lost myself, so what was I to do?

I went into therapy and slowly but surely I started getting stronger. I was able, through therapy and journaling, to get my thoughts and feelings out of me. I learned that keeping it inside was so toxic that it was killing me, so were the resentments I carried for my husband. Understanding the meaning of true complete forgiveness is what set me on a new path as well as a beautiful spiritual awakening that changed my life and my way of thinking. This allowed me to reach out to my husband. The way I looked at it was that I wouldn’t leave my husband if he had cancer, so why would I leave him with alcoholism? It is a disease that is just as deadly—and he was a very sick man.

I realized that marriages don’t have to end just because one of you has an addiction. There are programs out there to help you create new behaviors and give you a whole new life.

Writing “Married Under The Influence” has been an incredible journey and it’s just the beginning. I hope you will join me on that path.