Tag Archives: Drinking

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR SOCIAL STATUS IF YOU DONT DRINK?

I saw this photo quote online and thought it would be a good topic to discuss.  I have heard people say things about how they feel like they “have to” drink to fit in.  My husband is a drummer so when he is playing in a band it brings us into the bars because that is where the local bands play, or if there is an event happening in town.  I got to thinking though that I have heard people of all ages talk about this and how they feel they have to drink to fit in.  To me I think that is just absurd and I feel that more people need to stand for what they believe in and not feel so pressured to do anything just to be accepted by people who are probably not true friends in the first place.

I take alcoholism very seriously because I live that life.  I am the wife of an alcoholic and the last thing I want is for my Daughter, Step-Children, or friends  to walk that same path.  When I hear my daughter tell me about her and her friends going out and drinking I have to admit that I sometimes kind of stop breathing for a moment because I have concerns about her ending up with a drinking problem.  I can hear her right now saying “Oh my God Mom, I don’t have a problem I don’t drink all the time, I rarely get drunk”!   And she is right, she doesn’t have a problem, I tend to over react at times, BUT because her Dad is a recovering alcoholic and she grew up in an alcoholic home and her biological Dad is an addict I can’t help but feel that overprotective Mom inside just praying that she doesn’t get caught up in any addiction.  My daughter is an independent young woman with a great job, and a good heart.  She is good to her family and friends.  She thinks before she makes choices and weighs what the consequences will be and that is simply by learning from past mistakes and lessons life has taught her.  I am a very proud Momma, she is an amazing beautiful person, a great role model for her nieces!

My husband and I have had people (men and women) ask us HOW we don’t drink in a bar. My husband tells them he is a recovering alcoholic and breaks out in hand cuffs when he drinks HAHAHA (a little dark humor there).  They will ask me why I don’t drink and my response is…… simply out of respect for my husband, and I don’t need to drink.  Some people are just amazed and just don’t understand how it is possible and believe we have such will power, (these are usually the people who have a drinking problem).  They say how envious they are because they wish they could do it.   Yet others judge us, and will give us these weird looks.  It is OK judge away, I know that they are miserable and addiction is in control of their lives so they can’t see past themselves and believe that somehow we are missing out on a “fun” life.  That would be where they are wrong, FUN didn’t start for us until recovery came into our lives.  Now it is all real and honest and we remember things we did and my husband doesn’t have to wake up in the morning wondering what he did the night before to hurt everyone and wake up with regret.

My concern though are the ones that do it to fit into a social standard.  The ones that do it even though they don’t like it and then they begin to crave it.  The ones that believe that if they drink or do drugs like their so called “friends” they will be liked.  The ones that do it for a guy or a girl.  I hear younger people being allowed to have a drink or two at a BBQ or a dinner event.  I do not agree with this.  I believe that this type of behavior that parents allow when they have teenagers just creates a pathway to some form of addiction and bad choices.  Maybe it is judgmental but I do not think it is OK to allow your underage kids to drink, they are not your friend they are your children, you are their parents and role models.  If you make bad choices like drinking and driving what do you think they will do?  Have a drink with your kids when they are grown adults and are of legal age.  I feel like we have enough troubled children in this world due to a lack of parenting with boundaries, structure and consequences. This of course is just my opinion I am not a doctor but I am a Mother, Stepmother, Wife, Daughter, Etc. so my feelings about this I will tell you I am biting my tongue right now to say more about it, but think before you act and do what is right long term for your children and family.

In our family there is a lot of addiction and it rips families apart.  It kills people, it causes terrible health issues, it destroys relationships, it is truly a devastating disease that you can actually do something about!  Get your ass to recovery, check into rehab don’t leave because it is tough because you know the saying “no pain no gain”.  It will be harder emotionally than anything but I can promise you this, your whole life will change in ways you never imagined were possible.  Nobody is blowing smoke up your ass it’s real, miracles do happen.  I mean it isn’t all unicorns and rainbow’s everyday but you will have those days too.  There isn’t just one way to recover but you must do it right.  Being dry isn’t the same as recovering!  Do the work and watch your life unfold before your eyes. Life isn’t going to give you everything you want, your marriage may be too damaged to save, you may have lost your job and everything you had, some of your relationships with family will be destroyed and you may never get that back, but you might, it may not be today or tomorrow but months and even years from now people do come back.  Have faith in yourself, when you are right and healthy you attract that back into your life.  If the best thing that happens is those people accept your amends and forgive you, then that in itself is progress. 

Sometimes we have to loose everything in order to appreciate just one thing!  Sometimes you have to start from the ground up all over again to live a life that is worth living.  Living drunk and strung out is not a life,  you are merely existing, it is not a way to live.  Stealing from families and innocent people, hurting others to get your next drink or your next high is not OK.  You may believe that the only person you are hurting is yourself but let me tell you that as the wife of an alcoholic and a mother to the children involved, you hurt your loved ones way more than you are hurting yourself and that is part of addiction, you can’t see past your own nose.  Trust me when I say to you no matter what age you are……..Be true to yourself, don’t drink or do drugs just to fit in because if that’s what you have to do to fit in then THOSE ARE NOT YOUR PEOPLE!  Your people are the ones that do not judge or criticize you but want to help you reach your God given potential to be all you can in this world.  We all have a gift, a divine purpose, find it, embrace it.  Get to know who you are without medicating and running from your issues nothing will stop that pain until you deal with it and allow yourself to heal.  Drugs and alcohol do not allow you to heal.  Recovery is work, hard work and it is something you have to choose to do every day for the rest of your life but it will be the most satisfying intense work you have ever done and the payment will be living an honest life that you can be proud of full of good honest people!!  Have a safe Memorial Day, make good choices!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity, Harmony

 

 

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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

 

PART ONE………CAN TRUE FRIENDSHIP SURVIVE ALCOHOLISM?

66fb283d15da2f9c1e4ddbc5dd9fb7e01I met a good family friend of mine 21 years ago but let me tell you, it didn’t come without some serious drama………..She answered my newspaper ad (can you believe that we actually read newspapers back then)! I placed the ad for daycare openings. I was a stay at home mom because my daughter had open heart surgery at 7 weeks old and I wanted to be with her full time. I started babysitting her daughter when she was 13 months old. We quickly became friends and turned into family.

She had a second baby (a son) a few years later that I would also get to care for. She decided to leave her husband and file for a divorce when the baby was about a year maybe 1 1/2 years old. My friend moved in with us and that is when I really was able to see the troubles she was carrying around with her. She got involved with another man right away (I knew he was even bigger trouble). I also watched how much she was drinking. She loved her rum and diet coke. She always had to have a bottle of rum in the freezer. Fast forward 6 months, she had moved out got her own apartment but she wasn’t OK. Then, One night she called me freaking out that she was going to take a bottle of pills wash it down with a bottle of alcohol to kill herself and she was going to give the kids cough medicine so they could go with her.

I drove to her house. I marched in there I took the pills and dumped them down the drain then I poured out the alcohol and told her to “get her shit together” and in the meantime I was taking the kids with me and I did just that! I called their dad and told them what happened and before long serious shit went down and her and I stopped talking. I couldn’t be surrounded by that lifestyle so we stopped talking for 8 years. I knew she needed help but she wasn’t ready for that and I know I could have handled it better too. Of course this isn’t all that happened this is just what finally caused a break in our friendship.

Our girls were now 13 years old when we met again and it was as though none of us skipped a beat it was like no time had passed. Our girls were inseparable when they were little and they were that way again. We all became much closer this time and now I was married and had step-children. We got together all the time for dinner and game nights, spent the holidays together, special events Etc. During this time I was more aware about what heavy drinking and alcoholism was, after all my husband was a binge drinking alcoholic and now he had a drinking buddy. One time about a week after she had a surgical procedure done we all went to see a concert up in Lake Tahoe. They hid a Ziploc bag of rum in my husbands pants so they didn’t have to pay for all the alcohol they needed. They were so wasted it was ridiculous! We had to get a wheel chair for her because she just had surgery and couldn’t even walk.

There wasn’t one family night or event we went to where these two didn’t drink. However my husband drank an excessive amount while she kind of paced herself but I noticed that she had to drink every single day at least 1-2 drinks a night during the week from what I knew and the weekends it was a free for all. Fast forward again to 2011 and her drinking had progressed and her poor choice in men started to cause more problems in her life. Her boyfriend at the time broke up with her and she had a serious emotional meltdown, so bad that another friends son was over at her house one evening and at about 10:00 I received a panicked phone call from him saying that she was threatening to kill herself and then go kill her ex. My problem is I was so involved in her life that I took her problems on like they were my own because somehow I could save her. She was family and I cared about her and the kids, it killed me to see her slowly killing herself with alcohol and she wasn’t even aware at what the problem really was. To her it was everyone else because to an alcoholic manipulation, lies, blame, and denial go hand in hand.

My husband and I raced over there and I ran upstairs to where I found her sitting on he stairs and she was so drunk. She said to me “If you and the rest of the family really loved me you would just let me kill myself” I said absolutely NOT!  We love you so we WILL NOT be sitting by while you hurt yourself or someone else. On our way over to her house I had called the police and told my husband to let me know when they were there. Within 5 minutes of being there I said “lets go downstairs, you are not going to be happy but this needs to happen” she came down the stairs and saw the police standing there. Boy was she pissed!! After talking with her or trying too and her freaking out and being belligerent they gave her a choice she could go on her own to the hospital in the ambulance or they would be making her go. She was so out of control yelling at them. She was so pissed at me BUT she wanted me to ride in the ambulance with her so I did. She was so rude and out of control at the hospital refusing to put on a gown saying she would sue people it was crazy. That is what alcohol does to you. It creates this false sense of reality and entitlement.

Well they released her several hours later I have no idea why they didn’t put her on suicide watch but they didn’t. She came to see me the next day, she was a total wreck she asked if she made an appointment with her doctor if I would go with her. She got in the next day I believe with the nurse practitioner. She was rocking back and forth on the table and she was shaking and crying but she was telling the nurse that if this guy would just come back to her everything would be fine she would be OK. The nurse started asking her questions and suggested that checking herself into rehab would be very beneficial for her. My friend flat out refused, she said all she needed was HIM to come back to her and she would be fine and she repeated it over and over again. The nurse tried to encourage her to really consider rehab but she absolutely refused she was unable to see the problem was within herself not someone else.

A few weeks later she proceeded to get worse and a friend of hers called me and filled me in on the situation which was she had chosen to stop eating she was just going to drink alcohol and kill herself that way. Her friend said her parents were coming to town to visit and she suggested we tell her parents the truth about what’s been going on with her and see if they can help her. Whenever her parents would come to visit she would hide all of her alcohol while they were here and she wouldn’t drink either, each day they were here she would become more anxious and angry because she wasn’t able to drink she feared they would catch her and for whatever her reasons were she didn’t want them to know. I begged her so many times to just be honest and talk with them that they would understand but she was so worried about disappointing them. I told her they love you they can help you. So we decided to do an intervention. So you have to imagine the people involved in the intervention was my husband another current alcoholic, another friends husband, alcoholic, and the other friend addicted to prescription pain killers and me who has no addiction problems but somehow I get myself into these situations because I want to help and I mean well. Definitely not the best group of people to do an intervention but what are you going to do you work with what you have, right?

We didn’t know it at the time but it was her Father’s 70th birthday (when I found out I felt so terrible). I was outside talking with my friend and I had no idea that her other friend and the two men were inside spilling everything to her parents, this didn’t go as planned. Well my friend absolutely flipped out she went crazy and she went after the other female friend telling her how much she hates her, then her and her father had such a struggle he threw her down on the couch and actually had to kneel on her to try and make her stay. there was a lot of yelling. It was such an upsetting day very difficult to watch, it broke my heart.  We left to give her family time to deal with what just happened but we hoped that she would finally get the help she needed. I left that day knowing that would be it for our friendship, I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew that it would be a long time before we ever spoke again if we ever did. She was one of those friends that I had fun with and talked to almost daily, she was company for me during a time when the world was pretty dark for me but nobody really knew that…….our kids grew up together they were family BUT she was very selfish, she was never there when I needed her, and when she was she would let me know how inconvenient it was for her. Things were getting so bad with my husbands drinking, our marriage was awful she couldn’t really see it, she had no idea how much I was hurting and what I was going through, because she had the same type of thinking my husband did, thinking from the mind of an alcoholic is so different. So I decided once again I had to walk away from our friendship and this caused me to become very depressed and sad because the evil part about alcoholism is it takes the very soul of the person you once knew and in it’s place it leaves the shell of that person you no longer know……………….

TO BE CONTINUED……………………………

The Many Faces Of Sobriety/Recovery…………

10814_771925539509494_5857858604136788209_n[1]I am not an expert in this field per say however I have been with my alcoholic husband for 15 years & I believe that gives me a lot of insight on this disease! If sobriety was as simple as putting down the bottle or tossing away those pills more people would be clean.  Truth of the matter is to stop using and admitting your life is unmanageable is just the first step. Recovery means exactly that you have to Recover from the inside out! Alcoholism/Addiction is a sickness,  it is very much an internal problem.  You have to be willing to do the work for your life to change it doesn’t happen on its own.

So these are my experiences of alcoholism…….When my husband was actively drinking first thing I noticed was he didn’t have a few drinks every day and he could go periods without having a drink at all. But when my husband did drink he was a binge drinker. He would drink mass amounts of alcohol. A typical night out for us started with at least 4-6 beers before we even left the house. As the years went by the drinking became more intense and he started hiding it more going to the bars instead of coming home.  In one sitting it was nothing for him to consume 24-36 beers himself and bottles of wine.

What once started out as going out together quickly turned into neglecting his family for the bar scene.  The coming home in the early morning hours turned into not coming home at all.  The lies, manipulation, and blame seemed to be an everyday occurrence, as the drinking got worse so did his behaviors.  Denial is a huge part of alcoholism, it was easy for him to blame me if we were arguing and then it became his excuse to drink so that way he wouldn’t be accountable for his actions.

Fast forward to his DUI, that was his wake up call. Not the years of me crying, complaining, the kids, or how many times he poisoned himself, nothing will drive a person to seek help for themselves if they can’t admit they have a problem.  After 12 1/2 years of drinking he was seeking help for himself. It started with an intensive outpatient program that lasted for 5 weeks. Things at home calmed down there was finally some peace. After that program he started going to AA things were looking up for us.  He was able to comprehend for the first time all the devastating damage he had caused to our kids and myself.  At times he was going to 3 meetings a day! Then something started happening around the 3-4 month of his sobriety……..My husband thought someone gave him a hero’s cape and made him captain super hero of AA he now had all the answers and could help everyone else. Meanwhile things were going downhill at home because his alcoholic behaviors started coming back and started to get progressively worse. I thought how the hell is this possible he is sober maybe it has been me all along, UMMMMM No it wasn’t it is the alcoholic ways.

I would have never thought that sobriety would bring such chaos to our life so I started to research it and I found my answer, he was a dry drunk! See my husband was not living a truly sober life, he had stopped drinking but he was not following the program. He just wanted people to notice he was going to all these meetings and he wanted to be told how great he was doing but it was all a façade he wasn’t being real with himself or anyone else for that matter! Then there was this woman who had attached herself to my husband and wanted him to help her because she kept relapsing. My husband being super AA went to her house alone not thinking “hey this is a bad idea I am married”.  She was sending him messages saying she loved him and I had enough I told my husband this is a dangerous place to be and it is not his place to put himself in that situation he has to help himself first. Other men in the program told him that going alone was not a good choice.

Then there was another woman who would send messages saying “save me a seat next to you” and he would go out to breakfast with a group of people men and women. He was pulling away more and more and became worse than when he was drinking, to me this was unbelievable! His behaviors were worse than ever and this path of destruction was far more painful than the years prior. He started sharing all of our personal issues with one woman and became overly emotionally involved, not having feelings towards her but they talked in such personal details it was just wrong oh and this woman is married and has 2 children of her own. I believe this woman has bad intentions and as soon as she knew my husband was an alcoholic she wanted to go to the meetings he was going to and her behaviors were just wrong. Ironic thing is once I started going to the meetings she stopped going and even my husband said something to me about the fact that he didn’t really think she was an alcoholic. Some people manipulate you so you feel sorry for them and it forms an emotional attachment. The more I complained the more verbally abusive he became towards me and he spent all his time away form home.  He was doing AA, hanging out with his alcoholic brother, going to the bars to watch music events (which scared the hell out of me) I honestly have no idea how he didn’t relapse because the bar was his “safe place” for so many years. Finally all this came to a head he told me he wanted to separate he didn’t know if he wanted to be married to me anymore so he moved into the other room and took off his wedding ring, I was crushed.

I was completely heartbroken. I was a total mess but he didn’t care. By this time he was so selfish, arrogant and destructive that I actually for a moment wish he would drink again because my drunk husband was far less painful than this sober monster!  My whole world at that point and our daughter that was still living at home could feel the affects of this and there was not one good thing about it.  I wasn’t eating or sleeping trying to maintain my job and everything in our household.  I would lay in bed at night and hear his phone going off with messages all hours of the night. What he didn’t know during that time was that I secretly watched him do his password one day so when he was in the shower I went in his phone to see what he wasn’t telling me and Oh my God what a slap in the face. The messages from and to woman that were in AA was sickening. Everything from “Love ya” to “I am here for you”, I want to be your first motorcycle ride, to personal compliments, to finding receipts for dinner with woman. I needed to know but I wasn’t quit prepared for all that, it was painful.

Meanwhile I tried so hard trying to talk with him to save our marriage. I was in counseling for myself and then the biggest blow of all.  He asked me to go to a free country concert with him, I was so happy I thought just maybe it was a small sign that he didn’t want to lose our marriage. The next day I walked into the room he was sleeping in and I said “I want you to kiss me” he said “you may never want me to kiss you again” he proceeded to tell me that he had been unfaithful and had sex with another woman……I dropped to my knees I have never felt such heartache before, I could not catch my breath.  I was devastated!  At ten months of sobriety this is what our life had become he did so much damage in that time it was just too much for one person to take!

My husband had told me that it wasn’t intentional “it just happened” To me it was all bullshit! A few days after that I saw my therapist and I told her what he said and after telling her what happened she explained to me the difference between a planned affair and something that just happened. She said when someone plans to be unfaithful that is intending for it to happen, just happening means it wasn’t planned. As she was explaining that people can recover from infidelity I thought there is no way, that was my one thing I would never accept. I must admit though that even though I was so confused I left there feeling semi hopeful. I was in too much pain to decide anything I could barely get my mind to hold a thought. Then sitting in bed crying so hard I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t see I was just numb. I took a bottle of pills on my night stand dumped them in my hand and for a moment considered taking them all so the pain would stop.

I looked up toward the ceiling and said “please help me, I surrender please help me” at that very moment I felt a warm sensation go through my body from head to toe like I was being hugged from the inside out. I put the pills down and in that moment I felt all the resentment and anger I had towards my husband just fade away and I had the ability to forgive him completely for all the years of terrible things he had done to me. I realized that my husband was also suffering because he was in complete denial again about living a truly sober life, he was a very sick man.

So began my quest to save our marriage and my husband. I started showing him everyday how much love I had for him. This spiritual experience I had changed my life and I never looked back. A few weeks after that his sponsor had him read a few pages in the Big Book of AA and my husband heard something new that made him believe that he wanted to work on our marriage and from that day forward our lives have completely changed and we have witnessed the miracles in our life that AA promises if you follow the program as suggested.  Today my husband has 999 days of sobriety!!!

We renewed our wedding vows a year ago and just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. I can’t tell you that our life is perfect because we still have our struggles from past issues. Some days my triggers are really bad and my insecurity levels are through the roof. But I am a part of my husbands recovery, we go to AA meetings every weekend together. WE spend most of our time together because we want too. I no longer go to bed alone or wake up alone or worry that he drank or gambled his paycheck away. Our children are all grown and moved out so it’s just us and our animals.

This experience of being the wife of an alcoholic has taught me so many life lessons. I have learned a lot about myself. I am a very strong loving woman! I am proud of my husband for all the work he does to stay sober and live a sober life. When he strays from that path I loving nudge him to get back on it. Today we can communicate about our issues, we laugh and we love like we have never loved before. I wrote a book my memoir titled “Married Under The Influence” is about being the wife of an alcoholic and the affects it has on the whole family & a marriage.  My hope in sharing my personal struggles is that it may help others who have lost their way and who feel they are the only ones going thru this, know your never alone!

We are blessed in our life to share the bond we have together. Without complete openness and honesty we wouldn’t be where we are today.  All the darkness in our past was the path we had to take in order to find the light at the end. We want people to know that you can free yourself from the emotional prison you live in with true forgiveness. There is help all around you, you just have to take that first step. Nothing is ever hopeless as long as you keep hope alive within yourself anything is possible!

Wishing you Peace & Serenity………………Harmony