The Change Takes Place Slowly
Noticing The Signs to Alcoholism
At first, it began with dinners. This is when I first took notice of real change.
One that I could pinpoint but still I was not convinced. It became a thing to have a glass of wine with dinner. I never drank, I have never been a drinker so I cannot speak for myself. Looking back this was the first sign of what was coming.
The need to have a glass of wine for dinner was almost like, “Why, why can’t I have a glass of wine?” in a passive aggressive tone was how it came across. This little sign was not obvious at the time and as the answer was “Sure you can have a glass of wine, but every meal?” That is what I had in my mind and as many marriages go, who needs an argument or a fight. A glass of wine was fine with dinner, who would argue that.
One Glass of Wine, Two Glasses of Wine
During this time my ex was home alone with the nanny and the kids. The time alone and the time spent writing was probably conducive for her to get worse. At the time this was unknown to me or probably her.
Also, we noticed a change in her mental state. Back in 2003 mental health and mental wellbeing was not something in the media or on top of mind. Looking back at all this it was clear that something was wrong and something was brewing. The one glass of wine slowly turned into two and because she was home for most of the day, the rest of the day there was no one monitoring the consumption of alcohol.
It was thanks to the recycling program that I had noticed one day that several bottles were in the trash.
Recycling? How Did This Happen?
After a few bottles in the trash, I began to very quietly monitor the alcohol consumption. Turning into an alcoholic didn’t happen overnight. The family was not affected immediately by the drinking. I didn’t rush to Alcoholics Anonymous at the first sight of a bottle. I should have, but I didn’t know any better.
During this time other small signs showed up and that dark cloud that hung over us was letting out more and more rain. Small arguments here and there sprouted up out of nowhere and this right here was a telltale sign but at the time I didn’t know. I didn’t know how argument and drinking were related but this is something to watch out for.
Understand the Alcoholic. Think Like an Alcoholic
Slowly the triggers became smaller and smaller and arguments became fights. Life around the house changed bit by bit. I spent more time with the kids, especially at night. Getting them ready for bed, showers, bedtime stories were all slowly passed on to me. I didn’t mind because we argued less when we were apart.
While these changes seem simple and these changes were over months and not overnight, it didn’t matter too much. Life went on as it does in most households and things didn’t change too much from this state. It was as if we were in a stalemate. I think we both knew something was wrong but she had something to hide and I wanted peace. With the kids around it was easier for me to tiptoe around than to cause more arguments and fights. Something was wrong, the family was living with an alcoholic. However, at the time we didn’t know.