We Were Living with an Alcoholic
How Does One Live with an Alcoholic?
The simple answer is you don’t. You slowly but surely end up coexisting with them. However, you don’t know this. It happens so slowly that the family pulls apart and with a few fun moments in between, the good can overshadow the bad. It’s a terrible situation and recognizing alcoholism is not easy. One reason is that we do not want to see it and recognize it. We do not want to see the negative in a loved one. We do not want the problem in our household.
This mess cannot be happening to us. This mess became a mental health issue for both of us. On one hand, one spouse had a problem. It was both physical and mental. On the other hand, dealing with an alcoholic also drains the other partner physically and mentally.
Help? No, this Alcoholic Does not Need Help yet.
At this point, the drinking and the inconvenience of drinking did not seem to hinder the family. Seem to is the keyword, because it did, but we didn’t seem to notice. We didn’t seem to notice because we didn’t want to, but we did.
We make excuses and we make up stuff to the extended family when we see the over drinking and the signs of drunkenness. Deep down we know that alcoholics can be embarrassing.
This also depends on the type of alcoholic you have. The quiet drunk one that falls asleep. The funny one who is hilarious when drunk. Or the angry, upset, abusive one that I had to deal with.
Which Alcoholic did you get? Angry? Happy? Abusive?
Luck of the draw I guess. Either way, the short straw has been drawn and you got an alcoholic. The next step is which one. In my case, I lucked out and got the abusive one. I am making light of this but this was no joke.
I had a good friend and when she drank, she was hilarious. It all added up to good times and it didn’t happen often. Now I was living with an angry, depressed alcoholic who was not physically abusive but we all know that words can hurt equally, if not more. So here we go, when things went wrong it was time to drink. Therefore, I did everything I could to make sure things didn’t go wrong. These were amazing things I found out much, much later in the process of living with an alcoholic.
The subtle changes in behaviours and the subtle changes in the lifestyle were all but invisible at the time. “All of a sudden” are not words I would use to describe any of this but it was a sudden change in the timeline of it all.
The Subtle Changes. Too Blind to See the Alcoholic.
Like horses with blinders on, we see what we want to see. Not seeing and knowing the alcoholic was much better than dealing with it. So, anyone not confronting is enabling. This is a hard pill to swallow but we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know how to deal with this and even experts have various degrees of opinions. As non-experts and uneducated individuals, we turn to the internet and look up various things to see if we are doing the right things or not.
The topic of alcoholism is quite an in your face one. The topic of mental health and mental illness for me go hand in hand. One has begun to drink because something is a little off. In my case after my spouse went to rehab, this was confirmed so I only know what I know. But something caused the drinking and something was being numbed at the time of drinking.
Life with an alcoholic causes suffering for both the alcoholic and the family of the alcoholic. Who suffers more?