- Friends and family who do not believe you are an alcoholic

Friends and family who do not believe you are an alcoholic




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Friends and family who do not believe you are an alcoholic

Postby tj » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:32 am

My husband insists that I am not an alcoholic. It just baffles me. I know that what others think is none of my business, but living with someone who does not think that I am an alcoholic works on my head at times. The disease will tell me, "Well, maybe he is right. Maybe you are not an alcoholic." I know that I am and this has not caused me to drink. However, it certainly perplexes me and I wondered if anyone else has encountered this. My husband does not drink and has no alcoholics in his family that I have heard about. I would appreciate you sharing your experience, strength and hope on this one. Thanks so much.

Manette
tj
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:00 am
Location: Spring, Texas

Postby garden variety » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:56 am

Hi Manette,

That's a tough spot to be in, not only you but your husband too.

My ex-wife didn't know I was an alcoholic, I kept my drinking from her as good as I could. It wasn't until I started making amends with her several years into recovery that I told her. She was wondering all along what happened to me and why I changed (after I stared drinking again). A couple of her friends said it was probably drugs or alcohol but she gave it no thought - until I started making amends. Then it made sense to her.

I don't know how long you and your husband have been married and if he ever saw you drunk as a skunk. Maybe he only saw your "under the influence" attitude and just acctepted you are probably insane to a degree or "just acting like a woman" or something that he just decided was easier to accept than to run away from. Maybe you were a "happy drunk" too? Happy drunks are pretty entertaining and I know a few who's families and loved ones don't think they're alcoholics. That does make recovery harder for them.

I won't say go back out drinking and get violent, crazy, and mad at your husband. I'll bet if he saw you in a state where daily "mantenance" drinking was necessary, and you were a mean drunk - then he might believe you. But that is where you'll go - it might take a while to get there, but the progression will happen to anyone that is an alcoholic and they start drinking again.

And I believe that you are alcoholic, too - though maybe at first you weren't sure. At one time said you'd rather think you're alcoholic and not drink to be safe than think you're not an alcoholic and you really are one and die that way. That is a safe way of looking at things and to stay sober. But what you posted today has me convinced that you are the "real McCoy".

Look at the words you posted. You said you actually had the thought "Maybe he's right? Maybe I'm not an alcoholic". You also said "the disease will tell me". That is a great "qualifier" - I know exactly how you felt.

I was driving around yesterday, and maybe some alcohol sign caught my attention, or maybe it was just a passing thought of drinking. But anyway the thought and "internal dialog" went like this.

"Now I know I don't want or need to drink. But you know how drinking kinda of "speaks to you". Almost like the bottle was trying to talk you into a drink?"

(Then I nod my head and say yes - I now how that works)

"Now what do you suppose that drink is saying to a non-alcoolic?"

I stopped in the middle of that dialog and busted up laughing. I realized there was a personalized "that drink" in my thoughts. What drink? There wasn't any drink anywhere talking to me. What the hell do I think "that drink" would say to a "non-alcoholic"?

It wouldn't say a dam thing! Drinks don't talk. :roll: They don't talk to non-alcoholics and they don't talk to alcoholics either. Add to that "that drink" wasn't even a part of the process - there was no specific thought of drinking, but "that drink" was standing there in my mind with his cowboy hat and two pistols at his side ready to "draw" on some unsuspecting social drinker. :evil:

What kind of insane thinking is that? I mean look at what you comminciated to me. "That drink" is just like "that disease" you were talking about. How the hell can "that disease" be telling you anything? Diseases don't talk! :roll: But there "that disease" is in your mind with a "six-shooter" standing there ready to pop you off if your draw isn't quick enough. "He's a rootin' tootin' shootin' dam fool" :twisted: - I tell you what!"

Then he's "also doing pushups in the parking lot working out getting stronger". He'll be ready in an instant to kick your butt if you're slacking off on your program.

For crying out loud! Look at the insanity! "This disease" has become so much bigger than life that "he" has a personality that is "lurking" everywhere, ready to pounce on us when we least expect it.

I just love it!

ONLY an alcoholic could come up with such a crazy piece of fiction to describe our illness - something so animated about "this disease" or "that drink" - it seems like it almost has to be an "external" thing.

Well guess what? That's what the book means when it says that alcoholism starts in the mind of an alcoholic - that the "root" of our illness is in our thinking.

It's picture-perfect proof that you are an alcoholic, Manette. Normal drinkers or social drinkers haven't got a clue about "personifying" a bottle of beer or glass of wine or a "disease that talks". Alcoholics like you and me have this inanimate object doing things, and killing people, and running around like a rowdy biker ready to whoop everyone's behind! "Normal" drinkers look at us like we have three heads!

If you're husband is caring and does love you, suggest to him that he attend some al-anon meetings. That will help him and you to have a dialog with each other.

In the meantime, keep coming back here and talking. And bring along that "rootin tootin' hellaciously mean bad guy" disease of yours with you. You and your "sidekick" help me a lot.
garden variety
 
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:16 pm

Good morning Manette, and Paul. :wink:

Thanks to both of you for sharing.

tj wrote:My husband insists that I am not an alcoholic. It just baffles me. I know that what others think is none of my business, but living with someone who does not think that I am an alcoholic works on my head at times.


I say that too... and mean it: "what others think is none of my business" ... or "what they think is not important... " ... but, I don't live with them. :wink: I don't take them home with me and I don't go home to find them there. If I did... and it bothered me... I would be looking to make some changes. I've had to remind myself that my sobriety is more important than friends or relationships. Because without my sobriety all my friends and relationships will be changing... not matter what. And, sobriety is not just what I want -- it's also what God wants for me. So, even if I were to change my mind about my sobriety... it isn't going to change God's mind about it! He wants me to stay sober! :wink:

BTW: I'm not making a suggestion to leave your husband! :wink: I'm not a relationship expert and I don't give specific relationship suggestions. I only share what I've done or experienced on my side of town. :wink:

My first thought as I was reading was "maybe your husband feels like he's lost his drinking partner" ... and, then I read... that he doesn't drink.

Maybe he feels insecure or jealous.

I try to remember that what other people are thinking about me is, under normal circumstances... for their gain -- and for what's best for them -- and has nothing to do with what's best for me -- even when they tell me that they are thinking of "it" in terms of "my benefit." They might not realize how badly one of their ideas could bring harm to me.

It used to really burn me to read and hear that "alcoholics are selfish, self-seeking, dishonest and afraid." :mrgreen: It really bothered me to read pages 60 through 63, and try to identify those traits to myself... "all the time." :twisted:

:idea: Then, one day... another thought crossed my mind, that implied that "it has nothing to do with all the time" (the selfish, self-centered and self-seeking needs to be in control of everything and everybody)... and "it has nothing to do with intentions or motives" ... because sometimes motives and intentions can be good and quite virtuous... it has to do with regardless of what "it" - "is" - we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.

Why does the other person feel the need to retaliate? Because we stepped on their toes and they didn't get what they wanted.

And, what if they got what they wanted? They still wouldn't be happy. And, this is not just an "alcoholic personality" thing... this applies to "non-alcoholics" as well.

It boils down to the same requirement that we must meet -- when it comes to taking our Step Three:

"The first requirement is that we be convinced that
any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On
that basis we are almost always in collision with something
or somebody, even though our motives are good.
Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person
is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; ..."

Did you notice the qualifier?

It didn't say "alcoholics try to..." ... it says "Most people"... This applies to them, too. (We can use this information to help us better understand ourselves AND to better understand other people). :wink:

Unfortunately, "most people" are trying to control something or someone... "other than themselves." And, that's what I think causes 99% of the worlds problems... other than my own. :lol: I have to take credit for my problems... because I have to take my own inventory. :wink: Even when they are at fault :wink: I have to be "okay" with "them being wrong." :wink:

In other words... yes, it may be true and totally honest... that the other person is at fault. "They are creating a problem for me!" But, I can't look at that... and it used to make me mad and ticked-off that I couldn't look at that! :lol: :lol: ... I could only look at me! :lol: :lol:

Well, how can that be fair and me not be a victim?

Simple.

It's because "I have my solution to my problems"... and they are not my solution.

I may end up parting ways with them in working out my solution. Or, I may end up being more tolerant and patient with them. The only think I know... is "How it works"... and how it works is "The 12 Steps"... and if I apply the 12 Steps to ANY problem I have... I am sure that I will end up with God's will and the best solution to my problem.

I hope that helps you as much as it helps me. :wink:

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby junebug » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:58 am

Tj, I can relate a bit to what you share. My mother, and my aunt who I am VERY close to have both recently said to me: "I didn't know you had a problem." When my aunt said it, I REALLY bristled up because (true to form,) I thought "how could she not know?" because- IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!
I could not believe that she would dare to not know me well enough to make it her business all the time to know everything about me. Never mind that 16 months ago she lost the love of her life tragically.

I know this is not exactly what you are saying-but I have to agree that if you hear yourself- and read what you wrote.....well. There are many ways alcohol affects us. We are not all "down and out. " I was a bottom feeder and sort of stayed there for a while.
junebug
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:50 am

Postby tj » Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:10 am

Junebug,

It has been a while since I posted on this topic (or any other for that matter). After almost 3 1/2 years sober, whether or not I am an alcoholic is no longer a topic of discussion with my husband. For the most part, he likes the Manette he is living with today better than the Manette he was living with 3 1/2 years ago. If I had just stopped drinking, I doubt that I could say that. I try to practice the principles in all of my affairs and it has changed my life. I will be forever grateful for the desperation that drove me into AA.

manette
tj
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:00 am
Location: Spring, Texas

Postby junebug » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:37 pm

tj wrote:Junebug,

It has been a while since I posted on this topic (or any other for that matter). After almost 3 1/2 years sober, whether or not I am an alcoholic is no longer a topic of discussion with my husband. For the most part, he likes the Manette he is living with today better than the Manette he was living with 3 1/2 years ago. If I had just stopped drinking, I doubt that I could say that. I try to practice the principles in all of my affairs and it has changed my life. I will be forever grateful for the desperation that drove me into AA.

manette
AWESEOME! :D
junebug
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:50 am


Return to Relationships in Recovery

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Friends and family who do not believe you are an alcoholic