As the wife of an active alcoholic, I have been awakened hundreds of nights by crashes of glass, yells from the other room, or intrusions into the bedroom where I was attempting to sleep. Usually these would occur at about three or four o’clock in the morning, and I would often react with screams of my own, usually in the form of insults or threats. I would stomp out to the porch, feeling justified in releasing my venom. All that these actions did, though, was assure that I would stay awake, thus affecting the following day, as well as the rest of that night. My solution was to make a sign and place it on my nightstand which read—
Once the alcoholic starts drinking, he is no longer himself, and so I am wasting my breath and destroying my serenity by talking to the bottle.
This strategy works much of the time, although sometimes I still have my lapses. It reminds me that our program is about “Progress Not Perfection.”