Al-Anon helps us deal with relapse

Welcome to “First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.

Philene, Marianne, and Mike are with us today. All are active Al-Anon members. Today we’re going to talk with people whose loved ones experienced a relapse during their recovery.

How to locate a meeting

2017-07-28T09:03:25+00:00 November 9, 2010|Categories: Alateen, Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, Common Concerns|

125 Comments

  1. Jackie July 2017 at 11:56 pm

    My husband and I started dating after I picked him up from rehab. My parents are both alcoholics, so I should have known better than to marry an alcoholic, but the heart wants what it wants. I wanted to believe the love we had would be enough for him to stay sober since my parents couldn’t do that for me. Of course he loves me, and of course I understand it’s a disease and has nothing to do with me as a loved one. He has relapsed a few times, I have done the angry thing, the supportive thing, I’m at a loss. I just want to feel loved. I want to mean more than alcholol to someone whom I care the most about. Did I subconsciously choose him to reconcile harbored feelings towards my parents? Probably. I just don’t know what to do at this point because I want to be with him forever, but I don’t know if I have the fight in me.

  2. Kayla May 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I am going to try and make this as abbreviated as possible

    my best friend of 13+ years has slowly been turning into a person I don’t recognize. we’ve known each other since middle school and have been two peas in a pod ever since. in those years I watched her struggle with her own fathers addiction begging him to stop and dealing with his irrational thinking and lashing out due to him being a HFA (He is finally sober) . She was completely straight edge as some would put it because of the addictions she had watched tear her family up. Wouldn’t even touch a drop of alcohol didn’t like it one bit.

    Well about three years ago I convinced my best friend to move to CO with me and live the life we had dreamed of when we were kids. It was fun at first we were hanging out making good friends, building memories, we got a dog. We both even got into seemingly healthy relationships and were moving forward with our lives in a positive manner. Now I don’t know what exactly clicked and made her slowly turn into this person I don’t recognize whether it was watching her relationship slowly burn into something really unhealthy,me coping with my relationship burning into something unhealthy, her getting super sick and almost dying , or things from her childhood coming up unresolved. I have no clue and I’ve racked my brain about it. but she started to change , and I tried to get people to notice at first calling on our good friends to not drink around her thinking that would help. I even I tried employing her (now ex-) boyfriend to help (who is also an alcoholic) and got nothing naturally.

    I’ve done everything I could think of:
    not drink myself
    buying stuff I think she would hate when I did drink
    telling her family
    telling all her friends
    telling my family
    letting her try and wean off
    trying to limit how much she drinks a week
    changing what she drinks (she was drinking 750ml of southern comfort a day)
    hiding alcohol when I find it
    confronting her when I think she had been drinking
    therapy
    talking to her from compassion
    intervention on her birthday

    everything I could possibly think of, and this weekend she tried to accuse a friend of stealing. which is a whole other issue , but I realized when she told me i doubted her. I doubted her because of her drinking and her sneaking alcohol, drinking my alcohol and putting the empty bottle back, driving drunk with my friends even though they have asked her not to drink with them in the car.

    So I put my foot down and told her “if you can be sober for a week ill talk to you about what is on my mind” thinking I much rather deal with sober her than influenced her. And she blew up she attacked me and claimed I wasn’t a friend and at least the alcohol makes her feel better rather than her best friend who makes her feel worse. she defended every part of the alcohol , and it broke my heart and my spirit. I’ve never had to deal with something like this and I am struggling so bad. I cant stop questioning myself.
    is this my fault?
    did I encourage her behavior?
    am I exaggerating?
    am I being controlling and “manipulative” by giving her an ultimatum?
    all kinds of things eating me up cause I care so damn much.

    my mother has talked to her dad and he is looking into inpatient treatment , which she is going to HATE me for but I cant sit here and do nothing.
    Im going to my first Al-Anons meeting tonight after work because I just cant hang, I even called the hot line and left the most heartbreaking message hoping someone could call me back and help. I guess we will see how tonight goes.

  3. Angie April 2017 at 4:17 pm

    My husband quit his job, and went to rehab for alcoholism. It was the first time he ever seeked treatment. We have a one year old, and I rely on his help with our daughter and his financial contribution. But he was getting help, and everything was gonna get better. He doesn’t like my teenage son / his step son. My son isn’t the easiest teen, and can be very disrespectful. When my husband drinks I worry that he might loss his cool with my son.
    So he went away, and it was SO scary ( to say the least).
    He stayed at the program for 2 weeks, got clean. He had a total of 32 days sober . And yesterday he relapsed. Not sure what to do. Without him I m withdrawn and not a great attentive professional and mother. But with him I feel like I am neglecting myself and my 17year old son.

  4. Karen December 2016 at 8:41 pm

    My husband of 2 years relapsed a week ago. We have been together 6 years total. He always had the problem. Sometimes i feel so foolish for staying with him knowing he had this problem.
    Now we have an almost 1 yr old. She means the world to me. And I do not want her to see any of this, ever. He seems regretful. He went to treatment in August(2016). Been sober for 4 months. Everything was going well. I wasnt terribly upset about the relapse when i found out because i knew it would happen. The outcome of relapse is too high for it not to happen. I was more upset about him lying and saying he would do all he can to get sober again. He has been home all week. No work. While i go to work with a cold. Come home and take care of our daughter. Do house cleaning & more. I am more frustrated than anything. I love the man and maybe i show him too much tough love because he thinks im so rude. I am rude because i dont feel the appreciation and love from him. I feel like i have always supported him. But I’m foolish to think he can have sympathy for me while drunk. He is very emotional. I am at my wits end with all this.
    I want things to work but at the same time im done with all of it. I just want to be the best mother i can be to my daughter. Im torn as to weather i should still hold on to hope or realize this will never work.

  5. Sandrine December 2016 at 10:40 pm

    Ive been with my boyfriend for almost 3 yrs. hes my soulmate and my bestfriend, but he has a huge problem with alcohol, pot and cocaine. We broke up for 6 months because he wasnt able to get a grip on his addiction. We got back together 4 months ago when he got sober again. He promised he would go to an outprogram, which he never did. He also hasnt seen his therapist in a while. He works in the bar industry and ive been trying to get him to quit but even tho he says he will, im not so sure its gonna happen. He relapsed 4 days ago and hasnt been home since. I have no idea what to do. I tried to be supportive the first days and letting him know he could come home whenever he wanted but he didnt. He keeps saying hes not strong enough and that hes sorry and that i deserve better. Than i told his brother he relapsed. My bf got mad at me for doing so. Im over the point of caring that hes mad. i told his partner at work that if it got too much he could let me know and id have his brother pick him up (like if he passes out or needs to go to the hospital or if he hurts himself) . His partner got mad at me saying i was running his brunch because dan would be mad at him if he knew i texted him and that i should think about the consequences of my actions. I have no idea what to do so i told my bf id be out of his way. Based on previous experiences, when he relapses, im scared for his own safety. He has tried to commit suicide by taking pills while he was drunk. He also deals with bipolar disorder which makes things even more complicated. I still have no idea where he is since now he just doesnt text me anymore. He was doing so good and we were even talking about the futur and trying for a baby. Right now im just waiting for him to hit rock bottom, a bit concerned about my own safety and a lit about his.

  6. Mary December 2016 at 8:48 am

    So my boyfriend was almost 60 days sober, he didn’t come home last night. We live with my mother, who is 22 years sober. He relapsed last night and I don’t know what to do, cause I don’t want my mom to think he he is a failure or to be mad. I have been crying all night.

    He said he is trying to figure what he has to do next. He starts his out patient program on the 20th, so he doesn’t have a sponsor. I am freaking out. Idk what to do anymore.

  7. Tired December 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Hello. I’m having a hard time today. I’ve been married for 22 years. More than half my life. My husband has always been a drinker, but in the past several years it has become very heavy. 2 years ago, I told him I was done. He asked for help and went to the doctor (Big step for him). He’s been sober 2 years. Last night he came home drunk. I am a mess. I don’t understand?? I know it’s not my fault, but I’m the type that thinks I can “fix” everything. Tonight he’s literally home trying to talk to me like nothing happened. There have been a few times throughout the past few months where I’ve sworn I’ve smelled alcohol on him, but then think to myself that I’m just imagining it and being pessimistic. There was no denying it last night. Now I sit here unable to control the crying and not knowing where to go from here.
    I just feel lost.

  8. kelly December 2016 at 2:41 pm

    So relapse is a part of recovery…. but what does that mean for us? we just have to cope with that fact and live with it?? that’s where I struggle… alcoholism and addicts have been apart of my life for my entire life… Even when I grew up and fell in love. I fell in love with and had my daughter with an alcoholic.. One who I love so deeply I allow his struggles and pain to override my need for happiness. always putting his problems above my own. all because he suffers with addiction… one that brings out an animal in him… one that takes away everything we have.. yet I love him still so deeply. I feel a hugeeeee since of responsibility for him and when he falls I feel it’s caused by me. when i take a stand and feel like I’m putting my safety or needs first. then he falls and suffers and I feel horrible. I want so badly for him to beat this disgusting game he’s playing. playing with his life. yet he has no control. he cant snap his fingers and make it all go away. when he gets help an is doing well I feel like he has won. feel like everything will be ok… boom, then relapse happens. I crumble and fall in sadness. I feel the weight is back on top of me and will never get better. I fight so hard for him to succeed just to be broken when he doesn’t. like how the hell do I fix myself?? fix the need for my happiness to depend on his sobriety? how do I ever walk away? walk away from my sense of family.. future with him and my baby. feeling like she could lose her daddy as I did mine.. the feeling like im all he has and can’t do it without me… My love for him doesn’t fade, it only grows deeper with his struggles.. I never wana feel like my life doesn’t have him or him to feel alone. I’ve tried to “save” him even though I know how stupid an non factual that really is. I want to be there for his highs, for him feeling like he concurred the sickness yet wanna run and hide when he falls. But me running only hurts him and takes him lower. I hate the responsibility I feel. but how the hell do i stop it?!?!

  9. Dee November 2016 at 9:13 am

    My husband has always been a functioning alcoholic ever since we started dating and the was 12 yrs ago . I knew his drinking was bad but he kept dismissing me . Over the few months he lost his job and he told me that he is also addicted to cocaine .. I was so shocked , dissapointed and angry all at the same time . I thought this is the end of my marriage because but through counseling I was advised to let him go to rehab . He went and came back a new man . For the first time in my life I was hopefull . But that was shortlived because 2 months after rehab I staterd to see changes in his behaviour and last week he came back high but denied it when I asked . our psychologist advised me to get drug test kits at the chemist so that when I suspect I can test him , and he told him that he must do the test to clear his name and rebuild the relationship. now as I am writing this he did not sleep at home and he has not called or come back home . I am tired of this life , I understand that he needs support but I need to focus on me and my kids . My kids know about daddy’s condition and when he dissapears it really stresses them out and I always have to calm them down and that is not fair . I have just been put on anti depressants because I suffer from panic attacks . I feel like my kids need one healthy parent and they deserve to grow up in a healthy enviroment . I know he does not work but if he does not change I am putting an end to the relationship..

  10. Lorraine November 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I’ve been married to my husband for 11 years. He was 3 1/2 yrs sober from drugs and alcohol when we got married. He was 1 1/2 years into recovery when we started dating. I’ve didn’t know him when he was using. He just relapsed 3 days ago… After 15 years!! He blames it on the fact that he stopped going to meetings. We started going to church and have been faithful and committed Christians for almost 6 years. He claims that he can’t stay sober with God alone, that he should’ve never stopped going to meetings. The reason…he can’t be himself at church. His addiction and disease are frowned upon, judged, and misunderstood. Although many addicts find there way to the cross and the feet of Jesus, it’s still an “uncomfortable” or “taboo” topic to discus amongst fellow believers because they don’t understand the disease, they only see the sin. My heart is breaking for my husband. He feels like such a failure. 15 1/2 years sober, and now at 3 days ????. As his wife, I’m lost and confused on what I should do (if anything), how to feel, or how to help. I feel I’m to blame for his relapse, and now feeling guilty and that I could’ve prevented it. I’m scared for our marriage and our future. Trust has been lost.

  11. sunny September 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Hops
    I am in a similar situation, second time over. What advise does the AL-anon group give to spouses like us who have done everything to support a recovering addict at their own cost, but the spouse considers that we should be okay with repeated relapses and that we are not being supportive.

    where does it stop ?I have being told that I should understand it is a disease though my husband is choosing to pick up that drink again, in spite of having all the support.

    In spite of going to rehab twice and trying to remain sober for short periods. He has gone back and become worse. Please advise.

  12. L J August 2016 at 5:39 pm

    So my husband of 11 years is a functioning alcoholic, I knew when I married him that he was but never having any experience with this selfish disease I did not know about all the repercussions associated. 30 beers a day for 30 years up until last August when he pulled an unforgivable stunt that broke my last straw. I split for 2 days with him begging me to come back, like an idiot I returned home then took off 3 days at work to arrange first a medical detox then unto a 90 day stint in rehab. Foolishly thinking I could actually believe his empty promises I chose to “give our marriage another try”. Six months clean he begged me to allow him to have 2 beers a day so he could feel normal again I work days he works nights, I’m not his mom so I can”t babysit him I finally gave in, moreover because I was tired of this being the only conversation we seemed to be having. Now I have just learned he is buying a six pack a day, stopped going to meetings and quit therapy. Angry, disappointed and reeling from the deception and broken promises,I feel like I have wasted 2 years of my life. Can I just say that I am SO TIRED of hearing” It’s a disease “, in my reality “It’s a choice”. The only reason I stay is because I am tied to the house, on the mortgage as a co-owner and can not afford to pay for the house without his paycheck, nor can he if I left. I have never broken any promises to him, never betrayed him and have always been there FOR HIM in the worst of his times,I have just recently pulled the house out of foreclosure due to his lack of paycheck while in rehab and that was not the first time, also rescued the house when he was in jail. I am 55 years old and need to seriously get my shit together, my 25 year old son and my 28 year old daughter (he is not the father) are baffled at my decision to not only come back that night last August but to stay now.
    I am baffled myself- I am either the most co- dependent or the most foolish person, I don’t know who I am more angry at myself or him. I know each situation is different but if I had known that being with him was going to be like being alone-I would not have married him.

  13. Abby July 2016 at 2:23 am

    I don’t know where to start. I feel numb and I don’t know where to turn. My husband has been struggling for the last couple of years with his sobriety, so I’m not entirely surprised he started drinking this week (but very disappointed). I find myself disgusted with him when he’s been drinking. The lying and deceit is what I hate most. I can feel it destroying our relationship bit by bit…and it’s been years of lying. What has really messed me up is that he came to pick me up at work today and I should have known better but I let him drive. You see, I had confronted him a few days ago and asked him if he was drinking which led to a big fight. So I didn’t. I went against my better judgement and let him drive me AND OUR 6 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER home. I should have known by the way he walked into my office. He almost slammed into the car in front of him because he accelerated instead of braking. When we got home, he could barely stand up straight. I am utterly disgusted and horrified that he drove with our daughter while completely piss drunk. I don’t know what to do. I started looking at places to rent for him. I thought about asking him to move into the guest room. I thought about calling his mom and asking her if he could stay with her (she doesn’t know about his addiction). I thought about ignoring it and moving on. But none of these options seem “right”. I’m lost. Nothing seems “right” anymore, even my marriage.

    I don’t want to end my marriage though. Crazy right? I do love him. I love the man he is when he’s sober. I want to support him but I don’t know how. I want to be by his side and walk with him through recovery but I don’t know how long I can wait. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so lost. And so very sad.

  14. Martha July 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I met the love of my life in high school, we started dating in 2007. We got engaged in April and got married in June, not living together at the moment because we are hoping to buy a house asap. He is an alcoholic and went to rehab for a month, he was clean for 3 months and life was perfect for a few months. Last week he got in touch with a “friend” and had some beers, the next day he got drunk. We spoke and he reassured me that it wouldn’t happen again. I believed him and continued our plans. Last night he lied to me and got drunk, he didn’t go home until 5pm today. I’ve been with him thru so much that I don’t know what to do. I want to leave but I love him so much that I’m not capable of doing it. I’m scared of what will happen to him. I’m desperate!

  15. Olanna May 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year now. When I met him, I quickly caught on that he drank a lot, but so did I on the weekends so it all seemed fine to me. But then I noticed he was taking a suboxone,and drinking with it. Once I googled what that was I got really scared that there was alot more to it then just hard drinking on the weekends.
    I confronted him about it, and he admitted he has had some issues in the past with drugs and alcohol and was working really hard to change his life. We wait for awhile to officially be dating because of his situation. But it just kept getting worse and worse, and I told him he needed to get some help, or we couldn’t be together. So he went to rehab for a month in Florida, and I even went out to visit him and he was doing well.
    Finally, when he got home, his family and I realized he was doing drugs and drinking again. I was so upset, he then promised me that he would fix his life for us to be together and went immediately to a faith based rehab in Arkansas for 8 months… but the 8 months turned into 2 months cause he left and decided he wanted to go home. I was happy to see him, but nervous that he would relapse.
    The first week back he was doing really well, keeping busy and working out. My friend came to visit, and we stayed over with him at his parents house, we were pretty much keeping an eye on him, which I tried to pretend wasn’t happening cause I know its embarrassing. Towards the evening, he started to act distant, and wanted to be alone. He then came downstairs, and I saw him grab his brothers car keys from my bag ( I was holding them just in case) and tried to hide it from me. I confronted him and he got really upset and went upstairs. He has a complete break down and started saying his life was no good.. I didn’t know what to do. I just told him to breathe and that it was going to be okay. I went downstairs to grab him something to eat, and he was gone. He jumped out the window and took his brothers car. I called him so many times and he never picked up.. I found out later that he got vodka and heroin. His parents found him in the truck at 2am in the morning. Everything just escalated so quickly, I love him so much, and dont know if I should continue to support him after he let me down so many times.

  16. Timtam May 2016 at 5:15 am

    I’ve been with my alcoholic boyfriend for over two and a half years. In the first year, he tried to get sober, the first attempt lasted for 2 months, with help from meds. After a long relapse, I gave him an ultimatum, go back on meds or move out. He was back on meds, exercising to go on a competition, working hard, and we went on holidays overseas. It was the best 6 months. He suddenly stopped taking his meds without me knowing and relapsed. Since it has been a nightmare. So many attempts and relapses. He refuses to go back to the hospital, some of his drinking buddies told him the meds would mess up his brain. He refuses to go to counselling, he says it’s a waste of time, and he will try to stop drinking on his own. His so called friends are the worst. Everytime he tries to get sober and tells them he isn’t drinking, they always call him to go out drinking. They aren’t even alcoholics. Some of them for sure are using him because he always pays for drinks. His behaviour while drunk is getting worse, doesn’t go to work, and spends all his money on alcohol. He doesn’t drink every day, but when he does, he binges for at least a weak (non-stop). He also suffers from depression. I have tried to give him my support. I’ve been to Al-Anon (unfortunately the only Al-Anon group in my city doesn’t have regular meetings, and the few times I went there there was no one) to help myself, went to see a therapist but stopped because it was too costly (around $150 an hour). I currently live in Korea, there isn’t enough support system for alcoholics, there’s a stigma attached to alcoholics (if an alcoholic go to seek advice from a doctor, they have to seek help from what Koreans called “crazy people doctor”, and it is recorded so if they want to fine a new job or get a life insurance, no employer will take them and no life insurance will take them as they are labelled “crazy”) I feel helpless, I do feel sorry for him, but this is affecting me lots. I am considering leaving him.

  17. Chris May 2016 at 1:41 pm

    My fiancee is an alcoholic. 15-20 beers and a half-pint or pint of liquor every night for the first 5 years we were together. He went to the doctor a year and a half ago and quit the next day. He didn’t indicate what the doctor had said, but I strongly suspected there were health issues that drove his decision to quit.

    I didn’t realize how stressed I was about it until he quit. It was an adjustment at first; he wasn’t nearly as affectionate when he was sober, but it was so nice to know I could depend on him to be straight and focus on the future together. We bought a house and things are going better than ever for us.

    He started drinking again 3 weeks ago. Not every night, but I expect it to end up that way. I feel like the man I lived with for the past year and a half just up and left without saying good-bye. I feel broken-hearted and disappointed. My parents, his parents and his children have health issues that I’m now facing alone. In addition to the stress associated with him driving or doing something else while drunk to create more issues.

    I’m just devastated and don’t understand why now when things were going so well?

  18. Marissa April 2016 at 9:26 am

    My boyfriend of over 4 years went to his first rehab facility in February for alcohol abuse. He was doing so amazing, making so much progress. I was going to Al-Anon and making my own progress as well. He came back home and things felt so right.

    For so long before he decided to get help, all I could think about was, “How am I going to get the hell out of this relationship?” But now since he has been working to get clean, I have been able to think about our future, marriage, children. Not just about how to escape the misery. I love him with all my heart. I am 24 yeas old, about to be 25, and he has been there for me ever since my mother died 4 years ago.

    He had about 60 days clean time up until last week, when he relapsed. He started going back to his old behaviors of playing pool in bars with his “friends” and missing out on meetings. He said the relapse was a learning experience because now he sees how much of a hold drinking really has on him. He thought he would have no problem keeping sober, and he did. He does. A big problem.

    He said it wasn’t worth it. Then for a few days we tried to have things go back to “normal,” but I knew this would happen again. He wasn’t attending meetings, and he was complaining about the ones he did go to. He complained about his outpatient treatment and made excuses about getting a sponsor. He refused my advice to tell his cousins or uncle in recovery about his relapse and I just knew this was going to happen again.

    I was right. Last night he said he was going to go skateboarding for just a little while with his friend that I actually find really supportive of him being sober. Hours went by. I called him around 1:30 am and I heard that familiar slurring and that nasty tone that I have not heard in months, that I have nightmares of hearing, and there it was, right in my ear like it was months ago.

    I could barely understand him and when I asked him if he had been drinking he just said “Text me” and hung up. I did not try to call him back. I just buried my face into my pillow and cried until I fell asleep.

    He came home at 3:30 am and went to sleep. I pretended to be sleeping to make sure he would not cause a drunken mess like he used to, but he didn’t. I woke up this morning, and before I left for work, I set the alarm for him. He has outpatient at 10 am. That is a joke. I know he won’t go, or sleep through it.

    I feel so helpless and hopeless. Reading a story on his chain made me really think. Even if my boyfriend gets sober and clean for months or years, he is the type who will test his limits. He would probably try to drink years after getting sober, thinking he could handle it and we will be right back here. Except I will be older and maybe even have children. Then I will really be screwed.

    Thinking of going to Al-Anon at lunch time today. Say a prayer for me.

  19. Isabella April 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Can’t believe I am writing this. Just lying here in my bed while my daughter who has just turned 1 is sleeping beside me. My partner, who has recently finished 6 weeks in rehab, just relapsed. Actually, he is probably enjoying taking drugs as I write this (I am angry).

    I feel so disappointed and devastated. He was doing so well, things finally started to feel good for a change. I was just starting to hope, something I haven’t allowed myself to do as I am so used to being let down by this man.

    I want to get back to work after having my daughter, & be able to plan. I don’t want to be on this roller coaster & I certainly don’t want this chaos for my daughter. The thing is, I love this person. You try to be there to support, stand by them, etc. But it becomes all about them.

    I am a first time mum & I find this has taken over the 1st year of my daughter’s life — it’s has been all about him. He finally got some help and went into residential rehab & here I am back here with drugs again. I know he’s an addict and relapses are to be expected. I naively thought I would be okay, but I don’t know what I do now.

    He went to rehab because I had reached my limit. I told him I couldn’t deal with him not seeking professional help, so I was walking away and it was up to him whether he chose drugs or got help. So he eventually got help. I just don’t know what else I can possibly do.

  20. Madison March 2016 at 8:53 pm

    My mom and dad are both drug addicts. My mom is cross-addicted. I’m only 16 years old and I’ve had experience myself, of course. I’ve learned the hard way. I have an older sister who’s 20 and she’s addicted to OxyContin. I have a younger brother and he used to smoke weed and pop pills. But a blessing in disguise happened to us. DSS got involved and my younger brother and I got taken away. We were placed with a foster family, and then we got moved to a group home. I’ve gotten really close with God then, because He was my only hope. I know He’s the only one who heard my cries when I had nobody. March 26th was a year since we were taken.

    Today I went to see my mom and I could tell she had done something. We’d been cleaning this trailer that we were planning to move in, but something was telling me to look in her pocket book. I did and there was a bottle of liquor. My heart just broke. I thought to myself, we’ve came a long way, why throw it away now?

    I’ve come to realize that the devil won that battle. She was a little tipsy, so she didn’t realize what was so wrong, she just kept saying I want to be normal and take a drink every now and then. But what she failed to realize was she’s an addict and anything like that can trigger it off.

    My little brother and I were sitting there talking, both upset and crying, thinking if this is really happening for a reason, and why is this happening to us–why us? It’s hard to comprehend this, but we’ve decided that we’re gonna fight through this battle because God always wins the war. We’ve also decided that we’re going to let this make us and not break us because God has a special plan for each of us, and we’re trusting in Him. And always will.

    I believe our struggle and all the tough times will pay off. You all are in my prayers and I ask for the same. God will never leave or forsake us. Little do we know, this too shall pass. My brother and I have come a long way and we’re not giving up now and never will. We’re sticking through it together.

  21. Josephine March 2016 at 8:43 pm

    End of February, my 70-year-old mother might have died if not for an out-of-state relative’s phone call to me saying she wasn’t answering her phone. Normally, I would have figured she was out doing Saturday errands. But like the “caretaker” child of alcoholic parents I am, I went to her house with my husband. She was sprawled out on the sofa at 11 am, more or less incoherent. A receipt on her table and the empty bottles indicated that she blew through about 4 liters of the hard stuff in 5 days.

    She did not get up to use the bathroom until 2 pm. Long about 10 pm, and after sitting with her for hours of vomiting and refusing to go to the hospital I finally called an ambulance after she was unable to get back to the sofa from the bathroom with my help. She spent three days in ICU, being detoxed, and several more in a regular hospital room to get the internal bleeding, severe esophagitis, and pancreatitis under control. I insisted to the doctor that she get some home health care when she was released, because I did not think it would be a good idea for her to go right back to her old ways so fast. At least this way, a nurse would be checking on her progress (I clued the nurse in outside when she was leaving after the first visit.)

    After she got “cleared” by the home nurse, she asked for her “stuff” back. The stuff is all the booze I removed from her house. Her excuse is that she had nothing to serve when her friend was over, and so she “had” to buy a bottle of rum. She had to buy a 1.75 liter bottle, which I saw at Easter. I was tempted to stop the next day and see if the level went down, but I’m too tired of trying to change what goes on– she would just lie to me about it and think the lie worked. I think the asking for the stuff back was to cover for the booze she bought being in her house–she says she hasn’t had any alcohol. Bull. I am her power of attorney, and I can look at her bank account and see the amounts she writes to the grocery store– it’s not all food, believe me.

    She thinks she doesn’t have any kind of “condition.” You should see the amount of vitamins she had to take after being pumped full of various IV’s in the hospital. B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, prenatal vitamins, probiotics, along with stuff to control acid reflux and liquid to coat her stomach so she could at least eat something. Her system was totally depleted and she was malnourished– her eyes were sunken and her skin is getting very crepe-y. I think that she was at the beginning stages of “alcoholic wet brain” the night I called the ambulance, because although I was supporting her walking, she thought she was falling forward when she was leaning backward on me– and this was close to ten hours after I arrived at her house, after drinking water all day long (and vomiting it up)– meaning that although she had not had alcohol for that long, she was having trouble walking.

    I think my mother has had her brain damaged by alcohol (liver and other things, too.) She does not fully understand what happened to her and is definitely in denial that she has a drinking problem. She lies and she thinks that her lies are believable. She turns my concerns back on me and tells me I have a problem. It takes an extreme amount of restraint to keep from telling her that any problem I have is a direct result of growing up in an alcoholic household. She cannot empathize or relate to what she put ME through as a child, and is still putting me through.

    I recently read “Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics.” I always knew there was a problem with my parents–I saw a lot of stuff no child should ever see. I always knew it was not my fault, unlike a lot of people in that kind of situation. But what I did not know was how it shaped my personality and thinking and the way I see the world. I would recommend this to anyone who had/has alcoholic parent(s).

    I think I have been in recovery for about 20 years, although I did not know it until I read that book. I have been slowly distancing myself from my mother and alcoholic brother over the years. My husband has helped me over the years see the craziness and the bizarre logic that goes on in my family. Before, I was just used to how my family was. More recently, I have been stepping away from people who are unkind or thoughtless or selfish. I think this is me choosing to take care of myself and my own needs–finally. Right now, I am just exhausted and burned out from all of it. But understanding I have a right to be happy and a right not to be mistreated or take care of their problems is giving me hope.

  22. SHEILA March 2016 at 7:19 am

    My husband is an alcoholic who has relapsed. He was a year and a half sober and now he is back to drinking every day and lying to me about it — when I clearly know that he is drunk when I get home from work. I love my husband with all my heart and I don’t want to walk away from him. I do not know what to do anymore, though. He says he does not have a problem, and he won’t go get help. I am trying to help him, but I don’t know how.

  23. Barbara March 2016 at 7:31 am

    I’m 22 and live with my 53-year-old mom. She used to be clean, but ever since I was in high school, around 10th grade, I discovered she had been drinking, hiding it away, becoming angry if I didn’t buy her beer, even stealing my money.

    Now she doesn’t care if she drinks, but she’ll get mad if I bring it up that I want her to stop. I am trying to finish college and get a job, a car, and move out one day, but I feel no matter what I do it’s not good enough.

    I quit college to help her out and I feel bad, because it’s my dream. People who don’t have parents like this will say to leave them alone and deal with your life, but how can you when you can’t stand by and watch the people you love destroy themselves?

  24. Alexa March 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe I’m writing this. I got married to a wonderful guy almost three years ago. We have a 20-month-old baby. He is an alcoholic, but I didn’t know it til after we got married, because we met online.

    He drinks every single weekend on Friday and Saturday. He stays at home, but every morning is a nightmare for me. I don’t want my son growing up with such a bad example. I asked him to stop and he gave me a date that he is breaking today. We are in a hotel in a conference and I found the beers in the refrigerator. I’m so tired of this. I don’t know what to do.

    It gives me comfort to think I’m not alone.

  25. Hops March 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I’ve been with my spouse for 8 years. We have a beautiful 6-year-old son. He was a pot smoker when I met him. It wasn’t until we moved in together, after 6 months I realized he was a functioning pot-head and an alcoholic.

    We always enjoyed a few drinks together, I don’t smoke or do drugs. After finding out we were expecting, I thought things would change. They didn’t. They got worse.

    We would fight about his pot smoking daily. When our son was 3, he quit smoking pot. I was very proud of him. He had been a chronic smoker since his early teens and was 35 when he gave it up. He was smoke-free, but continued to drink more and more. I couldn’t take much more.

    I justified all the reasons to stay. He was a good father (but was he?). My husband was dedicated to our son. We spent a lot of time together as a family, but it was tiring. Always being on guard and watching how many beers he had. Always making sure he didn’t drive, watching him spend hundreds of dollars a month on alcohol. So when he started smoking again and hiding it from me a year later, I left. I couldn’t deal with the lying.

    Then, stupid me, after a year of talking and working on things, my son and I moved back in. Little did I know in the year we were apart, he became a full-blown alcoholic and cocaine addict. Easy to hide the latter. He insisted on keeping his “social schedule,” drinking and using several nights a week with his buddies. I confronted him a few times over 6 months. He said I was crazy and that he was only drinking, and staying up all night was his prerogative.

    In Sept 2015, I found the evidence (I already knew I was right anyway). I confronted him and told him, get help or get out. He stayed off drugs and alcohol for a few months, but replaced it with a new found addiction to video games. He’s not going to work anymore, playing for hours and hours. He justifies it, just like he did the drinking and drugs. He’s been sober, or should say was sober until last Saturday.

    We were at a family function, and our son was with my parents. He had told his own family he stopped drinking months ago. But his mom insisted that it was ok for him to have a few. So he did. More than a few. Got hammered. I’m angry and annoyed. 4 months in and he couldn’t say no, even with me there.

    I should never have come back. I should have known better.

  26. Mary February 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I’m so happy to see I’m not alone. I helped my husband of 22 years through a crisis in 2014. I was under the impression he was done with alcohol since then. I learned this weekend he relapsed last spring and has been hiding it from me. I don’t know what to do anymore for him. My new approach is to take care of the kids and myself. I am going to my first Al-Anon meeting next week.

  27. Carolyn January 2016 at 11:07 am

    My husband was sober for 33 years and decided to start drinking again, a week ago. He said he doesn’t believe he was an alcoholic, and wants to drink like normal people.

    We have been married going on 40 years in June. I feel I should have left when I was still young enough to find a happy and healthy relationship. He is an old 75 and has been one of the laziest people I have ever known. He talks constantly, he angers easily and wears his belt just below his eyebrows, so he feels everything I say to him in a disagreement is hitting below the belt.

    He is what they refer to as “King Baby”–in AA and Al-Anon? I am 69 and very active in my life (everyone says I look like I’m in my late 40’s), but I feel it is way too late for me now.

    I should go back to Al-Anon, or at least start reading my “ODAT” again. Good luck, everyone.

  28. Amber January 2016 at 7:01 am

    My husband has been sober for 16 months and 14 days. Correction: He was sober for 16 months and 14 days. Three days ago, I found out he was cheating on me with a co-worker.

    He took two days off work so he could be with me and we could figure out how to work on our marriage. He went back to work for the first time today and was very attentive and called and texted me throughout the day to reassure me. He was supposed to get off work at 9. He never called me and when I finally got a hold of him an hour later, he was hanging out with one of his friends who is a big drinker and user as well. Once I heard who he was with, I knew it was a done deal.

    I knew he was going to fall off. I didn’t hear from him for a few hours and he finally picked up the phone after 11 tries and I heard it. The familiar slur. The certain laugh he has when he’s wasted. I asked him where he was, he told me he was at a friend’s. I asked him if he was drunk. He said, yes, then hung up.

    I could have gotten over the infidelity. Even after I found out he was cheating on me, he stayed here at home. I always told him that if he started drinking again, I would be done. We have three beautiful kids and I cannot and will not tolerate him drinking again.

    We’re meeting tomorrow morning to discuss what to say to our kids when we tell them that Daddy is moving out. I picture their faces when we tell them. I see their tears and it breaks my heart. Thank you, Al-Anon, for giving me strength and reminding me that I’m not alone.

  29. Jenny January 2016 at 8:16 pm

    My husband relapsed yesterday. Again. He’s passed out right now, so I thought I would go online and Google what to do when your spouse keeps relapsing. This Al-Anon thread popped up. I feel so alone — everyone is tired of our story. So I just don’t talk about it anymore and push through my life. I’m hoping it will help to open up this way.

    I haven’t been to an Al-Anon meeting in a while. Been going to some open AA meetings to support him, which helps me to understand he — well, we, are not alone. I’m just at the end of my rope. At this point, I’m terrified he’s going to die.

    It’s been quite the ride since 2008 — 5 rehabs, 1 psych ward, guessing 50-60 hospital visits, 2 DUI’s, 1 DV, 5 lost jobs (got fired from the last one for blacking out at work, one before that the ambulance had to pick him up because he stole vodka, drank it in the bathroom and passed out on the job,) destroyed relationships.

    He’s messed up work for me, and I still take care of him. Beyond pathetic, when I actually read what I’m typing. But I’m his wife and as one psych, social worker said, “He’s the dying kind.” And I, unlike his mother and sister, can’t handle him dying if there was anything I could do. So I keep enabling him. I don’t give him money, I don’t give him alcohol. But I still take care of him.

    I know he doesn’t want to be like this, but to me it seems like he barely tries. He’s a very positive person, sober. And a genuinely happy one. I’m more negative and sarcastic. Which makes no sense, why he drinks when he’s so happy, sober. Everyone loves him and faults me for not being more understanding. But they don’t know the whole truth. I just don’t know what to do.

    He wrote himself doing Step One that once he starts he will need to go to the hospital to detox. And then what? Another rehab? He does great at rehab. He’s always the shining star, but then he comes out and can’t handle real life. He started drinking at age 14 and many times I feel like I’m dealing with a 14-year-old. We are 33. Not 14. His dad died from this disease. I don’t want my husband to die too.

  30. Charlie January 2016 at 3:14 pm

    My partner did really well up until today. He went into a detox programme for 10 days and came out focused and determined to stay sober. We had a meal booked on Christmas Day in a pub, which he wouldn’t let me cancel. We went and he was great, and I was so proud. He drank juice and Beck’s Blue (non-alcoholic lager).

    He wanted to go out with friends on Boxing Day. All his friends meet at the pub every year on Boxing Day. As worried as I felt, off he went and came home stone-cold sober — a fantastic achievement! Life has been great. We communicate more, we don’t fight or argue, and I had really learned to start trusting him. It was nice that the anxious feeling of worry was starting to fade as he grew stronger.

    I called him from work today to make sure he was ok. He was off with the flu — for him to tell me he was drunk. I came home and talked to him to see if there was anything that triggered it, and there was. I think he was expecting me to be angry and start shouting and I never, until provoked into it.

    We have had the most terrible argument. I saw a glimmer of my life the way it was before Christmas, and all those horrible feelings came back. I just don’t want my life to go back to that. I thought this was the end of it all.

    I just feel like if something stresses or upsets him, he will always run for the bottle and shout at me rather than talk to me and let me help. So scared of what the future will bring and how life will be. I love this man with every part of my being.

  31. Mark December 2015 at 12:47 am

    We were married 35 years — I lived with the alcoholism for 15. Finally reached my limit 2 years ago and couldn’t stay. She is on death’s door today, due to liver disease.

  32. Jessica December 2015 at 8:42 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for a year and watched him go through two alcohol withdrawals. The last time I kicked him out and told him he couldn’t come back until he was sober. He quit cold turkey and got a job and I let him come back home. He was sober for three months and we were very happy. I quit drinking as well to support him.

    I recently found out he started drinking again and when I asked him about it he was honest but said he can occasionally drink and not become dependent, but he chooses not to because he doesn’t want to lose me or his family. But if that’s the truth why did he drink again? He has never gotten professional help and thinks it’s pointless but said he would go if I insisted. I don’t know what to do and I feel so drained emotionally.

  33. KLLY December 2015 at 10:53 am

    My husband is a veteran who suffers from PTSD. We both moved on from our chapter in the military and went back to school to finish our degrees. He has always been a drinker, but since he got out of the military he has been progressively worse with his drinking.

    He would lie and hide his drinking. He would go to the extent of throwing away cans of evidence in our neighbor’s trash. He got an aggravated DUI after he lied about where he was. I had to watch him get hauled off in handcuffs and I felt like I was watching our life and future slip away. Even after the DUI, he still chose to drink and finally after finding him passed out cold with our animals locked outside in the rain — I had enough. I gave him the ultimatum of seeking help and quitting drinking, or I had to leave because everything that was happening was directly affecting me emotionally and mentally.

    My husband quit drinking for just shy of 3 months. The first time he drank he smelled like a liquor bottle but denied drinking again and again, making me feel as though I was crazy for asking and being convinced he drank. Last night he came home, backed into the shelving in our garage and broke everything to pieces. He went to bed without saying a word, so I confronted him. I asked him if he drank and why. He admitted he did, and because he was stressed.

    I feel fear in the fact that everything that happens does affect me as much as him. He could have killed or hurt himself or someone one else, and every time I look at him I think of how he told me he didn’t drink, I don’t trust him, he didn’t drink, he didn’t drink. I want to leave, but feel stranded financially.

    Realistically, that is no excuse to me, but I have to be prepared to uproot my life because of him. I realize he may never make the decision to choose me and choose sobriety, to face his demons and want a better future. Maybe he wants all that, but doesn’t know how to get there. But all I feel is that I am manipulated by his brash reactions to my thinking he drank, and I feel like a bad wife for being the one person he fears the most and cannot even be honest with. I know that thought is irrational, but it’s how I feel — even after reading books, going to counseling, and attempting couples counseling.

  34. Maureen December 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for this site and for all the comments. Addiction is such a powerful thing, and destroys so many. Sharing gives us all hope that we are not alone in this, that we do not have to isolate, that there are tools and wisdom in the Al-Anon program that help us break the chain of pain. It is certainly not easy to do, yet when I read these comments it is so obvious that the insanity we have in our lives with active addicts (or dry-drunk ones), is a horrible way to live.

    It is possible to change, and that is up to each one of us. No one can change me, nor can I change someone else. I have made lots of changes, and much needed, and always more to learn and heal. I grew up with alcoholism, mental illness and violence in my childhood. When I found my own alcoholic at age 19, it was a familiar road. All my abandonment, insecurities were masked in a tough exterior that I could handle it all, and be overly super responsible, and had no idea who I was during that over-30-year marriage of use and relapses continually. Finally in my early 50’s I realized I could not do it anymore and left the marriage and proceeded to find out who I was.

    Al-Anon has been a very constant help in that, and wisdom from other sources as well. When I got into my next relationship after being alone for 3 years, I thought, “Ok, this guy really puts his program to use for quite some years already,” and I was lonely. 10 years later, he relapsed after being sober 14 years. It had been a rough, stressful almost 2 years of family issues, job issues, etc. before the relapse occurred, but I know he also stopped his committment to his sobriety on a daily basis and when stress after stress happens it is a very big danger zone for an addict.

    I denied what my gut was screaming at me, that he was using again. After 3 months I had definite proof and it blew me away. My own denial, manipulation, controling, obsession, came rushing back as well, and I hadn’t left my program behind, but dealing with active use again and all the lies involved in that, all the suspicions of where is he going and how long will he be gone, etc. came rushing back.

    Thank you for the above stories that remind us that even with long-term sobriety, once an addict, always an addict. It all can get back to the craziness so fast for both the addict and the co-dependent. I had set 4 boundaries before we moved in together. For all I know now, 3 have been violated by him the last 3-4 months. Now I need to make a decision to kick him out, but do it with compassion because addiction is so powerful, and I know that for the both of us.

    I can’t make that decision yet, though my gut is telling me that I spent enough of my life with addicts and to do it. So I let go of it, gave it to God, and told Him to take the wheel in this. I have always struggled with trust issues with people and God, and now it’s been violated once more. But I also know it is ok to admit I am not able to make that permanent decision right now, and though I can be very impatient, I am working on letting God work whatever He needs to do before this gets resolved. I need to trust my own gut, but I also need to understand that there is a spiritual battle taking place, and I want to let it play out in God’s timing, not mine.

    I am attending meetings, reading a lot of Al-Anon literature and other literature to help me get through this one day at a time, and sometimes one moment at a time. It is incredibly sad to read all the stories of how much unacceptable behavior we co-dependents accept. I don’t want that for myself. So I am attempting to trust God, have patience, guard my heart not to believe the lies, and yet know I can’t make him do anything.

    As someone mentioned, it can be very hard for long-term sobriety people who know it all in their head, but “Slick” is constantly trying to get them to use, and when they do, the battle is raging. All the shame, once again.

    I hated the stomach knots, the pounding heart, the mind racing, that came into me once again after all these years later, so I keep giving it back to God every time they start up. I need the tools, meditation, a lovely Al-Anon friend who has been through so much in her life that matches mine, who understands. Grateful, so grateful for that.

    We all share the common trials of addiction, but we are also each unique and need to find our own answers we can live with. And not only live, but find joy and happiness, whether the addict is using or not. That’s my responsibility to myself, I just need to wait for what to do next for my own life. It’s ok right now that I am not sure, I don’t always have to fix and find answers immediately as I always did before. It’s hard, but I need to do it differently than I did before.

    I have lots that I can look back on, that in the midst of hurt and pain I made many wrong decisions before. I need God to lead this time and for the rest of my life. I am a lifelong committed member of Al-Anon, through the good times to give back and not get complacent, and during the bad times to reach out for the help I so need. Love & Peace

  35. Sue November 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I went to a meeting while my spouse was in rehab. I really didn’t feel welcomed, but wonder if I should try another. He is out and relapsed after 2 days. I am lost on what I do now.

  36. BC November 2015 at 7:03 am

    My husband is a drug addict and was in rehab for 24 days. When he came out, things were great. He attended meetings and we grew so much closer. I even attended one meeting a week with him. I truly believed that things were heading in the right direction.

    He was just over 60 days clean and then last week relapsed. I started noticing a different behavior and even confronted him. He also did not want to attend meetings anymore. He has excuses now and I feel he is not telling me the truth and he is emotionally abusing me once again, like in the past. I do not know how to get through to him. It seems as if he doesn’t want to listen to me and keeps on telling me that I am the main reason why he uses.

    I really do not know what to do anymore. We grew up together and he is a great husband and father when he is sober. I do not know how to deal with this. I do not deal well with fights. I go silent because it feels like he doesn’t listen. I do not know how to stand firm and help my husband when only he can make the choice to stay clean. And I don’t know how to protect me and my little girl from all the “addict behavior.”

  37. Anon in Midwest November 2015 at 9:51 pm

    My husband is an alcoholic. He knows it. I asked him to stop drinking and get help. He has stopped drinking. It’s been over a month, but he has not gotten help. We’ve been here before. I find myself wondering how long it will last. When will he binge again?

    I am so tired. I am underperforming at work. All my energy goes into just functioning. And there are other stressors, of course. It’s not like life stops because you need a break.

    My husband is a good provider, a good person. He’s not abusive. I love him. He loves me. And I cannot stop thinking about leaving him.

  38. Charlie October 2015 at 2:13 pm

    My partner and I went on holiday and 3 days after we got back he went to the hospital in terrible pain and was there for a week. He was told he had liver inflammation and not to drink anymore. He did really well for a month, but family stress and financial issues seem to have sent him back to drinking.

    I’m absolutely terrified I’m going to end up burying him. We have been together for 3 years and I have stood by him through every hospital visit, every relapse after many detoxes and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t understand how he can just not care about his health, the impact he’s having on himself and how much he’s hurting me. I love him so much. I really try my hardest to be supportive, but it makes me so angry and hurt that he does this to himself — because he’s an amazing person.

    I ask him to talk to me and lean on me, but he won’t. I just want him to get sober and be ok. Terrified he’s going to die, as I write this he’s sitting listening to music, drinking away like he hasn’t a care in the world. He needs to take this more seriously before it’s too late and I don’t know how to show him that. Every time I try and tell him this we argue and he calls me terrible names, says awful things and makes me feel worthless. This is really getting me down. I constantly worry.

  39. kandra September 2015 at 12:17 pm

    My boyfriend relapsed again, the 3rd time in a month. He was 2 months sober and we made a pact — we weren’t drinking together, even though I drank one time a month at the most. I said I would leave, but keep staying. I don’t know what to do. He gets charged for drunk driving in one week. I don’t know if I should stay. I’m so lost.

  40. MB September 2015 at 8:15 pm

    My best friend, whom I’ve known for over 20 years, admitted in May of 2014 that he had a problem and decided to stop drinking and get sober. He did it all cold turkey.

    He was sober just one day shy of 15 months when he relapsed. He had a few days of regret, but then got back into drinking heavily. I was messaged tonight by his neighbour asking for some advice as I’d known him longer. She informed me that he was drunk and became aggressive throwing empty bottles.

    He has the strength to continue with sobriety but it seems as if he chooses not to. I am at a loss and have no idea what to do anymore.

  41. ME July 2015 at 1:03 am

    I’ve been dealing with my alcoholic wife for many years now, after years of denial (both hers and mine). She was recently in rehab for 45 days, but relapsed just after the 90-day mark of sobriety. She had returned to work, only to find out she is being fired.

    It’s really too bad she waited that long to attempt to get clean. Of course, the bottle is what made her perform poorly at work. More importantly, I am so exhausted from dealing with the constant anxiety of not knowing where she is when I get off work every day.

    She’ll be fine one day, then a few days later she ignores my phone calls for hours, until she finally calls me back after getting trashed — it’s such a stressful mission, hunting down a moving target! Ugh! However, the extremely bad days are when I get calls from police officers, paramedics, restaurant managers, and emergency rooms.

    Her 5 relapses since coming home from rehab get her crying, “Please don’t leave me! I’m a loser! I hate myself,” etc. When sober she is the biggest sweetheart and has always been my best friend. I love her so much, but am always struggling with deciding how much longer I can live like this.

  42. Michele July 2015 at 7:31 pm

    My husband was doing so well this year. He relapsed three times. All three times, he pulled himself together and got sober again within a few days. I really thought the horrible days of nonstop drinking were over. I actually believed it! No longer. He relapsed three weeks ago and his head has been in the bottle ever since. I no longer have hope that he will get sober and stay sober.

    I want him to move out, but he won’t. He’s staying back in the master suite, which has its own door and we are having no contact except through emails or text about strictly business type stuff kept to a minimum. I want no contact. His behavior is horrible when he’s drinking. He is very emotionally abusive! He curses me out, rages, screams over absolutely nothing and of course you have no idea when he will go off. I am afraid of him. Not physically. But I am afraid of his rages!

    It’s demoralizing to have him in the house at all like this! And stressful, but it’s been stressful as hell for the last nine years since he started drinking. He has screwed the finances. What would help me enormously is to get him to leave and rent out rooms in my house. It would help with the house note, and I could use the company!

    I can’t stand being around this and I want out! Trying to get out in my financial situation is impossible. I am so trapped!

    I’m really worried about getting older and being able to afford to live! My husband was the main bread winner.

  43. Kevin July 2015 at 10:16 pm

    My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years. She is in her first recovery program for alcoholics and everything I read from their spouses, friends, or family members always says they go back to drinking. We have 4 kids — one in college, one junior in high school, and the other two are in grade school.

    She has been drinking for 8 years that I know of. The only way I can tell that she had been drinking would be if she grabbed things to do something with it and just set it back down, or if she couldn’t walk straight. I had always asked her and she would deny it.

    Since she has been at rehab for the last 10 days, it has seemed impossible to get any housework done after coming home from work. I love her so much and it seems like I stay depressed all day long, wondering when I’m going to get to see or hear her voice again. Our kids miss her, but it doesn’t seem to be as bad as me. Any time I think of her it just sends me into tears like a big baby and I have to go into our bedroom so the kids don’t see me cry.

    It is really hard on me and makes me so mad when I start to tear up, but I can’t control the loneliness. Every time I find something to read about spouses going through similar problems I look for something that will give me hope.

  44. Anne May 2015 at 11:44 pm

    I’m a recovering alcoholic, it will be two years in July. My husband is still a heavy drinker. I find it hard to be around him, and it makes me uncomfortable. I tell him all the time, but he still drinks a lot. I feel like a hypocrite for getting upset that he drinks since I’ve been an alcoholic forever, but I’m trying to move on and I feel like I can’t.

    He says he doesn’t drink a lot, but he slurs his words and it annoys me to talk to him. I don’t know what to do. I told him several times and finally said I’m just not going to talk to him when he’s drinking. But when I’m distant and don’t talk, he doesn’t know why and says he doesn’t deserve the attitude. I wonder if there is anyone else in a similar situation, and if it ever gets better.

  45. ASmith May 2015 at 10:58 am

    My wife is an alcoholic of 5 years. Total time sober in the last 5 years is no more than 2 months at a time.

    What awful comments here. Sad, sad, sad.

    Some alcoholics do quit, but the odds of them dying sober are pretty grim if you go looking them up. I think 10% of alcoholics die sober, or something like that.

    So, don’t give up hope, ya’ll. But you also need to be realistic. It’s a disease, so they really do have little control over it. If they come home trashed and go to bed or get trashed and go to bed it’s so much easier. But if they insist on “helping” with the kids while unable to walk (We have 5 kids: 9, 6, 5, 3, and 2), then often the spouse has no choice but to get the kids out of the situation.

    My kids all have memories of when she attacked me and I had to call in the “nation’s finest” [sic] to help get her to quit attacking me and to stay upstairs and go to sleep.

    We’re right on the cusp of moving out. I need a place to stay and a little cash to make it happen. I haven’t told my family that she’s still wasted all the time. But I will be telling them next time she drinks and causes a huge disturbance. I don’t mind being here for her while she kills herself, but she’s not going to mess with the kids any longer.

    Honestly what’s going to happen is she’ll get her license back (she’s on her 2nd DUI / 1st conviction) in 6 months she’s going to do it all over again–only this time probably killing someone in the process of driving. Or she’ll get a DUI with like 5 kids in the car and end up getting 5-10 years in jail (Alabama is not very friendly to DUI with kids cases, b/c of all the kids being killed by mommy-cocktail hours). 2nd DUIs here without injuring another person typically mean 6 months in jail from what I’ve heard about the local judge.

    I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s hope, but you have to be realistic too. Everyone’s drunk is different. Mine is 100% going to jail or dying when she gets her license back. I give her 60 days from when she gets her license before she ends up in jail again.

  46. Maria May 2015 at 10:46 pm

    My hubs, after many years of heavy drinking, became sober almost a year ago. He is very strong and I’ve noticed him withdraw from meetings, etc. over the past three months (I can do it by myself/don’t “need” meetings).

    Last night I found his iced tea spiked and an empty booze bottle or two in the shop. I feel quite trapped in ways with three kids and not wanting to raise hell over this. I thought and prayed and this morning told him to get into a program if he wanted any support from me, or he needed to leave.

    It’s awful trying to “let go” and allow whatever is to happen to happen. Slips and relapses happen, but trust was disintegrated once more as the alcohol and hiding it became the focus again (an addict).

    I will keep leaving it to God and try my best to watch out for me & the kids. I’m grateful that he has been sober, but so sad also. I feel a little dead inside. I tried to enjoy Mother’s Day anyways.

  47. MA April 2015 at 10:23 pm

    My partner and I have been together for almost 20 years (off and on: I’ve taken a few sabbaticals during the rough spots) and now, after coming home, she is drinking again. Betrayal, sadness: it’s all there, depressingly familiar. The weird part is the denial.

    You ask someone if they’ve been drinking and they deny it every time–even while tripping over their own feet, saying, “Oh, no.” The scary part is that she’s been driving around intoxicated and if she gets a DWI, she will go to jail this time. I can’t even contemplate the very likely possibilities of her destroying someone’s life while she is behind the wheel. She is so compassionate, yet so blind to understanding how her actions affect others in this regard.

  48. kate April 2015 at 2:33 pm

    My best friend wanted to stop drinking, so one day she just stopped. She went into withdrawal and suffered DT’s, ending up in intensive care for 2 weeks. After all of this, she is now drinking again. Not just a little here and there, but downing a bottle of vodka at a time.

    I can’t take much more of this. I love her and want to support her–she has no one else. She’s been through so much and she began drinking to forget. Now she just drinks because she can’t/won’t stop. I don’t know what to do. If she carries on like this, she’ll lose everything–me, her job, her home.

  49. annie March 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I have been on and off with the father of my children for 8 years now. The last two years have been the worst–we’ve probably only lived 6 months together total in the last 2 years.

    I feel like the only ones suffering are my children. He’s back again, saying he wants to get sober and be there for his family but within 2 days off sobriety we start to talk about options and everything that has happened and we find ourselves in a fight.

    I feel like I cannot say how I feel or even state that the sky is blue without him getting offensive. Now he has gone out alone for the day and i’m afraid he’s going to drink. I don’t know what I can do

  50. Kate February 2015 at 1:11 pm

    My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have two beautiful sons: 9 and 5. My husband has been an alcoholic since we began dating, and probably much before that.

    Over the past 5 years his drinking has escalated to the point where it was frightening. He would skip work, drink during the day, I even found him drinking in the shower once.

    On January 20th, I came home from work before picking our children up at school and found him “asleep.” I packed him a bag and took him to his father’s house. He was connected the next day with his step-father, an 8-year-sober AA. He has been shown the program, and was attending daily meetings for about two weeks. He even connected with a man who offered to be his sponsor.

    During our separation, which was only about 2 and a half weeks, the children and I were shattered from his absence, though we did fall into a good routine. Free of drama and worry. My husband and I did not speak during this time and he had no contact with the children. We communicated through my father-in-law (the AA member.)

    After seeing what appeared to be a commitment to the program, I allowed him to come home. He had been staying in a hotel and it was becoming very expensive. We missed him dearly and were eager for “Daddy” to come home. Our agreement was that he would remain sober and attend meetings to do this. After a week of attending daily meetings, he stopped going abruptly (after his first long meeting with his sponsor). He had a number of reasons why he felt the program was “not for him.” I told him that it was his choice to make and that how he managed to remain sober was not for me to decide.

    Yesterday afternoon, the children and I returned home and my husband had obviously been drinking. I shuttled them off to television and other distractions and confronted him with as much love as I could muster and, not surprisingly, he denied that he had been drinking.

    I cancelled our family dinner and gave the children a treat of cereal in front of TV for dinner and proceeded to go about my evening routine with the boys, making it clear to him that he should stay downstairs.

    We have not talked about this as of this moment. I am filled with fear and anxiety right now because I do not know where he is, if he is at work or not, drinking or not. I do know that he called his step-father this morning and asked if he would meet him at a meeting tonight.

    I called his step-father to let him know that I believe my husband was drinking last night.

    I know that my contract with my husband said that if he drank he would need to leave. But I am really, really, really struggling with this because it is not just about me and my anger. Our boys’ hearts will break if Daddy has to leave again. My heart will break. I do not know where to draw the line between compassion and love for this man, and my own boundaries. I do not know what to do or where to turn or who to talk to. I do not have an Al-Anon sponsor, as I have only been to three meetings.

    I’ve been filling a notebook with boundaries, but it’s all too much to process. The idea of him leaving makes me physically ill. The idea of finding him drunk at home this afternoon also makes me physically ill. I have heard so many times that this would be a messy process, but I don’t think that I was ready to accept what that means. I don’t know if I ever will be able to calmly navigate the twists and turns, keeping a stable home environment for our boys.

  51. Leo A. February 2015 at 10:00 pm

    My best friend has been sober these last 2 weeks after drinking almost every day for 7 months. Tonight she relapsed. I felt she was being distant in a text and I knew something was up. She lied about what she was doing and when I asked her why she wasn’t being herself, she admitted that she was drinking. And now she just wants me to leave her alone and said we can talk about it tomorrow.

    I don’t feel angry at all. I feel really sad. I know she wants to get better, but I understand that recovery is an up & down road. Especially this early in her recovery. All I can do is show her love & compassion. I pray to God that He protects me and that He gives me the strength & the courage I need to be there for her. I know what alcohol can do. I battle the same demon. I hope that tomorrow she’s able to forgive herself and start again. I pray that she doesn’t go into another downward spiral.

    Tonight is difficult, but tomorrow is a new day. And by God’s Grace, I will wake up with a heart full of love and ready to help.

  52. Dawn January 2015 at 10:22 pm

    My boyfriend of 5 months just relapsed Friday after our first sexual encounter since finding out about his addiction and rehab.

    When we first met, he was the most amazing person I had ever met. He made me feel like a diamond. He treated me like the world. 3 months after we started seeing each other, he asked me to take him to the ER one day. On the way is when he told me about his addiction.

    At first I was scared and afraid. But I stood by him because I was in love with him. I met his parents and his children. We all became close and were fighting along side him.

    When he came home, things changed rapidly. He quit talking to me several times. Hurt me with being non communicative. When I finally got him to talk to me Thursday, I found out he had quit taking his medicines. I went to his house for a long talk. We had sex for the first time in 2 months.

    The next day he wasn’t feeling well. Today I went to his house to help with his children, since he got his meds and started them again. His mom came to tell me that they had found alcohol in his vehicle. I was hurt and broken. But the moment I sat on his bed and looked at him he told me that he had drank Friday.

    I don’t know what to do. I’m too stubborn to leave. He means everything to me. And if fighting this disease is part of him, well, I will fight with him.

  53. Anon January 2015 at 2:59 pm

    My boyfriend was sober for a year. Recently he started smoking weed and drinking again. The last time he relapsed, he overdosed on heroin. So far it has been okay, but I am so scared that it will get worse and I will have to leave him. The fear is distressing. I know I will be okay without him, but he has been the love of my life and I do not want to lose him.

  54. kath December 2014 at 1:29 am

    I want to say, “But for the grace of God,” but can’t.

    I have been involved with an addict for 6 years and I have lost everything. I now feel I have joined in the addiction. Six Christmases of it now and I feel like I am falling apart when I had worked so hard at being well.

    I’m at a loss, don’t know how to cope with the damages or help anyone anymore. I just want him to go, then I have no one left. My dad was an alcoholic. I started early on, but I always stop. He doesn’t stop until the grog and the money is gone. I am surprised he survives each time.

    I feel used up and sick, my zest for life is gone with the Christmas binge, yet again. I feel surrounded by people with demons, who blame me. I am sick of my own behaviour and weaknesses, sick of allowing the behaviour of others to affect me and then ruin my health.

    Sorry for being so depressing, but that’s my vent.

  55. nick December 2014 at 2:27 am

    My wife to-be, Sue, who’s had a relapse on alcohol, has been through hell and back, but I’ve stuck with her even though she has relapsed again, putting us in an impossible situation. We have no money, just 3 days before Christmas. The last 8 days Sue has been so rude, nasty and horrible from drinking, but I still love her so dearly and will continue to try and help her and support her, because I love her.

  56. Emily December 2014 at 10:00 pm

    First off, let me say how helpful it is to read everyone’s comments. There is a young man I’ve been seeing since mid November. At first, there didn’t seem like anything was wrong with him; the more time I spent with him, though, it became apparent that he had a drinking problem.

    My boyfriend has been in and out of rehab facilities since high school, for drug and alcohol addiction. He is very intelligent when he is sober and not drinking. But when he’s drunk, he turns into someone that I don’t recognize. He gets very sloppy and will go crazy! Every time we go out, he either has to stop at Walgreen’s or the gas station for booze. He stops at least 3 times a day! I know that I’ve needed to have a conversation with him about his drinking, but I can’t gather the courage to do it without the worry of making him angry. I just wouldn’t know how he would react.

    I am still very young (21 years old), and my boyfriend is 27. We are both in college, by the way. I care about him very much and I’m very concerned for him. There have been a few incidents where he has gotten drunk that have made me very uncomfortable.

    The first time was the last day of school. It started off as a wonderful day together. He and I went back to his parents’ house after school and ordered pizza, watched a movie and my boyfriend made some popcorn. Afterwards, he took me kayaking, and that was really peaceful and serene. Later that night, though, we went back to his house that his parents got for him. He stopped to get some booze on the way there.

    Later that night, one of his friends stopped by unexpectedly. My boyfriend invited him to hang, and his friend brought even more booze over. My mom wanted me home by midnight, but my boyfriend got too drunk to take me home. So I got stuck with him the whole night. I started off sleeping next to him, but the stench of alcohol was coming out of his pores to the point where I couldn’t stand it and slept on the couch.

    The second incident happened this past Monday. My boyfriend and I went to a holiday party at the restaurant he works at. It went from 6-9, and he had been drinking since 12 that day. And so he shows up to the party drunk just to get more drunk, acting like a fool in front of his coworkers and his manager. He made someone spill their beer on me and he was hanging all over people.

    I had never been so humiliated in my life. His manager took him aside and told him that something is wrong with him and he should get help. I got scared and upset to the point where I was crying in front of people I didn’t know and one of his coworkers had to give me a ride home. Then my boyfriend noticed I was missing, and he was convinced I’d been kidnapped. Everyone was telling him that I got a ride home, but he didn’t seem to care. All he could think about was getting to me or having me back.

    Then my boyfriend threatened to kill himself, and some people he works with took him to get help at a crisis center. So, he is in rehab now and I’m a little relieved. He is going to be there for about a week. When my boyfriend gets out, he is supposed to continue with rehab and counseling.

    I would like to believe that this is his last relapse and that he will stay sober for good. I really care about him, and I know he thinks the world of me. His mom has said how special I am to him, and he talks about me constantly at work. I’m really hoping he can make the change, but we’ll see.

  57. Michelle December 2014 at 10:59 pm

    My husband and I will be married 20 years on December 31, 2014.
    We lost our house and jobs in 2012. Lived here and there for over a year and now I am staying with my mom, along with our 6 dogs. And he is in a program at the VA for homeless veterans and is being treated for all his addictions.

    He has been in their program for almost 3 months now. I have noticed that the calls and the texts began to get fewer and fewer and I confronted him about it and how it hurts my heart, and he always comes up with an excuse. Well, tonight he told me that I needed to read an article about “behaviors” and that he was not wanting to argue with me, and that I was the trigger object and he wanted to focus on himself.

    He has changed so much, I really feel as though the system has brainwashed him in believing he was better off without me. Oh yeah, they approved him and two other veterans to rent an apartment together, but he doesn’t want me to find homes for the animals so I can come be with him. You would think the VA would want me to participate in meetings or something? Well, anyway, I’m just so sad and I feel as though he has abandoned his family, which is me.

  58. Alex November 2014 at 10:34 am

    I am 22 years old. My whole life my father never appeared to me to be an alcoholic. At times he was a problem drinker, having a few too many at family gatherings. When I went away to college, he began to hate his career more and more. He and my mother also started having marital trust issues.

    The last two years I was in college, he was drinking and hiding it. Drinking on the job, which got him fired a few months before my graduation. Then the summer I moved home it was the worst. Fired from another job for drinking, driving drunk, the works. Finally after a day of disappearing and drunk texting my mother and me, taunting us about where he might be, we had police find him passed out in a local bar. He was taken to a hospital for a night, then into a weeklong hospital rehab.

    He promised things would change, but we demanded a strong in-patient facility. After a couple days at home, refusing to go but not drinking, he went. He was in rehab for about a month and appeared to be a changed man. Went to any meetings he could, got “the religion,” and made a lot of friends. He came out, attended meetings regularly, talked of honesty and choices and being a better husband/father. Got a job. Everything was great those first three months he got out.

    Then today I woke up, smelled alcohol in the air. As soon as I saw him and asked, he denied it. Drunk as ever. My father has relapsed for the first time. I don’t know what to do. I’m a student teacher and make no money for 6 more months. My mom has her first 9-5 in years and barely makes enough for the mortgage. We had to file bankruptcy because of what happened when he was drunk for months and not working. My 29-year-old brother still lives at home too and has two kids (4 & 5) who come over on weekends. I feel so defeated. I feel so broken. I don’t know what to do. I thought he was better. I know relapse is likely, but it sure sucks.

  59. Breanna November 2014 at 7:29 pm

    My husband has struggled with alcoholism for our entire relationship, 6-7 years now. After a bout of serious suicidal thoughts, he decided that it was time to go to rehab and get help. He suffers from severe manic depressive disorder so it has just been a vicious cycle with the drinking. He had been sober for the last 3 months and has just relapsed.

    I understood with the recovery process that this was something that could happen, and didn’t let myself naively think that drinking was forever gone from our lives.

    When I found out, obviously my first reaction was anger, how could he do this to us. We have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on psychiatrists, hospital bills, therapy sessions and meds. All to help the mental illness that was “masked” by the drinking. I have tried my best to be the supportive wife he needs, which is not easy all the time.

    Now I am feeling deeply saddened. It felt like 7 years of fighting and resentment started disappearing when he got sober. Even his bad days sober were better. We used what he learned in therapy to cope with some of the feelings he was dealing with. He was hopeful for the future. After having a rough week at work, fighting between me and him, and his new medication not working, he decided there was no more hope.

    Now we are back to where we started. He is already putting me down, blaming me for the drinking, telling me to divorce him cause he doesn’t care anymore. At first I lashed out also because I was feeling angry, and now I am keeping cool and not letting the hurtful things he says affect me negatively. I feel he does that so I will fight back and he can use it as an excuse to drink more.

    He says he wants to continue his sobriety, though, that he doesn’t want this. All I can do at this point is support his want and desire to be sober. I hope he follows through and uses this relapse as a learning experience.

  60. Julia November 2014 at 11:40 am

    My boyfriend, whom I love very deeply, recently went into rehab (1 week), after I found him after falling off a stool with a dislocated shoulder and head injury. I had no idea he was using. I rushed him to the ER and found out there the drugs and alcohol in his system with liver inflammation. He was hallucinating intensely.

    After the ER visit, and believing his lies, I took him home and left for a hotel. He was clear minded. He yet again used and hallucinated a break-in, called the cops and got arrested for possession and public intoxication. He agreed to go into rehab the night he was released from jail. He is there now. I know it is the right decision.

    I have hopes he can return the man I love. I am so scared though. I don’t know how to deal with my anger and fear and love and forgiveness. I am mad I will be alone for 90 days in our house in the country. I am moreso happy and overwhelmingly grateful to God that he went to rehab for help.

    I don’t know how to communicate how I feel to him–if I should wait for him to come to the step to apologize to those he hurt, or if I should ask him about the crazy things he did in those destructive 48 hrs (like the clothes I found in the freezer). I don’t know if I should tell him I miss him> or if that will just make his recovery harder. I am so afraid of rocking his recovery boat.

    I feel on egg shells. I work a lot, I want to get into Al-Anon. My loneliness is building, and with it feelings of resentment towards him for his decisions and addiction that tainted our new home. But I cannot be angry at him for his disease of addiction. We both have it strong in our families. I just feel lost, and wish I knew the right way to communicate with him the way I feel.

  61. Pam November 2014 at 11:29 pm

    My fiancé is an alcoholic. We’ve been friends for over 14 years and I’ve seen him at his worst. He has relapsed twice during our relationship together, which is in its 1st year. Today is his 3rd. He left this afternoon and tonight I am sitting here waiting, worried and angry.

    I’m waiting in the living room, thinking every sound is him walking home. Worried that he might freeze in these winter night temps. Angry that he won’t freeze because someone is keeping him warm–uuggh. Mostly, I’m angry at myself for believing his words of love, loyalty and sobriety.

    I read these stories of relapse and relationships that span over decades. Am I wrong to want out of this now? Should I “understand” this disease and be compassioned to hold out, give him a 4th chance?

    I ask myself these questions but my past shouts loudly that it’s in my nature to be empathetic, especially toward men with addictions.

    I am screaming inside for the strength to be empowered. To withdraw from this now, to walk away from this addicted soul that I love.

  62. Paige October 2014 at 4:03 pm

    My mom has relapsed. I didn’t know what to do. This isn’t the first time. I support her and rent our studio. She blames me for everything, lies to me, and has a “boyfriend” who’s barely a year older than me. I feel like she’s become the child in our relationship. I don’t know what to do, how to deal with this. I’m hurting so much, and not even talking to her helps. Most people just tell me to let her go, but if I do that we will lose the littler kids and it’s killing me. I am 18.

  63. kaycee October 2014 at 7:33 pm

    My husband came home from an 8 week stay in rehab 5 days ago and my son found a bottle today. I’m hurt and angry. How can he do this? I’m sorry. Everyone says this is a disease and he can’t help it. I’ve been dealing with this for 20 years and I’m so tired of it. But I don’t know what to do. I’m scared and cannot afford to be on my own.

  64. Anita October 2014 at 12:12 am

    My husband of 35 years had 25 years of sobriety until 3 years ago, when he decided he could start having a glass of wine for dinner, and that was all she wrote. Three years later, he is full blown in his disease and seemingly close to dying. It is breaking my heart but I had to leave. I cannot stand to watch him killing himself.

    He drives under the influence. He is retired and I still work, so I come home to him nearly every night drunk and high. He smokes medical marijuana for pain (which he says is why he drinks too). Over the summer he took care of some of the grandchildren and we found out he drank and drove them, too.

    He starts fighting with me if I say anything about the drinking when the grandchildren are over so now my daughter, of course, says he cannot watch the kids because of drinking while watching them, and they cannot come over without her because of the fighting.

    Now I have had to leave. I cannot live like this. But I feel worried about him and I feel guilty for not taking care of him. Even though when I went back to pick up some clothes he called me every name in the book, blamed me for everything, said he hopes I drop dead etc. Then he sent me a message about how sorry he was and he feels very remorseful, so much he hopes his heart stops because he doesn’t want to be here anymore. Then he called today and told me to divorce him because he is a hopeless cause. It all makes me so sick. I can’t stand it, and I still love him!

  65. Anna October 2014 at 10:32 am

    I read all the above stories and cannot help but feel guilt and shame for having to put my family through all the worries and stressful situations you all feel. As an addict, there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not battling with my disease. I have three children, a really good job, and still have urges to use. This does not stop, but hearing your stories makes me think twice.

    Addiction is a disease and family members don’t know how to stop it. There comes a point when you have to give the addict an ultimatum and it sounds from all you have stated you can’t just leave. Getting support for yourselves and seeking a higher power to hand it to can help. I’m sorry you all must go through this and I will pray for all of you.

  66. Sheila September 2014 at 4:38 pm

    My husband has been sober for a year and a half and relapsed two weeks ago. He has by lying to me and hiding it from me. I don’t know what to do next or how to help him.

  67. margie September 2014 at 11:49 pm

    My daugther had been in rehab for 22 days. She just came home this past Wednesday and has relapsed. She won’t go to meetings, telling me she’s not court-ordered to go. She’s had two DUIs in not even 2 months. One involved hitting a parked car. She has a two-year-old daughter.

    All we’ve been doing is fighting, saying nasty things to each other. I pushed her tonight, she has me so mad. I’ve been here for her, watched her daughter for three weeks while she was in rehab, and that’s the thanks I get, to get treated bad after everything I do for her. I am so worried about my granddaughter and my daughter. I don’t know what to do.

  68. Mimimomo September 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I can totally relate with each of you. I am from Asia, moved here and got married 4 years ago to a recovering alcoholic. And now we are blessed with two little kids. My husband was sober for 5 years and he relapsed back in July and went in for treatment for 24 days. Just got out 5 days ago and now he relapsed again. I can’t describe the pain I feel and also the disappointment.

    I’m worried that he’ll lose his job. I have no family here. I’m so scared for him as this disease will eventually kill him, if he continues doing what he does. I’m worried about my kids as well. It breaks my heart every time I think about all of these. I don’t know if I should stay in this marriage or not.

  69. jennifer August 2014 at 4:30 am

    I relate with many of you. My 22-year-old relapsed 8 months ago. Not using everything, but he’s smoking pot and drinking. More frequently, he gets belligerent and says horrible things to me–also blames me for everything when he’s drunk.

    He doesn’t want to go to meetings and says he doesn’t want to stop. He binge-drinks every two weeks but has been drinking every week and this week drank twice. I also have picked him up from the gutter, but for some reason he doesn’t see how quickly he’s moving backwards.

    I’m afraid of what may happen to him. Afraid that he’ll start using again. I don’t know what to do. Picked him up drunk today and I hate to say it but I hope he’s passed out already. I’m a nervous wreck. This has been a 5-year battle, but I don’t see him fighting as hard as he could be.

    I want to ask him to leave, but he has nowhere in the world to go. I can’t stand the thought of him being on the street. I’m at a loss.

  70. Amy August 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I am dealing with my husband of 35 years relapsing after 9 years of sobriety. Most of the years previous to him getting sober were hell. During that time there were periods of sobriety, but they were few and far between. There finally came a day when he agreed to enter rehab and came out a better man than ever, and I was so proud. I could even joke to him that there never was a drug that he didn’t try, a drink he didn’t drink or a woman he didn’t have.

    I also had unbelievable courage after rehab and put in writing that I would never put up with anything and one time screwing up and he would be out. Well, a month ago he admitted he had smoked a joint. I freaked and he promised he would never do it again, but three days ago he came home drunk and stumbling. I lost it and demanded he go to a meeting. He did last night, but the attitude about that meeting was different than it had been before and I knew he went because I made him and not because he believed he needed it.

    I forgot how sick this all made me and how I can’t think of anything else. I am angry that I have been brought back down to feeling this way. Confused as to what my next move should be as I cannot live on my paycheck alone and cannot get a second job due to helping take care of my mother who is in the later stages of Alzheimers.

  71. Martina August 2014 at 6:19 am

    The abuse I get from my son is horrendous. I have a drink now and then and he calls me some horrible names. Twice I picked him from the gutter, two-and-a-half years in an ongoing drunk. Does everyone who gets sober treat their mother like this, as I have been. To my own care workers, every week, does everyone that gets sober carry on like this, or am I losing my mind–because everything seems to be my fault, even though I do everything to help him. I think I am cracking up.

  72. Jean August 2014 at 10:07 pm

    My only child and son is 32. He was a recovering alcoholic of 10 years the first time, one month the second time, and recently relapsed a third time after tow months–one of those months he was in treatment.

    His story is his dad hasn’t been in his life for most of it, which is sad but true. His father and I divorced when he was five, as his father was a full-blown alcoholic. He has lost his wife of nine years to divorce, and is on the path of losing his job he has worked so hard for. I am just sickened inside.

    I need Al-Anon. I lost my second husband to a sudden death four years ago–an awesome man. I can’t do this anymore. I have no life. Since his divorce, he came back home to live for a while. It has been a chaotic six months, to say the least. He and I are very close, but some ways he blames me for things–I believe that is part of the sickness.

    I thought this time he was on the path to sobriety, but it was won out by the alcohol and his choice to drink again. I am in a state of what do I do now? Do I ask him to move and feel guilty and worry sick over how he is? Or do I give him the chance to sober up and lay down a contract of what I will and won’t accept and if he doesn’t live that contract he is then going to have to move out. I appreciate all of the thoughts and shared feelings.

  73. jan July 2014 at 5:28 am

    This all sounds so familiar. My ex-husband never helped with my son or around the house. In fact he made messes and just left them for me to clean up. He spent money we did not have on alcohol and now years later I am finding out he was spending it on drugs as well. Thankfully I walked away from the situation after 19 years of marriage. He just passed away a little over a week ago from cirrhosis of the liver. Very sad and such a waste of a life.

    They always make it seem like it is you who has the problem so you stay in the relationship and feel afraid to move on with your life. I did it and it was not easy starting my life over again at 49 but I did it and I am so glad I did. For my son’s sake as well as mine. Also the threat about taking your children if he leaves. My ex said the same thing and it instilled fear in me for years until I realized that no judge in the world would award custody to an abusive alcoholic. He had to stop working soon after our divorce because of his alcoholism and his illness.

    I worked full time and had to arrange care for my son so I could work. I went to food banks for help to supplement our food and got help with my utility bills and did my own divorce because I could not afford a lawyer. I won’t lie, it was tough! And I depended on that child support to keep our heads above water. Once he stopped paying that and because he was self-employed and sick and I had no money for lawyers etc, I got so behind on my bills that I lost my house.

  74. Mo July 2014 at 12:29 am

    My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years now. We have 3 children. He hasn’t been around much of their life. He has been drunk most of the time. He was drinking very heavy and would stay gone for a week at a time and leave me and the kids. I would be sick with worry–Is he with another woman? Is he hurt? Is he in jail?

    I would call everywhere looking for him. He got so bad he would be throwing up blood, peeing on himself, and doing crazy things he says he didn’t realize he was doing. He lied constantly and hid everything he did. He drained bank accounts before bills were paid. I would find myself racing to the bank to get bills paid before he had a chance to rob us. He was verbally mean and would break everything in our home. I told him I couldn’t live that way anymore.

    He quit for almost 5 months this last time, and now he is at it again–lying again, and everything is my fault. I caused this. I’m a bitch with daddy issues and he has done nothing wrong. He doesn’t need a momma. He will do whatever he wants when he wants. He dumps beer on me and calls me names and says I’m a worthless mother. If I leave, he will take the kids.

    I don’t know what to do. I love him. I want our family together, but how do you live this way? How do you ignore it and act like things are ok? I’m constantly walking on egg shells, thinking about every move I make. I’m scared and I don’t know what to do.

  75. KEB July 2014 at 6:01 pm

    I just found out that my 19-year-old son has relapsed. Not sure when exactly, but his father and I suspected he may be using based on his behavior (funny how that hunch is usually right).

    After getting a possession charge last fall, he agreed to go into rehab. He was there for 10 days, followed by 3 months in a halfway house and then was in 2 different 3/4 houses. While he has worked, the best he did was work for 5-6 weeks and then got fired. That was 3 jobs ago. So his dad and I have been subsidizing his living.

    After him getting fired from the last job, I didn’t pay the weekly rent so he had to leave. I was bothered by his entitled attitude. I don’t expect a bunch of “thank-you’s,” but do expect him to keep a job and make forward progress. After a few days living in his car and his dad returning from vacation, his dad suggested he come live with him and that family under certain conditions–working, stay clean, save money, etc. That was one week ago.

    I discovered today that he withdrew the most recent check he received, which was a few hundred dollars, without any regard to the car insurance that is due or the $1,800 he still owes his grandparents. His dad confronted him and he admitted that yes he cashed the check and was using again.

    I feared this day. He had been sober 6-7 months but does struggle with depression, is immature and still sick. Since he was supposed to be sober as a condition of living at his father’s, he has been kicked out. It breaks my heart and I fear what will happen to him. I think he needs to hit bottom. He has to want to be clean–I don’t think he is ready, even though he has legal ramifications to him relapsing. I wonder if I am doing the right thing by letting him be homeless.

  76. Jen C. June 2014 at 5:45 pm

    My husband of 17 years is an alcoholic. He’s been in and out of rehab since 2006 and quit drinking once on his own. Last January, I kicked him out, saying that the kids and I would not live with an active alcoholic. We were separated for 6 months, he sobered up, and I let him move back home. I made it clear that my boundary was that I would not live with an active alcoholic. It’s been a year and I thought things were going pretty well.

    Fast forward to yesterday. I dropped a tool behind the chest freezer in our garage and found a bottle of booze. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe it was an old bottle he forgot about. Sadly, I checked the bottle today and it is half gone.

    I don’t know what to do. Sticking to my boundary seems harsh. One mistake and he’s out? Do I expect him to be perfect? Should I be compassionate about relapse like my Al-Anon book says?

    He doesn’t know that I know.

    Glad this site is here. Not ready to tell friends or family yet and meeting isn’t until Saturday. I really needed to vent.

  77. Missy June 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I’ve been with my fiancé for the last 2 years. We have a 4-month-old daughter and after 3 months of sobriety he has relapsed. He lied to me when I confronted him on several different occasions of him acting identical to his previous drunken behavior. He tried to make me think I was paranoid and that I was wrong for doubting him.

    He was hiding his liquor in the closet and under the bed. He was sneaking out at night and drinking at sports bars and lying to me about everything. I had told him before our daughter was born I couldn’t deal with his drinking and I didn’t want it around our baby. He swore to me he was stopping and he wanted treatment.

    He became active in AA and another program. I thought he was doing well until the times I knew I could smell the booze on him. He finally admitted to me last night that he had relapsed and was telling me about it despite the advice given by several trusted advisors.

    I feel like I’m a sucker. He is badgering me now about whether or not I will leave him and take our daughter. He’s paranoid because of past relationships that ended similarly. I feel like I’m trapped in a never ending vicious circle of lies and alcohol abuse.

    He’s the love of my life and father of my only child. I don’t want to leave, but I’m not sure what options I really have left. I don’t know how many times I’m supposed to accept the “oops I slipped” excuse. I can tell he’s regretful, but I wonder if that is really enough.

    It’s like I’m being held hostage, told to “wait and see” how his recovery goes after he’s admitted into an actual rehab program. I don’t know if a treatment facility will really make a difference. I’ve never dealt with this before. I know plenty of alcoholics and none of them chose treatment. Maybe I should just be glad he is trying. But I wonder about my daughter. It’s a really confusing process.

  78. Chrissy June 2014 at 2:58 am

    This site is so eye opening. I completely relate to so many of these stories, it’s incredible.

    My boyfriend relapsed after 6 months of being sober. He is hiding it from me now and lying about when he drinks. He has been closed off emotionally for the last few days and is unwilling to talk about the situation. He says to stop worrying about him and if I have to make a decision to leave, then he will understand.

    The guilt he carries with drinking is so heavy. He’s always hid it from his brother, who has been there for about 12 detoxes with him. His brother called me tonight and I let him know what’s been happening the last couple weeks. If he doesn’t get help, then I will be forced to walk away. And if I walk away, he is going down the deep end. I’m his only source of support or love. He doesn’t have family, besides his brother, and his friends live 600 miles away.

    I’ve decided to take the next couple days to breathe and really think about what I’m going to say to him. I will not completely abandon him if he refuses help, because he is an amazing person and loves me more than anything. Except booze. But if he can’t get help, I will end the romantic part of our relationship and just be a shoulder and friend when I can emotionally afford it. I don’t want it to be that way, and I don’t think he will let it get that out of hand. He is going to see his brother for a few days next week and I’m really hoping that will help him. He has been so strong this year with sobriety and dealing with his father dying of cancer while being in prison (an extreme alcoholic).

    I am just really thinking positively and know that I will do everything I can to get him healthy.
    He just has to want it for himself.

  79. lynn April 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Just want to give thanks to Al-Anon. It’s only been 18 months for me in Al-Anon, but I am much stronger and calmer than any time before in my life.

    We are in the unfortunate position of removing our 20-yr-old son from our home today. We’ve done everything we could do to stand by him, but he continues his path of insanity—going to treatment, doing great, getting out and running, not walking, back to his “so-called friends.” Once again we’ve had 6 days of begging from him, many lies, and we know he’s using. He thinks we don’t know. Now that we’ve told him he must leave today, he’s suddenly sober and “trying to be a good man.”

    I went “off program” and finally said to him that he’s getting some perverted satisfaction out of this game, that he’s sick and will need to handle it on his own. Told him if he were 20 and getting cancer treatment that he would be responsible for handling that, so there is no way Dad or I will be “setting up” any further treatment. (He’s been in 4 treatment centers).

    I have some serenity, thankfully, because I do not understand how someone with 4 years prison hanging over their head would even think about getting high. But that’s the disease.

    If they cannot surrender, they cannot accept.
    If they cannot accept, they cannot surrender.
    If they cannot accept, they’re still in denial and so they get high.
    If they get high, they completely forget the first two lines and get high again.
    Then, valuables start disappearing and the lies start again.

    It’s an ugly cycle so I appreciate the chance to get out of my own head and write this note.

    Love to you all. Stay strong.

  80. Mel April 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I’m not sure where to begin. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and married for 5. We have a fourteen-month-old daughter. My husband and I both drank recreationally prior to having our daughter. He always drank more heavily then, but we had no real responsibilities and were young so I didn’t notice the disease.

    This past year we have been through many tragedies. I understand the stress he has been going through because I’m there too. The difference is I have handled things in a healthy way, while my husband chose to turn to the bottle. It got to the point were he was drinking almost every night.

    My husband is by no means a light drinker. He drinks til he passes out. After several drunken suicide attempts that I was lucky enough to find and stop him before anything could happen, he was admitted into the hospital for treatment. He completed 2 weeks on in-patient treatment and swore he was a different man. I believed him bc I loved him and he had always been my rock. I had always trusted him.

    Then one night he got so liquored up he left our home in the middle of the night and drove into a ditch, resulting in a DUI. I had had enough. I couldn’t and wouldn’t keep putting myself through the worry and anxiety of what was going to happen next. I told him if he wanted to keep his family he had to complete a 30 day in-patient rehab.

    We sent him to an amazing place a few states over. It was unbearable at first to be without him. It broke my heart to see how much my daughter missed her father. He missed her first Christmas bc he was in rehab. After a while, though, I felt a calm and peace I had forgotten existed. I finally realized I could go to sleep at night without fear of what I’d find the next day.

    When he came home he was a new man. He treated me the way he did before the drinking, went to meetings regularly, made friends in AA, got a sponsor and started working the Steps. Things were changing and I couldn’t have been happier. He relapsed 2 months in and it devastated me. He told me that he was experimenting. He needed to know if he could handle it or not and he realized he couldn’t. I accepted this, I forgave and moved past it. Then tonight I come home from spending a few hours with my best friend who I haven’t seen in months to find him passed out in the bed with our daughter.

    He was completely unresponsive. All I can think about is what if something happened to her? It took me at least 10 minutes just to make him coherent enough to stumble into our room. I love my husband when he is sober, but I hate him when he is drunk. I don’t know how to trust him. His words and promises are useless, they’ve been broken too many times.

    Now I am at the point where I decide whether to leave the love of my life bc I understand that he is an alcoholic and I can’t allow him to endanger my child nor bring me back to those darkest days, or stay and pray that he is strong enough to be the man I fell in love with, married, and had the most beautiful daughter with. I don’t know how you make the choice when you don’t want to leave but you can’t take the pain of another relapse. I’m desperate. I don’t know what to do, but I know I need to decide.

  81. M January 2014 at 11:11 pm

    My husband and I drank socially when we met, as well as a year or so after we married. With children and maturing, I stopped drinking altogether. My husband has never physically abused me, although he did put his hands around my throat about 10 years ago in anger. No, he didn’t squeeze (a light shake) and promised to never do it again. He has a couple of times, but never with that rage and he hasn’t in several years.

    I left him once before and he promised he would stop drinking. That was a lie, of course. He sneaks around like I’m stupid. Hiding beer and vodka in the trunk of his car, then putting them in the garbage can outside. We have a horrible cycle of him being obnoxious at night. I try to be quiet, hoping he will just go to bed. He gets mad at me, yells at me it’s all my fault. I am a stay-at-home mom with a 13-year-old that I homeschool, because he has social issues and ADHD.

    He has become so controling. We relocated to another state 10 years ago, and I had one friend where I would spend about 1 day every month or two because she lived an hour from me. We moved again for another job 3 months ago and I literally do not have a friend.

    He had to take a pay cut when we came here and money is really tight, which increases his anger. I think he may be starting to lose his mind too. He is Latin and has started doing spiritual cleansings and prayers in the shower, after 14 years of marriage. He says the people at his old job were out to get him (he worked there 10 years) and he had to quit. I think he may have been seeing someone, but I don’t know for sure. I never accused him. Honestly it doesn’t matter.

    I gave up my career to care for my son, who really could probably go to school now, but I don’t get call-backs from my resume’ anymore. I stayed up on my computer skills. I make websites, I still know all of the Microsoft Software. No job, no money, no friends. Confused about Al-Anon, whether everyone is committed. I’m ready to walk away. Scared for my son, my stepsons–he was emotionally abusive to them. He would tell them how nasty their mom was all the time with such anger.

    I’m afraid to leave, cause of what my son will have to go through. He also has road-rage. He has verbally threatened to use a gun before, but I think it’s just talk. He talks about hitting his boss one of these days. He never has hit anyone. He never used to act this way. I don’t know him anymore.

    I’ve never been to a meeting. I’m really nervous. I used to be the most confident person in the room. Now, I seldom leave my home because I have no friends and nowhere to go. My mom lives upstairs and he gets upset if I go up there. “Why can’t she come down here?” he would say.

    I don’t get to go anywhere except the grocery store without him wondering where I’ve been. I don’t know how my life got to this. It’s been 15 years. I had jobs in management, working for finance companies. I had clothes, I was healthy, I got haircuts, and I was so pretty. Now, I look sick and tired.

    He tells me he’s not the one with the problem, I’m the one with the problem–something that must have happened to me in my childhood. He is a master manipulator and tries to say he hasn’t done anything, he didn’t say anything, he’s a victim. My mom is here and she sees it. She hides in her room when he comes home. I wish I could go there too. I just wish I could get a job. He has also told my son that I had an affair with someone.

    If he gets mad when he is drinking, he tries to put his kids against their mom and say bad things about them. My step boys are grown. One hardly speaks to him. My husband is miserable with our life and I am too. I can’t do anything without a job. If he would just quit drinking. He can quit and has several times. It’s the staying quit that he can’t do. He turns back into the man I can talk to. Please pray for us.

  82. Linda January 2014 at 9:59 am

    I appreciate reading all of the posts, in particular the comments by parents dealing with the addiction of an adult child.

    My 21-year-old son was arrested a week before my wedding for marijuana and xanax possession. He was in the process of moving back home at the time, due to a failed relationship with his girlfriend. His dad bailed him out of jail. Two weeks later he was asleep, and something (God, I’m sure) told me to check his text messages on his cell phone, message-after-message to and from several “friends” buying drugs, including a message from the mom of one his friends offering him Demerol. I told him he would go to a treatment center that day, or I would call the police and show them his phone messages. He did agree to go, actually told me he liked it there, and thanked me for taking him.

    I spent a lot of time at the center attending the lectures and groups–learned a lot but still have much more to learn. He relapsed 2 weeks after coming home from the treatment center. He left his phone out again, more drug-buying messages. 60 RX pills missing from the house (I had them hidden but not locked up). Bizarre, belligerent behavior. A lot of yelling and cursing by him and me, and his dad, who came over to speak to him. What a scene.

    I called an ambulance when I discovered the pills missing and he agreed to go to the hospital–but the drug issue was not addressed and he was behaving more normally by then. Took him home late that night, spent time following him around the house, as he was fooling with my husband’s desk. Finally just told him to get in bed and sat with him until he went to sleep, but not before he fell out of bed and cut his lip. He fell 2 more times in the following 24 hours, once in the yard. Two days later, the intensive outpatient program he was attending kicked him out for a positive UA, and coming to treatment high.

    Now he says he is not proud of his behavior, has cried saying he is sorry how he hurt everyone, does not remember events. We have written the contract we should have written on day 1, he has gone to 2 meetings in 2 days, and we are pressing on. I have taken the cell phone away.

    I really made a mistake giving him money at Christmas, and not locking up the RX (it’s the dog’s medicine, for goodness sake).
    He has no job, no money, no car. He is going to take 2 college classes so I am hoping this will be a positive step for him, and that he can be successful.

    I am praying for all people who are struggling with addiction, and for those that love them.

  83. Amy December 2013 at 10:37 pm

    My boyfriend of 9 years has been sober for 9 months. After completing 30 days inpatient rehab, he came out very committed to AA meetings, going every night, working the program and meeting with his sponsor. In the past 3 months his attendance at meetings has drastically dwindled and he only speaks to his sponsor once in a while. Tonight he told me that he “wants to drink but just doesn’t want to be a drunk.” I don’t think that is possible for him. His drinking was very severe and also involved other drugs.

    I asked him what his plan was and he told me that once he “gets his life back together” he wants to drink on occasion. He also told me that he doesn’t think he’s an alcoholic. I know it’s his disease that causes his mindset, but now I just feel hopeless, as if our relationship is dead in the water. I will not go back to the way our life was when he was active in his substance abuse. Not sure what to do–wait or walk away now. Thanks for listening.

  84. Sara December 2013 at 12:36 am

    I have never been to a meeting, but I think I need to find one. When I met my husband he had 18 mos clean. He was a very active NA member. I used to regularly go to meetings with him. The more clean time he had, though, the less involved he was in the program.

    About a month after receiving his 5 yr coin he started drinking. At first I was upset but ultimately I can’t make decisions for him. In fact, it turned out to be kinda fun drinking together. I was never a member of the program–I would just refrain from drinking so I wouldn’t tempt him. After 6 or 8 mos I realized he was drinking every day, a lot, and seemingly dependent on it. I tried to get him to quit, but again he must make his own decisions.

    Our marriage began to suffer big time. We were always fighting and stressed out. After about a year of drinking, he is now using meth again. This is something I honestly thought I would never see. He started staying out all night and ignoring my calls, leaving without telling me during the day, just doing whatever he wanted with no regard for me or our kids.

    At first I thought he was cheating, all the signs were there. It wasn’t til I talked to his family to tell them I was concerned that they said it sounded like he was using. I confronted him, he didn’t deny it, just called me nasty names and left in a rage. These last 2 days since finding out have been hell. He hasn’t slept, I haven’t been home and the kids are having a “sleep over” with family.

    I am upset and angry! I have told my/his close family and changed the bank acct since he kept draining the money. Needless to say, he is angry. He is remorseful at the same time, though, which makes it really hard on me. I’m trying to have boundaries. He says he wants to get clean–I gave him a deadline. We’ll see

  85. D December 2013 at 1:28 am

    My spouse got a DUI a week after Thanksgiving. He had a function with his business and ended up drinking with a fellow employee. He got pulled over by the police and could not pass the test. Crazy thing is he relapsed in 2003. Went thru rehab in 1988, but still thinks he can drink. The relapse in 2003 was awful, it exploded in his face when the ATM ate his card and he could no longer buy crack for him and 3 other geek monsters. But he still thinks he can drink.

    He has been blessed with a business staff that runs the business, but he drinks. He also is calling a former girlfriend and sees nothing wrong with this kind of behavior. We have been thru an extremely difficult year after our oldest was murdered, but I don’t think the bottle is the answer.

    I am angry with him because he can explain things away. Why it is okay to continue in this, his drinking. He also shared with me that if he did not get the DUI he would continue to drink. I just know addictions kill. Period. Something dies in addictions. Relationships, dreams, marriages, families, add your own category. In the end, something dies. Our son was murdered in the middle of his addiction in a drug house. But often the person in the addiction does not see it.

    Al-Anon was a lifeline for me. It’s probably time to go back.

  86. Bobbie November 2013 at 9:58 am

    My significant other of 7 years has recently entered a treatment facility for the 6th time–not including the 2 times I put him in prison for fear of him killing himself, and out of anger/resentment for him doing this again. When I met Shane he had 6 months sobriety and continued for another 2 years. Unfortunately he relapsed in ’08 and it has been a downward spiral ever since.

    When I found out he was using again, I got him on Suboxone and a treatment program. We attended church and still did while he was using. Well, stuff started disappearing, so I knew he was back on heroin. His mom said force the Sub down his throat–he can’t come here. So now I am labeled the enabler, even though I didn’t do anything to enable him. If loving somebody is enabling, then why did Jesus die on the cross for us? Unconditional love–correct?

    So Shane was in ICU for 3 days and nobody even told me–and when he called I was irate, which I am devastated now because he won’t call, he won’t respond to my letter. I just want him to know I support him on this lifelong journey and that I will do whatever I have to to change my way of thinking too. I refuse to turn my back on him and I refuse for his parents to act so righteous when they’re only there when Shane is doing right. He also suffers from mental health disorder, so he battles both of these demons!

    His newfound sponsor is somebody he used to shoot dope with, and he said he would be upset if I go see him or have any contact with him.

    I pray nonstop for addicts, but especially my addict. Shane came to me in my dreams, shaking me awake and said babe-baby it’s all gonna be ok! I truly believe that was God telling me to stop worrying so much about him.

    I so want him to get it right and come home, but I know he can’t till he figures his triggers out. No lie, I know when he is gonna relapse before he ever gets that first hit, and I know that’s my God talking to me and telling me to hold on, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

    I believe God doesn’t put anything on us that we can’t handle, but the mourning, grieving, stressing knot in the belly I for sure can do without!

    Please pray for us!

  87. Linda August 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I have been with my ‘boyfriend’ for 5 1/2 years. He was only 3 months sober when we met. He stayed sober for almost 5 more months and started drinking one day when he was off work and I was working. He was ashamed that he had drank but then it got worse after a few days and he would just get drunk, ride the bus and drink after work–so I never knew where he was or what he was doing.

    I work hard and long hours to stay above his stuff, but he found my money and went out. Oh, he’s an addict as well, although at this point it has been about 3 years since he did drugs. I try to control the destruction. I put up with paying all the bills and listening to his lies about not making tips, blah, blah, blah, for months and then he got evicted for being drunk and disorderly and moved out so I wouldn’t lose the apt. I was fine on my own, always have been, but he said he was sober, working steady and found a place for us.

    Nice place next to his job, but a few months later he went out and did dope and was gone for 24 hours and I lost my job for not showing up. He almost lost his for not showing up, but I covered for him and he still has the job and a promotion–but most days he’s not sober in the morning. He is in the end stage–vomiting, huge stomach and seems to want to die.

    Tonight, like many others, he says he needs to quit drinking. Fine, I say, go to rehab. Claims he can’t go. BS. He has insurance. Just excuses. Not young, I am 63, he is 49. I come from a long line of alcoholics. I am not one. My grandpa died from this disease and it caused my father to have a stroke and eventually die. I’m wondering how I will deal with this impending outcome.

  88. K July 2013 at 4:51 pm

    It’s so sad how we hurt so much yet our partners refuse to acknowledge our pain. I’ve been dating someone for two years. We used to drink with friends and all of a sudden it started becoming excessive. Everything became a reason to drink. He became possessive, so possessive that right now I don’t even have a single friend to turn to. I did everything his way but he still accused me of cheating all the time, embarrassed me in front of people, and fought constantly. Whenever I asked him to stop drinking, he had a “I’m a man so don’t tell me what to do” attitude. One day it went as far as him getting really violent and almost killing me. I left.

    And then I went back after hearing, “I’ll never do it again. Give me another chance. I promise….” I knew he would change because he’s the most wonderful person without alcohol.

    About a month later, he believes he learned his lesson. He feels he is capable of handling alcohol again and that it won’t be a habit. I was against it. Did he care? No! He lied to me. Drank behind my back and then started fighting with me again. The next time he drank in front of me and I just said nothing. He wanted to prove to me how well he can handle alcohol–and, yes, he did that day, because he tried to behave! He says I’m being selfish and unfair to him. Why doesn’t he understand it’s not easy. It still hurts. The person I trusted and was going to marry tried to strangle me when he was drunk and the next day had no recollection of it!

    He claims to notice everything. How did he not notice the disappointment on my face. How could he not notice my pain. He wants to know why I’m not the same person I was two years ago. Because two years ago he cared and loved me. Cared about our relationship. So now he gave me an option, accept his drinking or call him when I finally do. I don’t think he will receive that call. I lost hope. He is following the old pattern. Such a pity he’s too blinded by alcohol to see he lost his fiance. Thankfully I don’t have kids. I would hate to put them through all of this.

  89. Kara June 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I’m glad I read all these comments. I didn’t realize how much my boyfriend being an alcoholic affected my life. I didn’t think it was my problem too.

    I lie for him to everyone he knows and he always lies to me. He goes a week being sober and gets a job and starts doing everything right, but then claims he’s “bored” and has nothing better to do, so he starts to drink again and loses his job and drinks even more because he’s depressed about it. Then we got an XBOX and some games so he had something to do, but then he started drinking because he said, “It’s fun to drink and play games.”

    Long story short, it’s excuse after excuse and I let those excuses convince me that they are true, but deep down I know he won’t change. I hear so many stories about alcoholics’ significant other realizing he won’t get better. I never really thought of myself as one of those people. It’s moving to realize how so many people feel this way too.

    Again, I’m so glad I read all your comments. This actually really helped me realize I need to stop lying to myself and stop trying to help him get better, but to help myself because I have no control over helping him. He is the only one who can, but he is nowhere near that stage yet.

  90. alana June 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I’m reading all these comments and it’s like me talking. It’s so sad that all this is happening.

    My husband was sober for 6 months. Everything was going so well. He got a great job and for the first time I could stay home with our baby. We were heavy in church and he kept telling me to trust God and he will take care of us and to trust him.

    Well, as soon as I quit my job he was right back to drinking. First he swore he would be able to handle it and to just trust him. He drank once and then a month later drank again. And for the third time, it was a few weeks later and then that week it started a few times a week and now it’s every day again.

    Last Monday he sent me a text from work saying he’s getting back to the old problem and that he knows he can’t drink every week. So that day he didn’t drink and he went through the shakes. He was only drinking for one week, but his anxiety was really high. Last time when he got sober he was drinking for 1 year every day, 30 beers or more every day. He was hurt from his job and on workers comp. He had so much time on his hands. He swore it was only because he had nothing to do all day and it became a problem.

    Well, to get back to what I was saying, not a week later after he confessed that he knows he’s getting out of control and knows he’s thinking about drinking every day, he’s back to drinking.

    When he got sober 6 months ago, he was at the point where his body couldn’t take anymore. He stopped cold-turkey and he had 2 seizures. The doc said his kidneys will be ok, but he’s got significant brain damage. He was serious about not drinking and for some stupid reason I want to believe that he means it and I get hope again and it’s only to get them all smashed again.

    Well, I want nothing to do with him when he’s drinking everyday. He’s not the same, he’s a jerk and just not the man I married. But he wants me to act like everything is ok and he wants me to accept that he’s drinking. He will ask what’s wrong and I tell him. Then he gets mad. The thing is, also I don’t want anything to do with him sexually when he’s like this, and that makes him mad.

    If he could just leave me alone, but he wants everything to be peachy. When he drinks he starts putting on a lot of weight and his face swells so bad from drinking. He’s got dimples in his cheeks and it swells so bad you can’t even see them hardly.

    I would walk through fire or hell to get him sober! But the reality is that we will probably get a divorce, because I can’t go through this all the time and he’s so mean, drunk, if he’s mad at me or I make him too mad. He broke my nose while I was 6 months pregnant. I picked him up from a bar where he was about to get arrested and I was so mad and I hit him with a teddy bear and that’s when it happened, and he blames me for it.

    I wish I knew how to act when he’s drinking again. I totally want nothing to do with him. Do I act like nothing’s wrong and like I acted towards him when he’s sober? When he’s drunk like this, the thought of him kissing me makes me want to puke.

    I know I need to get into a group and get healthy myself. I don’t deal with this right and his mom lives with us and she totally does everything for him. Like when he gets too drunk, she will get gas for him because he has to work early in the morning. I told her that she shouldn’t, because he decided to get drunk.

    I think I need to tell her if she’s going to live here she has to stop enabling him or she has to move out, but even then she won’t. She’s afraid he’s gonna die. She was supposed to move out last week and didn’t. Now I’m trying to think of every reason to get her out so I can gain some control of this house. Sorry for the long vent!

  91. 25 years June 2013 at 7:51 am

    I don’t know what to do! My husband of 25 year keeps messing up with pain pillsand cocaine–about 5 times in the past 4 months! We have a 13-year-old boy.

    He’s a good dad, but not when he’s high. I don’t want to go through this again. Part of me just wants him to leave, because by me forgiving all the time I am sending the message it’s ok (when it’s not). Maybe it’s time for tough love. He keeps telling me he won’t do it again (which I hear too many times).

  92. Claudia May 2013 at 9:07 am

    My husband has been an alcoholic for 15 yrs. He finally went to outpatient treatment 3 weeks ago. Last night he got very upset with me and this morning he started drinking again. I think it is my fault he started drinking.

    We are going through a legal process and if the treatment center knows they will report to the court and he might lose custody of our two girls. I went to see a friend and I don’t want to go back home.

  93. May April 2013 at 12:17 am

    My husband had a relapse today after 2 months sobriety. I feel compassion for him and his struggle with alcohol and his bipolar. I can’t help but fear that he will continue to drink, rather than take the high road back to sobriety. It comforts me to see that there ate others like me with similar stories

  94. Melanie March 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Reading some of these posts makes me anxious, sad, worried, and scared. There I named some of the feelings I feel. But now what? How do I not feel these feelings again? My boyfriend has been sober for over a year and now I suspect that he has relapsed. He’s hidden it well and I am sure he is trying to convince himself he isn’t sick after all. He feels he can control it, but I know it’s only a matter of time before everything spirals out of control and I don’t want to be here for that.

    I’m trying to be strong and get back into the program after not having gone to a meeting in a very long time because I need to be ok. I don’t want to go back to the hell my life was when he was drinking. I refuse to go back to that. But it’s so hard to make that decision and get up and go.

    It made me angry when he said “I’m starting to think that I’m not really sick.” It really ticks me off to hear that because it makes it seem like going to rehab was nothing–and that all those AA meetings were nothing. A waste of time. And I know that it’s the disease talking and I feel like I want to slap him and talk some sense to him but that won’t help. It won’t help either of us. It will only make me feel better for a little while.

    I want to get away. I want to be strong enough to decide not to be with him. I’m disappointed because I thought that he would be that small percentage that would be able to stay clean and sober forever. I’ve read some comments where people say their loved ones were sober 10 years and then relapsed and I think that this could happen to us again even if he gets on the right track again. I think maybe it’s time I get out while I can–while I’m still young and we don’t have kids. So that 5, 10, 15 years from now I don’t have to go through this again. But I love him, and as a true co-dependent it’s hard to make that decision.

    I just know I don’t want to go back to that hell I was living. I can’t go back to that hell. It drained me. I’m drained.

  95. Natasha February 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I thought everything was starting to look up. My on-and-off-again b/f, also the father of my soon-to-be 1-yr-old boy, was in recovery for the 3rd time–and to fast forward through all this, we finally made it to a point where we decided to move in together and unite our lives as a family once again. My boyfriend also has 2 kids with 2 other women, I being the 3rd. The first one he is not allowed to see because of his addiction.

    Last night he didn’t come home after work. We literally moved in together 1 week ago. Before we reached this point, which I thought was a breakthrough for us (moving in together and everything), he left me pregnant and alone for most of the pregnancy, then as I began my journey as a first-time mom, he took the yr to be selfish and work on his recovery.

    For a while it seemed as though it was really working. I only know of 2 slips for sure (hard drugs), however he has had many drinks on many occasions, which we all know leads to what happened last night. He didn’t come home until 7 a.m. He has done this to me once in the past before I ever realized the extent of his addiction, but now that it happened, of course I’m upset.

    I am starting to wonder if moving in together was a huge mistake and if all this is worth it so that my baby can see his dad every day–even though he hasn’t been, because of not coming home until after he is asleep. I don’t know how to deal with this. I need help understanding what I am supposed to do. Yes, I love him even though he has hurt me in a million ways. Trust was there, now it is gone again.

  96. Trish February 2013 at 7:11 am

    My bf has been in intensive outpatient treatment for alcoholism since April 2012. He had to be admitted to the hospital for medical detox due to DTs. This was the 3rd time in 2 years. He has had a number of slip-ups since April.

    Every time he slips his reasoning is, “I made a mistake.” I’m growing tired of this statement. It comes out almost as a programmed response. I can’t abide him saying it every single time. He’s done it at least 10 times. Every time he does I know. Even when he’s not drunk–by the way he acts and his expressions change. His eyes go black and soulless. His face looks distorted. He nitpicks me to death and will not drop a subject he’s harping on.

    All he wants to do is run me down in a verbal assault. I can’t do anything right. Everything makes him angry. Just the slightest thing that goes wrong makes him furious. He is very very argumentative. When I confront him he says, ” I made a mistake.”

    He doesn’t want to look for his triggers. He says we’re sniffing his britches, waiting for him to screw up–even though he gives himself away by his argumentative nature and his facial expressions. He then proceeds to blame me for him drinking, altho he has been an alcoholic for years before he met me. We’re talking most of his 52 years.

    His wife left him because of it. He is currently on probation because of a DUI for which he spent 10 days in jail. This was his 4th DUI. He wasn’t even done with the 2nd DUI when he got the 3rd and 4th DUI. Luckily they were in different states and they didn’t track them all. He got charges dismissed on a 5th.

    I’m running out of patience. I cannot take his attitude when he drinks. He scares me so bad. I told him this time that if he drinks again I’m calling his probation officer.

  97. deana December 2012 at 3:48 am

    This is my first time speaking out to Al-Anon. I had been friends with my boyfriend for about 7 years until we started dating and became serious. I was aware of his addiction, but not the severity and wrecklessness of it–as he reacted, so determined to change his life around when we first started dating.

    He’s my other half and I have never put myself through such agony and distress like I have for him. After his lies, excuses, and stealing to get high, I broke it off for two weeks because in the beginning of the wrath I was scared, angry, isolated and stuck in between parents with no knowledge whatsoever about drugs and addiction, while trying to be a mediator of some sort between them and him. He promised it was the end of the nightmare, of course, and we got back together.

    The genuine happiness and love between us was short-lived, as naturally assumed, and then I had become the enabler in denial in some ways, trying to keep things neutral and looking back it’s something I will always wonder why I felt the need to be that ‘hero’ or that person that he could count on and always run to when he seemed to feel guilty, to lift his spirits up. no matter how optimist the paths I would so desperately try to veer him towards. I finally realized it’s nowhere near in my hands to help change the course.

    I finally faced and accepted the fact that this disease is truly a demon all on its own. His using became on-and-off until one morning his withdrawal became so unbearable that the detox program was his only option, besides the streets. He did great, became educated on what he was doing to himself and others and I truly believed he was a lucky one, that this case would not be hard to battle once he got out.

    Afterwards he attended his HA meetings, found a great sponsor who connected with him perfectly, and I saw that light in his eyes that I hadn’t seen for such a long time. Now, today he relapsed after almost two months. As his excuses, lies, and inconsistent stories had begun pouring out his mouth over the phone, I knew where we were back at. And the split moment I glanced at him when I picked him up, I was assured my assumptions were correct.

    I decided tonight I needed to sleep the night back home with my ungodly amount of homework to be done. I promised myself I would not be around him if that happened. Now, I pray he keeps breathing thru the night. I am a wreck, torn between no guaranteed answers for the future, no possible promises, and no empathy for all that I have given in my power. I am 24 years old, soon to be 25, feeling as if I have aged from the inside due to stress, tension, and anxiety on a daily basis that I shouldn’t be having. Somedays the mental exhaustion of school, homework, my house, his house, our parents, duties to be fullfilled, makes me feel that my higher power just helps push me into full gear just to get by.

    He has ignored my texts and rejected my phone calls to where he wanted me to know he was avoiding me, simply because I need one night’s rest at my home, which did not work in my favor because here I am laying in bed, praying to keep everyone else I love and have crossed paths with safe and happy and to keep him here on earth through the night. How does one keep going, because I feel I’m whithering away.

  98. hope October 2012 at 2:23 am

    My husband has relapsed after over 4 years sobriety. This is so painful to me. He is an alcoholic and crack addict. He got clean in a faith-based treatment center after many attempts at secular treatments and went on to counsel and leadership.

    Due to overwhelming stress at work, he resigned and was drinking that same night. Within a week he was smoking crack. I trust God will restore him when he allows. I’m worried for my 2 small girls and don’t want them to see him like this. Want to protect them.

    Praying this doesn’t have to go much further before he surrenders. Thinking he may have to leave our home and the girls will be heartbroken. He has been such a Godly man. Angry that the devil is trying to take him from us!

  99. lana October 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I am so glad I found this site. I needed encouragement today not to continue to enable my alcoholic husband. We are currently separated, but only a house between us. I am praying for God to watch over him. He has been an alcoholic since his 20’s and he is now 53. I have to battle in my mind that if I don’t go and check on him and help him that he might die. I must trust God, for He is all powerful and able to deliver us from any addiction. Holding on to God.

  100. betty September 2012 at 10:10 pm

    My 19-yo-son got out of his first rehab 2 weeks ago. He relapsed tonight on alcohol and said he could not live sober. He was put on 4 psychiatric medications in rehab. I will probably check on him throughout the night to make sure he is alive. I have taken all his pills from him. I called an Al-Anon friend who helped me.

    My husband had a serious illness which he died from and I did not know if he would be alive or dead in the am. Now I am going through the same thing with my precious son.

  101. Kendra August 2012 at 11:24 pm

    My mom has been an alcoholic my entire life. She got a DUI last year and was forced to get sober. She was for 10 months then relapsed right after all of the court stuff was done and now she’s worse than ever. She drinks even more. She doesn’t drive drunk tho but I just feel so alone because my 3 bros don’t live here anymore and they don’t deal with it anymore. It hurts me so bad and I’ve dealt with it my whole life so I thought it would be normal by now. I had high hopes when she was sober and was crushed. I’m just losing hope and don’t know what to do anymore.

  102. debby August 2012 at 8:10 pm

    My husband and daughter are both recovering addicts. I am recovering from the effects of living with their illnesses for so many years. Every day I pray, read Al-Anon literature, meditate, try to get to a meeting, and talk with my sponsor or an Al-Anon friend.

    Tonight I am irrationally anxious that my daughter is relapsing, even though she said she is going to a meeting. But It is I who am relapsing, into my own sick obsessive behavior! I thank my higher power and the Al-Anon program for the wisdom to see this. And if she does relapse, I have been blessed with empathy, for she is not alone!

  103. leah August 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I have to start off with saying that I am a recovering alcoholic. Just received my one year coin last month. I also have many friends in the program who I cherish dearly. My family is active in Al-Anon and it helps them immensely. My heart is aching–I have a close friend who has just relapsed with his seven-year anniversary fast approaching. This pain I feel for him is absolutely terrifying. The catalyst to what really got me into the program and moving to New York was the death of a very close friend of mine due to an overdose. All these fears and all this anxiety is crippling.

    I cannot imagine what I have put my family and friends through. I am so scared he is going to keep on his path until something horrible happens. I know from personal experience the relapse of an experienced recovering addict is very dangerous. He has all the knowledge of recovery in his mind and the recklessness of wanting to use in his heart.

    I want to say thank-you for all the support and wisdom in this blog. You are all amazing. I want to be strong for my friend. I know that there is nothing I can do for him but be the example of a recovering alcoholic. No one could help me when I was on my mission to drink. The one thought that keeps me together is that we are all on our higher power’s path. My h.p. who I choose to call God is taking care of my friend, teaching and showing him the lessons he needs to be shown, just like he is doing with me and all of you.

    It’s very strange being on this side of the recovery path. Before when my friend passed away, I was actively drinking. The pain never felt like this. I can’t let my codependency and my guilt/shame take over my mind. It is already a very scary place up here. I’m reading all of your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you so much.

    XXOO

  104. Jane July 2012 at 3:25 am

    I am a grateful Al-Anon member. Discovered last summer my daughter was using, and she began residential rehab and a half-way house. After 9 months, she returned to college, but not invested in recovery. Did well in classes but avoided meetings, or changing. Discovered this weekend that she is using again. Next month it might have been 1 year sober, but it isn’t.

    As a parent, it’s so difficult. I want to follow the principles and not control, but while she has an intellect she is very immature, maybe like a 14-year-old. She has become completely untrustworthy.

    I am trying to adhere to a contract and boundaries. She will now have to work to pay tuition and also do outpatient rehab in addition to school. I am concerned about how this will work in practice.

    I am trying to feel my emotions and not hers, and let her follow her path. I am praying that she is where she needs to be and maybe this will allow her to learn more.

    As a parent, I am skeptical she can do this, and think she will need more structure again.

    I know my faith has to be in God’s will, not mine, but it’s so hard. I am giving her phone numbers of rehabs, but not choosing or investigating–which I would have previously to find the best.

    It’s so hard to apply the boundaries and also give love as she is suffering.

    So hard to stay away from why this happened. She has an addictive personality and is fearful and needs to fit in–straight out of the book. I wish I had understood more when she was younger, how much she was hurting while putting on the bravado and tough exterior.

    Do I search for the best doctor and go there to make sure the rehab is good–I live away. Pre Al-Anon it would have been the way to make sure it was all the best possible.

    Now, I am providing information and location and she has to decide. I feel she needs to see I am not running to the rescue and that she owns this.

    I am not falling apart and need to practice one day at a time. Second guessing won’t change anything. I need to pray. I shared at a meeting yesterday and my emotions were ok. Afterwards a member texted and let me know she felt for me and that someone else cried during my share. I felt worse after I heard this, as I wasn’t falling apart. I wonder if I am just not feeling my feelings,

    This is a hell of a disease.

    I have been avoiding for the moment–the should have, would have.

  105. J July 2012 at 11:55 pm

    My husband is a crack addict and alcoholic. He relapsed last summer on pain pills, then drinking again this spring, and now back to crack again this summer. I have been in this situation for 20 years and have two kids that are still in school and at home. I am tired of all this, but don’t know what to do anymore. He has made a chaotic mess of all our lives. He thinks because he still has a good job that he is just fine. He says he has like two weeks clean now, but his eyes look messed up often and with constricted pupils.

  106. Cin May 2012 at 10:23 pm

    My son had been sober for a year and has relapsed. He continues to come to my home for showers and laundry, but ends the night drinking. I finally told him he was not welcome. I will help him with any type of recovery (AA meetings).

    I just started Al-Anon and have tried not to enable him. I am taking it a day at a time and find myself making mistakes. Like right now, I am so worried about him, and I know I should not pick up that phone to call him.

    This just shows me how hard it is for the alcoholic to manage his day without that drink.

  107. Lola March 2012 at 3:10 am

    Step 1 for me tonight. Thank you HP and Al-Anon for always being within reach. I am forever grateful. With Every Morning Sunshine We Get A New Beginning. Exhale. Amen.

  108. brenda February 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I appreciate the posts I have read in this section. Tonight I have our youngest son on my heart and mind. As with most every night, I continue to pray for him, I continue to love him and I continue seeking direction in what I can do to help him without being an enabler.

    The comments that have helped me the most tonight are: “Don’t bring about a crisis nor interfere with one.” Relapse is traumatic for the family. I can truly attest to this! Each time I read posts on different topics I take notes so I can refer to them later. I will keep working it so it will keep working.

    It was good to hear the comment about not being that different from the addict, because the mind battle is constant in us as well as it is in them. I need to remind myself of this quite often. I desire to have unity in all my relationships. I know I as well as my addict family members are unique in God’s eyes and I pray for all people to see that they are unique and God has a supreme purpose for all our lives. It is our HP that helps us to be overcomers, and without Him we only “turn over new leaves,” only to digress instead of progress.

    Thank you for the reminder to “CONNECT, LOVE,and SHOW COMPASSION,” whether they are clean or using. I realize that my feelings are just as important as my addicts and I have to take care of myself in order to be of any help to them. I can only help them to bear their burdens, I cannot bear them myself.

    I am a mother and I will be till the day I die, and I read a good definition of a mother the other day–“A MOTHER IS NOT A PERSON TO LEAN ON. A MOTHER IS A PERSON WHO MAKES LEANING UNNECESSARY.” I taught my children well and I know that no matter how many times they stray away they are in God’s hands and He is in control and He will deliver them, in His time.

    Thank you for letting me speak and God bless you all and give you peace.

  109. Regina February 2012 at 7:34 pm

    My husband and I got clean at the same time 11 years ago. We thought it would be a great idea to party when we were in central Australia on a holiday a year ago. One shot. I was happy with that, apparently the monkey grew on my mate’s shoulder.

    I have just realised he’s been using for probably about 6 weeks. He is never home, always has to whisk out somewhere, comes back with his eyes pinned, jaw crunching and can’t stand still (while he’s usually a couch potato when he’s not at work).

    Last Thursday I knew he had used some speed, I had to go out. A girlfriend came over while I was out and when I came home she couldn’t get out the door quick enough – with one of my t-shirts on. My daughter came up to me and said that the girlfriend had given daddy a massage.

    I know now, I’m right back 11 years.

    I know that I have to make a decision.

    He has to have the two options: Go to rehab or leave.

    I hate this. I hate the butterflies in my guts, the tension across my chest, my heart pounding with adrenalin and the lies and the lies and the lies. The shame, the anger and the gut-wrenching hurt.

    Dear God, not again.

  110. Cathy January 2012 at 8:55 pm

    My bf and I met 7 months ago. We live in two different countries, but last December he came in my country and we met personally. My boyfriend has been sober for 9 months and had a relapse last weekend. I kinda blame myself and thinking I may be the reason why he did it again.

    I don’t know what to do and what to do to help him. I called the AA here in my country and they told me about Al-Anon, but we don’t have it in my country, so I tried to seek it online and I am so happy to have found this site, and right now I am listening to all the podcasts and learning from it.

  111. Melissa January 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I have read all the posts and listened to many podcasts. I’ve reached out to a fellow friend in AA. I must try Al-Anon, but honestly thought I would never need to! Things seemed to be going so well with my boyfriend and I. We planned to get married and start a family–we were at the point of moving in together and we had already put a down payment on a ring.

    He went out to use yesterday morning, to my complete shock. I’m sure of this because I tried the hospitals and his friends already. He was supposed to take his 1st cake in a couple of weeks.

    I’ve already been through a relapse with him. He had just over 6 months clean and I ended up taking my own suggestion and not that of my AA sponsor’s–She told me that he loves alcohol more than me. I took him back on one condition–that he not use again.

    But this cunning, baffling and powerful disease has taken him along with my hopes and dreams. I am afraid for him because his medication is here and he has a bad reaction if not taken and along with the crack binge he’s on, I truly fear for his life. I am still in shock–all I can do is put it all in God’s hands.

  112. RP November 2011 at 9:53 pm

    I just learned that my boyfriend relapsed after 10 years of sobriety. With 10 years sobriety under his belt, and two years together, I deeply believed he was the rare recovering alcoholic who would stay the course. He had a stellar track record living the 12 Steps and regularly going to meetings. His confession came just two weeks before he and his two kids are scheduled to move in with me.

    My trust is shaken and the plans we had for being a family unit are compromised. I know I have to take one day at a time, take care of myself and let him take care of his sobriety. These podcasts are very helpful in keeping me focused on what I can do versus what my emotions tell me I want to do to fix things. Thanks.

  113. Tammy November 2011 at 9:31 pm

    My boyfriend relapsed after 10 years sobriety. For a short time I got right back on the merry-go-round with him. I stopped going to meetings and was focusing on him. I recently went back to meetings and realized how important it is to keep the focus on me. His recovery and his program is his business. I will be ok if I work my program and leave his to him!

    I think that it is like we say, it works if you work it. I am that important to have a program and friends that can help with their experience,strength and hope. My books always seem to have the right answers at just the right time.

  114. Steve S May 2011 at 11:00 am

    I have said many times that my adult son’s relapse does not have to bring about my own relapse. And yet, as I deal with his relapse after almost 4 years of sobriety, I’m again doing those things that I call Al-Anon relapse. The “trigger” thought which brings about my relapse is that “he might die.” A second thought is “he may again end up in prison.” Then come the obsessive thoughts about what I might do to prevent his death or re-incarceration. And this brings about the inevitable thought about what I could have done differently so that he stayed sober. As I write these thoughts down I can identify most of them as lapses in my Al-Anon program.

    And then there is the Serenity prayer. This seems to be the heart of my dilemma and the source of the solution when I’m having a relapse. The serenity “to accept the things I cannot change” versus “the courage to change the things I can.” How do I decide, when it comes to my son, whether to “don’t just do something- sit there.” Or whether I should make a call to someone in his program who might perform a helpful intervention, or call my son with an encouraging word which might give him some needed support. As I keep my mind open, the scale first goes one way, then the other. I remember hearing in meetings that we should neither bring about a crisis nor interfere with the consequences of the crisis. When I think about this, I think that to get in the middle of my son’s relapse might prevent his contact with his own higher power. I remember my Al-Anon friends saying, “God has no grandchildren” meaning trust that my son has a higher power and it’s not me.

    And I’m left with the third part of the Serenity prayer: “the wisdom to know the difference.” I know there are things I can do to regain my sanity. These include
    *Using my phone list of Al-Anon friends to share with people in recovery.
    *Going to as many meetings as I can fit in my schedule: It is amazing how I can find time for more meetings when I’m miserable enough.
    *Doing service work: Helping out Al-Anon in any way helps get my mind out of my own torturous loop.
    *Reading Al-Anon literature: It is uncanny how when I have the most need, Al-Anon literature seems to apply directly to the problem.
    *Meditating: As I sit quietly on my porch listening to the wind and the birds, I realize that I have a choice to follow my thoughts into misery, or open my will toward a higher power.

    I know that the sense of urgency I feel is a symptom of desperation and relapse. I know that if I continue to use the tools of Al-Anon I will do the best I can.

  115. Rob April 2011 at 10:56 pm

    I thought I would make a post out of desperation. I have a brother around 45 years old that has been smoking crack cocaine for over twenty plus years. I have helped him by letting him have a place to stay and take a shower. He will go a couple of weeks of not smoking any crack, but as soon as he gets any money in his hands he heads directly to smoke crack and goes on binges for days at a time. After trying to help after a few years and seeing no positve outcome from him, I am at a point where I desperately need to find answers.

  116. Heidi March 2011 at 10:13 pm

    My boyfriend relapsed 6 days ago. We’ve known each other for a long time, but only began dating two years ago, after he had a few months of sobriety. I didn’t know very much about alcoholism and drug addiction at the time, had no idea that it was a suggestion that one in early recovery not enter a new relationship.

    I just knew that I’d always liked him, hadn’t wanted to be in a relationship til he was doing a little better, and when he had over three months clean, we gave it a try. Five months later, with 8 months sober, he relapsed. It was only then that I realized what it actually means to be involved with someone struggling with addiction to crack cocaine.

    The following year was a roller coaster. Back in August, things got worse, and consequently, he cleaned up for 70 days. Relapsed for a month, cleaned up for four months. Now he’s six days in. Truthfully, it was an incredible four months this recent time, which has kept me around for the last week. I don’t know what the next step is. I don’t know how much more of this I can handle.

    I know all of the suggestions, and I’m trying to take care of myself, but I’m glad to have found this podcast. I’m downloading now so that I can add it to my iPod, go for a walk, and hopefully get out of my own head for a little while.

  117. Tracey March 2011 at 8:51 pm

    My husband is an alcoholic. He has been through detox three times. This last time he finally went to rehab center for 6 weeks. He has 3 weeks left I’m very proud of him right now. He seems to really want to get his life back on track. This time, if he doesn’t, I’m sure I will have to leave him. We’ve been married for nearly 29 years It would be hard to do, but I feel I have to do it for me. I feel good right now since he is away in rehab and safe, but he will be returning to real life in 3 weeks. I have been going to Al-Anon for over a month. I love my group, but I’ve got a lot to learn… My worry is is he going to relapse. Thanks

  118. Karen C March 2011 at 10:13 pm

    When you have a child that has a problem with alcoholism, it is difficult to find the boundaries between helping and enabling. Therapeutic intervention and mental health assessment is one way to continue to assist a child. Also, the family might seek help to learn to set boundaries with alcohol and prescription drugs in the house, availability of money, rules for living in the house. Support is important for the family. I struggle with feelings of wanting to help a family member and wanting to refuse further help because my family member continues to return to the abuse and addiction to alcohol. It is frustrating. Al-Anon is helpful and posting replies and contributing to this website is helpful too.

  119. Karen C March 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Al-Anon is a support group for those people struggling with the addiction of a loved one. So through sobriety, relapse mode, and relapse, I would think Al-Anon would be a source of strength and knowledge. If the concept of addiction is difficult for the non-addict to grasp, then relapse must be even more difficult. The idea of a lack of ability to control the use of substances and the internal self-destructiveness of addiction is strange and alarming, regardless of how much education I gain on the subject. Relapse is definitely traumatic for the family and friends of an addict. It re-traumatizes everyone affected by the addict’s behaviors.

  120. Elain March 2011 at 10:16 am

    After almost 12 years of sobriety, my husband relapsed over the weekend. I am searching for help. He has promised to get help. I need help coping. Am turning to Al-Anon.

  121. Ashley March 2011 at 10:26 am

    I am so grateful this program exists. My husband has 52 days of sobriety. To my knowledge, he has not relapsed, but has told me on a couple occasions that he has been close. Feeling that a relapse could come at any time, I am so glad this specific resource exists. When my husband was in treatment, one of the counselors asked me what I would do if he drank again. My response was simple: I don’t know, I really just don’t know.

    Through this program, I now have an idea of what I will do and what I won’t do. The resources and tools have been vital in my own recovery. I didn’t even know how sick I was until this program opened my eyes. Only when we see our sickness can we begin to treat it. I am not that different from my alcoholic…the mind battle is constant in me, just as it is in him. I suppose in a way, I have already had relapses into my old way of thinking. I keep coming back because it works if I keep working it. Progress; not perfection.

    Through this understanding, I can connect, love, and show compassion to him in a brand new way; sober or drinking. Thank you.

  122. mirjana December 2010 at 4:31 am

    I am reading and listening to all the stories and can only say how lucky you are to be living in a country where you can get help. There is no Al-Anon in my country and the nearest one is 600 km away. Our daughter is 19 and she was a heroin addict at first and we managed to help her with some private clinic treatment, so she was clean for 3 years. Then she started taking cocaine and went for 1 month treatment into some christian centre. After coming back, we realised that she also started drinking and doesn’t want to go to rehab.

    It is very difficult for us parents as we don’t know how to treat her. We wanted to throw her out of the house, but she told us she would became a prostitute to be able to support herself. We decided not to, but don’t know how to treat her. We need to find some literature that we can get.

  123. John D December 2010 at 2:52 pm

    About a week or two ago I was at a meeting and the topic was my Higher Power. I have been in Al-Anon about 3 years and
    Al-Anon has really taught me how to get strength from my Higher Power. But apparently I can quickly ignore or push him/her away when I’m contacted by my son. He has been drinking since he was 12 and he is now 45. He has been in and out many rehabs. Once for 21/2 years. But he has always relapsed.

    In Jan or Feb he went into another program and lasted about 7 months. And I prayed a lot. But I did not hear from him since July so I had a feeling, but I did not want to think bad thoughts so I kept on hoping he was too busy, and two days ago I received a call from my son and he went into bla bla bla about why it did not work. We had a bad connection and it was 7am. I suggested him to call me back about 9am. In the next 1/2 hour I completely ignored my Higher Power. He did not forget me.

    He told me to call somebody (which I never do, so I did not know he was pushing my button ), so I called a friend in Al-Anon and within a couple of minutes I knew my Higher Power was right there with me and I knew I did not have to give him money, which was always my answer. So even though he has slipped again, I was in control as to what I had to do. I did not hear from him and it’s three days till Christmas and I really don’t feel there is an emergency or a fire to put out. If or when he calls, I can tell him I will see him next week for lunch and only support him with warm clothes.

    Thank you to all of the wonderful people in Al-Anon. Happy Holidays!

  124. Pat November 2010 at 12:56 am

    My 34-year-old daughter had one year of sobriety Oct 11, 2010, or so I thought. The nice card I gave her along with a candle for her one-year anniversary sat on her table and she sent me a text about it being a long year, etc. At the time, I did not realize she had been drinking and using cocaine for about two months.

    I keep her dog while she travels for work and found the Windmill Lounge receipt at her house and called her. She became belligerent, etc., so when she got back in town that Thursday, I found her at the Windmill Lounge and tried to get her to go back to rehab. What a fiasco. Her friends told me I was evil, etc. and my daughter told me what a loser I was. Here she was 20lbs thinner with her face broken out, looking and acting crazed.

    Over the next few days I had additional major Al-Anon slips, even walking by her house (she chose to move nine minutes from me) and her texting me to tell me to quit stalking her, so I am back to many meetings and praying she doesn’t die, and trying to believe that God has a plan. She is probably being transferred across the U.S. (the company she works for just got bought out) and I will have lost her geographically as well.

    I almost lost her March 2008 when they found her beaten with bleeding on the brain and a t-12 fracture. Someone left her for dead. They beat her so badly she can’t remember who did it, being so totally drunk to the point of alcohol poisoning. It was a three-month physical recovery & I was by her side every step of the way. She has remaining memory loss, no sense of smell or taste, and the t-12 fracture.

    Within two months, she was drinking again. Back to rehab October 11, 2009, with a phone call to me asking me to take her – shaking so bad she could not hold a cup of coffee in her hand without spilling. One year later and here it goes again. I am so spiritually sick, trying Steps 1,2,3 again and praying and reaching out.

  125. ann November 2010 at 11:05 am

    When I was introduced to Al-Anon, my son was in recovery and he thought it was a good Idea for me. I went in stomping my feet. I tried 6 meetings, then yes I never looked back. My son was 11 months clean from crack cocaine and relapsed.

    If I did not have Al-Anon it would be very difficult for me. I had a sponsor who kept telling me go back to Step One and I did. I prayed for my son and gave my son to God to look after because I didn’t know how to. God did save his life. He went back to treatment and now is clean for 7 months.

    Al-Anon helped me live my life, if my son was sober or not. I am gratefull for Al-Anon and choose to be spending time with people that are working on their personal growth. Thank you.

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