I Was Finally Able to Be Me

As my husband’s drinking got worse, I found myself drifting away from my friends because I didn’t want them to see what was going on. I stopped inviting people to the house because I wasn’t sure what mood he would be in, and I stopped accepting invitations because I wasn’t sure what I would come home to. I thought if I were at home, maybe he wouldn’t drink or at least not drink so much.

One day I realized I didn’t have any close friends anymore—no one I could really confide in or be myself with. I was always pretending things were wonderful when in fact, they weren’t. What an exhausting way to live!

Then I found Al-Anon. At first, I was frightened about walking into a room full of strangers and discussing the intimate details of my life, especially since I had gotten so good at hiding them. But all I really had to do was walk into the room, take a seat and listen. I noted the word friendship in the welcome:

“We welcome you…and hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship we have been privileged to enjoy.”

I soon discovered that the people there felt less like strangers once I realized the common bond we shared. I also discovered that I would not find a more kindhearted, caring group of people on earth than at an Al-Anon meeting.

Slowly I have learned that I can drop the pretense of a perfect life and let people see the real me. I haven’t gotten all my old friends back, but that’s okay because I now have a new group of friends who truly understand me and with whom I can be myself.

By Jeri D., Wisconsin  

The Forum, May 2018

2018-04-26T14:25:23+00:00April 26, 2018|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner, The Forum|

21 Comments

  1. Bill October 2018 at 5:52 am

    My wife had RNY Bariatric Surgery 3 yrs ago. She drinks a 1.75 liter of vodka every 3 to 4 days. After one drink she is not legally able to drive.
    The amount keeps going up and I wonder how having a tiny pouch instead of a stomach speeds things up in the progression of this disease.
    This really blows!

  2. Sue August 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I feel so alone…
    Not wanting people to know
    We have gone thru so much…sadness.. Losing our children in heaven… fighting through cancer … fighting a lawsuit where I was dropped down a flight of stairs EMTs forced out of my home mourning my children as they wanted to do a 302 on a poor mother .. because the husband wanted it they say. He drinks all the time…pushing me away…when he drinks his words are awful… cruel and I’m scared exhausted as he keeps pushing for reactions. I’m told to leave…get a boyfriend…Horrible sad heartbreaking statements… narcissist behavior twists. I have no place to go…like many of you 😢😞

  3. Cynthia August 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I feel the same way. So trapped and yet so many familiar stories. Bless you all. I’m going to look into Al-Anon meetings

  4. jill August 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I have not gone to a meeting yet but after reading these stories, I will go.

    I kicked my husband out last week. He is a non-functioning alcoholic who has lost 2 jobs in the last year and a half. He sits around all day; literally. While I work full time and then come home and cook dinner. He eats a bite and says he isn’t hungry. The last time he was fired I came home to a pool of vomit on the floor and he was passed out. I cleaned it up and as I did so he tells me he was fired because his boss is a jerk. I said it was because of alcohol and this is also ruining our marriage. He disagreed and minimized as always.

    He is now living in his friend’s basement. I am hopeful he gets into treatment.

    I struggle with the guilt of kicking him out and for the times where I did drink with him. I feel like I caused his problem. I know I didn’t , he was an alcoholic when we met but he was functioning then.

    I have a strong support network but they really dont understand me.

    I am sick with guilt.

  5. Mary C. August 2018 at 4:16 pm

    I have been married for 33 years. My husband just cleaned out our checking account to go on a binge. He lied to me telling me that he was going to Home depot and called and I knew he was drunk. He said don’t worry I’ll be home soon. It is now 24 hours and he never came home. I’m mortified. He has had long periods of sobriety but always seems to fall off the wagon. Not knowing is the worst feeling. So far he has an excellent job for the studios. I feel abandoned and ashamed. He has turned off his phone and most likely bought a bad boy phone. He said yesterday he will bring the money home and that never happened. Detachment is the only way to go…but it’s hard.

  6. Joline August 2018 at 11:21 am

    Thank you all for sharing your stories….as I know I am not alone. I have been with my husband for a total of 17 years and he was never a drinker but the last 5-7 years have been hell. Being verbally abusive to me when he is drunk but then continuously having to help and rescue him when his drinking got him in trouble. Dealing with DUI’s, having two jobs to help support the family as he just blows his money and does not provide any financial assistance anymore. We are no longer the TEAM that we were and I hate seeing him like this. It’s true that you can love someone and hate someone at the same time.

  7. Davena July 2018 at 4:42 pm

    I am currently in the same situation as everyone of you have described. I don’t know at what point my husband turned from the man I was beyond in love with to someone I am truly starting to hate. It’s gotten progressive worse over the last year, to the point where I dread going home. I hate that my husband chooses alcohol over our family, our lives. I am so embarrassed and so ashamed of his mom who is the biggest enabler and disgusted how everyone tiptoes around him when telling me something else. I’m tired of being the only one fighting and grieving. I have been threatened with divorce, last month i was told i had 30 days to leave. I have 2 beautiful girls who adore their daddy (7&9) and even though he says his girls mean everything to him he will always choose alcohol over them. My 7 yr old tells people that daddy’s always drunk, when i mention it to my husband he laughs at me. I do not want my children growing up in that environment and my situation will not change by his hand so i have to change – I have taken the first major step to changing our lives. I am leaving him for the sake of my girls but i have no support network around me as my family are all in London. I have never felt so isolated in my life. Al-Anon was recommended by my boss, she too unknown to me was and has been going through the same thing to her husband of 40 yrs. He has been sober for 35 yrs. and she has learned to handle everything thanks to Al-Anon. I think I need help too

  8. Helen July 2018 at 9:13 am

    I hate that my husband chooses alcohol over our happiness. I’m embarrassed and so ashamed of him. I love him but hate what he’s become

  9. Erinn S. July 2018 at 10:24 pm

    I am new to Al-Anon. My partner is not functional. We have money problems because of it. The past few years I have found myself hiding more and more from my communities and friends. I find that any time I do try and confide about my problems with my partner and our financial situation I am usually hit with hard criticism or judgement. It makes me want to protect my partner and their view of them. So I feel conflicted. I want to open up and talk about my partner’s behaviors but if my friends know the truth they will be too harsh or turn away. I am feeling more and more alone and like I truly do not have the support from my family and friends and most of them also suffer from alcoholism, and perhaps that is why I feel so alone.

  10. Nikki July 2018 at 5:20 am

    wow
    my story is so like many I have lost who I am and find it impossible to help my husband. I put on a brave face at work no one would believe me. I am so bored with my life and have lost many friends and my social life and lost who I am. I need to vent but dont know where to go or begin.

  11. Jenny July 2018 at 9:43 pm

    I could have written the first two paragraphs myself. Word for word.

  12. Eve June 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I have lost myself as well. I have no close friends because I pushed them all away. I want to be free from the obsession of him. Counting drinks, my days dependent on his mood. I hit rock bottom – I realized I can’t fix it. And that I might be the one who ruins the marriage even though he’s the alcoholic. I have done three phone meetings now and I am amazed at the stories. They are me. I need to fix myself. It’s the only choice I have.

  13. Manny June 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I can relate to everyone of these ladies. My husband is a wonderful man but becomes verbally abusive when he drinks. It’s gotten progressive worse over the years, to the point where I dread the evenings and weekends. I’ve been putting Al-Anon off for a long time…I think it’s time.

  14. Deb K May 2018 at 10:35 pm

    My husband passed out coming in the house from the porch tonight. He fell so hard I ran from the kitchen. His eye were dilated and he was disoriented. I got him to the couch where he became verbally abusive. I tried to help him to the bedroom but he refused my help and went down again hitting his head and splitting it open with a 2 to 3 inch gash. His blood pressure was 80/54. He refused to go to the hospital and admitted to my daughter that he was drinking. I did call the doctor but he can’t do anything if the person wants no help. I have been with him for 36 years. He just retired and is off his depression meds because he says he does not need it. I don’t know what to do. My salvation is my job but I am a teacher and will be home for the summer. I can’t take much more. My kids are all grown so it is just me to worry about.

  15. Susan May 2018 at 10:21 am

    Taking that first step into the meeting room is scary, but it will change your life forever. I don’t know what I would do without the support of Al-Anon.

  16. Lisa May 2018 at 9:38 am

    Just remember you can go and just listen. You do not have to share. Just check it out

  17. Leann May 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Very frustrated with the ongoing drinking, I’ll be gone 1/2 hour, not showing up for hours afterward. My husband coming to family celebrations drunk and starting crap with my grown children. I’m verbally and psychologically abused when he is drunk. My coping skills have disappeared after 20 years, not sure what to do. never been to a meeting, embarrassed.

  18. Giulia May 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Thank You very much.

  19. Lois May 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I am going through the same thing with my husband, I don’t know what to do!!! I have no friends, just my kids which are all grown up. My oldest daughter 42 lives with me and my husband, we watch him sneak his liquor… he is drinking a bottle within a day and a half!!! He doesn’t hate me, but he cusses me now a lot. I am so angry, what do I do !!! I feel so alone …

  20. Maureen May 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Angelina M. April 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I am scared never been to a meeting before how can I go there and not be scared

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