I have a love hate relationship with alcohol. That comes after being married to an alcoholic for twenty years, about 13 to 14 years of that I knew he had a problem. The thing is, if he doesn’t admit to a problem, it will never change and believe me, I tried to change it. Even once I got him to admit he did have a problem, he still didn’t want to change. By the time he realized he would lose his family, it was too late, he couldn’t change. It still makes me so sad and angry (at the disease not him) all at the same time.
When we first were together, we were young and doing what young people do – going out to hear bands play and drinking some. There were even nights he wouldn’t drink as we had gone out of town to see someone play. So, no problem, right?
Then there were shake ups at work and he had more to calm his nerves when he got home. This was when the conditions started. “Once this happens, I will quit.” This was everything from work to a new home, a child, etc. There was always a this that was not enough. Then what I think sealed his fate… his mom died.
His depression was bad, but he wouldn’t get help; he self-medicated and with alcohol being a depressant it was just getting a lot worse. He did try treatment, it only lasted a short time, he left before he was through the process. He and I divorced… he said he quit drinking, but the proof was still all around. Until one day, he died at home alone.
Alcoholism effects the whole family. It made me crazy trying to find ways to stop him – hiding his bottles, pouring them out, begging, crying, yelling – but it was not my problem to fix. It has been such a huge impact on my life. To this day I still debate having even one drink. I have somewhat come to terms with what happened. I still feel guilty from time to time – if I had only done something sooner or demanded he get help or talked to other family about it. But I had been too ashamed to admit that we were not a perfect little family. And in the end, alcoholism took away my absolute best friend and love of my life.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – alcohol
This week we look back to my daily prompt post from 2017 … this is a post I did about my history and worst of times. I want to mention again there are options and places to go for help… there are others who have been through it, you are not alone. For this week’s FFF …
Out and Away
At the height of my ex-husbands drinking and my lowest moments I often thought the best option for me to get away from all the mess was to drive straight into a tree off the highway… thankfully I had a friend who saw how deep I had fallen and helped pull me back up.
Being in a household with a heavy alcoholic is hell, total isolation, guilt, shame, anger and a million more emotions all bottled up and shaken well and often. But the thing to remember is you are never alone. There are millions of ways to break free and get help that don’t have the disastrous results of this poem. Reach out, find help, you are NOT in this battle alone.
He went to the teachers desk slowly, using crutches to compensate for the broken foot he had. He handed the teacher a note from the office explaining his tardiness due to his injury. He took his seat, and the classroom began buzzing with questions about how he injured his foot. His teacher silenced the class and began his lesson.
Every time Ben hobbled into a new classroom the questions would bubble up and he would turn red with embarrassment. The truth was that he was a “full-fledged klutz”, at least that is what his mother called him. Ben had over-heard his mom talking to someone on the phone after he broke his foot and she had said, “He is so inept he can’t even walk across the yard without breaking his foot.”
The words had stung a little, but he was used to it. Whenever his mom drank, she would say things she didn’t really mean. Ben just had to take it in stride as a side effect of her alcoholism. It certainly made him grow a thick skin at a young age.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – inept