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