My Spouce and Drinking part 1
When is it a problem?? There is many articles about what to look for. The telling signs... But you have to take all the signs from all the different articles muddle them together and maybe you get all of them in place. So i decided to put my two cents in. Yes this is what i have seen working at a nightclub, going to parties, braai's get togethers weddings before and after "Covid" . Alcoholism stayed the same. A drunk spouse "They start their nights coming from work directly to the nearest pub, shebeen anywhere there's alcohol. Because they had a hard day at work. It's easy nowadays you buy a ready mix in a can or bottle. So no they don't start with beer particularly. Then they get home beeline to the bottle and the coke 3rd one down in an hours time. Need to go to the shops heck yeah it's weekend need to stock up. Are we expecting anyone no just us... And all the while no5 is going down. Are we going now, yes just this one for the road... By now his quick stepping duck walking frog leaping and a party on his own. Funnier you can't find. More loveable you haven't seen. So you grit your teeth and say a little prayer getting into the car. Wait!! wait!! some of us don't drive so yes we are depending on him to take you where you need to be. By now you are a bundle of nerves your neck is stiff your shoulders is killing you, but you smile your Golgate smile and listen to the same story the umpteenth time. Shopping by hook or by crook nerve-wrecking moments you can go home to safety. But first another can or bottle for the road. Getting home his still having a one man party. Some at this stage likes to hang on you. As if you are a cupboard and they a bloody hanger. But you keep your Colgate smile alive... And as you watch this John Travolta, Bruce Lee, float like a butterfly sting like a bee Tyson,, your heart tears little by little because you love him, and you keep quiet and you try to hold your pieces together. So you smile wider laugh harder and pray soft, "God please let let him stop..." You learned a long time before that: "this is my last glass then i am done..." always ends with the bottle finished. So you don't get high hopes anymore you know the outcome. In your knotted gut you know there's a problem. Yet you keep on smiling. Because by now you have heard it all. "i don't drink that much, i only had so many glasses yesterday" "i can stop whenever i want to" or "you want me to stop and become angry the whole time again" manipulating you, yes you know it and you allow it.. They manipulate you into deciding either one a attention seeking drunk or the other an angry ogre finding fault with everything and everyone. So you keep quiet and go down the drunken river... because you love him.
So how do you help someone you love with a drinking problem?? Alcohol abuse and addiction is also known as "alcohol use disorder" it doesn't just affect the person drinking - it affects their families and loved ones too. Watching it happen can be as heartbreakingly painful as it is frustrating. Witnessing them drinking and the deterioration of your relationship can trigger many distressing emotions, including shame, fear, anger and self-blame. It can be so overwhelming that it seems easier to ignore it and to pretend that nothing is wrong. But in the long run denying it will only bring harm to you, them and every one involved. It is important to remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Reality is that millions of people, from every social class, race, background, and culture is battling the same battle. While you can't do the hard work of overcoming addiction for them, your patience, love, and support can play a crucial part in there long-term recovery. There's no specific amount that indicates someone has an alcohol use disorder. Rather it's defined by how drinking affects them, there, personality, and of course emotionally. In these difficult times of the global pandemic,, economical uncertainty, and high unemployment, many people are drinking more than they used to in an attempt to relieve stress. Easy to understand, but not less of a concern. Consuming alcohol to lessen stress or to avoid feeling bad, may be a sign of a problem or is fast becoming a problem. Ask these questions to yourself and answer honostly : DO they neglect their responsibilities?? Often binge drink or drink more than they intended to?? Lie or try covering up just how much they had?? Black our or can't remember what they said when drunk?? Spiteful drinking? they see they are causing problems yet continue to do so... Use alcohol to self medicate, they can't cope stressed depressed?? Remember no matter what colour the alcohol is it can become a problem!! If you recognize the warning signs. They have a problem and your first step is to learn as much as possible about alcohol abuse. The different treatments that is available is vital. Talking to them You may have concerns they might get angry, lash out, or simply deny. In fact it's quite a usual response so be prepared for it and push through. While it's important to be open and honost about your concerns, you need to remember you can't force them. They have to decide on their own they want to Stop. Tips on timing the talk Choose a time when they aren't drinking and you're both calm and focused. Choose a place that's quiet and private and turn of the cellphones. Express yourself in a caring way, tell them about your worries over what the drinking is doing to their health. Your relationship don't let it come out as an ultimatume. Try to be neutral and compassionate rather than a judge or to shame them. Encourage them to tell you why they abuse alcohol. There can be many different factor but if they don't face them it's not going to help. And because "i want to" isn't a reason it's a way out. Be there... Don't expect them to overcome a drinking problem alone. They're going to need to depend on you for support, guidance and new coping skills to quit or cut back on their drinking. Sitting with them when they phone for help. Or make a concrete plan with them, detailing what changes they'll make and what your role would be in it. Your role doesn't end when they agree to get help. Recovery is an ongoing process, requiring time and patience. They don't magically become a different person once they're sober. In fact they'll face a whole new set of challenges. They will have to find new ways of living without alcohol, and tackle whatever led them to the alcohol abuse in the first place. While you can't shelter them from alcahol you can avoid drinking with or around them. Help them address the problems that led to the drinking. Don't enable the them, helping means holding them responsible for their behavior, not taking over their responsibilities. Letting them maintain their sense of importance and dignity. Prepare for relapses but don't blame yourself. Help them to plan how to avoid triggers, deal with alcohol cravings and cope in social situations where there's pressure to drink. But ultimately only they are responsible for their sobriety. All you can do is encourage them to recommit to overcoming their drinking problem and support them as they try again. They will get there, with your help. In short 1. Know what alcoholism is. 2. Approach with care 3. Open the lines of communication 4. Find out the underlying cause 5. Don't offer an Ultimatum 6. Avoid being a trigger 7. Do not enable their addiction 8. Ask for help if you aren't sure about yourself 9. Be supportive 10. Seek professional help if needed. You aren't Alone... Written by Toni🪔