Friday, 11 June 2010

The Habit of Binge Drinking

This is a quick update. For the time being things are going OK. I almost walked out though. Jane had a binge about three weeks ago and I decided to leave as I said I would. I inspected properties to move into (rental) and paid a deposit. Then I backed out!

When tested I just find it impossible to live alone anymore. I have lived alone a lot and I find I get depressed. Simple as that.

On balance it is better with Jane and she seems to be getting better, which, if I am honest, I did not expect.

It is a joint effort really. She does drink a bit still but at the moment the binges are much less often and things are more manageable.

I have constantly pushed her to stop. But what I think is the defining influence at the moment in her possible improvement is not me (although I think I play a part) but the fact that her health seems to be affected. Her memory is less good. If this is due to alcoholism and I am not sure it is, it is worrying for us both. On the upside it is a great motivator to stop binging.

They say that drinking is a disease. That may be so but I sometimes think that it is simply a habit - a very bad habit and a habit that is so entrenched that it is an addiction. We can cultivate bad and good habits. Are very well entrenched habits addictions? I think they are.

If I am correct then alcoholics can unlearn the addiction to booze by gradually over many months and years develop fresh and good habits that supersede the destructive ones.

I believe that the cultivation of better drinking habits takes as long as it takes to cultivate bad habits (effectively alcoholism). Patience, perseverance and consistency will get you there and Jane is showing some of that at the moment.

We have had some terrible rows. These must stop and are stopping as they are destructive of the relationship.

I live day by day and see where it takes me. I hope that I can stay but may well have to go despite my fear (almost) of living alone.

10 comments:

  1. I'm wondering why you continue to stay with her?

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  2. Answer to above comment/question.

    I stay because overall it is the best for me and I think her too. I also love her. We have a real connection but the alcoholism breaks it all the time and causes stresses.

    That said I am far from perfect but this blog is about me as a victim of Jane's alcoholism.

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  3. I think I'm an alcoholic female as well and I know I'm difficult to deal with at times. The worst thing that happens is if I drink too much I will wet the bed. It is so embarrassing and I am ashamed. Alcohol is so hard to quit, but it can definitely be done. I don't think you should offer her bribes at all but just keep confronting her about it so she realizes the severity of the problem... I'm sure you do, but if she knows you will always be there to take care of her, she has no incentive to quit really.

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  4. Once I was close to an alcoholic and I experienced her DTs even though I did not drink. Do you ever experience Jane's DTs?

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  5. Hi, response to last comment. The answer is YES. She goes through terrible DTs and is often hospitalised after a binge

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  6. Maybe I was not clear. Did you have her symptoms? Did you shake and hallucinate even though you were not the one coming down off a binge? I did.

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  7. Hi, response to last comment. No, I don't have any symptoms at all. I like a drink of wine to chill out but I am not alcoholic or anywhere near it. When I first found out Jane was alcoholic about 3 months into our relationship, I was shocked and I learned over the next 5 years how alcoholics operate. I have been with her for 15 years! I consider myself to be a totally "normal" person - whatever that means.

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  8. First, thank you for posting this, it's helpful to share experiences both for yourself and those of us reading. Secondly, no judgment intended but I think you're nuts for staying. I've lived alone a good portion of my life including now, and although it can get a bit lonely, it's MUCH better than trying to live in a bad situation. In fact, I've never felt MORE lonely than when lying in bed next to someone who is abusive to me after we've had an argument. I hope things work out better for you, whether or not you stay.

    Now I have a question. You said in one of your entries from a few years ago that someone can be a VERY heavy drinker yet not be an alcoholic. What is the difference?? I'm asking because I have a group of friends that contains 2 functioning binge-drinkers. I dated one of them for a few months, not realizing his problem at first, and it was his abusive behavior when drunk and inability to drink in moderation that brought the end to our relationship. The other is someone of whom I am VERY fond, but would never date for several reasons. I've never lived with him, so I don't know if he drinks in secret or at any hour of the day, but I DO know that he often gets falling down drunk, starts fights in bars, feeds me a ton of compliments then rejects me, etc. He also was recently arrested for his SECOND DWI in less than 5 years. I also know (from my own experience and that of one other woman) that despite being only 30 years old and physically fit he is impotent which I can only assume is due to the alcohol abuse. They don't call it "whiskey d*ck" for nothing! So here's my question: isn't this behavior a form of alcoholism also? I mean, I don't think a person has to be one who sneaks drinks on a daily or semi-daily basis or takes bottles to bed for days-long binges to be considered alcoholic, do they? If the drinking is creating problems in their daily lives and relationships, isn't that alcoholism? And if not, then what is it?

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  9. Hi, this is my response to the last comment. Thanks for such a good comment. I answer from experience. The behavior of an alcoholic and a heavy drinker can be similar. But the difference is in the head of the drinker.

    The alcoholic must drink having lost control of it. His or her brain sends the signal and he or she acts. They have "crossed the wire".

    The other drinker can still stop. They have control over their drinking but chose to drink heavily. They are heading towards the wire but have not yet crossed it.

    The difference is fine. The behavior is similar. But if you have crossed the wire you can never go back and your life is changed for ever. All you can do is control the urge day by day. Whereas a non alcoholic can ease back and modify drinking behavior as he should because he is heading towards alcoholism.

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  10. I can't understand a complete blog dedicated yo someone else's alcoholism. Working so hard on it. The constant hand-wringing, the noodling around with sympathizers.

    You don't realize that you're all ENABLERS. You're ENABLING these people by continually taking them back. You're ENABLING them to think that somehow they can keep fucking up yet you'll still be there. It's almost Munchausen's by Proxy. You're vampires, the lot of you. Sucking their emotions and failures like blood, to keep yourselves going on your Misery Train.

    The first mistake you make is seeing your "loved one's" infrequent lapses into semi-sobriety as a sign that they can, if they want, control their drinking. It's only that they don't want. So they "fail." But then they get better.

    You're so close to it that you just can't see it. They will NEVER be able to drink normally. Their infrequent forays into sobriety are pathetic responses to physically not being able to drink because they feel so physically nauseated from their last binge.

    Why am I saying all this? Because I've been them. I've done almost everything they've done, at some point.

    Here's what you do: separate from them immediately. Order them to stop drinking PERMANENTLY or you will never see them again. I don't care for AA but there are hundreds of ways to stop drinking. I've been alcohol-free for five months after 35 years of heavy drinking by my own willpower. No programs. I set up a blog where I invited like-minded people to join. They are my support group. I don't even know some of them.

    Not a drop for five months, but there isn't a limit. I will never drink again. The moment you allow that you MIGHT drink again is the moment you set yourself up to drink. The ONLY WAY is to never drink another drop for any reason whatsoever for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    If you can't set yourself up to do that, you are doomed. And you as their partners/relatives/friends might as well resign yourselves to more of the same until the person finally drinks themselves into the grave.

    Your choice.

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I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.