Monday, 2 February 2009

Learning How to Live

by atinirdosh

I feel (no, I know) that Jane has never rearly learned how to live. She has never learned from her mistakes. We improve our lives by learning from mistakes and avoiding them. We progress. I wonder if the lack of ability to learn how to live by learning from mistakes is a characteristic of alcoholics?

I have learned how to live. I understand how to live. But I am losing the strength to put into action what I know. Is this how a non-alcoholic gets to be stuck with an alcoholic?

When I am with Jane I sometimes feel that I am with a juvenile, a teenager. It is as if she is my daughter. This compels me sometimes to wrongly talk to her as my daughter. Is this arrested development in Jane because she has failed to learn from her mistakes and failed to learn how to live?

The quotes, below, came with the photograph, above, which is from a Flickr photographer -- atinirdosh. I hope she doesn't mind me publishing them here, they are apt.

It is not hard to learn more. What is hard is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong. ~Martin H. Fischer

The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue. ~Antisthenes

Past is always beautiful...but it is wise to understand our mistakes ...even wiser to not to be carried away with the feeling of repenting...but move ahead knowing that the learning and implementing scores higher than the mistake made earlier..

This photographer is very good. The photo is published under creative commons license:


  1. The part about that you know how to live....

    Please keep that.

    Hanging around people makes you like them, or them like you, depending on the chemistry.

    The best thing to do, imo is to leave (and you can pretend, just make it real for her).

    you have to almost do that so she can come to her senses; you spoiled her. I really can't see her turning around unless some drastic thing happens to her. So just do it. Maybe say something like you will put her up 'for old time sake' for a couple of months but after that bye bye (but don't show your face). Then see what happens.

    hope this helps, it's hard to compact thoughts in short paragraphs which is what i usually try to do so sorry so long of a post.


  2. My alcoholic (maybe someday I'll stop using the possessive pronoun) never learned how to live, nor basic life skills. He does have survival skills - that's getting people to take care of him and do things for him because he's helpless. I thought I could teach him to grow up when he was 27. Now, he still has no life skills and coping skills, and I can't keep expecting him to grow up in a hurry while the world crashes down around us (largely due to his actions). That is why I'm leaving. One reason, anyway. I know what you mean about feeling that she's your daughter. I've been the father to my alcoholic he never had - his father was completely overindulgent, and never taught him consequences of bad behavior. All I wanted was a partner to grow to with.

  3. hey, what is Jane up to tonight? Hey, like serious man, loosen up a bit. Jane needs cool friends, like me. too bad ur ovrseas though.

  4. omg, i thought what i said was worse. Oh it bothered me all day. i'm a girl, btw. And yes, the evil drink was there, although i'm proud i wasn't so insensitive, which sometimes happens.

  5. Hi Cosufferer, it is so good to get your feedback on this. We are in such a similar situation. Hey, I think we have to stay with our alcoholics just to keep the blogs going! Seriously, it is nice to hear from you on this as it is noticeable to me how childlike Jane is sometimes. She doesn't apply her mind to making life easier and better. She just stays with the same rubbishy methods.

  6. Hi Me, Thanks for the comment. Yeh, you're right, I need to loosen up a bit. Thanks for the advice.

  7. I came across your blog as I sit her crying, embarrassed, ashamed, helpless,wondering how, when, or if ever the love of my life, will finally stop drinking. She never remembers how much hurt and pain she causes when she drinks, she can only imagine what myself and my two teenage daughters go through. Between the worry,regrets,name calling, fear for safety of my family, my wives well is complete is not now as bad as it was 3 years ago but when she does drink the memories are strong, the hurt and pain that the past consumed is all the more present tonight...It just so happened I had a house full of guessed today..who now feel the effects of someone dear to me and them that has lost control of their life. I face a tuff decision tomorrow as she will wake up and realize that something is wrong but she wont remember what happen. Maybe if she saw her actions it would stop her? That I could hope for..but now I am faced with the reality of living with a women who I do not know...I see glipses of the women I married 18 years ago, but it is hard to remember the good times. Well thanks for letting me vent....I will return with an update and I am now a fan!!! sign C

  8. I worote this in response to an email demasnding a response from me that involves me doing something I can not in conscience do. It helped to write it. I recommend writing, so this blog is good. Please, protect yourselves and your families BEFORE you try to help the alcoholic. If they are good people they would want that.
    She told me to be brave and get off the fence today.

    Its not about being brave

    Its about knowing when to trust your own thoughts.

    Its not about being brave and strong. I was brave 4 years ago when this all started.

    Its about losing your own mind trying to find someone elses.

    Thats brave.

    Hanging in there when you know the ground has moved from under you. When you question your own conclusions.

    Over and over.

    Its about losing faith in yourself. Taking this to the rest of your life. That’s about love.

    Its about anger that this is happening and still she shouts at you and accuses you of not being brave.

    Of stealing her kids.

    This is what its like for all of us, watching her self destruct and not own it.

    Being blamed!

    This is why the kids cut off; but its not about them or me

    its about her.

    Always is!!

    She cant do it any other way, shes not strong enough.

    Or brave enough.


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