Living with a drunk is no fun.
Anyone who does, knows how you walk on egg shells around them all the time in case they flair up.
The mood swings are out of control and you fear saying anything - as you are constantly on guard about what is going to ' go down' next.
Taking advantage. BOY do they take advantage.
Zero appreciation. Nothing you do is right.
Me Me Me attitude all the time and not a moments thought for you and what you are going through.
It doesn't even enter their thoughts.
Yet they do not see it.
They WILL NOT see it - because they do not want to. It is easier to open another bottle and swig away.
Running away into a bottle is a cowards way of living. It is not coping with lifes problems, it is causing and creating them.
The cycle goes around and around and just gets worse.
They fear looking at the cause.
They fear facing it.
They make jokes to hide the seriousness of it.
They can be great fun with some people - or first class assholes with others - and sadly - it is usually those closest - those who show the most care - the most worry - the most concern, who receive the most disgraceful attitude.
Nothing you do is right.
You get bitched for anything and everything.
Yet without you - THEY ARE LOST.
Oh they will NEVER - EVER - admit it - and will deny adamantly, and when you leave, when deserted and ' abandoned' they have free reign to do and drink as much and as often as they like and generally - ' fuck you.'- and the only one here who is really in danger - really fucked up and really alone and ALL alone as more pull away and 'abandon' - is the drunk.
So they have another drink to stop the pain of the thoughts running around in their head.
It will ALL be your fault and never theirs.
They live in denial.
They REFUSE to believe anyone who tells them they are a drunk - a lush - a boozer - an alcoholic - and they loose many friends in the meantime - except - other heavy drinkers. They seem to have a radar for others who just prop each other up with pathetic excuses.
It kills and destroys.
Other people who care - and try and help - are eventually abused one too many times and walk away.
They have to.
They do so to protect themselves.
The drunk may be on a downward spiral of booze leading to a sad and pathetic end - but many of us do not wish to be dragged down as well - thank you very much.
And when we walk away - this is often seen as abandonment even though they caused and created it.
Then they have another drink to get over you walking away.
You go because their drunkeness is now affecting your life, your job, your relations - and walking sometimes is the only way for you to survive. Otherwise what is the option:- You being pulled down with them. You loosing your job, your home, your friends and family as the more the drunk misbehaves, the more people will pull away and if you choose to stay - and maybe make excuses for them - then you are a feeder. A supplier. A person who is helping this drunk feed his/her habit. You are as much to blame, if not more, than the drunk themselves.
They have an illness.
You are now supplying - rather than helping.
That makes you an assistant to their drunkeness. Even if you never touch the stuff yourself.
You may do this because you love them - need them - want them - think you have it under control - and are to scared to say or do anything or rock the boat. You know how volatile drunks can be. You know how violent and agressive they can be. You know it is not worth causing a row as when drunk, you will not get through - you will not be heard, you will cause a mighty barney and it will not end well for you. You know this - from experience.
You will never win with a drunk.
They do not see clearly.
If it happens once, believe me, no amount of apologies and swearing it will not happen again, is true - as you know inside that it is just a matter of time. A matter of something happening - or not happening - as no real excuse is ever needed - and ANY excuse will do.
This lockdown is a perfect excuse.
A Coping Alcoholic friend turned really agressive with me and everything was my fault. This went on for weeks in lockdown. It was awful to live through. I had my own worries - lockdown - closed business - no income but money and savings flooding out - and not a single gesture - not a single thought and not even a single consideration to what I was going though and all the while, having to cope with an agressive drunk in lockdown.
Many - maybe thousands - will be in lockdown with an agressive drunk, so know what I am saying is accurate.
Many will suffer abuse in this manner.
Many will suffer and be scared for life.
You have your own problems and having that heaped on top on a 24/7 basis, leaves little room for a healing space - an avenue to encourage change - and a way out of the mess.
My sister and her baby both died of alcoholism.
She was 38 - the baby was just under 2 years old.
Born in an alcoholic syndrome - and needing a heart and lung transplant she never got.
Her Mother, my sister, - we could not see what was going on for her at the time. We were not as sympathetic as we could - maybe should have been. She saw her own baby die and buried and within 6 months, was dead herself.
We really could have done more. But from past experience, the whole family had pulled away - not wanting anything to do with her and I was alone in trying, trying and trying to help - and was pushed away one too many times to stay and help, and she really was - abandoned to her own devices.
A tragic - TRULY tragic, ending for a beautiful fashion model Bluebell Girl.
It just goes to show that - even stunningly beautiful people with the world at their feet - as my sister had for most of her life - die with nothing and no one.
And it is available at 3/4/2 in Tesco as soon as you walk in the door.
A deadly drug
A drug that kills millions every year - destroys millions more on the peripheral
Makes me cry just to write about it here yet was 30 years ago.
You never get over it, not really.
The waste of a life.
Drugs really are not the problem they are painted out to be.
Look at many town centres on a Saturday night.
Alcohol is the problem - the BIG problem - and all legal and allowed.
Socially acceptable in most walks of life.
Yes ultimately deadly.
It costs the NHS multi millions a year - and is avoidable.
Children with cancers often cannot get the correct medication because of funding problems.
The elderly cannot get decent care because of - yet again - funding issues.
Yet drunks waste hundreds of millions of NHS money every weekend with the police and NHS wasting hours and hours coping with the violence and the mess these drunks leave in their wake - and we all know how children with cancer are more needy of the money the NHS has than drunks.
Yet it is an illness.
My sister was told over and over about not drinkling while pregnant and she always stated adamantly that she wasn't.
Clearly she was.
Noone was more heartbroken than she.
Yet we could not see this as her emotions were so shot - so foggy with booze, that we could not register her pain at all, just a blank expression - as if she didn't know what was going on.
We were naive and we didn't do enough.
We were shell shocked from so many years of it.
We simply didn't have the energy any more.
So - she really was left to her own devices which - looking back - she couldn't cope, yet she had pushed everyone away and found herself in the most awful, pathetic and desperately DESPERATELY sad situation of living I had ever seen.
Alcohol destroyed her life - and almost destroyed everyone she touched.
That was decades ago and although under recent lockdown it has been hard being with a coping alcoholic, it has been desperately hard.
And not a single thought for what anyone else was going through.
That - is an alcoholic.
That - is why I do not drink
That - is what is happening all over thew world and is legal and taxed.
Hypocricy at its best.
Living with a drunk is no fun.
and English Speaking Continental Europe
John. I was a drunk for over 30 years.
I ended up with nothing.
Joined the AA and went through the 12 step programme. Bit heavy at first. Bit spiritual for me, but I kept with it. Worked wonders.
I have now been 16 years dry and going from strength to strength but believe me, is a day to day thing even still. I still yearn for a drink and I still yearn for that feeling, but know it is a one way street downwards.
Thanks John. Walter.
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John: Thanks for the piece about alcoholics. Made me cry. My wife died 15 years ago. She fell down stairs drunk and smashed her head on the banistairs. I found her some hours later when I got home from work. She lived for 2 weeks in a coma but the alcohol in her system stopped any healing - and nothing was working - and she died. She was 43. No one understood. No one had a clue. She was good at hiding it. Only I knew. No one believed me. She was such a good actress.
It hurt the children deeply. Our daughter has never forgiven her and while I tell her it was an illness, she keeps saying ' self inflicted' - and does not understand how deep it goes into the psyche. I really felt your poain in writing about your sister. I really did have a little ball of my own.
Sad times John bring up sad occasions. I hope you are through the worst of it now you are re open. I also hope your drunk friend gets some help soon. Clive J.
I was not a drunk. I had many problems. A drink at the end of the day helped.
But that drink became 2 - then 3 - then a crate.
My boyfriend dumped me. I lost my job. While drinking, I became HIV Positive. Careless and stupid. Self hate and self blame. Getting HIV was the wake up call. At The Kobler Centre one day I broke down. The nurse was excellent. She guided me to seeking help in the main hospital. Plus the AA - and the 12 step programme really helped and awoke my inner voice that spoke kindly to me instead of what I had been hearing before.
Three times a week I visited the local Alcaholics Anonymous ( AA ) and 3 times a week I left each session in floods of tears - but it worked - one magical day - it all seemed to come together and I have not drunk now in 18 years, 3 months and 6 days - at the time of e mailng this.
Your piece was excellent John and I felt your inner pain for what you have been through.
My Mother and Father were both drunks. My brother and I were so use to it we thought it was normal,
As kids we moved to Guernsey because the drink was cheaper. Mother spent her days with a glass in her hand and rarely left the house. Father provided well for us from a private family trust he was left so we always had a good lifestyle, if no parenting skills, no love, no affection, no care, no attention and no guidance for us kids at all. It was as if we were not even there most of the time and we looked after each other and let Mother and Father get on with their own thing.
Mother eventualy fell down stairs and broke so many things, that in hospital it was pathetic. Nothing was healing. Huge swellings where her legs were 4 times the size and her broken bones simply would not heal. She died a month after the fall aged 42. Father couldn't cope after that - and he took his own life 18 months later.
We kids were 14 and 16 at the time. Abandoned by our parents for booze.
An aunt took us in and she was a good Christian woman who would not allow booze in the house and this was a new one on us. Looking back, we were saved.
However, my brother would go onto being a drug / drink / gambling / sex and work addict and he also killed himself with too much vodka by the time he was 35.
I do not drinl or do drugs. I do not gamble and have an addictive personality in that I love to chatter with people, but other than that, having seen it so close at hand and the damage it does to families and all legal, I now speak out against at any invitation. Well done for your editorial John. It did make me cry. It did make me remember, It did take me back and with a heavy heart I write this to you. Thanks John. Tim C.
I got into trouble while working part time in a Threshers Wine store in Eastbourne years ago for talking to a young women and asking if she thought she had bought enough vodka that week and did she really need it. I had witnessed her decline in the few months I worked there and she was only my age - mid 20's and bought 12 bottles of vodka in 12 days and I spoke up after her Mother came in with a picture of her daughter and asked if we knew her and if so could we please stop serving her as she was killing herself. The management refused to help her as it lost them business and that's when I spoke up as that attituide - money above all else - was appalling and I complained, spoke up LOUDLY in front of customers against management, and walked out disgusted. They didnt give a damn and continued serving this women until just a few weeks later her Mother returned to say she was dead.
John: After living with my partner for 2 years I noticed the drink was a problem. I managed to live a further 4 years with this drunk abusive man and when away on business one time for a week, I left him to his own devices. I returned after the week to find he had falled between the bed and the wall and could not get out and had - the experts thing - lain there for some time in a coma before dying. Alcohol was the cause of death, liver had packed up and he had been there for 4 days dead by the time I returned and found him. A sad ending for a lovely man brough down by his desperate need for booze. The desperation I went through when I found him,. screaming for help, 999 and waiting an age for the ambuklance - seemed an age. I held him in my arms still stuck n]between the bed and the wall and he as clearly dead, and I will never get ove
r the pain of finding him in such a manner, but know he is best off where he is as life was turning very sour for him and I would not have managed much more. sad. Desperately sad. And all legal.