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me and alcohol have ruined my family

(1000 Posts)
jesuswhatnext Mon 31-May-10 12:32:34

title says it all really - i really cocked up last night, dh walked out, i cant remember what i said to him sad

today i have actually been in touch with AA but i think its all too late, my dd hates me, as does my parents, yes im feeling sorry for myself right now but i also know i have to change and stop drinking but dont know how.

what can i do to put things right? help me!

MIFLAW Tue 01-Jun-10 18:26:14

BTW Trappedinsuburbia

"I tend to binge drink and quite often it ends in horrendous fights with my dp (he's left a few times). My ds misses out on doing stuff at the weekend as im too hungover.

I was thinking about AA as well, don't know if i'll have the guts to go though or if my problem is bad enough."

How bad do you WANT it to be? It's bad enough when you say so. If that's not yet, just keep doing what you're doing, because I absolutely promise you it is going to get worse. Just give it time.

Or you could face up to it now.

I went to AA when I was about 28. When I hear the older guys sharing that they "came in" when they were 40, or 50, I think to myself, "how brave you must have been." Because my drinking was already a shambles when I was 28, yet there was no way I could have stopped unaided. The thought of another 10 or 20 years of the same - or, more probably, progressivley worse - fills me with terror, even now.

Be nice to yourself and don't let that be you. It's never too late, but it's never too early either.

jesuswhatnext Tue 01-Jun-10 18:28:35

thanks miflaw - btw - is it significant that the 'pot' for money is an old pewter tankard?

jesuswhatnext Tue 01-Jun-10 18:31:47

i keep reliving the way my dd looked at me yesterday, the pain and hurt in her eyes is unbearable sad, it fills me with shame to think that i caused that sad she is still refusing to come home.

MIFLAW Tue 01-Jun-10 18:38:21

You have probably been getting on your daughter's nerves for some time now - don't expect it to be sorted overnight. But do be reassured that stopping drinking and taking action to stay stopped is the single biggest thing you can do toy put things right, so just be patient and give time time. She will learn to trust you again.

The pewter tankard has significance for that group, I'm sure - but it isn't a standard thing. In AA's early days they literally "passed the hat" - some groups have bags, some just use a plastic cup.

The real significance is that you remember what it's for and pull your weight to the best of your abilities. For many of us, that pound (or 50p, or even a handful of shrapnel) is the first time in a long time where we have attempted to carry ourselves instead of sponging off those around us.

BTW where are you? I'm in South East London.

maryz Tue 01-Jun-10 18:41:44

Jesus, just a thought - is she afraid to come home because she thinks you are making this effort because she is refusing to come home? Does she think that the minute she comes back you will relax and go back to the way you were?

If there is any truth at all in that, then maybe allow her to stay where she is for the moment. Get through a bit more first. Then if things go wrong she is less likely to blame herself.

I have a friend whose mother regularly gave up drinking when they put their feet down. As soon as they "forgave" her, she started again, so they blamed themselves even more.

This hard work is for you. In the end it will benefit her, but you are doing it for you. Keep remembering that.

jesuswhatnext Tue 01-Jun-10 19:01:48

i'm in suffolk

maryz - you are proberbly right, the poor kid has not had an easy time of it lately and i understand that she needs a rest from me sad i just want to give her her home back iyswim.

jesuswhatnext Tue 01-Jun-10 21:27:57

right, am off to bed now, had a bit of dinner, no wine smile, so day 2 is nearly over and i made it through - am going to AA tomorrow, feel almost pleased with myself.

MIFLAW Tue 01-Jun-10 23:42:04

Don't feel almost pleased.

Feel really pleased.

By the time you get to your next meeting, assuming no mishaps, you will be nearly three days sober.

Even as I write this, there are people phoning AA helplines all over the world who cannot even imagine what three days sober feels like.

I know because once I was one of them.

To those people you are half hero, half god and, in some ways, more inspiring that people like me who have been sober for a long time (they think we must be freaks or were never proper alkies in the first place.)

So feel very pleased and proud and, one day at a time, stick at it.


jesuswhatnext Wed 02-Jun-10 09:42:50

hope people don't mind me keep using this thread but is is helping!

ok, so begins day 3 - got up very positive, sorted out kitchen, put some washing out then , oh shit, my dm calls, she is coming round to see me to talk, what that means is that she will talk at me for a bit, point out all my shortcomings and failings etc, tell me its all my own fault and then leave.

then i get a call from work, very important that i go to a networking event tonight (this is important, we are struggling as a business and other people rely on me to try and get new business in)

shit shit shit

now have a massive fucking headache and my stomach is churning

miflaw, if you are there please come and talk!

owlets Wed 02-Jun-10 09:44:39

Well done JWN, and as Miflaw said, you deserve to feel really pleased with yourself.
Are you going to another meeting today? I think swamping yourself in them at the start is a really good idea. I can't manage one a day, but do go as much as possible.
I'm still sending you positive thoughts

DameGladys Wed 02-Jun-10 10:05:59

Tell your DM not to come. You can say NO you know.

If it's too late and she turns up then just answer the door with your coat on and say you've been called urgently somewhere, eg work.

At all costs do not sit and listen to someone denigrate you. You're doing so well, you don't need unnecessary obstacles thrown in your way.

jesuswhatnext Wed 02-Jun-10 10:16:16

thanks - yes owlets i AM going to a meeting today, at 12.30 so its going to be fresh in my mind as i get on the train later (yet another 'trigger' for me, i always have a drink, there and back blush

damegladys - yes i can say no usually its just at the moment i feel as weak as a kitten and almost have a need to be made to feel as awful as possible as thats what i deserve iyswim, it may sound totally stupid but i cant help it sad

MIFLAW Wed 02-Jun-10 10:27:27

I'm here - am I too late?

Networking event - the ideal is probably not to go. You don't need the pressure or the temptation.

However, we don't live in an ideal world, so, assuming you do have to go (and I mean HAVE to go - the world doesn't stop turning while you're asleep, you know!) ...

1) DON'T PROJECT. It's tonight, not now. Worry about it then, not now.

2) Locate the nearest meeting and make sure you know how to get there. You might only make the beginning or the end - you might not go at all. Knowing where it is will help keep you calm.

3) In the same vein, make sure you have the phone number of an AA friend in your phone. You may never call, but having it available will help you. If no -one else comes to mind, I will give you mine.

4) AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE, get yourself either a tonic water or a ginger ale and do not let it go all night. Nor will you let it get even close to empty. That's your drink and, if anyone asks, it's a scotch and soda/gin and ginger/G&T/whatever you want it to be.

5) Stay for the miniimum amount of time, leave, and go straight home or go to a meeting (even the end of one.)

6) If you feel tempted in any way at any point, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Plead a migraine, a sick au pair, a bomb in your street and GET OUT. You've been, you've done your bit - now take care of you. You can always go back if a walk round the block puts things right.

My sobriety date is 16 December. Within the first fortnight, I felt I "had" to go to the pub twice. It was not ideal and I wouldn't recommend it - but I didn't drink. Because i followed advice similar to the above.

Good luck.

MIFLAW Wed 02-Jun-10 10:29:26

Ditto for your mother's visit, obviously. If all else fails, tell her you've got the shits and can't come to the door. If it works on bosses on Monday mornings, it'll work on your mother in sobriety ...

owlets Wed 02-Jun-10 10:40:44

Good, take the list you made about not drinking on the train too, so you can glance at it on the journey. Buy a cup of tea from the station to drink, and dont go in the buffet car. How long is the train ride? Can you access the internet on your phone? If so, read this thread afew times too. Also, take a book or a paper. Distract yourself!

will there be alcohol at this work function? If so, you will need to be very strong. taking a mental bashing from your DM before hand is not good preperation! Please don't allow it! If you really can't avoid going, go in positive. Read your AA literature, read your list, have an excuse for not drinking (driving later? medication?) hold a pen in one hand and a clutch bag in the other... anything to stop you mindlessly picking up a drink. concerntrate on doing the job you are obviously very good at! I went to a wedding last weekend after 5 days of not drinking. It wasn't easy, but I got through it, and the experience made me really proud.
Good luck.

jesuswhatnext Wed 02-Jun-10 10:42:54

no miflaw, you aren't too late smile thanks for the advice, i will take the numbers that where given to me yesterday, i can always scoot off to the loo and make a call - i don't want to go at all, the trouble is that other peoples jobs are one the line, not just mine and i do feel a responsibilty towards them

point 4 will be my mantra for this evening, it sounds totally sensible.

you have also given me another small sign that i have a 'guardian angel' my birthday is dec 16th smile

MIFLAW Wed 02-Jun-10 11:00:14

Glad to be able to help.

This is a big thing you're undertaking here and you can expect a few ups and downs along the way - but the good news is that you're not the first and you're not going it alone.

An important thing to remember is that the AA programme of recovery stresses "rigorous honesty". But that really seems to refer, especially at first, to the big type of honesty - not lying to yourself, being able to look yourself and others in the eye. If you have to tell a few white lies along the way - to colleagues, to your mother, even to your family - then don't feel bad. At this stage, the end justifies the means. Unless she's desperately ill, your mother can wait a few days to see you and, unless you want to tell them, your colleagues don't need to know you're not drinking today. Look after you.

Just to reiterate, the book "Living sober" (it's about 4 quid) is brilliant for this practical stuff - maybe buy it at today's meeting? You could even read it on the train tonight ...

ItsGraceAgain Wed 02-Jun-10 11:43:00

Big round of applause from me too, jwn
Be a little bit smarter than the booze, and you'll stay one step ahead. MIFLAW's advice is great. Know there is tons of sobriety support around you, all you have to do is reach for it. Please keep letting us know how you're going. x

maryz Wed 02-Jun-10 13:49:38

Get your dh to talk to your mother - she is not helping by making you feel bad. If she can't believe in you avoid her until you feel able to ignore her.

Work is a different kettle of fish, but you know this is more important than any job - do your best for your colleagues and get out. Follow MIFLAW's advice.

You can do it.

jesuswhatnext Wed 02-Jun-10 15:10:35

right, have been to meeting, am now suited and booted, my train is in half an hour.

the meeting was good, i feel quite energised by it even though i did have a good cry thereblush

i have got a couple of numbers to ring if i need them (these people are so kind) i am aslo going to buy the latest antique mag to read, its an interest that has lapsed and one that will do me no harm in picking up on again.

thanks again everyone for the support and advice.

if its not too late (time wise i mean) i will log on when i get home, if not i will be back tomorrow.

ItsGraceAgain Wed 02-Jun-10 15:25:20

Really great that you're picking up one of your interests, my love. The amount of time that gets wasted through drinking is incredible!

It's nice to find people truly are kind, isn't it

Looking forward to hearing how your thing went this evening.

LittleMissHissyFit Wed 02-Jun-10 18:16:55

Yeay! Stands on table and applauds jesus!
(never thought I'd say that grin)

YOU ARE AWESOME! Just look at you!

I am so pleased that you are so committed to this, and that you have some wonderful experienced help around you! Of course it's not going to be easy, you will undoubtedly feel some physical weirdness, but just push through them, they won't last. Are there any vitamins/supplements that can help? Is it worth going to the Dr about it?

Just one day at a time, it's all it takes.

Thinking of you!

mrswill Wed 02-Jun-10 21:14:58

Hi jesus - no advice to give really, but didnt want to read and not say you should be really proud of yourself for the steps your taking for you and your family.

My uncle was an alcoholic up until 8 years ago. It nearly tore his immediate and other family apart, due to his behaviour while drunk. He hasnt drunk for 8 years now, and I was so proud to see him at a family wedding recently with his family looking happy together. I wish you the very best.

jesuswhatnext Wed 02-Jun-10 23:11:23

hi, i'm back and SOBER grin

tired but pleased with myself, made a good few contacts aswell!

am going to bed now xxx

thanks so much everyone xxxxx

see you tomorrow!

ItsGraceAgain Wed 02-Jun-10 23:23:04

Brilliant. Now you KNOW you can do it!
Clever girl

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