Addicted to him

I haven’t written in a while because something always “comes up”. My life has become completely unpredictable and, as someone who values planning, I hate this. I’ve been seeing a counsellor – I’ve tried a few actually – to try and make sense of things. She said the most useful and honest thing that I’ve ever been told:

“You’re addicted to him.”

It works on a number of levels. I’m addicted to getting him sober. I’m addicted to saving him. I’m addicted to taking responsibility for him. And, I don’t know if I can ever leave him.

At first it was easy to discount or ignore this as it didn’t fit with my view of myself. I always thought that if I didn’t do whatever needed doing he wouldn’t and we’d both suffer the consequences. Consequences are frankly terrifying. Him getting sacked (again), getting evicted, having the gas or electricity disconnected, him being thrown out of recovery groups (again) or even jail were all circling in my mind. They often still are. However, I’m slowly learning that these are his consequences, and whatever he chooses to do with them, even if it involves me, are still his choices. I’ve never poured alcohol into his mouth, that is always his choice.

I’m starting to detach a little. I know it’s not my responsibility to remind him to go to work etc. It has surprised me how difficult it is even to make such small changes but they are incredibly important. I am gaining confidence and independence almost every day. I plan to keep moving forward by trying not to lose track of who I am and what’s important to me. I’m about to complete a masters degree in biology and I am flabbergasted that I’m still on track for a first despite everything else that’s going on in my life.

I thought I had to be a carer. I now realise that I don’t have to, and it isn’t healthy for me to be one. It’s not my job to look after him. For now at least, I need to look after me.

 

Finding my voice

I have finally allowed myself to take my life off hold.

My name is Claire, and I’m an alcoholic (‘s girlfriend).

For almost a year now, I’ve felt powerless and isolated; hurt and angry; terrified and silenced.

I am NOT an alcoholic but at times I wish I were.

Let me start at the beginning. I live with my boyfriend of almost six years and he is an alcoholic. I had no idea at the start of our relationship that he was an alcoholic. I’m not sure he did either. I knew that he drank a little too much, but he didn’t match the description of an alcoholic that I had been shown by the media. He was a fantastic student, with a loving family, plenty of money and a bright future.

Unfortunately, anxiety got in the way and he started turning to alcohol more and more. The drinking became a coping mechanism. Then, at some indistinguishable point, he became unable to stop.

I’m writing this blog to share MY recovery.

I want to share tips, experiences and anecdotes that are allowing me to cope with his disease. WE, the loved ones of an alcoholic, are often damaged and without hope.

I have finally allowed myself to take my life off hold. I refuse to lose any more time.

I hope that this blog can be useful for others. I have scoured the internet searching for resources to help me to survive and have been infuriated and frustrated that I haven’t found any. I used to feel angry that this person who had hurt me was receiving help and that myself, his VICTIM, was always turned away. I want to stop feeling like a victim and stop aiming to just survive. I want to LIVE.