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Posted by: Concerned wife | 2012/02/01

Scared and confused

Hi CS. I hope 2012 is being good to you so? I had really hoped that 2012 would be my year after the hell I went through in 2011 but it seems that''s not to be.

Last night my husband confessed to me that he is an alcoholic. I am terrified! I am so scared of the unknown. He is going for an assessment and will be booking himself into a facility for 3 weeks. He won''t go to AA as he says he needs to be admitted so he can dry out. I don''t know what to tell my children as they idolize their father and would never have known or suspected. He never gets abusive or drinks till he passes out, but he says he can''t get through a day without drinking (beer only) as this helps him to cope with his job and the associated stresses of his job and life I''ve never seen his drinking as problematic but we went through the AA checklist and he answered yes to 18 of the 20 odd questions so I guess there is no denying it. He also uffers from depression and has always had a very low self esteem How do i tell my children? How do I get through this while trying to support him? I am so scared.

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Our expert says:
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Well, let's not conclude that 2012 won't be your year, just because January wasn't your month !
Sounds like your husband has made a very sensible step in facing alcoholism and admitting to himself and to you that he has a problem, and seeking proper expert help. AA alone wouldn't help -- he neds a professional ssess ment and advice first, and help to dry out for a start, though AA may then help him to say sober ( the next essntial step ). Also, he should arrange to see a CBT style psychologist / counsellor who can help him deal better with the stresses he has been experiencing, and to learn alternatives to a beer to relax and cope. The counsellor can also help him to repair his self-esteem, and both the counsellor and the shrink can help treat his depression. This could produce a great improvement which would benefit all of you,
Don't panic. Your support will be imporant but doesn't require much more than supporrt and love, both of which you are already good at.
ANd I fully endorse Maia's excellent comments. There;s no value in continuing to argue nwith yourslf as to whether or not he is alcoholic just because he doen't match the particular stereotyped image you have f how an alcoholic would be.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Concerned wife | 2012/02/02

Thanks Maria. I have mailed you.

Reply to Concerned wife
Posted by: Maria | 2012/02/02

I have it in electronic format. You can mail me on csforummaria at gmail dot com

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Concerned wife | 2012/02/02

Thanks Maria. I''m going to see if I can get my hands on the book. I''ll keep you and CS informed of the progress with hubby. I just hope I am strong enough to walk beside him through this dark cloud.

Reply to Concerned wife
Posted by: Maria | 2012/02/02

" I''ve lost the will to smile" ... yup, very accurate and concise description.

I''m reading a fascinating book called " Why am I still depressed"  by a psychiatrist called Jim Phelps, which deals among other things with why some people respond to anti-depressants for a while and then they stop working. Your husband MUST go back to his psychiatrist.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Concerned wife | 2012/02/02

Yes Maria - he is seeing a Pshyciatrist, who has given him Cilift, Aspen-Trazadone and Xanor, and there was a huge improvement with the depression, but about 3 months ago, I started to notice a backslide, and have been telling him he needs to go back and see her again. He also realizes that the drinking combined with the tablets is not working, but seems convinced that if he can stop the drinking, he will be OK again on the depression side. I''ll give him the benefit of the doubt and see how his depression is after the treatement. I think his own words " I''ve lost the will to smile"  says it all.

Reply to Concerned wife
Posted by: Maria | 2012/02/02

Is he getting treatment for his depression at all? He may be self-medicating with alcohol, it''s not unusual.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Concerned wife | 2012/02/02

Thank you Maria for your encouraging words. I have to admt this is a HUGE step for him to admit it, as it''s so out of charachter for him. He is a very quiet, patient and private man, so I understand how hard this must have been for him. I admire him so much for having admitted something so taboo, but I am just so afraid........can he really be an alcoholic when he never gets drunk, never has to drink hard tac, never hides his liquor, never sits in bars, is home most of the time etc etc? Is it possible that I could not have known or suspected?

Reply to Concerned wife
Posted by: Maria | 2012/02/01

Tell your children that their father is a strong and brave man who has the guts to admit that he has a problem, and to walk the difficult road of dealing with that problem. The example that he is setting can make a huge difference to them later on in life - they are learning the value of honesty, integrity and bravery. Because make no mistake, telling you about his alcoholism and booking himself into rehab are probably two of the most difficult things he has done in his life. I hope you all find the strength and wisdom to get through this, and come out stronger on the other side.

Reply to Maria

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