Light at the end of the tunnel for anyone living with a loved one’s alcohol problem
Perfect Bound Softcover
Light at the end of the tunnel for anyone living with a loved one’s alcohol problem If your life has been brought down by a loved one’s drinking problem or affected by the family disease of alcoholism, then this book is for you. It reassures you that you are not alone and isolated; gives valuable information about alcohol; and, most importantly, shows you the way to a freedom from the effects of loving an alcoholic. As the partner of a recovering alcoholic, Anne honestly and frankly describes her journey through the haze of living with this problem. A trained couples counsellor, she analyses her own behavior and, in so doing, encourages you to face reality, along with giving you some tools to change your life, leading to serenity and, above all, hope for the future.
Twelve years ago I got emotionally involved with someone who had a drinking problem. As the relationship progressed I started to focus on thinking that I could change that person; that I could control his drinking; that I could make a difference and yes, admittedly, that I could cure him of the problem. Without fully realising how, my life became consumed with managing one crisis after another, denying disappointments, trying to hide embarrassments and feeling guilty for feeling so angry even to the point of thinking it would be preferable if he was dead. I lost myself and became absent from my own life in effect just like the person who is absent when drunk and, just like the drinker under the influence of the drug ethyl alcohol, addicted to the addict. Yes, I find that difficult to say as it seems too melodramatic and totally goes against my image of myself. I am an intelligent, creative, responsible, strong and caring woman and, definitely, not one who usually accepts unacceptable behaviour from others.
But alcoholism is a family disease and affects everyone around it. Don’t worry if, right now, you disagree with this statement, it took me a long time to contemplate it being a disease for the drinker never mind anyone else. Really, I didn’t know any of the facts about the drug and what it does physically, mentally and spiritually. In ignorance I had the stereotypical image in my mind of dishevelled, weather beaten old men, with maybe the odd token woman, who sat on the pavement, rheumy-eyed, clutching their bottles or waving their cans, gesticulating and ranting at invisible companions. If they hadn’t reached the gutter then certainly alcoholics were the sort of people who had to have a drink as soon as they woke up, went to the pub every day, slurred their speech and staggered about. The most important part of this image was my attitude towards them. I despised them, thinking them weak. I felt angry that they had let themselves get into such a state when they had a choice. They could have pulled themselves together! I know there are many people who think the same.
Maybe you recognise this description too but know it is false and you, too, are being affected by the amount someone you know, and maybe love, is drinking? Perhaps you are desperate to know what you can do about it; are stressed out and want to live a calm and peaceful life. We shall make sense of it together.
Firstly, I shall share my experience with you, my strength and hope for the future. You may recognise a lot of similar feelings and events and I always find it helps to know one is not alone. Then we’ll look at the facts surrounding alcohol. Separating the myths from the facts helped me to start detaching from the problem that didn’t belong to me and to focus on what was my responsibility. There are some practical tips to aid recovery but it is mostly about being willing to act in a different way ourselves whether the other person does or not. Also, we don’t have to do this alone as there are places to go and people that can help as well as good informative literature (see the appendices at the back). It’s about helping to stop the flow of misery and show by experience and example that changing your own behaviour (because that is all you can do) changes your own and others’ lives.
For something to change, change has to happen
When you change in a positive way you assist the whole of society. Does that sound too grandiose? Well, changing the habits of a lifetime by uncovering some of our coping mechanisms and ceasing to use these means we can live more genuinely, less defensively, subtly offering others hope that their lives can be different too
.We don’t live in isolation and how we behave directly and indirectly, affects everyone. If we live contentedly (that doesn’t mean we are happy all the time) and are at peace within we radiate, that rare gift, serenity.
Originally from Marlow, Buckinghamshire in England, Anne
trained and worked as a couple-counsellor with Relate for a
number of years after running her own businesses in the retail
sector. For the past twelve years, Anne has been living and
working in Ireland where she met her partner.
Also by the author: Has it all gone pear-shaped? How to build
better relationships by understanding why they can go wrong,
Morshead A/Munro J (2000), Veritas ISBN 1-85390-546-1
Perfect Bound Softcover