Friday, 12 October 2012

An irrestable urge or an urge unresisted? Two kinds of withdrawal in my house

I mentioned in my bio that I live with two addicted people, my son and my husband. My husband's drug of choice is alcohol...legal, openly accepted, available within a stone's throw of almost every household. I have a love-hate relationship with alcohol. I really enjoy nice wine, a cocktail from time to time, and sharing bottles of overpriced champagne with my girlfriends...but I never ever drink it and I have never had any issues with drinking myself. I have had to virtually eliminate it from every aspect of my life for fear of waking the booze-dragon in my husband. Not sure how well that approach is working...but it's what I do.

Fifteen days ago my husband went on a 2 day booze / cocaine binge. He leaves the house, we never see it...he spent $610 on it, money we definitely didn't have to spare. This has happened four times in about 8  months, not to mention drinking to total obliteration 2-3 times per week. He hides it but knowing that he has been drinking is about as obvious as whether or not it's raining outside.

He has had alcoholism issues for more than 20 years I'm sure. I'm not exactly certain when it became an addiction though. Since the day I met him 27 years ago, he has never handled his booze like anybody else that I know. He never knew when to stop, he always acted or did something obnoxious, and he has always had at least one problematic interaction every time he has drank. He has been verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, dishonest, and many other things...Not very surprising that our son is in the place he is in when considering his father.

Two and a half years ago his mother and I sent him to treatment, it cost over $12000 (money we had to borrow to get him in) and he left after 35 days. Within one week of returning home he had relapsed. I made him sleep in the shed, I would not let him in the house...We did this nasty push/pull dance up until 15 days ago. Shame, resentment, lies - on both our sides, building up after every episode of drinking. His drinking doesn't fit a typical alcoholic pattern (if I even know what typical looks like...) but the damage is the same. He doesn't crave booze in a physical sense but he does use it regularly as a counteractive medicine for the pain and stress he feels. When he does drink, it is always awful and it always starts with and ends with lies. It has been nearly a year since I gave him more than $10 in a feeble attempt to control his access to booze. Oh, did I mention that he hasn't been able to hold a job down in years. He has started and quit (or been let go) from 3 different jobs this summer alone. The cycle is awful and it isn't helping our son, our marriage or his well-being.

Last night I had the distinct "pleasure" of watching the two men I  love more than anything both go through craving and withdrawal. I think my son hasn't used in a day or two, so he had awful mood swings, neck pain, sweats, nausea. I did my best to comfort him but I dared not say what I believe was actually going on. My husband, under pressure of watching his son go into withdrawal started to get agitated, combative, eating compulsively, and today he erupted with anger and nit-picking attacks on me and our son. This type of mood is always a precursor to a drinking binge. He made a promise to me 15 days ago, after the last binge to really work on sobriety. I have a really hard time believing him...but I desperately want to be able to believe in something, someone, somewhere, sometime...

So, given the different nature of the two addictions in my house, is one an irresistible urge and the other an urge unresistant, or are they both the same and which one are they? 

I truly want to move towards a place of understanding, compassion and strength...I don't want to fight what is a war I can never win. Why must I make sense of this when it's not even my problem to make sense of? Why don't I just pay attention to my own issues and stop letting them distract me from dealing with my own shit? Am I just as addicted to the addicts or and I just a casualty who has become sick over time?

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