Still Fighting The Battle of the Booze

As many of you are already aware, I fell back into the alcohol pit last year, when my disability benefits were stopped and my depression and anxiety spiralled out of control. It's the only crutch I've ever really had during visits from the Black Dog, and this time I was suicidal to the point that I didn't care if I drank myself to death. I genuinely thought that my husband would be better off without the burden that I thought myself to be at the time. Things looked up in April though, when he found a job. He's still with that company and our financial worries are gone.

However, I'm still drinking. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place in some ways: I've always known that I have that kind of personality that is prone to addiction, and hindsight has shown me that I was stupid to fall into the trap the DWP set for me and give in to my vices to try and feel better. I want to go cold turkey, but my consultant refuses to allow it because I'm epileptic, and he's concerned that a sudden withdrawal would send me into a potentially fatal seizure. Even if not, it would almost certainly hospitalise me again in other ways (he's not been specific but has strongly implied that whatever might happen would be unpleasant and possibly life-threatening).

The only option I have open to me is allowing my husband to take control. I'm having to allow him to mete out an allocated amount of alcohol per evening, because if I'm left to my own devices I can't stop drinking any more than I can stop eating crisps once I've started; my addictive traits cover a wide range of foods and beverages, not just alcohol.

I'm really just looking for support from others who are trying to get back on the wagon, and those who have succeeded in doing so. We're cutting the amount of alcohol I consume gradually (I'm now back on a standard small UK measure, or having smaller glasses of wine) but I'm really not sure that my husband is strong enough to keep saying no to me. It would be unfair of me to expect him to support me completely when I have other avenues and people available. Any help and advice would be much appreciated - but please don't lecture me, because I know perfectly well that - depressed and suicidal or not - getting back on the bottle was an incredibly stupid move. Desperation causes you to stop thinking in the long-term, and now I want to concentrate on moving forward instead of punishing myself for something that can happen to anyone. Thanks for listening.

30 Replies

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  • hi tarantula girl. well first off you have admitted it's now time to get a grip. I was exactly like you

    I have cirrhosisof the liver 9 yrs this June and trust me alcohol was and still can be my crutch. I was sober for 4 years untill. my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I stopped Working and became his full time carer for 16 months. he had his left lung removed but three months later we found out the above cancer was now in the brain and terminal. well he passed away in 2012 .my rock and best friend. so my only way to deal with every emotion I had was Drink

    I basically his myself away for over a uk year. Happily drinking and not wanting to live. to cut a long story short I was admitted get again in to Hospital in 2014 with ascites. I have been sober sine then but I do find Xmas and birthdays my excuse to drink but I haven't in the last 6 months. you need to be careful on how you cut down and depending on how many units you were drinking. I really think you should seek help of an alcohol counselor as that's what has changed my outlook on how to cope. cutting down is better than Cold turkey. I would not recommend that. I was put on diszepam to help me as I had really bad anxiety. I still do .but cbt has helped me

    take one day at a time. I'm glad you have your husband there. I was on my own. you can do this!! please don't kill off any more of those healthy liver cells. xx

  • Thank you, Millie. It helps to know that I'm not on my own in turning straight back to booze the moment life throws me something nasty; somehow it makes me feel less of a failure (I know I'm not a failure really - I'm just a fallible human being - but I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from). I did once go to an appointment at Changes - my GP gave me their number - but as soon as the lady I saw mentioned drugs I was out of there: I don't need something new to become addicted to (she also said that I didn't really have enough of a problem to warrant help: I don't think somebody with such a judgmental attitude would be of any use to me, or should even be in that sort of working role). I've been given Diazepam before - once to get me out of status epilepticus, and once because I was having my Mirena replaced - and I took the remaining three pills after that simply because they were in the house, so I would be very concerned as to how I could withdraw from those after a period of time using them to get me off alcohol. Looking back, I seem to have always been addicted to one thing or another, so it's a really sticky wicket for me.

    I'm so glad that you found something to help you, and I shall keep everybody informed as I deal with this. Thank you so much for listening, and for responding. Gemma xxx

  • your welcome Gemma. I totally get you. I never ever thought I would be tea total so to speak, but you have to really want to want to change. It's not easy as you know .I too have an addictive personality that's why I have to be monitored by my gp .I'm sure you will get there. I'm always here if you need a chat. Linda x

  • Hi there!

    I've been sober 8.5 years, and I did it with the help of AA.

    It has the highest success rate ever of options to stop and STAY stopped.

    Anyone can stop..as an old friend in the program used to say, any damned fool can stop for 24 hours. It's building those days together that takes real change.

    Detox is important as it can and will kill you if you are a heavy daily drinker.

    It, along with benzos can cause grand mauled seizures.

    But, to be honest, it's best to do this under medical are, not with a spouse.

    Anything can happen during withdrawal, and slipping is easier at home.

    In my experience real change happens when the alcoholic changes their behavior. Also, support is nearly mandatory.

    AA works because no one understands a drunk like another.

    It's the same as these support groups we have for liver disease.

    We all share a set of symptoms, varying issues that go along with our disease and we help and inform each other in a positive way.

    For those of us waiting for transplant, or having had one, the complications and questions answered here are very important.

    Just trying to understand our issues can be overwhelming, so speaking with others who can help us via laypersons, versus medical doctor speak is a godsend.

    The same applies to the desires of alcoholism.

    We can say anything, even laugh at the atrocities we have committed or that we're committed on us, viahild abuse, etc.

    Don't get me wrong..there are a lot of tears also, but people who truly want to get sober don't mind when others like us know the truth.

    Only we understand our depression, the lows we sink too, ignoring our loved ones, our selflessness, etc.

    Alcohol affects every part of our being, physical, emotional, spiritual etc.

    I'm from th e US and AA is always where doctors send you when dealing with this. Over here, not so much.

    Which saddens me.

    Of course some people also go the group therapy route and some try religion.

    But, to be honest..it's not your partners job to monitor your drinking..if anything he might need a Alanon..which is the sister group for loved ones and family members.

    I know you said you don't want a lecture, so I won't..but he needs to have a life also, and a back plan should you decide not to get sober.

    The bottom line. If you really are ready to quit..you will. And you will check yourself into a medical detox.

    If your not drinking that much now, you'll just. Quit. Period.

    Sobriety is not for those who need it..it's for those of us thatwant it.

    I stayed drunk another 7 years because my partner died of an overdose and my father the same year.

    Finally, after 20 plus rehabs a therapist said, big deal..most of you have serious depression or ptsd.

    You are going to die from this disease. She said we don't think you can get sober. You know what you are and what to do..you just won't do it.

    I was in a 90 day treatment center at the time, with women coming in and leaving when their treatment time was finished. Over 50 women, at least.

    To this day, by the grace of a higher power and working the steps I am the only one who got and stayed sober.

    I had hit rock bottom.

    Now, even waiting for my second liver transplant in just over a year I still have peace and joy.

    A happy partner, whom I also hate him having to care for me..and incredible relationship with my two adult children and have survived long enough to see my first grandson celebrate his second birthday 5 days ago.

    I am blessed beyond measure.

    Even as I write this, feeling the sickness breaking down my body, sleeping all the time, having episodes of hepatic enchalopothy and now needing two organs..I know it may not go on much longer..I am so grateful to be sober.

    Trust me when I tell you, it's worth it. There is no greater freedom than to stop staring down the barrel of a bottle.

    None.

    Good luck.i hope you make the choice!

    Cheering you on,

    Kimberly

  • There is no greater freedom than to stop staring down the barrel of a bottle-that's a very good line......

  • An inspiration post :)

  • When .Mrs came out of a bad hospital trip she had got so ill that she lost the taste and need . That lasted a long time

    But then had a small one then another and another we have all been there before

    And hubby is stronger than you think.. if he can see you are trying

    So try it Will make you closer

  • Aw hun, I've not been in your situation but I wonder if how you ask for more could also support your hubby - ' I know you'll say No but can I have some more, please say No. ' Then when he says No, thank him. The words completely go against how you feel, it's a trick to start you thinking differently.

    Best of everything to you both, you can beat this xxx

  • I like this idea a lot. Last night I didn't try to find what I know is hidden in the house (I prefer that he tells me, so that I can make a point of fighting my desire to search for the hidden remainder; I'm not sure why that helps, but it does). I think it helps me learn to tell myself "No".

  • My husband has asked me to do the same thing - monitor his intake - and I refused. Only because he (and you) have to really want to stop before you will. Otherwise you are absolving responsibility to another person. Sorry, that sounded just like a lecture! From your partner's side, it is really difficult for him (me) to give you drink because it feels like we are giving you something to harm you, and feels so wrong on so many different levels. My husband was sober for 3 years, and I still don't know what pushed him back into drinking. You can't change the past, but you can change the future, so don't beat yourself up about past mistakes (everyone has those!! some of us more than most!) and concentrate on getting well. Depression is such a difficult disease to treat; and once alcohol gets hold of you she is a difficult mistress to detach from. I really hope it goes well for you and your partner, and that you find the strength to turn it around. xx

  • I genuinely do want to stop. I nearly died last time and I quite like being alive.

  • Hi, i know what you mean re addicted of many things! I believe in the addictive personality. I think the best option for you would be an inpatient detox; I wouldn't worry about the valium (these days they usually use Librium as inpatient treatment); They will reduce this over the period of a week, so you wont get addicted. You shouldn't have to suffer going through this at home. And given the seizures, i really think inpatient is best.....Then i suggest after care treatment, group therapy. counselling etc. I also suggest you get a hobbie; keep yourself busy/maybe try part time voluntary work in something you like; its worth trying new things.

  • Well said and we'll read..even In AA the 12th step is all about reaching out and helping others on a regular basis..itsstrange, but we seem to get more out of helping than who we are helping.be it handing out food or meeting with alcoholics still struggling with our disease (never do this alone until you yourself have worked the the steps, otherwise you may end up drunk) but helping others is part of the needed change. It takes the focus off of us. We are known to be very selfish and very poor pitiful me..it's always someone else's fault, etc. which is why helping others is one of those new behaviors I was speaking about above.

    I also agree..a short cycle of valum Will not hurt you..no once should have to suffer those physical effects of detox..it's enough to make someone choose to drink again because it can be so bad.

    Librium is most often used, for three to five days, to get you over that hump.

    Also, your in group therapy and with people going through detox at the same time..so you are surrounded by support and early recovery..preparing you better to go back to a sober life.

    Or

    Kimberly

  • Yes. Helping others can be incredibly rewarding. It also gives us feelings of usefulness and self worth.

  • Indeed! We often feel useless and worthless. Helping others makes us feel productive and really goes to work on our psych. It's easy to become addicted to helping others, it feels so good! Lol.

    Also, often in early recovery we need to keep ourselves busy..trying to fill up the space void left from drinking.

    This does that..fills time, gives us small attainable goals while we're trying to find jobs, get our kids back, deal with serious disease, etc.

    It just does so much!

    Also, when I first got sober, there was a group of about six or seven of us. We went to meetings together, went out for coffee, took walks..they say there is safety in numbers.

    It really helped all of us so much! A meeting daily, some sort of activity, doing charity work..even if it meant making coffee for a certain meeting every week. It gave us purpose and some small responsibility.

    Amazing how all that worked together!

    My best friend is back in the US. Her and her hubby are my best friends in the program. We Skype every week, still have coffee dates, and we even all do skype meetings every month. It allows me to keep my support network and still feel like I'm a part of, not a part from!

    This has really helped me maintain my sobriety in the midst of all this bad medical news. I was sober over three years before I got ill..they have all been with me for all of it!

    Sorry to go on and on.

    I've been pretty ill lately so I'm not on here even a tenth of what I was..I really miss THIS part of my support network!

    Xxx

    Kimberly

  • Thats great; hope things improve for you. xx

  • wow, just wow!

  • Hey Girl

    Let me tell you, you are not alone!!!!

    I come from a long line of functional alcoholics and unfortunately the apple didnt fall far from the tree. I was diagnosed with cirrhosis 12 months ago and Ive fallen on and off the wagon throughout the last year.

    Company does well... I stop drinking. Lost Mother to cancer... I start drinking. Son does well in exams... I stop. And so on.

    The longest I have managed is 3 months and i felt GREAT!

    I first went completely cold turkey after being diagnosed. I recieved no information from my GP regarding withdrawal and to be honest diagnosis put me completely off drinking.

    The one and only way i seem to get through is to say to myself 'im not going to drink today, but i could tomorrow if i want'. When the next day comes I say it again. and before you know it, its a month.

    Hopefully this time ill make it to a year. Part of me doubts but it does make me feel REEEEAAALLY GOOD about myself when i count back how many weeks its been, and i sit back and realise how it has made my poorly body feel so much better. It is worth it!!!

    Keep your chin up... and you must get another hobby :)

    Matt x

  • I was dry for a year, and then Ian Duncan Smith came along... ugh. If not for his "reforms" for those of us with disabilities I might have been able to stay on the straight and narrow - but instead my husband found himself hauling me off the bedroom windowsill to stop me jumping on a semi-regular basis and I hit the bottle again.

    I have plenty of hobbies: I knit, cross-stitch, garden, read, play instruments, keep tarantulas - I even review books and edit/proofread manuscripts (I don't get paid for that, I just like to do it) and I'm writing a book. Sadly the CFS/ME keeps me in the house for the most part, and I know from experience that I would drink less or even manage to stop completely again if I could just get outside for a few hours. I used to go out walking and make my own bread before the CFS hit, and that kept me occupied. I keep hoping that I'll find the energy and the spoons to start doing all of that again, and I do get out with my husband when I can.

    It seems as though you and I are rowing the same boat. I did it before though, and hopefully I'll do it again. Thank you for your understanding and support xx

  • good for you mate...

  • Hi, I've read your message and sympathies with your situation greatly. I was in your situation many times and did try to take my life more than 20 times during a very dark period of my life. Everything revolved around alcohol, to the point of liver failing twice and going on and falling off the wagon. My partner at the time just let me get on with itvand you are blessed to have a caring man by your side. With my health deterioratingvand 3 years ago I we as heading for a third liver failure so decided to contact a drink support service. A date was set to have a 24hour home detox using diazipam. Their nurse sat with me at home, taking blood pressure,, heart rate and my General withdrawel symptoms and issue medication. Also, when she left me and my friend who volunteered to stay the night, she would breathalise me when she came back. The detox was successful and I won't be lying if i said I don't miss a drink cos I do but I no longer feel sick, need a hair of the dog to function and spending all my money on drink plus playing havoc on my liver which is now very damaged with cirhossis. You can do it but you need proper help to get clean. I can now drive again and my addiction is squash and a cigarette. Any questions you want to ask me I'll be there for you. I'm not lecturing as you know the score, just sharing my wagon experience

    Love julie xx

  • hi Julie, I can so relate to your Journey as I have been and done the same as yourself. I have cirrhosis through alcohol as I used it during the last 4 years of what became a very very bad abusive marriage not that it wasn't from the start. I too did home detox with diszepam as my sister was with me. I have had support from alcohol councillors and cbt therapy. don't get me wrong I could still knock back a nice crisp lager but I know what my dear late father would be saying to me my parents are no longer here but I'll be dammed that I will waste any more time of my life however long I have drinking and killing off any Working liver cells. my parents did not bring me I to this world for me to be so stupid. .it's a blessing to be still alive I live alone but I have a lovely family .so tarantula girl... however hard it is you can do it!! there's lots of people suffering with all theses health benefit cuts even me .I am dreading my PIP assessment... But I'll fight them all the way. hope you managed to cut down last night..🙄 linda xx

  • Hi Millie,

    Thanks for that, I am just about to start the pip journey! I too have had very abusive relationships starting with neglect from my mother, then men. I just get used for material goods and have various old fractures from loving partners so, coming from a long line of alcoholics in the family, alcoholism struck me down and self harm. I too live on my own. I crave alcohol when I have a stress trigger but I just have to keep reminding myself that a drink will lead to another,then a bottle, then spirits so I pour a squash instead.

    Nice to hear from you

    Love julie

  • hi Julie, oh are you. well fingers crossed for us both and other on the same situation. we have very very similar backgrounds. Yes a punch bag for my ex husband and been used by very good manipulating men for money and material things. I drank to get rid of the pain but all I was doing was hurting myself hence the Cirrhosis. I drink on my emotions If I can not cope with my learning Teqniquee but so far so good . I stopped smoking when my dad passed to cancer so I use a vape pen now and drink sugar free water or a nice good cup of coffee . good luck with your claim! your not on your own here.. keep in touch. stay strong.. if you ever need a chat I'm always here (hugs ) linda xx

  • Hi linda

    Had results from a food intolerance test today, some can't indulge in coffee as intolerent to caffiene and coffee, potatoes, eggs, wheat and I am a blummin vegetarian so not left much to enjoy. Can't have anything made with anything off the list. I have varicies again which keep on coming and get them banded.

    I've had psychology for a year and no family to speak of so I try to manage my emotions by myself with help from professionals as I'm emotionally drained.

    Private message me anytime if you want

    Love julie

  • hi Julie, on blimey. so you have dietary problems too. I went on a gluten free diet for about a year even though I am not Gluten intolerant. well let's say I felt really really healthy .problem being it's quite expensive to keep up with the plan .paying £7 for 4 small bars of organic chocolate.. but I do have almond milk and hemp milk still as I prefer that. I don't have. much dairy and the only potatoes I will eat are sweet ones . so you have the dreaded ascites coming back, that's one symptom I really cannot cope with. I have had three drains, the last time I had ascites was 2014 but I was put on spironolactone and that did the trick . oh and a low sodium diet of course. I have never ever seen a hepetologist in the 9 years since diagnosis .I was only ever under the care of gastroenterologist but was discharged in 2015 .I now have an appointment at the QE hospital in Birmingham to see a hepetologist on 28 Feb. I am actually glad as no tests other than bloods has been done in over two years now. even then I had to force my own doctor to referr me . It's good you still have support though, you should ask for a personal support worker as that's what I have .she visits now and then but is always on the other end of the phone if I need her . it's hard to keep keep trying to do things on your own and yes I know how you must feel .nothing worse than emotionally drained... I am sure there is other support out there for you Julie, I would seek out further information that's near your area. ask your dr or look on line or at the library? I hope you do find something. Yes thank you I will do and the same likewise. Anytime you need to offload or just chit chat tc love linda 🌺

  • hi friends, just had my results of uss. there is mild increased echogenicity of the liver.suggesting a degree of fatty infiltration, but no liver lesions were identified. gallbladder distented and no calculi were seen.no evidence of intra or extrahepatic duct dilatation no free fluid around liver my gp is not available to explain so can anyone explain the findings thank yo so much

  • It just means your liver is a bit fatty.....don't panic. Nothing nasty was found.

  • Hi again bo56, well decent ultrasound result really.

    Your liver is denser than it should be (mild increased echogenicity) and it suggesting you do have some fatty change - this is the start of the liver damage chain but good news is this is reversible providing you continue to eat healthily, exercise and cut out the booze. Just because your liver isn't currently showing signs of fibrosis or cirrhosis it isn't the go ahead to resume drinking. If you continue drinking knowing that you do have fatty liver already it can over time get ever more fatty, fibrous and eventually cirrhotic.

    No lesions within the liver - good news, no tumours, cysts or nasties lurking.

    Gall bladder all good - no calculi so no gallstones to cause you any issues.

    Normal as regards the blood vessels (no portal hypertension) & no free fluid so no ascites.

    All in all a decent if not 100% all clear. Continue to look after yourself, stay off the booze, eat healthily and you should be reversing those blood test results and fatty liver over time.

    Katie

  • THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR YOU REPLIES. IT HAS PUT ME AT EASE. I HAVE REDUCED MY ALCHOL INTAKE, ATTENDING A A, THIS SITE HAS HELPED ME A LOT. IN MY PRAYERS THANKS AGAIN XX

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