Apparently it’s funny. Opening the front door at 1 am to your bf of 3 and a half years who has blood all over his face, dirt and mud smeared and stuck all over his clothes and who can’t really stand up properly because he’s so drunk. Apparently that’s funny. To all you alcoholics out there, just so you know, it ain’t funny….
It isn’t funny at the time, it isn’t funny when you are wiping the blood and mud from facial orifices at 1 in the morning, whilst you are in your pj’s and had been asleep for an hour and a half already. It isn’t funny when you have 2 kids upstairs who could easily be woken with all the kerfuffle. It isn’t funny in the morning when you are recounting the story of how you face planted the dirt in my front garden and you are telling me how comical it was. It just ain’t funny. Full Stop. Never was, never will be.
I don’t know how I got here. The last time I wrote anything like this, and these things are very cathartic for me, I was recounting the story of sitting in an addiction counselors office, with the man I love being told he was an alcoholic, feeling very sad and a bit bemused as to how I got there. But I was full of hope that the roller coaster might end and I might have the man I love full time, not just when he is sober.
Right now I am not just bemused, I am full of anger. I thought I knew quite a lot about addiction and I guess I do. I have spent quite a lot of time between these 2 incidents reading countless articles and blogs on addiction and recovery. I am a serial visitor to the AA website, trying to understand the ‘disease’, trying to get the man I love to see some sense and deal with his addiction. And to be honest, I am pretty sick of reading about how the alcoholic has no choice, it’s a disease, that the alcoholic will either die or somehow hit rock bottom and seek help. Bollocks to that, you have a choice, stop drinking.
There is a lot of literature out there on addiction from the addict’s perspective, a lot of how the ‘disease’ works, on how the disease affects the alcoholic mentally and physically, a lot of accounts of recovery. There doesn’t however, seem as much on the wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner of an alcoholic and the impact on us. How are we supposed to deal with the destructive behavior of the man/woman we love? The stuff that’s out there tells us to protect ourselves and leave. I don’t want to leave. I want the man I love to be the man he can be, if he is sober. I want him to stop the self-centered, self-pitying, self-destructive behavior and, in the immortal words of Irvin Welsh (or was it Wham?), I want him to Choose Life. I want him and every other alcoholic to choose themselves, choose the people stood in front of you, the people who love you, the people who offer and want to support you, the people who want you back. Stop turning up on our doorsteps pissed, stop shutting us out, stop blaming us, manipulating us, emotionally blackmailing us, stop your sniveling whinging and whining and, for god’s sake, stop choosing to drink. It’s not funny…
According to government statistics 1.4 million people in the UK are dependent on alcohol. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of not very funny alcohol induced dramas. That’s a lot of people like me, people who love an alcoholic and who have all these feelings of anger, sadness, disappointment, hope, trust, miss-trust, a whole host of conflicting emotions. And there isn’t a lot written about the hope, fear, disappointment, guilt, shame, worry for the people who have to live with these not very funny alcoholic incidents.
So what will happen next to my alcoholic and to me? What happens after 3.5 years of roller coaster hope and disappointment, 3.5 years of will he stop/won’t he stop, 3.5 years of he’s stopped drinking, oh no, he has started again? What happens after this latest 2 weeks of blaming and shaming me whilst he was on a mad boozing frenzy that culminated in my not very funny 1am visit?
He has a plan. Let’s see…