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California, USA
December 06
In the newspaper business for more than 20 years. I write, I edit and take photos ... I'm a triple threat.


Smalltownwriter's Links
FEBRUARY 8, 2012 8:32AM

Crashing down

Rate: 5 Flag

After a week of no drinking, my wife's old habits returned with a vengeance during a four-day bender. It all culminated with me telling her she had crossed my boundaries and I'd had enough.

After consulting with my father, my Al-Anon sponsor and an Al-Anon friend, I found the strength and courage to do what was right and called 911. The ambulance, sheriff's deputies and a fire engine were all at my house Sunday morning trying to revive my wife.

I didn't go see her in the hospital. My sister-in-law said my wife's blood alcohol content level was .46 and the nurse told her, "Whoever called the ambulance probably saved her life."

That evening, when the hospital released her, my in-laws brought her back to the house and guided her to bed.

"She needs to be in a treatment facility," my mother-in-law said. "You call and get all the information. Maybe you can take her tomorrow."

I thought about everything that's happened and all I've been through.

That's when I pleaded with my in-laws to take her back with them to another state. They did. That was four days ago. Yesterday, I texted my wife that she wasn't welcome back into our lives until she's sober. I can't put myself or the kids through this anymore. 

 When she promised she'd get better, I asked how she planned to accomplish that goal. "I don't know, one day at a time," she texted back. 

I asked if she had considered professional help. "Yes, but we're waiting for you to get us the information."

"No," I wrote back. "This isn't my addiction or my problem. I'm not going to be a messenger between the treatment facility and you and your mom. I'm not calling."

Her response was two words: "Ok. Fine."

I went to an Alanon meeting yesterday, connected with my sponsor and another Alanon friend.

I think I'm doing the right thing, but it's so damn hard and hurts so much.

Now, time to get on with my life.


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alcoholism, al-anon

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I was afraid this shoe was going to drop. However or whoever gets her into treatment, that is probably where she belongs. You might anticipate that she will try to minimize the treatment options, ie., want outpatient rather than inpatient care, or a counselor rather than outpatient. The addiction likes to bargain and hold on by its fingernails.

Yes, it hurts, but it also hurts to live with an active alcoholic, namely, with the dishonestly, anger (hers and yours), blaming, and manipulation. It is corrosive for you and for your children.

Take a deep breath. Move forward. Peace to you.
Wow. So sorry, STW, but I think you're doing the right thing. You're absolutely right to protect your children from the vortex of chaos that is your wife. She needs to get herself sorted out, and you have children to raise, and unfortunately you can't do those in the same place, because it's not healthy for the kids.

I'm so sorry for your pain, but you're doing the right thing. Keep going to those meetings and listening to the people in your life who are helping you.
You get to the point where you can't carry your load and the alcoholics load anymore. God this is a tough thing to do. I hope it works this time.
You are stronger than you know. Good for you for not getting the information. She needs to own this before it can get better. Take care of yourself and your babies. I will keep you in my thoughts.
I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I'm sure you have done the right thing for your family and I will be sending positive thoughts your way.
I need to thank all those OSers who encouraged me two years ago to go to Al-Anon in the first place. I'll admit I didn't have the strength to do what was right on Sunday, but others in my group did and they helped prod me in the right direction.

@blue yonder: I agree I can't have the kids around an active drinker. It's too much and too damaging.

@ froggy: Vortex of chaos is an apt description. I'll keep listening to those around me.

@Walter Blevins: My wife told me on Sunday morning that she didn't want to be my burden any longer. I think this is the end of the marriage. I mean, really, even when she was sober, she chose to use that time to have an affair with a guy in AA. This isn't the life I want.

@Midwest Muse: I agree that she needs to own this and that's what I told my mother-in-law. My wife needs to make her own decision to get better, we can't do it for her.

@Darla: (I have a cousin by that name.) Thanks for the positive thoughts.