Brutal Truths

Posted on Thursday 19 April 2012

There’s another really amazing post on the Crying Out Now blog. The article talks about how hitting rock bottom for an alcoholic doesn\’t necessarily have to resemble a scene from the A&E TV series Intervention.

Here are some brutal truths from a woman now eight months sober:

If you’re still drinking, here’s what I want you to know:

  • Your rock bottom can look nothing like a scene from Intervention and you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If you don’t cheat on your spouse, lose your kids or get a DUI, you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If you only drink on the weekend, you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If you don’t hide bottles of alcohol in the house, you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If no one would ever guess that you have a problem, you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If you can’t wrap your mind around a Higher Power, you can still get help.

If you’ve stopped drinking but still sometimes feel a little guilty for getting to miss out on a low bottom:

  • If you can get through an entire episode of Mad Men without wanting to go on a drinking binge (or smoking binge for that matter), you can still be an alcoholic.
  • If a friend comes over and puts a bottle of Jagermeister in your freezer and you’re not tempted to sneak sips, you can still be an alcoholic. Well, maybe not Jagermeister. That shit is vile. I only use that example because it happened to me last weekend. Let’s change it to a frosty bottle of Lemoncello.
  • If you somehow managed to lose weight after you stopped drinking, even after consuming huge amounts of chocolate and ice cream, you can still be an alcoholic.

These are some brutal truths told by someone who has been there, and is now a recovering alcoholic–sober for the past eight months.

Ellie’s been lucky so far in my opinion.

  • She hasn’t ended up in jail or the hospital because of her drinking or drug use.
  • She hasn’t lost her job.
  • She hasn’t flunked out of school–but I think she came pretty close to losing her scholarship last semester, given how angry she became when her father asked about her grades.
  • She hasn’t gotten raped while drunk or high.
  • She hasn’t killed or injured anyone or been arrested or hospitalized because she was driving drunk or high–though I am guessing her car accident in January was probably due to her being high or drunk more likely than not.

However, I seriously doubt that will remain the case for long. The longer she is an active alcoholic and drug addict the greater the odds something bad will happen to her.

Last summer and fall, I promised Ellie and her mother I would be there for her, if she should want my help. For a short while longer I will hold myself to that promise–but only for a short while longer. And, only if Ellie makes her amends to me; shows me that she has made a place for me by her side; and shows me that she is as committed to keeping me there as I have been to being there for her these last nine months.

She has to admit the truth of who and what we have been to each other publicly; she has to apologize for how she has treated me and hurt me; she has to take responsibility for her lies and actions of the past nine months; and, finally, she has to show that she cares for me as I have always cared for her.

I will always love my beloved Irish rose. But, if she does not show that the woman who loves me still survives soon, I will move on as I believe Ellie would want me to do because she loves me. If she remains the drug-addicted alcoholic that she has been for the past nine months and continues to lie about me and what we have been to each other–there is nothing left for me here, because there is nothing left of the amazing woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

The author of the post I linked to and quoted above says that she was lucky, because she managed to start her recovery before her illness destroyed her chances at a normal life.

I had what’s known as a “high” rock bottom. Through the grace of God, I was able to start recovering from my drinking problem before I seriously screwed up my life. It doesn’t make me any less of an alcoholic. It does make me very grateful.

I don’t believe Ellie has gotten help for her addictions yet. I doubt she has even admitted that she is an addict or alcoholic to herself, much less to anyone else. I hope she realizes it soon. I keep praying for the woman I love and have been hoping that she too has a “high rock bottom” as the woman who wrote the article didbefore she destroys all of the hopes, dreams and goals that she once told me about.

Unfortunately, I know that Ellie does not have the same resources that the author of the post was lucky to draw upon. The woman writes:

Today marks the 8th month of my sobriety. I want to thank God, Hubster, my kids, my family and my friends for helping me live a life less scripted.

Ellie has lost her faith from what I have seen. She was once a devout Catholic, but appears to have given it up. She is unmarried and has no children or husband to help her. Her family is in denial and her father and brother are both alcoholics–so very unlikely to be able to help her get better. Most of her friends, at least from what I have seen over the past year, are part of her problems–and can not be part of her recovery, even if they were willing to and committed enough to her to do so.

I hope she hits rock bottom soon, while I am still here to help her on her long road to recovery. I love her and always will, as I have all her life. I would walk beside her on her long road to recovery, as I have promised so often in the past, if she should ask me to. I would point out that she has worked very hard at pushing me away for the last nine months–and if she should want or need my help she will need to work equally hard to win me back.

It is up to her. Until she realizes she has a problem; admits it to herself and seeks help–no one can help her. Until Ellie finally learns to love herself enough to want to be more than a drug-addicted alcoholic–she can not love anyone or really understand what it means to be loved by anyone–especially me. Until she wants me back beside her and is willing to show she is committed to having me there–she will have to struggle on without me, my love and my support.

There are only three weeks left to this semester. I hope that she does not spiral out of control as she did last May. I am not hopeful as she has even less reason to take care of herself than she did last year since I am no longer there.

May God watch over my beloved Ellie. God bless her and protect her, even from herself. May God grant her the strength, courage, and will to fight her addictions and return to being her true self. May God grant her the wisdom to see the truth–both about her illness and about us.‘,

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