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  • Worried about losing my family

    Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Australia. Join this forum to discuss issues and find support relating to alcohol use and recovery.
    PD7
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2022 4:07 pm

    Worried about losing my family

    Fri Jun 24, 2022 4:39 pm

    Hi

    I’ve had issues with alcohol for as long as I can remember. In my teens and 20s the consequences were minimal though, a bit of embarrassment from time to time, etc.

    Now I have a wife and kids and the stakes are much higher. I was successfully hiding the extent of my drinking until a year or so ago. My wife suspected I was lying about my drinking so she got a breathilser. Now there’s no hiding what I’ve been up to when she gets suspicious.

    I’ve had countless chances, each time promising I’ll quit drinking (or take a long break). Sometimes I last a month or two, sometimes it’s only a few days. I’m rarely severely intoxicated (especially when the kids are awake), but the lying is the main issue my wife can’t tolerate. Even though I don’t lie about other things, it’s pretty hard for her to believe that.

    I know I need to abstain, but I’ve been here before and it hasn’t lasted. So want to get some ideas to get it right this time. This could be my last chance.

    Thanks
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    Astraia
    Moderator
    Posts: 54
    Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:34 pm

    Re: Worried about losing my family

    Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:35 pm

    Hi @PD7 ,

    Reading your post makes me think that I can barely imagine how important this is to you and your relationship. I am glad you are here sharing your experience in this safe space where you can find so much valuable information and care. We are a committed community willing to see you thrive.

    It sounds as if your relationship with alcohol use has been challenging across different stages of your life. This time in particular seems to be more difficult as you have been trying hard to stop drinking and find yourself relapsing. These relapses leave you feeling ashamed and embarrassed. You are not alone, many people go through this journey which is not an easy one but if you are willing to keep working on it, eventually you will see changes happening.

    PD7, I also notice that you have tried to make some changes in the past. In a recovery journey it is common for people to try different coping strategies before they find what works best for them. I would like to explore with you about your previous experiences.

    I wonder what you have tried? and what are your strengths that you think will help you to change?

    Regards,
    Charis

    ;)

    @ScorpionPW @Lhiver @SunflowerSeed @PnorkelPW
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    PD7
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2022 4:07 pm

    Re: Worried about losing my family

    Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:20 pm

    Hi Charis

    The main things that have helped in the past are fully committing to an extended break from alcohol and also having a fitness goal to keep me motivated. I’m planning to do both of these soon, with Dry July and a run.

    The problem I’ve encountered though is that, even if I achieve these, I get a false sense of security. Think all my issues are solved, forget about how much damage alcohol can do for me, etc. Then I relapse, often thinking I can just gradually re-introduce alcohol and keep consumption low. This inevitably ends up with me back where I started though.

    Similarly with counseling, chat forums, etc. I’ll feel like I’m getting on top of things but then don’t stay on top of it. I don’t really want to attend AA meetings, was hoping to have a select person or two to talk to that hold me accountable. Not sure if that option is out there though (outside of family and friends, which I’ve struggled to confide in).
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    Lhiver
    Community Builder
    Posts: 672
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Worried about losing my family

    Sat Jun 25, 2022 10:57 am

    heya @PD7 that false sense of security is something I kn ow a lot of people can relate to. I know our peer workers @PnorkelPW and @ScorpionPW have both talked about it in their own journies. It's important that you're recognising it because it means that this time around, with DRy July and your running goal you can start to think of ways to counter that voice and remind yourself of the importance of staying on track.

    I can see you don't want to attend AA, but have you considered a peer group such as SMART Recovery? it isn't a 12 step program and the meetings are open to anyone who has any problematic behaviour they are looking to change. There are online and in-person meetings and it might help you in finding that support from others. you can check out more on their website here

    Let us know how you're travelling this weekend, this is a journey with a lot of ups and downs but I can see a lot of determination and self-awareness in your post.
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    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 537
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Worried about losing my family

    Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:17 pm

    Hi @PD7...Firstly, well done for being so open about where you're at and reaching out, I know how much courage that takes and it's a huge step in the right direction.

    I can really relate to some things that you're saying as well. For a long time, everytime I would try and stop I would focus on external factors to work towards that I thought would help me stop and stay stopped. Whether it was a health goal, wanting more mental clarity or just not feeling so exhausted and sick all the time. Whenever I tried to rely on external factors it would never last because like the experience you've had, I would fool myself into believing I had control over it and that I could start using substances again in a more manageable way. I thought if I only do it at specific times in specific ways and around specific people that it would end up different, but it never did. Sometimes it would take longer than others but I would ultimately always end up in the same hopeless place all over again.

    In saying that though, having short term goals and giving yourself any reason you can to motivate stopping again is a really great thing. In my experience that was really important but what was equally, and ultimately the most important was finding a way to live my life recovery focussed and to form new habits by doing whatever it takes to not pick up one day at a time, no matter what.

    For me as well, I discovered through lots of trial and error and trying every option I possibly could that I could not do it alone. In my journey 12 step meetings are ultimately what made the difference, being connected to a recovery community and learning that it was possible to find a new way of life without substances from other people who had done it and were doing it. But in saying that, I totally hear that you don't want to give AA a go, as @Lhiver mentioned SMART Recovery is another peer group you could attend that isn't 12 step based. It's an opportunity to be in a safe space where you can work towards small, achievable goals in relation to your substance use whether it's complete abstinence or a more manageable way of drinking that you're seeking you are supported to set any goals you feel like are realistic for you. Everybody else attending the groups are working towards their own goals as well. There is also SMART meetings you can attend face to face or online so if you want to check it out, let us know and we'll share the links.

    Ultimately, the realisation I had to come to was that I had to treat every go at recovery with a mindset of discovering what didn't work last time, what changes did I need to make and what do I need to do differently that I hadn't tried before. This will look a little bit different for everybody, your recovery is as individual as your fingerprint. It wasn't until I felt like I had absolultely no other option, completely backed into a corner by my addiction that I was able to commit myself to do literally whatever it took to stay clean, but not everybody necessarly needs to go to those lengths, that's just what my journey was.

    I really hope you continue to reach out on here and if you ever want to touch base you can tag any of us by putting the @ symbol before our usernames on a post and we'll be sure to respond :)
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    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 612
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Worried about losing my family

    Mon Jun 27, 2022 10:28 pm

    Hi @PD7 and thanks for sharing here on the forums. It really sounds like you want to make change but it’s damn near impossible alone…………at least that was my experience.

    @Lhiver made the suggestion of SMART Recovery Meetings which I would totally recommend. It’s about setting a goal for the week and getting support to achieve it. You mentioned setting goals and working towards them as having worked for you in the past so this could suit you. It seems that maintaining the change is a struggle for you so maybe committing to these meetings could be the accountability you need.

    Setting a routine is important and diet and exercise can play a major role in that. You’ve mentioned these as having worked for you in the past so it sounds like maintaining it………again………is going to be key. Have you thought about a training buddy to help keep you accountable???

    I tended to want to make change alone and it was maintaining it that was my downfall. I kept thinking I’d be able to control my drinking one day if I did things differently but nothing ever worked. Eventually I had to make the decision that the only way I could have any form of control over my drinking was not to drink at all.

    I only share this next bit because it was my experience ad it helped me. I read that you don’t want to attend AA……….I was the same for many years while my drinking got worse every time I took a break and picked up again. After many trips through AA something eventually clicked. I realised it wasn’t a religious thing and just how much support was available and that there were people who would help keep me accountable. I no longer go to meetings and haven’t had a drink for 6 and a half years but I wouldn’t be where I am without having gone in the beginning. But I understand that it’s not for everyone too and totally respect your decision not to go.

    On the subject of accountability I found that it’s a difficult space for family and friends to hold. They can try but the eventual commitment and change has to come down to you. Having professionals such as GP, drug and alcohol counsellor, psych can be beneficial because they’re impartial and don’t feel the same emotions if things don’t go to plan……….just something to think about.

    I hope some of this has been helpful and if I can support in any way moving forwards then let me know. Just tag me in your post so I get a notification and can respond.

    Oh………there was a time a few years ago where I was on the brink of relapse but life was going pretty well. In talking to a friend I was able to uncover that I had no goals at the time. I’d worked towards many things and they were falling into place and I was kinda spinning on the spot because I didn’t have any current goals I was working towards. These days I always make sure I’ve got goals. It doesn’t matter if I achieve them…………I just need a focus to work towards because if I go back to drinking I’ll lose all focus on what’s actually important to me.
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