Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chemical Insanity

The responsibility of a person who chooses to drink belongs to that individual. Be it a man or a woman. They own it! They live it, they breathe it, and they bathe in it. And with all their might, in a very subtle, manipulative way they make you own their disease and take responsibility for their drinking and actions.

You love and care for this individual so much, you take on this overwhelming burden. As if you are taking care of another child. How did you get yourself to this place? First, recognize that the problem is not playing hide and seek somewhere in your backyard and when it gets dark it will all go away. You have set the table at your house. The disease lives right there with you. And now, it is a member of your household. Affixed permanently, walking, taking and destroying everything in its path. Think for a moment what plan of action you take when there is a tornado coming. Simple enough, you go to the basement or a safe room seeking shelter until it passes.

How are you going to plan ahead and be prepared when the next outburst or incident happens in public?

Example: Let's say you are at a relative’s home, with the in-laws and friends of the family. You get up and check on your spouse. You see that they have had too much to drink. That automatic alarm inside goes off telling you it is time to go home. Suddenly you look at the clock and say out “loud thank you for everything, it is time we get going, we have an early day.” All of a sudden your lovely mother in-law says "I don't why he has to drink so much, no one in my family had a drinking problem. I just don't know where he could have picked it up." Then she shoots you this evil look, as if it is your problem and you better fix it. She might as well have thrown a sword across the room, and into your heart, the feeling is no different.

Take a couple of deep breaths. Look directly at her. Calmly as possible respond to the mentally challenged mother of the diseased son and say "I am not responsible for anyone's drinking." turn around, leave the room.

Her son is a very sick and dependent addict. Welcome to "Chemical Insanity". You are the caretaker of a chemically dependent insane man.

You also are infected with the disease. No not like a mosquito bite or chicken pocks that clears up and goes away. Once infected, you will always be open to a relapse. Even if you leave the marriage or relationship, divorce, separate, tell yourself "I've learned my lesson I will never marry anyone like that again". WRONG!

Unless you seek help from groups such as Al-anon, or seek out the help of professional counselor maybe a therapist you are likely to enter into the same type of relationship, again. You need to be in constant recovery mode. Just like an alcoholic, they must work on their addiction every day. Even after a person has not taken a drink for a number of years, we hear them respond I am an alcoholic, when someone says oh good for you, you quit drinking. They may not have had a drink for twenty years, but they are still an alcoholic. And they know they have the ability to slip back and drink again.

Be prepared and get help. This disease affects everyone in your household. Otherwise it will return in another shape, size, eye color, hair style, again.


Patty B said...

Great post Susan,
I grew up in an alcoholic family and married two of them. After the second marriage I became a member of Ala non and still attend occasionally because my sibs for the most part are all still out there drinking and partying.
Al anon helped me to see that I needed to take care of myself and my kids and stop trying to change someone who didn't want to change or work for that change.
Al Anon can also make you take a look at the insanity you have picked up from living with an alcoholic partner.
I would recommend to anyone even thinking about Al Anon to find something by Mary Pearl T and listening to her. She will have you laughing out loud while you are thinking about the times you have done some of the same things.
I have many friends in AA and they think of themselves as the enemy camp for Al anon until I explain to them that while I don't drink I have other bad habits like marrying one of them to take it's place. 8-))))

Delilah said...

Hmmm...I know you know me, but didn't think you knew me that well!

Once again, thank you for opening my eyes and helping me see!

Sara Huizenga Lubbers said...

I've truly never worried about this yet...thanks, Susan! ;)

But, honestly, what an insightful, important post...most of all truly thanks...xoxoxo

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