Monday, June 20, 2011

"But he's drinking less........can he be getting better

There is a section on this website called "DOZENS of GTS excerpted book chapters". There, you can read fully-excerpted chapters from four books. (And-----please feel free to print out and make copies of any
of those chapters for friends in recovery, for therapists, etc.)

Here, I have 'copied and pasted' one of the chapters -------

from the "Getting Them Sober, volume 4" book

Chapter 20: “But He’s Drinking Less Since We Separated. Can He Be Getting Better?”

Jan calls me every other week for counseling. She lives in Idaho, and is separated from her husband, Karl. Jan lives in a small town where she can’t help but see her husband or hear about him from others. He picks up the kids every other weekend and keeps them until Sunday evening.

Jan has a part-time job as an accountant. She keeps a spotless house and makes all her children’s clothing, as well as much of her own. She’s a rational woman . . . until he shows up.

Lately, Karl’s litany is to keep telling her that he “is controlling his drinking just fine.” That he “isn’t an alcoholic, like she always thought.”

Jan tells me “how well he seems to be doing” and then tells me that he is doing bizarre things in his apartment, like putting dirty ornaments from the yard on the coffee table and thinking they look good. (This is a man who used to be impeccable.)

She insists that he must be better, since he told her so. But, then she adds, in an “oh, by the way” manner: “Oh, he just got out of the hospital. His pancreas is acting up again.”

* * *

Denial in the entire family is multi-layered, deep, and subtle. Jan, even though she knew the facts, did not really “hear” when she heard that his pancreas was affected. Jan knew that that was a sign of his progressing alcoholism, but because she lived with Karl’s telling her for years that “she was over-reactive,” she tended to doubt herself. She believed that Karl was really getting better.

* * *

What is the truth?

Alcoholism develops in stages. In the first stage, the alcoholic usually has a higher tolerance for alcohol than do other human beings. He or she can drink more and “hold their liquor.”

In the next stage, the alcoholic usually can get as toxic from the alcohol as before, while drinking less of it. It just doesn’t take as much booze to get sick.

Round-the-clock maintenance drinking doesn’t usually occur until the last stages of the disease. So, if your alcoholic husband or wife isn’t drinking all the time – and therefore seemingly sometimes “controls” it – it’s because he or she has not yet reached that later stage of the disease.

* * *

If you find yourself in denial, note it. Make a “Denial” notebook. Write down your patterns in this area. The process of writing them down will enhance your awareness of them when they pop up again. You will be well on your way to recovery when you stay aware of your patterns.

No comments:

Post a Comment