Addiction to Alcohol/Advice please


Hi, It is with trepidation I find myself sending this Question.  I have been married now for nearly 22years and  we have a 13 yr old Son.  My Husband is currently drinking in excess of three bottles of wine a day and this will include bottles of beer too.  I am unsure to the exact amount as he has started to hide bottles in the boot of the car.  He was made redundant from his job in April so we now have one car, that he keeps the key to and will restrict my use of.

He has been drinking from when I first met him, albeit in smaller amounts in the beginning.  His Mother and Sister were both Alcoholics and died from the disease.  His Father passed away three years ago who was nearly teetotal of pneumonia.

The drinking has become more excessive over the last five years where two bottles of wine have become every night.  He did try the two nights a week break which became one.  

We had a fall out at Christmas 2012 and I asked him to stop drinking as it was affecting both myself and our Son. He did try but after a day, started to be very sick and shake, when we went to see the GP.  We came out of the surgery with dehydration sachets as he did not want to tell them about the drinking, just the sickness.  

I called the Surgery and told them I was worried, and they told me to call an ambulance, which of course my Husband didnt want me to do.  I took him back to the Surgery and a Snr Doctor came to see him.  He was obviously aware the situation was going to get worse but David insisted he was going home.  The Doctors told me to call an ambulance if I needed to.

As soon as we got home, He mentioned seeing animals carved into the stone wall in the garden to my Son and his friend. That same evening he started to see and feel things, snakes, monitors, it became more so during the evening, where I had to put throws over the pattern on the sofa as he thought there were creatures and people there.  he mentioned creatures in the bed. It became larger animals, that he could see which didn't seem to be frightening, just bemusing.  I was really worried and frightened when he started talking to his dead friend, mentioning little people and aliens. He then told me that they had come from Heaven and I wasn't to leave his side as they would think it rude.  After about two hours I managed to convince him I was going to the toilet. He wouldn't let me use the en-suite as he thought there to be a giant monster, so I went out to the other bathroom.  He was terrified it was going to hurt me.  I crept downstairs and called 999, who kept me on the phone until an ambulance arrived.  The two female drivers, went upstairs and at first he wouldn't open the door.  By this time, I called my Parents who are elderly to drive over and look after our Son and his friend, who I had managed to keep away from the situation.  I explained to our Son that his Dad was ill and needed to go to the Hospital. Thankfully we live in a old cottage and the stone walls.

My Husband was annoyed with me for calling the Ambulance and seemed frightened.  Almost childlike.  he took the drivers upstairs to show them the little people and the threads they had nailed into the walls, the imaginary doorway in the wall they has come through.  I cannot explain, how upsetting it is to see your Husband in this way.  The drivers told him if he didn't come to Hospital of his own accord, they would use police interaction. The police were called. I explained he wasn't a violent man but nevertheless they would use if required.  I managed to persuade him to go in the Ambulance and he insisted I follow in the car so I could bring him back home.  My parents and Sister arrived just as the Ambulance left and I followed to the Hospital.  

At the hospital, they put us in the waiting room, he was wandering around and I was worried he would try to leave.  The nurse came to see him in the cubicle, at this point hooks were talking to my Husband.  He explained there was nothing he could do! He gave my Husband some vitamin B and a drip of which I think was some type of rehydration/glucose.  After that I drove him home.  I felt helpless, he was scared in the car, thought I was going to crash.  I got him home and into bed.  My Sister stayed that night.

I tried to calm him down and he did drift, but was jolting and finger pointing. He wet the bed in the night and the covers were drenched in sweat.  I asked him to return to the Doctor the next morning and he mentioned he could see bugs on the wall behind them. The GP then referred him to the hospital again, but this time direct to the admissions assessment unit.  It was really difficult trying to get him to the hospital, on the journey he was terrified, holding onto the door, screaming there were bikers at the side of the car.  When we got to the Unit, he could see mice on the floor, imaginary doors, a man and wires.  He was trying to get me to believe they were there. To appease him, I started to stamp on the floor, thinking that it would make him realise they weren't there.  By this time I was getting really tired.  The Doctor and Nurse were amused by my Husbands sightings of which he wanted them to go and look at.  They wanted to admit him but my Husband was not for staying.  He asked him several questions, what day is it, who's the Priminister which he answered incorrectly.  They let him go home and after seeing the fear in my Husbands faceI said that if I could manage to take care of him at home, I would.  

The journey home was awful and frightening, worse than the journey there.  When we got back, my Sister was visibly upset at seeing her Brother in Law in such a state.  He could see bugs on the floor and maggots on the ceiling.  He knew they weren't real but could still see them.  He used a vacuum and kept emptying it even though there was nothing there.  I realised I had left his prescription at the surgery and it was near closing so drove to the Surgery and left my Sister with my Husband.  When I got back she was in tears, the doors and windows opened and he was still vacuuming.  I fave him the Diazepam and persuaded him to sit down and put his head on a pillow over my knee. He did and within a few minutes had fallen asleep (by this time it had been days since we had both slept).  My Parents and Brother arrived, he woke and went to see them. They were shocked and took my Sister home with them.

That night he slept through and I thought it was all hopeless.  The next morning he seemed to be better, he wasn't seeing things, the relief!  We went back to the Doctors and they asked him to return in a week.  It was the Christmas break and he went back to work the next week.

He did not drink for about two weeks and then started with just a glass!

We're now into August, we argue most nights as I try to get him to stop. He's been back to the Doctors a couple of times and says he's going to reduce his intake.  I actually thought he was, but we never get down to less than two bottles a night.  I'm certain he is drinking in the mornings, he hides bottles so I cannot see.

Last week, I told him I would leave.  I have nowhere to go! I'm at home, don't work due to being ill with anxiety and arythmia.  Almost recluse as I feel it easier than explaining my situation at home.  My Sister is leaving the UK to work in the UAE.  My Brother lives with my Parents and they have no room.  My Son loves his Dad, tries to talk with him about reducing his wine intake.  He controls the money we have left and has taken the car key from me.  I worry that he's driving during the day but he insists he is sober and I am just nagging.

I asked him to go to Inspire in the Town where we live, he wouldn't go.  I then said I would go with our Son, to which he agreed to going.  We went to the Centre on Friday morning, they were very busy and have made a appointment for Tuesday afternoon.  

Last night I asked him to stop drinking. After I knew he had had at least two bottles.  I hid the wine bottles left.  Of course the bickering started.  I try very hard not to argue with him.  I hid his wallet as I was worried he was going to try and drive out to buy more.

At night he is extremely verbal, it's awful. He's not violent but is horrible.  I explain I love him and it is the only reason I am trying to stop him from drinking.  He tells me I'm pathetic and how I've ruined another night!  It gets worse and then he falls asleep.  I have reverted to sleeping on the Sofa.  

The days aren't so bad, except for the worry of the evenings.  He has been at home during the day.  He is seeking work and has interviews.  He doesnt think he has a problem.  When we went to the Substance Abuse Centre he said that he knows he drinks a little too much wine but not spirits.  I am waiting for Tuesday, feel hopeless? I worry for my Son and his future.

Dear Julie,

I know it򳠡lready Tuesday in the UK. I򭠳orry I wasn򴠡s prompt as I would have like to be in answering your letter. I am familiar with the hopelessness you feel and I am very sorry for your pain. If I can bring any hope at all by answering your question, we will have made some progress.

Because, right now, it򳠮ot about your husband򳠤rinking so much as it is about hope for you that you may get some relief. We, who live in alcoholic families, sometimes mistakenly believe that if the alcoholic ceases drinking, life will become better. It does not. As you said, after abstaining for two weeks, it all blew up again.

Alcoholism is a family disease. The non-drinkers in the families die from the disease just as the alcoholics do. But, the non-drinkers die a bit differently: stress; cancer; heart disease, murder, and suicide. Julie, you have started to break the cycle by writing to me and asking for help. When others ask for help, I am joyed. This is the first step. Let򳠴ake care of you, then we򬬠talk about your husband.

Your letter is indicative of all the energy you are putting into your husband򳠤isease of alcoholism. (And, you are right--it is a disease, as characterized by being progressive, chronic, and fatal.) It򳠰robably a good idea to redirect the energy given to your husband򳠤rinking to yourself and your son. This means as long as your husband continues his denial; you must follow up on your threat to leave.

I don򴠫now what kind of social services are available in the UK, but, I know that wherever I򶥠been in the rest of the world, there is help for the families of alcoholics. At the end of my note you will find the link for Al-Anon Family Groups. Please, please call them. These folks have experience similar to yours; and, they򶥠felt the hopelessness that you feel now. The good news is is that they also have a solution to the problems that go along with loving a drinking alcoholic. These folks will love you and teach you how to love yourself again. They will also show you how to live by providing a safe and nurturing environment for your son.

I know the terror you live in. But, you򶥠taken the right steps by asking for help. I shall remain available to you anytime you need 24/7���� may find me here, on Facebook or Twitter. Please know that I love you and your husband and your son. You are not alone.


Charlie Haviland

Addiction to Alcohol

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Charlie Haviland


I am a recovered alcoholic. My experience in the the addiction recovery process is personal and professional. I am better suited to address questions about alcoholism.


I have been a member of a twelve step fellowship since 1984. I have facilitated a fourteen week, twelve step workshop at Henry Ford Hospital, West Bloomfield, Michigan

I am on the auxiliary staff of the Stepping Stones Foundation- the Historic Home of Bill & Lois Wilson, in Bedford Hills, NY

New York Times, Newsweek, Wired Magazine, Grapevine, Huffington Post, The Detroit News, Detroit Free-Press, Denver Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, Denver Lo-Do News, The Oakland Press, Detroit Metro Times, Denver Westword

Michigan certification: FOADP (Fundamentals of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems)

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