Far and Away

Seems like an appropriate title for this post.  That’s where I am.  Far and Away from anyplace I want to be.  I haven’t written for so long because it seems pointless.  I miss chatting with my chicklets but I don’t like always writing about being depressed and falling farther and farther in the hole.  So I haven’t written.  I mean, what’s the point?  It doesn’t change anything.  And I’m smart enough to know that I’ve got some serious depression going on here but I’m also smart enough to know that I really can’t do anything about all the crap that’s causing it.

You guys don’t know me.  You might know my heart, just a little bit.  But you don’t know me so why don’t I just lay it all out there and be done with it?  I’ve seen my life fall apart the last two or three years and I don’t like what I’ve become.  Most of it is because of DH.  I’ve thought about divorce but I really can’t do that.  I love him and he loves me and we’ve been together for 44 years.  I’m not going to leave him.  Still, I’ve seen him go over the edge.  He’s become an alcoholic and it’s tearing me apart and changing everything I believe in.

He’s always enjoyed having a few beers in the evening.  Then he got diabetes and found out that beer is really bad because of the carbs so he started drinking vodka and coke.  I was really alarmed about that and tried to get him to stop but he’s been doing it for about three years and I’ve watched him go from a couch potato who enjoys a few beers in the evenings to a full-blown alcoholic who annoys the Hell out of me every single evening.  It’s like I have my husband in the mornings and some drunken stranger every evening.

He works from 4:30 every morning to 2:30 every afternoon, Monday through Friday.  He gets home at 3:30 and I can guarantee he’ll be hitting the bottle by 4:00 although he’s promised me over and over that he’ll wait until 5:00. He drinks an incredible amount of vokda and coke and has what he calls a “buzz” and I call “drunk” by 6:00 or 6:30 and then he becomes this totally annoying pain in the ass until he goes to sleep at 7:00.  Yeah, I said 7:00 p.m.  Sometimes earlier.  His persona totally changes and I hate it.  He calls for everyone and runs us ragged and staggers in the living room to give me a hug or kiss and tell me how much he loves me and I can’t even understand him half the time.  He calls David, “Daaaaviddd, come here.  Can you go out to my car and see if I left my keys out there?”  “Annnndrewwww, Can you go downstairs and get me a glass of ice?”  “Daaavidd, can you get me a bag of pretzels and bring them here?”  We all grit our teeth and count the minutes until he goes to bed.  And we all love him.  He’s been a wonderful husband and father for more than forty years and we hate to see him like this.

It’s getting worse and he can’t or won’t see it.  We’ve argued about it so much I just feel like making a xerox copy so I don’t have to keep going through it.

To give him credit, he knows he’d lose his job if he were ever to get an alcohol related violation so he’s really careful about it.  Never drinks and drives.  Never has an open container in the car.  Still, that just means he’s adamant about being home every evening.  He wants to be home by four.  Five at the latest.  So he can start drinking.  We no longer go anywhere or do anything.  He sits in the bedroom watching TV and drinking and I sit in the living room watching TV and hating my life.  If we happen to be out at 3:30 or so, I can see the change as he starts wanting to get home.  He gets irritable and argumentative.  If I have a couple of errands to run, he gets an attitude.  Like I should have done it earlier or why it can wait until tomorrow.  It’s like an internal alarm goes off and he has to get home immediately.  The only entertainment we get is going to the casino.  He can drink and play the slots and doesn’t have to drive home.  So, if I say, “Please, please, please get dressed and let’s go do something!”, he wants to go to the casino. 

I still have him on Saturday and Sunday.  At least for a while.  On weekdays, I don’t usually get home until around 4:30 and he’s already started drinking so I feel like I don’t even see my husband except on weekends.  And it’s getting worse all the time.  He’s becoming sneaky and paranoid.  He’s handled the bills for years and always done a great job.  I don’t have any idea who we owe or how much we owe.  Then I began getting a few phone calls and found out he forgets to pay things half the time.  He’s always saying, “I could have sworn I paid them!  Maybe not.  I’m sorry, honey.  I’ll send it out today.”  I’ve told him I’ll take over paying the bills but he’s stubbornly refusing to let me handle it and that scares me.

I told him I’d probably retire after this year and he told me he’s going to retire next year, too.  I said, “Wait a minute, you still have three or four years before you can retire” and he informed me that he’s going to take “early retirement” because he feels awful and doesn’t think he can continue working anymore.  So that means I have to.  If he takes partial retirement, we won’t have enough money to do much of anything and that’s NOT how I planned for my golden years.  On top of that, I know that the only thing that’s keeping him from drinking even more is that he has to work everyday.  What’s going to happen when he doesn’t have to?

I’m tired of writing about it.  I don’t want to think about it anymore this morning.  It’s Saturday and I have my DH for a while so I want to spend time with him.  Still, I’m really struggling.  I’m finding it impossible to focus on eating healthy and working out.  I’m beginning to get just like him.  I spend my evenings lying on the couch, watching TV and hoping he’ll keep out of my way so I don’t have to look at what he’s doing to himself.  It breaks my heart.


tjnorth says 19th November @ 10:43

Oh honey, I am so sorry. Please, please, please reach out to someone who knows what you are going through. Please try Al Anon, or talk to your pastor, or if you have access to a counsellor at work try that. YOU MUST DO THIS. I know, trust me, I know.

hankpanky says 19th November @ 11:50

I’m so sorry to hear about your DH. You already know you can’t change him or make him stop, but you can go to Al Anon; you deserve to be happy. Find things you can go out and do and leave him home. Also, you know, he could be using the alcohol to self-medicate himself; he sounds like he’s depressed.
Hang in there.

jewlz280 says 20th November @ 11:51

I know this may sound mean, but have you thought of video taping him and showing it to him and just simply saying, “THIS is what we deal with EVERY NIGHT.” You should NOT have to deal with this. Unfortunately, I also understand where you are coming from as this is an issue on both sides of our family. Not from my husband, but other family members and it has caused major issues in the past. I couldn’t imagine living with it EVERY DAY. I understand you love him and he’s your partner, but what about loving you? And the kids? How is this fair to to any of you? It’s not. Something has to change and you know it. That’s the real reason you’re angry and feel you have no control. You know in your heart it has to change, but you’re mad about it and don’t want to do it. But you should and you can. I hope you find peace soon. I know this is a bit early, but Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you are able to find some inner happiness, too!

brseay says 30th November @ 19:04

Oh, Patty, I’m just catching up on things and my heart aches for you. I share your fears about what will happen when he retires, both financially and with his added free time. And I agree w/the others, AlAnon is definitely worth checking out. It has to be so sad and scary to see someone you love so dearly throwing away their life. But he’s also throwing away your future and your dreams and that’s what makes me sad. You are such a wonderful, caring woman and it seems that no matter where you turn things keep piling on.

Promise me you’ll find one thing in this situation that you have control over and make a decision about it. That feeling of power and control can go a long way toward being more able to handle a situation like this.

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