Thursday, December 18, 2014

Donation = gifts...

Thank you to everyone who has donated and posted words of encouragement. It has been greatly appreciated. We still have a long way to go. I'm surprised that there have been no pledges towards shaving my head. Don't you think I'd look great without hair? To make a pledge please visit the Escape from Medical Desert page on Facebook and scroll down to my picture. Put your pledge in the comments. You don't pay the pledge until the goal of $2,500 is reached. When the goal is reached, I'll shave my head and you then pay the amount you pledged. All that red hair will be gone!



Donate to the fundraiser: http://gfwd.at/1FicTJx and receive the following gifts:

$25 -- The paperback version of The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife 



$30 -- A Glowing Skeleton OR Linda's Front Porch T-Shirt 



$40 -- A Glowing Skeleton OR Linda's Front Porch Tote Bag

$50 -- Christmas OR Winter Wreath




$100 -- Immortal Alcoholic's Wife (paperback) PLUS T-Shirt (your choice of skeleton or porch)
$200 -- Book, T-shirt and Tote
$300 -- Book, T-shirt, Tote and Wreath

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Yes, you can enjoy the holidays...

Am I really writing about Christmas AGAIN? It seems that I just wrote about last year’s Christmas and here we are with another holiday season coming at us at light speed.

For most families the holidays are filled with laughter, happy tears, hugs and expressions of love. But for many families these days are fraught with fear and anxiety because living with an alcoholic is like living with a time bomb set to explode at an unpredictable time and place. A Christmas party that should be a joyful event often turns into an embarrassing scramble trying to get the drunken spouse out the door after he/she has literally picked up the punch bowl and used it to make an off-color toast. Then there are the helpful friends who attempt to keep the drunk from getting behind the wheel of his car. Even after the alcoholic has left the building, conversations drift toward the realm of “Did you see what Alice did? So glad she left.” Instead of discussing the shopping bargains on toy treasures, everyone is talking about the unfortunate life of the alcoholic’s spouse or the alcoholic.

During the fifteen years I was separated from Riley, my Christmas season was filled with being around family and friends. I dressed up and went to parties and enjoyed the company of others without the worry of what my husband was doing or saying. I enjoyed those fifteen Thanksgivings, Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Someone asked me what was the easiest way to get past the holiday season when you have an alcoholic in the house? I’m not sure there is an easy way to do anything with an alcoholic present. Here are some things that I've done over the years to lessen the stress for the entire family.


Limit the number of holiday events attended with the drunken spouse.  This isn’t too difficult if you just say that there will be no alcohol served at the event. Most times alcoholics only want to go to places where they can drink. So you go alone or you take your kids or you take a non-drinking friend. You will be far more relaxed and able to enjoy this time if you aren’t looking over your shoulder and expecting disaster every minute.

If you have small children, you must be their Santa Claus. It will be up to you to do the “Santa” shopping. If there are toys, such as bicycles, to be assembled do it when the drinking spouse isn’t home. Get out your tool box and follow the directions. When asked who put the bike together, just say that the store assembled it for you. Leave some small item that needs assembling for the spouse to put together in order to avoid a confrontation due to feelings of being left out. This is not the time of year to “make a point” or even open the door to a possible fight. You’ll have lots of time for that after New Year’s Day.

Limit you guest list. Only invite your very closest friends and family to your home. Now is not the time to get to know those new neighbors who just moved in down the street. If anything happens that could be antagonistic or embarrassing, it’s best that it happens among people who know you, love you and understand your situation.

Make up your mind to celebrate and enjoy this time. I often felt that there was nothing about the Christmas holidays that was worth celebrating or joyous in any fashion. But if you look around you there is plenty to celebrate. You managed to survive the year and that in and of itself is cause for celebration. Celebrate the fact that you are loved by someone – anyone – whether that’s your children, siblings, parents, and/or God. Better yet, celebrate the fact that you are capable of loving someone else. Sometimes it is just a matter of BELIEVING you have something to celebrate/enjoy that can make all the difference between hating and loving a holiday.

Find pleasure in the little things. Put those mini-marshmallows in your hot chocolate and to make it even more special, make them the mint flavor with Mexican chocolate. That’s worth celebrating. Listen to your favorite holiday music with your headphones so you can play the same songs over and over again. And, even sing those songs out loud. Add some of your favorite dishes to your holiday dinners even if they are not the proper season for the dish. I like watermelon or cucumber salad and don’t forget strawberry short cake or fried green tomatoes. Not in season, hard to find fresh ingredients – but so worth the money, time and effort.

Make an escape. Even reading a new book can make you feel a bit special. Take a 20 minute break away from everything and escape into another world. If the only way to find the time to do that is to take a bath – fill the tub with bubbles, grab that book and hide out in the bathroom. Of course, if the book is The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife (now out on Amazon.com) – that’s even better because you might see yourself in those pages and find some humor in the chaos.

Most importantly – be happy and have wonderfully peaceful holidays during this 2014 season!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Celeb influences...

I was recently asked by Paul at Cassiobury Court Rehab Center in England – Do celebs have a positive or negative impact on drinking? I visited his website and thought – oh, I would love to go there even though I’m not an alcoholic. Maybe they would make an exception for me. See for yourself: http://www.cassioburycourt.com/

Back to the question -- The easy answer is both. In my opinion, it depends on the celebrity and what they do with their sobriety after they achieve it. For example, Martin Sheen is a positive influence for being able to achieve and maintain sobriety, while his son, Charlie Sheen, seems to be unable to grasp the advantages of living a clean and sober life. In this case Martin is a positive and Charlie a very good bad example although I haven’t heard much about him lately. That’s probably a good sign.
Other celebs such as Kelly Osborne and Jamie Lee Curtis, are good influences. Robert Downey Jr. had a tough road of being a bad influence until he managed to get a handle on his addiction and is now a good influence on the aspects of try, try, and try again until you get it right.

I think some people get a little fed up with all the attention that is given to the bad behavior of celebrity addicts. It is very irritating that celebs have the money, contacts and support to provide them with every advantage to achieve sobriety. Often times, they don’t seem to appreciate how fortunate they are and return to the outrageous behavior of addiction the minute they are released through the doors of whatever rehab facility they have entered. The media hype that ensues often depicts the wild and crazy fun that can be had by being under the influence. From that point of view, maybe it’s not the celeb behaving badly that is the problem, maybe it is the addiction of our society to know every single action of our favorite celebrity. Our addiction is what makes it profitable for paparazzi to gives us visual accounts of the celebs under-the-influence craziness.

What we see in the media is directly connected to what is profitable for the production companies. It is unfortunate that what sells is scandal. There are so many celebrities who have successfully maintained sobriety and could be (and are) a wonderful influence on what can be accomplished after rehab. For me, those are the celebrities I want to read about. I want to know what they are doing to be a good influence on those who are struggling with their addictions. But, one reason we don’t hear as much about them is because they are successful at not continuing to create scandal.

Maybe my attitude about not holding celebrities on a pedestal is why I have never been star-struck.  In my opinion, celebrities are just as human as anyone else. The only thing that makes them different is that they may have talents and training that we do not have. They are fortunate enough to have been able to make a living at utilizing those talents. My local hairdresser has the talent and training to cut and style my hair. The only difference between the actor and my hairdresser is the amount of money they get paid for doing what they do and the notoriety they receive for doing it. Both hairdresser and actor get up in the morning and prepare for their day. Both are faced with family and financial obligations. Both are under stress. Both have the possibility of being addicted. So why does the celebrity deserve so much hoop-la-la if they fall off the wagon when staying sober is just as challenging for anyone else?


In the end, whether something is good or bad, in case the influence celebrities have over the general population, the answer is there is opportunity for both. I would love to see more celebrities do more positive events, presentations, etc. to the kids to provide a counter-weight to all the bad influence exposure.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rafterz is afloat!

My teenage years were difficult. They were difficult because of all the usual things that teens go through such as worry about acceptance, self-image, peer pressure and getting good grades. Looking back, I don’t think I was really any different from most other teens. But, there was this one girl, Mary, and her sister that caused me to be uncomfortable. They lived with an alcoholic mother and a complacent father. I haven’t heard from them in years and often wonder whatever became of them. My wish is that they are living a happy non-alcoholic existence and enjoying good health and peace.

Growing up is tough. Growing up in a house where alcoholism resides is ten times the toughness. The feeling of being alone can be overwhelming. No one really wants to admit that their parents (one or both) or any other family member has a problem with either drugs or alcohol. Circumstances are sometimes hard to explain, parental actions can be embarrassing, and the sheer uncertainty of each the unfolding day generate an extra high level of stress.

I was fortunate to not have alcohol be an issue in my family home. But, I was the only girl in a family of five with male cousins as added residents. I often felt that I had no one to talk to who would truly understand my point of view. I had my friends, but they all thought the boys in my family where way to cute to be a bother to me. I was alone.

When I think of that loneliness now, I think how silly I was because my life could have been so very much worse. I could have been like Mary. I wonder who she and her sister talked to when they needed an ear.

Rafterz was created for teens much like my friend, Mary. It is a “secret” Facebook page created just for teens who live in alcoholic chaos. Any teen with a Facebook account may join the group. Because the group is secret, only members can view the conversations or membership in the group. Members are fee to say exactly what is on their minds and/or heavy in their hearts.

Although the group is monitored by adults, who have also been in similar situations as teens, they will not judge or criticize. They will be there simply to monitor that there is no bullying or threats of dangerous actions either to themselves or others. The group is also monitored by several active teen members so that the adults cannot rule the group with objectivity.

Joining Rafterz is easy. Send an e-mail to RafterzTalk@gmail.com with the word “join” in the subject line. You will then be sent a simple questionnaire to be filed out and returned to the admin. The questionnaire form will ask for your real name, birthday, address, name of your school, and the name and phone number of a trusted friend or relative. Because the members will mostly be under the age of 18, we (the administrators) need to know who to contact in the event that the member is in danger of serious harm. We do not take this action lightly and will only contact someone if there is an extreme imminent situation as stated by the member. For example, if the member is threating to take his/her own life several times over a short period of time, we will first contact the trusted friend or relative for help or clarification. If the statements continue we will contact the school counselor for intervention.

We do not want the teen members to fear that we will ruin their lives or reputations. Just the opposite. We want them to feel safe in the Rafterz Group. We want them to have a place where they can say they hate their parents for drinking and not feel guilty about saying it. If they are tired of being used as the family scapegoat, this is the place where they can vent that anger and frustration. This will be the TEENs group and not the group of any adult. Teens will own this group and ultimately, as the group grows, they will be responsible for it. In my long-term mind’s eye, I see the teens being their own monitors and admins with only minimal administration from adults.

If you know a teen that you think will benefit from this new group, please tell them to check it out by sending me an e-mail and experiencing it for a week before formally joining. After a week, if the submission has not been returned, the member will be blocked from the group.


So, grab a paddle and hold on tight because the Teens Rafterz is about to enter the water!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Separation anxiety...

My most viewed post on the blog is about the definition of end-stage alcoholism. I’m hoping that when I’m able to get back to doing seminars, it will be a topic. When I do seminars I usually use blog posts or pages as a starting off place for the subject or topic. I believe that the blog posts only scratch the surface.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to actually go out and hold a seminar. There has been a suggestion that I do a webinar. I’m not familiar with them, but both of the two that I have participated in have been a bit boring. I dislike that the interaction between speaker and audience via a “chat box”. I like seeing the faces and allowing them to have a “conversational” moment during the event. I also like the interaction between participants. My seminars are also meant to be about networking with people who relate to your situation. I don’t see how that can happen in a webinar.

Thanks to the fundraiser, it appears that I may have a home health aide in the near future.  I’m beginning to plan for the upcoming year. Of course, nothing is ever set in stone. I am forever flexible with scheduling and projects. It is a fact that what I want to do and what I can do are often at totally different ends of the spectrum.

At least there is a difference for me now compared to how things were when Riley was drinking himself into oblivion. Then everything in my life was so very unpredictable. Even a trip to the grocery store could generate a near panic attack when I thought about what may be going on in my absence. I kept my time away from home as short as possible.

When Riley had his heart attack and ended up in hospice, the hesitation to leave home took quite a while to subside. Just when I could easily be away from home for an entire weekend, he came home and a whole new set of problems became evident. Even though he was not drinking, I now had a near invalid who needed constant care and attention. Eventually, Riley became more independent, but he never regained the ability to completely take care of his own needs.

In the midst of the alcoholism, the alcoholic seldom sees or understands the chaos they create. Everything to them seems perfectly normal and perfectly acceptable. That attitude isn't totally unfathomable since the part of the brain most affected by the alcoholic toxins is the part that deals with logic. The lack of filters to screen out unacceptable behavior generates the disbelief in their faces when the do things like – feeding the baby dog food or lounging in the front yard without clothing. It makes sense to them.

Unfortunately, the long-term abuse of alcohol often leads to permanent brain damage – as in Riley’s case. The bad news is that it keeps getting worse over time. I have had difficulty in convincing Riley’s doctors that he is losing more of his logical thought processes all the time. I often have to educate those who, in my opinion, should be the most educated.

Now the cancer is taking a portion of what was left of the reasonable part of Riley. He doesn't understand why the world doesn't revolve around his every wish and desire. He’s extremely critical of my care taking and housekeeping abilities. He often tells me to stop doing anything that is not directly focused on him. He will call me into his space on average seven times an hour and about half of those calls are to tell me that I need to do the dishes or pick up a penny off the floor even though he’s perfectly capable of picking up the penny by himself. It is exhausting. It is frustrating. I wish I could be angry but its CANCER and not drunkenness, even though the drunkenness most likely made him more susceptible to getting the cancer.  Even without alcohol, there are still the same feelings of frustration and anxiety.

In Riley’s case, end-stage has taken on a whole new meaning. There’s now an additional aspect to add to the definition of end-stage alcoholism. I will certainly be expounding on the subject in my public seminars on the definition of end-stage. Should I add it to the Stages of Alcoholism? I wonder about that since it doesn't happen to every alcoholic. But, it is certainly worth thinking about.


I’ll try to publish a tentative calendar when I get one formulated in my mind and on paper. I hope to see your faces in the audience. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Questions, comments on video...

It’s been a while since I posted a video. I thought it might be a good thing to do this week. I have an aide coming in to help with Riley, so I won’t have to jump up every 5 minutes to attend to him. Since I don’t know how to edit my videos, the possibility of not having interruptions makes it the perfect opportunity to record.

Anyway, back to my next video. My e-mail box is almost always full of letters from my readers. I don’t always have time to answer them, but I try to at least read each and every one. Sometimes people ask me questions and I try to answer them. Sometimes I think “Hmmm…. Good question.” I would like for my readers to send me their questions and I will answer them on the upcoming video. I think that whatever question I’m being asked, just might be of interest to someone else. Send me your questions via e-mail ImmortalAlcoholic@gmail.com with “video question” in the subject line.

I will answer questions that ask for information as a priority. However, you may ask me a personal question as well – either positive or negative. If the question is TOO personal – I’ll respond by stating that it is too personal. If you wish to make a negative comment, that’s OK. I’ll answer those just as honestly as I will every other one. Just, please, be respectful by not using inappropriate language.

We did a video a couple months ago with questions being presented to Riley. The response was good and I believe the video was pretty good. I intend to do more videos with Riley as his health permits. I have one that was recorded recently and shows him having his head shaved. I also have a before and after picture. He hopes everyone pledges to the challenge for me to shave my head because he would love to see me as a baldy. Post your pledge amount by donating on the fundraising site with a notation of SHAVE in your message. (https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/0mn6/relocation-from-medical-desert-fund-for-mike-doyne)

Your contributions to the fund are what have allowed me to hire a home health aide, even if it is only for a short time. The personal attention provided to Riley eases his anxiety concerning his care. It is good for him to have someone other than me to look after him. It also helps me so that I can get some rest away from the constant requests and needs of Riley as well as allow me to do things such as the question and answer video. Please keep your contributions coming in and don’t forget that there are challenges that need pledges and items that need a new home. Watch for new handmade “Not So Perfect” items this week. Some of the items that receive NO bids will be placed in the store at Linda’s Front Porch website. However, many of the scarves will be donated to the local cancer center.


If you wish to donate, but would rather donate to a non-profit organization, please visit http://www.shepardcancerfoundation.org/ which is the cancer center where Riley is a patient. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rafterz for teens

 A new Facebook group is being created called "Rafterz". It is for teens who find themselves living with an alcoholic parent, relative or person. This is a "secret" group meaning only approved members can join and participate. The group will be ready to approve new members as of Monday, December 1st, 2014.

The group was created at the request of some of the OARS Group members and will be administered by several members of that Facebook group. A select few of the teens who have a parent in the OARS Group will be monitors. Parents of teens may not be members of the group so that the teens are provided the security of speaking freely without fear of retribution. The administers and monitors will watch closely for any signs of bullying or dangerous statements. Each teen member must provide the name and contact information of an adult that they trust. The trusted adult will be contacted if an administrator or monitor fears for the safety of the member.


If you know of a teen (at least 13 years of age) who you think might benefit from this type of group, please have them e-mail me with Rafterz in the subject line. The teen must have a Facebook account to join. Young adults, who have experienced life in an alcoholic home as a child, are welcome to join as long as they do not have a kid in the group.

Saving my life...

Yesterday I had an e-mail from a gentleman who was questioning why I would expect anyone to donate to a fund to help a drunken zombie who has only spread misery and strife all around him. Unfortunately, I do understand his point of view and I respect his decision not to participate in the fundraiser. I can see how it might appear that I’m asking for help for someone who does not deserve help.

This person clearly states that he has not read very much of my blog, but what he has read has offended him. He has had an unfortunate childhood which has left him with scars that may never heal. He also seems a bit “put out” because of the difficulty he has in meeting his own financial health needs. Again, it is an all-too-common circumstance in our country. Maybe he should start his own fundraiser and try to get help for his own situation.

The fundraiser is not so much about helping Riley stay immortal. The reality is that he is probably not going to make it through this battle no matter where we live or what I do. But then, I’ve heard that he’s dying before. The kids and I have stood vigil by his bedside before. Please forgive me when I have my doubts that he may not be leaving earth this time either. I won’t plan for a memorial service until I have his ashes in a box ready to be buried at sea.

Is it unrealistic for me to want to be in an area where I, Linda, can get the support and help that I need so that I don’t get sick from the sheer stress and physical requirement of taking care of him? Is it unreasonable for me to want to continue to do the things that seem to help so many others who find themselves in alcoholic chaos? How can I do those things when caretaking a cancer patient is a 24-hour a day job?

I’m not trying to save Riley’s life. That’s the job of his cancer team. It’s my job to provide him with assistance in following the doctor’s orders. It’s my job to do what I need to do so that when he passes from this world, I will be able to live with myself.  What I’m trying to do is save my own life.

Riley is still an alcoholic. That doesn't go away just because the drunk is not drinking. Riley would still be drinking if given the opportunity. He just doesn't have the means or ability to be drunk. In spite of all of that, Riley is still human and I will treat him with all the humanity I can muster – believe me sometimes that is very difficult.

If your decision is to NOT participate in the fundraising auction – I’m good with that. I don’t expect something for nothing and that’s why I have chosen the auction and challenge format. I thought it would be a lot more fun than just sending some money off to a cause. Wouldn't it be fun to watch your kids eyes lit up when they think they are talking to Santa? And if you really hate what I’m doing – challenge me to shave my head at the start of what is supposed to be a very cold winter. That would be a good punishment for whatever wrongs you think I’m doing. If you love what I’m doing and can’t afford to participate – post me a positive/encouraging comment on the fundraising site or suggest a challenge that you think might be interesting and fun.


And on this Thanksgiving Day --- THANK YOU to all my readers, even the ones who do not like me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Escape from this medical desert

Quick UPDATE!!

Living in a Medical Desert means there is no staff at any of the local home health care agencies to assist me in providing care for Riley. We are considering a move to a more metropolitan area, such as Hampton Roads Virginia near the Hampton VA Medical Center. I have begun what I think will be a FUN fundraiser -- an auction. The items up for bid will be posted on the Facebook page "Escape from Medical Desert" with the payments made through Give Forward fund raising site.

Currently up for bid are some scarves that I made while waiting while Riley was getting treatment; a resume package (I'm told mine are real winners!); and -- the MOST FUN of ALL -- I'm accepting a challenge to SHAVE MY HEAD if the challenge reaches a certain dollar amount.

People can donate cash; participate in the auction; and/or donate items for the auction. Check us out and see how we are doing:

FACEBOOK PAGE (to see the goodies and place a bid):
 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Escape-from-Medical-Desert/614383965333665

Give Forward (to make a donation or pay for your purchase):
https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/0mn6/relocation-from-medical-desert-fund-for-mike-doyne

Help me stay sane while helping Riley get cancer treatment!

Thank you --

Linda (The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

He's in rehab! Now what?

You never thought this day would actually become a reality. It seems too good to be true and as you watch him walk into the rehab center, you pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming. Even though you know he is safely ensconced into a room and at that very moment he is in a group therapy session, you still think… What if he calls me to come get him? What if he doesn’t handle detox so well? What if… What if..?

It is a restless night for you at the onset of your alcoholic’s rehab journey. The joy is that you wake up in the morning and find that, in spite of the uneasiness, you feel a bit more refreshed than you did on previous nights. Then it hits you – you were more rested because you weren’t subconsciously worried about him burning the house down or falling and cracking his head open. You didn’t have to lock the bedroom door in fear of him going into a drunken rage. Last night you were able to sleep without trepidation and the rest was, OH, so sweet.

Everything is better this morning. The coffee is richer, the sunrise redder, the shower warmer, even the morning news seems to have more positive stories. If you have children, even getting them off to school seems to go without incident – like a well-oiled machine just humming along. So you’ve gotten your morning off to a good start – now what do you do?

There’s always a few days when the alcoholic is out of the house that everything feels fabulously normal. Enjoy it because you really don’t know how long it’s going to last. Besides, I hate to be the bearer of bad news – but you have work to do. It’s all well and good for the alcoholic to be in rehab, but no matter how “well” he gets, if he comes home to the same familiar scenario, he will go back to his old scenarios. So what can you do while he is gone to help the entire family?

Clean house. I know that sounds simple, but it is more complicated that just getting out the broom and mop. When you clean the house this time, you must be a detective. Look for bottles of booze and every imaginable as well as the not so likely places where a bottle can be hidden. With Riley I found bottles hidden the spare tires in the garage, inside the toilet tank, behind the drapery cornice, in the box of Christmas ornaments, in a hole under the sink that opened to the dishwasher space, in the storage shed with the gardening tools, and all the other usual places. I ended up with one entire garbage can of nothing but booze bottles – some empty and some not so much. There wasn’t much room for the regular garbage after my round-up.

I went through the house room by room, cleaning each and every inch of each and every room. It took me about a week to finish the entire house and about 3 days for the outside of the house. I had the cleanest house on the block. It felt so very, very good to know that I now had an alcohol-free environment.

Get support. If you have not tried Al-Anon, give it a go. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back. Don’t let support group options stop with Al-Anon. There’s the OARS Group through this blog and other on-line support groups. The idea is – find what works for you and then participate. TALK. Tell your story and how you feel. It will help you find strength.

Find a therapist. One-on-one counseling is immensely helpful for anyone who is living or has lived with an alcoholic. Through a professional counselor, you will learn what your boundaries are that you set for your life. You can learn who you really are and how to go forward in your life.

Family programs through the rehab center. If your alcoholic is in a rehab center that offers a family program, take advantage of it. Don’t worry what the format is, just go and take in everything they have to offer. If that rehab center doesn’t offer a family program (SHAME ON THEM), call around to other local rehab centers and see if they offer anything for family members who do not have a patient in their facility.

Find your passion. Take this time to try things that may interest you – oil painting; basket weaving; baking; writing; photography… anything that you have been curious about, but never had the time to try. Either do it on your own or find a buddy with the same interest. You may even consider taking a class at your local community college or recreation department. Once you find what you like, commit to it. Make a vow that you may not be able to do it as often as you like, but that you will continue as often as humanly possible.

Read blogs. Of course, read MY blog, but there are many others out there with a focus on the family of addicted persons. They all offer excellent information and encouragement. When you see how many blogs there actually are – you will truly know that you are not alone.

Make decisions. There is no guarantee that the alcoholic will be released from rehab and be a changed person. The likelihood that he will relapse is very high. What are you going to do when/if that happens? I know you believe you will keep a positive attitude, but the reality is you must prepare the negative while enjoying the positive. What will your limits be for alcohol in the home? If you should need to separate yourself from the alcoholic, how will you manage to do that? Will he leave or will you? Do you have money saved for that possibility? Prepare now and you won’t be scrambling around wondering what the hell happened when the future turns from bright to bleak.

Understand everything you can about alcoholism. Just because a person is sober doesn’t mean he will be easy to live with or be a loving partner. If the alcoholic stays in a program, the focus will not be on the family, but rather on maintaining the sobriety that has been attained. Where alcohol was the previous mistress, AA or whatever program he is in, will be his mistress now. It’s hard not to take as rejection or abandonment especially when you have done so much for him when he treated you poorly. It is up to you to decide what kind of relationship you want to have – what is acceptable and what is not. You can stay in your relationship, but you may have reconfigure it a bit to meet both parties requirements.

Life with an alcoholic is never easy. It is almost always disappointing when the discovery is made that life with a recovering alcoholic is also not easy. So take this time to clean your house and your mind. Fill those cleaned out spaces with knowledge of yourself, alcoholism and a clear definition of what your life should look whether alone or with the alcoholic.