Thank you to Paul Kalaher of SP Bespoke for this tough talking piece.
Are you wondering when or if your partner will ever be ready to stop drinking? Do you need to find out if they have a drink problem?
If they have a drink, can it just stop at one or two?
Does their personality change when they have a drink – or when they don’t have a drink?
Are they telling lies to you or others to cover their drinking?
Has their drinking caused issues with their job/employment?
Are they spending a lot of money on drink?
Do they have debt or unresolved legal issues that are related to the lifestyle changes that excessive drink has caused?
Have they been driving under the influence?
Have they lost their driving license yet?
Is their health – mental & physical – being affected by their excessive drinking?
Are they justifying the amount they drink – or the regularity of the drinking – or the need to drink?
Does their life revolve around their next drink – but also the time in between leading to their next drink? (Problem drinkers don’t always drink every day. Or every week. But the sober days in between are always just a link to the next drink. They aren’t being lived fully. They are ‘spacer’ days…filling time to the next justified drink.)
Is your health – mental & physical – being affected by their excessive drinking?
Has their drinking caused you to lie to your friends and family to cover for their drink-related actions?
Has their drinking caused you to lie to yourself? To question your own truth. To question what you see with your own eyes and feel with your own heart?
Do you feel alone and with no one to talk to, and if you do talk to someone, you will have repercussions from the drinker?
Do you worry that your loved one will die from their drinking problem?
If you look back to how they used to be, do you wonder how the situation got to where it is now?
So, is there a problem with drink?
Even if not many of the above apply, if there is a problem with drink, they soon will do. Ready is now. The drinker themselves will never be ready. There’s always an excuse. Always a reason to celebrate with a drink, there’s a reason to commiserate with a drink. And there’s all the days in between that the drinker is ready to name with a reason to drink.
It’s always about tomorrow and tomorrow never comes. And in many cases with problem drinking, tomorrow is too late. Don’t be the one who stands at the funeral of a loved one, asking yourself if you could have done more. Then it’s too late.
But if you’re here reading this about your loved one, you already know that there’s a possibility of a problem.
You feel like you’re letting them down
I get it. You feel like you’re letting them down by getting help. You feel like you are going behind their back. It feels uncomfortable. And the drinker is always ready with an excuse for you – so that they can carry on. There’s anger. There’s denial. There’s frustration. There’s ‘I can’t believe you’re asking me again!’ ‘Why don’t you believe me!’ ‘You never trust me!’ – all the excuses that point the problem back to you.
But that’s what problem drinkers do. It’s not who they are underneath necessarily…it’s what the alcohol does to them and it’s what the alcohol makes them do. It’s taken control of their life but they can’t admit something has got control of it, so they justify and cover for it…how could they admit that this strong and successful person cannot beat a glass of liquid. So rather than get help and admit this, they justify their drinking to themselves. Much better for them to make them believe they are in control of something they are not in control of. They will not get help. But you can get them help.
And remember, this call is for you too!
How many times has a loved one lied to you about their problem drinking? How many times have they promised that they are telling you the truth, but you know they are lying? Has your times heart broken inside numerous times because of this? How many times have you known that the truth is being hidden, but when you mention it to them, they put it back to you that you have the trust problem?
How much does that hurt? Do you want to scream and shout that you know they are lying and covering up. That it hurts you so much. That you have no one to talk to. That their problem is your problem too. That every time they drink and lie, you knew it almost before you saw them. That there are 1000s of signs, most so subtle, that they cannot hide. That they can’t hide them all. You are lonely. Lost. And you are scared every day that this will be the day that something bad happens.
Maybe what you need is a listening ear from professionals who are not involved in the story.
We have been there ourselves. We can help you. If there is not a problem with their drinking and you just want reassurance of that then take the opportunity of a free, confidential 20-minute phone call with us. If there’s not a problem, there’s nothing for us to help with. Your mind can be put at rest by a 20-minute chat and you can both get on with your lives. Peace of mind, for free, in 20 minutes.
But if there is, this could be the most important call of your life. And of the life of your loved one.