CASE STUDY: Caroline & Tony in Swindon
The things we all say, eh? Not when we’ve had a drink; but when we’re sober, clear-headed, lucid, and often spouting more guff than when we’re three sheets to the wind:
“I love you so much, darling, I promise I’ll kick the booze soon. I give you my word.”
“I’ll stop drinking from Monday. I’m actually quite looking forward to turning over a new leaf!”
“Alcohol is my God? Are you kidding? You are my priority. You and the kids.”
“Do I love alcohol more than I love you? I can’t believe you’d ask me that, sweetheart. You are all that matters to me. To the world you may be just one person, but to me you are the world.”
Ahhh, lovely that last one, wasn’t it?
Shame it’s usually not true. Not if the person saying it (and all the other ‘tosh examples’) is one of Britain’s hidden drinkers: a functioning alcoholic of which there are hundreds of thousands across the land, by the way who is a financially secure and well educated professional, but who simply cannot give up their affair, with the bottle.
Caroline, a Florist, explains her experience of being married to someone just like that: her husband Tony: “The intensity of Tony’s attraction to alcohol, his dependence upon it, his overwhelming need for it however that affected me and the children was terrifying, to be quite honest. It made me feel insignificant, worthless. It was as if he was having an affair with someone so attractive, I could not even hope to compete. And so I always felt, and came, second best.”
So what does Tony have to say about all this?
“First of all, I had no idea Caroline was feeling as neglected as she was. I am the Managing Director of a company that designs leading-edge analytical and measuring instruments for the medical industry. The turning point came when I spent my annual bonus on a top of the range Mercedes and crashed it while drink driving. It was a wake-up call, to say the least. Rather than being handed a custodial sentence I was given the option of enrolling on an Alcoholism Rehab Treatment Programme at a Residential Clinic.”
Did the Programme work?
“Rehab saved my life”, Tony replies.
“And your marriage,” Caroline adds quietly.
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*Note: All names have been changed