Alcoholics generally deride non-drinkers. They’ll even go as far as targeting them through Social Media, sending them nasty messages on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Targeted teetotallers are told (usually in the crudest terms) that they are: “Boring” “Guaranteed to spoil the party”, “Holier than thou” etc. But surveys show that more non-drinkers despise drunks than alcoholics loathe teetotallers.
Most alcohol abusers are in denial
Heavy drinkers hide their addiction. When asked about how much and how regularly they drink, alcoholics will become belligerent, their classic retort being: “It’s up to me how much I drink. It’s my business, and no one else’s. I mean, how does my drinking affect you?”
The truth is that the impact of an alcoholic’s behaviour can be astonishingly far-reaching. It can result in marriage and relationship break-ups, children being taken out of school (or out of the family home and put into care), house repossessions, and even the development of serious health conditions in the people ‘around’ the drinker, as well as the alcoholic themselves. Here’s a heartbreaking example of that:
“When she was alive, my mother never drank a drop of alcohol in her life,” 19-year-old Sheena in Arbroath explains. “It was Dad who was the drinker in the family. As his alcoholism increased – to the point where he was permanently intoxicated and unable to work – Mum’s mental and physical health declined concurrently. In the end, when we lost the family home (and had to go into B&B accommodation arranged through Angus Council) it all got too much for Mum. She took her own life soon after we lost everything.”
“I think the thought of having to start all over again was overwhelming for Mum. And she couldn’t see any kind of a future at all. Ironically, Dad has now beaten the booze (thanks to a period of time spent at a private Scottish rehab clinic), and has remarried. He works as a personal trainer, of all things. Well, that’s what I’ve heard. I don’t speak to him anymore. Neither does my sister nor younger brother.”
Have you been hurt by another’s addiction?
Alcohol is renowned for loosening inhibitions and for fuelling licentious behaviour in some people. This can result in all manner of problems, not least of all relationship breakdowns. Being cheated on by a partner who drinks is something that happened to Celestine in Bristol over the Christmas period. And she is certainly not one to forgive and forget:
“My boyfriend – or should I say, my now ex-boyfriend – cheated on me with my best friend after a party on Christmas Eve last year. I only found out about it in the New Year, so I was disgusted to learn that while he was sitting with my family and I enjoying turkey with all the trimmings, he was harbouring a dirty little secret.”
“When I found out about his one night stand (after what he described as “the heaviest evening’s drinking I’d had for months”) I broke up with him straightaway. I was so angry. I still am. But the person I’m furious at most of all is myself. Why? Because a previous boyfriend (also an alcohol abuser) cheated on me twice, and when I ended that relationship I swore I would never date a drinker ever again. But I did. And look what happened.”
We’re here to help
If your life is being negatively affected by your partner’s alcohol abuse (or that of a family member, close friend or even a colleague) you don’t have to cope with it alone. One phone call to Rehab Treatment UK could prove the turning point in initiating real change – change for the better – for you and the person close to you who is struggling with alcohol addiction.
Note: All names have been changed