My husband has had an uphill battle with alcohol since we were married 10 years ago.
He successfully quit cold turkey once and it lasted for almost 2 years but one drink started it all back over.
He has made a new years resolution to beat it for good this time. His first "test" will come this coming saturday jan. 6 for his companys belated christmas party. Everyone is talking about getting drunk and partying. My husband is very stressed over this, he vows that we will sit back and just drink soda and watch everyone else be idiots but I know he will have a very difficult time. I want to do whatever I can to help him. He finally received health benefits through his employer and spent the last few days trying to find some counseling to get into immediately. Every place he has called the doctors are either booked up for the next few weeks or they don't accept our insurance carrier. We are both very discouraged over this too, you want the help and are trying to get it but it seems you cant.
My husband is also bipolar with bouts of severe depression and has panic attacks. I know his alcohol problem could be related to him being bipolar. That is something he wants to ask as soon as he gets in to see a doctor about medicine.
The last medicine he was on was seroquel and paxil. The seroquel made him so sleepy he couldn't function and couldn't do a good job at work so he quit taking it and the paxil only stopped his panic attacks for a short time and didn't really help either.
Is there anyone out there that knows what he is going through and can offer any advice?
My best suggestion I can give to you is to try a support group for yourself. Ala-non is for the friends, family and spouses of Alcoholics whether they are in recovery or not. There are meetings held all over the country, propably one just minutes from you. There you will meet other people in similair situations who can totally understand what you are going through. There are many people like your husband who are dually diagnosed (bi-polar and alcoholic). They will help you learn to help him and help you heal yourself. My sister is a recovering alcholic and drug addict. She has now been sober for around 4 years. My mother, father and myself found a lot of help with Nar-anon and Ala-non. Good Luck and Best Wishes!
I agree with the previous poster. AA and Al-Anon are the only ways that I have heard of individuals being able to cope with addiction (AA) or addiction within the family/friends. There should be several meeting times available, and they are printed in your local newspaper.
I would also recommend that if you choose to try the AA or Al-Anon route, you try several meetings (at different times) before you find one that fits your style, and that you commit to attending at least 6 meetings before deciding whether this program has anything to offer you.
If he's that worried about it, why is he going at all? He could say he's got other plans that day or just plead sick, if he really wanted to do himself a favour. It doesn't sound like he's strong enough to deal with such a stressful, triggering situation yet. There's no shame in deciding not to put himself through that. And it's not your responsibility to make sure he doesn't relapse either.
Addiction recovery treatment is really important if someone is to learn how to cope with trigger situations like that. That's how relapses happen and they can be avoided and/or pulled out of quickly if he learns how to treat situations like that as an opportunity to learn new coping skills. He can learn that through most addiction treatment centres that take a problem-solving approach to it. A treatment centre could also help him figure out what meds would help with the mental health aspects too, since that can complicate things.
I would also agree that you need to get some support for yourself. If your husband is willing to go to a treatment centre, they often have programs for family members too. But even if he isn't willing to go, check into it yourself, either a structured program or Al-anon. There are many books out there too, that can help you understand how you react and interact with his addiction and how it becomes a way to avoid dealing with your own stuff. It might not seem like it right now but it does.
i agree with the other posts. i don't see why you and your husband have to agonize over attending a party where everyone will be getting drunk. it is causing extreme anxiety before the event not to mention attending it. what's most important is to get into meetings at AA and Al-Anon and attend them as many times a day as necessary, getting into counseling and getting medication for bi-polar disorder. with all that you're dealing with i'm sure your non-attendance at a drunken office party is the least of your worries. best wishes to you. pinkcat
my husband is a recovering A.he has 17 months. A.A. and al-anon are the best programs out there. we have met some of the best people in these programs. there are also mental health clinics that go on a sliding scale for payments. some work places will help.there is help out there,but he has to seek it out. he has to ask for the help. in the mean time the only way you can help is take care of yourself. go to al-anon. there are meeting every where.they are free. look in your phone book. don't lose hope. i have been there. there is light at the end of the tunnel. your higher power is also a great help.