Out of the Closet (Formerly published as “I Hate You Bud Lite Lime-A-Rita”)

I had previously published this under an anonymous name on another blog I had created to talk about this subject of alcoholism. A subject which I am very familiar with. Now I am finally in a place where I am no longer denying and hiding.

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I hate you, Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita. I hate that you market yourself as a light malt beverage. I hate that you come in a can containing 3 servings. I hate that your empty aluminum shells are now found all over my house and in my recycling bins. day after day after day. As Arthur Palac wrote about here: http://arthurpalac.com/bud-light-lime-a-rita/ you are a sham and a fraud.

No, my hatred for you is not because I am a social drinker looking to save calories and have been duped, big time (although if I were, I’d be really pissed off). My hatred of you is deeper.

My husband is an alcoholic. In his younger days, his drink of choice was Sambuca or real margaritas with salted rims and lots of tequila. After many years of abusing alcohol and finally falling victim to cardiomyopathy at 46 years old, he gave abstinence a try. For awhile.

Then he began sneaking (at least he thought he was sneaking) a drink here or there. He chose Vodka, so that I would be (in his mind) unable to tell that he’d started drinking again. After that short period of abstinence, his one or two at the local bar after work really affected him. He acted like more of a drunkard than I’d ever seen. He doesn’t get that I KNOW when he’s been drinking, even if I can’t smell it on him. He thinks he’s pulling the wool over my eyes. He doesn’t realize that it’s his personality and his slurring speech and his stumbling around that are the big tip offs.

After driving my daughter and her friend to a church service stinkin’ drunk, and me observing it only when I returned home from the hospital where I’d been with my sick father, my quietly uttered threat of divorce and a total departure from my regular screaming and yelling and crying over his choosing the bottle over his family’s happiness and safety put the scare into him to try again.

AA was short-lived. A ‘friend’ (female) who had found sobriety through her obsession/personal relationship with Jesus offered to help. She and her husband viewed AA as negative and because the “Higher Power” could be anything you want it to be, and viewed as inherently evil. The husband and our daughter began attending their church regularly with them. I am no longer a believer, but was happy that he seemed to make some progress. Whatever it takes. You probably know where that went.

I began therapy this past year. Suicidal ideation and a deep, prolonged depression after my parent’s deaths and the infidelity forced it. I processed our long-term (over 30 years) battle of wills over his drinking. I finally think I’ve gotten the message that I have absolutely nothing to do with his drinking, and I will have absolutely nothing to do with whether he stops. I cannot be the alcohol police. I do not have the power. Only he can change, when and if he is ready.

I can choose to stay and change myself and my reactions, or I can choose to go. It’s a hard decision when there have been no arrests, no DUI’s, he goes to work everyday and functions well, earns a very good living and does not become violent or mean. He has mostly been a happy drunk. But a drunk, nonetheless. Friends who have spouses who are violent, who have multiple DUI’s and arrests and who can’t hold a job view me as ridiculous because I am so crazed by his drinking.

I have learned to say what I need to say about whatever situation comes up, without threats of any sort, just stating my feelings. No more policing, no more judgment, no more ultimatums.

The new rule of the house is, no hiding alcohol. If he wants to drink, that’s up to him. I accept it. I prefer he drinks at home and not drink and drive. I prefer he stop drinking, but I have no control over this issue. So the rule, no hiding, is in place so that he does not get behind the wheel of a car and I have an idea of his state of sobriety before I ask him to drive my daughter somewhere if I am stuck elsewhere. I am learning to detach lovingly, with no anger, no crying, no recriminations.

As the scotch bottles and the tequila bottles fill my recycle bins under the new rule, not hidden, but out in the open, I think he may have had a realization that yes, he drinks an awful lot. He’s never been a beer drinker, just hard liquor. I’ve watched him move toward these flavored malt beverages, and when I cock an eyebrow, he explains that they are helping him to cut down, they have less alcohol. And he believes it. I don’t tell him that he’s just as drunk after one 25 ounce can than if he’d had a couple of real margaritas, because nothing I tell him really matters. Two of the 25 ounce cans after work really does him in. Doesn’t help that they taste just like a real margarita.

I hate you, Bud Lite Lime Lime-A-Ritas. But really, if it wasn’t you, it would be another.

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7 thoughts on “Out of the Closet (Formerly published as “I Hate You Bud Lite Lime-A-Rita”)

  1. Sadly, alcoholism is a familiar subject to so many. It has plagued my life for so many years as well through various family members. It is a wretched disease that causes such havoc to, not only the alcoholic, but to all those around who love them. I completely understand your hatred!

    • It is so freeing to finally be able to talk about it and start working on breaking this cycle of codependency. Thanks so much for your comment, Lynn. I know as more people come out about how alcoholism affects families, something could be done about regulating what I consider to be the biggest ‘drug’ problem plaguing America today. Not talking about prohibitions, but common sense, thoughtful answers for those who are at risk. My own two children have their own issues now with alcohol and I have a lot of guilt over what I could’a, should’a, would’a done differently if this was more of a common topic and not something we all try to hide.

      • There is still so much educating to be done around alcoholism. We live in a society where it is almost of a rite of passage to go through those years of excessive partying & drinking. In many cases it is something that just becomes a part of our past & a funny story to tell, but for many, it is the foundation laid to alcohol abuse.

        I am not opposed to drinking in moderation. Trust me, I enjoy my wine. I love nothing more than to chat over a glass of wine, but I am ever thoughtful about the amount of alcohol I consume.

        My father was an alcoholic as was his Dad & many others on his family tree. Both of my mother’s parents were alcoholics & although for most of her life, my mother only drank socially, in her aging years we have been dealing with her alcohol abuse.

        Based on my family history, I have had a very open dialogue with my children in regards to concern over alcohol potentially becoming an issue for them. They are certainly very aware but what I know for certain about this disease, is that it is not within my power to stop it if this is the path they go down. Thankfully, they are both young married adults who appear to be making good choices & I don’t for-see a problem but had you asked me a number of years ago if I would be dealing with this with my Mom, I would have told you, you were out of your mind.

        I hope you continue to speak out & to seek the support you need. It is vital to your sanity!

  2. Sadly it is the silent killer in many families. I watched it going on through a side of my family and the destruction it leaves behind is devastating. Even after those relatives died, the aftermath is still visible today. I think it’s sad that some Christians would take such a view on AA… It wouldn’t be my first choice of help, but it is a definite life saver for many. Of course, as you’ll already know, he needs to do it for himself. Hopefully one day he will, but until then, you need to look after yourself.

  3. I’m late to read this but I truly admire and appreciate the honesty and openness of your post. I think we’ve all been touched by alcoholism in some way, but my heart goes out to you on this.

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