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.
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.