This post is about strange behavior of the alcoholic. Some things I should have seen as not "normal." I was lulled into a sense that this is a normal behavior pattern for a person. Below are some of the signs I maybe could have seen and recognized as alcoholism.
As you know, my story is one where I lived with alcoholism for years. I was married to an alcoholic.
Here's the strangest thing. I never knew that my wife - my "qualifier" was drinking. I just grew accustomed to how she was behaving and "just thought" that this - her strange and erratic behavior was normal.
Here are some signs of the strange behavior;
1. Failure at being on time - to anything. I am not compulsive about being "on time" especially outside of the business world. But being late all the time - for anything and everything should have been a "sign" that something was wrong.
By the way, her parents had the same problem with her. She would always be late to everything. And they thought it was "just her."
2. Forgetfulness. Yes, forgetting - a lot. Even forgot to pick her daughter up from school - or was late. Forgot to go grocery shopping - so there was little or no food in the house.
3. Shopping all the time. Another addiction. Forever leaving the house and shopping at the grocery store. It was "just one more thing" at this store or that.
4. Being unorganized - all the time.
5. Moodiness . . . especially at certain times. At 5PM every day she would become the devil. Her face would actually contort - twist - and she would be pissed off at me.
6. Being called a "Control Freak" - is a sign that you maybe controlling. But you are controlling something you don't understand and don't know why. For example, when you start asking questions about why your spouse is going out and you get "none-sensical answers" and you are then called a "control freak" - you may not be the problem, but your intuition is trying to tell you something is wrong and you are NOT listening or you are rationalizing it away. Being called a control freak may be a sign that you are controlling - you are not bad - you are just trying to figure out something that is not making sense. The problem is not recognizing that something is actually wrong.
7. Being controlling. Once you step into trying to control this disease - you lose. You lose your identity and the disease in the other person becomes more powerful in that the disease tells the alcoholic - "See, she/he is a bad person. Let's drink some more."
8. Missing work. Missing planes. Missing assignments. This occurred with Girl Scouts.
9. House a wreck. Car a wreck. I mean a mess. When stuff is scattered all over the floor -clothes or whatever or crud in the car - this is a sign. She was medicating herself away from the reality of life.
10. In my case - our daughter was always being "medicated." It was Motrin this and Motrin that for any pain. I have 4 full bottles of Motrin over my house (I no longer live with my wife and have filed for the big D in hopes that I could/can show some normalcy for our daughter). Our daughter would bring these bottles over in her suit case. I take them out and place them in the cupboard now. She was "in pain." But for some reason, once she was here, the pain was forgotten. I think this may be some sort of transference - my wife medicates herself and she wants to medicate our daughter. As I write this - I am a little pissed about this and would like to figure out what the heck to do about it.
11. Neighborhood women - they were sorta talking about my wife and how "funny" she was. I never "drilled down" into asking what they meant or what they were referring to.
12. Eating habits. My wife would eat a lot. Would these be munchies?
13. She was overly caring about what the neighbors thought of her. She wanted to show she was "perfect" on the outside, but in our home, it was a disaster. No dinners for us. But she would cook food for others who were coming home from the hospital after a baby was born or some event. Their dinner was perfect. Ours, well it sucked or did not exist. A big sign. The alcoholic and the alcoholism does not want to be found out, and wanted to put on a "perfect front." This is very normal in an alcoholic home. Sometimes the spouse of the alcoholic wants to put on the air of everything normal over here. But in reality - the house is screwed. And it - the pretending and denial affects the children - here's how: their gut/intuition is telling them something is wrong - but they are being told "don't worry about it" or "everything is normal" and "don't tell anyone." Puts a big pressure on a little person and makes them grow up confused as all hell.
14. Too many glasses of wine. Kendall Jackson was the affair with whom my wife had. I wonder how may people are drinking to be healthy and in reality - are now alcoholics . . . I really wonder. Who would think an alcoholic could be a white wine drinker?
15. Wife would go MIA for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Our house was fairly large. So she could hide and drink. Another sign. Duh.
Anyway, these were some of my signs I "coulda," - "shoulda" seen
Please share your experience, strength and hope for others.
I know the focus needs to be on us - but there are some people out there who may be experiencing alcoholism and they are like us - they never knew it or don't know it - and need help to see it.