I am a 29 year old mother/wife who admitted yesterday to my husband that I am an alcoholic. This isn't to say that he didn't already know that I am an alcoholic. I have hid my drinking for most of our relationship, and after I had my daughter I began drinking again, hiding empty wine bottles in cabinets and piles of clothes. After getting caught 3 times in the past 10 months, I am broken. And my husband's trust in me is broken.
My husband supports and loves me, but I know that he is hurt and afraid. I have my first session with a therapist (PhD) who specializes in addiction on Tuesday. But, what is next? There is a sense of relief, exhaustion and emptiness now that I have admitted my addiction after 9 years of hiding it. A sense of guilt and shame.
First of all, you are to be commended for your courage to admit you are an alcoholic. And meeting with a therapist who specializes in addiction is an excellent idea. The most important thing to know right now is that alcoholism is a disease -- truly -- new brain research of this past 10-15 years possible as a result of new brain imaging technologies shows that alcoholism is one of the brain disease of addiction. This new research also shows the brain can and does recover -- you can get well. There are many ways to move into recovery, but first, I suggest you read my book (and I hate that this sounds like a plug for my book), but I wrote it especially for families (both the person with the disease of addiction and the family members who love them). It's called Loved One In Treatment? Now What! (it's avaialble on amazon.com or barnes and noble.com) or I can send you a copy. I have another book that is especially helpful to family members, like your husband, called If You Loved Me, You'd Stop! As we understand addiction (alcoholism) as a brain disease, we better understand why our loved ones were not able to get control of their drinking and bring it within moderate limits, why some people become alcoholics and others do not and what happens to family member and the family as a whole.
The most important thing is not to drink but how to do control the powerful cravings that drive that desire is known as recovery. You may need to go through detox, now, however, which is a medically supervised period where the alcohol is eliminated from your system in a safe manner. You see, heavy drinking for years also effects other body organs, which have become dependent on the alcohol, as well, so detox is the method used to safely remove the alcohol from your body. Your doctor or a local treatment center or hosptial should be able to help with this. If you want to go into a residential treatment faciliy, SAMHSA (substance abuse and mental health services adminsitration) has a treatment facility locator that can help you find one in your area.
This is a huge step and you are to be commended. It can and does get better, too -- for everyone -- you, your husband and your daughter.
My website, www.BreakingTheCycles.com, also has information, research and suggestions for recovery help.
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