He almost died from drinking and I didn't know he drank

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
He almost died from drinking and I didn't know he drank
8
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 2:35pm

I don't know where to start. I've been married for 30 years and have 3 grown children. For the past 4 years my husband has been dealing with terrible depression and is under a physicians care for it. His personality had changed and he was exhibiting bizarre behavior at times but I never knew he was drinking. He hid it so well that I didn't know. Until 3 days ago when a friend of his called to tell me that he was in the ER completely drunk with an erradic heart beat. He was supposed to be on a men's weekend retreat. He had drank so much (snuck it in) that he was unconscious. They kept him for 24 hours then sent him home. He told me all about it, blaming it on job stress.I don't even know what to say to him. Obviously we have serious issues. I don't know how or when we got to this and why I didn't know.

Brenda

Avatar for ubergeek
Community Leader
Registered: 09-23-2010

That's some scary stuff. I'm sorry you are going through this.  Having alcoholics in the family, I know how hard it can be when they don't (won't!) admit that they have a problem. I honestly don't know what to tell you, but maybe this will be his wakeup call? I don't think you can go on living like this though, it's not fair. At least, I wouldn't be able to. But at the same time I realize that it can be hard to make such a drastic change. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I could write a book on this, but the best advice I could give you in this forum is to go to Alanon.  

I have been in recovery for 16 years and my first two DH's were alcoholics and drug addicts (among other things).  My current DH is also in recovery.  

Your DH is sick and needs help.  I hope he will go to AA.  

I am sure you are in shock, so look up Alanon in your area ASAP.  If your area is small, you may have to reach out to surrounding areas.  You can also go to open AA meetings and listen.  Anyone on the hotline should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Send me a privage message if you want to talk more.

Serenity CL making a marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

Insist that he go to his depression doctor, and allow you to be present and to communicate with the doctor regarding his case. You need to know how the alcohol and depression and meds all affect each other. Did the doctor know that he was "self medicating" with alcohol? Has he been screened for other conditions by a psychiatrist?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013

I am so sorry this has happened and I agree with the poster that says he needs to go back to the depression doctor. Please make sure he discusses his drinking. The doctor needs to know about it to make sure he has the proper meds.

Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008

We have been taking this one day at a time. He says he has quit drinking and will never pick it up again. Is he just saying this because he got caught? Is it possible to just quit like this after years (apparently it's been 3 years) of daily drinking?

Brenda

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

One day at a time is a good way to proceed.

He could have been "scared straight" after the incident that landed him in the hospital. It can be possible to quit cold turkey but its usually very hard. As for saying that he'll never drink again--maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

I repeat my advice from before: make him get an appointment with the depression doctor and sign documents that you can be in the room and the doctor can talk to you about his case now and later. Have the DOCTOR explain everything to YOU, don't just accept your dh's version---about the depression treatment, any medications and interactions with alcohol, if the doc thinks your dh is an alcoholic, if he can quit cold turkey, does he need rehab, anything that you want to know. I also suggest that you do the same thing with his medical doctor. If dh has been drinking daily for 3 years I would want to know about his liver function or any other health problems as a result of all that alcohol.

I stress you getting informed personally by the doctors because of a friend of mine: her husband had a chronic health issue that was supposedly stable. Unknown to the wife, his doctor told him he shouldn't drink or the condition would worsen. He told wife drinking was okay, so they would have cocktails, wine with dinner etc. Suddenly he got sick and the ER doctor said something about no alcohol, which is how the wife found out. After that he was sneaking alcohol which the wife didn't discover until months later when he got really sick. Bottom line, if someone is an alcoholic they can get very good at hiding and lying and changing the facts. You need to at least know what the doctors say about the situation. Also the doctors can probably direct you to sources of more information or support.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

Remdamma has brought up some really good points.  

The thing is, it is hard to get a correct diagnosis from a therapist when a person is lying about how much they are drinking.  Alcohol is a depresant, and anti-depresants don't work properly when drinking.  

So yes, he needs to be reevaluated by therapist and needs a physical by a MD.  Of course, this will only be fruitful if he is ready to get help.  

Any one in AA or Alanon will tell you these same things.  And a therapist and doctor will also probably tell you two to go to AA and Alanon.  

Hang in there and regardless of what your DH does, or does not do, get some help for yourself.  

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2012

I totally, genuinely agree with recommendations of seeking professional assistance for both of you and THE TWO OF YOU AS A COUPLE.  If you approach the problem solving process with the attitude that you'll be a sort of tag along interloper during counseling, it will fail. This, to me, is clearly a couple's problem.  If your spouse has been having serious drinking problems for four years and you weren't aware of it, there are some important dimensions absent in your marriage.  You can pay attention to this point of view or disregard it because it may not be in line with what you want to hear. I'm just sayin' it's YOUR marriage. Don't expect you to work this out without some hard work on both of your parts.