The Dry Drunk Holidays

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The Dry Drunk Holidays

Postby marietta » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:45 pm

Who among us wants to spend these upcoming holidays under the tyranny of a dry drunk? I live in my brother's house. He has not had a drink in 28 years. He has never been to a meeting. His is a threatening and punishing Higher Power. He is totally untreated.

I live here only because I cannot make enough money to rent an apartment and pay for my medications. It's either one or the other: can't pay for both. We walk on eggshells, just like we did growing up with our alcoholic father. My brother is prone to rage attacks, and last night's was a gem.

He has prohibited hanging pictures on the walls of his house. There can be no clutter on the kitchen countertops, including a toaster or a blender. Thanksgiving is tolerated, but I am not permitted to decorate; I can only cook, which I despise. Once again, we will have no Christmas tree or lights or nativity scene or any celebration. This is a man who, when one gives him a gift for his birthday or Christmas, he waits a day or two and gives it back. Either that or he refuses to acknowledge it altogether.

He feels unlovable, and so he acts that way. He is 61, and I am 55, and I am totally tired of the prohibition. I want to celebrate my life: the milestones, the holidays, a good day at work, a letter from a friend . . . and I am in a position where I have to do all of these things behind closed doors.

My 20-year-old daughter is coming up to Virginia from Texas for Christmas and I hate to put her through this crap anymore (she lived with us for 7 years before returning to Texas just to get away from it.
I am tempted to take a room at a local bed and breakfast and celebrate there with her rather than endure one more hypercritical holiday with this joyless person. One cannot carry the message to him; he perceives it as a threat and a criticism. Al-Anon meetings make me feel like a fox in a henhouse. I know some of you folks understand how the holidays can magnify every character defect within the alcoholic family structure. I'd like to hear what you might suggest so that I can welcome my daughter back to Virginia, and allow for a wide-open environment where she and I can truly celebrate our faiths, our bond, our joyful reunion.

Wonder why the holidays stir up so much stuff . . .
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde
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Postby Blue Moon » Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:49 am

The holidays are a tough time for many of us. All I can suggest is, do whatever you need to do.

I'm reminded of one "thankless Thanksgiving" my wife and I went to, not too long ago. We were seated opposite a wet drunk who was behaving worse than the kids. We'd eventually had enough of his behaviour, got up and left. I'm sorry if the host was embarassed, but frankly we're a guest and if other guests want to behave that way, they can do it alone.

Of course, this can reinforce our sense of being "different". But instead of having to endure this drunken fool any longer, we took ourselves into NYC to enjoy the lights. An enjoyable evening can result from a negative beginning - you just got to start over.

Meanwhile, the other message that I get from folks' sharing about up-coming holidays, is "keep it in the day". We might pass away in a freak accident tomorrow, so time spent worrying about holidays is time wasted from today.
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Re: The Dry Drunk Holidays

Postby BigBookGirl » Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:50 pm

marietta wrote:I am tempted to take a room at a local bed and breakfast and celebrate there with her rather than endure one more hypercritical holiday with this joyless person.


Sounds like a good idea to me, given the choices! Remember, happiness come from within, no matter what surroundings we may find ourselves in. We don't depend on others to make us comfortable. Happy Holidays marietta. :D
~Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.~ BB pg.76
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Postby Holly96 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:00 pm

I am reminded of my first few trips home in sobriety. My Mom was still drinking , and each time I would go home to visit. (usually around Xmas, and Turkey Day)....she would ask me (or tell me) to stay at the house with her and my dad.

Now growing up in that same house....with my mom drinking the same.......same behavior....etc etc.....it never went well....


I did just what was suggested.....I got a hotel room near my house, and when it got to be "too much" drama.....I excused myself, and had a safe place to go.

I also had a list of numbers to call, and a few meetings in the area as well. (I always try and keep my AA toolbox full!)

My mom was not happy.....but I stayed sober, and she got over it. :)

My first priority is my sobriety. I am all too familiar with the drama that can go with an alcoholic house hold.....and I choose not to participate. It took me a while to realize....I can say NO! :shock:

My suggestion would be....do what you need to do to keep YOU sober, and sane. It may put some people off for a bit....but sobriety is most important..... :-)
don't leave before the miracle...you will be amazed.

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Postby ProsaicSteelGirder » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:55 am

I am totally tired of the prohibition. I want to celebrate my life: the milestones, the holidays, a good day at work, a letter from a friend . . . and I am in a position where I have to do all of these things behind closed doors.


Whew! Hard to wrap my mind around a situation like that although I have stayed in insane places/relationships longer than necessary for various reasons: misplaced sense of loyalty, fear of the unknown, etc.

I would definitely suggest removing yourself from the situation for your daughter's sake, but I ask you to consider the fallout of a tempoarary decision. Are you prepared to go back to a most likely enraged man who you left for the holidays? Perhaps folks in Al-Anon might help you realize the grave nature of your dependency. IDK Holidays or no... sounds like a turning point to me. Consider this excerpt from the Big Book (p. 133) Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.

What are the "limits" of omnipotence? And considering the situation from an entirely different angle: Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes.

Fear is a corrisive thread ---It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn't deserve.
The Power you need to move past all this is already within you. It is only blocked by calamity, pomp, worship of other things (comfort & security perhaps?) IDK... let each of us do what our hearts tells us, my experience suggests that I always have a choice even if the options are scary...
We absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders.
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