Friday, April 14, 2017

Communication by Mr. UT

Communication

Why is it so hard to talk with a loved one about their drinking problem?

Mrs. Un-Tipsy and I talk a lot, about a lot of things.  Truth be told, she does most of the talking, but I do listen, and I’m usually not shy about giving my opinion or view point.  However; I admit that when it came to her drinking problem I was at a loss as to what to say or if I should say anything at all.

We had our share of arguments about her drinking and what it was doing to our lives.  When I found hidden bottles of wine in the house I didn’t know the right way to approach her about it.  Should I yell or should I ignore it?  If I ignored it was I enabling her?  If I yelled was I just driving her away?  It was difficult to sit down and have a conversation without it ending in a fight.  She was in denial and I was frustrated, mad and hurt.  I felt helpless and that was not a feeling I was used to.  Understanding her addiction was difficult.  Why was she putting herself and our future at risk?  Why couldn’t she see what was happening and what it was leading to? Talking about it with her was a struggle for me.  I was always uncertain about what to say or how to say it.  I didn’t want to drive her away but I couldn’t let her ruin her life without a fight.  When she finally stopped drinking I was elated and scared.  I didn’t know how much to praise her about her decision and her progress.  I wanted to show support and offer as much help as she wanted or needed.  But was I doing it too much?  Were my offers of praise helpful or was I just bringing it up too often and reminding her of her past drinking?

Mrs. Un-Tipsy is a very strong woman, despite her occasional doubts.   She is unafraid of introspection and what she might find there.  She has used this introspection to gain understanding and help her continued sobriety.  I on the other hand have a very limited capacity for introspection.  Perhaps it’s a man thing or the way I was raised but I have a simple straight forward view of life and my place in it.  So I am impressed at how much Mrs. Un-Tipsy is willing to continue to look into herself and search for answers and strength.  But was it my lack of introspection that made communication difficult?  In the past, this difference of viewpoints contributed to my hesitation to talk about her addition.  Even today when I read Mrs. Un-Tipsy’s posts I sometimes learn new things about her struggles in the past and in the present.  With each new revelation I have a bit more understanding about the depth of her struggle and her strength.  I’m sometimes brought to the brink of tears reading of the pain she went through. 

Should I tell her again how proud I am of her or is it too much?  That question can only be answered by the person working on their sobriety.  As you struggle with your addiction remember to communicate with your family, friends and other loved ones.  They want to help but sometimes they just don’t know how.  Let them know what they can do to make your struggle a little bit easier.


Mr. Un-Tipsy

PS -  From Wendy: If you want the perceptive of a loved one who lives with someone with an addiction, please read this beautiful blog Real Life 

29 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful post Mr UT. :-) I have seen the struggle about my addiction in my mothers eyes. Possibly my fathers eyes too. It was tough. To realise how much they were at loss and my inability to do something - at that moment. Everybodies feeling of powerlessness and then my idea that I could fix myself by drinking that away. The misconception is big. Alcohol is dark.
    I am very happy for you both that you can do this together. :-)
    xx, Feeling

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  2. Thank you for this post. It has made me feel quite tearful at your kindness and desire to help the woman you love. It also makes me grateful for my own husband, who is so generous and supportive of me.

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    1. Mr. UT says "Thank you and just keep talking to your husband."

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  3. Oh gosh my husband is the same way. Introspection is not his specialty but this really helps me understand his side of it and how he feels. Thank you

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    1. Mr. UT says, "You're welcome. Keep talking with your husband."

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  4. Wow - to have such love between you is wonderful.

    Praise and constant back-patting is a GREAT thing for an ex-drinker in my opinion. My older (23 year old) daughter says she is proud of me and my parents, it really helps and for someone who is strong and hates praise, I love it.

    Michelle xxx

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    1. Mr. UT says, "I am glad your family supports you."

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  5. Great blog post MrUT & great post share Wendy! :) xx

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  6. Dear Mr U-T - this was a really helpful post for me to read. It sounds to me as if you, like my husband, are a 'normal drinker' and the other side of the coin is that it is sometimes hard for us boozers/ex-boozers to understand the mindset of 'normal drinkers'. We don't 'get' you in the same way that you don't 'get' us, so it is good to have a viewpoint into your perspective. It is also really good to read of your efforts to understand and help Wendy AS SHE NEEDS TO BE HELPED. That is truly love in action, and the thing about love is that it comes back to you often ten-fold. Bless you! Prim xx

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    1. Thank you Prim. It is indeed difficult to understand both sides of the problem. The lesson learned is that family and friends need to be there when help is asked for or needed. And yes, I do learn something new from Mrs. Un-Tipsy every day.

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  7. PS also meant to say that it takes some degree of introspection to realise that you are not inherently introspective :) maybe some of Wendy's spider-senses are rubbing off on you?!

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  8. Thank you Mr. UT for sharing. Wendy is so fortunate to have your love and support! Thanks Wendy for the blog share-- another great blog to add to my list! xx

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    1. Mr. UT says, "Thank you, Lori."
      I say, it's a great blog!!
      xo

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  9. That is lovely.
    A person can never give too much praise or love.

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    1. I know I never get tired of hearing it!
      xo

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  10. Love this! It really gave me some insight on what my husband is probably going through. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. I think it's so important to read, hear the loved one point of view.
      I wasn't ready to hear hubs until I got sober.
      xo

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  11. What a wonderful, honest, compassionate post! The two of you are a real gift to the sober-sphere!

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    1. We say, "Thank you! We sure have fun together!"
      xo

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  12. Love love love this!!! You guys are the best. I love the vulnerability and the truth you are letting people see.
    You're right, Wendy is SO strong! And you are absolutely perfect for her. Undeniable exhibit of courage and true love. Xoxo
    Abby

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    1. Thank you, Abby!
      Thank you so much for reading!
      We love you, too!
      xo

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  13. I sure needed this post Thank you Mr UT, I really felt you were talking to me, my daughter is so horribly addicted to drinking, and I feel so helpless, it was wonderful to hear your story and read this post.
    It does give me faith and courage to carry on. Un-Tipsy is very lucky to have you and I know she is grateful..

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  14. Awww I love this post Mr UT - your genuine love for your beautiful wife shines through in it. You two have been through so much, and are so lucky to have each other on this crazy journey called life. I hope that the two of you have many, many more years and lots of amazing adventures ahead of you together <3

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