I recently spoke with Amy who is the spouse of an alcoholic physician that sought treatment for his alcoholism at Turning Point. I wanted to get the lowdown on her experience in recovering from an alcoholic spouse. It was a very educational experience! As a recovering drinker myself, I learned what dealing with us drinkers in our active addiction is like, from the other person’s perspective.
It’s not pretty.
Currently, Amy is a responsible member of the community she lives in and is very comfortable with who she is today, but it wasn’t always like that.
Before she and her husband sought help, her life consisted of reacting to her husband’s disease, period. That was it. The alcoholic acts, the co-dependent reacts.
She was in constant fear that he would get a DUI with the kids in the car, or that he would lose his livelihood if he injured or killed a patient, or any other number of things that people living with active addiction worry about.
Her husband, however, convinced her that treatment was not an option for him, that if it were found out that he had a drinking problem, he would lose his career.
After a DUI arrest with a minor accident, he had a breathalyzer installed on his car, and the results went to a monitoring company 5 times per day. Turns out he was a home drinker, though, AND Amy was unable to tell when he was drunk. Because of that, the monitor on the car was ineffective and his drinking progressed.
After another close call, Amy had had enough. She told him that if she had to call DCF, he would not see his kids again. With that, he accepted defeat and the treatment option at Turning Point.
Getting help in Family Group was a kind of spiritual awakening for Amy, relieved that she could finally confide what she and her kids had been through to other people that really understood. For Amy, in Family Group there was support and understanding and….healing.
She says she was actually as sick as he was, just not drunk. It took her a long time to get there and has taken a while to get out. Their divorce was sealed during his drinking career, but Amy has grown through this process; she still cares about him, her recovery and the people in her life.
For more information, Amy also pointed me to the book How Al-Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics.
Additionally, Amy says that the principles she has learned through her experience at Turning Point help her in her everyday life, dealing with her employees, her kids, and ex-husband (currently sober with no relapses for three years now).
Thank you to Amy for sharing her story with us. – John B.
You can read more interviews right here: Interviews with Family Members
Our goal is always to provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have provided Licensed Residential, Day/PHP, and Intensive Outpatient treatment in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.