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Is Your Spouse's Disease Hurting You?

13 October 2016 Written by 

Pat loves donuts, and over the years, Pat’s love for donuts has brought on weight changes, headaches, and has occasionally passed out. Pat’s doctor has questioned Pat about the love of donuts, which Pat vehemently denied.

Pat’s Doctor Has The Tough Talk

“Per the DSM-V, Pat has a disease, called diabetes. Pat needs to give up the donuts and commit to a complete lifestyle change to live a long and healthy life. Pat should also consider attending a support group. While support from Pat’s family would help, Pat is the only one who can put down the donuts and make these changes.”

Pat refuses to change. Pat says,"It’s fine, and a doughnut now and then won’t hurt." You suspect Pat’s addicted. Pat gets sicker. It’s gut wrenching to watch Pat pass out and waste away. Frightened, you begin to yell. Desperate, you condemn and hide the donuts. You cry, beg, and make outlandish promises because you love Pat soooo much. You know this disease is killing Pat. Pat’s life is being wasted.

Pat grows angry at your anger. The situation becomes a vortex of anger, and your relationship spirals out of control. You become jealous and accuse Pat of loving the donuts more than you.

Now, Let’s Replace The Donuts With Alcohol

Let’s say your spouse, Pat, has a problem. Pat loves alcohol, and over the years, Pat’s love for alcohol has brought on weight changes, headaches, and has occasionally passed out. Pat’s doctor has questioned Pat about the love of alcohol, which Pat vehemently denied.

Pat’s Doctor Has The Tough Talk

“Per the DSM-V, Pat has a disease, called Alcohol Use Disorder. Pat needs to give up the alcohol and commit to a complete lifestyle change to live a long and healthy life. Pat should also consider attending a support group. While support from Pat’s family would help, Pat is the only one who can put down the alcohol and make these changes.”

Pat refuses to change. Pat says, "It’s fine, and one now and then won’t hurt." You suspect Pat’s addicted. Pat gets sicker. It’s gut wrenching to watch Pat pass out and waste away. Frightened, you begin to yell. Desperate, you condemn and hide the alcohol. You cry, beg, and make outlandish promises because you love Pat soooo much. You know this disease is killing Pat. Pat’s life is being wasted.

Pat grows angry at your anger. The situation becomes a vortex of anger, and your relationship spirals out of control. You become jealous accuse Pat of loving the alcohol more than you.

Tough Talk To The Caregiver

I am so sorry you are in such a tragic situation. I too know how hard it is to watch a loved one die from cancer, diabetes, and Alcohol Use Disorder. Whatever the disease, we all share similar feelings of anger and helplessness.

Fortunately, I know how to save a life, but the only life I can save is my own. My best attempt at helping my loved one is to take care of myself. Recovery programs like Al-Anon and Celebrate Recovery are two great places for me to start. People in these recovery rooms greet me with a smile and concern. Meeting by meeting, they share their strength, hope, and experience. As I listen to their sharing I am learning to take better care of myself. While I wish I could get rid of the disease I know I am giving my loved ones a healthier version of me and that is the best thing I can do for them today.

Content Originally Published By: Pam Carver @ Reach Out Recovery

 

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Read 1965 times Last modified on Monday, 19 June 2017 19:15
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Pam Carver

In my family of origin, three of us are in treatment for codependency, drugs, and/or alcohol abuse. Two of us are in denial about the devastating effects codependency, drugs, and alcohol have had on our family. None of us are talking about it. I’m the codependent one on a quest for healthy living through love and boundaries. My journey started in Celebrate Recovery. I have much to learn and practice. I live with my wonderful husband, amazing son, and pseudo-therapy beagle, Spot. I enjoy long walks on the beach and writing about the life-changing principles I’m learning in the rooms of recovery.
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