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Re: Problems with Alcohol Lisa Simpson

Posted by Kath on August 11, 2000, at 9:06:24

In reply to Problems with Alcohol - Shar / Greg, posted by Lisa Simpson on August 11, 2000, at 5:41:18

> Anyhow, Sunday is the day. Please send me your thoughts Sunday evening! (Remembering I am GMT in London!)
> Lisa

Hi Lisa - I don't know what GMT means (sorry).

I really admire your courage in being open to yourself (& all of us here) about your drinking problem. I find that just being able to "talk" about my problems & know people care, helps me. I have "in person" people, therapy-type people, & people here, who I talk with & that combination sure works for me.

Yesterday I was at my "women's group". It was only the second time I've been there, but even the first time I realized it's going to be helpful for me. The women in the group have various problems they're dealing with - alcoholism, drug addiction, co-dependence (that's mine), family members abusing drugs and/or alcohol (my 16-yr old son does). Yesterday, a woman was there for the first time & she had just finished 3 week alcohol treatment. She was just back at work & was dealing with the fact that it had "gotten around" work that she had just been in alcohol-treatment program. She was very uncomfortable with that. During the conversation, one person said, "Remember, you're only as "sick" as the secrets you keep." It was pointed out that we often thing people will judge us negatively for something that we are ashamed of. Often people don't. Often people are way more understanding & compassionate than we expect. It sounds like your husband knows you drink; simply doesn't know that it's getting out-of-hand. Please be compassionate with have undergone a terrible experience. So what if it was 1.5 or so years ago. It was a shock; it was terrifying; it haunts you. It is perfectly natural and normal in my opinion, that it would haunt you and even paralyze you from doing certain things. It's quite possible that you're suffering from "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome". I have a friend who suffers from that, and she is on a government pension, so PTSS is a real and recognized condition. (Believe me, our Ontario, Canada government would NOT give money to someone unless it was a definite medical reason!!) It seems to me (in my sometimes not too humble opinion) that you are ashamed of the drinking, but the drinking is just how you're dealing with how you are FEELING as a result of something awful that happened to you. To me, if people love you realize how traumatized you still are from what happened, it's pretty likely they'd be supportive of you.

People who have had an accident & have had to take narcotics for the intense pain sometimes get addicted to those pain-killers, and over-use the pain-killers. It's just something that sometimes happens; it doesn't mean they're bad people. In your case, you have probably been "self-medicating"...using alcohol to help you live with your pain from that experience (& maybe other pain in your life also). It seems like your use has gotten out-of-hand & you need some help with that problem. But just taking the pain-killing medicine out of the picture won't be the solution. You still have your mental & emotional pain to deal with. You have been carrying on with your life while dealing with a tremendously stressful situation. Please try to find someone who can help you with this pain & fear. Perhaps a place to start would be your family don't even need to talk about the alcohol part, if you don't feel like it, although once that's out in the open you can get help & support with it. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to keep that a secret. You probably won't believe this, but you have NOTHING to be ashamed of in this, Lisa. Nothing.
Please keep posting. We all care about you. Everyone has their own way of suggesting how to deal with your problem, but the one thing we all have in common is we care about you & have only your best interests in our hearts.

Take care of you - you're definitely worth it.

Love, Kath




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