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    alright so I watch interviton when I can catch it and the last time I watched it they had a husband and wife (I dont think they were married so I guess they arent husband and wife) anyway the wife was a drunk and he wasnt, when she went to get help one of the first things the interventionalist said to the guy was “you need to stop drinking, and it’s hard to explain because your not an alcoholic” I’m sitting here thinking “WHAT why exactly cant he drink? it’s not his fualt she’s a drunk”over the last couple days similar stuff has been posted on this forum and I need to know

    what happened to the

    “you cant control it”

    “you didnt cause it”

    “you cant cure it”speech that I have been hearing sense DAY ONE that I arrived at 12 Step National Meetings

    what happened to that? cause from what I have seen on intervention, and from what I have read over the last 48 hours here that seems to be gone.

    thats like someone telling me that I cant have a drink anymore cause my dad is an alcoholic

    which translates to me anyway as “you cant drink cause you cause your loved ones to drink, it’s YOUR fualt they are like this”

    it makes no sense

    someone put this in perspective


    That is onlt TV as far as I feel. Somebody stopping drinking isn’t going to stop mine.
    The other person might want to change their habits but, in the end we must stop ourseleves. There are people in many alcoholic situations trying to get sober. I feel you have to find and use the tools. It is difficult to explain an alcoholic’s actions to a non-alcoholic. This is only my belief but, shows like this can do more harm than good. To me it’s like doing a medical show that cures all forms of cancer. People are going to think it is fact.


    Early in sobriety, it is supportive for a partner to stop drinking around a newly recovering addict. I needed to have no alcohol in my house – especially in the early days. If I smelt it on someone, it made me crave. I think if someone isn’t addicted and they carry on drinking around someone who is detoxing, they have no care for the addict who is trying to stop. If you are not an alcoholic, it’s not a problem to stop. Or is it?

    Just my opinion.


    Do I expect folks to not drink around me? Nope, not at all, but I am at a point in my sobriety where as long as I remain spiritually fit I can go anywhere I wish without the need/urge to drink rearing its ugly head. Could I have handled folks drinking around me in my first few months of sobriety? I really do not know.

    I do know this, my wife drinks, but she does not need to drink unlike me when I was drinking, I had to drink, in my early days of sobriety, my sobriety was fragile and my wife loves me and as a result she chose not to drink around me, as a matter of fact she has had a grand total of one beer since I quit. Why? Because she could care less if she ever had a drink, she loves me and supports me by not drinking.

    I have watched that intervention show and I would love to know what the percentage of long term sobriety comes from interventions for alcoholics. I for one Would have told them to stick it in their ear!!!! I had my whole family begging me to quit for years and on occasion I might have slowed down for a bit, but I was not ready to quit, as a result I kept on drinking.

    My wife threatened to divorce me if I did not quit, I continued to drink! She finally reached the point where her and the kids were moving out…. there was no ultimatum, she had been working with her dad and they were going to be gone in a month.

    I did not quit until I decided I did not want to die.

    Not drinking around a recovering alcoholic is showing support for their battle, it is called respect and or love.

    I quit in September, I had no issues by that Thanksgiving with my Brother in Law drinking around me….. as a matter of fact I asked him to drink because I could not handle his shaking because he was not drinking out of respect for my battle.

    The only person that feels a need to drink around a recovering alcoholic early in sobriety IMHO is another practicing alcoholic, normal people could care less if they had a drink.


    What about good manners?

    My son stopped smoking…I do not smoke when we are together.
    My still drinking friends do not drink when we visit.
    I eat no meat when dining with a vegetarian.

    It’s a metter of putting anothers feelings
    before your selfish desires….IMO


    Thanks, Carol. I was thinking the same thing. If I don’t NEED to drink, why would I object to not drinking if it helps the person I’ve vowed to love through sickness and health?

    There are such things as “high-bottom” drunks – I think I am one (so far). Not having someone lording it over me that they “can” drink while I can’t was helpful when I first quit. I can’t imagine what a spouse would be thinking who continued to drink or smoke… knowing it might make a difference to a person who is struggling.


    I decided that I would ask the people in my life to stop drinking RIGHT AFTER the grocery stores that I shopped at removed THEIR LIQUOR dept!!

    The stores never complied; I never asked those around me to stop drinking and I WENT TO AA. After careful consideration I decided that none of the people in my life had ever forced me to drink, therefore I felt that it was unfair of me to ask them to stop!



    King: In part, I think its about triggers. I also think in part its about being a living reminder of love and support for someone who is feeling pretty worthless and frustrated.

    Let me try an analogy…

    So here we’ve got two people, call them Terry and Pat, (assign genders as desired). They are married and they both love strawberries, Terry especially. As time goes by, they increase their strawberry consumption. They eat them raw, cook them into pies, add them to sauces — they find ways to stay stocked up on strawberries year round. They both notice that Terry usually gobbles up the bulk of the strawberries that they buy, but Pat is okay with it since to Pat they’re “just strawberries” — it doesn’t really matter that Terry has a voracious appetite for them, and Pat is simply glad that Terry enjoys them so much.

    After a while, they notice that Terry seems to get sick a lot. They really aren’t sure why. They’ll eat dinner, and Terry will go to bed with a stomach ache. Come morning, Terry is too sick to go to work. It may take a day or two before Terry feels better again and can keep any food down. Then Terry feels better and all is well again — they have their usual dinner and the cycle repeats. Pat is very worried. Terry just want to get on with life and to keep on enjoying the strawberries.

    They go to the doctor. Lo and behold, it turns out that due to a genetic anomoly, Terry has developed a fatal allergy to strawberries. No one is entirely certain why this is the case, but it has something to do with the strawberry chemicals accumulating in Terry’s body and the way Terry’s strawberry intake was so much greater than Pat’s over the years.

    The doctor tells them that if Terry continues to eat strawberries that Terry will become fully poisoned and die a horrible, painful death. Its as if Terry had only a certain lifetime capacity for strawberry consumption, and that things have progressed to the point where Terry is dangerously close to exceeding that capacity. Any more strawberries and Terry will die. Period.

    Terry doesn’t like this news, not at all. Its pretty unfair, Terry thinks, that something as good as strawberries should have that kind of effect. How can Terry go on anymore without the sweet, delicious, wonderful taste of those strawberries?

    Pat thinks Terry is crazy. If it were Pat in Terry’s shoes, the doctor’s warning would be enough to cause Pat to completely forsake strawberries, since the doctor said that they are basically poison for them at this point.

    Now that the stage is set, let’s consider…

    Terry is going to have a hard enough time staying away from the strawberries as it is. Terry keeps thinking about those strawberries, the taste, the texture, the pretty colors, the juice. Terry can’t go to his favorite deli and order shortcake anymore. Terry can’t go to Starbucks and get a strawberries and cream anymore. Terry can’t even have any cereal with dried strawberry bits in it.

    How do you think Pat feels about the whole thing? Pat doesn’t want to lose Terry. Pat doesn’t really care about strawberries anymore — Pat just cares about Terry.

    How do think it would be if Terry comes home and sees Pat sitting at the table, dipping some strawberries in chocolate and eating them… All the “yums” and “oh boy” and juice dripping down the side of Pat’s mouth.

    Pat says “Fine, I’ll only eat them when you aren’t around”. Terry sees the strawberries in the ‘fridge, smells them on Pat’s breath, can taste the little bits of strawberry flavor when they kiss. Its still driving Terry nuts, and Terry is worried about the inevitable trace amounts of strawberry juice that will be inadvertently picked up from being around Pat.

    What does this say about Pat? How much does Pat really care about Terry? How much is Pat endangering Terry? What do you think it puts Terry through, getting through the day successfully only to come home to a strawberry-soaked Pat?

    To Pat they’re “only strawberries”. To Terry they’re poison. You tell me.

    Hope this makes sense.


    Green tea what you are saying makes perfect sense as long as pat is not a closet strawberry addict not willing yet to admit that pat has a problem.

    Now if Pat is a closet strawberry addict not willing yet to admit that pat has a problem, Pat will have a resentment against Terry because Terry’s very life depends upon Terry not eating strawberries anymore.

    Terry not knowing that Pat is a closet strawberry addict is really hurt that Pat has no respect for Terry’s problem and gets mad when ever Terry simply ask Pat not to tempt Terry by eating strawberries in front Terry.


    Ooooh, Green Tea and Taz, what excellent posts! I was trying to think how to suggest such a scenario to someone who finds abstaining from alcoholic drinks on behalf of a recovering partner, so threatening…..


    Taz: I agree! For the purposes of the discussion, I kept it simple — no codie issues, no mutual alcoholism, etc — and stuck to the parameters of the question as asked. But you’re making a great point and I fully agree! 🙂

    You could even go further with Pat’s resentment, since Terry’s recovery not only threatens Pat’s own “right to drink”, but it also threatens to REQUIRE Pat to face Pat’s own disease, (if that’s what’s going on, of course).

    King: Does this help provide some perspective?


    Love the post Green! Thanks.


    The strawberry post is very imaginative and certainly illustrates having strawberries around in a living, co-habitating environment where one party has the addiction to strawberries CAN submarine an attempt to live strawberry free.

    I would agree fully that this means a partner’s abstinence can only help the afflicted person refrain from indulgence in the “berry obsession.” However, if it is the custom of society to meet “for a berry” after work, or that no wedding or party is complete without an “open berry bar”, what then? If every sporting event is not the same without a “dog and a berry”, or finally that all fine restaurants are judged as much by their selection of berries and the quality of those berries as by the food the serve.

    In BA the twelve steps are engineered to allow a recovering berrioholic to return to the outside world as much, as to live in a cloistered and protected environment. The support of a wife or husband is a must; I am just not sure that abstinence by the significant other is ALWAYS mandatory in order to demonstrate support.

    Just my take on the berry problem, but I stand by my previous post, if the grocery store won’t take out the berry section, I will learn to live around those who still berry.

    GREAT ANOLOGY REGARDLESS GREEN TEA. Thanks for the breath of fresh air.


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