What is in that bottle over there?
To the average eye the bottle on the counter is just wine, vodka, whiskey, whatever the pick of poison is today.
To you, the alcoholic, the shell of a person I married, it is a way to relax and to forget about the stresses you feel. It is a way to become a happy social person. A way to like yourself. It is a way to get some sleep or get out of doing a chore. You see it liquid courage, a party, an escape. All of your happiness is in that bottle. Everything you care about. What you think about from sun up to sun down is all right there in that little bottle.
To me, the spouse of a person addicted, I see it as a bottle of my hopes and dreams being quickly sucked down your esophagus. A bottle full of lies and broken promises. It is filled with conversations that we will have tonight, that you will never remember. It has a few hospital bills in it from when you get so intoxicated that you fall down or need medical attention. It has A LOT of money in it. Money that could have gone towards our child, a home, a vacation, memories that do not involve alcohol. In that bottle I see all the poor decisions you have made. The affairs and nights you didn’t come home. I see the jobs you have lost because an eight hour day is just too long to go without a drink. I see the arguments that got escalated to a violent rage. The holes in the walls, the holes in your relationships, in your life. After dealing with this for years, that bottle could easily fill up with my tears.
I often wonder . . . how can two people see the contents of one bottle so differently? Tomorrow it will be a different bottle, but until you get help, the contents will always remain the same.