But after a few months, you end up seeing other sides of each other. That’s a good sign at least, but there’s still plenty you don’t know about him.You don’t know what triggers his drinking or what his follow-through is like in general.But once the water has gone you are faced with the former town that was initially flooded and the now wrecked buildings which need to be pulled down. After kicking booze, I moved directly onto the next most pressing issue for me: depression, initially with the help of CBT therapy and medication and more recently with exercise, meditation and diet.And then I tackled other issues caused by mental illness, including anxiety, rage, and hypochondria.I’d built up a number of other ‘client’ habits over the decades, which ranged from the very serious (cocaine, amphetamines) to the aggravating (junk food, sweets) via all sorts of other issues (painkillers, caffeine).All of which needed to be unpicked and dealt with one by one. Depression, homelessness, the break up of the family unit, losing one’s job, losing one’s career, losing one’s house, losing one’s mind, losing one’s life even.But perhaps the most insidious aspect of this disease is the dawning realisation that even if you manage to quit the booze in time, you’ve still got half the battle to go. You’ll need to call the police and the coroner’s office. There are rotten and half eaten animal carcasses that need to be cleared up and disposed of. You have never seen so many mangled shopping trolleys, broken children’s bikes and unwanted cars. There are burst canisters of toxic waste that have long since leached into the ground.
There’s nothing wrong with being a supportive friend to him while he figures out his alcohol addiction.Here are the 10 things I learned from dating an alcoholic: We both lived in different cities (about three hours apart) and spent the majority of our relationship texting and talking on the phone.He would call me in the evenings, usually mumbling and slurring his words.But when I finally managed to stop I had a shocking, negative epiphany: all I’d managed to do (bar save myself from dying of liver failure) was sort out the fact that I was hung-over and ill all the time. Submit to the disease and your life becomes incredibly simple. What you have left in its place is an area of outstanding natural horror.All of the stuff that I’d drunk to avoid – mental illness, debt, depression, the impulse to self harm, the impulse to commit suicide, anxiety, social dysfunction, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, stress, anger, violent rage – was still there. Drink becomes the only thing you care about – and you will end up just fine with letting all the other stuff slide to the extent that it doesn’t even matter if you die or not. You have been tasked with draining the massive body of water away to repopulate the area. It probably feels like you should have left well enough alone. It is necessary to be aware of what you’re getting into and that way you will be less disheartened when things take a while to sort themselves out.A recovery plan is just that -- a plan for ones in recovery to incorporate doable, realistic goals AND consequences for falling short of those goals.