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Alcohol abuse help – living with an alcoholic

If you’re living with someone who regularly abuses alcohol, whether it’s your spouse/partner, a parent, a friend, or anyone else, the impact of their behaviour on you might not be something they’re even remotely aware of.

Eighteen months ago, *Seema was living with a full-blown alcoholic (her partner, *Martin), who was aware of the damage he was doing to those around him, yet didn’t seem to care.

“My partner, Martin, was a nightmare to live with,” Seema explains. “His drinking was out of control. How he didn’t eventually collapse with alcohol poisoning is beyond me.”

Hallucinations

“It was Martin’s hallucinations that pushed me over the edge. It was terrifying. He would claim to see someone in the living room who simply wasn’t there. He used to shout at invisible people to get out of our house and then claim that he could still hear them even after being reassured that there was no-one there. He even claimed to be able to smell a stranger’s cigarette, even though neither of us smoke.

“This wasn’t just after binge drinking though, which was really worrying. On the rare occasions that he was sober, he would also hallucinate. He was adamant that people, animals or inanimate objects existed, which they did not outside of his mind.

“When I researched alcohol and drug-induced hallucinations, I discovered that alcohol abusers can sometimes hallucinate when in a state of withdrawal. Martin would hallucinate when sober and when intoxicated and I struggled to cope. His hallucinations were only part of it - his overall behaviour altered and deteriorated in tandem with his escalating alcohol consumption level. What hurt the most was that he knew what he was putting me through, but didn’t seem to care.”

Alcohol rehab

“Despite everything that Martin had put me through – and would have continued to put me through had I not contacted Manor Clinic – there was just enough love left in my heart to help him. I wanted my old Martin back: the man I first met; the kind, empathetic man whom I first fell in love with.”

Redemption, resurrection, rebirth

“Since undergoing 12 weeks of alcoholism treatment as an inpatient at the clinic, Martin has undergone a sort of reincarnation” Seema explains. “He is a pleasure to have around now that he is home again: teetotal, happy and healthy.

“My advice to anyone who currently finds themselves in a similar position is not to completely give up on an alcoholic. Alcoholism is an illness. It needs to be treated and it can be treated. The results can be quite extraordinary.”

*All names have been changed.

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