Journey out of Secrecy

Secrecy is very often a feature of families when there is a problem drinker in the family.  The family often closes ranks because of the stigma and shame associated with alcoholism in the mistaken impression that they are protecting, or being loyal to, their drinker.

One problem with this approach is that addiction tends to flourish in secrecy.  This means that, in some circumstances, protecting the drinker can actually mean protecting their drinking.

Another issue with secrecy is that the family’s social life tends to shrink.  Part of the protection is that the family stop inviting friends round in case the drinker is drinking heavily.  Or, the family will stop going to parties and/or events for similar reasons.  After a while the invitations stop coming.

However, one of the most important reasons for breaking out of secrecy is that it (secrecy) makes it difficult to reach out for help and support.  This video discusses some of these issues.

5 Replies to “Journey out of Secrecy”

  1. I think people will be surprised how much their family or close friends actually know – not everything but if they really care they will have picked up on things. I am so lucky as my family and my partners just want to make sure we are ok they never judge or gang up. Some out there will think”Oh likes a drink ‘don’t most people?”
    Its the behaviours that go with the drinking they find hard to believe and that you are staying with that person. So do be cautious how much info you tell. Added pressure to “leave” makes it harder. One thing for me at the moment is that I dont want to tell my partner about finding Bottled Up. Is that selfish? Or a contridiction to what iv typed?Has anyone told their partner and willing to share their experience?

    1. I have not told anyone about finding this site. To me, it’s finally a way to express myself without judgement or contradiction from those who do not understand or see the whole picture as it is, so it’s my safe spot.

      I protected my hubby for many years. My whole family thought he was just a guy who likes a beer when we got together, I always felt I needed to cover up the whole story…and he always expected me to. As his wife, I felt it was my duty to protect him and our dysfunctional life that nobody knew we had. I no longer do this, but it took many years to stand up and stop the false happy face where everything is good. The sad part is now we do not get along because of it…partly my fault for allowing it for so long, but now he doesn’t understand what happened to “me”…Me? I got strong, and tired of a feeble minded man who is crippled by addiction. I no longer pretend..just not sure where that will lead me.

  2. My situation maybe different from yours Kim. As I’ve told my partner but he is recovering and no longer drinking and fully understands the consq of his drinking were far reaching and impacted his family.

    Would I have told him whilst drinking absolutely no way. Should I? Possibly buts it’s so hard reaching out and then like they said in the video it’s like a betrayl of sorts to your drinker. I didn’t even do anything in terms of watching videos or forum chats till after he’d stopped and I wish to god I had. But ultimately I was just trying to survive, the best way I could at the time

    I think just the fact you’re watching videos, posting on messages is massive in itself and if you’re not ready to tell your drinker, don’t. To me, living with a drinker is SO hard and you have to look after yourself.

    Like they said though, you’re not alone and hopefully be getting messages it will confirm this and give you the support you need.

    Good luck and so happy you’ve got a supportive family

    1. My son drinks, I’ve told him I’ve joined bottled up and sent him the link to the drinkers area. I don’t know if he’s looked at it, but I did tell him would not go into the drinkers one. So that remains his refuge and his alone when he does.
      He said mom whatever you have to do is fine by me, I’ve also had
      a conversations previously with a councillor to help me manage my responses, he knows about that too. He’s fully accepting of what I need to do.
      This weekend we were at family wedding and in a group of people who had all been drinking my son came out, he stood up said I’m Richard and I’m alcoholic, to me that was a practice run, as they probably won’t remember it but I do and told him I was proud of him., One person in that group, stuck by him throughput, both drinking but they both have a drink problem so it helped the other person as well.
      Don’t mis understand me, I know he was drunk, and needs to admit that when sober, but as I said practice run and nothing awful befell him.
      I’m hopeful, thank you. Xxx

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