I am an alcoholic. I have been clean and sober for several years now. My drinking was out of control for more than half my life. My wife took on the role of head of the household and all the stress of that plus dealing with an alcoholic husband and father.
I was in the military for several years but asked to leave after being caught drunk on duty. Afterwards I had several jobs that only lasted for a short period of time; usually I would quite before they asked me to leave.
Everyday my wife, Michele, would leave for work knowing I would probably be drunk when she returned. On one occasion, the police were called because I had hit her and would not calm down. I am not proud of this, but it happened and is a part of my life.
I had gotten so bad that I would have seizures from alcohol withdrawal when I would have to stop drinking. When my family went to my brothers wedding in another state, I had to make sure I would start the trip off in my own selfish way. When I started to come down off the booze I had guzzled before we left, I had a seizure and we had to stop so I could be admitted to a hospital.
I cannot imagine the stress that she could have been dealing with, but I am truly grateful for her now. She has been a God send and I would not have been able to quite drinking without her. Now that I am sober, I have a new and greater respect for all that she has done to put up with me. Michele had her own way of dealing with the stress of what I was putting her through. She would throw herself into all the things she was doing, and make sure she was so busy that she could stand what was going on around her. She would not only do things to keep busy, but she would go out of her way to help others in doing so.
Michele not only got our sons interested in Boy Scouts and 4-H, but volunteered as a leader. She would volunteer at her work to stay late and go in on weekends to do various things without pay. But she would also volunteer to go to training seminars and classes above and beyond what was required of her as a daycare worker.
My wife made sure that our sons were doing the things they needed to, while I ignored them. She would take them to their meetings and outings and made sure they were having fun. Often times she would have to help them out with homework and the other things in their organizations, but she would do it with her whole heart.
She still does this today, she is very helpful and loves to talk, meet and be around other people. The two organizations she helps out in, Boy Scouts and 4-H are very oriented in helping people and the community. She has been brought up to be one that helps and cares about others. She feels that it is not only good for her, but important to help and be a positive influence towards others.
She has been a leader in scouts before our sons were in scouts. She has volunteered to help out Cub Scouts even after our boys have been too old for it. She has thought nothing of volunteering as a leader in every group she has been in. This just goes to show how much she wanted to help others. But I think it is also how she deals with the stress of everyday life. By throwing herself into the things she does.
She has hobbies like many people do, but she goes at them with a fervor all her own. We do not have a lot of money, so she tries to find short cuts or ways to do her hobbies and crafts that don’t require a lot of money. She tries to sell some of the crafts she makes now and we even have a friend who owns a store that is willing to help us sell things there. Her sister is also into many varieties of crafts and goes to local flea markets and craft fairs selling their creations.
My family is wonderful and my wife stood by my side even when I wouldn’t appreciate it. She has found an outlet for the added stress I gave her by working whole heartedly at what she was interested in. She took her hobbies and even our son’s interests and made them a way for her to relieve her stress.