Hi, Im in my 40s and over the course of my life I have had my fair share of substance abuse issues. Mainly designer drugs and marijuana when I was in my 20s. I also grew up with two functioning alcoholic parents both of whom had fairly poor parenting skills. From the age of 14 I began to abuse drugs with my peer group and it want until the age of 30 when I could see that they were all going downhill pretty fast that I finally decided the best thing for me to do was to cut myself away from these people and begin to change my life. I did this and it has been a real struggle at times because I felt very cut off. My peer group were like my family and suddenly through my own choice they were gone. So I felt very lonely for a long time. Several years later in my early 30s I met my partner who has been a pillar of support for me and helped me to turn my life around. However, he likes his alcohol. I wouldn't say he drinks heavily but he certainly enjoys it, sometimes in moderation and other times a little bit more. He has health issues and sometimes I wonder if alcohol could be at the root of these. As the years have passed I have noticed that drinking has become a part of my life too and I find myself barely going 1 night a week without a glass of wine. Some people might say well thats pretty moderate and not to worry but before I met my partner I hardly ever drank except for on social occasions. Much to his surprise I didn't even own a bottle opener. Now I feel that its impossible to stop because our house has so much alcohol in it everywhere you look. Theres a wine cellar and a drinks cabinet and beers in the fridge. Its just too easy for me to just have that glass at the end of the day. I have tried to discuss this with him and he tends to get irritated and says he feels threatened. He feels that I am trying to change something about him that he does not want to change and that he enjoys. So anyway that is part 1 of my problem. The next part is this. I have recently made friends with 4 or 5 people and have felt really happy because its been a long time since I have felt like I had any actual friends. I have been out on many occasions with these people and had fun times. The problem is these people are alcoholics. My partner and I like to drink but these people are total alcos. They dont just have 1 or 2. They get plastered regularly. A nightcap for one might be 2 bottles. Another has drunk himself into a stupor on more than one occasion when we have been out which has led to other people having to babysit him and get him home. He has become rude and vitriolic when he is in this state and is remorseful after. Im at a loss about what to do. Here I find myself in this situation in which alcohol is all around me. My partner drinks, my friends are alcoholics and my house is drenched in alcohol. Every time we go anywhere alcohol is always part of the equation. Its extremely frustrating because I feel like this is not what i want so why have I created this in my life?? I want to stay with my partner and I want to occasionally enjoy a drink. I also want to have friends, how do I do this without becoming like them or without their chaos effecting me. I feel very lost about this.
You realized what was happening to you at the age of 30, then you decided to do something about it...you "cut yourself away from these people".
Your partner was a pillar of support then...but what about now?
You've basically jumped out of the frying pan into the fire by surrounding yourself with friends who drink to excess.
Alcohol abuse only damages but I guess you would know this from your parents.
Your partner is right, you can't change him, only accept him the way he is. If his drinking gets that bad then he, and he alone will have to realize that to address it.
Your friends will have to do the same as well because alcohol controls them. It's plain to see when you can't go anywhere without it.
You took a brave step when you were 30, you took control of your life. You stepped onto a hard road called recovery, but the environment you're in now, may well mean you will have to do it again.
You are in what is called the "choirboy" syndrome, that is, if you hang out with the choirboys, you eventually are going to sing.
I think you know where all this is heading . . .
With your family background, it is no wonder that you gravitate towards people who drink.
It's so ingrained into your mind that you can't even imagine people who don't use drugs.
But believe it or not, NOT drinking is the norm. There are tons of people who do NOT drink and are very happy being sober and serene about that.
Can you get to AA meetings? Can you also attend either Alanon or Adult Children of Alcoholic groups? These people are going thru the same things as you.
Start developing some new friends, too.
Good luck. I know you want a better - or different - life.