There are so many things that contribute to how the problem drinker acts. The process of understanding some of the alcoholic’s individual behavior patterns is something that develops over time. The way I learned more about why they do certain things was by attending Al-anon meetings and reading literature associate with living with an alcoholic. Living with an active addict can be mind boggling sometimes because the chaos levels go up and down. One day things are normal and all in life is good and without any warning everything changes and the change always revolves around the alcoholic’s behavior.
In order for us to be able to deal with these sudden unexpected life altering situations, we need to have a better understanding of the alcoholic’s behavior. It will do us some good to take a look at ourselves at the same time because that’s where the keys are for overcoming the frustrations that are associated with coping with an active alcoholic.
Let’s talk about the trust factor first. In my particular situation there were some things that the alcoholic could be trusted with. At other times they could not be trusted. The problem I had was always being suspicious. That’s because the alcoholic in my life had broken my trust so many times. Much of this problem is directly related to how they have a tendency to lie often. When truth and lies bubble from the same spring the waters get murky.
As soon as an addict awakens, all an alcoholic can think about is where they will get the next substance from to satisfy their habit. Here’s the problem though, they are never satisfied. So, they are constantly looking for an opportunity to fulfill the longing inside to get something to drink. If they are at a child’s birthday party, they want to get a drink. When they are out to dinner, they always want to have another one. If friends who are non-drinkers invite them over, the chances are pretty good that they will not hang out for long. It will be an eat and run engagement. That’s if they decide to go at all. My point is that they will try to slip a drink in every chance they get and they are always trying to create the chances.
It’s an addiction! You will never be able to control it or them. Only they can control what is out of control by asking for help.
So, trying to understand an alcoholic’s behavior hinges upon this very thing, they cannot stop trying to plan where and when they will have their next drink. The sad thing is that they will lie and manipulate situation after situation to get the alcohol that their body and mind are craving all of the time. Unfortunately, in a sense they are married to the alcohol. In actuality, the substance that controls them has become their god.
Now that you have a better understanding of what is going on in their mind and body, may I suggest that you accept them just as they are? Understanding an alcoholic’s behavior is one thing, but grasping the truth that you need to let go of them is another. Listen; ask yourself if anything that you have tried has forced them to quit drinking alcohol. I would guess no. They are not going to change so you will have to. The idea of forcing an alcoholic to quit just doesn’t work.
Along with letting them go, get into support group meetings. This will help you to understand yourself and your behaviors much better than the alcoholics. People in these meetings know what you are going through and can help tremendously.
Living with an alcoholic works, and the Title Of MONEY and ABUSE sure hit home for me this Christmas. I dont Have to worry about the attitude changes everyday, or the FLIP FLOP Moods, He Stole my money order from my rent, and went and cashed it up at wal-mart for 415.00 and Spent it. Now hes living back at his house with No running water, No heat, and No toilet. Probably next to NO food. IDK If i am going to press charges or not, IF i dont he may get away with this Time and time again with Some other woman.And Children. I have to take this one day at a time, but as i realize day after day I was addicted to the alcoholic addictive “behavior” Now, I am slowly Enjoying the peace with my kids. Even though he is out there Lurking ready to strike Some how some way. He wasnt there for any of his friends OR family, Just him and his booze, now In a way i have accepted. Thats the way HE wants to live until he dies. So be it.
I cant believe after everything I have done for him, he would stoop so low as to take my money for OUR Home and go have a couple of big nights and drink it all away. NO CONCIENCE what so ever. but I can do something about it this time. No one else. Should I or Shouldnt I?
May I suggest not making any major decisions in anger. It’s good to set boundaries and not be an enabler. Learning how to do this in a loving way is tough and takes time.
We need to be connected with people who know how to deal with these difficult situations.
There’s a great saying that goes like this; “say what you mean but don’t say it mean.”
The way I learned to set boundaries and to be more understanding of the alcoholic’s illness was by attending support group meetings.
My girlfriend is a thirteen years sober recovering alcoholic. We have been together for 8 months, and never had a cross word and then suddenly all hell lets loose, because I became a bit merry at a dance. I couldn’t believe how angry she had become, because of my behaviour. I enjoy a drink, and my girlfriend has indeed encouraged me to drink and not worry about her, but I found myself being “brow beaten”, because I was drinking too fast etc. I had only had 4 pints of Grolsch Lager/Beer. She totally ruined, what was otherwise a fun night and chose not to stay with me after we had returned home, which involved her getting all her things and storming off in a temper. etc. etc.
This was just over a week ago. She calmed down after a few days and is friendly again, but still blames me, because I answered her back. I am now wondering, when will this happen next.
The person I am dealing with is not intoxicated, but 13 years sober, however desires, fears and cravings still exist.
Cheers !! Ray.
Raymond, is the a personality still alive and well? Blaming, criticizing and insults.
Just read you post. She has not blamed ect… for the past 13 years. Just wondering if they quit, thing really change?
Sorry again Raymond…I’m a little slow tonight. lol You have been together 8 months…not trying to be a downer but the new in the relationship may be wearing off and Hyde comes out. I was with my xah (very high function alcoholic) 19 months b4 we lived together, after I moved in things stated to slowly change. Easier said than done but you might want to run for your life. No good can from being with an a or an recovering a in my past experience. My father was sober 19 years b4 he died and still acted out. It was not daily, weekly or monthly but I knew even as a kid that he would act out again. I will never get involved with an a or a recovering a…they hurt people with meanness and they can not be reasoned with. I’m just saying….
My boyfriend has been in the AA program since Sept. 2014. I was relieve when he decided to go to meetings, then get a sponsor. I had hope that things were going to finally ease up and be better. Life has turned upside down and now Im the recipient of blame, accusations, emotional abuse. Jeckle n Hyde behavior. I’m just dumbfounded by how everything seems really good and within a blink of an eye Im blindsided with a behavior that cuts me off at the knees. I say Im hurt. Then he says “whats the big deal. ” “I didnt know I was hurting you.” Your making this bigger then it is”. He tells me how Im feeling or does not hear what I am trying to convey. It’s maddening. it pushes me away from him. Is this tsunami of rotten behavior Im seeing now due to unearthing his issue while working the steps… taking inventory?? I feel like Im getting the outpouring of blame and resentment that has accumulated over his lifetime. And because Im the only one standing there; I get dumped with it! Its too much crazymaking for my brain to take. He is so sweet and loving for a couple of days and then all I do is say one thing and bam… he’s indignant, pushy and covertly mean. I feel like Im going crazy at these times. How do I lose ME so quickly?
I have found I don’t have the skills to stay grounded when he turns the situation back on me. I basically come undone. A defenseless child. I almost think he likes to see me this way.
Where do I go from here? We have so much potential but this new behavior is killing me. I’m starting to think things aren’t going to get better. I blame myself because it was me who introduced him to AA.
Jill, did he blame and criticized when he was drinking and did he also do it before he went to AA? what he’s not getting about taking inventory is…it’s supposed to be about him taking inventory on his self and not you. alcoholics don’t want to look at themselves, its like they never factor their self into any situation, its always the other person. I’ve read that counselors at work with alcoholics say they had this problem it’s considered a external focus of control.
I understand losing yourself. that’s exactly what happened to me with my ex alcoholic husband. I had always felt attractive independent and somehow I lost them. I’ve been divorced for 3 years and I’m still struggling with the emotional and verbal abuse. it’s sad what these people do to you. I had a friend that says Alcoholics kill everything around them. I wish you the best take care of yourself.
Sorry for all the wrong wording. I need to reread what I write before I hit send.. LOL
Thank you! I have been attending Al-anon and I believe Im still somewhat sane because of the program and the group wisdom. This site has also been a God send to me. It just helps hearing from other ppl in similar situations validating that Im not insane. Seems like we’re dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t with the alcoholic.
One day at a
Omg help, The insanity of this disease it taking me over and I dont even know how. My brain shuts down. I forget whats important in my life. I was so upset yesterday that when I got home I shut myself off and watched alanon videos on youtube to find some relief.
I completely forgot a huge meeting I co-chair. How could I be so focused n clear last week and over one rotten behavior of the alcoholic Im brainless. Im scared of what this is doing to me. Can anyone give me guidance?
I’m new to this and currently absolutely heartbroken as my alcoholic boyfriend has had another episode. In short, he lives 200 miles away and gets depressed when it is time to go back. He should be with me now & leaving on Thursday. Instead, I have no idea where he is & all I’ve had are horrible messages saying I’m fat, obese, accusing me of sleeping around & he hates me. At 2.45pm I got a message telling me how much he loved me & couldn’t wait to pick me up from work at 5pm. When he didn’t show that horrible sinking feeling in my stomach told me something was wrong. I cried all the way home & found some junk mail when I got in addressed to my ex so I gathered that was the “trigger”. He’s the most affectionate, loving & caring man usually. He says I’m beautiful & the best thing that’s ever happened to him & I know he loves me. I love him so much it hurts & I can’t get my head around how quickly he changed from when we woke with our arms around each other this morning. I can’t talk to family & friends as they will just tell me to leave him. I’m 44 & he’s 47 & we have so many plans for the future. I know if he rings tomorrow I’ll just feel relief & forgive him when I should probably finish it. I can’t sleep, eat & my stomach is in knots. I’m devastated & so depressed. Can anyone help?
First of all you are so not alone in the insanity. What you wrote discribes the rollercoaster ride most of us ride when involved with an alcoholic. Get to several Alanon meetings and go until you can start to disearn whats his and whats yours. Otherwise the ride will never stop. Watch some youtube videos on co-dependency, detachment from the alcoholic, etc. Thats where I found this fantastic website. Information that restores sanity. Be easy on yourself. And remember, your enabling keeps him from his true potential. Our ego tells us we can save them. WRONG! They have to do ALL the work.
Paint your toenails and give this to God.
Thanks for your reply. I’ve looked up the meetings and I will go to the next available one. I know I need to look after myself but I just can’t eat & dreading getting through work tomorrow. He texted me earlier saying he had slept on the train station & had his trainers nicked. He apologised for being a “vile c–t” (his words) & said he had re-read all the nasty texts & was so sorry. He said he really does love me & he should be holding me right now. I took an hour to reply & said I was just glad he was still alive & I don’t hate him etc. He rang me an hour after that but there was just silence at the end of the phone so I eventually hung up. I then got a message saying he was going for a walk as his head felt ready to explode & he asked me not to ignore his calls. I simply replied that I did answer but there was silence & told him I wasn’t ignoring him. I expected a call back but have heard nothing from him. I kept up No Contact all last night & all today which was really hard. I didn’t want to provoke him & thought he would talk when he was ready & sober(ish). Now I’m kicking myself for letting him know I still love him as I feel he doesn’t now see the need to ring me, apologise or beg forgiveness. He’s no longer scared that I’ll leave him (although I’ve never threatened that..he’s admitted before he’s terrified of that happening) & that makes me vulnerable & weak..which I am…I was just trying to make him think I wasn’t. I’m so confused, hurt & struggling to get through this. I want to be with him but this rollercoaster is seriously damaging my mind & health. Sorry for such a long email
I’m worse today than I was yesterday. Walking to work this morning I got a text asking if we were finished & he loved me so much. I asked why he couldnt ring & talk to me & no reply. I tried ringing & he ignored my call. So i sent a msg saying i was sick & tired of the mind games & couldnt cope anymore. All day ive been receiving awful messages ranging from calling me an “obese c–t” to him threatening to kill himself. I switched my phone off & when i left work i had missed calls, more messages & voicemails. None of them nice or remotely apologetic. I thought i was doing the right thing & letting him calm down but ive just made it worse. He did eventually get hold of me & i answered. I asked him not to abuse me anymore but he was obviously drunk & saying he had taken a load of pills & he just didnt give a f–k anymore. I played right into his hands & told him i did love him, i missed him but just didnt want the name callingetc & he just hung up. Fortunately ive had no more msgs but he now knows how i feel & i might have well have said “dont worry, you can abuse me all you want.ill still be here!” I know im codependant but I dont have the courage to set boundaries as i dont want to lose him so im in a vicious cycle of knowing what i need to do but being to scared to do it. This is why ive never threatened him as i know i wont follow it through. Ive never been such a mess. If only he would sober up & tell me hes sorry & he loves me..everything will be ok. Yeah..i know it wont but it would make me feel better right now. Im sorry to go on so much & i know people may be thinking..u need to get a grip. I do but i cant do it on my own. Thanks to anyone whos listening
Hi Rachel, I am concerned for you. you are going through exactly the same as I did for the last four years of my life. It does not get any better the pattern of behaviour of the alcoholic you have described is as I experienced. You must leave this situation. I began to experience depression, common for partners of alcoholics. the mind games, abuse, blame will never end. When you set those boundaries for unacceptable behaviour it just gives them another reason to abuse you. They hate themselves and hate everyone else who is good and normal for being what they wish they were. Their mission is to bring you down to their level. I do not know how old you are, but please please do not do this to yourself, life with an alcoholic is a warzone, he will never respect you and like me if you spend long enough time with them you start to know no different and become used to being treated badly. There is no light at the end of this dark tunnel leave. Get support from family friends and us if need be. He will destroy you. I know you love him, but that will never be enough. There are lots of addiction free men out there that you can have loving healthy relationships with. please listen. leave My best wishes to you.
I understand everything that has been said in this article. I have been to a counselor about my alcoholic husband and also to Al-Anon. My counselor stated over and over again not to react to the mood swings. I think this is one of the best solutions along with setting boundaries (never accept abuse), but do find it difficult not to react at times and say negative things. I really have to work at it. It is very difficult not to take things personally also and this is another process I have to really think hard about over and over again in my head. What a negative life it is living with an alcoholic.
I am new to this website and I am numb as I read the same words that I am feeling. My husband is an alcoholic and I want to leave and end our marriage. I love the home we have made and the things we have built together. Together we have 9 children and 11 grandchildren. It will be such a life change if I can make that leap. I am so sick of his disrespect toward me and blame omg the blame and guilt trips. The roller coaster rids of rants and accusations. I have never been to an AA meeting but it has been recommended many times by friends. As I read these responses and I see so many that say they never change they will always have the mood swings and behavior of an alcoholic. I know I dont’ want to live this way. I have left a couple of times just to come right back. We have written down feelings and signed agreements of promise to change and we have done counceling that was a total waist of time. I see my answer I just have to take it in small steps but I have to get out of debt before I can go anywhere. I am dependant on him to live. I don’t make enough to support myself and he knows that. He uses that constantly in arguments. I have to find a way to move forward.
Mitzi, I am in the same situation as you. How can we move forward?
I was married for 32 years to an alcoholic. All the kids were gone. I was emotionally spent and tired of wondering when it was going to end. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life like this- he had already gotten the best of it. One day I woke up and decided ii was done. I called my parents and they overwhelmingly opened their home to me and my little dog. I had nothing to loose because he had already lost it all. I ended up with my car, my clothing, a little bit of furniture(fine with me-I wanted no memories) my photo albums of my 3 babies…our house sold on a short sale and somehow(I know it was a God-thing) my name never made it to the title!!!! That was 5 years ago. My life is 1,000 times renewed! I married a wonderful Christian man- we have a business together and he is so good to me. It can happen for you too.
Rachel- it’s all a sham!!!! He knows how to push your buttons. Stand up for yourself and remove yourself from that situation if you can. The abuse will not stop. You are worth so much more than this! You are a beautiful human being. Get away from him. His conception of love is not real love. It’s like a parasite feasting on its prey. Stop being the prey. Get away from him. You deserve real live.
I’m in the same situation as Mitzi and I’m scared to live him because he ones told me that he’ll support our baby with only R300 and I’m not working. Sometimes he is not sleeping at home. I really don’t know what to do please help
Ah ladies, I feel so tired too. My difference is that I am the bread winner and able to support myself, he has been unemployed for about 2 years now, he works side jobs here and there but nothing consistent. More just to pay off his liquor store debt. I would have to prepare mentally for a move, I love him and want him in my life forever but not like this. He is a Christian man, but caught up in addiction for the last 2 years. He was sober for over 12 years. Our first 7 years he was a drinker, 12 years clean, 2 years total drunk. Those 12 years in between make it so hard to let go. I keep hoping and believing that our prayers will be answered and he will be sober again. He’s always been such a kind hearted man, very loving, kind, generous, fun to be with. As a drunk man, he’s just annoying.
Susan, did your alcoholic ex ever stop drinking?
I understand the need to get out but I am a senior and have lived my whole life with an alcoholic, don’t have the means to leave but dream about it consistently. Additionally my 48year old son is truly an alcoholic out of control. He has had two accidents one resulting in a dui. He is divorced had a three year old daughter that his x wife will no longer let him see. He is headed to living under a bridge. He is drinking most of the time and almost out of money. Very very hard for me to watch been to alanon and counseling but the pain never goes away. Shame is he is intelligent and charming person when sober. When I try to help he tells me I am evil
Anyone out there have any tips to stop caring so much
Judy: My heart hurts reading about your son. He is missing so much, especially his beautiful daughter because of liquid poison. Why is alcohol sold to anyone and everyone? I wish people had to prove they can drink without getting drunk and dependent – crazy thought, I know.
I would go to Social Services in your area. Ask for a counselor. Let a professional guide you so you can be healthy and stable for your family. Find out what resources are available for your son – health exam, counseling, AA, etc. I know he has said mean things to you when you try to help – they do that. A deaf ear to nonsense is needed when he starts to rant.
Twice: Please reach out for support. The pastor of a church can help you find resources for you and your child. You need to get professional advice because you may be in danger if he decides to leave without giving you any support financially. Better to be prepared. Today there are services for children (healthcare, money for food and shelter, etc.) Take good care of yourself.
Yes, I do understand your situation. The feeling you are on a freeway to H—. Hubby admits he is an alcoholic and has outlived the doctors guess that he cannot go on like this. So, okay. I am in my 70’s, not ugly nor beautiful.
Chances of a meaningful relationship are limited. There are times that he drives me crazy. You can busy your self
in another room. Call a friend or adult child. Keep a social life weather he chooses to or not. If he is drinking I prefer the Not. Learn the key phrases on how to chill out his anger. I work hard at being kind and considerate. Learned not to expect that from him so I am not terribly disappointed when things are not going well. Educate yourself through JC’s web sight and the many, many books on alcoholism.AA and alanon did not help
but I have not been to a meeting for years as it sets me up with an argument I prefer not to have. Trust your judgment of what you want not what he wants and build a life. Good Luck and God’s better
plan that you can trust.
We have all felt the same at some point. Most have found the solution. Have any of you tried Al-Anon? I wish I had attended years ago. It’s a supportive place for anyone affected by someone else’s drinking. Try looking on facebook too there are some great pages of interest that can help. Seaech FB for Alcoholic Family Support. What you are going thru is temporary.
I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s relapse. I think the key to get any kind of change is to change. The dysfunction in any relationship is to keep doing the same thing over and over again. Think of it as a dance. If you know all the steps and each dancer continues in the learned steps then nobody gets their toes stepped on. When one person changes the routine then it creates confusion because your partner is used to the same old steps. Changing your steps by not taking care of him any longer will first of all help you cope and secondly put the responsibility back on him for how he is living. I have no doubt that you love him. Do you love him enough to let him fall hard? Could you leave him for a short time? Not permanently but for a month maybe? A short separation? It may get his attention. And no my Ex says he has stopped but my kids don’t think so. He is very obese and unhealthy on top of it. He will be 60 in November and I’m not really sure he will live much longer. He is the picture of a very prideful man unwilling to become vulnerable enough to heal from his past. It is only possible with God’s help!
well, I am going to attempt to make a change. I have tried this two other times and my finances were too complicated. I have managed to pay some things off and I will be seeking legal advice. I pray this works this time. I realize all I am to him is his cook, secretary to pay the bills and security blanket so the grandkids still come to visit. He never wants to do anything I want to. He prefers to stay home and drink and smoke and hang out in his garage. I am getting out with friends and I am loving it. There is a light at the end somewhere, I just have to find the next turn and get there.
I am at a loss. I left my husband over his drinking, 15 months on my own and I was almost divorced. then he promised me to stop drinking and he did. however over the last 6 months the drinking started as one is now 5-6 and most nights he drinks and hides them so I never have a complete total number. I have really noticed more than anything is these deep mood swings. the blaming on me for all the things wrong, the kids, the house all the work he has to do to keep the house running but he is the one that feels the need to do all this. I have two friends that I see every week and that keeps my life sane, he was ok with this prior to going back to drinking but now, my nights out are not the same. my friends they don’t want to be around him because they say I am changed around him, I don’t laugh, I don’t play, I just try to make the man happy and I feel I made the biggest mistake coming home. I will not tell my friends too much because they tried to warn me but I just thought that this marriage would survive. I just don’t care anymore. I am not looking for an answer I guess, I think I just need to look in the mirror and make sure I am as well as my boys are ok. I know that I can not change his mind or his thinking but I can change mine.
I have been married to someone for 29 years. He didn’t really drink much when we 1st started our life together. Back then it was marijuana, smoke in the morning on the way to work, at lunch and smoke on the way home from work. He had a horrible temper then and my children lived on eggshells. we have split up 2 times, with me moving out of the home but always ended back together. The past 10 years he has taken up drinking instead of the pot. Lived with horrible text messages, name calling and some physical abuse. This last July he was drunk and pulled a loaded gun out and threatened to kill me. I called the cops, he went to jail for a night. I pressed charges but I did not try for the full extent of the punishment he could of gotten. I stood before a judge and asked for leniency. And yes I got back with him about 6 months ago. He has said all those I love you’s and praised me on everything from my cooking to my beauty…and one night he said he loved me and missed me and I knew he was drinking by the tone of his voice and how he was speaking And in 30 secs. he hung up on me and text me Get a lawyer I am going to get rid of you. and has not answered any of my phone calls or text. Crushed me. Pshyically ill And yes I am crying, cant eat cant sleep hardly can function at my job,. Fell for it all HELP !!!!
I was with my three drinking A’s siblings on the 4th of July. I don’t drink unless I try a half of a wine, as I tried it for one year 36 years ago and I threw up having more than two drink. But it was widely accepted in my mom’s family and one sister began at 12 years old, my brother at 17 years old and another sister at 18. They’re all daily drinkers with usually more than 3 drinks.
Unfortunately they have continually told secrets about me, lying and destroying my marriage. On the 4th, I joined them for the last half hour of a party, saying hi to all, then went to fire works with my brother. His anger really bothered me, so I knew he was drunk. He asked me why I was speaking about all my sibs being drunk? I denied ever having done that. He then became personal and asked me quite a few questions about my business as a recruiter. Who do you work for? Who do you place? How long have you done this? What do you make? I answered a couple of them, but regret it because he’s my sisters patsy, that coupled with their jealousy and anger toward me not being a drinker, I knew I was in trouble. They’ve told multiple secrets to others about me claiming I am ill because I don’t drink.
I wrote him a letter asking that he not share my info with them. He wrote back “I don’t want to hear this! You are so paranoid.” Looks like he’s shared my info with them. I wrote another letter indicating all the nasty mean despicable things done to me by my sis’s harming me and my kids. Asking if he’s paranoid they will leave him if he’s not their patsy so they can destroy my income. Shall I send it or just not talk with anyone of them again? I’m counting on them getting drunk this week and forgetting all about it, I’ve also began to pray hard for them and myself.
Lucky me at 52 years old I got an alcoholic! When I first met him he had r arthritis – needed an hip replaced. I credited him with the fact that he took no pain pills and was still employed full time despite his discomfort. He had just left his wife of 20 years and explained he was drinking a bit more than usual
Six months after I met him he had blown all his money from the divorce settlement – was being evicted from his apartment – and had to quit work and have his hip replaced. I assumed once he had time to heal from his past relationship and had his replaced and was back to work he would drink normally.
Unfortuantely five years later – His ex wife is a distant memory – He lives with me so he pays me 600.00 per month all exclusive and including food. His two hips have been replaced so his pain level is greatly reduced. He never went back to work so his income is only 1,000 but his cost of living is just 600.00.
He now had learned to get drunk and in five minutes. He tries not to eat in the day. He will either smuggle a tiny half mickey or two tall boy beers. He consumes them in within 15 minutes. As soon as he opens the garage door i notice his demenour has changed. He becomes mouthy, loud and violent. Of course he has several domestics and one with a weapon.
I have watched him guzzle a micky of vodka and jump in a car.
As I am the bread winner I can control the money and alcohol purchase. But how can I control someone that can get drunk off a Tall Boy. He can find the 2.50. I have tried offering him drinks at home – as long as he dosenèt down it. If he drinks normaly he dosent get drunk and can be enjoyable to be with. However if he downs the drink adds an empty stomach he is quite brutal.
I would never have believed one can get drunk and violent on one beer.
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Everything you say is so very very true. BUT so very very difficult to do. I try every day and fail. But I will try again tomorrow.