Understanding Why an Alcoholic Drinks in the Morning

Generally, when an alcoholic wakes up they start drinking as soon as possible. If not they are planning where the will get the first one for the day. For many this means first thing in the morning. People who drink have what is called a thinking disorder (disease theory of alcoholism). From the moment they wake up the obsession for alcohol begins and does not stop until they fall asleep at night.

Their minds never quit thinking about where, when and how the can get a drink of alcohol. It sounds crazy…I know. They cannot get away from the haunting physical addiction or quit thinking about getting a drink. It is very much like having an obsession with someone who you are deeply in love with.

Some have said that alcoholics romance the bottle.

morning on farmA friend of mine used to drink alcohol first thing in the morning. The convenient store was his regular stop on his way to work. Fortunately for him, he was self-employed because sometimes by late morning he had to sleep for a while because he had consumed so much alcohol.

Prior to going to bed they generally make sure that they either have a plan to get a drink when they wake up or have some easily accessible to them.

Along with this chronic, dysfunctional behavior is where the alcoholic lies all the time. As they are mapping out the day for when and where they will get the alcohol, they are also developing excuses and lies to cover up their addictive behaviors. Family, friends and co-workers get lied to often. Read this article about lying alcoholics.

morning on lakeWe see this same sort of addictive behavior with people who are addicted to pills. They cannot rest until they either get their pill first thing in the morning or soon after waking up.

People who start drinking alcohol as soon as they get up are definitely alcoholics. There’s no two ways about this one.

Alcoholism is a thinking disease. It cannot just be turned off like a light switch. As much as we find ourselves obsessing over an alcoholic, they get caught in the grips of chasing after drink.

If your husband, wife, friend or child is drinking alcohol first thing when they awake in the morning, the chances are good that they have a serious problem with alcoholism.

Right now, you must realize that you cannot control their drinking, you did not cause it and you will never be able to cure it. In a nut-shell… you must learn to let them go. That my friend is easier said than done.

The best place to learn how to let go of a problem drinker is in support group meetings. If you search in your local area you will find that meetings are available first thing in the morning and throughout the entire day.

Living with an active alcoholic is too much for us. Our thinking gets distorted and we try to force solutions. There’s no solution to the problem that you can cause top happen. They must decide on their own to quit drinking. Until then, all you can do for the alcoholic family member, friend or co—worker is learn how to love them unconditionally.

The process of understanding why alcoholics do the things they do can take many support group meetings. Coupled with the meetings, reading as much literature as possible is suggested. If we are going to understand why an alcoholic must obsess over getting a drink, we must get around people who understand these types of behaviors. Sometimes a therapist can help with these issues, but I personally think that Al-anon is your best bet.

66 comments to Understanding Why an Alcoholic Drinks in the Morning

  • kim

    Hi,my boyfriend and I had reservations for the weekend in san diego for our 1 yr anniv at a very beautiful hotel.We have been planning his trip for months.(He had not had a drink in weeks)I packed up all my clothes and prepared lots of snacks for us to take.when I got to his house he was so drunk he couldnt even stand up(10 am )this has happened before.I was really proud of him up until now.I ended up just leaving and going home.I love him so much but just dont how to trust him again.

  • Elisabeth

    @ Kim – you can’t trust him. Let him go while or before you know it, it will be 15 years later and you still don’t trust him and don’t know what to do. Trust me. Read as much of this site as you can and you will understand more about Alcoholism and the effect it has on the loved ones like you. Good luck.

  • Mary Wells

    My boyfriend has gotten laid off for the second time this year. He admitted that he sometimes didn’t go to work because he was hung over. He has started drinking in the morning in front of me. I think today he was trying to provoke me. He tried to pour beer in my cup of tea. I feel very stressed out because of his drinking. He says he will be back from the store but, then comes home hours later from the local bar. He says he needs to drink to fall asleep. I think our relationship is a wreck. We haven’t had sex in months because he doesn’t feel like it.

  • Debbi

    Hoping someone can help me answer a question about this thread:

    If you did not see them drink in the morning was it because:
    1. They hid it & did not get drunk in front of you in AM
    2. They did not drink in the morning as this article suggests
    3. If they are not drinking first thing in the AM does that mean they are not an alcoholic.

    Did anyone have an A in their life that did not drink in the AM but they were sure they did have a problem with alcohol?

    Hoping someone in the same scenario as I was & question this symptom of having to drink in the morning.

  • Elisabeth

    My ex-AF’s habits varied. Sometimes it started in the morning, sometimes later. It depended on whether or not he had plans for which he knew he couldn’t be obviously drunk. Plans like seeing family members or working. In all cases, though, he hid the drinking from me and everyone else. He would hole himself up in his office “working” and hide the cans.

  • Debbi

    Thanks Elisabeth–that helps me because it could have also been the same with mine. But tell me–how did you know he was hiding the cans in his office or where did you find them & how?
    Just curious.

  • Elisabeth

    Debbi – I did what they tell us we’re not supposed to do. When he wasn’t around, I searched his office and the attached garage. He would hide them in drawers, in bags, in storage boxes, even. The thing was that he’s not a very neat guy and there was always a mess to help cover them up, but I would find them anyhow. A lot of times I could smell the beer when I would walk in there.

    And of course, there were many times when I thought I was wrong to think he was drinking because he would totally deny it and invite me to look around. They have that way of making you think it’s all in your head, you know? But I know now to trust my instincts, as you should trust yours, I’m sure.

  • karen

    Hi readers,

    OMG I was so glad to hear the question and responses about the A person drinking first thing in the morning.
    I witnessed this first hand and was stunned and nauseated at the same time.
    He would start drinking as soon as he woke up either with a cold beer with or without tomato juice…what is with the tomato juice..I have not figured that one out yet.
    Or it was lots of coffee with Bailey’s in it.
    He would buy a large bottle of this liquor once a week and drink it through out the week.
    If he had “things” to do that day or any given day he would wait till all errands were done and then the drinking would start and he would have to drink even faster to get his daily quota of 12 tall cans of beer into him. Then he had to smoke some dope to get his “high” going.

    This type of behavior totally freaked me out.

    There was usually a doy or two that he would take to recoup himself and then he was off and running again.

    I am so thankful that the relationship has ended. The emotional and physical damage that it did to me was awful and has taken even longer to fix.

    You must also remember that as soon as the A person opens their mouths to speak it is all lies. Their converstions is all over the place and the stories are all lies.

    I have come a long way since I dumped the ABF from my life. I truly do not care what happens to him or his sorry state of life. His issue and not mine.

  • karen

    Hi again readers,

    Remeber when the A person opens their mouths…that is the first mistake and the mistake we make is to listen to it. He made my head spin more than once.

    The different personalities that would present themselves to me was another head spinner.
    I never knew who was going to show up at my door…the dpressed and crying personality…the manic personality,which could be fun sometimes and I had some good laughs with this personality…or it was the mean personality that would pull my hair, slap my face, bite me and even spit on me…what the “f” was that all about and then not remember !!!!!
    How about the personality with thoughts of “granduer” and was invinceable and could buy anything with the money invested in family stocks…seriously !!
    He would change his clothes 2-3 times in one evening and thought he looked great…really.
    There were too many personalities for me including the narccasistic behaviour…thought he was God’s gift to all.

    Hang tight for those of you’s just starting out in a relationship like this or are in one now….get out while the getting is good.

    Take care

  • Joe

    Hello Everybody,

    I am reading this article for the first time, and it brings back a lot of memories a few years ago of how I used to be.
    After my father passed away, I started drinking heavily for about 4 years. On my days off, after I had my couple cups of coffee, I would start drinking beer. The time was about 9:00 AM. It got really bad and to the point where I was craving alcohol at early times in the morning at work, and then get cold sweats. I would get over the cold sweats and be ok, but when I got home at about 8 PM, I would start drinking. Drinking to take the edge off. From the time I got home (8 PM), until about 10:30, I had about 8-10 beers, and I had my “fix”.
    When I would buy beer, I would have to buy 30 packs. A 30 pack would be gone in about a day and a half. I averaged about 17-20 beers on my days off. Like I said earlier, I would start at about 9:00. I would be drunk by about 12-1 PM.
    After a few years, I have gotten my life back together. I’m married to a great girl, and she changed me for the better. She saw me in the alcoholic stage and gave me an ultimatum: Get your drinking under control, or I’m out. Well, in a nutshell, I got my drinking under control. I still do enjoy beer, but I’ve taught myself that I can be a social drinker and have a few beers every now and then, and still have a good time. Getting plastered was what I had always done. It was uncommon for me NOT to have a beer in my hand. Now I’ve come to realize that beer does not have to revolve around my social and other daily activities.

  • Gabby

    I am happy for you Joe that you saw the destruction that alcohol was causing. You said what made you stop was your wife giving you an ultimatum. I did that to my exBF but it did not work and he became violent. I so wished my story had ended like yours. My heart aches for what might have been. Treasure your wife always–tell her everyday how much you love her! She got through to you and maybe saved your life!

  • Greg Conklin

    Hello, I find this article to be one of the worst I have ever read regarding alcoholism; the comments are somehow even more revolting. I used to drink all day, every day for four years. The only thing that ended up saving me was support from every single perosn in my life, certainly not this “let them go” nonsense. Are you kidding me? I truly believe that the people making such false and misleading statements are the ones in need of the most help.

  • Monica


    While you were active in your alcoholism did you push all your love ones aside? Did you do terrible things to hurt your loved ones and then even when sober, refuse to acknowledge your actions or apologize? That is how the alcoholic in my life is. I’ve offered unwavering love and support for 2 years. In return I was emotionally abused and constantly lied to and manipulated. There is no choice for me and I suspect many others than to ” let them go.”

  • C

    “Let them go” is exactly what everyone should do. I have found listening to others, that being with an alcoholic is a disaster. The arrogance, lying, demanding, depending on behavior that an A exhibits is not romantic and will bring any family to its knees.

    I have learned to leave well enough alone. I have no desire for alcohol – can’t stand the taste of any of it! The money lost, lives destroyed and demeaning death due to alcoholism should keep everyone from becoming dependent on it.

  • Mike

    A full blown bitch fest here, glad I’m not married.

  • Zita

    I have been married for 40 years. I am planning to leave my husband once I have all my affairs in order. We are planning to sell our house this summer to downsize. Once the house is sold, I will take my half of the money and set myself up. My husband was in hospital for 2 weeks after Christmas. He had gotten the flu and continued to drink until he was so weak he had to be hospitalized. They kept him there as he suffered withdrawal and was nursed thru it. He has a slightly inflamed liver. He is back to drinking again but of course not in front of me. I didn’t know exactly how much he was drinking but I do now. I had not kept track of it as I have read that we should not do this and should get on with our lives. I needed to know. I was so happy that he had detoxed and was very hopeful he would stop. I had provided him with all the info about inflamed liver etc. I had thought about leaving him for years and now I am sure. I am 60….I will not live the next 20 or so years like this. My advice to young people…Get Out Now! Don’t wait and hope like I did….I turned my head and tried the detachment thing but I just can’t do it anymore. The other night he fell asleep with his dinner in his lap…that was not pretty!

  • C

    Zita: 60 is so young. Gather your things and get moving when you get your half of the house money. Do not look back. I bet within a year, you are writing that you are smiling again and feel so young. Take good care.

  • Zita

    How old are you Veronica? Are you the alcoholic? Do you live with an alcoholic? Did you read all the comments? Did any of it register? Really????

  • Sarah

    The part of the brain alcoholic effect.
    The frontal lobes, are the seat of emotions and judgments related to sympathy, which is the ability to feel sorrow for someone else’s suffering, and empathy, which the ability to understand another’s feelings and problems. They are also the seat of understanding humor, including subtle witticisms and word plays. The frontal lobe also recognizes sarcasm and irony. And they are where recognition of deception occurs. The frontal lobes control the processes called “mentalizing” upon which our socialization is based; this is the ability to understand another’s mental processes.
    Spontaneity of facial expression and of interaction with others is also controlled by the frontal lobes as is the function of flexibility in thinking processes, for example, being able to conceive of and choose between complex alternatives in a social environment. The problematic opposite of this flexibility is perseveration, which is the fixed persistence of a single thought. Both attentiveness of focus on a single task and resistance to emotional liability, which is commonly referred to as mood changes or mood swings, are controlled by the frontal lobes.
    The ability to solve problems, which often depends on flexible thinking and the ability to correctly express language are both controlled by the frontal lobes, as well. In addition to this, our personalities are controlled by the frontal lobes. This is not all, though, as they also control movement, initiation, emotional impulsivity, memory, sexual behavior, and judgment.
    The frontal lobes are of paramount significance in determining our daily capabilities, personality manifestations, social interactions and judgments and decisions. The frontal lobes are indeed the seat of our essence and nature.

  • C


    Your language is offensive. You must be a real jewel to be around. Get a grip.

  • MM

    I have always known my husband to drink but the amount never really hit me until we were married. He is various at the amount he drinks. Sometimes he comes home with 2 25oz beers to a 6 pack, to a 12 pack daily during the week. One the weekend it will be an 18 pack on a friday evening, then by saturday afternoon he needs another 18 pack. He definitely drinks a “hair of the dog” in the morning on the weekend, but he’s never that drunk the night before. I have noticed within the past year he’s been drinking at least 1 beer in the morning during the week now. but in the past couple of weeks a couple of days he had drank 5 beers during the week in the morning! I have been trying to keep count of the beers he leaves in the fridge, he thinks I don’t notice but I do. But now I think he’s catching on and he’s trying to beat me home after work so I don’t see how much he’s drank. I know that sometimes on the weekend when he has to go get more beer, I have noticed him driving past our house, and I know that he’s trying to chug a 25oz beer before he gets home 🙁 I’m very fortunate in some aspect of his alcoholism that he is always home. He never goes out to drink. But it’s still very hard on our family when he is drinking a lot. I wish he could see it, he won’t get help, he won’t quit, no matter. He won’t even quit for his kids. 🙁

  • ben

    if some of ya’ll women were easier to deal with then men wouldn’t feel the need to drink so much!!! got to get drunk just to deal with coming home to ya’ll.

  • June

    Ben must have been looking for the AA meeting and staggered into the Al-Anon meeting. LOL

  • Zita

    Ben….are you kidding me? The best thing you could do is not come home at all ya’ll!

  • Jen

    I am an alcoholic. I can say that now. I lie and hide because I hate myself. It us a terrible disease. I try so hard, but it is so intense. It hurts so badly to hurt others you love so deeply. That is why we hide it and lie. To protect those we love. It us not right, but it us our defense mechanism. I love you all and hope you’ve made the right decisions for your selves and love ones. Regardless you are first!

  • detached

    I’m an alcoholic as well. It’s extremely difficult to deal with. I’m sure this desire stems from something much deeper within but I’m unable to be calm without some form of help. It’s killing me and I’ve lost a lot friends…because they were of the mindset that “you have to let them go”. That’s the worst thing you can do. You don’t let loved ones go just because they have diabetes and still eat unhealthy food do you? People need love and support to get better.

  • adam

    I am also an alcoholic. The classic definition of alcoholism throws people off. Most people in my life have no idea that I drink all day. They have no idea that I am functionally drunk at work, during family gatherings, etc. It is a disease. If I stopped drinking however, they would certainly know something was wrong. I drink to feel normal. Without it I get cold sweats, uncontrollable shakes, and cannot function. It is no one’s fault but mine. I let myself get this way. But I could only imagine how bad it would get it everyone just “let me go”. I own a very successful business, have many employees and work 10-15 hour days. Not every alcoholic is a stumbling, unproductive member of society. It effects everyone in different ways. I just want people to understand that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and you wouldn’t abandon a friend who got cancer from smoking would you?? Would you belittle them while they were sick?? It’s a disease, and there comes a point when it’s no longer a choice.

  • Zita

    Adam….you are right….you can’t judge a book by its cover. My husband runs a successful business and like you, works 10-15 hour days. He has many employees as well. Unfortunately, when he was 62, he reached the point of no return. He was highly functional and within a matter of months, his health took a turn for the worse. By the time he went into rehab, he was unable to walk unaided. Only in the last year of his drinking did his personality start to change….he had become more impatient, critical and unkind at times towards me. His alcoholism had gotten worse with each passing year. You say it is a disease….well diseases are usually treated or else they gradually get worse. My husband came close to death…and he HAD to make a choice. Most people did not know he had this disease. It has been 2 1/2 years now since he’s had a drink…he was on his way to losing me – his wife and his life. Once he made the decision to seek the help he needed, I had no intention of leaving….I give him all the support he needs me to give him. He attends AA 5 times a week and it helps him tremendously. He was a person who once did not believe in any program….he could do it on his own….he found he couldn’t do it alone. I hope you will make the Choice to get help.

  • Anne

    I drink in the mornings. I usually go to my college classes, but sometimes skip them with lame excuses if I have a drink a drink within two hours of the time I need to leave home. It’s shameful. I know I am fucking up, but I can also go for several weeks without drinking at all. At the end of those weeks, I’ll convince myself that I can have one and it will start again. I don’t think alcoholism is a disease as such, but it is a habit that is difficult to overcome. I fucked up my job with too many unexcused absences and am in danger of doing the same with my college classes where attendance is mandatory. I am seeking help. However, I know that I drink when alone. No counsellor can help with that. I am fine when around other people and don’t drink at all but I can’t do that 24/7.

  • Gary


    Love yourself. Go buy the book : Healing the Addictive Personality by Dr. Lee Jampolsky. It’s one of the most encouraging books I’ve ever read on this subject. The author was an alcoholic. You can most likely buy the book on the cheap at Alibris.com There is nothing anyone can say that will heal you but only encourage you to take enough responsibility to love yourself, be good to yourself, treat yourself well, gain the knowledge to bring yourself out of the muddy thinking you’ve adopted into a new thinking, a new attitude and perspective on life….on your life. Keep moving forward.


  • Denise

    Dear JC,
    Well my beautiful granddaughter has been here since August 13. My ah has been drunk a lot. He wouldn’t even go down and visit by himself. I do not take vacation with him for years. Don’t you want to see your granddaughter? Nope, he said. Why don’t you go golfing with your son and then take her for a walk when you get back from golfing? NOPE , he said. I am done. I have tried. My doctor just shook her head. My God you must come from a strong family. I got tears in my eyes. He hardly eats.He says he doesn’t care about anything. Your typical functioning alcoholic. So, the time has come to put him to the wayside. Some may think I am kicking him to the curb. Not so. I am 621/2 yrs. old. Yes, my children are grown. I need to do the things I like to do. I refuse to languish in his misery. My doctor told to remember it is not my fault that he chooses this path. It is hard to watch someone slowly die. I had to watch my parents die. Now him. It is inevitable . The leaves are starting to turn up here. My favorite time of year. I hope my granddaughter will look forward to Autumn as much as I do. Maybe we can share some wonderful walks before I am gone. Take care everyone. Always Denise. I would love to be walking along the California beach by Cambria. Soon.

  • Holly

    Dear Denise,
    My heart goes out to you. Our family has agonized over my alcoholic brother’s destructive and negligent behaviors too. My Mom who is 82 years old has finally had enough of the guilt trips and dysfunctions that have negatively affected her life over the last 20 years. I am so happy for her to be honoring herself finally! It is so important to have boundaries and to understand that it is not your fault and it is not up to you to fix your alcoholic son. He will either seek help or he will not. Letting go is hard to do but it is good to hear you say that you refuse to “languish in his misery” because it is not yours to carry. It has hurt me for many years watching my Mom agonize and enable my brother who refuses to take responsibility for his own well being. He has neglected his kids and grandkids and is now living with the consequences. They do not want to see him anymore. It’s too upsetting for them to see him drunk. May your heart feel light and may you hold steady in your stance to live a good life regardless of the poor choices of your son. I am sorry you have had to suffer with this toxicity in your life. Wishing you all the best.

  • Denise

    Thank you for the very kind words . The alcoholic is my husband of 36 yrs. Like I have always said it is a roller coaster. Some day it will stop. Thank you again and I am so happy for your Mother! Now she can live the life she deserved for so very long. I am glad you are there for her. Always, Denise

  • Paula g

    These days we are brought up and weened on tv and simple superficial ideas. We don’t have the guidance and direction that we used to get from community and church and strict structure. But we need it, we need to know what we believe and decide what we stand for and have a healthy routine that involves a strong work ethic. For some people AA gives them these things along with the daily reminder of why they can’t drink. I don’t think anyone can say for sure what alcoholism is, the medical departments don’t even claim to have any answers, The human mind is an incredible thing and keeping it healthy in this day and age can be incredibly hard. Find an open meeting in your area ( meaning anyone can attend) and sit in. Talk to a crisis counselor about what you are going through. “Idle time is the devils play thing”, for people who don’t do well alone, often it’s because their own thoughts drive them batty, and they need to silence them. Once alcohol becomes the silencer it becomes the only answer we can come up with at a certain point. But you know as I know that it’s not true. Find healthy answers, water, fruit, music, nature walks, art. And finally the thoughts that keep creeping up on you need to be processed for them to subside, you might need help with that, if you try to avoid them forever, they will haunt you forever. I know a man who is tortured by the thoughts in his head and i recognize by the things he has told me that they aren’t even his own thoughts but actually echos of his dad’s words playing over and over like a broken record. Another thought that I find helpful when I need to silence my thoughts is ‘listen to your breathing and focus on your breathing, then start to let yourself become aware of sounds in your environment, actual sounds outside your head and all around you in the world’ Good luck sister don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help. We can’t do it alone.

  • Jean

    I don’t even know where to begin. My husband has been drinking forever…the past couple of years he has switched from beer to vodka – he said it was because I wouldnt let him keep beer in the fridge. Beer never lasted long enough to stay in the fridge. He works second shift and I am pretty sure he drinks all morning before he goes into work. I can usually tell when he calls and starts talking non-stop. I don’t know what to do anymore. Our 12 year old son sees him do this. He has even driven our son to his grandmas (when I was at work) when he was drunk. I want him out of our life but I dont know how to even begin. I think my son and I should be able to stay in the house till he at least finishes high school. I do not think it is fair that his life has to be uprooted just because of this. He deserves normal. My son becomes a nervous pacing mess when his father is at home and we can tell he has been drinking. He told me last week that he had quit for a week and a half (told me this last Thursday) and by Friday he was right back at it again. He then told me that he wasnt going to quit and basically that if I didnt like it I could get out. I think he should be the one to get out and take his sour and negative attitude with him! It is wearing me out. I try to ignore him when he is at home and he has been drinking but he just keeps getting louder and more insistent on arguing over even the smallest things. Then he tries to help my son with his math homework and ends up yelling at him when he doesn’t understand. It really makes me sad that he yells and my son doesnt deserve it. I hate that this is what he has to grow up with…what is this teaching him? He is very smart and understands that his father has a problem but I am sure it is very hard to understand why he get angry so easily…he has never hit either of us but sometimes his words are a punch to the gut! Sorry for the rant – feels better to get it out there.

  • Beth

    Found this site by googling “My husband drinks beer at nine in the morning” and am so glad I did. Everyone’s comments here resonate and confirm to me that I am not imagining things or blowing them out of proportion, and that I AM NOT ALONE in this horrible place.

    We’ve been married 29 years and are raising our two grandchildren, 8 and 6 years old. Husband is 63 and I am 59. He lost his job four years ago after an extended period away from work due to a job-related injury. It was unfair but it is what it is. He could have done so much for our family, himself and others with this new-found “retirement” but all he’s done is feel sorry for himself and drink more and more. Whenever I say anything about the alcohol he says, “Oh, yeah. There you go. It’s so easy to go there, isn’t it?”

    The mood swings and unpredictable behavior some have mentioned – YES. It is horrible. I never know “who” is coming through the door or what to expect. We have bad days and better days and a few really good days in between – those are getting less and less common.

    On holidays, it was our family’s custom to have mimosas with breakfast, wine with lunch and dinner, maybe some beer in the afternoon and a hot toddy after supper. A couple of years ago he seemed to decide that should be an every day thing. He starts drinking at nine (maybe even before – he gets up hours before I do) with a beer. The mid morning he pours red wine into his coffee cup (he thinks I don’t notice). Then a beer with lunch and then a nap. Then one or two strong bourbon & water. Then more wine or beer later. Lately he has started having a beer before bed.

    He has been complaining that his stomach hurts and that he is nauseated – a lot. So of course he has to have alcohol to “settle his stomach.” Does he not think perhaps it’s all the alcohol affecting his stomach? He was always thin and wiry and well-muscled. Now he is skinny and flabby except for a basketball where his belly used to be. I lost my brother at 56 to heart attack and stroke – no medical intervention helped because his organs were shot from alcohol. Is this my future with my husband too?

    Sorry to be so long-winded here – there is really no one I can talk to about any of this. Peace and love to you all, dealing with this. It’s hell.

  • DavidF

    I found this site this morning after googling “drinking at 10 am”.
    We have a longtime friend and Christmas visitor who has arrived this week and has turned our routines upside down. His day revolves around buying beer, packing it in the cooler, drinking it and stashing cans. The drinking has become progressively worse, he now drinks vodka with juice and takes my bottles of wine. This has been a close friend for a number of years with no immediate family. It is hard to throw him out now three days before Christmas but I am counting the days remaining until the departure. I can hear the beer cans popping at 9:30 in the morning (at least 20 cans per day). He is off to the beach during the day, and probably buying more alcohol while he is out. He is now recovering from dental surgery and complains about the pain, once I suggested that alcohol is not helping the healing. We used to do fun things during his visits but now all he wants to do is drink. There is no inviting friends over for meals because we can not predict his state. He storms out of restaurants without eating, complaining about food and service, but really just wanting to get home to his stash. I’m walking on eggshells and physically ill worrying about the next outburst. I like a holiday cocktail but have no interest now until he leaves.

  • TB

    Hey there, I jus have to say. I dont know if you are pissed off at somone close to you for having a drinking problem but ya shouldnt be telling every woman on here that they should leave there loved one because of consuming too much alcohol, or having a problem with it. You dont seem to understand that we are all humans, and do you think somone who is addicted to alcohol means to get addicted?. They somtimes may put you through some stuff in life but the last thing you should do os give up on that person, you should talk to them and make them understand that the relationship isnt going to work if they keep up whats going on. But who can give up an addiction without the love from your girlfreind/wife/loved one. It just isnt going to happen. So just remember even addicts are humans they just have a problem with a substance that many many people have. Take my advice people and never leave somone because theyre an alcoholic because they really do need you whether or not you see it, they do. But its a diffrent story if they beat the crap out of ya or threaten to kill you, then they need serious help and your best choice is to leave them.

  • Mark

    Was just reading the posts. Very informative. I am an alcoholic. I, like many posts that I have read, tailor my day to when I can or cannot drink. I tell myself that I can stop anytime, but have not stopped for years. Joe had said that he drank for quite a while, but was able to stop and still drink socially from time to time. This is my goal. I am a very busy person. I have a great wife who I love very much, and I have many people who count on me. I employ 16 people in my small business. I have 4 kids and I support them as est I can. Any words of advice are sincerely appreciated.

  • Kathy

    TB I realize it Appears wrong to leave an alcoholic , a person that has a very bad illness.
    I’d like to ask you what you suggest I do.
    I’ll call him Robert. I have tried talking I have tried distancing myself I have had to go to Councelling I have talked with his family. I requested an intervention. I have shown him things he has one while drunk and can’t remember. He kept reeling me he would cut back he would say he sees how it hurts our life.
    Robert drinks from the minute he wakes up about 5 am until he passes out at 10 at night. He works and drinks on the job . He is buzzed or drunk every minute we are together. In the morning I can’t take to him as he’s shaking and needs to get beer into his body before he can function. He doesn’t share our memories s he can’t remember our times. We’ve had those deep conversations that there’s tears and bonding where I couldn’t have felt closer to another human being. The next day …. he doesn’t remember any of it. He can no longer have sex. It’s been 2 years of struggling and the last 6 months nothing . He lies betrays and because of this illness treats me with no respect. He drinks alcohol and beer and will not say no to drugs. He will shit me out for days to get high on cocaine. He was broke and just got laid off when I met him. I helped him he got a place I bought him or gave him everything he needed wanted and desired to show him I love him he is safe I will stand by you. To give him the courage and security to know he had me. He got his job and the agreement was once he started working the drinking needed to change. It got worse. He puts me down to protect his drinking. He rejects me dismisses me and picks away at my person my self esteem. My Robert doesn’t touch me. He has lost all Interest in sex and his ability to share in emotional and physical intimacy. I am now alone lost thousands of dollars and my self worth. And the man that I with my whole heart would have stayed with had he at least tried to stop. The thing is…. we feel that if a person is sick and they need us and we give them and help them with everything we can and then we become rejected by that very person… the effects of that on our own person is detrimental. I became addicted to the person with the addictions . He I believe subconsciously pushed me away to protect his precious drinking. Please tell me what you think I could have done? Do you really believe I should have stayed? Am I the coward? Am I the person who was Wrong to leave?

  • Zita

    TB….you need to get honest…there is no way that anyone should stay with an alcoholic who is not willing to get help. How nice for the alcoholic to be able to continue to drink and not suffer any consequences. Life is too short. Talk to them and make them understand? Wow….like none of us would have ever thought of that. Do the work that is needed to get sober. No one should have to put up with the craziness.

  • Elliott

    Hello, I live in the UK and find this is a very interesting article, a friend of mine has become an alcoholic in 2 weeks and myself, his 2 brothers and other friends have been trying to work in shifts to take care of him. 3 weeks ago I was out with him (Steven is his name) and we had a great night a few drinks and good fun, Steven has never been a big drinker and usually gets horrendous hangovers. Then about a week ago his brother got in touch asking for help with Steven and that he had been to hospital several times and his girlfriend had moved to her mothers as she couldn’t deal with him. I first went on Sunday and found Steven outside his apartment looking totally dazed and confused. It’s important to know Steven has had problems with anxiety and on medication (for 20 years) to help deal with the problem. He asked me to take him to his Dads to get his perscription and I did but it turn out he has been taking more than the normal dosage and is also hooked on these. When i got him back to his flat he said he was anxious and wanted me to leave which I did once I got him to bed. 2 of my friends went to stay with him that night he was asking for drink all night and didn’t sleep. The next day he was a mess by the time I got there at 6pm he was off to hospital in an ambulance. When we got there he could stand or hardly speak, I have never seen anyone so drunk and yet he was wanting to discharge himself. I stayed with him and the hospital agreed for security to keep an eye on him. The next day he discharged himself and got a taxi home at 5am and got a bottle of vodka on the way. Fortunately 1 of our friends intercepted him at his flat and took it off him. For the next day we managed to control his drinking but all he did was constantly ask for a drink. The GP said not to stop him completely so we kept him having it until we could get him help. He agreed he needed rehab and all was going well with a trip to hospital for felling delirious but seemed okay. We arranged a rehab clinic for 2 days later but the next day he had an AA guy come to see who told him he could drink as much as he wanted before rehab. So from then on all he did was ask from drink. Again I stayed with him till midnight and thought he was going to be okay. However, through the night he persuaded a friend staying with him to give him more and when he passed out. They put him to bed and then when they checked on him later he had turned blue and had a seizure, fortuately an ambluance came and back to hospital he went. The next day when he was mean to be going to rehab he woke not knowing where he was and still asking for drink in hospital. To cut a long story short we felt no option but to have him mentally assessed and he has now been sectioned for 28 days. So my question is do you think Steven is an alcoholic or is it a thinking disorder wher he somehow thinks he is dependant on drink, after all how can someone become an alcoholic in 2 weeks. I beleive he in the best place know and the underlying mental issues he has will come to the surface and be properly assessed. On a final note the hospital was shocking and didn’t take his situation serious enough until we got the GP to step in and agreement from his father to get him sectioned. He is a complete mess and I cannot believe this happened is such as short space of time. Thanks.

  • I have been with my bf for 34 years suffered violent beatings and attended hospital and reported to police . As well suffered so many verbal insults . He cannot remember anything hes done to me and says I fell over lol.I GET A FEW MONTHS OF GOOD BEHAVIOUR THEN HE SUBSIDES . He likes to top up his drink from night pre like today he hid a can of lager in top cupboard kept going in the kitchen for a swag .I really would love to put washing up liquid in it lol but he would just get violent .He is a pathetic piece of shit and sometimes I want to give up and walk out.HE HAS A N ADDICTIVE NATURE X HEROIN. He came to uk from Holland 34 years ago to live with me to get off drugs and he did but went back on it for a year after a 16 year period I left him and became clean so I went back I left him again after a real good beating went back 8 years ago wished id ran quicker.I wish id had the sense to say bye that’s enough now years ago so please don’t be like me walk away his parents have no idea how badly ive been abused broken bones cuts burns bruises /they say you are a strong person and we admire you for sorting him out now I need a life lol before he puts me in a body bag so don’t be like me run run run

  • ZuckerRat

    Hi, so sorry to hear your story, and I agree… run, run, RUN from a person like this and do not go back! I have been doing a lot of research lately on alcoholics and manipulation, and diminishing issues is a way of manipulation (as is anger and lying). So, when he tells you to “get over it”… this is exactly what he is doing.

    And, I hear you regarding the feeling that everyone thinks he’s “such a nice guy”… mine is the same in that regard. I believe his family knows, although they are in denial about it. However, his co-workers and very few friends that he has have ZERO CLUE that he has an alcohol problem, and the way he acts when drunk. If his family admits that they “admire you for sorting him out”… that is an indication that THEY KNOW too, but are in denial, or possibly grateful that you are dealing with him, so they don’t have to.

    You have got out before… you can do it again! Hugs ZR

  • ZuckerRat


    I am sorry for your situation, as we are all in it, it seems. What I can tell you is this… the skinniness with a huge basketball stomach is his liver failing, Google the term “ascites” to learn more about it. This is not fat… it is his damaged liver releasing liquid, which is pooling in the abdomen. Get him to a doctor, if you can.

    Hugs and courage, ZR

  • Helen

    I know how I got to this site, because there are moments when I’m honest with myself and I see the hurt, confusion and distress that I cause my partner when I drink. I see the hurt in his eyes whe he knows I’m lying to him. But I don’t know why I do it, I’m genuinely confused that I keep messing up in this way when I know the damage it does. I pretend it’s not a big deal, I work, I have a good job, friends a happy family & yet I still feel the need to lie about drinking and hide it from the people who mean the most to me. I need to do something, make a change or i’ll destroy all the good things that I have.

  • Rahul

    Hi Guys. I am from India. I have my own company and no dearth of Beers/Rum. I have started to work from home mostly as I need drinks to keep the energy to guide my team. Drinks have become my first love. To search “How to Quit” also, I am holding third beer of the day in my hand right now at 12 noon. I need help. Have read a lot, attended AA in the past 4 years back, visited Psychologist once but deserted his advice. So basically, I don’t get along with anyone who does not think my way.

    I have started drinking Vodka (which does not smell) at work so that no one knows about it. I am 33 and I know if this continue for long term will turn into fatal liver disease. But not sure how to get rid of this. And icing on the cake is Heavy smoking with drinking which is increasing since last couple of years in number.

    I tried going to gym, swimming, enjoying with my baby, sex with wife, meditation, reading about the problem, watching videos etc. everything. But at last I need a Drink and followed by many more..

    If I continue like this I will die in 5 years or so. Not sure what to do. I daily think of this, try everyday just to fail and drink & smoke everyday 🙁

    Cheers. Am still drinking. Please Help Me !!!

  • Mike

    Holy smokes, as a healthcare professional this site and its comments disappoint me to see. The people leaving these atrocious comments must have good reasons for doing so, but they should know that this article is trash. Utter trash. I wish you all the best in helping/leaving the alcoholics in your life, but please don’t do so on the merits of this essay alone, because this essay has no merit.

  • June

    Mike, your a heath care professional…you must have not ever lived with an alcoholic. It’s a lot easier to have more understanding when you haven’t lived it. They hurt the people they live with. It’s like it would be harder to deal with a topic of rape or murder if your daughter or mother had been raped or murdered.
    Walk a mile in our shoes…
    They didn’t chose to be an alcoholic but we didn’t chose to have yourself esteem destroyed.

  • Betty Lou

    Mike, your a heath care professional…you must have not ever lived with an alcoholic. It’s a lot easier to have more understanding when you haven’t lived it. They hurt the people they live with. It’s like it would be harder to deal with a topic of rape or murder if your daughter or mother had been raped or murdered.
    Walk a mile in our shoes…
    They didn’t chose to be an alcoholic but we didn’t chose to have yourself esteem destroyed.

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