At this stage Declan was a secret drinker and when confronted by his wife would deny and manipulate to cover this up. He continued like this until he broke down.
Declan would describe this as a psychological breakdown. He felt at this stage that his life was unmanageable and that alcohol had complete control of his life. He felt he could no longer go on like this. Declan had reached a moment of truth and rang a friend asking for help. He was to spend the next seven weeks in a rehabilitation centre for alcohol and related issues.
Declan recalls that there were six other people in the dorm he stayed in. He said it was an experience being in and going through a programme with others going through the same turmoil and difficulties. Declan tells me that none of these other people are alive today and that they all lost their lives to the disease of alcoholism.
During this time in rehabilitation Declan recalls that although he had admitted to his problem and was taking responsibility, his time in rehab was a stressful time, particularly for Brenda having to manage the daily running of the home, a young baby and having to hold down a job at the same time.
Declan says that Brenda’s job was in jeopardy as a result of his drinking and the stress for Brenda was immense. Brenda’s employers obviously valued her and her work very much, they accommodated her as best they could and she kept her job.
This indeed shows us the effects and hardships on family member’s lives also.
Declan stayed off alcohol after leaving rehab only for a short time. One of the reasons for this was that he didn’t continue with the 12 step programme that he had been introduced to in rehab.
Declan still had his wife, his child, his home, a business, and felt he could remain and manage to stay sober on his own. He still found it difficult to believe that he suffered from the disease of alcoholism. Life wasn’t that bad. Even having the feelings as desperate as he had, and having to attend rehab, Declan was in denial.
Denial is one of the most significant symptoms of this disease.
To be continued.
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