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Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Old May 22nd 2019, 10:19 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
> for starters there are councillors and councillors out there.

Indeed. When I first got counselling 15-odd years ago, I struck lucky. Lovely retired lady. It was like talking to a lovely nan who also know how to sort out your psychi. She was great. The counsellor I saw last year was a lovely chap, got on with him great. BUT, after my 5/6 sessions were up and we'd discussed some strategies he said "I don't think I need to see you any more, but contact me any time". My head only registered the first bit. I was NOT ready to finish with him, and did not contact him again, as I should have done.

> I believe free for a set number of sessions?

I'm kinda lucky in that respect. My wife works at a school that has an arrangement to provide counselling. Due to being family, that extends to me. I'm happier with the counsellor I'm seeing now. Kinda feels like he's saying the right things to me. I have 6 free sessions with him.

> Someone mentioned church as I recall, Again that could help.

Indeed it could help - if you were not atheist like me hehehe

> Day at a time as they say. Firstly your economic situation requires certainty before anything else.

Indeed, and I think that after a couple of difficult chats my wife now understands that. It should be me moving out, but I've nowhere to go. Her parents have a second home 0.5km away from us. Not appropriate for me to move there, so she is going to go there with the boys. I think she can see I'm not just sitting on my hands taking no action, so she is going to let me stay here and continue to pay the mortgage (she'll not pay rent at her parents'), and bills. After all that has happened, how amazing is that.

> What ever help Centre Link can provide would be obviously first port of call.

I thought I'd be entitled to nothing. Apparently this is not true (as discovered at the start of this thread (thanks again spouse of scouse). How soon I get there is going to depend on how much my youngest goes into daycare next week & in future until this house is sorted. It'll certainly be my job no. 1 when I get the opportunity.

Thanks for taking the time to reply
Day by day as I mentioned. Glad your feeling a little better. I wasn't going to mention it further, but the church aspect matters not IMO if atheist or agnostic or whatever. I've known a few other folk, one in particular I'm thinking of, who moved with husband to a small coastal town, experiencing great difficulty meeting anyone. They joined a church group there purely for the companionship as neither were remotely religious and claimed a number there were for similar reasons and besides volunteering in a few community events, formed a group within the 'group' not very religious and developed something akin to a social life. People can be quite sensitive to the needs of others that join such fraternities as a religious group.
Then of course there are other eastern philosophical teachings from Buddhist and so on. Just don't get involved with sects that want money or some form of guru worship.
Sporting clubs, if so inclined could be another pathway, but with a far wider variation of people naturally so perhaps not always ideal under the circumstances if not feeling top drawer.

Last edited by the troubadour; May 22nd 2019 at 10:24 am.
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Old May 22nd 2019, 11:53 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
So... we told the boys our news this afternoon.

3yo - pretty oblivious, as expected. Though when he saw us all keep crying he kept nipping off to get tissues for us all. So sweet and thoughtful for a 3yo. Yet another beautiful character trait of his I'm going to miss seeing on daily basis He was a complete nightmare over dinner though, so a well balanced child clearly...

7yo - devastated. Sobbed his heart out But I think he'll be ok. He was calm after half an hour of hugs and reassurance that although we'll live apart, we'll still do Auskick, swimming (I usually took them both alone anyway to give the wife a break, girl time, whatever), support the local team, even trips to Melbourne when I have the money. He scoffed his dinner down just fine, and went to bed no problem. What a star. Jeez I've barely eaten for 6 days and am getting 3-4 hours per night sleep max on the sofa with only a summer duvet. Still as the saying goes, I made my bed, I gotta lie in it.

In a funny sort of way, I'm kinda proud how we handled 'the chat'. An unexpected positive to take from a very negative situation.
They sound like wonderful kids

My own thoughts on moving to a new State are that this isn't the best plan for you right now. There's nothing that you need to remove yourself from in your current location, and I think being away from your kids would be detrimental to both them and yourself. The only thing that needs to change is you, in terms of getting your depression and dependence on alcohol as a crutch sorted. I really believe that doing those things would be easier for you in a familiar environment, where you can maintain regular contact with the kids.
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Old May 22nd 2019, 11:26 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

I'm with SOS, stay where you are.
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Old May 23rd 2019, 12:08 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Hi,, I wish you well with everything.. 2 things.. 1 is we have a lovely lad who is an alcoholic. He has missed many days of work due to this but company told him to take as long as he needed. He says he has been alcholic for years but he has hit rock bottom. Separated from wife, living in brothers house.. We didn't see him for a month or so and we all wondered what was going on with him. Well he'd been to rehab for a month and started attending AA. he is also not religious. The difference in him is amazing. No frown lines, smiles more and we are all so glad to see this but he struggles every day and says if not for aa right now he would not know what to do. He sometimes attends session 2-3 times a day. /We are all behind him and support him as best we can. We spoke for an hour at work the other days whilst watching our clients and I spoke about mother and her struggles with alcohol but majority of time was just listening to him and his struggles. I just want to say it's definitely one day at a time and I really really wish you well..

Depression - unfortunately very familiar with it. I tried for a long time to deal with my depression in other ways than admit defeat and take meds. I was stupid as I really suffered. I now know I cannot function well without my meds.. So I just want to say if you have to take meds though you want to avoid it can help as in my example. Anyway just take care of yourself..
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Old May 23rd 2019, 12:44 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Thanks everyone for your continued input - all of it, be it gentle or harsh. It's all good. I have got a lot out of each and every one.

I went to see my GP today. Looks like I've got the right man for the job. Not rushed, talked about a bunch of things, worries, etc. I was scared to ask for anti-depressants in case he'd think I was just asking for a quick fix. He actually offered them before I asked. He even qualified it with "you'd be surprised how many successful people, executives, others I know that can't get by without them". That made me feel better. He said I might need them for weeks, months, years, but AT LAST something approaching a positive diagnosis.

I'm also going to get a mental health plan, which will involve getting help from a clinical psychologist (this on top of the counsellor I'm already seeing). The guilt of this costing my wife money? Gone - all bulk billed by the looks of it. GP has written me a letter to take to Centrelink so I should be able to get some money, which will be massively helpful. It won't cover the mortgage entirely, but it'll go a good way to alleviate the pressure. He's essentially signing me off work for 3 months, I think. Having the Centrelink money means not just not HAVING to look for work, but basically not allowed to. That's a huge pressure off. I can in fact use the time to do some training - I've had an IT course lined up for ages - update my swim teacher credentials - maybe even get good at the trombone again.

Three main things I took away from this GP consultation:

1. I was right, in (almost) everything I said to my wife this week. Yes, to a degree I had made some poor choices over the last 6months+, but it wasn't the "real" me. The real me is in there, and is going to fight to get out.
2. As Robin Williams said to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting - it's not my fault. I have many issues that need addressing. And a chemical imbalance/lacking that needs treating.
3. My wife was right. Right now, I'm not the person she married. If she can't be here right now, so be it. I didn't want to accept that, but I do accept that now.

For the first time in a very long time, I feel like there is hope for the future. I'm sure I'll have a good cry when the wife & boys move out on Saturday afternoon, but that's fine. I told my wife everything this evening and it was actually a very pleasant, good natured conversation. I'm convinced she doesn't really understand mental health, but do you really if you've not been through it or are a trained professional? Maybe through me she'll be more educated.

Like my counsellor said last week, this might simply be the end of chapter 1, and the start of chapter 2.... and that might ... just might ... mean a future with my wife. Another favourite film of mine - Shawshank Redemption - hope is not a sh!tty pipe dream. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. I hope I get well again. After that? Who knows.... At least I'll be well.
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Old May 24th 2019, 12:31 am
  #36  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Sounds a positive step in the right direction. Did you speak about the extent of the alcoholism & will you go to AA? That part of it will not go away even if it seems you are coping at the mo.

Remember alcoholism will lead to depression just as much as depression can lead to alcohol abuse.
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Old May 24th 2019, 12:52 am
  #37  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

My favourite Irish writer, Marian Keyes, is an alcoholic who wrote about her problem. Her novel "Rachel's Holiday" was about drug addiction, but the principle is the same. I think it was she who said, or says, "There is no such thing as a recovering alcoholic". Meaning, an alcoholic is only one drink from the gutter, his or her whole life.

As BEVS said above (Post #24) "Not 'food for thought' Lucas_Dad. If you are intent on turning life around from the path it has been on then search out and attend the very next AA meeting & keep at that. You need it. Whilst you may feel you are managing the alcoholism now , at any single point at any moment you could well not be managing." The OP won't get any better advice than that.
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Old May 25th 2019, 8:38 am
  #38  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Counselling session yesterday evening went well. Counsellor said I seemed surprisingly happy!! Ha!! That's the facade. Still dying inside, but managed to get through the session without crying... well, maybe a bit... but that's progress.

And, the wife has just taken the kids and here I am all on my tod. I've pictured this moment for days and I thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I'm not. I feel fine. That's rather unexpected. The anti-depressants can't be working THAT quickly, surely? It's only been two days.

Maybe it's because I've been outdoors most of the day with master 7yo? Auskick, then supporting our local team.

Dunno. Just thought I'd be a mess. Feels.... odd.... somehow...
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Old May 25th 2019, 12:37 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
I'll be blunt and not sugar coat my response. What you wrote above was written by an alcoholic. Yes, you need AA and you need it NOW! You cannot manage for now or for the future without acknowledging that you have a disease known as alcoholism. You cannot handle having an alcoholic drink.

Your misadventures with alcohol as you recounted them only prove that you are in denial. You did and have and probably will once again place your sons in danger. You drink because you are "depressed". Yes, depression is real but can be dealt with by the medical profession. Yet knowing this, you never once sought out medical assistance for your depression.

I have a stepson in Nova Scotia who is an alcoholic and has been attending AA meetings for nearly 21 years now. He is a confirmed atheist. He goes to meetings and takes a pill that if he has even a hint of vinegar on his food makes him sick. Between the pill and the meetings, he has remained sober for 21 years. He now has a son, a wife, a home and a great IT job where he can work from home for a banking authority.

Another close friend is also a member of AA. Before joining, he would get drunk and would misinterpret conversations or forget what he had done. The shit hit the fan once he had an argument (which he does not remember) with someone in a bar, went home, grabbed a gun and went back to the bar and killed that person. He spent a good number of years in Rikker's Island prison in NY. Today he is free, sober for over 30 years, got a good job after prison, now retired and living happily in Florida and still a member of AA.

Stop fooling yourself. You have an emotional/medical problem and you cannot do this on your own. Good luck to you because your luck will reflect on your sons' lives.
I couldn’t agree more. I lost my sister 12 weeks ago to alcohol, at age 53, she was in denial until kidneys and liver failed and despite her best efforts it was too late. She gave the same excuse.
I’ve also been where your wife is, saying I love you is a habit, when in reality you’re dealing with a room mate. You want him out, he’s still trying, yet he’s only taking space on your couch. Sorry but you open yourself for these comments in an open forum.
Trust me, relationship is gone but if you want any future friendship with your ex, move out now, she’s moved on and a roommate on a couch will make future fights worse.
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Old May 25th 2019, 12:59 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
Counselling session yesterday evening went well. Counsellor said I seemed surprisingly happy!! Ha!! That's the facade. Still dying inside, but managed to get through the session without crying... well, maybe a bit... but that's progress.

And, the wife has just taken the kids and here I am all on my tod. I've pictured this moment for days and I thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I'm not. I feel fine. That's rather unexpected. The anti-depressants can't be working THAT quickly, surely? It's only been two days.

Maybe it's because I've been outdoors most of the day with master 7yo? Auskick, then supporting our local team.

Dunno. Just thought I'd be a mess. Feels.... odd.... somehow...
Not sure whether or not the anti-depressants would be kicking in yet, but feeling ok when you didn't expect to is nice. I'm sure that spending some time with your little mate would have helped, as does getting out and being active (the natural enemy of depression!).

How are you doing with the booze, not tempted to have a drink? Really glad that your counselling session went well. Maintaining a facade can be useful at times but never be afraid of letting it all out either, especially with a health professional. Growly mum-type advice about eating on your Hello Fresh thread
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Old May 25th 2019, 1:01 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
THAT is the first step.

Contact AA. Find a phone contact iun your area. Google is your aide.
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Old May 25th 2019, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
Counselling session yesterday evening went well. Counsellor said I seemed surprisingly happy!! Ha!! That's the facade. Still dying inside, but managed to get through the session without crying... well, maybe a bit... but that's progress.
Perhaps it can be called progress. Real progress is attending a session with a façade in place and instead attending as the person and with the feelings you are having right that minute.

And, the wife has just taken the kids and here I am all on my tod. I've pictured this moment for days and I thought I would be a blubbering mess. But I'm not. I feel fine. That's rather unexpected. The anti-depressants can't be working THAT quickly, surely? It's only been two days.
Can't fathom why she moved out of a house and left you there to inhabit a structure that is perfectly suited for 4 people. But that was her choice and honestly, I'm glad she has relocated herself and the boys. You are still a danger to them because you still fail to admit that you have dependency issues with alcohol and are refusing to allow you true emotions to surface. Unless, of course, your true feelings are that you wanted this marriage over and done with and are feeling relieved that now you are on your own and can do whatever you pleasure without censorship. Again, you are wearing a façade but instead of for the sake of the therapist, the façade is for your personal benefit.

Maybe it's because I've been outdoors most of the day with master 7yo? Auskick, then supporting our local team.

Dunno. Just thought I'd be a mess. Feels.... odd.... somehow...
Again with excuses. Being outdoors and doing something you enjoy helps you to forget your problems for a while thus the feeling of normalcy. Seek the next AA meeting. Attend and get a one on one mentor so you can call anytime of the day and night when the demon gets to you. Stop fooling yourself.

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Old May 25th 2019, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

https://aa.org.au/
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Old May 26th 2019, 7:38 am
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Not sure whether or not the anti-depressants would be kicking in yet, but feeling ok when you didn't expect to is nice. I'm sure that spending some time with your little mate would have helped, as does getting out and being active (the natural enemy of depression!).
Indeed. It may be that I've not needed meds until now is that I used to be big into running. Two London Marathons under my belt. After coming here family life took over, and I never made 'me' any sort of priority. Then about 18 months ago arthritis made itself knows at the bas of my spine. GP got me to MRI & cortisone injections, physio, and my back is really strong now. By then I was just out of the exercise habit. GP has encouraged me to at least get out and walking, which I absolutely am going to do. Can't have those bluetooth headphone my wife got me a few month ago sitting idle..

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
How are you doing with the booze, not tempted to have a drink? Really glad that your counselling session went well. Maintaining a facade can be useful at times but never be afraid of letting it all out either, especially with a health professional. Growly mum-type advice about eating on your Hello Fresh thread
Not tempted to drink anything other than Extra Strong PG Tips. And yes I saw the growly mum-type advice re. Hello Fresh Thank you
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Old May 26th 2019, 12:03 pm
  #45  
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Default Re: Advice/sympathy/slap in the head - all welcome (long/heavy post)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
Indeed. It may be that I've not needed meds until now is that I used to be big into running. Two London Marathons under my belt. After coming here family life took over, and I never made 'me' any sort of priority. Then about 18 months ago arthritis made itself knows at the bas of my spine. GP got me to MRI & cortisone injections, physio, and my back is really strong now. By then I was just out of the exercise habit. GP has encouraged me to at least get out and walking, which I absolutely am going to do. Can't have those bluetooth headphone my wife got me a few month ago sitting idle..



Not tempted to drink anything other than Extra Strong PG Tips. And yes I saw the growly mum-type advice re. Hello Fresh Thank you
Wow, you must have been super fit to have done those two marathons! I've done a lot of charity 'walk-a-thons', not quite in the same league though I like the idea of listening to music while exercising, I walk laps at the local pool and I'm sure music would make the time go more quickly. I'll have to find out if waterproof ones are available and drop hints to scouse for my birthday.

It's so easy to forget about ourselves when we're busy with kids. Either we run out of time or run out of energy, not to mention running out of money. The little buggers are lovely but they do take it out of you. Going for regular walks around your neighbourhood sounds great, you'll get to pat and learn the names of all the dogs being walked (a huge bonus I reckon!)

I see you have the same tastes in tea as scouse and I do. After living in the UK for 3 years and drinking builders tea, our taste buds went into shock when we started drinking dishwater tea again. I don't think we've tried extra strong PG tips, must give it a go. We usually get Dilmah extra strong now, or extra strength Twinings English Breakfast when it's on special. A good cuppa is a wonderful thing! You're doing so well
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