I drink

I drink to cope with my ADHD spouse.  If I were stronger, I would quit.  I am an alcoholic, though extremely high-functioning.  But the stress is too much for me.  I have a new job as a tenure track professor.  It is like being a first year teacher plus some extra stress.  I must work a lot and he takes care of the children and does not make me feel bad about working.  But right now I have 8 load of laundry to do.  The dishes have not been done in 2 weeks (parts are done but not all).  My daughters' carpets are a disgusting mess.  He does not do one educational thing for them all day long.  I cry when I think about it, and then I drink.  Then I can feel.  I don't always feel better but at least I feel.  He went off his antidepressant without medical supervision a few weeks ago.  I decided to bike 5 miles to work instead of having him drive me because I could not take his irritability after that.  It receded a bit.  Now he is out of Adderrall.  He went to his (new) primary care phyisician.  He did not get it renewed.  He has to go through the mental health provider that I asked him to call 2 weeks ago.  I don't even care about I told you so.  I care about being attacked and abused because he does not have meds. He had some old Ritalin but ran out today.  We had a huge fight and I just asked him about the meds.  I should have known.  Why must I go on this roller coaster? Do I need to make having drugs a condition of marriage?  THAT SUCKS


I'm sorry to hear this, but I completely understand it.  When I was living with my husband, I was the same way.  So many stressors, explosive anger, living in chaos.  I moved out in February, and I no longer drink at all.  Separating myself from all of his chaos was amazing for me--I was immediately able to sleep through the  night without any sleeping pills or a glass of wine.  

He was the same way with the meds--ran out of a prescription, never got back in to the dr. to get it filled, changed doctors, weaned off meds so there were none, was supposed to start new meds but kept forgetting to get prescription filled.  I tried to be supportive and stay out of it because I didn't want to be labeled "controlling".  Lasted for 6 months until I moved out, and he quit everything.  

Do yoga, learn meditation, try to find some inner peace amidst the chaos.  Maybe you'll be able to.....I couldn't do it until I was out of the situation.


sullygrl's picture

Have you gone to talk to somebody for just you?

Drinking is usually self-medicating, and not in a healthy way. Alcohol is a depressant, so you end up feeling worse after. Is there anyone YOU can talk to? Therapist? Clergy? Family member?

The ADHD spouse doesn't usually have a clue of the effect they are having on someone else...and until their ADHD is under control, they won't. But escaping with alcohol won't help him, won't help you, and certainly won't help your daughters. And then you can try and cope in a healthy way with the knee-jerk verbal abuse when you ask him about his medication. Set boundaries, walk away when he's being abusive. Tell him you won't be spoken to like that and then stick to it. You can't make him do anything, but you can take care of yourself better.

I drink too

I can't blame all of my drinking on coping with my husbands ADHD...but I think it is an unhealthy habit I have formed and developed to cope with the constant chaos.  It is the only thing that stops the excessive talking, idea rambling, unorganized behaviors and going in 15 directions at once.  We are seeing signs that my daughter has this too....and I know I can't use this same method to handle this.  I feel like this has gotten worse on all of us in the 15 years we have been together and the stakes are higher.  We put our house on the market last year and it sold more quickly that I thought and he was very impulsive and did not think it all out in making the decision.  He did not really even pay attention to my struggles with the decision and making it.  And now a year later we still live in a temporary housing situation because I am left to pick up the pieces and put everything back into place.  I feel like that often, that I am cleaning up a lot of messes and almost displaying signs of OCD to compensate for the side of the spectrum to bring a balance to the chaos.  I have often described what I feel like I am doing with him is trying to contain a tornado in jar to make sense of our lives.  I wonder is this just not a healthy environment to live in because my mind interprets and processes information so differently.  He is very defensive about getting help or taking any responsibility in this dynamic.

Healthy Environment

I am very sorry you are dealing with this.  Good job being aware of how you're using alcohol to self-medicate.  Pretty much any time you are using unhealthy behavior to deal with your life you can say that it's an unhealthy environment.  But this is something you can control.  We can't control much but what we eat, drink, how much we exercise, how much sleep we get, these are things we can control.  And you can help your daughter get the help she needs.  There is a book called ACT with LOVE, capitals are for acronyms, that isn't ADD specific but deals with relationships.  It makes the point that when we take care of ourselves, and treat others how we want to be treated, that they will begin to mirror our behaviors.  And at least you are taking care of yourself.  And think about what it means if he doesn't change.  Because he might not.  And if that is unacceptable make sure he knows it, and maybe give him a deadline to fix it, because marriage is a partnership.  Not always an equal one though.  Good luck in working through these tough times.