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Relationship Looking for advice from others with CPTSD when it comes to alcohol abuse/relationships

SKYdance

New Here
For those who suffer from (C)PTSD and use(d) alcohol as an escape, how did this have an effect on your relationship? And once you got out of the worst part of your problems, did you naturally move away from alcohol? How did you feel when it came to your partners reactions to your drinking? What helped you during this time and what did not? My partner uses it to process deeply (i have seen this) and also says that when he's drinking, it's almost as if he's gearing up for the next thing around the corner in anticipation.

For those who were supporting a person with (C)PTSD that used alcohol, or still does, as an escape, how did you get through this?

I am very new to CPTSD. My partner suffers from it and uses alcohol usually twice a week in excess and sometimes more, to cope with an ongoing safety issue. My anxiety is full on right now due to this problem and I am desperately looking for any help on how to keep this relationship alive. When he is not drinking, communication is there, emotions are there and we move forward in a positive way as much as we possibly can. The drinking sets us back as it is a huge problem on top of a pile of other issues and I see it as the only one that I can't work through with him. Our relationship is solid and real but there is a cloud looming over it, always a threat.

Thank you.
 
I am still using alcohol both as an escape and also as a way to genuinely feel and to process. I imagine that there could be prescription drugs that would fill many of the functions alcohol does for me, but I do not have access to those. The effect it is having and have had on my relationship feels hard to discern. I feel it makes me both more connected and real, and also in some aspects more disconnected. It neutralizes a certain level of stress, which is very helpful. But it also disrupts the ability to stay consistently in a connected state. So it gives and it takes. I drink alcohol daily, possibly much because of my cptsd, but usually not strong alcohol (4-5 volume procent, perhaps 1.5-2 liters) nor very large amounts. It truly makes me feel “like myself”, like something very disruptive dissipates from my body and I can “see” and feel more clearly. I do not recommend alcohol, it is a poison that causes damage and it is addictive, but for me for sure it has some very clear benefits. In an optimal scenario, perhaps therapy and prescription drugs would have enabled lifestyle changes that all together could have filled the same positive functions without the downsides, I am not there just yet though.

I do tend to move away from alcohol when I function better, meaning I drink less and have less attraction to it. A little like sleep; when one is tired one thinks and longs for sleep, but not when we feel fully awake and energized.

I mostly hide my drinking from my partner, so there were no reactions. When I did/do not and I received/receive comments that made/make me feel shame or guilt, it triggers my lust to drink, and it causes an emotional separation in me between us. Not saying that is right, just saying how it is for me. I feel like I am doing what I can to be as straight and functional as I can be, and I do not like the image of myself this conveys (weak, damaged, not fully functional, using substances to cope with myself) so remarks, hints, comments triggers me. If my partner would have said something like “hey, you know what? I feel you are struggling with some things, and it seems you use alcohol to cope, and I believe it truly helps you in some way. That’s all ok, keep using it if it helps. But alcohol also has its own downsides, and perhaps if we worked together we can figure out more ways for you to feel ok and feel like yourself?” I think I would at least then not feel like my struggles has to do with flaws in my character, I would feel rather safe (not judging, not diminishing real pain or struggles or efforts), simply declaring devotion and facts and a positive view upon what could be.

What helps me is being treated like an equal, an adult, that is using alcohol with a rather thought through purpose and not impulsively or based solely on some kind of need or wish to escape or not to confront my problems; being showed devotion ( I love you, I believe in you, you can trust me, I do not expect easy and I know this relationship requires more effort from me than others might and I for my very own reasons want to put in that effort) and feeling that someone believes in me. What does not help me is indirect communication and judgement (facial expressions of dislike or disapproval, comments rather than conversation, feeling a heavy vibe, seeing someone being worried or sad without them coming to me and just telling me etc). Pretending like something is fine and ok when it is not. If I would have used exessive amounts of alcohol and gotten really drunk, having someone pretending like that never happened or that it is ok would not have helped me. Having someone say neutrally “you got really drunk last night, I did not like or feel comfortable with how you behaved then, can we talk about that?” would be more helpful to me. Direct, caring, honest, non-judgemental, solution focused dialogue = helpful to me. Hope this helped!
 
For those who suffer from (C)PTSD and use(d) alcohol as an escape, how did this have an effect on your relationship? And once you got out of the worst part of your problems, did you naturally move away from alcohol? How did you feel when it came to your partners reactions to your drinking? What helped you during this time and what did not? My partner uses it to process deeply (i have seen this) and also says that when he's drinking, it's almost as if he's gearing up for the next thing around the corner in anticipation.

For those who were supporting a person with (C)PTSD that used alcohol, or still does, as an escape, how did you get through this?

I am very new to CPTSD. My partner suffers from it and uses alcohol usually twice a week in excess and sometimes more, to cope with an ongoing safety issue. My anxiety is full on right now due to this problem and I am desperately looking for any help on how to keep this relationship alive. When he is not drinking, communication is there, emotions are there and we move forward in a positive way as much as we possibly can. The drinking sets us back as it is a huge problem on top of a pile of other issues and I see it as the only one that I can't work through with him. Our relationship is solid and real but there is a cloud looming over it, always a threat.

Thank you.
I hope my reply helps you. I didn't even realize alcohol was preventing me from dealing with my unrealized undiagnosed ptsd until after I finally put the plug in the jug so to speak back in 2003. Then with nothing to prevent the nightmares, triggers, and flashbacks from coming full throttle into my life, I began to melt down and I was forced to face all of my ptsd demons. I began therapy but the major thing that helped me is e.m.d.r.
 
For those who suffer from (C)PTSD and use(d) alcohol as an escape, how did this have an effect on your relationship?
It allowed the possibility of a relationship.

And once you got out of the worst part of your problems, did you naturally move away from alcohol?
Yep. AND the person I was dating.

How did you feel when it came to your partners reactions to your drinking?
Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.
 
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