About Me

My photo

Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


It’s been a very long road from the time I took Riley back in until today. He’s still alive. Hes still wants a drink or two or three or more. Things don’t change while they are changing. Nothing has gotten any easier along the way.

I thought I’d get used to all the drunken chaos, the household mess, the ridiculous rantings and demands. I thought I’d just ignore it and move along through my day. After all, he is my estranged husband and hadn’t really been a part of my life for more than 15 years. I can handle this, I thought. Everything would be OK.

As Riley became less “sick” and more drunk, things did not get better. I tried to ignore it. He was like that roommate that constantly drank all the milk or used up all the clean towels. He was like the child who refused to pick up after himself or clean his room. But, it was OK, I thought… he’d fall prey to his addiction soon and I’d have my house and life to myself again.

I kept my personal life personal and did not involve him in any decisions at all. I provided with him with what he needed and didn’t begrudge the money it cost. I maintained my previous friendships but seldom had them over to visit. I was starting to lose a grip on my social life.

Auto-pilot never kicked in gear. I got to a point when I realized I was simply “getting through” each day. Riley would get sick, go into hospice, and I’d think… “The end is near. I can have my life back.” I would make plans and reconnect with old friends.. and then… he would pull through to torment me another couple of years. Each near death encounter sent me deeper into the role of caregiver and less into the role of being myself. Finally, I had no idea who I really was. I had no identity of my own. I was just Riley’s caregiver.

Now, 9 years later, I still have times when I don’t know who I am. Thanks to the family and friends who have encouraged me to find my voice, I have managed to start this blog, write the books, collaborate with HBO on Risky Drinking, and tell it like it is. But, Linda is still someone I’m rediscovering outside the chaos. Linda is rediscovering who she is and what she wants. It’s a soul-searching task.

So, my anonymous friend, to answer your questions, I’m sorry to report that it never gets any easier. Your only saving grace is if you are able to hold on to who you really are so you don’t become lost through this process.

“Surviving the Chaos” was written with people like anonymous on my mind. It’s available on Amazon. Get it today for the low price of $10. Here’s the link:

COMING SOON! The sequel to “Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife.” In the sequel to my journey through the chaos, you will learn about Riley’s childhood and family dynamics. Discover his Navy adventure and how it played a big part in his inability to completely rehabilitate. This new book picks up where “Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife” left off. See how far we’ve come. Look for it on Amazon before Christmas.

In the meantime, refresh your memory by reading The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife. Get your copy here:


joy morrison said...

Are you sure you aren't still in love with Riley? Why would anybody stay with someone that makes you so miserable unless it was out of love? And if that's the case let it go. He's no good for you.

joy said...

If I remember right, you took Riley in because he was talking about staying with your daughter and you didn't want to put her through that chaos. I feel exactly the same way - I absolutely don't want my kids to have to deal with their alcoholic father. He's impacted their lives in such a negative way already. We do what we can to stay sane.

Anonymous said...

I think Linda is afraid her daughter will feel compelled to take Riley in, and she wants to spare her daughter and grandchildren the horror and heartbreak of caring for an end stage alcoholic. I completely understand that. I've been on the verge of leaving my AH for a couple of years now - the things that keep me from it so far are finances - for the time being, my husband is still employed and making a far better salary than me, although I know that WILL change if he doesn't quit (and he doesn't want to) - and the thought that I will have nothing to show for the last 20 years except heartbreak and regret (everything is in his name). It's incredibly discouraging.

lloydsworld said...

Just give him a bottle and let him die. Life is clearly hell for both of you.

joy morrison said...

I don't understand why he isn't in a ditch somewhere. I would never waste my life on someone that's nothing but a burden in my life. Like lloydsworld said give him a bottle . Maybe he will put himself out of your misery. Geez I just can't wrap my head around why you care for him. You act as if there's a reward waiting for you at the end when all there will be is you realize you wasted your life for an alcoholic.