High-functioning or Low-visibility?
Getting my alcoholic husband to admit he was an alcoholic was impossible. Part of the reason was because no one knew he had a problem, he wasn’t a falling down drunk. It’s exasperating trying to convince someone they need help, when they’re getting by, going to work, keeping up appearances, every day another lie.
High-functioning alcoholics have that ability. I take umbrage with that label, a more accurate term would be low-visibility.
My heart goes out to those battling addiction, but it is their loved ones whose pain I feel most. Through no fault of their own, their lives have been decimated as they walk an impossible line between aiding and enabling. Persuading a high-functioning alcoholic to get help is rife with challenges because the alcoholic fights you with seemingly irrefutable evidence. Living with an alcoholic is hell, living with a high-functioning alcoholic is hell on steroids.
One Response to “High-functioning or Low-visibility?”
Unnervingly accurate. I could neither agree nor relate more. Thank you for posting. Father’s Day is always a challenge for our two son, fathers themselves now. As for me, I’m alone, often harboring feelings of hopelessness and about to face down a big birthday without my life partner.
Our loss will have been 3 years in September. But it actually encompasses many years of alcoholic isolation prior to that. Much of the 39 years of our marriage were “low-visibility.” We did intervene twice, to no avail. Hard to convince a successful man with everything to live for…who is “smarter than his doctors.” Death from cirrhosis is a horror.