Get out of denial


How many of you look at beer as a non-alcoholic drink?  You’re not an alcoholic if you drink beer and stay away from hard liquor.  False! Open your eyes. Beer is liquor that can help you become an alcoholic. 

How many think, if you can drink and get up for work the day after heavy binge drinking, that you’re not an alcoholic? You can hold down your job. You meet your bills. 

My husband, Richard Lopes of North Dighton, Massachusetts had his own television repair shop down our cellar. His business was successful. People knew him in town and his family was well respected. 

84419-6bfc91_429c3fa52bbf43c7b01c5ffd7e57036emv2 Richard Lopes

Richie’s family had a history of alcoholics. Something I learned after our marriage.

Before opening his own business, he had worked for a television company in Somerset, Massachusetts. A bar was next door named the Elbow Room. A perfect setting for an alcoholic or one to be made. Slowly and repeatedly, he and his boss went for a drink after work. This was a daily routine Monday through Friday. 

I could push the button to a recording machine hearing, “I’ll be late for supper. We have to discuss some problems we had today. Don’t wait for me. I’ll eat when I get home.” Many nights my daughters and I eat alone. 

I spent my time looking up at the clock around 5 pm. I knot started in my stomach with no arrival for supper. What condition and time would he be coming home? We had two beautiful daughters, Debbie and Lori. They were four years apart and this started when Debbie was around six years old. Lori had been two. 

When Saturday and Sunday arrived, with liquor in the house, he never drank. In time, Saturday became a weekday with work. He never drank or over-drank visiting family. He was always stone sober. Monday would roll around and again, the drinking started. The hours coming home got later and later.

Because of this so-called “control ”, Richie believed he had no problem. Allowing this to go on with making no demands, only made our household become toxic. His light, happy drinking mood switched to blackouts. I was abused and our daughters saw things that children should not witness. Shame on me. I put him before our children. I should have been protecting them.  I became a huge enabler.

Richie died in 1985 at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. I didn’t make him an alcoholic but I added to the problem with putting blinders on each day. It brought him deeper into his addiction.

I wrote about the reality of our lives, with nothing held back, in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. Learn from my mistakes and do something about bad drinking behavior as soon as it starts. When is it a problem? When it causes problems. 

The books can be bought at The sequel with our daughter, Lori Cahill, and her use of alcohol and drugs brought her death at thirty-nine years of age is in Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism. It's at the same link. 

Richie and Lori have been buried together at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts. Don’t wait for that to happen to your loved one.  Need a speaker for your event?  Email me at [email protected]


Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round
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