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Life with an alcoholic: ‘While he numbed his sadness in drink, I had to keep going, keep coping, keep mothering’

In her memoir, writer Liz Fraser details her journey of living with an alcoholic partner — and the chaos it brought to her own life. We talk to the experts about coping when your loved one is in active addiction

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Coming Clean author Liz Fraser

Coming Clean author Liz Fraser

Coming Clean by Liz Fraser

Coming Clean by Liz Fraser

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Coming Clean author Liz Fraser

When writer Liz Fraser first spent a social evening with her future partner, he had drunk eight beers and a bottle of wine before she popped in for a crisps and a glass of wine. When he passed out on the floor, she helped him to bed as he mumbled how tired he was and how hard he had been working.

He’d gone from coherent, engaged and very much awake to almost comatose, with absolutely no warning signs,” she remembers. She’d had no idea he was already drunk when she arrived. You could argue that someone passing out on the landing outside the loo is in itself a giant warning sign, one with 10 foot flashing lights, but everything is always clearer in hindsight. Looking back over her relationship, she would come to realise the hard way how “lies fall out of an addict’s mouth, almost sewn into their breath”.


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