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A new step every two weeks in the order they were written!Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions
Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions
I'm a total newbie and have not yet been to an alanon meeting so I thought I'd start sharing my story here. My husband is an alcoholic/drug addict/compulsive gambler (lottery). Initially he just drank but then when that became problematic and I made an issue of it he "quit" but actually began secretly using drugs shortly after. Because he's been irresponsible with money and got us into a significant amount of debt we agreed to an arrangement where I handle all the money, and the majority of his paycheck goes into my account. But still, he has managed to open accounts of his own and spend money - most recently on scratch off tickets. Often he'll get cash by going to those PLS places with a credit card. In the past year and a half or so he has spent thousands and thousands of dollars on his habits. Over the past 6 months or so he is owning up to his issues and has been seeing a therapist 3 times a week and really wants to get better. He was on suboxen for about 4 months when he quit herion and managed to wean himself off of that but has a raging problem with spending money on lottery tickets. He had been trying to get into inpatient treatment but his therapist, who was supposed to be helping to make this happen decided it was better that he try an intensive outpatient program (perhaps because he wasn't using drugs at that point and would not need to detox, but still - the gambling is extremely damaging). He's been at the IOP for about a month and it's clear to both of us he really needs inpatient. He works nights and barely gets 4 hours of solid sleep at a time. He gets home, unwinds, and then 5 hours later is supposed to be at his IOP. On top of all this he's also been diagnosed with OCD, depression and bipolar but no medication has been prescribed as of yet. Anyway, this situation has been very frustrating for both of us. It seems things are moving so slow, and I also want to be a part of this process but the people treating him say that it's not time yet to begin conversations with me. From my perspective I want him to get the attention he needs and I want to be able to really focus on myself. But the situation we have is what we have. I mean he is going to keep trying to get into inpatient - he has an appointment this Monday with employee assistance at his work who are going to review his case and see about getting him into inpatient at a different facility. But the fact is he might not get to choose, and I don't know how to let go of the stress this situation is causing. I know that is the recommended course of action - focus on myself - but how? I am seeing a therapist myself for a couple of weeks now, who strongly recommends alanon. I do have a full time job that I enjoy as well. But I feel like a full time mom for him often. I don't trust (for good reason) that he is going to follow through on what he says, I'm always reminding him of things which really need to get done. He's like a child. It's very draining and I just want the cycle to stop. Inpatient may give us that chance for us both to start positively anew.
Another twist to this is that we bought a house six months ago and he's done very little to really get it in order. Boxes and boxes of his miscellaneous things are in the basement and it's been so frustrating and stressful for me to look at all of the crap down there. He has had a habit of collecting/hoarding things too and I just want to get rid of a lot of this stuff.
At times I have to admit I've thought about how my own life could be better if I didn't have to worry about what he was going to do next. I have let him know this too - divorce is not something I rule out considering all of the stress and strain this has caused both of us. This is the last thing he wants and is actually a strong motivating factor for him to get better. The truth is I really don't want to divorce him, I just want him to heal and become the real him again that was there before things got so bad. I am hoping it can happen and a separation can be avoided. It sure is hard though, when my needs aren't being met and haven't been for some time.
So my main question is about letting go and focusing on myself when I feel very intertwined with / trapped by his problems. Any insights would be much appreciated.
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