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Post Info TOPIC: knowing what to do isn't easy


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 78
Date:
knowing what to do isn't easy


Its only been a couple days since my AH has come home from detox.  He has not made any of the recommended meetings and as you all know he has decided that he doesn't need to go to inpatient and says he is just trying to sort things out and has the list of meetings that he plans to start "tomorrow."  He had a doctor's appointment (recommended) after work today and he says he was open and honest about his alcohol abuse and was prescribed some additional medications to help with anxiety and a medication that can even help with the desire to drink.  I don't know maybe it's true, maybe it's not.   My AH gave me a cashier's check yesterday to cover the bills that didn't get covered last week when he moved cash out of our joint account and when I asked why not just give me cash he said because he is keeping receipts to protect himself if we end up in divorce court.  I have never tried to take his money or access anything that isn't mine, because I am a nurse and make a good living and call me old fashioned I have looked at everything as ours.  I know this is alcoholic behavior, but it sucks!  He invited me to dinner tonight and I declined.  I said no thank you I don't feel comfortable with you right now and I am afraid to let down my guard.  He was accepting of my answer and he offered to bring me something back and I again declined.  I declined because I am afraid he will get the idea that I am ok with his behaviors and he can go back to the way things were.  The other side of me (my heart) wanted to go.  Is this normal?  I know it is because I want and need attention to and I am so lonely.  But I also know that I deserve the right attention and if over time he works his program then that person can be him, if not then that is God's will and my AH's choice.  I know coming on here that you all will read my post and give me your honest and loving opinions.  The detox center he went to uses the SMART recovery tools.  Anyone know of it?  I am not sure if I am allowed to ask that here and I am sorry if I am not allowed.  Thank you all for reading and I appreciate any feedback on my reactions, how I handled his invite and any other pointers you have.

Thank you, 

Kat



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3136
Date:

Listen it's totally normal to want the relationship even if it's not healthy .. think of the people who stay in horribly abusive relationships hoping this will be different. It's hard to be lonely in a relationship as well. I encourage you to see the relationship as it is vs as you want .. it doesn't mean your spouse is bad .. he's very sick and that's why it is so important to stay close to your program this will make you feel crazy. Am I seeing and hearing what's going on .. I believe what an A says when I should believe what they show me through actions. Hugs.

__________________

"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 935
Date:

Something that was key for me was looking after myself. So you don't want to go to dinner with him. Great. How about taking yourself to dinner? Alcoholics end up with all the focus on them. I personally think they like it that way. It was nice for me not to play along with the drama show. I did this mostly by getting out of a shared physical space even If only for a few hours whenever I could. Those moments changed my perspective on day to day living. I miss those moments now. They helped loosen the grip the disease had on all of our lives, paving the way for decisions I could a: make and b: feel good about. I know it sucks with an a in their insane world and nothing i said could change another's world view. But the world can still be fun and light and nourishing and all the things we long for it to be within our homes. We just have to start giving it to ourselves, in small ways at first. Meetings, literature, friends, coffee, meals out, a good book, a walk to get the coffee...these were the things I started with. I discovered I like certain things and am prepared to sacrifice and work longer to get them. You're a professional woman which is a fantastic thing in my eyes. Go celebrate you and leave the cheque writing sulky one behind for a few hours!

__________________
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 788
Date:

mamakat71 wrote:

Its only been a couple days since my AH has come home from detox.  He has not made any of the recommended meetings and as you all know he has decided that he doesn't need to go to inpatient and says he is just trying to sort things out and has the list of meetings that he plans to start "tomorrow."  He had a doctor's appointment (recommended) after work today and he says he was open and honest about his alcohol abuse and was prescribed some additional medications to help with anxiety and a medication that can even help with the desire to drink.  I don't know maybe it's true, maybe it's not.   My AH gave me a cashier's check yesterday to cover the bills that didn't get covered last week when he moved cash out of our joint account and when I asked why not just give me cash he said because he is keeping receipts to protect himself if we end up in divorce court.  I have never tried to take his money or access anything that isn't mine, because I am a nurse and make a good living and call me old fashioned I have looked at everything as ours.  I know this is alcoholic behavior, but it sucks!  He invited me to dinner tonight and I declined.  I said no thank you I don't feel comfortable with you right now and I am afraid to let down my guard.  He was accepting of my answer and he offered to bring me something back and I again declined.  I declined because I am afraid he will get the idea that I am ok with his behaviors and he can go back to the way things were.  The other side of me (my heart) wanted to go.  Is this normal?  I know it is because I want and need attention to and I am so lonely.  But I also know that I deserve the right attention and if over time he works his program then that person can be him, if not then that is God's will and my AH's choice.  I know coming on here that you all will read my post and give me your honest and loving opinions.  The detox center he went to uses the SMART recovery tools.  Anyone know of it?  I am not sure if I am allowed to ask that here and I am sorry if I am not allowed.  Thank you all for reading and I appreciate any feedback on my reactions, how I handled his invite and any other pointers you have.

Thank you, 

Kat


 

MK, I only have a minute or two before I have to run, however, I do want to reply to the SMART aspect -- SMART, which is SMART Recovery is a relatively new organization/approach to recovery. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. It is very, very different from AA and they position themselves as an alternative to AA and/or 12-step programs. The key differences are that SMART is secular, doesn't embrace or include a higher power aspect, and doesn't believe -- actually opposes -- that alcoholism, or addiction, is a disease. They say it is negative or dysfunctional habit. SMART uses a scientific based approach with cognitive behavioral therapy and while it's positioned as an alternative to AA, SMART also proposes that each person should be finding their own way or their own journey to recovery, sobriety, etc. 

While they do position themselves as an alternative to AA, they do speak to SMART being used in conjunction with AA or as an adjunct to AA. I've seen, heard, learned about it, both personally and professionally. In my opinion, it's a very different approach -- I call it, far more passive for the alcoholic/addict in that "it's not a disease" and while I didn't embrace it and fully go down that road with my wife, I didn't hear anything about the person "admitting" they had a problem or "wanting" (as in they were ready, wanted to quit, get recovery, etc.) to get better, clean and sober, find recovery, etc.



-- Edited by Bo on Saturday 9th of June 2018 07:32:30 AM

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 788
Date:

MK, when an alcoholic comes home from detox, or rehab for that matter...it can be a very difficult time. In my experience it can also be a very enigmatic time. Add some confusion to that, fear, anger, and many more emotions. The most challenging part of it for me was that it was "brass tacks" time. This was it. Now. Here and now. What I mean by that is that right now, here and now...I am going to see "how it's going to be" and "where she is at" and "whether or not" she is going to get better, get healthy, get clean and sober, live a life of recovery. This is it. I was afraid, lonely, frustrated, angry, and you name it, I was it. LOL.

When my wife came home -- she was armed with tons of material, books, documentation, etc. She was given a meeting list for the entire state of NJ. She was given a telephone list of people she could call, to talk to, to get support from, and these people were temporary sponsors as well. There was a very specific "treatment plan" -- very specific, what she was "supposed" to do for the next 6 months "if she wanted to get better, stay clean and sober," and have the highest probability/chance of successfully staying clean and sober. So here I was...it was right in front of me...in my home...divorce, separation, marriage, none of that mattered...my wife was at a fork in the road...THE fork in the road...and she had a decision to make as to which road she wanted to go down.

My wife came from that place of -- she wanted to do it her way, work things out, didn't need meetings, IOP, or even in-patient rehab, and so on and so on and so on. My wife lived with the "tomorrow" syndrome. She wanted to deal with her so called depression, anxiety, etc. She was thrilled they were prescribing medication. Sure, everyone told me all of what I was seeing was her "alcoholic" behavior. I get it. But coming out of detox, rehab, IOP, whatever...this is the time where the alcoholic has a decision to make. I've seen people come out of rehab, run straight to a meeting, find a sponsor, on day one, go to a second meeting, make a phone call to someone in program, etc. They made a commitment to recovery, a commitment to being and staying clean and sober, to getting healthy, getting better, etc. I am not saying that will or they won't...I am saying that they try, that's their decision, they make a commitment to it...because they wanted to!!! That's it.

Yes, I too was lonely. I didn't want to go to dinner, but I did. I didn't want to spend the day together, but I didn. I had to live with being afraid to let my guard down. That's how I protected myself -- but not letting my guard down. I had my boundaries. That is how I protected myself. I had hope, but I was realistic. I refused to go back into denial. I saw what I saw when my wife got home. It was clear to me. So, I had to be careful. I was not OK with her actions, behavior, etc. I was not OK with what she was doing and not doing. BUT...I made sure not being OK didn't consume me! It might not have been "enabling" in the traditional definition -- but I wasn't going to contribute or perpetuate what was going on by making plans with my wife, going out to dinner, etc. Forever? No, just for today. Just so I can wait and see. I did that for about a month and a half. But I did it one day at a time. I too didn't want her to think it was OK to go back to her old ways. So, I didn't want to be her "partner" in any of this, until I saw what I needed to see.

Most of all throughout all of this...my focus was on me. I had to make sure I was OK. I did this and I arrived at a point where I was able to make a decision...a decision that was right, that was best for me, my health, and my well-being.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 78
Date:

Thank you Bo.  Your response is helping me.  We had the talk earlier and he is completely putting the focus on him maintaining his sobriety and says I will just have to take things the way they are or I can choose not to and do what I need to do.  Well geez, like I really need his permission for that!  I mentioned to him that he never says he is sorry and his response is "well what good is that for you?"  I guess none if he isn't sorry and he says its hard to be sorry when he doesn't remember.  I feel that's a cope out, but that's on him and not me.  As the slogans say, I cannot control him, cure him or change him.   I am not sure today where I want to go with this marriage.  I have to just be still and give it to God because I feel extremely emotional and I don't want to make an emotional decision.  I don't trust my AH or myself.  I told him I am keeping my guard up and I am taking things super slow.  I am not ready or willing to be intimate.  I feel we need to just be kind and respectful.  I hope this makes sense.  As for my son who lives at home still and my other adult children, I know what they will be thinking....just get out!  They are so tired of the drama and trying to deal with another A.  I don't blame them.  Thanks again to all of you for reading my posts.  Its Saturday and I am hoping that I will find something positive to do for the rest of my day. 

Kat



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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 8827
Date:

(((Kat))) - hugs....it's a terribly difficult, awkward time - the out of detox scenario. For the A's in my life, they were bodily clear of the substance(s), yet were still 'sick' as alcoholism is a thinking disease. My biggest regret for each time (there were many around here) was that I didn't get myself into Al-Anon and start focusing on me. It took more than 10 inpatient treatment centers for me to finally 'see' and 'realize' they were either going to get sober or they were not, but I did not have to wait for them to do/not do anything for me to get better.

While alcoholism is a disease, it's a family disease. Family and friends are also sucked in and we develop distorted thinking, controlling ways, black/white thinking and many more unhealthy characteristics. We obsess over them - are they ___________________ or are they ______________. We have a right to seek out and find joy for ourselves no matter what they are/are not doing. This, for me, was learned and practiced by seeking my own recovery through Al-Anon.

I am also in AA and know of SMART recovery. I am humble enough to admit that anyone who has any success staying sober one day at a time through any program/means necessary is a good thing. I am not partial to one way over another and know many people who've had long-term recovery and relapse and others who are absolutely committed, then call in the middle of the night drunk from a bar stool not even sure how they got there.

This is a cunning, baffling, powerful disease. If a mere human could sit here and promise to never drink again and had success, there would be no need for any recovery program(s) or a spiritual journey. Yet, here we all are - most of us witnesses to the most bizarre choices made by persons we love/know that we can not believe we are witness too! For me, I had to surrender completely and for me this meant that I can not, will not and should not ever try to understand the workings in the mind of another. My best chance for peace and serenity and joy is to work on my own thinking, projecting, distortions, etc.

Meetings were a gift to me, as well as a sponsor and literature. I had to learn that I was only responsible for me, my actions, my responses and to just choose joy as my goal over all else. I am so, so grateful that people kept reminding me to just focus on One Day at a Time, one moment if necessary. (((Hugs)))

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 788
Date:

MK, you are very welcome, and I am glad my posts are helping you. That said, while I was going through that time, one thing that helped me was staying in my head, and keeping my feet where my head was. What that meant to me was that I had to be present, and stay in the moment, but even more important...I had to stop trying to figure out where her head was at, what she was thinking, doing, and so on. I had to stay clear of her "words" because in the conversations -- there was a lot of mixed messages, and messages that didn't have any meaning to me. There were plenty of "why would I apologize, it won't change anything anyway" or "why should I be sorry, it won't change what you are thinking anyway" and stuff like that. The conversations were confusing me. I had to keep the focus on ME!!! It was about ME!!! Yes, I too felt that the "it's in the past" and "I don't remember" were cop outs, but I had to watch that too.

I had to stop analyzing and trying to figure it and her out!!! The more I focused on me, the more I worked on me -- then I got better. I got healthy. When I got better, got healthy, then I was thinking clearly. My thinking was not distorted. I was able to be in a place, and think, and make decisions from a place of intellect, well-being, being grounded, a place of being healthy. Not a place of fear, duress, emotion, etc. I didn't trust her. My sponsor told me that was a good thing. It would keep me focused on me and keep "my guard up" so to speak. I needed that too.

It's interesting because for me it wasn't about how much she drank. It wasn't about her claims that she can control it, manage it. It wasn't about anything other than one thing and one thing only. Either she was going to drink...or not. She was either going to be in recovery or not. And, the more I kept focusing on me, and mentally and emotionally detaching from her...the better I got. The healthier I got. Our recovery is different than their recovery. Our recovery is ours. And their recovery is their's. That's what alanon did for me.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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