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Post Info TOPIC: One step forward, two steps back...


Senior Member

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Posts: 117
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One step forward, two steps back...


Hi all! Havent been here in a while. Two weeks ago my AH decided to get help and go to medically supervised detox and help from our specialty hospital for addiction and mental health. I didnt push or suggest anything. This was his decision. I (after going through this route last time very unsuccessfully) was cautiously optimistic. Maybe it would be different this time. Ive been going to meetings (zoom ones for the last while), and trying to keep the focus on me and my mental health. I was happy that he decided to do this. The first day was rough- he was sick all day in bed, vomiting and shaking. The next few days were better. I was starting to see the man I married- the one I fell in love with. I was thrilled! The mood on the house was calm, happy, productive. We were the way we should be- happy. Then all of a sudden I started to notice the ugly, mean and abusive behaviours popping up for a quick moment, then hed apologize and move on. I thought, maybe this is the dry drunk behaviour Ive heard about? Maybe its his personality adjusting to no alcohol? Well, today I got my answer. I went to his area in the basement and snooped around and of course, found his stash of brandy. Im furious. I feel like Ive been betrayed. Especially since hes said over and over that he quit drinking for me. Im furious that hes wasting resources from the addiction centre- Ive listened to him talk to his therapist and he tells her and his dr that hes not drinking. I dont understand this? Why would he lie to the professional people that are there to help? Im so bloody disappointed and angry and hurt. I know- I didnt cause it. I cant cure it. But really? How am I supposed to be compassionate when the drunk him is so abusive and miserable? And Im the target? Now especially during the lockdown - its been awful dealing with this. My daughter and I keep escaping and just going for long drives on the car just to get the hell away from his annoying behaviour. Not sure what else to do. My daughter wants me to get in touch with the dr and therapist and let them know hes lying. Everything he tells them is lies (hes very charming and very convincing so its easy to believe him). Im just so angry. How did any of you deal with this sort of situation? Would love some experience, strength and hope from all of you.

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Veteran Member

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Posts: 34
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Im newer to Al-Anon, so I dont have much input. All I can say is my AH did the same. For 3 months (probably more like years), he lied straight to my face & his counselor. It all came to a head in April 1. I would find alcohol, he would deny & say it was old. Hed kiss me & I could taste beer, he swore it was his chew pouch or act confused. I was so angry. Then thought I was crazy. Then went back & forth from mad & crazy. Hes sober now, as far as I know, & working the program. There are so many on here with so much ESH to offer. I can offer than you are not alone. I now work my program. I know youll get some great ESH here

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Cath

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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When my wife decided to go to detox, IOP, rehab, or any other treatment, I got to the point -- when I was in my alanon recovery -- that I didn't "look" at it any longer. She would decide, go, and I would be there for her in a healthy and supportive way, and we were on our way. Let's be honest here, as I am not sure people are...YES, I WANTED IT TO WORK!!! Of course, if I didn't admit that I'd be lying to you, me and everyone. And when it doesn't work, everyone on the planet can tell you that they are OK, at peace with it, they accept it, and so on. Most of them are lying...they just don't know they are lying because they are in denial, oblivious or simply don't know.

That said -- what did I do -- I simply watched who came home. Who was she being? Not what she said, claimed, promised, spoke about...WHO SHE WAS BEING. She went to detox once, decided to come home when it was over, they said she needed rehab, she said she didn't, was able and better served doing it on her own, etc...and that told me all I needed to know. That's who she was being. Words mean nothing...actions mean everything.

Right, maybe it would be different this time...but I am not in denial. Been there, done that, stayed and lived there far too long...left and never going back!!! Don't get complacent. At the first glimpse of "who they were" -- that has nothing to do with out own recovery. At the first glimpse or even first day, week, or month...is that permission for me to stop going to meetings? In my experience...NO!!! Have a bad day go to a meeting...have a good day...go to two!!! LOL.

I don't know if the meanness, nastiness, abusive, ugly behaviors and attributes are -- withdrawal, post-detoxing, dry drunk, or they are drinking again (hiding it obviously) -- but I do know this...it has nothing to do with me. I have my own track to follow. I have my own recovery. The opening of alanon meetings all over the world tell us...You can find contentment, even happiness...WHETHER THE ALCOHOLIC IS STILL DRINKING OR NOT. There it is. While it doesn't say it, it is absolutely true...that doesn't happen because I used to go to meetings. That doesn't happen because I remember the program. It happens when I am in program, in meetings, doing what I need to be doing, and so on and so on.

Look, in your case, he's drinking. Period. There is nothing to debate. You know that. You are normal to be furious. There is nothing wrong with that. If someone points the finger at you because you are furious, so be it. However, when you are going to meetings, regularly, whether things are good or bad, and you are working the program, every day, whether things are good or bad...then...the anger, being furious WILL NOT CONSUME YOU. It will not make you unhealthy!!! There is a big difference between the two!!! Same with betrayed...of course you've been betrayed. This is what alcoholics do. He went to detox...he did not find or want to go into recovery.

If the alcoholic quits drinking for YOU...in all likelihood, they are not quitting. An alcoholic has to quit because they want to!!! Period. They have to want it. They have to have had ENOUGH and have the desire and drive to quit drinking...AND...be in recovery.

Why would he lie to the professional people that are there to help? Because that's what alcoholics do. I hate to say it, but he made his statement and he stated it clearly, and that is, he really didn't want to quit. If he did, he would be doing something very different -- AA, working with a sponsor, working the program, IOP (virtually if applicable), focusing on recovery, and so on. He would be doing, or attempting to do, whatever he needed to do, every single day, one day at a time, ne minute at a time, if need be...to do what he needed to do...to stay sober, to be clean and sober. Even if he did -- and failed -- it would be apparent, obvious. And, to me, in my experience, that's OK. My wife relapsed, numerous times. When she did and tried again, in recovery, I was OK. When she didn't, that told me what I needed to know. But, that is me. What is also me...We have compassion for the alcoholic by and because we work our own program -- whether or not the alcoholic is working their program, whether or not they are clean and sober or not, etc.

I do what I need to do in order to be happy and healthy...independent of the alcoholic. I don't want to be the guy who is fine because my alcoholic is not drinking, but as soon as they relapse, whether it's obvious or they are hiding it, I am now devastated! I do NOT want to be that guy. Too many people's health and happiness is contingent upon whether the alcoholic is drinking or not. That is NOT what the alanon program teaches us. It teaches us the opposite...that we can be happy and healthy whether the alcoholic is drinking or not. THAT IS ALANON. That is where I wanted to be...and I got there.

All the best.



-- Edited by Bo on Friday 15th of May 2020 11:51:14 PM

__________________

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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 10549
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Elabella - good to see you again and so sorry for what brings you here....I don't think there is any worse feeling than when those we love move from 'inactive' to 'active' in this disease. You have every right to feel whatever you feel - sadness, rage, anger, disappointment, fear, etc.

For me, after several starts/stops (my sons, 20+ rehab visits, jail, prison and MH centers) I really, really had to let go....it was making me a nervous, anxious, miserable person who really figured out I wanted/needed more from life. As a double winner, I've seen many die from this disease and each time, it tears @ my heart because my mind/heart tells me that it just didn't have to be that way! The If Only tapes are of no value with this disease - it is considered cunning, baffling, powerful and progressive for a reason.

He lies because he can. He drinks because he can. He sneaks because he can. He manipulates because he can. I could go on and on and on - the disease is stronger than the person, their will, their prayers, etc. I speak from experience and no human (or jail/prison) power could relieve me of this disease - I had to hit rock bottom before I began to consider I might have a problem.  Denial is entrenched in the mind, heart and soul of an alcoholic.

Knowing this did not stop me from obsessing about the active disease in those I love.  A part of me still thought I could control, manage, beg, plead, scold the disease away.  I could not and had no choice but to surrender and focus entirely on me.  At any point I wanted to comment, question, discuss, accuse, snoop, etc. I went to a meeting, called my sponsor or a program friend, read some literature, came here, took a walk or ANYTHING ELSE to be/do/act different.  Surrendering for me including reminded myself each and every morning that I was powerless over alcohol for me and anyone else.  I had no control/influence over any other person, place or thing - only myself, my sanity, my serenity, etc.

The pandemic does bring about a whole other set of issues.  I am sorry that you are 'here' and we're having this pandemic.  Don't let it stop you from taking good care of you and your daughter.  I always had a 'go bag' in my car and have stayed with friends, at hotels, camped, etc. just to keep myself from fighting a battle with a formidable foe - the disease of alcoholism.  I had to remind myself that what is so obvious to me (the slurring, the nastiness, the anger, sneaking, etc.) is clearly not obvious to an active alcoholic.  The booze and the mind keeps suggesting it's OK, nobody's getting hurt, nobody will know and you need me to live/survive/get by.

My sponsor always told me my feelings were real, but I did not have to let them become facts.  Being sad is real, but sitting all day worrying, fretting, bitching, whining, etc. is a choice.  The program gives me tools to change my day when I am ready!  Please know you are not alone and while it doesn't feel like it, this too shall pass.  You are worth it, so keep working it!  (((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*~

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Pain is inevitable...suffering is optional.

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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...

 



Senior Member

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Thank you all for your shares. I just was so shocked and caught off guard when I discovered that he has in fact been drinking off and on since going to detox a couple of weeks ago. I kept making excuses for the bad days- figures it was withdrawal symptoms. But that little voice in my head kept nudging and saying to me- this is his drunk behaviour. To anyone outside our family- you would never be able to tell that hes drunk. He never slurs, nor does he act drunk. He becomes talkative and charming to everyone. The ugly, snappy and nasty abusive side only gets shown to my daughter and myself. I guess I was, and am- thoroughly heartbroken because the days that he didnt drink he was the man I married and fell in love with . Kind, humble and funny. Complete opposite of the drinking version of himself. Those days have me hope that this could turnaround. I was wrong. I did decide though that this is definitely not a life that Im interested in anymore. I cant stand the chaos, betrayal and uncertainty. I would much rather be alone and live in peace. God knows how this will all pan out during this pandemic. For now we are stuck. Thankfully I have a car and we escape when it becomes too much. Those drives have been very therapeutic for my daughter and I . Also coming back here and doing zoom meetings. Its all I can do for now. Thanks everyone again for your input!

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Senior Member

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I have been around an alcoholic addict who went to rehab and it was really challenging. What is the issue is that we are under this very different kind of stress with the Covid-19. Then what does the alcoholic do but completely abdicate all responsibility. That does not mean I have not been irresponsible in my life I most certainly have. I am constantly reminded of people who are irresponsible. I tolerated a tremendous amount of irresponsibility with my qualifier. He went from being attentive, calm and sweet to a irritable self centered slob. There were cues of course but I did not pick up on those cues because I did not know how to reflect on them. By then I was committed and diligently making a nest because I generally commited early far far too early Eventually my qualifier's only interest was alcohol weed and various illegal drugs and those who shared thaf interest with him. I most certainly had a sense of betrayal, rage and impotence at these recurrent epusoded. Getting to the point where I surrendered was really hard and only possible through al anon. I have been aware recently how well the qualifier could polish up the sweet endearing side of him and bring it out when he wanted to. He was certainly very skilled. He worked on it. Of course my qualifier had a history of prior periods of chaos. He had a way of framing those where it was really not his fault. The blame fell on other people a great deal. Being empathic I felt badly for him. Of course I have also had a penchant for putting the blame for certain periods of my life on circumstances and people. For me in hindsight I wasnt looking for a partner I was looking for someone to commiserate with . The qualifier was certainly adept at that. Detaching is an extraprdinary skill. I am so grateful I got to the point of being able to look at how clearly I did not want to register the cues that were right in front of me. I know that puts a lot of decisions I have made in persoective . I do not know any other group that can help you with detaching, grieving, and processing the very hard place you are at right in front of you than this one. This experience as stringent frustrating and harrowing as it is will bring you to another level in leading a very different kind of life. This is a tough time for everyone but you have a pretty tough time right now.

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~*Service Worker*~

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{{{Elabella}}} I have watched my A go forward and backwards many times, and in the past I have gone forward and backwards too. Now I'm trying to be on a steady path of letting go and letting God, live and let live, not being a doormat, and focusing on me. I must admit much of the time I am at peace no matter what my A is doing. I've been through the devastation of being lied to over and over and over again. The treatments are only a momentary fix because they are being done for me, which never works and never will work. The alcoholic I am married to doesn't mind lying, sneaking, you name it. We all have choices and it is up to to pick the one that works for me, ODAT, Lyne

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Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

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Good Morning all and thanks for being here as I was waking up.  I could or would at another time actually respond with "Oh God not this again" and then my Higher Power either increased His empathy and concern for me or decided He was sick and tired of my moaning and bitching about my  alcoholic/addict wife and every other thing I didn't agree with.  What happened was I experienced the "letting go" HP does, the quiet soft release of tension and concern. It was gone and I sat at my kitchen table totally weightless from shoulders down. I had no concerns and couldn't wish to have any if I wanted to.  I knew that something bigger than I had just happened and calmly came to the realization that this was what it "letting go" was like.  My alcoholic/addict was out of the house so I went thru this with my HP only.  I remember the realization that the "fight" was gone...my fight and I didn't know what else to do.

I had had other positive consequences at times after working some suggestions from others but nothing like this.  I learned that my Higher Power was setting me up for real program recovery so I just let Him. One of the things I learned was that now nothing stood in my way of learning and growing; not even my alcoholic/addict; where she was, what she was doing, who she was with or how close to death she might be. I loved her as my HP did which including allowing her to learn how to love herself and me the same.

I started my program for real and she or anyone else would not disrupt the process as best I could.  I got serious about my sponsorship and found and used one according to how the program directed; "Men on men and women on women" (I did that backwards to start not understanding my sick personality and mind of them doing the work for me...I got fired).  But I really wanted to get healed and I started to listen.   I learned that for me ESH was to be instruction I would listen to with an open mind and then follow thru with duplicating.   I duplicated what the old timers and my sponsor was doing and I was getting the same results.  "Free at last!! Thank God I was free at last!!"   and then I started to follow thru with the suggestions I was getting from my sponsor without resistance and then seeking further growth.  He told me I should find out as much as I could about the diseases of addiction and practice daily.  I did and I have. 

I inventoried my life including my families on both sides and my own addiction to alcohol and where it led me including the addicted relationships and what happened including my own near death and the brutal behaviors with others.  I took all I found out to my Higher Power and my sponsor and to others who could and would support and help as directed by our steps.  Looking for the "exact nature" of my faults revealed a lot and I felt blessed having a sponsor who knew all about it and kept the process as a disease and not purposefully insane. 

Thank God.

I was glad that my one steps forward and all the steps back were temporary and still are.   I changed because I wanted to.  I didn't/haven't stopped loving the alcoholic/addict and the last time we saw each other we were definitely in love without any reason to be married other than the desire to be clean/sober/sane.

My relationship with my present wife of almost 30 years is and  has been a relationship guided by what I have learned in the program including here at MIP.  I stay humble...teachable and continue to practice.

Going to go read my literature now and practice my daily gratitude for being a member of MIP.   (((((hugs))))) winkawwbiggrin 



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Jerry F


~*Service Worker*~

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Elabella wrote:

 I did decide though that this is definitely not a life that Im interested in anymore. I cant stand the chaos, betrayal and uncertainty. I would much rather be alone and live in peace. 


 ((((Elabella)))))

Sending you hugs and support b/c I remember all too well when I came to the same realization. In the end, it wasn't about my qualifier, it was what I was willing to live with, and what I wanted out of life. What was/is offered me (what he always offered) was not what I truly wanted. I just had to realize and Accept that fact. 

I had quite a bit of guilt and frustration surrounding this...after 29 years of marriage, it was very hard to let go. Let me rephrase that: It was very hard to let go of the "Dream" I had in my brain. Be gentle with yourself, and remember you are the one your daughter will look to on how to behave. When I felt myself slipping into old behaviors/ideas, I would just look at my kid and tell myself, "When I act and deal in a healthy manner, this will only be good for kid." Sometimes, it made all the difference in the world! Keep being that awesome Rock of Gibraltar for your daughter! 

&



__________________

"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  ~ Mary Oliver

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 10549
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(((Elabella))) - I hear you and there's no doubt that the pandemic has many of us 'frozen' in time/space. Love your plan to Zoom and come back here to get through it all. What I love about recovery is there's no perfect way to do it - it being the program, the marriage, the steps/sponsor/etc. We each get to design our program and our days in a way that leads us to a serene life and a healthy life.

I can also relate deeply to the let down of discovering deception...Over and over and over again, I had hope that rehab. would 'fix it'....and then, nope - not yet anyways. I hope you do know that nothing you do or have done has affected what he has done. In a marriage, it's easy to wonder if .... then .... - I found that to be pointless. Others will do what they are going to do, and rarely does my actions or words change this.

Love and light - keep putting you and your daughter first! I do believe that you got this!

__________________

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*~

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Posts: 1687
Date:

Elabella, I am sure the being shocked, caught off guard, etc., when you discovered he was in fact drinking, I am sure that was a "trigger" for you. Whatever the reaction was, it was a trigger. Something happened, in you. And, you handled it. Do NOT beat yourself up about the excuses for the bad days you made. That's normal, and that's OK. You didn't slip into some oblivious state or denial for an extended period of time. If you think it was a slip, so be it. Everyone has slips. That little voice inside your head can be your friend. When healthy, that little voice can keep you healthy. That little voice at times was my HP speaking to me. I was healthy and could have slipped again or more, but I didn't. I also didn't let that little voice consume me with paranoia, focusing on my alcoholic wife, what she was doing, analyzing it, thinking about it endlessly, etc. So, keep that little voice in a good place -- by you staying healthy!!! For me, that little voice could be my biggest ally or my worst enemy!!!

Keep your focus on YOU. NOT HIM. Be present, and healthy, for YOU, and most importantly, your daughter! If you focus on you and your program, talk to your sponsor, have complete and total acceptance...you might be sad, but you won't be heartbroken. Pain is inevitable...BUT suffering is optional!!!

When we have "hope" -- it tells us something. Complacency, and even more...expectations. That's what it was for me. That always told me something...an expectation, based upon some positive signs...set me up for disappointment.

As far as the rest -- this is not the life you want to live, and all that -- one day at a time. Keep your head where your feet are. You'll get there when you get there.

All the best.

__________________

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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