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|09-14-2012, 01:56 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2012
Can I help my A-SIL? I'd like your advice please.
I would really like to get expert opinions (from you!) on a question that is gnawing at me. (this is my first post, please forgive me if I'm too long, or not in the right thread)
My sister-in-law is an alcoholic. She was in rehab (21 or 28 days) last October. She has been in an accelerating downward spiral since about June.
She called us yesterday to tell us that she's going back to rehab next week (21 or 28 days). Both siblings are adopted, my husband is not an alcoholic.
My husband and I (as well as her mother) strongly believe that she suffers from anxiety, and looking back many years, you can see that there is a pattern of it. She is also in a marriage that she's been wanting / trying to get out of for 8 years. We think that these issues are not helping her alcoholism. (I just read Caroline Knapp's book "Drinking, a love story" and it rang SO MANY bells!!!)
So we asked her about her anxiety but she dismissed it, stating that her psychiatrist said that her "issue" is her adoption.
I want her to get help. I want her to get better, for herself, and for her children.
Here is my question: I think that heading to rehab, without being honest with herself (anxiety, mariage issues- which are treatable issues... instead of focusing on her adotion which she can't do anything about) will not help her. If anything, it might even be dangerous because she will start drinking again and things will just get worse (kindling?). This is her 3rd go at rehab and I fear that this is another one of her fleeing episodes, as she's been doing this entire summer- dissapearing from the house and family for days.
Do I tell her this? Is there any point in telling her this? Does she have to come to this realisation herself, or will my talking to her about it plant a seed that might one day grow?
I appreciate any time you will take to suggest anything I can do to help here.
|09-14-2012, 02:15 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Thank you for wanting to help! Have you tried the family and friends forum? They may have a lot of advice!!! I don't know, since I am the drunk in my life. But she is lucky to have you. Stay strong!!!
|09-14-2012, 02:15 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Well, her psychiatrist must have some reason for believing her adoption causes such issue for her. Perhaps she's been more open about her feelings to her psychiatrist but cannot be that open with you and her family?
Regardless, if she's dismissed your concerns about her anxiety and her marriage problems, there's not much else you can do. The experts at rehab will probably have better luck helping her with these realizations than you will because I'm sure she'll feel at least a little defensive with you. On the other hand, I don't see how it would hurt to "plant the seed". Just be prepared to back off and remain supportive if she becomes defensive or continues to move the focus elsewhere.
Remember, the most important thing at this point is that she's going back to rehab and taking the first step in getting more help. She hasn't given up and that means a lot for her recovery.
|The Following User Says Thank You to silly For This Useful Post:|
|09-14-2012, 02:47 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2012
You are Wonderful! Thank you!
I probably have a bias when it comes to psychiatrists... I don't have too much faith in them.
I think the adoption issue came up because its the one she is focused on, because its the one that can never get "resolved" as opposed to her mariage and anxiety. She can't undo the adoption, but she has options for the other two issues. Does that make sense? I certainly DO think it is a big issue, but I think that ignoring the other two isn't helpful.
Thank you Silly for the reminder that she hasn't given up. I know that it takes tremendous courage to do what she is doing. That's why I want her to succeed, with all the best / right conditions in place for her to do so.
Thanks for the family and friends forum suggestion- I'll try that too.
|09-14-2012, 08:34 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Grateful but still smarting
Join Date: May 2009
Blog Entries: 24
Have you tried "active listening"?
That is when you are discussing an issue with a person and rather than interjecting our own opinion, we sort of restate theirs. Not as if we hold the same, but to let them know we are listening and want to understand and support.
When people feel that someone is open to them, they feel safer and will often go more in depth. Sometimes hearing ourselves speak about our feelings and experiences helps us sort them out ourselves, and get a different perspective.
Here is an example.
Friend "I was at the part today and I saw a dog that looked just like my dog I had put to sleep last year."
Me "The dog reminded you of Alphie?"
Friend "Yes, you know Alphie was always there for me, when Steve and I broke up...he made it easier to come home to an empty house."
Me "Seeing that dog brought up memories of some hard times."
Friend "yes, I hadn't thought about our break up for a long time. My house feels empty again."
Me " A lot of feelings are surfacing for you today."
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