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Common in early recovery?

Old 05-18-2011, 09:20 AM
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Actions speak louder then words.

Recovery is about taking action.

Trying to understand an active alcoholic is like trying to understand a conversation in a language you don't speak.

Nor, unless you are an active alcoholic, is it a language you can learn
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Eddiebuckle View Post
If he's drinking he's not in recovery.

... My guess is that he's struggling with the first step in the program: "we admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable."

A


^this



I think it's VERY common to those that don't really WANT to quit but feel like they have to in order to get/keep something.

As I typed this it dawned on me the absolute selfishness of this thought process. That myself and most alcoholics at one time or another feel of " Want my cake and drink it too "

Basically not wanting to give up one thing they want in order to get another things they want ( wife/kids/freedom from the law/serenity and peace/job/etc etc).

The biggest question is "Which do we want more" ?

In the beginning alot of us fail to recognize the simplicity but ultimately black and white decision we have to make. We are too busy pissed off at the world or those around us because we can't have both and think we should be able to because Joe Blow down the street does.


It sounds to me that he doesn't really want to quit. He wants all the bad **** to stop happening to him or to be able to maintain everything he wants his way.


The fact that he's making somewhat of an attempt and atleast expressing his feelings to you is a start. Time in AA/NA or somewhere that other addicts can be there to share their stories and let him know he's not alone in his feelings will be important. But he has to WANT it and not be FORCED into it.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post

I'd been doing well just focussing on me and the past few days am struggling-- I guess I ought to just not care at all what he does ...

A
Caring about him and what he does is a healthy sign of love.
Letting his actions and decisions consume you are unhealthy ways of wanting to fix him.

I would continue to focus on you and your kids and try to be as understanding of his struggles as possible, yet don't let him hurt your sanity and well being in the process.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:57 AM
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To me it sounds like he's mad because he hasn't quit for himself so he holds resentment over not being able to drink.

BTDT, it was not recovery, I was sober and pissed off.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:13 AM
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I think it's VERY common to those that don't really WANT to quit but feel like they have to in order to get/keep something.

As I typed this it dawned on me the absolute selfishness of this thought process. That myself and most alcoholics at one time or another feel of " Want my cake and drink it too "
Enoy- He said this very thing to me earlier in the week (in an email)... Wanting his cake and all...

The biggest question is "Which do we want more" ?
I spent a long time asking him that and that was dumb. Obviously he will tell me what I want to hear. His actions speak louder than words and he's wanted his addiction more than anything else for quite some time. It is what it is. I don't have to like it and I don't have to stay and live with it and I'm not.

In the beginning alot of us fail to recognize the simplicity but ultimately black and white decision we have to make. We are too busy pissed off at the world or those around us because we can't have both and think we should be able to because Joe Blow down the street does.
Yup. That's pretty much exactly what he's described...

It sounds to me that he doesn't really want to quit. He wants all the bad **** to stop happening to him or to be able to maintain everything he wants his way.
Are you secretly my H?! Again, dead on right...

The fact that he's making somewhat of an attempt and atleast expressing his feelings to you is a start. Time in AA/NA or somewhere that other addicts can be there to share their stories and let him know he's not alone in his feelings will be important. But he has to WANT it and not be FORCED into it.
He's informed me that AA isn't cutting it for him and has adopted the mentality of his A brother that after a few weeks in AA no one cares about you anymore and it's a waste of time. To me this is code for: I'm either being told something I don't like and don;t want to hear it OR I'm not finding the magic cure so screw this. Either way, it's sad.

I thought alcoholism being a progressive disease was referring just to the amt someone drank and how physically ill they got-- but it's becoming clear that the progression of denial and delusion is just as severe as any physical effects. I guess I can see it more now since I am in less denial...

Thanks for giving me some much needed perspective...
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:44 AM
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Hi WTBH-

I'm about 18 months sober and anger is an emotion I felt very often in early sobriety. It was mostly anger towards myself and what I did while drinking and the choices I made, but it was anger.

I didn't know how to deal with myself, with life, or with anybody else without the "crutch" of alcohol. I had to learn how.

I learned through AA and working the steps.

Now I have a design for living without alcohol and I'm not angry anymore.

Maybe he could benefit from AA too?

Kjell~
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:05 PM
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Well from what you are saying.... It's a start. It's the beginning stages of making a decision. He's just not quite there yet and hasn't quite hit his bottom.

The fact that he acknowledges these things is a bit farther along than many who are still drinking though so don't throw in the towel ( or give up on him ) just yet ... provided you can maintain some sanity in the meantime.

For those that AA wasn't cutting it I can say a few things.

1- AA isn't for everyone. My dad would never get along good in AA, he did however quit for 7 years after some marriage counseling , but he's drinking again now.

2- AA alone wasn't enough for me at first. I was going for 2 months yet found excuses not to go to a meeting EVERYDAY, I didn't have a sponsor , and when I did I wasn't using his suggestions. It was more of a responsibility to me than a place to go for support. I was going to stop the bad **** from happening and because I wanted to get my family and life back together but...... I was still drinking every few days and couldn't stop.

I thought I had taken steps 1-3 but I didn't fully take step one until I checked myself into rehab with no prompting of my family. It took a detoxing week in rehab to really get me going and to accept step 2 in the program ( I coincidentally took step 3 while in there after detoxing) .

3- AA is a support group. That's it. It's not a treatment center and they don't babysit you and check in on you every few hours. It's alot of like minded individuals with alot of the exact same problems sharing those issues and giving you a safe place to go and connect with others in the same struggles. ( VERY much like SR here ) Once you've had some time in there though and made some contacts and friends then they will indeed be checking on you and paying you attention to help.

It often takes going to different meetings in different locations and times to find one that really clicks with a person. One that has more people they feel comfortable with , can relate to , or just feel welcomed by.

If he's hitting speaker meetings twice a week then he's not going to get much out of them.


Two things that really helped me is that my home group has a "New Comers" meeting that really delves into the physical and psychological parts of the addiction. Really goes through the Big Book and explains alot of the alcoholism disease. According to the long timers in the home group. That New comers group has a 95% success rate (just that one group because of the education and ability to TEACH rather than just support)

Also READING the Big book. All groups should sell them for a few dollars so ( $7 here in my area ) if you or he don't have one then get one and read the first 164 pages. Chapter 2 and 3 really rocked me pretty hard while seeing myself in those pages. Chapter 4 is good for those having problems with the spiritual side of it and I think8 and 9 are for YOU ( the wives ). And gives some sound advice in how to cope with and handle an AH, the following one about the family afterwards is important for you and him as well.


Lastly (Sorry this turned into a book). He will need to make a little effort to reach out to people, Get a sponsor, keep going and not drink. But again... this all comes back to one thing.... Does he WANT to ?



In any case, I wish you luck and patience and that he gets to a point that he can admit to himself what path he needs to take to get where he wants to be.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post


Are you secretly my H?! Again, dead on right...


.


If I was still drinking I would have SOOOOO many witty and yet inappropriate responses to this. lol

But the truth is that we alcoholics share alot of the same traits. We are all different yet in alot of ways all the same. I am only relating my experience and that of others I've learned through AA and the Big Book.

And you are welcome if my sharing helps in anyway. The thing is , sharing that helps me to stay sober just as much as it may help someone else with a perspective... So Thank YOU for bringing up the topic !!!


P.S. The book is free here :

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_tableofcnt.cfm
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kjell View Post
Hi WTBH-

I'm about 18 months sober and anger is an emotion I felt very often in early sobriety. It was mostly anger towards myself and what I did while drinking and the choices I made, but it was anger.

I didn't know how to deal with myself, with life, or with anybody else without the "crutch" of alcohol. I had to learn how.

I learned through AA and working the steps.

Now I have a design for living without alcohol and I'm not angry anymore.

Maybe he could benefit from AA too?

Kjell~
He was going to AA and seemed "invested" but he never stopped drinking and now he's talking about how Charlie Sheen isn't "entirely wrong" and told me that he and his brother have decided that AA stops being interested in people after a few weeks and he doesn't feel welcome and meetings aren't doing anything for him. So, I am SURE AA, if he were open to it, would be great. But he's in control or so he thinks... So be it. I'm waaaay past the : crazy wife days. It's his life. I hope he chooses to find a new way but god knows I've tried to "make" him and it did nothing and now that I am backed way off he's just heading downhill even faster. It's sad.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:03 PM
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Enoy- He was "ready" to go to rehab this winter and refused. He was going to do it his way, get a sponsor "this time" etc... I think he knows in his head what he needs to do but doesn't want to. He doesn't want it badly enough and that's okay. I mean, it's not okay, but I can't make him want it anymore than he can make me want to do or be something else...

Thank you for your words, thoughts, ideas. I have the big book and really learned a lot reading those chapters you referenced as well as the stories in the back. Maybe it's time for me to read those chapters again...

Glad you're doing well in recovery-- life must be so much better this way huh?
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:16 PM
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wtbh,

nope.

that's what i'd say anyway, based on my knowledge and my experience.

if anything, it's maybe more common to feel extra committed to not drinking, to turning your life around - the "treatment high" if you will.

my bf stopped drinking three years ago, and after a return to drinking that first year, has been sober for two years. he wishes he could drink. he'd like to go to a fantasy world where he could taste that scotch again, that really good beer. he thinks that in heaven maybe he'll be able to (not seriously, but...)

he also has a thought almost every single day of the year. it is, "thank god i'm not drinking. thank god i feel good today." when he gets out of bed.
he doesn't delude himself that he actually can have that beer.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:22 PM
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Why is it I was so willing to believe (without even realizing it) that H's experience was "normal".

My take (not being an A or knowing what it's like to struggle with it other than from my perspective as the wife) is that when someone decides they are done- they are DONE and even if angry, they are DONE.

My H is not nearly done at all. I know that. Why am I still thinking anything but that....

Thanks again everyone for setting my head back squarely on my shoulders.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:31 PM
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I know i I just get pissed off at certain situations. That in itself makes me wanna drink. I think I may need to look into different ways of dealing
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Enoy- He was "ready" to go to rehab this winter and refused. He was going to do it his way, get a sponsor "this time" etc... I think he knows in his head what he needs to do but doesn't want to. He doesn't want it badly enough and that's okay. I mean, it's not okay, but I can't make him want it anymore than he can make me want to do or be something else...

Thank you for your words, thoughts, ideas. I have the big book and really learned a lot reading those chapters you referenced as well as the stories in the back. Maybe it's time for me to read those chapters again...

Glad you're doing well in recovery-- life must be so much better this way huh?

I like the positive that he keeps going back and trying. You might be suprised how many people it takes multiple go rounds to really "get it" It scared me in rehab seeing how many people were on their 3-4th go round with it.

I'm glad you are reading the big book and I hope he is as well.

I'm doing well , and life is much better... It's still a struggle some days, and thank you very much for the kind words.

One thing though about your idea that when you are done you are done and it just stops.... That's very rarely the case. ( God I think most of us Wish it was that easy ) It may just stop for a while , but the disease itself never goes away and is always there to try and sneak up on us if we aren't careful and continuing to grow.

It's not much different than Cancer and it going into remission. It still takes healthy decisions and taking care of oneself to keep it that way.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Why is it I was so willing to believe (without even realizing it) that H's experience was "normal".

My take (not being an A or knowing what it's like to struggle with it other than from my perspective as the wife) is that when someone decides they are done- they are DONE and even if angry, they are DONE.

My H is not nearly done at all. I know that. Why am I still thinking anything but that....

Thanks again everyone for setting my head back squarely on my shoulders.
Bless your heart. I wish we could say "done" and that be it. I "quit" in January and had to drink 4 or 5 more times before it became clear to me. We may be done but the disease is never finished with us. I have read your posts on the other boards and I think you are an amazing woman and mother. I hope he gets help and finally ends this cycle.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:41 AM
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I think I made it sound too simple... I guess what I meant is that when people in al anon who are also in AA talk about their decision to stop, they say that they knew they were serious about it and a slip after that was different than when they hadn't really wanted to stop...

I don't know if my H is reading the Big Book. We have limited contact but he has lately been saying a lot of negative stuff about AA (my take is that he's being told things he doesn't want to hear....) and believes that he has figured out how to moderate his drinking.

I thought that when I focussed on me and stopped the begging, crying, fighting.. he'd be left to look at no one but himself and inevitably would get better... (that's not why I've decided to focus on me btw). But he seems to be taking a nose dive and that is not what I expected.

I hope he gets help too and ends the cycle bc he's got a lot to offer and 2 little girls who love him and he is just tossing it all away...

I've found in al anon that I get a lot out of hearing the experiences of those on both sides of the coin so to speak so I really appreciate the number of you who've offered your thoughts here. It's really eye opening and helpful.

You're all really impressive in my eyes bc I would not want to be in your or H's shoes, fighting an addiction... I had an eating disorder for years and remember how hard that was to fight and I read the stories here and hear what you are all doing one day at a time to end the cycle for yourselves and it gives me hope for my H. I don't think there's hope for our marriage but it doesn't mean I want to see him dead or miserable... So, thanks for your stories bc they give me hope...
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