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he's missing, again.

Old 09-10-2010, 09:48 PM
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he's missing, again.

Hi all,

This is my first post here. I have been reading the forums for a bit but I hope I don't make any newbie mistakes. I decided to register tonight because I think something really changed for me tonight. I'll try to make this brief.

My AH (that's alcoholic husband, right?) went missing tonight, again. He hit rock bottom earlier this summer when he went missing for three days and took all our money. Then he went to treatment, but that is a generous statement since he missed treatment more than he attended. The treatment centers around here keep telling him to go to outpatient and saying he doesn't qualify for inpatient.

I wish we could get him into inpatient as he has started selling his stuff to buy alcohol. I took away his bank card and put that and our credit cards in a lockbox because he was using all our money on alcohol. Well, "my" money since he took a medical leave of absence from his job two months ago and hasn't gone back, and his leave ended a few weeks ago.

Since he hit rock bottom earlier this summer, our lives have been reeling from crisis to crisis. Every day when I am at work, he finds a way to get alcohol and I come home to him drunk and passed out on the couch. When I'm home, he doesn't drink. But when I'm gone, he drinks.

So anyway, he was supposed to go to treatment tonight and when I came home from work, I thought he was at treatment. Then I realized more of his stuff was missing, and that he probably went out and sold it and is drinking, just not at home this time. He also left his cell phone at home so I can't contact him, nor him me.

I started to get worried sick, and I was feeling completely ill thinking about how awful the three days were earlier this summer when he was missing, and getting so angry that he would put me through that again. My mind always goes to the worst case scenario, so I am thinking he is hurt, or something worse. I hope he is not. But instead of letting my mind go down that path, something has clicked. Maybe it's because I know he can "survive" when he goes missing. But I think it's something else.

I have only been to Al-Anon once and I hated it, but maybe it was just the particular group. It was not very informational (even though it was a beginner's meeting), it was more of a group of people saying "it works if you work it!" over and over again. I didn't understand what it was. But reading these posts helps more.

I am scared, I am worried for him, but at the same time I feel oddly calm. I'm not crying. I am so exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally that I think my body knows I can't handle going through this again.

So do you have any advice for how to deal with this, when your loved one is so destructive and you are so worried for their well-being?

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:58 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. I am pleased to *meet* you! I'm sorry that chaos from an active alcoholic brought you here, but very glad you found us and are reaching out for help.

I didn't understand my first Alanon meeting, but I went back as they recommended. I also read here at SR to learn more about the meetings and what to expect. I kept going back to see what could happen. I learned that I needed that hour meeting to relax and be among people that understood what living with active alcoholism feels like. I was not alone anymore! For one hour I could focus on my needs.

My loved one's drinking was taking our family down a path of financial and legal destruction. I had to walk away from the chaos and destruction to protect myself and my children.

Your relationship does not sound like it is giving you the support and respect you deserve. How do you feel about your relationship at this point?

We are here to support you. Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:05 PM
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I am not the best person to talk with about this....I just happen to be up past my bedtime.

I believe you are exhausted and drained and your self-preservation is kicking in.

That last episode was not his rock bottom....he is still drinking, stealing the money from the family and leaving you with the grief and responsibilities.

Alcoholism is a family disease...so I have no doubt it is wrecking your sanity, serenity and health.

I think I'd lock up the house so nothing else goes missing and then either find some peace reading here or diverting myself with anything that would relax me so I could get some much needed sleep.

I am glad you decided to join us and hope you find what you need here.
You will make lots of friends and find much needed support as you work your way through this.

(((((((((((hugs)))))))))))
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:11 PM
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Thanks, Pelican.

I think I will have to find another Al-Anon meeting this weekend, and give it another try. Things had been bad for the past five years (we've been together 11), but only really bad since he went missing earlier this summer. I went to Al-Anon after that episode, but now that he's just doing the bender-remorse-sober for one day-another bender the next day cycle, I think that we have hit the big time and I might find a bit more help there.

I also haven't put any time into thinking about myself. My best friend keeps asking me what I want out of the relationship. I want stability and someone who doesn't go missing for days on end, making me worry about their well-being. But that's pretty low standards, huh? I love him so much and want to see him safe, healthy, and happy. I should probably think about the same for me.

Also, it's now midnight and he's still gone...I am hoping he'll come back when the bars close, but I just can't imagine he is even awake at this point, which puts a whole new set of worries out there.

And thanks as well, Live! Sorry I missed your post while I was responding to Pelican.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:40 PM
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Well, I'm going to try to go to sleep now. It has been a long day and there is no sense in me staying up all night worrying about him. I'll be back here tomorrow, probably doing more reading than posting as I have no advice to give anyone.

I already appreciate the support as I have felt like I was all alone in this.

But, I will still say...this sucks.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:49 PM
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Phlegmatic - I am so sorry It hurts me to hear you so focused on him and his well-being when it is clear you are in a lot of pain yourself. Is this really where you want to be?
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:21 AM
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I hope that you were able to get some rest last night. Staying up and worrying over an adult alcoholic never brought mine home faster or safer. Just made me more miserable.

I recommend reading in the sticky posts at the top of this forum. The sticky posts contain some of our stories and tons of wisdom from members who have "been there and done that".

This link is from a sticky (permanent post) and has steps that have worked for some of us:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:48 AM
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Thanks for posting your story... We can all understand and all of us have had the same feelings you do--which is why we are here. Personally, I relate to being overcome with fear for his wellbeing, but I also relate to what you said about the moment where acceptance just kicks in.

One of the stories that my kids still laugh about is when one of them was helping AH in the house with groceries. One of the bags was broken and the peanut butter fell out, falling on the ceramic tile and breaking. AH got upset about that, and my son said, "Gee, Dad, sorry!" To which AH said, almost tearfully, "Sorry isn't going to bring it back!" My kids thought it was so funny to be that melodramatic over a jar of peanut butter that they laugh about it to this day.

My point is, worry doesn't bring them back either--back home, back to their senses, back to the kind of relationship we WISH we still had with them. When that fact really sinks in, we're ready to just let the worry go and start living our own lives, trusting them to their HP.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:23 AM
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Hi Phlegmatic and welcome,

Yes it sucks! Big time!

Al-anon does take some getting used to! I found it pretty uncomfortable to begin with too and the God stuff isnt my thing either. I was told to try at least 5 meetings before deciding if it was for me. I also tried two different meetings and prefered one over the other.

Al-anon is quite different to Sober Recovery(SR) too, as advice is not really offered at Al-anon. The idea is that you listen to others read from al-anon literature and 'share' tell their life stories and you 'pick' out the relevant bits to you. Sometimes you hear quite a bit of helpful sayings or good things other people have tried and done and other times not so much. That is where the 'take what you like and leave the rest' slogan comes from. On Sober Recovery people are more likely to offer you advice or their personal opinion on something and of course you can start a thread on a particular subject matter and gets lots of opinions on that subject, completly relating to you. I find a bit of both is good.

Other good things about Al-anon (my group) is every listens. When it is your turn to talk - you talk and no one interupts. This is good when you have been used to living/fighting with an alcoholic. It always has the same format too: so some structure, which again is enlightening when you are used to living in chaos.

SR and/or Al-Anon will definitely help you to take the focus of your alcoholic and start you thinking about you - keep reading and stick around, you definitely arent alone. As you are discovering it doesnt matter how much you worry yourself sick about what your alcoholic is doing or not doing, he will continue doing it anyway and all you do is carry on making yourself sick. Its time to try another way, so pleased you joined SR, hopefully you will find some useful, informative, challenging information here.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:51 AM
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I LOVE this thread. Phlegmatic, I know the pain -and alternate acceptance- you're living in. It's such a strange existence.

You'll find tons of support and advice here, as someone else said, whereas Al anon is mostly listening and sharing when it's your turn. Not much feedback. i get some after meetings, or if I listen carefully when others are talking, I hear things that I can apply to my life.

Detachment like you're talking about to me is a natural course of actions. How much sh1t can we take, really? At some point you either go crazy or your system shuts down and says, "ok, that's enough."

For me, when that happened, I launched myself onto an entire new path of life. One that I pretty much love most days. Some days are harder than others, but I work every day to carefully choose what kind of life I want; who I want to be, how I want to present myself at work, to my family and friends. I'm carving out the kind of life I can respect, without waiting for my AH to come along.

Moving on with out him was very sad for me at first. Now it's an adventure.

I pray your AH is safe.

I love the family story with your son about the peanut butter. It sounds like your kids have a great sense of humor and to me, that's the sunshine in life-laughing with my family and friends in the darkness.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:55 AM
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He has not bottomed out, and, probably won't until there are consquences for his actions.

What are your boundries with him?

Being out for days, makes me wonder if he is doing more than alcohol. He sounds like my exabf,and, when he drank he did coke. I might be wrong, the thought just popped into my mind.

In any case, start working on you, you need to beat this codepnendency.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:08 AM
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Love the screen name:

If you are a phlegmatic, you most likely possess a dry wit and a steady, amicable demeanor. You are dependable, polite, and even-tempered. You feel more comfortable in a small group of friends or even spending a quiet evening relaxing at home. You are never flashy, belligerent, or self-aggrandizing. You would rather take the blame (even unjustly) than stir up controversy or pick a fight. On the job, you seek neither power nor the limelight, but work steadily, patiently, and methodically. You are reliable, patient, and methodical on the job, and can work alone, or with the most difficult of personalities. You will prefer job security, working within a structured organization, but can also be a leader of great character and service. Former U.S. president Calvin Coolidge, for example, was known for being a man of few words, conservatism in maintaining the status quo, and a propensity for "effectively doing nothing." Once at a dinner party, a young woman bet him that she could make him say three words. Coolidge dryly replied, "You lose."

Had to look it up, but mainly I have the maturity and sense of humor of a ten year old boy and love the word "phlegm".

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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Had to look it up, but mainly I have the maturity and sense of humor of a ten year old boy and love the word "phlegm".
That's funny Coyote. My daughter has an exchange student in her class this year. His name is Fleming. She keeps wanting to call him "Flem" for short but has to catch herself each time.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:08 AM
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Sorry to hear you're going through this. I know it is though. But as others have said I think it is great you're decided to join SR and I hope this place will be as much help to you as it was to me.
After agony that was living with my RAH (recoverying AH) while he was activly drinking I realized I have a choice: in all the things in my life, including staying with him, worrying about him and the rest. But making that choice required few things: accepting the reality for what it really was, and understanding the difference between the things I can't control and the ones I can. To tell you the truth I've heard this for zillion times before it sunk in. I think ther reason why it didn't sink before was that before I wasn't ready, I dind't want to make the choice, I wanted things to be the way I wanted them. But they weren't and the agony was just prolonged until came the point my RAH started dieing. It kind of happened that his rock bottom was mine too. It made me realize so many things: how wrong I was in my life choices, how unfair my life choices were on my kids, how my weakness to act affected both mine and my kids lives. I guess there was no room left for me to hide any more and slip into occasional denial, I was faced with devastating reality, and I took it for what it was and started taking responisbility for my own life and well being of my kids.
I left my RAH, knowing that he is close to death, as he was refusing to go to the hospital, but I simply couldn't stand any more minute of that life and the way it was affecting our kids. I had to make a choice: him and us, or only him. I chose life without madness and agony for kids and me.
Since than he admitted himself to hospital, was diagnozed with end stage liver cirrhosis, given poor survival prognosis, but miracoulously recoverd quite well. I had emphaty for him while this was happening, I'd have been very sad if he has died, but I had to take step back from it all.
I think very often we forget or just don't want to know how serious disease of alcoholism is, and how bad things can get almost overnight. My RAH was kind of highly functioning until Jannuary this year (he is only 38) but in Jannuary he started losing weight, other things followed, and end of May he is in hospital with liver cirrhosis and good chance to die. Of course I knew about liver cirrhosis for years and how many alcoholics develop it or many other diseases, but for some reason I never put the dots together that this kind of thing could affect out family too. But it did.
I don't know if this helps you in any way. My point is: alcoholism is a progressive disease, it doesn't get better until an A him/herself makes it better. And sticking with an active A doesn't help anyone. An A always has a choice, and so do we.
Since I've made mine, my life has improved so much. My RAH is living back with me and kids, but only as long as he is in recovery, if he starts drinking again the deal is off (and his life most likely too).
You're the only one that knows what is the right thing for you, but I hope you'll choose life in peace, out of madness and worry for someone who is still unable/unwilling to take care of himself. As you, your AH has a path that he needs to walk, you standing in the front row in misery is not going to help any of you. JMHO, and I'm saying this only because you asked for advice. You can still continue to wish him well and have some worries about him, but I suggest you do that from a peaceful place, not emashed in madness of active alcoholism.
This is JMHO, you take what you like and leave the rest.
Take care.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:28 AM
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hey, phlegmatic, welcome to the official belonging to this forum. we are all sympathetic, and will share our own experiences, and offer advice from time to time. it's a great way of getting support at all hours of the day and night, and a way to learn some tools, new ways of thinking and being.

the more you can let go of your husband, the better. for BOTH of you. it's hard hard hard, but necessary.

sometimes the best we can do, is just go through the motions. that is a bridge to where you will one day be: in a better place.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:17 PM
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Thank you all for the support. I like what yesbutnobut said about the differences between SR and Al-Anon. I went to that Al-Anon meeting hoping to get advice, but I just felt like I got a bunch of slogans. I will try it again, but probably not today. I really appreciate the support and advice here!

AH came home in the middle of the night, very drunk. He slept on the couch and we have been talking today. He is going to go stay with his family halfway across the country. He is miserable where we live, and he recently lost his job and he doesn't know what to do with his life. So he wants to go there to "figure things out." I told him he couldn't come back unless he comes back to do inpatient and then stay in recovery. So we're both pretty sad, because I think we both know this is the end. We're calling it a "trial separation," but I think that's because neither of us has the guts to just call it quits.

As far as my life goes, all I'm thinking about right now is how I'm going to pay the bills. I know that shouldn't be top priority, but that is reality--I can't pay all the bills on my own, even when I cut out his stuff. So we'll see how that goes.

At least I have friends here I can talk to, and a job where I have to "perform" to such an extent that when I am doing it, it takes my mind off of things. And now I can post here about stuff I don't feel like telling my friends.
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:28 PM
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Sounds like a plan. You will figure out how to make the bills. And, if you fall a little behind, Oh Well, this too will pass.

We are here for you, post anytime!
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by phlegmatic View Post
As far as my life goes, all I'm thinking about right now is how I'm going to pay the bills. I know that shouldn't be top priority, but that is reality--I can't pay all the bills on my own, even when I cut out his stuff. So we'll see how that goes..



YOU CAN DO THIS!!.. Paying the bills alone was my biggest fear.. when he left I had $500 to my name, a week before the rent was due, along with the rest of the bills. I really don't know how.. but... (ok, I do know how.. my HP!!) I am in my 3rd year of paying the bills BY MYSELF! (so proud of myself) and I am the ONLY one in my family who has every bill to ZERO every month.. and I make the LEAST amount of money.. I was horrible at this bill paying, but the only option was... MAKE IT WORK!..

My xabf did the same thing your ah did/does.. he came up missing.. and would be gone for weeks.. wouldn't answer the phone.. and a whole slew of things. He would do this in a pattern of every 3 months.. to the day.. and be gone between 1-6 weeks at a time. Now, every 3 months to the day... he calls me.. or writes.. wanting to come home.. something I can't let happen..

YOU can.. you can... you CAN.. do this!.. Good luck..
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:44 PM
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So...I probably shouldn't be posting every little detail, but--now he says he's having second thoughts and doesn't want to go with his family. I know this is because we've been together 11 years, and staying seems easier than leaving. He's not very good at difficult things or new things.

I told him that he is welcome to stay IF he goes to INPATIENT treatment. He has tried a couple of different outpatient programs, but he doesn't attend and even when he does, he just drinks when he leaves.

I know that getting sober won't cause all our problems, but if he can go to inpatient, that would be great.

And at the same time, I know I need to focus on myself. I told him that I can't expend any more emotional energy on what he's doing, so he has to go to inpatient or go with his family. No sticking around without a treatment program. We'll see how it goes.

I hope I'm not making a mistake by giving him the option of staying...but it's staying in an inpatient program, not just staying at our place.

Thanks again for the support!
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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We all have to do things step by step according to what we can do at the time.
Inpatient would give you a break.

I watched a BBC documentary last night called "Rain in my Heart". It's on youtube now and it chronicles 4 alcoholic people. Their drs, their home lives, everything
There is a link to it over in Newcomers In Recovery.
It really opened my eyes.
just in case you or anyone who reads this might be interested.
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