Detaching - Dangers

Old 11-17-2010, 12:28 PM
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Detaching - Dangers

Hi everyone here,
My wife is an alcoholic who has not yet taken serious steps to recovery. Life for me and my two daughters (5 and 15) is pretty rough as she knocks herself out quite regularly with Vodka and wine from hidden source. She has some other complications (Manic depression/Bulimia).
I just joined the forum having stumbled across a post a couple of months ago through which I discovered Co dependent No More. I wept openly though the first few chapters, my own emotional discovery I suppose.
I was subsequently able to recognise my own behaviour, know where I was in the Grief cycle, and, more importantly detach. I was completely able to detach with love. Through my detachment I was able to find some serenity. I think I floated on air the first few days.
My AW didnít react that well (Beattie predicts this of course). To cut a long story short, she attempted suicide (Vodka and Risperidone) she claimed we didnít need her anymore. I now feel I am in a position where detachment is not an option. This is of course classic Co-Dependence: the belief that one is responsible for the Addicts fate in the literal sense.
But this was very real. I stood by the crash cart in the ER for 6 hours that day.
She is now in the (supposedly) best rehab centre in the country. Nine days in and was going well until I got a call today that she had sneaked to the store to get a bottle of wine. They are letting her stay, luckily.
I feel I cannot move, all the positive stuff I took from Co Dependent No More now seems undermined and unachievable. Living from day to day and wondering just how much lower can everything go.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:34 PM
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Suicide attempts or threats are the ultimate manipulation. The individual is using his or her own life as a means of controlling a situation or a person. It's sad and very hard to "ignore".

I'm glad your AW isn't home right now to further toxify your home environment. Are you or your children in any kind of counselling (or Al-Anon/Al-Ateen)? You really could use some support to get through this.

This is the perfect time to focus on yourself and remember that as much as you have NO CONTROL whatsoever over her addiction, you also have no control over her life or her death. Let her deal with her recovery and focus on your family. Perhaps start to think about what your boundaries are....what are you willing to live with at this point? What aren't you willing to live with? What are your goals? How do you plan on getting there?

I'm glad you found SR. Please keep posting and reading as much as you like. SR is always open.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:39 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself and share some of your story with us.

We are glad you are here!

You will find information and support for yourself here. Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.

I applaud you for taking steps to heal yourself. Picking up Codependent No More and searching the web were steps you took for yourself. Good on you!

While your AW is in the care of trained professionals, allow yourself to focus on your life and your daughters. You and your daughters have been affected. (((hugs)))

Is Alanon available in your community?
Do you have a counselor you can speak with?

What you experienced at the ER with your AW is traumatic. A counselor may be able to help you process your feelings.

Let us know how we can help you.

We care about you!
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:31 PM
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I have very strong feelings being triggered right now about your post because frankly I am not a Beattie fan so I will recuse myself from this thread... because I know her work has helped many and so if that is the case. Great. I see everything I read as a source of information and possibly a tool for my own situation but that is where it stops for me.

All I can say is, use anything you read not as gospel or proven fact but as a way to look at your situation in maybe ways you have never done before. Read her book and another book with a different perspective and then maybe you can find a place where you will feel comfortable and at peace with your addict.

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Old 11-17-2010, 04:59 PM
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Take the story of my experience for what it's worth. My wife is also an alcoholic, and we also have a child (a 4-month-old son). When things got to a breaking point I confronted her and told her that her drinking was endangering the safety of the child and that if she did not get treatment, I was going to have my mother stay with us to watch the baby. She first tried to manipulate the situation and talk me out of it but I held to my position; later that night, she wrote a suicide letter to the baby and left it in the crib with a bottle of vodka and a bottle of xanax.

I am not a suicide expert, but I know enough to treat that as a serious threat. I also spent that night by her bedside in the ER before she was committed on an involuntary 72-hour hold, and then transferred to a rehab program. She lasted 3 weeks before discharging early, relapsed 3 days later, and was back in the ER with a BAC of 0.4.

What happened is that I had begun to break free from the codependent pattern and that the manipulation tools of the alcoholic were no longer effective. She did not have any coping skills, as it was probably the first time in her life that she had to face this kind of lack of control. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, just as it was not my fault. You made sure that she received proper medical care after her decision to injure herself.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:10 PM
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Thank you for your posts and sharing your own experiences.

I suppose in my heart I know its the ultimate manipulation. Its just scary that if I'm wrong the outomes are unthinkable. She has a legit diagnosis of Bi-polar so that without the Alcohol has huge real suicide risk associated.

I'm interested to read some other angles bb. The Wikipedia entry on Co Dependence notes several contrary thoughts on it. to be explored when time permits.

Will try to focus on ourselved whilst she is in care. I half expect that she will fail and I will be dealing with all that agin in a couple of weeks. Was going to treat my self to something fun but the last 5 grand covered the deductible on the treatment...

Thanks every body and I will keep connected to SR!
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:32 PM
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bipolar is a serious mental illness and does have one of the highest risks of suicide.

I have bipolar I, mixed, severe.

so your situation is not so straightforward as being "substance abuse" only.
This must be treated as co-concurrent conditions to have any chance of success at all.

40% of people with bipolar also have substance abuse. It is very common.

please also look into infor for spouses of bipolar..there is quite a bit available and the best practices protocol is a little different.
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