Passive pressure to help her find “bottom”

Old 01-01-2011, 03:22 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
Passive pressure to help her find “bottom”

I recognise that one of the tenets of Al-Anon is that you can’t make the A quit, so you look after yourself which helps you and indirectly is conducive to the A seeking help. An epiphany we probably all have had in order to start getting somewhere.

But other than simply not enabling, can passive pressure be brought to bear to help? I suppose it just the “degree” of not-enabling isn’t it?

If it is true that the A must hit “rock bottom” in order to seek true recovery, can that reaching “rock bottom” be reached sooner by outside influence?

I’ve read the great sticky on “10 ways to help an alcoholic”, awesome stuff in that one .

I do examine to what I extent I enable but where does “enabling” end, and outright “punitive measures” begin? My A is the housewife and receives a salary of sorts. For the most part she does an OK job but clearly it makes for easy liquor money.
I could cut off that money supply (taking on the purchasing role myself) but I would feel it borders on vengeful or punitive, removing responsibility from her and treating her like a child.
Equally taxing is the contradiction of removing her responsibilities which is generally felt not to be a good thing since does it encourage progression of the addiction? Clearly I have not done this (removed the wages) yet, but I worry that leaving her with access to it is enabling.

Conversely I worry that if I took it away, her minor sorties into my wallet might become something more. That said, a night in Jail might be helpful for her self-realisation at this stage
reefbreakbda is offline  
Old 01-01-2011, 04:20 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
keepinon's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: central coast, ca
Posts: 1,652
Well..some people beleive in trying to "raise a bottom" by doing an intervention.It only works if ALL the enablers are really ready to enforce their"if you don't go, I will no longer..or I will" because otherwise it's futile.
What are your baoundaries..are you holding firm?Is she continuing to push past them and that is being allowed?not giving her money isn't going to solve anything if she has access to your wallet.Not giving her money and moving out so she has no access is very different.Are you ok with her taking money out your wallet for alcohol?
There is nothing we can do or say that will make someone stop using a substance..but we don't have to provide for that lifestyle.
keepinon is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to keepinon For This Useful Post:
reefbreakbda (01-02-2011), wicked (01-01-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 05:28 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
catlovermi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,294
This branch of logic is certainly controversial.

However, that said, if it is applied:

Removing YOURSELF from her life would be a much more powerful incentive than removing her allowance - if you're looking for leverage to manipulate her "bottom."

Alcoholics will continue to drink until the pain of drinking exceeds the pain of doing what it takes to stop drinking. And they can have a very high pain tolerance.

Partners of alcoholics will continue to ponder how to get the drinker to stop, until the pain of staying with them exceeds the pain of leaving them. And they can have a very high pain tolerance.

It's actually deceptively simple. But seems impossibly difficult.

catlovermi is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to catlovermi For This Useful Post:
laurie6781 (01-01-2011), reefbreakbda (01-02-2011), wicked (01-01-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 05:47 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Rising from the Ashes
Phoenixthebird's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 451
reefbreakbda, you asked "I do examine to what I extent I enable but where does “enabling” end, and outright “punitive measures” begin?"

Al-Anon recovery is about reclaiming our own lives. We do this by learning to focus on ourselves. One of the great gifts of the recovery movement is the concept of
detachment with love.

I strongly recommend you practicing the LOVE approach for recovery. LOVE stands for:
Let the drinker experience the negative consequences of drinking.
Optimise your time together when the drinker is sober.
Value the drinker as the person you love(d).
Encourage change.

In step one of the LOVE approach to helping a partner, friend or relative beat their alcohol problems, you need to:

Let the drinker experience the negative consequences of drinking. If you always make excuses for her drinking and make sure she is not inconvenienced, why should she
change? If, instead, you make it clear that when she chooses to drink, any consequences are her responsibility and that you are no longer covering for her, cleaning up after her or protecting her, then she will start to feel the effects of her drinking and it will become less attractive.

Optimise your time together when the drinker is sober. Although leaving her to experience the negatives of drinking should encourage change, it is also true that a
drinker is more likely to be persuaded to change her behaviour if there is a positive incentive. By offering alternatives to drinking, you are showing her that life can be good when she’s sober, that you care — and that she does have a definite choice: it’s her responsibility if she chooses to drink.

Value the drinker as the person you love(d). At some stage you are going to have to have a discussion with your drinker about her problem. In this part of the strategy,
it is suggested that you try to rekindle the love you once felt (and perhaps still do) for each other.

The last part is to encourage and support any move toward change, such as cutting down alcohol consumption or a visit to the doctor or even rehab.

Research shows that beating any addiction usually takes a few attempts. But each attempt is one step closer to change.

It is time to let it go. It is time to let him or her go. That doesn't mean we can't love that person anymore. It means that we will feel the immense relief that comes when we stop denying reality and begin accepting. We release that person to be who he or she actually is. We stop trying to make that person be someone he or she is not. We deal with our feelings and walk away from the destructive system. We learn to detach with love.

Letting Go . . .

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.

To “let go” it not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings, and correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less, and love more.

Author Unknown.

Just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,

Phoenixthebird is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Phoenixthebird For This Useful Post:
NYCDoglvr (01-01-2011), reefbreakbda (01-02-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 06:57 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
NYCDoglvr's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 6,247
Phoenix....thanks for posting this. It's a big help
NYCDoglvr is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NYCDoglvr For This Useful Post:
Phoenixthebird (01-01-2011)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:10 PM.