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What is the healing response for a recovering alcoholic?

Old 02-16-2011, 08:27 AM
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What is the healing response for a recovering alcoholic?

So if AH says "I realized why I drink...it's because I hate my job."

He is blaming.

What is the healing response for a recovering alcoholic?

I drink because i choose to? or what?

Does he have to have a reason why he drinks in order to move past it?

Or does a RA simply not need a reason why he drank and just move on?

I know the answer should be in one of the AA steps.........

I seem to be missing it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:35 AM
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When I read the alcoholics forum, I see them write things like that their drinking started out as fun, then moved into drink when angry, or drink to cope, and then finally--drink because it is a day ending in a y.
In otherwords--any reason is a reason to drink if they want a reason to drink, if they feel they need a reason to drink.
I think eventually they give up on making up reasons to drink and finally accept that they drink because they are alcoholic. No reason necessary.

If they are heavy drinkers but not to the point yet of severe uncontrolled drinking, they may come at this question from another angle, which is using a reason to drink, and combating that reason to find sobriety. Facing their demons and learning how to not abuse alcohol.

True alcoholics though, those are severely physically addicted, can never drink again, ever, period, no debate about it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:41 AM
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Hi passionfruit!

It seems to me by reading the experiences of the alcoholics and addicts on those threads that there typically is an underlying issue, and that drinking is just a symptom of that problem.

That said, "I hate my job" seems to be just an excuse and a way to lay the blame. Perhaps the best response might be something along the lines of "Oh, I see.'

I hope your husband continues on in his program!

Hugs, HG
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:14 AM
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Well.. if he's drinking he's not in recovery or recovering or anything having to do with recovery. At all.

If he's in recovery and actively participating in..well.. recovering, he knows he drinks because 1. he's an alcoholic, 2. because he's using alcohol as a crutch to medicate something else, 3. and/or because he's plain ol addicted to alcohol, and is doing everything he can to address his life and get things in order so as to prevent living as an active drunk.

A lot of people have ****** days on the job, traumatic childhoods, a rainy cloudy day and DONT drink or use drugs. Alcoholics and addicts do.. and it's up to them to figure it out on their own, and embrace recovery because their lives and spirits depend on it.

I say this mostly from my own experience in recovery.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by passionfruit View Post
What is the healing response for a recovering alcoholic?

I drink because i choose to? or what?

Does he have to have a reason why he drinks in order to move past it?

Or does a RA simply not need a reason why he drank and just move on?
From what I have noticed from the recovered alcoholics I have had the pleasure of speaking with, you will know whether they are blameshifting or taking responsibility for the drinking.

Common answers I have seen are:
"I drank because I drank."
"I drank because I was an alcoholic."
"I drank because that was what I did."

No attempts to shift blame elsewhere.
If you are very close to an alcoholic, and they want to bring you in more on their story in a personal level, they may say things like "It started because..."
But that is merely stating the underlying issue that started the drinking.
I have never heard a recovered/recovering alcoholic try to blame the continual drinking on anything other than alcoholism.

Thinking about it, it is probably a liberating feeling to let go of why they kept drinking, and admit they're an alcoholic - like our 3C's.
We resist because we feel it makes us powerless, and when we finally accept them it is a liberating, empowering feeling, and we can move on to the next right thing.
Once you harness that power, why try to hide it again by blaming things that aren't to blame?

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:01 AM
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I've watched my RAH go from blaming me, to blaming other aspects of his life, to finally acknowledging he drank because he was bored, angry, lonely, depressed, etc; not because of any other external circumstance, and then finally to saying out loud he drank because he is an alcoholic. But it has been a process over the last 90 days, and one I am sure will continue to be a struggle for him in the months and years to come. At first I argued with him, and boy did it **** him off! And now I just nod my head and agree when he opens up about why he drank and the choices he made. I don't look any deeper, because it doesn't matter anyway. His process is his process.

That said - doesn't mean I am not mulling it over silently in my head and disagreeing with him when he starts to shift blame! Just that now I know better than to try to point out when he's wrong or being a blamer. I just...
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:41 PM
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I think you are not hearing any surrender in his answer and that is what may be bothering you..no "I am an alcoholic"..or "I have used every excuse in the world to drink" or something that tells you he"gets it".When you SEE true recovery you will know.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:56 PM
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I had "reasons" why I started to drink heavily, and they made sense to me at the time. And maybe they really WERE the reasons, in the beginning. But at some point, whatever your reasons for drinking, the alcohol stops "working" for you. And you keep trying to MAKE it "work" for you again. And eventually you realize, one day, that you have pretty much lost the power of choice about whether you drink. You drink because you HAVE to.

I've heard other scenarios from other alcoholics--everyone's story isn't identical and the progression of the disease isn't the same in everyone. Some people swear they were alcoholics from the first drink. I believe them. I think my alcoholism developed more slowly and insidiously. The end result, though, is the same. In the end, you live to drink, and you drink to live.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:57 PM
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Does he have to have a reason why he drinks in order to move past it?
No.
"I drink because I had a bad day" is Denial.
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