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Old 03-18-2011, 11:13 PM
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New to site...Hi!!

I found this site and was very excited. Wanted to post and tell a little about myself. So here it goes.

*Deep breath*

My husband of 7 years (this month) finally took the plunge. He admitted that he has a problem and decided it was time to do something about it. This is or course after we have a baby and 2 DUIs. I have 2 older children that live at home with us (17 & 14).

So he put himself into detox & rehab. He has been out 5 days. He is going to his meetings, getting phone numbers, talking to his sponsor, the whole 9 yards....But he also has anxiety issues. He is worried about everything under the sun. He has told me that I am his rock. I have been supportive with everything in his recovery. I read some of the book, I went to some meetings with him in the rehab, I try to keep him focused. This anxiety thing is tough though. How do you tell someone the sky is not falling when they insist they see it falling??

Since he has been home, I almost feel like he's not here. I started a job and I work from home on the computer form 12-7 m-f. He sits on the sofa, and we really don't talk. I try to ask him how his meetings went when he gets home, and he gives very brief information....VERY brief. I know it's going to take a long time for him to adjust living life without alcohol, but I don't want to feel left out either.

I need to look into Al-Anon meetings in my area. I guess I just need some emotional support now too. I want to know if it does get better? will he come around? and I need help trying to keep him focused with his anxiety!!

Thanks for reading...sorry so long
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:30 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum! I'm from the "other side" (I'm an alcoholic in recovery).....

Just wanted to give you some encouragement........ I spent 30 days in treatment myself and it was the best thing I've every done for myself. The first few weeks home, however, were a bit scary. It's like returning to the "scene of the crime" where reality hits you once again and now you don't have your coping mechanism.

It's great that you realize it's going to take time..... and your husband is lucky to have someone who is concerned and supportive. I think all you can do is give him some space/time right now.

Early sobriety is often a period of rollercoaster emotions for us. We're happy one minute, sad the next, irritable the next..... it really does get better (as long as we stay sober, of course). It sounds like he's working hard at it, so there's every reason to be positive!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:41 PM
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Wanted to take a moment and welcome you here to SR. You have found
an excellent place for all the support you would like 24/7.

I'm like artsoul (from the other side). I'm a recovering alcoholic who will
celebrate 60 days tomorrow. There are a lot of ups and downs but for
me every day sober is well worth any trials or tribulations I have to go through.

I'm sure more people from the Friends and Family side will be along shortly to offer their ESH (experience, strength and hope). I hope you do find Al Anon
really soon and make it a priority for yourself.

Your husbands recovery must be his and his alone. You get to create your own recovery for yourself. I'm sure this will be explained better by others.

Take care and hope to see you around these boards.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:42 PM
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Artsoul, Thank you for your response. You said some things I really needed to hear. WOW....Just reading that and here came the tears. Don't think I've cried since before he went into rehab. Have to stay strong and in charge for the kids and all.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:29 AM
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Welcome to SR!
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:09 AM
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Hi,

I'm a sober alcoholic AND was in two marriages to alcoholics. My first husband has not had a drink in 31 years, and he is still active in AA, and a great guy. My first husband got sober a year before we got married. I remember when he would get all stressed out and I felt like I was gonna explode I would tell him, I'm going out for a bit. Why don't you give your sponsor a call and discuss this with him? Usually, when I came back, he would be all calmed down again, having talked to someone who can actually HELP.

I suggest getting involved in Al-Anon, so you can focus on yourself and keep your paws off his recovery. I suggest not pumping him about how the meetings went, how the recovery is going, what is he doing, etc. Later, when he's solidly sober and things are settling into place for him, you will probably start getting to know other people in his program--many AA groups do social things to which spouses and families are invited.

Early recovery IS a time of mood swings, emotional ups and downs. It takes months and months before the alcoholic feels anything approaching "normal". It was helpful to me to learn to detach from the alcoholic (with love) and let him do the work he needed to do without getting sucked into his personal stuff he was working on.

Glad you're here with us, welcome.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:15 AM
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Hi JSO, and Welcome to SR!



Keep reading and asking questions! We understand!!!

Hugs, HG
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:01 AM
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Thank you all for your comments. I'm glad to see that I found a place for support and helpful information.

When I ask my husband about how his meetings went I'm just trying to show support and that I am interested in his recovery, not like I'm prying. I didn't realize that he could view it that way. I'll back off knowing what you said now.

I do encourage him to call his sponsor or someone else from the meetings so he can talk to someone who understands what he is going through.

I read alot about "my recovery" on here. I guess I never thought of that. Can someone explain that a little in a nutshell for me? The first Al-Anon meeting in my area is Sunday night. I plan on going. Just looking for some insight now.

Thanks for the support
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:54 AM
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Welcome!!!

Alanon meetings are fairly structured is some ways, not so structured in others.

They have a lot of readings at the beginning of the meeting, most that I've attended ask if you'll read something, the 12 steps, the Alanon preamble. You're asked if you want to talk, and they have some strict rules in all of the groups I've attended, no crosstalk-interrupting another speaker or commenting/giving advice after their 'share'. The meeting format is a lot like AA with those two important differences.

And the overwhelming majority at the meetings are women, in my experience it's rare to have more than one other male at the meeting, oftentimes I'm the only male.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:28 AM
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Living with an alcoholic can't help but make anyone a bit nutso. It goes with the territory. We've usually tried to reason with them. We've tried to be supportive. We've been angry and hostile to them. We've taken out our frustrations on others. We've put their problems and issues at the center of our lives.

SO, it takes some recovery to get over all that crap. The focus is on US, what WE need to do to live lives that are happy and whole, regardless what the alcoholic is doing. We learn to detach (with love) from them because we get totally enmeshed in their drama. Al-Anon has a very cool pamphlet entitled, "A Merry-Go-Round Called Denial" that describes the dynamics very well.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:48 AM
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Thanks, LexieCat, for the link. I was the "Provoker" to the letter. Again I will say it was out of ignorance to what I was dealing with, but I provoked my RAH over and over and didn't ever let him forget his bad behavior. I have held grudges and had hurt feelings and sulked and pouted for days on end. I became very predictable with my own behavior.

It has taken me 8 long and painful months to get the words "help and him" out of my vocabulary. That's a no where trip. They don't want our "help" and we don't have what it takes to give it to them, anyway. AA is there to help him. His sponsor is there to help him. I see so many new posters here with the same words...how to I help? what can I do to help? I want to help! Help, smelp. Welcome to the alcoholic roller coaster.

JustStartingOut, welcome to SR. I hope your journey is as eye-opening as mine has been. By finally letting go of the crazy desire to "help" him, I have allowed him to seek the help he needs, on his own terms, and be a grown up about it. And today I can sit back, take care of myself, and respect him for his efforts. I am not sure I could have respected him if I had to play caretaker.

We are into the 4th month of recovery and living separately. He doesn't like that much but I like it so much that I don't intend to live with him again anytime soon! While you are in the early days, go to Al-Anon and work on your own recovery. You may find that your A appreciates this effort on your part very much. And you'll start to feel more confident and competent to deal with whatever comes your way (as early recovery can be bumpy).

Good luck to you, keep coming back, this forum is full of wisdom and experience.
~T
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:16 PM
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Welcome to SR, and it is great that your AH is in recovery. The beginning is very very difficult, and the best thing to do is focus on you. Glad you are going to Al-anon; you will begin to understand how best to help yourself.

My exabf, no longer x, and now in recovery for 13 months +, is just beginning to live life as a sober person. It is not easy. But there are many more good days than bad. Drinking is no longer a problem for him...but his "thinking" is often a problem for him. That would not have made sense to me a year ago, but it sure does now.

Patience, and time, and love, and taking care of yourself first and foremost are the only things you can do. His recovery is his own, and we cannot help.

When my bf says that he feels better when he is with me, or when he can talk to me, I call "B...S..." because when we lived together, he drank, and faked recovery, and snuck the drinks, and blamed me for suspecting him. I almost lost my mind trying to believe the unbelievable because I wanted to so much.

I live alone now, which make it much easier for me, but regardless, he is the only one with the power to overcome his addiction and the thinking that goes along with it.

I will add that my bf used to be plagued by anxieties...driving was a major one, the highway, bridges...he could not, and would not. Now he has no problem at all with that. He used to be on high blood pressure meds, and anti-anxiety meds, and is off all meds at this time.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:08 PM
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Lexiecat - I read the article that you posted. It really gives a lot of insight, thank you. Thank you all for your posts and words of support and encouragement.

My next question seems odd to me, but probably not to everyone else....How can I start my recovery of letting him do things on his own, when he is so dependent on me? I'm not sure of the extreme of this part. Example: Is making a pot of coffee when he asks me to bad? Currently I am the one that fills up his meds for him...Should I still be doing that? I really want him to get better, and I don't want to think that making a pot of coffee is backsliding for him.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:23 PM
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Welcome!
How is he dependent on you and why?
Making coffee for him could be fine and it could be unhealthy.
Is he out front changing the oil in the cars and you are already in the kitchen?
Or is he sitting on his backside and too lazy to get up?

My husband is pretty independent, but I have heard here that if you are doing things for them that they can do for themselves, that is codependent.
Thinking in terms of what we'd think of in a normal marriage where two people are a team and help eachother out just doesn't apply.

Check out Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
I got a lot out of it.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:33 PM
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FindingPeace1 - I see your point. Using today as an example, I have been awake with the baby since early. I made coffee and breakfast for myself. AH was sleeping in because he worked last night (got in around 4am). I was sitting in the kitchen on my laptop when he got up and asked me to make a pot of coffee. He went into the bathroom then outside to have his morning cigarette. I have turned him down about making coffee, like during the week when I'm sitting in the kitchen "working" on my laptop or getting ready to feed the baby. And he has made his own coffee....so it can be done
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:58 PM
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And he has made his own coffee....so it can be done
thank you for this juststartingout, it made me smile.
yes, it can be done.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:38 PM
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JSO you are in the right place. Look into al anon you will find support in both places. Dont do for him what he can do for himself. That is a start and a good one. You have plenty on your plate with your own recovery and taking care of those kids hopefully WITH him. Come here as often as you can. Informal Chat on Tuesday Thursday evening 8PM and noon Sundays. Formal chat (with topic and leader) Saturday 9 PM. All times Eastern
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