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Financial Investment in Sobriety

Old 03-26-2011, 01:25 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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All in all I see where you are going with this poEven being generous, AA only hast...

...just a couple of things about a couple of parts of your post, though. First, based on what I have learned about alcoholism and alcoholics over the last 13 years, I believe an 11 percent success rate is fantastic. I've also seen this rate quoted at 5 percent. I think that's fantastic too. I've never found anything that can credibly claim a higher level of success. I admit it, I'm an AA and Alanon believer. I, frankly, could care f-ing less what the success rate is-- in my world it's 100 percent.

Secondly, I think your simile about Olympic Skiing is misplace and hyperbolic. I don't believe for a second the average human being can become an Olympic athlete through hard work and dedication. A small percentage of people have the genetic ability to go along with that hard work, support network, and dedication and they are the people who go to the Olympics.

However, The Twelve Steps aren't that hard, and will work for anybody who simply follows them. The key? Following them for the rest of your life. Let's say, however, that 5 percent is an accurate success rate. That means that this year AA could potentially help 338,761,787 people find sobriety based on the world's population.

Contrast that to the number of Olympic Athletes as a percentage-- it's such a small number it errors out my calculator. It is, literally, such a tiny number as to be almost insignificant.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
Timely question, as AW - who just went through another "crisis" (DWI) - is back to seeking help through an outpatient recovery clinic - with upfront costs of $2500 to $3500 (and, I'm assuming the meter is ticking).

I know I'm new to this forum, but I'm not new to being the spouse of an AW.

If "alcoholism" is a disease, then is ROI an issue? I mean, if my child had a brain tumor, I'd pour every penny I had into her treatment. Not to mention, I could hold fundraisers, etc. It evokes charity from people. Not so alcoholism.

Because, while some pay lip-service to it being a "disease," many treat it as simply a matter of will power. And only willpower.

This is complicated by the fact that alcoholism is what I call a "mind f*ck disease." If you had cancer, you *know* you have cancer. But, it seems to me that "alcoholism" is more akin to schizophrenia - where your mind (unmedicated) thinks the abnormal is normal and real. And schizophrenics can be *forced* into treatment by the courts IF they are a danger to themselves or to others.

And, even then, once released, there's no guarantee a schizophrenic will remain on his/her medication.

Not so with alcoholics (well, other than through run-ins with the criminal justice system). We almost insist that *they* seek help for their own disease all on their own.

(Note: I recognize that schizophrenia is its own disease and I'm not equating the two. I'm simply trying to draw a parallel that, IMO, exists to some extent).

As for AA, I'm not sure it works for *every* alcoholic. I think it works for some; I think it works less well or not at all for others.

Even being generous, AA only has about an 11% success rate. Now, I'm sure that there are those who'll say: "but for those who commit, it has a 100% success rate."

Well, if I 100% commit to the USOC downhill ski program, I can become an Olympic skier. Is that a measure of success of the *program* or of *my* level of commitment?

I think it begs the question: is alcoholism a disease or a matter of willpower?

Personally, I'm for whatever treatment/program/plan that works. If it's AA, great. If it means alternatives to AA, then great too. And that may be heresy here (or may get me kicked off or flamed).

We're living in a time when we are learning more and more about the brain, chemistry, and genetics. I think it opens up new treatment methods and opportunities. And, as is usual, in the medical field, the "cutting edge" isn't cheap.

This isn't, I don't think, to say that the alcoholic can't be held *responsible* for his/her actions OR the effect it has on others.

If you're done with your A spouse or child - if your patience and finances have run dry (or reached a level that you are no longer comfortable), then you're done.

I've known parents who have schizophrenic children, some hang in there indefinitely, some have simply maxed out and say: "there is nothing more that we can do."

No judgment from me as to either.

As to those questions - when do YOU run out of patience?; when do YOU decide that you can no longer afford to fund treatment? - I think there is only ONE person who can answer that question: You.

In short, I don't think the answer has a LOGICAL answer. You can write down the "pluses" and "minuses" of spending money on treatment for the A in your life all day long. I'm not sure such a list really gets to any answer.

What I think does get to an answer is not logic, but heart. How much "emotional stress" will you incur if you do it? How much "emotional stress" will you incur if you don't do it?

And there's only ONE person who can answer that question: you.

But, hey, that and $3.25 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

I know where you're at - I'm in a similar place myself - and pray things turn out best *for you.*

Good Luck.
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:10 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SoloMio View Post

I should have known the day I got my very first credit card--I was just out of college in my first real job, and I got a BankAmericard (precursor to Visa for all you young'uns). I was planning on saving it for emergencies. However, ABF (at the time) talked me into using it to buy his-and-her Earth Shoes.

Different era, same sh..!
HAHAHAHA!!!! I had -completely- forgotten about earth shoes!!!! It made me smile - it also made me think of another retro reference. Remember the start of the TV show "Fame" - the theme tune would play then the dance teacher would say "Right here's where you start paying..." That should have been the opener to my first date with XABF And earth shoes are -exactly- the kind of thing my ex would have been into. I spent a lot of money on his sanctimony - he would only eat organic, he would only use million dollar eco-friendly detergent.

In fact, if he had been as concerned about his karmic footprint as he was about his carbon footprint, we would have been in good shape. Between week-long drug and alcohol binges and multiple arrests he would get back into yoga and talk a lot about good energy (oh, the hypocrisy). His body was his temple, that is during the cycles when he wasn't stuffing it with drugs that I was too sheltered to ever have even heard of. I suspect you know the drill.

We were supposed to move in together - I baulked. Some small part of me knew that I'd end up paying all the rent, buying all the groceries and more or less footing the bill. One small, tiny healthy part - thank God I had one small tiny, healthy working part..

I hope none of the above sounds bitter - I'm not. It took the better part of 18 months for me to come out of the fog and be able to pick the hypocrisy out of a lineup. I'm in a place now where I can (mostly) laugh.

Hugs,

SL x
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:06 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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"Fame" - the theme tune would play then the dance teacher would say "Right here's where you start paying..."


StillLearning,
One of my cable channels just started showing "Fame" last week.
It seems I cannot get away from the programs of my youth.
"You want to get involved with an alcoholic? Well, right now is when you start paying!"
and slam that stick on the floor.
hehehehehe

SoloMio,
I am not a business person, but have had some experience with a family owned business and education.
The phrase that came to mind for me when I read your post is,
"Stop throwing good money after bad."
Can this be put down on a balance sheet?
Broken down into dollar and cents? Return on investment?
Only if you look at your husband as a piece of equipment that continually breaks down, takes up space, does not work.
Hmm, something to think about.

Beth
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:45 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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SL and Beth,

OMG, two BRILLIANT posts. I love the "karmic footprint" -- and the notion of throwing good money after bad was exactly why I left my last relationship (with a N/A moocher). A bad investiment rarely gets better--at least not while you're holding onto it.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:25 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I used to try to look at this diease rationally too..until it kicked my a#$ so hard I really GOT that it is cunning and baffling and trying to use rational thought on something so incedibly complicated and bizzare was like trying to teach a pig to sing..wastes my time and annoys the pig!
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:17 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Thanks, guys--yeah, it's hard to quantify these kinds of losses, for sure. I hate to admit that I still haven't truly let go of how he blew threw thousands and thousands of dollars on alcohol and cocaine, but when my mother would call collect (she was destitute from the age of 50 on), he would get angry and tell me the phone calls were costing us too much. Those losses of the heart are just beyond calculation.
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