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Blindsided

Old 04-06-2011, 04:21 AM
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Blindsided

I'm really just trying to process what just occurred so I'm posting what happened yesterday.

My addict/alcoholic husband & I are separated because of his last (severe) relapse. I said he couldn't come home from jail (45 days in jail after vandalizing the hotel room where he'd been on a binge), that he needed to go to rehab. I wanted him to go to one where they have a focus on family restoration. The places that fit that criteria were too restrictive in his opinion. So, he found a halfway house that has random UA/drug screenings and requires 4 meetings/week (they have zero tolerance for relapse). He's been there since mid Feb. and no problems.

His history is that he really gets his act together well after a serious relapse. He's extraordinarily good at rehab -- meaning he becomes a model patient. He stays clean for a year or two, then another relapse (this is a rough idea of what most of his life has been like).

He also got his job back which was a huge vote of confidence from his boss. His re-employment was on new, stricter terms but other than that, it's like he was never gone.

He & I had been getting along really well. We hadn't really delved into any serious matters other than a handful of times which pretty much resulted in a stalemate. We'd talked about seeing a counselor but never came up with an actual plan. We're attending a new church together and also a home group with a couple of friends.

We see each other on weekends...it's almost like we're dating...and we had an excellent weekend just this past week.

So, I call him yesterday afternoon (he'd taken the day off because of being congested/likely has a respiratory infection...also little work yesterday) and I IMMEDIATELY noticed slurred speech. I asked him (nicely, NOT accusatory) if he'd been drinking...he answered no (sounding a little exasperated). I asked him if he was on anything and he said no, nothing other than theraflu. I asked him if it's the formula with dextromethorphan which he's abused in the recent past and he said he wasn't sure (doubt he doesn't know which one he's taking!!!). I said (believing his story that it was cold medicine), you better be careful being around people from your program tonite because you're really slurring your speech. At which point, he said he didn't care (what???)...I asked him if he just said he didn't care to see if I heard him correctly and he confirmed he had said he didn't care. Let me say right here that my AH isn't really the "I don't care" rebel type so for him to say he didn't care doesn't sound characteristic at all. Moreover, it's either living where he's living or he's HOMELESS and he knows that. I've taken a firm but loving stance (justifiably so) and told him I need to see at least 6 months of sobriety plus change before I could even begin to start trusting him again so he can't be thinking that he could come back home if he gets kicked out of where he's living.

I want to emphasize that I couldn't have been nicer throughout our whole conversation yesterday. I warned him to be careful around his meeting that night which is a NORMAL, LOYAL, CARING thing to do out of concern for his getting in trouble for something he was telling me was a FLUKE.

He ended up ending the call by saying....I guess I'll talk to you later since you think I'm talking weird......which kinda has a slight belligerent/accusatory feel. Again, I wasn't accusatory or mean...I even assured him that he didn't need to apologize to me for sounding strange when I first told him he sounded 'off'. I said there was no need to apologize for that. What was strange was that shortly after I told him there was no need to apologize, he ended up apologizing twice more....what?!?

So, here's the deal: I felt confused when I hung up but then I remembered that each time that I THOUGHT he was using when he was drinking at home before he left on his last binge, I was right. So, I'm probably right now. There's no way a sober, 47 year old man talks so obviously different, slurring his speech, misspeaking words, unless something's going on (ok, other than a brain tumor or something). I'm just so blindsided because it doesn't fit his past m.o. of getting his act together.

I know that alcoholism & addiction is progressive so that could be it right there. One thing that has me thrown off is that I have no real proof...only the obvious evidence. I don't need proof for any other reason than that if I have concrete proof, I don't have to go through any of the crap that occurs with him acting like I'M the crazy one for thinking such a thing.

I've made it abundantly clear to him where I stand in all of this and it's a gravely serious matter if he has in fact relapsed. I guess if I could ask for any feedback, it would be how I could state my case about knowing that SOMETHING was going on but not get thrown off by not having actual proof.

One more thing: it was completely uncharacteristic of him to not call me last night - usually we talk each evening between 9 & 10. He didn't call me at all last night and I didn't call him because I just didn't know what to say, nor did I want to have any kind of repeat of the previous confusing conversation.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:02 AM
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You'll know what's going on soon enough.

Your instincts are probably correct.

However "loving and caring" you were on the phone, though, it WAS an interrogation. You wanted him to tell you whether he was drinking or not. You questioned him about his choice of cold medication, told him to "be careful" around his meeting because he was slurring.

Of course, he deflected the accusation. That's normal alcoholic behavior.

Are you going to Al-Anon? If not, I strongly suggest it.

Yes, it's a progressive disease. And people progressively find it harder to "bounce back" from a relapse.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:40 AM
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Trust your gut.

Your instincts are trying to tell you something. Something is off.

"be patient, more will be revealed"
This slogan has been true in my personal life. My exAH got sober when I served him with divorce papers. We have been divorced two years this month.

Things were going well with his sobriety. We continued to communicate (long distance) and visited on occassion. Then I noticed slurred speech one day. Explanation: "I'm just really really tired."

It happened again about 6 weeks later. Explanation: "someone put something in my tea. I woke with a terrible headache the next day"

After a year of sobriety, and a few conversations of dating and establishing a long distance relationship; I got a call on my cell phone accidentally. He hip dialed me (bumped into his phone and it redialed the last number called) I listened for 5 minutes to his conversations at a bar with him buying shots.

The next day, (I dont say a word) and he tells me he was sorry he didnt call the night before because he was so tired he fell asleep on the couch as soon as he got home. Busted! I called him out on his BS and haven't spoken to him since.

I recommend giving yourself all the time and space you need. You are worth the patience, energy, efforts!
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:47 AM
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I have done the whole gamut of attempts to "help" my husband see his how problematic his drinking was. I yelled, screamed, cried, was super nice, compassionate, loving... I tried it all. There were times that he even asked me to help... "could you just remind me that I only want to drink 2?"

The problem with all of that is that it puts me smack dab in the middle of his business.

Trust your gut and pay attention to actions. There's no need to call him out... That won't do anything good, for either of you.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:04 AM
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Wow...

My addict/alcoholic husband & I are separated because of his last (severe) relapse. No, you are separated because he is a practicing alcoholic/addict who has periods of sobriety.


IMMEDIATELY noticed slurred speech. I asked him (nicely, NOT accusatory) if he'd been drinking...he answered no (sounding a little exasperated). I asked him if he was on anything and he said no, nothing other than theraflu. I asked him if it's the formula with dextromethorphan which he's abused in the recent past and he said he wasn't sure (doubt he doesn't know which one he's taking!!!). I said (believing his story that it was cold medicine), you better be careful being around people from your program tonite because you're really slurring your speech. It doesn't matter if you asked nicely. You asked. You already knew he was drunk. It was passive aggressive and controlling to have the rest of the conversation, not to mention a complete waste of time. The moment you knew he'd been drinking is the moment somebody in Alanon recovery would have hung up the phone (nicely).

I want to emphasize that I couldn't have been nicer throughout our whole conversation yesterday. I warned him to be careful around his meeting that night which is a NORMAL, LOYAL, CARING thing to do out of concern for his getting in trouble for something he was telling me was a FLUKE. It doesn't matter if you were nice. Nice doesn't matter. This, too, was passive-aggressive and controlling, and you were actually trying to protect him from the consequences of his drinking! Good God.

He ended up ending the call by saying....I guess I'll talk to you later since you think I'm talking weird......which kinda has a slight belligerent/accusatory feel. Again, I wasn't accusatory or mean...I even assured him that he didn't need to apologize to me for sounding strange when I first told him he sounded 'off'. I said there was no need to apologize for that. What was strange was that shortly after I told him there was no need to apologize, he ended up apologizing twice more....what?!? He was drunk, and probably feeling guilty. After all this time did you really expect anything different?

So, here's the deal: I felt confused when I hung up but then I remembered that each time that I THOUGHT he was using when he was drinking at home before he left on his last binge, I was right. So, I'm probably right now. There's no way a sober, 47 year old man talks so obviously different, slurring his speech, misspeaking words, unless something's going on (ok, other than a brain tumor or something). I'm just so blindsided because it doesn't fit his past m.o. of getting his act together. Why are you still trying to figure this out and understand it? He was drunk. You know it. He's an alcoholic who knows how to play the rehab game. You know it. What's left to figure out? Good God, decide how it is you want to live the rest of your life and if it's not like this make a change. Do you go to Alanon? If not, please seriously consider it. It will help you.

I know that alcoholism & addiction is progressive so that could be it right there. One thing that has me thrown off is that I have no real proof...only the obvious evidence. I don't need proof for any other reason than that if I have concrete proof, I don't have to go through any of the crap that occurs with him acting like I'M the crazy one for thinking such a thing. This is BS. You are lying to yourself and you know it. You have so much real proof, years worth, that if it were water you'd be drowning in it. Seriously? Good God.

I've made it abundantly clear to him where I stand in all of this and it's a gravely serious matter if he has in fact relapsed. I guess if I could ask for any feedback, it would be how I could state my case about knowing that SOMETHING was going on but not get thrown off by not having actual proof. What alcoholics hear when we say stuff like this: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

One more thing: it was completely uncharacteristic of him to not call me last night - usually we talk each evening between 9 & 10. He didn't call me at all last night and I didn't call him because I just didn't know what to say, nor did I want to have any kind of repeat of the previous confusing conversation. One more thing. Alcoholism is progressive, and what is characteristic in the past will not necessarily be characteristic in the future. I'll tell you this, it's completely characteristic for an alcoholic.

Please, please, please find an Alanon meeting and go as often as possible. It's an emergency for you.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:25 AM
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Hello Whitecat

So, I call him yesterday afternoon (he'd taken the day off because of being congested/likely has a respiratory infection...also little work yesterday) and I IMMEDIATELY noticed slurred speech. I asked him (nicely, NOT accusatory) if he'd been drinking...he answered no (sounding a little exasperated). I asked him if he was on anything and he said no, nothing other than theraflu. I asked him if it's the formula with dextromethorphan which he's abused in the recent past and he said he wasn't sure (doubt he doesn't know which one he's taking!!!). I said (believing his story that it was cold medicine), you better be careful being around people from your program tonite because you're really slurring your speech. At which point, he said he didn't care (what???)...I asked him if he just said he didn't care to see if I heard him correctly and he confirmed he had said he didn't care.
Do you attend Al-Anon? Al-Anon would help you untangle yourself from his recovery. He doesn't really need you instructing him on how to handle is meetings. Al-Anon might also help you come up with a plan for how you want to handle conversations where you think he's been drinking. Questioning him about it is probably only going to annoy both of you because he isn't going to be truthful, you know what you know. You just have to decide what you are going to do about it.

So, here's the deal: I felt confused when I hung up but then I remembered that each time that I THOUGHT he was using when he was drinking at home before he left on his last binge, I was right. So, I'm probably right now. <snip> I know that alcoholism & addiction is progressive so that could be it right there.
I agree with all of that. You know what you know. You do not need tangible proof. Trust you intuition. You have years of history and life lessons that serve as your proof.

I don't have to go through any of the crap that occurs with him acting like I'M the crazy one for thinking such a thing.
Detach. You don't need to go through the crazy making. Well, it is always a little crazy but detaching works better then proof because IME, even with proof it gets crazy. Al-Anon and SR helped me to detach from the crazy.

I've made it abundantly clear to him where I stand in all of this and it's a gravely serious matter if he has in fact relapsed. I guess if I could ask for any feedback, it would be how I could state my case about knowing that SOMETHING was going on but not get thrown off by not having actual proof.
Maybe just tell him that you need some time to think things through. Trusting your intuition doesn't mean you need a big show down by sunset. It will be clear soon enough if he is on the path of relapse or recovery.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:34 PM
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Thanks to all who took the time to reply ~

Lexie, I have a question...you said: Of course, he deflected the accusation. That's normal alcoholic behavior. What was the accusation? Also, do you differentiate between interrogation & inquiry? I'm taking a class on conversation and it's customary to inquire (or echo & inquire) when something isn't understood....it's how information is shared. Interrogation has a different connotation to me...more like what the police would do. So, just wanted to ask if you differentiate between the two.

((((Pelican))))) Thank you for sharing your story. Thanks also for your last line of encouragement!

Getting By....this is my H's third relapse since we've been married. I believe he's gonna do what he wants to do and he's not gonna do what he doesn't want to do....it just feels strange to be 99% sure something happened but not have tangible proof. It's hard when you're dealing with someone who can/will likely capitalize on that. It's important for ME to know so I can make the best decision for me. Thanks for the validation to trust my gut and watch his actions. As you probably know, when you're so close to someone who's actively using, sometimes you get thrown off. That's why I like to write out what happened...so I can get my perspective back. Thanks.

Thumper...thank you for your thoughtful response. I especially appreciate your idea of telling him I need time to think things through. I know your showdown by sunset comment was tongue in cheek but I want to clarify that I didn't want a BIG confrontation. I'm not the confrontational type...I don't like yelling or drama...it's just that at this point, I hate it when things that happen can be twisted so it feels good (in a very wrong way!) to have proof. You know what I mean, right? You walk around suspecting things are off, whether it's alcohol or whatever, and you finally find something concrete and then you think, OK, at least that puts all those odd, awful feelings to rest. It's not like you're happy there's a problem; just the validation that you're not crazy after all, I guess.

Cyranoak....where to begin?

First, in the spirit of inquiring (so as to not make a judgment call without first getting clarification)...what are you trying to convey when you say "Good God"? Also, same question for opening your post with "Wow..."

As far as your second response, in the same spirit of inquiry, how do you know the rest of my conversation was passive-aggressive and controlling? You said..."You knew he was drunk." I did not. That's why I asked. To call something passive-aggressive and controlling without first asking what my motives were feels judgmental to me.

In your third response, you also stated that I was being passive-aggressive and controlling....for what exactly? You went on to say that I was "actually trying to protect him from the consequences of his drinking."....was that what you're calling passive-aggressive and controlling? Also, to clarify....I was cautioning him to be careful believing it was his cold medicine that was causing the problem...in other words I took him at his word. It was in the same way I would want someone to warn me if something I was inadvertently or innocently doing was potentially going to cause a serious problem.

On your sixth response, you said: This is BS. You are lying to yourself and you know it. You have so much real proof, years worth, that if it were water you'd be drowning in it. Seriously? Good God. I notice another "Good God" but before that, a "Seriously?" Please tell me what you're trying to convey by saying "Seriously?"

Cyranoak, I'm asking you these questions in good faith...I look forward to hearing your reasoning behind the words you chose.

********

Again, thanks for taking time to respond to me.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:00 PM
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Ok, here goes...

Hi Whitecat,

First and foremost let me say I'm sorry for being an *******. Secondly let me say that applying your conversation class to an alcoholic is probably not super helpful. They don't communicate normally and you have to know that after all of these years. Third, you really are nice. Super nice. Dang it!

So, as to your questions:

First, in the spirit of inquiring (so as to not make a judgment call without first getting clarification)...what are you trying to convey when you say "Good God"? Also, same question for opening your post with "Wow..." Good God is what I say when I think somebody isn't seeing things as they really are. Wow is what I say when I'm speechless.

As far as your second response, in the same spirit of inquiry, how do you know the rest of my conversation was passive-aggressive and controlling? You said..."You knew he was drunk." I did not. That's why I asked. To call something passive-aggressive and controlling without first asking what my motives were feels judgmental to me. There is as principle in recovery called "Spot it, Got it." I am passive-aggressive and controlling and I know it when I see it or read about it. And, you did know he was drunk. Can you honestly, looking into your heart, say for a second that you truly believed it was medicine or anything else? If so, you've been so immersed in his world you've lost touch with the way everybody else reacts to cold medicine... unless they've had so much they are drunk on it. Your motives are immaterial in my opinion.

In your third response, you also stated that I was being passive-aggressive and controlling....for what exactly? You went on to say that I was "actually trying to protect him from the consequences of his drinking."....was that what you're calling passive-aggressive and controlling? Also, to clarify....I was cautioning him to be careful believing it was his cold medicine that was causing the problem...in other words I took him at his word. It was in the same way I would want someone to warn me if something I was inadvertently or innocently doing was potentially going to cause a serious problem. There are a few problems here, the first being that you took him at his word. He's an alcoholic. They lie unless they are fully engaged in recovery. You really still trust him? Really? And, unless you were trying to protect people other than him maybe because he was driving, you absolutely were trying to keep him out of trouble by what you said. This is, definitively, controlling passive aggressively.

On your sixth response, you said: This is BS. You are lying to yourself and you know it. You have so much real proof, years worth, that if it were water you'd be drowning in it. Seriously? Good God. I notice another "Good God" but before that, a "Seriously?" Please tell me what you're trying to convey by saying "Seriously?" By saying "Seriously" I'm expressing doubt that you really believe what you wrote. By saying Good God I'm again expressing exasperation that you actually believe what you wrote.

Again, my apologies for being such an *******. Your response was so kind and reasoned I actually resent you for it. How dare you be so sweet.

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

Cyranoak

P.s. I stand by my conviction that you know he was drunk. Every single time you suspect, for even a moment, that he is drunk he is drunk. He's earned that supposition. Don't ignore the evidence out of love or hope.

P.p.s. Please consider going to Alanon sooner than later.

P.p.p.s. You could probably boil this down to me being a dick. But a caring dick.


Originally Posted by whitecat View Post
Cyranoak....where to begin?

First, in the spirit of inquiring (so as to not make a judgment call without first getting clarification)...what are you trying to convey when you say "Good God"? Also, same question for opening your post with "Wow..."

As far as your second response, in the same spirit of inquiry, how do you know the rest of my conversation was passive-aggressive and controlling? You said..."You knew he was drunk." I did not. That's why I asked. To call something passive-aggressive and controlling without first asking what my motives were feels judgmental to me.

In your third response, you also stated that I was being passive-aggressive and controlling....for what exactly? You went on to say that I was "actually trying to protect him from the consequences of his drinking."....was that what you're calling passive-aggressive and controlling? Also, to clarify....I was cautioning him to be careful believing it was his cold medicine that was causing the problem...in other words I took him at his word. It was in the same way I would want someone to warn me if something I was inadvertently or innocently doing was potentially going to cause a serious problem.

On your sixth response, you said: This is BS. You are lying to yourself and you know it. You have so much real proof, years worth, that if it were water you'd be drowning in it. Seriously? Good God. I notice another "Good God" but before that, a "Seriously?" Please tell me what you're trying to convey by saying "Seriously?"

Cyranoak, I'm asking you these questions in good faith...I look forward to hearing your reasoning behind the words you chose.

********

Again, thanks for taking time to respond to me.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:41 PM
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Anvilhead (like that screen name...),

YOU suspected he was under the influence....right? now you could have just noted that....and not said anything

I suspected so I asked...it's normal to do so. Also, I was @ the grocery store when we were talking on the phone so I wasn't thinking ONLY of my phone call at the time. Yeah, I guess he could have been truthful...how would I know unless I asked.

"you asked him. he said no. that should have been the end of it. it doesn't matter how NICE your were, and that seems to be very important to you, you asked, he answered. but you wouldn't let it go." I asked him once if he'd been drinking, once if he was on anything, once if he was taking medicine with dxm. I'm following a logic-chain. Your characterization of me not letting it go is not a fair characterization....maybe if I'd repeated the same question several times, yes. Also, I was emphasizing that I was being nice (which IS important to me/isn't that important to everyone?) to correctly communicate the tone of the convo.

"he knows what's at risk." You're right. "you guys have spun this one a bunch of times before" This is his third relapse since we've been married. I included his history of relapse & abstinence in my post to make the point that if he's relapsed now, it doesn't fit his m.o. I guess in your vernacular, we've spun it three times now.

"what you have here is a pattern of behavior on both of your parts, a cycle"...you probably should ask more questions before you assume what kinds of patterns are in place. Each time a relapse has occurred, I've gone thru a change I didn't elaborate much on my current stance because I'm not inclined to at this time.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:48 PM
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Cryanoak can you beat me over the head too? While your approach is somewhat harsh I do think you are spot on. I get where you are coming from, but I also get where Whitecat is at too. Even if something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck it may not be a duck. If you are going to change your life if it is a duck you want to make dang sure it is a duck first.

Whitecat I feel for you. You don't want to trust your gut but you know it is most likely right. I agree with the others about going to alanon. It will help you detach from wanting to control and know about the recovery or lack there of. The focus becomes on you and what behavior is acceptable to you. It is not the addiction you don't like it is the behavior that comes from it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:29 PM
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The police are very skilled at eliciting incriminating statements with kind, empathetic comments. It makes it no less an interrogation because there was no bright light shining in his eyes and no phone book to smack him in the head with. The police don't do that anymore. The kind, empathetic commentary and sympathetic questioning is more effective, and it doesn't get thrown out of court. Trust me, I do this for a living. You don't win points in front of a jury by browbeating the witness. I can do it with great "niceness".

Just clarifying, since you asked. The point of your questions was to get at the truth, not to exchange information like, "What would you like for dinner the first night you're home?" "How is your roommate doing?" "How is the weather there--it looked bad on TV." THOSE are requests for information.

Clearer, now?
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:51 PM
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Fair enough...

...but I would argue this-- If it's acting like a duck it doesn't matter if it's really a duck. Even if it tells you it's not a duck, it's acting like one. Even if you are not sure it's a duck, it's acting like one. Even if you love it and wish it were not a duck, it's acting like one. Even if it does not look to you like it's a duck, it's acting like one. Even if other people say it isn't a duck, it's acting like a duck. Even if you tell other people it's not a duck, it's acting like one.

Therefore, you treat it like a duck.

And, of course, what really matters is how you want to live. Are you happy with "it," whatever "it" is? If not, make a change. If so, continue. Whether or not it's a duck is fairly irrelevant.

Cyranoak


Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
Cryanoak can you beat me over the head too? While your approach is somewhat harsh I do think you are spot on. I get where you are coming from, but I also get where Whitecat is at too. Even if something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck it may not be a duck. If you are going to change your life if it is a duck you want to make dang sure it is a duck first.

Whitecat I feel for you. You don't want to trust your gut but you know it is most likely right. I agree with the others about going to alanon. It will help you detach from wanting to control and know about the recovery or lack there of. The focus becomes on you and what behavior is acceptable to you. It is not the addiction you don't like it is the behavior that comes from it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:34 PM
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Cyranoak... totally agree. That is where I am at. I personally would have never asked if he had been drinking and would have waited to see if there was more quacking(duck behavior) to validate my gut. Behavior is everything. While I care if my AH is drinking, because it is BAD for his health, it is the behavior that comes with drinking that is the problem. If my AH isn't drinking but his behavior is not acceptable that is what matters. As we all have seen here just because someone is not using/drinking doesn't make them a wonderful person. Focus is on me and what I find acceptable. Drinking, not drinking, recovered, not recovered... doesn't improve my relationship... how I am being treated does.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:16 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
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Cyranoak, thanks for responding.

"There is as principle in recovery called "Spot it, Got it." Yes, I'm somewhat familiar with the term Spot It, Got It. I first heard it when I was talking with a friend who's in recovery (sober for years now). He was 'accused' of something on the basis of Spot It, Got It by some guy who thinks of himself as pretty high in the AA pecking order. I know it didn't sit too well with my friend and it got me thinking...it really is a black & white statement. That same friend grew up in a seriously abusive home (two abusive, sick parents), started drinking & eventually got sober. He's one of the most insightful people I know and I think a lot of what he spots, he gets because he was on the receiving end of some pretty sick stuff. I too grew up in an abusive home and I've basically been fighting my way out of a corner most of my life. I think once you come thru that, you develop sharper observational skills as a byproduct of that environment. So, the point is I don't think it's an airtight theory.

I am passive-aggressive and controlling and I know it when I see it or read about it. You know?!? Wow. I guess wow is what I also say when I'm speechless (sorry, couldn't resist...).

"There are a few problems here, the first being that you took him at his word. He's an alcoholic. They lie unless they are fully engaged in recovery." You have a point. I'd seen some positive signs so it wasn't completely unreasonable to want to trust him.

"And, unless you were trying to protect people other than him maybe because he was driving, you absolutely were trying to keep him out of trouble by what you said."....I'd said this: I was cautioning him to be careful believing it was his cold medicine that was causing the problem...in other words I took him at his word. It was in the same way I would want someone to warn me if something I was inadvertently or innocently doing was potentially going to cause a serious problem. See above paragraph....

"By saying "Seriously" I'm expressing doubt that you really believe what you wrote. By saying Good God I'm again expressing exasperation that you actually believe what you wrote." I thought I was reading you right when you were expressing exasperation and doubt....ouch!!. Thanks for apologizing.

"P.p.p.s. You could probably boil this down to me being a dick. But a caring dick." Thanks for caring.


Alone22, you said...Whitecat I feel for you. Thanks. It is hard. I'm sorry you have to deal with an AH also.

Lexie, thanks for responding. I still didn't get where you thought an accusation was made. As far as the difference between and interrogation & an inquiry, I got the word 'inquire' from a class I'm in. In the book, it states that the two key techniques for understanding communication are nondefensive echo & inquire. It goes on to state that we can clarify meaning by asking questions. That's what I did. I guess I'm confused how my asking questions in order to understand has been called an interrogation unless maybe the two are interchangeable.

Thanks again, all...
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:38 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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It goes on to state that we can clarify meaning by asking questions. That's what I did.
Yes, with 'normal' folks this is true. However, any question asked of an A in early recovery comes across as an accusation. They have lived in fear and guilt so long, that even though you don't think you were interrogating him, to him it felt like it. It would have to me also in early recovery. A's lie. It has been there 'mode of operating' for many years. Ask any police office who has done numerous DUI stops and when the person is asked how much they have had to drink the most often heard answer is 2. Not the 8, 10, 12 or whatever they really had, but 2. A's lie.

To tell him, like he was a child to be careful at his meeting was enabling. Why say anything. His actions, his consequences. If it was just the cold medicine, he is an adult and can explain to those that might inquire at his meeting.

I would strongly suggest that you get to AlAnon and also get and read, with a highlighter pen "Co Dependent No More" by Melodie Beattie. Then go back and write about what you highlighted. Then when done, read it again with a different colored highlighter and do the same thing again.

Even though you are living apart you are still trying to enable and control HIS recovery.

I do believe that you knew, as soon as you heard the slurring that he was drinking, and are still in some denial that it is happening again.

Maybe for both you and him, it might be a good idea to go No Contact for a few weeks and you continue to work on you and allow him to focus on his recovery.

I only say these things because I have been on both sides of this coin.

I was a practicing alcoholic for 24 years, found recovery in June of '81 and on my 3rd anniversary my AA sponsor strongly suggested I start attending AlAnon also, right away. I did so I have been in both programs, continuing to grow and change for quite a few years now.

Tomorrow, got back and read your original post and your responses as if it was someone else, with an open mind and see how you react. See what you would tell that stranger.

I understand that you still love this man, that you want him so badly to find recovery, but .................... stay out of it. This is one he has to do ON HIS OWN, and you have to work on you to change your ways also.

We are not here to 'beat' you down. We are here to share our Experience, Strength and Hope (ES&H) from our own personal experiences. We have all been where you are and many of us have done what you have done and with the help of others were able to see where our/my denial was still in force.

Please keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing as we do care so very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Phew - I don't know how to react to this post, except to say "phew".
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:02 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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I see it not so much about "how" you ask the questions as much as "what" you are asking about. Is there an undercurrent of trying to control? In this case, I think there is. The communication techniques mentioned are well and good if you are trying to understand someone elses veiwpoint. But just because you apply proper communication guidelines to controlling, doesn't mean it's not still controlling.

I find it's important to look at my motivation. What I say or do, and how I say or do it is less relevant than why I am doing it.

L
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:18 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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LexieCat asked me to explain my post from last night - and I realize it is probably the correct thing to do here. Whitecat, this thread was hard to read as I recognize myself in a lot of what you posted. Trying to understand something that is irrational and respond to it as a rational person would. This is NOT a rational situation, and the more you try to "understand" and "make sense" of an irrational and illogical situation, the more crazy YOU will become.

Instead of relying on "normal" patterns of interaction that you are learning in your class, you need to educate yourself to addictions and alcoholism and understand a different way of interacting and communicating with your A..."normal" anything doesn't apply to these people, especially when they are actively using.

It is not a normal situation, normal rules of engagement don't apply, normal communication is ineffective, and as many have pointed out, offensive to the user anyway, so you end up digging yourself an even bigger hole. Several people talk repeatedly on this forum of stopping the urge to buy bread at the hardware store. That's a great analogy...everything you currently know won't work in this situation.

Read the stickies at the top of the F&F home page. Go read books on alcoholism and addiction. Go to Al-Anon and talk to those people who have been in your shoes. Keep coming back here and ask questions, but do so with an open mind if you intend to stay in this relationship, because the only way to be in a relationship with an active user is to change your approach entirely to the addiction.

Good luck, sorry for what may have sounded like sarcasm, I think I meant it as more relief that I have slowly let go of the urge to make sense of the nonsensical.

~T

Last edited by Tuffgirl; 04-07-2011 at 08:19 AM. Reason: not enough coffee to spell correctly!!!
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:43 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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I feel like it does not matter if he is using or not.
His behavior is odd, and does not allow for normal response or interaction.
If he is clean, then he still needs the help, and he needs to find that on his own.

You can be supportive and nice and not engage, and he may still act drunk, be drunk, or otherwise do/say bizarre things.

His consequences are his, and you know that.
Its hard to just sit back and let go, but that is what is called for for him to get anywhere.

And he may not. This is your work in letting go, and getting on with having a good day with, by and for yourself, and what is within your immediate control.
Easier said than done, but it does get done. Miracles happen everyday, read some of the recent success posts from our SR family.

Keep on keepin on!
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:14 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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It sounds like you have all of the answers to your problem...

Im a bit confussed of why you are posting on SR?
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