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Surviving Early Recovery

Old 06-22-2011, 03:51 AM
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Surviving Early Recovery

I haven't been in here for awhile...lots has happened. My husband is in early recovery. He did an outpatient program in September and relapsed in February. So he went through the effots of trying to find an inpatient rehab but his insurance deems it not medically necessary so he can go, but we would have to pay out of pocket which we cannot afford. He went through some testing and because he has quit on his own previously and he is not currently drinking they just refer him to an alcohol counselor and AA which he has been doing for the past month and a half. I am proud of him. I am doing my own work to heal. I am going to Alanon and reading a lot of books recommended by my own individual counselor. I am growing my business and going back to school next month so I'm excited. However the one thing I am struggling with is there is a disconnectedness right now between he and I. He keeps his email and phone records open to me as a starting point for rebuilding trust and to be honest I haven't even checked it lately because I am focusing on my own recovery. He has tried to explain that he is 34 and drinking over half his life and basically learning to live all over again. He doesn't share all that happens in his sessions and he said his counselor actually said not to just yet because it is still early. He explains to me he feels nothing and its not me but I hate feeling numb! I know he loves me but this transition period hurts. Before he was loving and attentive and now it seems like he is just a shell. His sobriety is first right now because I know neither of us can be functional in a coupkuple until we are healed as individuals but it hurts to lie in bed next to someone who doesn't show his feelings, etc...I know he has a disease and I wouldn't leave him if he had any other disease and was seeking treatment which he is. How do I get through this time?
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:24 AM
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i can relate to what you are going through. my AH is 3 months sober now but that first month or so he did not want to touch me, sleep with me, or make love to me. he never really told me anything about his meetings, the people, the subject matter. and to this day still hasn't told me. i think he just wants to put that part of it behind him. but i have to admit, at first i felt so rejected but i know it had a lot to do with all the meds they put him on (he is manic on top of the drinking!) so he had no desires and probably struggling with his own feelings that i had to put my needs aside. your husband will come around. and like you said, recovery first. i wish you the best.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:46 AM
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Sounds like things are going well!

Try not to stress too much about the "disconnectedness"--he is right, that he is rebuilding himself from the inside out, and that pretty much sucks up your emotional energy for the first several months. Frankly, I sorta worry about alcoholics who don't behave that way in early recovery, because it usually means they aren't doing the internal work--they just go back to being "themselves" without drinking, when it was the same "themselves" that kept getting them into trouble.

With time and recovery on both sides, you can have a good relationship again. No guarantees, of course--some relationships don't survive recovery. But you have a good shot at it.

Hugs, congrats on all you are doing for YOU.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:04 AM
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my husband just checked into an in patient program and i feel TOTALLy out of the loop. noone has contacted me, i have no idea what is going on so i have to say i can relate to your feeling of disconnection. and i worry that when he gets home, he will have changed so much over the course of the month, that i wont be able to relate b/c i didnt experience everything with him. im hoping hes keeping a journal, but as many have said, maybe he wont want to share. i just hope i can change with him and grow in a positive light.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:29 AM
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LostinLV777, I have a friend in outpatient recovery now and though our circumstances are very different, I am having the same feelings that you are experiencing. I am feeling very disconnected from someone I used to see every day, and I don't know how he is doing or what he will be like the next time I see him. I have found reading this forum to be very helpful in learning what recovery is like; everyone here is helpful and caring. Good luck with your journey!
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:41 AM
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Hi Sweet! I just noticed you are in Orange County. I am too. Maybe we will bump into each other at alanon (gosh I guess we could have already )

My RAH is in early recovery too. We are also very disconnected right now. There has been so much damage to our relationship so the disconnect for us happened before his recovery started. In the past when he was in early recovery (during prior attempts to find long term sobriety), our relationship was more intact I remember feeling very unloved. He was very quiet, very too himself and very involved in AA and meeting with his sponsor. He rarely if ever shared anything with me. I felt very left out. I really didn't understand what he was going through and how he really needed to focus on his recovery. I would get upset at his lack of attention to me. I'd like to think now that I am finding my own recovery in Alanon and have educated myself more about both his illness and my codie ways that this time it will be better for both of us. I have accepted that we both need our space to focus on what we need to do to get healthy. I really wish that right now he had the ability to give our relationship what it needs to get back on better ground, but he is just not there yet. I just keep reminding myself that his inability to give me time has nothing to do with ME. I pray for better days ahead and I guess I've given it up to my HP. Meanwhile I keep focusing in on me, reading, going to Alanon and taking the best next step for me to get back to sanity. I really understand the lying in bed next to someone who doesn't show his feelings. It has be a few months now since we have been intimate and I am guessing it might be a few more... in the long run if we can both get healthy and really have a better life it is a small price to pay.... meanwhile it just sucks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:47 PM
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Here's a way to look at this recovery business that might help. It sure helped me in my early recovery from alcoholism.

When I first started drinking I was like a small new onion. And the longer I drank I kept putting on layers of skin on the onion, until by the time I got to recovery, I was a really big onion. Now what happens in recovery and happened for me, is by going to the meetings, working with a sponsor, and a therapist for ashort time, I slowly started to peel the 'layers' of the onion away.

As I did the peeling, there would be times when I would shut down, because what had just been revealed was so very painful. Then I would work through that and continue peeling.

At 3 years sober my AA sponsor strongly suggested Alanon and to get an Alanon sponsor. I did, and lo and behold some of the layers of onion I was peeling were layers of my being a really good codie in addition to be an alcoholic. lol

So for me, the analogy of 'peeling the onion' has worked very well for me, I hope it can help you also.

Love and hugs,
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:02 PM
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Early recovery is one of the toughest experiences in life. I described it as 24/7 PMS in a full moon, so difficult that I don't think I'd ever go through it again.

I suggest writing off feelings or the lack of feelings at least for the first 90 days (six months is more realistic). Getting used to life without a drink is total upheaval and there's no way we're ready for real feelings yet.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:15 PM
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so glad I read this.

My RA friend is 2 weeks into AA meetings and recovery. My first ever experience with this stuff, he is living in a different city far from me for a work contract, I don't know where he lives or with whom, I don't know anything thats going on at all and its weird and difficult as he used to share everything with me. He emails me a few lines once a day, its very narrow focussed, no emotion and lots of AA talk, I suppose its better than nothing.

I feel less alone thanks to this thread.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:34 PM
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I love this site. I cannot explain the comfort I feel in knowing I can share and get counsel from others in my shoes. Like right now he's already in bed because he works early and I sit here alone watching TV but he went to counseling this afternoon and it was a quiet evening because I guess he is absorbing a lot. I just miss him so much is all. I feel so lonely.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:50 PM
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Mine is in bed too... has been since a little past 9:00. Hang in there... I think things will get better.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:55 PM
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pixipie - I think an email a day is better than nothing. Just as my friend's treatment was beginning, he sent me a message asking not to text or call, in response to some texts and a voice mail that I had left for him. Having heard nothing from him since, even just a line or two about anything at all would give me some idea of where hes at. Every time I walk past his empty office, I wish I knew how he was doing.

Alone22, laurie6781 & NYCDoglvr - thank you for sharing your experiences with early recovery. Everyone's input is, as sweetteewalls said, very comforting.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetteewalls View Post
I love this site. I cannot explain the comfort I feel in knowing I can share and get counsel from others in my shoes. Like right now he's already in bed because he works early and I sit here alone watching TV but he went to counseling this afternoon and it was a quiet evening because I guess he is absorbing a lot. I just miss him so much is all. I feel so lonely.
...and the alternative is...... Like my on and off RAH relapsing, drinking, and I'm in another room watching tv alone and pissed off ... Count your blessings and best of luck to you!

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Old 06-23-2011, 08:18 AM
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Study on Addiction and Recovery ...

I just read a very interesting article on the Time.com website, it includes new studies involving addiction and how it affects different parts of the brain.

Some of the most interesting information is why the addicted brain is different ... and how decision making is hampered yet can start to improve after 90 days of abstinence and recovery. It can take up to a year or more for optimal improvement. It turns out research is finding AA had a lot of things right regarding recovery and treatment.

It is reassuring knowing there are real reasons why early recovery is so challenging.

One important discovery: evidence is building to support the 90-day rehabilitation model, which was stumbled upon by AA (new members are advised to attend a meeting a day for the first 90 days) and is the duration of a typical stint in a drug-treatment program. It turns out that this is just about how long it takes for the brain to reset itself and shake off the immediate influence of a drug. Researchers at Yale University have documented what they call the sleeper effect--a gradual re-engaging of proper decision making and analytical functions in the brain's prefrontal cortex--after an addict has abstained for at least 90 days.

Read more: How We Get Addicted - TIME
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:40 AM
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Thank you for sharing that article, it's quite interesting. I wonder why some treatments are 3 weeks, or 28 days, or 30 days, if 90 seems to work best...
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:19 PM
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Actually, my understanding is that it's the other way around. The "90 days" thing started with the rehabs and has from there crept into the AA meetings (via recommendations of "90 meetings in 90 days"--probably figuring that if it's good enough for the rehabs...). Some AAs are VERY dismissive of the "90 in 90" because it isn't going to meetings that keeps you sober, it's doing the Step work. While I do agree that "90 in 90" isn't magic and isn't a substitute for the Step work, I did it and I'm glad I did, for many reasons. It was good for me, which isn't to say it's good for everybody.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:59 PM
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He is home sleeping after work so he can get up and be alert for his AA meeting tonight. I miss the connection and feel insignificant and I have to constantly remind myself of the long run. Its sucks for the person you love to be right next to you and yet so far. I guess that's why I am working on myself....I know.
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