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Alcoholic "RELAPSE"...Where do you draw the line???

Old 06-30-2011, 09:56 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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SKW...I like the wanting a child/ birth control analogy and the don't know where the line is until I cross it! I can really relate to both. Thank you for sharing them.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ANEWAUGUST View Post
That too has been my experience. I did relapse 18 months ago. It was a short lived trip back to insanity. But...I bought the ticket well in advance of taking the trip..
I bought the ticket well in advance too when I relapsed after 4 years. I'm glad I made it back to recovery, and am glad you made it back too!
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:43 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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I think the problem is that we humans typically think in terms of "right" and "wrong" when in reality these are merely choices. We can choose to stay in a difficult relationship or we can choose to leave. I believe that in many cases we tend to lay the blame for unwanted outcomes at the feet of others when in fact we chose the path that brought us to those places. It's an excellent way to avoid dealing with the issues that are present... and how certain negative themes keep coming up in our lives: we chose them.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:14 PM
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sobriety isn't like lucky socks, something you bring out for special occasions. sobriety is a commitment and complete overhaul in thoughts, words, actions and deeds.
Anvil - so well put. I had to do more than hit the "Thanks" button for that. I have often said that sobriety...recovery...is like love. It is not a word; it is an action. It is who we are all day, every day. Not just when people are watching. Come to think of it, it is far more about what we do when no one but "self" is watching.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:25 PM
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How come I could only handle one and the next person can handle
5????
When my AXH was in rehab, he kept asking me questions like that.
How come I couldn't forgive him when he had met people in rehab who had lost their jobs, lost their homes, crashed their cars, ended up in jail? How come I couldn't forgive him for what he had done when there were other wives who had been able to forgive their spouses for behavior that was much worse???

The only answer I had for him was that I had told him years before that his drinking, if it continued, would wreck our marriage. I had told him that I didn't know how, or when, or where, but I knew for sure that if he did not get help, I would, eventually, leave him. And that this was his last warning. That I would not nag, complain, beg, bribe, negotiate about his alcoholism -- that he'd better listen carefully because I would say this only once.

And he didn't believe me.
But I am a woman of my word.
And so when I reached my limit -- I left.

Other people have other limits. Other people are in other phases/places in their recovery. It doesn't matter what other people can handle/want to put up with any more than it matters that other people's alcoholics might be worse behaved than mine.

When I reach my limit, I reach my limit. And I stand up straight for my right to enforce my boundary.

Don't beat yourself up, B. You drew the line when you felt it was right to draw the line, and you have every right to do so.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:21 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Darklight View Post
If you read the Big Book, it also says:

No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
This is actually not referring to staying sober, it's referring, as it says, to maintaining the principles of AA in daily living.


------------
Relapse DOES NOT have to be a part of one's path to recovery although, sadly, it often is.

With that said, I realized I had a problem with alcohol at the age of 16ish. I went to my first meeting then. Over the next 15ish years I bounced back from drinking to meetings, mostly drinking. Did I relapse? No, I never stopped drinking in the first place. At what point is it actually a relapse if I wasn't WORKING for my sobriety in the first place?
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:23 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
Just wondering, how some of you handle relapse?

Some of you accept relapse with your A and move on with
your everyday life, like it never even happened

Some of you break down and struggle when they do it again
and you hold your breath & wait for the next one

Some of you are like me, and with one relapse, IM DONE,
like burnt toast....Divorced & kicked to the curb done!!

Where do you draw the line of what is acceptable & what is not
when it comes to relapse?

How come I could only handle one and the next person can handle
5???? .......just thinking......
Hey BobbyJ ..... you're thread sort of got hijacked here. Sorry about that!
I hope you're having a great day!

How to handle your A's relapse(s)?
One day at a time
Prayer
Alanon
Breathe
Vent
and maybe one day, get to the point that you don't accept it at all ....
and maybe one day, he'll get it and stay on the wagon ...

good luck to you!
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:36 PM
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My thoughts are in red.


Originally Posted by Darklight View Post
It doesn't neccesarily make you 'narrow minded', but I think such a belief would limit one's ability to have compassion and forgiveness.

Nobody is perfect and cetainly not us recovering addicts! LOL! =)

That being said, the addict has to be willing to go to any length to achieve and maintain sobriety; it is a life-long process. If they refuse to do the work, then they will surely fail. However, they can and likely will make mistakes from time to time.

Let me put it this way: I'm sure you (BobbyJ) have done some things in your life that you knew better about, but did them anyway. I certainly have.
Would you expect someone to hold you accountable to always be perfect at all times and never make a mistake? Think about it. This is not "at all times". This is addiction. We are talking about a mistake with a life threatening addiction, not double parking in front of an apartment building here. Would you say the same about someone who had an affair, cheated on their spouse? They knew it was wrong, but did it anyways, so I should be compassionate and not expect them to be perfect all the time?

And if you did make a mistake, wouldn't you want someone to be at least a little bit compassionate and forgiving of you? -- As long as you own up to your mistakes and try your hardest to rectify them, I think you deserve some compassion. Again, this is a serious mistake we are talking about. Life changing. And that's one of her points, he's not owning up to anything, and not trying to to rectify either. He's lying and manipulating. Meanwhile years are going by, and she's still waiting for him to stop making the same mistakes. If he hasn't learned from them yet, he ain't gonna.

Now if you screwed up over and over and over again, and/or weren't working a program to change yourself, then, sure, no compassion would be forthcoming. But to say something like, "You get one chance and if you blow it, get ready for a divorce", that is not realistic nor is it compassionate. So maybe saying "you get three chances, and then we'll regroup and see what our options are" is better? I, like so many people on this forum, have been 'compassionate' with their A's going through relapse after relapse, giving chance after chance after chance. Watching them make mistake after mistake, and not standing my ground because after all, 'no one's perfect'. If I choose to lay that boundary, and say one time and we're through, then that's it. I'm being compassionate to myself, which is more important than being compassionate to anyone else in these scenarios. Some people are willing to give numerous chances when it comes to this disease. Some people aren't. The ones who aren't are usually the ones who have spent their lives already doing it, and know how much it sucks to sit by and wait for someone else to finally "get it right"



True, but just because we choose to deal with something doesn't mean that we'll do a good job or succeed every time.

"Cunning" is the key word, I think. To us addicts, our addiction is around us all the time, wherever we go. Those of us in recovery try our best to beat it each day. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.

Al-Anon partners of RA's certainly have to protect themselves first. But it's not always neccessary to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's basically my point.

Take what you like.
I don't agree with the idea of saying someone isn't compassionate because they set a boundary and want to stick to it. If someone deems that a relapse is unacceptable behavior, than so be it. I myself will not to get into a relationship with a recovering addict or alcoholic, because one relapse would be quits for me. The risk is too great, and I am never going through this disease again with a boyfriend, SO, whatever. It's just not worth it.

Just my opinion. Thanks for letting me share!
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:50 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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I don't believe anyone has said that nobody relapses if they choose to quit. Not sure where you are coming up with that.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:41 PM
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I am not afraid to say I had to look up the meaning of sophistry.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:55 PM
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Compassion and acceptance are two different things IMO. I think I have compassion for my ex. Now. Not so much when I was still with him. I have compassion for him and his struggles. I will not accept those struggles. I will not have them as a part of my life. They will never again be my struggles.

To me compassion is unrelated to giving someone a chance because they decide to dive into recovery. I own my past. I lived that past. Those things happened in my life. It doesn't so much matter if he was drunk, sober, active, dry, recovery. It is my history. I can honor that in anyway that moves me forward in a safe and healthy way. I can honor that in a way that will protect me from unwanted repeats. That, IMO, does not perclude compassion.


One definition of compassion is - a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Hmmm. I certainly have that in spades. One turn and two miles to Codieville, lol. I will no longer sacrifice myself to meet that end though.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:04 PM
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I recently shut the door on someone who relapsed because I won't let myself be subjected to anyone who doesn't treat me with respect. This was a former business partner, friend and boyfriend who had been sober 18 years. Very quickly he turned into an abusive person with distorted thinking. He accused me of stealing $100,000 from our last company when he was responsible for finances and I didn't even have access to our funds. I quickly realized I was talking to a bottle and that all I can do is take care of myself.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:53 PM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I am not afraid to say I had to look up the meaning of sophistry.
TG - I haven't said it before, but I just really dig you. LOL!!!

I think it is interesting that this thread has turned into an argument that supports the gist of the original post. Everyone has their own boundaries and limits. It's the right of each of us to decide, without externally imposed rules, what those are...

Just a thought.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:01 PM
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Compassion and acceptance are two different things IMO.
I agree.

Also, I can be compassionate toward my AXH for suffering from this disease.
I can be accepting that he is suffering fom this disease.

And I can still choose to shut him out of my life and refuse to take responsibility for his choices or his behavior under this disease. Without that making me an evil person who thinks I'm perfect.

It's a boundary. That's all.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:10 PM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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Great thread, I know I've learned from it. For one thing I'm reminded that although we're all sharing a common journey...we really are all coming with different histories.
And without knowing that history, the whole concept of coming up with an answer to the question "Where do you draw the line?" becomes very, very subjective.
Still, good sharing in this thread.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Darklight View Post
I am not saying that non-relapse alcoholics do not exist; I am saying that most addicts (including alcoholics, sex addicts, codependents, drug addicts, food addicts, gambling addicts, romance addicts, etc) do relapse at some point in the first five years of recovery. That's simply a fact. Call Hazeldon or The Meadows if you doubt me.
I don't doubt you. I've seen the revolving door at AA. BTW, my current sponsor went through The Meadows.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:59 AM
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My own observation is that a slip or a relapse in early recovery is more common than not, but I think it's a dangerous mindset (for the addict) to brush it off as "normal". It means something you need to have in place is missing. It means something needs to be adjusted. It's a wakeup call, not an "oh, well."

I do know many folks who have never had a slip or a relapse.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
One definition of compassion is - a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
This.
I have compassion for XABF. I sincerely do hope he finds a program that will work for him, so that he can live a happy and healthy life, because he does truly deserve that.
I also deserve a happy and full life, and I could not obtain that with him in my life. I was done because I was done, and there's no requirement to explain or justify that to the world. I did everything I knew to do, everything I thought to do, and none of it worked, unless becoming borderline suicidal myself counts as "working."

I was done.

I have my own ideas of what's unacceptable, and it doesn't matter if I'm the only person in the world who thinks that way. I cannot impose my will and desires on other people and their behaviors, but I can use my will and desires to determine who I do and don't want to spend time with. That doesn't mean I hate anyone, or dislike anyone, or don't have compassion for anyone - that just means that I want something different in my life.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:59 AM
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For me, "drawing the line" had nothing to do with him or any certain number of relapses. My line was internal. I had enough. My XAH got sober before I divorced him, and as far as I know, has not relapsed since (approx. 5 years). But, our marriage was over long before he decided to quit. It just took me a while to realize that. I guess maybe that means I'm not compassionate by some of your standards, but what others think of me is none of my business. My decision was based on self preservation, regardless of his sobriety or lack of, relapses or lack of.

L
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:17 PM
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Its a very interesting thread!

I am in AA and have a few good friends, i've alway said that if they went out drinking again i would still sit with them and, with these few, our friendship wouldn't suffer...i could only be there for them for when they were ready to stop of course...but like i said i am in AA and these are AA friends...i'm an alcoholic and so are they?

How many times is too many for a non-alcoholic...honestly i would say one, why stick around for the next time, if i can't stop one of my friends drinking with the solution at my fingertips what chance would someone without a solution have?

I find it very ironic that i would not put up with a partner who was in active addiction even though many partners of mine did...maybe it's because i know how futile it is and was to be involved in any way shape or form with the addict/alcoholic all the while they have little or no intention of getting help to recover?

Just my 2 cents anyway:-)
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