Not sure how to feel...but scared

Old 08-03-2011, 09:36 AM
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Not sure how to feel...but scared

I called my "R"AH at work to ask a question and I had a huge surprise dropped on me. A little history... he has struggled for sobriety for at least the past 8 years going to AA off and on, tried counseling but has continued to sneak and drink. It has been a slow destruction of our marriage as it has progressed. He has become reclusive, irritable and on occasion down right mean. He is high functioning but currently has a job that he can not stand. He came home Monday telling me it was 50/50 that he was going to quit his job. That in itself freaked me out, but yesterday he confirmed that he was just blowing off steam and would not actually quit. The past month or two he has been actively looking for new employment. I do not work and we have 3 kids so him not working would be a huge financial blow.

Today he tells me that he is not doing good, wants to take a leave of absence from work and go to outpatient rehab. Since this is his determination and not mine at all I know I should feel good that he is taking a positive step forward in his recovery (and I am) but I am freaking out because I guess fear of the unknown. I am worried about him, worried about what to tell the kids, worried about money, .... I am trying to remember all that I have learned in Al-anon but my head is pounding with so much concern it is just not coming.

Is this the door opening to a better future? or is this the final crash and burn? I know no one knows for sure and I need to just give it up to my HP but I can't help but be concerned. I don't even know what to say to him. In fact I don't even know what I did say to him. I am in shock. Thank GOD I have a therapy appointment today!

Any words of wisdom would be greatly helpful!
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:25 AM
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Just a thought - how about some words of encouragement to him for being willing to take this huge step? He admitted he isn't doing well and needs some extra support. That is awesome! So many people here wait and wait and wait for this very moment! Tell him you are super proud of him and support whatever he decides. Give him a big kiss and tell him you love him.

The rest will fall into place, whether you worry about it or not.

So happy for you!
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:16 AM
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Sounds to me like he wants your permission to leave his job. If you say okay, take a leave of absense, chances are he will never go back. Or to rehab for that matter. At least, that's what my past experience was.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:59 PM
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I'm cynical so I'm going to hold my tongue about what I think of his actions.

On the questions about you though - I think everything you are feeling is completely normal. If you were my best friend, sitting across the table, and i was going to give you my heartfelt advice - it would be to get a plan together that will lead you towards being able to take care of yourself and your children, independently. You can't go wrong there. He finds recovery and is successful beyond your wildest imagination, and you still won't regret putting together a plan of self sufficiency...and if you need your plan - you'll be forever thankful you have it.

My dream from the time I was a little girl was to be a mom. Nothing else. I wanted to be a mom, that stayed home, and raise her kids. Do all the mom and family things. I basically had no career aspiration at all. That is my 'dream' today. It is all I have ever wanted and my xah and I talked about it constantly. My plan B, pounded into me every day by my own mother, was to take care of myself. It was her gift to me. I can't even tell you how thankful I am today that I am able to support myself and my children.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:38 PM
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I have had a chance to take a breath and not just knee jerk to his announcement. I think those that responded kind of expressed how I was feeling and why. Part of me feels like I should be embracing this and giving him all the support I can, however the other part of me is cynical thinking this could be just another way to ride this roller coaster and more manipulation on his part. I do have to say I feel like I do know him, even the progressed alcoholic him and he sounds sincere, but that in itself doesn't mean rehab = positive future.

I was raised much like you thumper and I was very determined that I would always be able to take care of myself (and my kids). My father is also an alcoholic and my mom didn't leave although she really wanted to. Her lack of ability to make enough money stopped her. I went to college, started a good career, stopped working after our second baby was born with the full intention of going back a few years later. Well a few years later we had a surprise baby so it just made sense for me to continue to stay home. Honestly it made me very uncomfortable but I felt my HP wanted me to stay home. I have been looking into going back to work, and now it looks as if I am going to have to look more seriously at it.

I want to think this is a good thing, but can't help but be fearful that it is not.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:09 PM
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I never thought I'd be cynical either, but I am too. I wished and wished and wished for any sign of recovery. When the promise to quit came, I was done waiting. I am happy for my own husband and wish him recovery for himself, whether we stay together or not. I think your feelings of fear are normal and okay.

I think Thumper has the perfect advice... put together a plan to get you to a point where you can take care of yourself and your kids regardless what he does. He may be sincere and recover, he may not. Only he can control that. By taking care of yourself, you'll feel better.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:14 PM
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Yikes, Alone. You have every reason to be concerned. I agree all you can do is make an action plan. Baby steps. I always think of the worst case scenerio and work from there. That way I have all my bases covered. It is stressful at first, but once you come to terms with the worst possible situation everything else will fall into place.

I guess you could start reading the help wanted ads. Get your resume together. Do some networking. Check out daycare centers .( if that is something you will need) Talk to friends and family, mention that you maybe returning to the workforce.

Sure hope your husband is sincere in his rehab. You mentioned that he hates his job. I too would be questioning his rationale.

Keep posting, you are not alone. All the best to you.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:19 AM
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Maybe he has been processing the situation and realizes it isn't the job, but his disease that is making his job (and the rest of his life) unmanageable. I hated my job, too, at the end of my drinking, and it suddenly dawned on me (yeah, we can be SLOW) that it was my alcoholism that might be making it all so overwhelming.

And, in fact, that was the case. I opted for AA (90 in 90 to start), but I also promised myself that if it didn't "take", rehab would be the next step. I never had to do it, but I know people who say rehab was the best gift they ever gave themselves.

Most places have policies (and there may be laws) that there is job protection for people going to rehab. Does he have enough sick time to cover most/all of his stay?

I don't blame you for not being "over the moon" about this. Nobody can say whether this will be the start of a brighter future, but it just might be. As with any challenge, try to keep a positive outlook while doing what you need to do for yourself. Some people really blossom in rehab. It all depends on how bad he wants it, how willing he is.

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Old 08-04-2011, 07:38 AM
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After talking with him last night I have mixed emotions regarding how bad he really wants it. On the positive side he said he feels like he needs more help. That even though it is hard to admit it, it has a hold on him and he can't seem to stop with just AA. (paraphrased but you get the point). He seemed very sincere, however what followed has my head questioning how really ready he is. He has decided to continue working and then start after his planned fishing trip (short trip, but something he loves). This trip ends on the 14th. While I can understand his desire to take his trip, it in IMHO, it doesn't show that he is so low and just can't take it anymore. Maybe he gets that it may take a bit of time to find and get into rehab, but it just seems his priority was fishing not rehab. (btw drinking is a big thing on these fishing trips) He was also saying how stuff at work wasn't bothering him as much because he would be out of there soon. His plan was/is to keep looking for a new job while in rehab. Maybe it is the cynical side of me but it felt like rehab was a way to take a nice month long break from work. I thought he would be kind of down last night, but instead was in a pretty good mood. Part of me thinks it could be him feeling some relief that he has decided to take what should be a huge step for him, but yes that other side of me was kind of scratching my head at it too.

I also had a counseling appointment yesterday (thank God). She counseled him for months a while back and then both of us and now just me, so she knows him pretty good. She was very pleased that he has reached out and asked for rehab. She really gets what a huge step this was for him. She highly recommended in patient because of the lack of one on one with out patient plus the quality of the program is just not as good in her opinion. I told AH this, but earlier in the day he went to a PA who recommended out patient. I thought he needed a second opinion from a specialist and he agreed on it. I will be posting a thread on in vs. out since this is all new to both of us. While neither of us likes the thought of him being gone for a month (most likely with no contact) I want him to have the best chance at getting healthy.

Oh and a close family member (really close) is getting married in another state at the end of this month. We had planned to be gone for a week. He says he can't miss it, but I told him his health comes first. But if it is okay to wait for a fishing trip then is it okay to wait until after the wedding?

Lexie we live in CA which has great laws protecting the worker. From what I understand all he has to show them is a note from a doctor that he will be on a medical leave of absence. His GP indicated he would do it. I also believe the Family Leave Act gives a good chunk of time also. He does have some vacation/sick time but not enough to cover it all.

My head hurts and my stomach is in knots, but I do feel better today than yesterday.
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