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Is AA enough, or does he need rehab first

Old 12-26-2011, 06:46 PM
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Is AA enough, or does he need rehab first

Wow, the last days, I really write alot here. But this forum is so helpful.

Now i got to one question is AA enough in the beginning.

I told my story once, here just short:
He is now 39 and since he is 19 an Alcoholic. He went to several rehabs, I think all together 3, 1 halfway house, a few dextoxes and sure AA. Relapsed lots of times.
The last detox was 2 month ago, after 7 days Detox he went to AA, around 4 times a week. But relapsed again. Before Christmas there was no rehab available and it seems hard to get a place anyways.
When he relapsed, the first night, well I kinda took it, like it says it in the AA Bigbook, don't see it as failure. Ask him to go back to AA. But he wouldn't. He kinda stayed sober for another month without AA, but he was broke, so he couldn't buy booze either.
So he when he got money, he went out again for a day, he came home drunk. I didn't like it, but oh well. The next day the same. When he called me from the bar ( and he always does when he is out, tons of times ) i told him, not to come home. He knows that my boundaries are like that, since we did it before detox. When u are drunk, u are not alound in my apartment. Have to say he doesn't have a own place. since he just got relased out of the army this year, because of his drinking. This time i also told him he is just aloud back when he goes to AA.
So he didn't come home. He wasn't even here Christmas.
Tonight, so a 7 days later, he calls me. I'm not sure if he was drinking or not. He said he stays at a hotel, and he didn't drink and just wanted me to know he is fine and that he is sorry. He knows he does wrong and if i could meet him for breakfast tomorrow.

I wonder, if we meet for breakfast, depends on if he drinks or not, what should I tell him. Yes AA for sure. BUT is that gonna be enough for him. Does it make seance to go back to Detox, would he need that after 7 days drinking, and is a rehab necessary in order for him to stay sober? I really don't know what to tell him tomorrow. I don 't want that he just quits for a while just to come back here either. He got enough money from his pension from the army now, to get a hotelroom for probably 3 month i guess.
And then how would i get him into rehab. Here where i live it seems to be so hard to get a place in a rehabcenter. Waiting periods are so long. u even have to wait for 2 till 7 days till u get a room in Detox. The whole addictionservice here in New Brunswick sucks big time.

Oh would love if somebody maybe has any advise.
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Old 12-26-2011, 07:52 PM
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since he just got relased out of the army this year, because of his drinking.
dishonorable discharge? then how did he get a pension?

{ETA I see it was severance pay (for a few months in a hotel)}

If you decide to see him for breakfast, ask him what HE plans to do about HIS alcohol addiction. It all belongs to him, and it is up to him to find a rehab or a detox to help him get sober. Getting sober is only the first step in a process of growth for him.

Learn what you can about codependency, read Mellody Beatties books.
Try to find an alanon meeting nearby, face to face help is so wonderful.
While he searches for the end of his misery, you can learn to live a better life just for you.

Beth

He is 39, has had many many chances to get sober and learn about recovery, but has yet to grasp the ability to STAY STOPPED.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:41 PM
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Not everyone needs rehab to get started. It depends on each individual person. One nice thing about AA is that it's pretty much always available, it's FREE, it's members are usually extremely willing to make themselves available to fellow alcoholics who are in need - alot of times at all hours of the day or night. (I speak from experience - both my husband + myself are recovering alcoholics.)

It sounds like you are working on having some good boundaries! Good for you! That shows you are taking care of YOU! Keep up the good work!

What is VERY HARD is the fact that as much as you love this man, YOU can't help him. HE has to WANT to get better. HE has to WANT to be sober. HE has to WANT to go to rehab and to AA. HE has to make the phone calls. HE has to do the work to get himself better.

YOUR job is to keep up the good work with your boundaries and good attitude and keep going to al-anon and keep coming back here! **{hugs}}

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Old 12-26-2011, 09:07 PM
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Rehab works for some just like AA. I don't think you should have AA as mandatory for him.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mattparadise View Post
Rehab works for some just like AA. I don't think you should have AA as mandatory for him.
what exactly do u mean? I shouldn't? No AA, well he can't do it alone. He showed it many times.

And AA is the only program, which is available quick.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
dishonorable discharge? then how did he get a pension?

{ETA I see it was severance pay (for a few months in a hotel)}

If you decide to see him for breakfast, ask him what HE plans to do about HIS alcohol addiction. It all belongs to him, and it is up to him to find a rehab or a detox to help him get sober. Getting sober is only the first step in a process of growth for him.

Learn what you can about codependency, read Mellody Beatties books.
Try to find an alanon meeting nearby, face to face help is so wonderful.
While he searches for the end of his misery, you can learn to live a better life just for you.

Beth

He is 39, has had many many chances to get sober and learn about recovery, but has yet to grasp the ability to STAY STOPPED.
Well it s not servence pay. Is more a part of the pension, he paid in. U can decide if to cary it on to another employer or u get it paid out. Some of it goes in a closed RRSP manitory and others he can access right away.

Otherwise I know he has to do it on his own. Don't get me wrong, maybe i wrote it wrong, when i said how to i get him into...I know the last Detox he did all on his own as well. I don't do it for him, but now an there I help with a few things, like when he can't find the right information on the internet etc. He is abit computer dumn. lol

I try hard to ready lots, I go to the meetings etc. I think thats not what i meant. Sure I care about him and I was just wondering, what I maybe not to tell him, maybe what I should replay. I'm pretty sure, he is gonna say something like, I need help, I gonna call etc. And sure if he is at that point, i support him.
I know he had lots of chances. But just because he did, does it mean he doesn't deserve a new one. Yes he does, and I usually try to see every attempt to get help serious. Who I am to deciede, if he means it this time.

I was with my question more wondering, would it be easier for him to go to a reahb, or is AA enough for him. Especially after i set my boundary, that no AA no home.
And when my BF talk we talk quit open about his drinking and what to do best and next. Thats why I asked.
I thought, for me personally, I rather would have him in rehab, that i for mysellf, can start work on myself while he is gone and can even decide, if i want to life with an RABF. Because the last time he got sober, the whole month, was worse then, when he was drunk. with all the mood swings etc. And thats really tough. oh well. thanks
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:45 AM
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If you attend some open meetings with him you can keep a mental count of how many rehabs the sober people paid into before getting sober in AA. My count was 2, which is pretty low compared with some. Tallys in the 20's are not uncommon.

Occasionally rehab will get the alcoholic's attention, but no more than any other bad thing that commonly happens to alcoholics.

You're where food and comfortable shelter are and I bet he was charming at breakfast and very, very sorry.

Being involved in a relationship with an alcoholic will be as you've experienced to this point, and you can do the drill for as many years as you care to. If you won't he'll find another who will, because we don't get along very well without using up people like yourself.

If he has to do what he doesn't want to do at all and is so far successfully avoiding completely, that is actually take the 12 steps and complete his amends, then there's no more rehab and he'll get slowly better, but he'll be nuts on occasion for a long time and not much of a partner to you until he gets a lot better over a period of years. And the construct falls to nothing if he fades off from his support and gets drunk again. You're back to square one if so.

So one path is just awful and would tear you and your life apart, the second is pretty iffy and unlikely to work out. You'll have to live with it if your choice is to keep him in your life...and warm house.
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Old 12-27-2011, 12:57 AM
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Hi sprman24,
I could written your post few years ago. I most probably did, many times.

In the meantime I learned there is nothing I can do, I mean I could do a lot of things but it wouldn't make any diffrence in regard to my husbands drinking.

I used to bargain the same way you do. I used to spend days with no end trying to think of the right thing I could do at the right moment.
The only result I got is putting myself through even more pain.

He has to do it himself. He has to want it himself. When and if he gets there he'll do it the way it works for him. It might be AA, it might be some other program.

I don't wish to be harsh, I just want to tell you that IMHO you can't think of the right thing to do for him, as it is not up to you but him.

MOre importantly in my experience anything he choses to do because of you won't last and you're back at the square one again.

You most definetely should set your boundaries, but you also have to know why are you setting them, they are there to protect you, not change him.

I must admit I feel triggered by your post, as I remember feeling the way you feel know and doing things you're doing now. I wish I could make you see the things I can see now, but it doesn't work that unfortunatelly. You have to get there yourself.

Best advice I can offer is: stick around here and read as much as you can. educate yourself about alcoholism and the way it affects the loves ones.
I wish you well
Take care
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:01 AM
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we posted in the same time,
you already replied to all I wrote in your post, so there was not much point in writing mine.
I just responed to what I read in your initial post.
HUGS
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:12 AM
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still thanks very much for ur post seth. I really appreciate any kinda input.
Its sometimes hard to write the way I feel, and I really know that he has to do it on his own. But I was wondering, when i already set boundaries like that, I should stick to them. And was wondering if rehab is better then AA or AA can simply do the same job as rehab.

Thanks for the answers I got.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:03 AM
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And was wondering if rehab is better then AA or AA can simply do the same job as rehab.
To be honest, it really doesn't matter. He will get better when he is ready to get better and not one second sooner. Doesn't matter what you do or say, doesn't matter what you don't do or say. You might as well go out and talk to a mailbox for all the good it will do. At least the mailbox won't get angry.

I know it is so hard to let go but based on my experience I had to. I am no longer responsible for my AW's recovery, it is all hers and I feel much better. Admitting I was powerless over her drinking was the first step to my recovery and the first step in my becoming sane.

Your friend,
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:30 AM
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Hi Sprman,

You mentioned that your BF has already been to rehab several times and AA and has relapsed. I'm not sure if rehab is going to do anything at all for him unless he wants to get and stay sober. As it was explained to me while I was in rehab 6 yrs ago, "Rehab is not a Spin Dry." This is not to say it's pointless to go again, but as has been already repeated, your BF has to want to be sober and do the work. As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

In my experience, there is more to fix than just stopping the drinking. Perhaps a Dr's visit is in order to assess whether he suffers from any mental health issues like depression, in which case can be treated. Often times those who abuse alcohol are using to numb themselves from their demons.

I read another post of your where you explained a loss of friendships as a result of your BF for varying reasons. I hope you can concentrate on yourself for 2012 and cultivate new friendships and maybe renew old ones, which may prove easier if you have left your BF to sort himself out if and when he decides to.

BTW, Rehabs are often busiest during the winter months because many who are "homeless" want some shelter from bad weather and meals for 30 days. Sad, but unfortunately true.

I wish YOU the best in 2012 Sperman.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:32 AM
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Thanks guys,

but I am honestly getting confused now.
So there is no difference between rehab and AA then. I know he has to be ready, in order to get help and get sober. I have maybe to say that he was in between rehabs and relapses sober for years.

Otherwise then that, well I was proud of myself till i wrote this post. Everybody in this forum, in meetings and books says: Set ur boundaries. Sure to protect urself and help urself as well. But part of it is too, to let him hit rock bottom as well. I mean, I don't think there are a lot of Alcoholics out there, they wake up in the morning and say okay i gonna get sober, just like that.
I never broke up with him this time, I just told him to stay away, as long he doesn't want to quit.----And now when he wants to have help, I just gonna kick him away again. For some reason I don't understand that. I KNOW he has to help himself, and I can't. But I can't set boundaries and then not stick to my word either, can I ?
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:46 AM
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As a matter of fact Sperman, I DID (literally) wake up one morning and decided to "get sober" and stay sober and I have. Never looked back. I was so sick of living the life I was living, that I knew I had to if I wanted to live the life I wanted to. I drank for 20 years, really badly for 5 after that. I went to rehab 3 weeks after my last drink and have absolutely no desire to ever have another drink again.

Yes, set boundaries. Boundaries that will protect YOU. If it's not living at your apt. unless he is going to AA, then fine. But is staying sober part of going to AA of that boundary? It seems that you have set that boundary in the past and when he has relapsed you set the same boundary again. Am I correct? I dunno Sper. Isn't there a nice fellow where you live that isn't an alcoholic that you can meet? If you stick with this man, you aren't free to meet someone you deserve to be in a relationship with.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:52 AM
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Sorry for another posting.

As far as whether AA or rehab is better. In my opinion, either one will only be of assistance for the person who is serious about getting and staying sober. Some people don't go to rehab at all, just AA. Some people go to rehab and then attend AA meetings afterward as a reminder of why they want to remain sober. Some go to AA 14 times a week and some go once a week or month and are good. Some people wake up and decide they are never drinking again and never do a rehab stint or AA. Do you see where I'm going with this? It is 100% up to the individual. One MUST want to never drink again, otherwise nothing will work.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:06 AM
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My current boundary is that I will not live with an alcoholic, recovering or otherwise. I had a very low bottom before I started the program and was to the point I was considering suicide. My boundary is to protect my life. And thanks to my program I finally consider my life to be worth saving.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
To be honest, it really doesn't matter. He will get better when he is ready to get better and not one second sooner. Doesn't matter what you do or say, doesn't matter what you don't do or say. You might as well go out and talk to a mailbox for all the good it will do. At least the mailbox won't get angry.

I know it is so hard to let go but based on my experience I had to. I am no longer responsible for my AW's recovery, it is all hers and I feel much better. Admitting I was powerless over her drinking was the first step to my recovery and the first step in my becoming sane.

Your friend,
Read this post again. Good stuff and very true.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:23 AM
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So there is no difference between rehab and AA then.
No. There is a big difference. Rehab is only a maybe 30 day course to help someone get started on their sobriety. It does NOT by any means "fix" them. Alcoholism NEVER completely goes away. Neither does AA. AA will be there literally FOREVER to help and support. Does that make sense? I guess that's what I should have said in the 1st place. Sorry to confuse.

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Old 12-27-2011, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sprman24 View Post
----And now when he wants to have help, I just gonna kick him away again. For some reason I don't understand that. I KNOW he has to help himself, and I can't. But I can't set boundaries and then not stick to my word either, can I ?
I must have missed that .... what help does he want you to provide?

And AA and rehab are two totally different things. I went to rehab ... once outpatient and didn't stay sober and then inpatient and stayed sober thus far. Personally, I feel like inpatient rehab was what I needed but it isn't a quick fix. I'm also a member of AA and I work the steps to continue my sobriety. I don't do it because people in my life wanted me to I did/do it because I was finally miserable enough to do the work.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:34 AM
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I think you may be a bit confused as to what is a boundary and what is an ultimatum.

What you have said to him is an ultimatum. He cannot live with you unless he goes to AA. You have NO CONTROL over what he does or does not due.

A boundary for you could be:

"I will not be with or live with anyone who is not sober and/or clean."

What he does about that is then UP TO HIM. Whether he chooses another rehab, AA, SMART, CBT, Life Ring, AVRT, or any number of other programs, IS HIS CHOICE.

Oh and btw, NONE of those choices will work until he WANTS RECOVERY more than he WANTS to DRINK and/or USE.

I will tell you what my parents and family's boundary was for me and said to me:

"You are no longer welcome in our homes, we will no longer talk with you, if you come to the door it will be closed in your face, if you call on the phone we will hang up, and if you attempt to steal from us the police will be called. This is YOUR PROBLEM YOU FIX IT."

That was January 1, 1979, I was 33 1/2 years old, and YES they meant it and YES they stuck to it.

It took me 2 1/2 more years to find recovery and the last year and 1/2 I lived on the streets of Hollywood. I was 3 weeks shy of my 36th birthday when I died in the ER of Olive View hospital. That was 30 1/2 years ago and I have been sober and clean since.

What I am saying is YOU cannot FORCE him by words (ultimatums) to do anything. You can only state what is and is not acceptable to YOU.

Maybe, just maybe it is time to go NO CONTACT for a few months or longer and just WATCH his ACTIONS to see if he is seeking recovery or not.

J M H O

Love and hugs,

ps: most rehabs use the AA 12 Step model, so that if one wants recovery badly enough and goes to a rehab they are getting AA about 16 hours out of each day. However, I do believe that there are many more in AA that did NOT go to rehab, than those that did.

Also since he says he now wants 'help' he has been around long enough to KNOW where to go to get it. You cannot help him this is HIS RECOVERY.
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