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Do we ask about their recovery?

Old 09-30-2012, 06:57 AM
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Do we ask about their recovery?

I have no idea if AH is going to AA meetings or not. He had his epiphany while in Vegas last week but I think the whole thing with the dog really threw all of us for a loop. What is my role if he chooses recovery and do I actually ask if he's going to meetings or do I just leave him alone and let him find his own way?

OK: I guess I know the answer to that, but it drives me crazy because I feel like I was invited to the table for this. I get invited to his conversations about going to AA but then am I not allowed to ask, "How's it going with meetings? Have you found a sponsor?" So, I know that I'm supposed to mind my own business and let his recovery be his recovery but at what point do I gently make conversation about it? Or is the subject just considered taboo in alcoholic homes? Sometimes I think it's easier BEFORE they proclaim they want to go to AA, at least then you know to keep your expectations low.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:07 AM
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Liz...you can still keep your expectations low until you see change...but I know how hard it is to stand back and let them deal with the recovery themselves.
In the meantime you can focus on you...am sure your AH doesn't ask you how your recovery is going?
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Milly39 View Post
Liz...you can still keep your expectations low until you see change...but I know how hard it is to stand back and let them deal with the recovery themselves.
In the meantime you can focus on you...am sure your AH doesn't ask you how your recovery is going?
LOL! Yeah, he didn't like the fact that I was in Al Anon so he didn't ask EVER, except to ask me if he needed to stay home with our son while I went to meetings. And, that's part of it too. I need to know if he's planning on going to meetings on certain nights so I can find an AlaTeen meeting for our son or maybe find another meeting for myself if needed. His options with AA meetings are 3 times what's available to me for Al Anon. I guess I would find it courteous to know when he's going so I can plan the family schedule around his availability, etc. Maybe that's asking for too much at this point?
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:14 AM
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He'll bring it up sometime if he is really serious. In the meantime focus on you and keep your expectations low.

Ngaire
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:40 AM
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Dear Liz, from my experience with alcoholics---they resent the h*** out of someone else hovering over their recovery. I am in agreement with most everyone else that keeping a hand-off policy is the safest (and most productive) way to go.

After all, you know that you can't control another person, anyway. If you get involved with his recovery then you can get sucked into becoming his sobriety policeman.

Watch his actions. That will tell the story.

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Old 09-30-2012, 08:05 AM
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His going to AA is a good thing but it still does not mean he has or will stop drinking. I think that it is a bit of a myth that the alcoholic hits AA & becomes 100% sober & responsible. Some alcoholics find AA meeting to get the law or family off their back about drinking. Others AA members continue to sneak drinks here and there. Sadly, there is no magic bullet to get the alcoholic sober. It takes a lot of hard work & sometimes, trial and error to become sober.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:08 AM
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Could you get a baby sitter for the times you want to go to a meeting?

Ngaire
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:09 AM
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I would suggest that you ask him the following or something like it, in a
nice 'neutral' voice.

"About our talk when you were in Vegas, if you are in fact going to or are
attending AA meetings, could we kind of coordinate on which nights you
will be going and on which nights my AlAnon meetings are, so ________
(your son's name) will have one of us here with him, unless there is an
AlaTeen meeting on a night we both have our own meetings."

That is not technically asking him about his recovery, that is just trying
to get a 'schedule' of sorts set up for ALL of you.

As to if he is actually working the program or will be working the program
and getting a sponsor or not, over time HIS ACTIONS will tell that.

He may or may not talk about how he feels and what is going on with
him. Just continue to 'keep your side of the street clean' and work the
program you hope he will have some day.

I know his comments on the phone about AA gave you some expectations,
but try and keep those locked away please. It took him a long time to get
this far down into his alcoholism, and it is going to take just as long to come
out of it. No quick miracles for this one!

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:11 PM
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I would ask. Not with judgement, but for knowledge.

I would also learn more about addiction and as you stated earlier, get into therapy with an addiction specialist.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:40 PM
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Or "I need to go to my Al-Anon meetings on X, Y & Z days. I will get a babysitter for those days that you don't have our son. We can coordinate getting him to a weekly Alateen meeting. I'll gladly babysit our son, during your AA meetings, on the nights you want to go to AA. If there's a conflict, we can figure out a solution. Some places have joint meetings and some groups have babysitting available."
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:36 AM
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Well, at this point he's not going anyway so it's a moot point. I didn't really expect him to go, I think it's too early in his disease (for him). I did say, "Hey, I'm chairing my meeting on Thursday so I wanted to make sure you'd be around. Don't know what your meeting schedule looks like." He didn't respond to the second part of my statement, he just said he'd be home.

And, this is why I'm so glad that I'm still going to my meetings and working with my sponsor and finding time for stuff for ME. I need it now more than ever!
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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If you haven't read the chapter To The Wives in the Big Book, you should.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:43 AM
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My bf never asked and we didn't talk about it unless I brought it up. Even then he didn't offer too much of his opinion on things. I think as long as he knew I was getting help, he was happy. I was excited about my recovery from the beginning so I had no issue with sharing info - not every A is going to be like that though, I don't think. I am also the type of person who if he would have been breathing down my neck about it and asking many questions, I would have gotten defensive as if he were accusing me of lying.

You know what he's like not in recovery, you will be able to tell when he is in full swing trying to recover 100%. I say tread lightly with questioning...this is just coming from the other side of the coin. I know people want to know what's going on, but just like your emotions of dealing with him, a recovering addict goes through a roller coaster of emotions too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PaperDolls View Post
If you haven't read the chapter To The Wives in the Big Book, you should.
Funny you mentioned this, I just read the chapter on the family after. I need to go back and read that one, too.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:38 AM
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Also if you get a chance - try an open AA meeting or an AA speaker meeting with a few of your Al-Anon friends ~

I chose not to share at those meetings, just listen - man did I gain some great recovery tools at those meetings - just listening at the wisdom shared ~ It helped me keep the focus on me and not ask those questions about their recovery that are so hard to NOT ask!

PINK HUGS,
Rita
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:51 AM
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Very thankful this was posted, I was wondering the exact same thing. I did not know what my role in "policing" my XABF's recovery was. I made the decision for me that I was going to cut off all communication and since I made that decision I have been living with anxiety and guilt of, if I dont ask him if he is going he will never go.. just so much misplaced guilt, I feel much better after reading these posts.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:56 AM
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I used to ask. I was fishing for evidence that it was working and that everything was going to be okay.

Eventually I gave up fishing and focused on my own recovery. It turns out I got better evidence about whether or not it was working when I wasn't asking. Remember that our As learn to be master con-men who know what to say to whom to maintain the addiction to whatever levels are comfortable for them. It wasn't worth asking because I never got real answers. My energy was best spent elsewhere.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:10 PM
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If he's truly in recovery, there's no need to ask about it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
If he's truly in recovery, there's no need to ask about it.
Good point. He did just go to his first meeting today. Weird how I posted about it and he went on his own anyway. I know there are no guarantees but at least he's taking this more seriously than in the past.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:39 PM
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I ask - but not in an effort to hold him accountable, just because recovery is 'normal' conversation around our house these days. I don't ask for a lot of detail, more like "How was Saturday's meeting?"... but he often volunteers more info about the speaker, what he got out of it, etc.

In the first 90ish days though, I hardly asked at all. Like choublak said, it was obvious he was attending & there was no reason for me to rehash it all with him afterward. After he got further in his recovery, he opened up more & I felt comfortable asking more.
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