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AH trying to work program but says he doesn't "get it".

Old 12-13-2012, 12:49 PM
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AH trying to work program but says he doesn't "get it".

Well, My RAH has been sober for 52 days now. He has been going to AA meetings daily...typically more than one meeting and I have been nothing but supportive. Although I started reading Codependent No More and I know without a doubt that I am codependent, I am doing my best to educate myself on how to change. RAH talks to me quite a bit about his recovery, sometimes more than others but when he says things like he does today, I don't know what to say. I don't want to cross that codependent line.
All started with a simple email to him while both at work. I said 'how are you today'. He responds 'not good...not good at all'. We go on to exchange emails for the next hour and he basically says that he has been working the program for a while now and he understands the principles 'in theory' but doesn't get how to apply him to his life. He looks in the mirror and hates himself, hates that he's gone all the time and doesn't see the kids, not happy with work or home life or life in general, hates that he still doesn't think before he speaks etc.and this gets him in trouble. All the stuff that he's struggled with for years. He said he's no better than when he was drinking. Obviously he is...he dealt with this AND addiction before. He's come a long way and I try to reassure him that he isn't going to 'get it' overnight but he needs to stick with it. He says he's sick of it all. I ended up feeling like I was trying to talk him off a ledge! I don't know why he feels so hopeless but he has always been very impatient and recovery is certainly going to take time. Not sure how to comfort him without telling him what to do!
Have you guys dealt with this or any RA out there that can give their input on what the right thing to do/not do is? I told him he might want to call his sponsor or a friend and he said he's too busy at work!

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:08 PM
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"He said he's too busy at work!"

Maybe you would be better off not contacting him at work, let him work and go about the business of his day, IMO spilling personal issues onto your work space, gives no relief, it becomes a 24/7 issue, we all need an escape.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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Yes, I know but truth be told, he talked to me for a while so surely he could call someone else for a minute or so. Unfortunately, its probably an excuse because he tells me all the time that he has a hard time calling other RA's like he's supposed to. Don't they tell you to do this? Just makes me sad that he feels so hopeless when he has every reason to be hopeful. I know I can't make him see this. Probablyw hy its so frustrating.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:42 PM
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This is his recovery, he knows what he needs to do, it is all up to him. I believe that this is not his first rodeo, he gets it, he just may not want to do it. Time will tell, in the mean time, try not to make his issues yours, continue to work on you. You both need to get healthy.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:44 PM
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He shouldn't be discussing his recovery with you so much, IMO.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:46 PM
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Choublak--sometimes I wish he wouldn't discuss it with me so much but tell me why you say this. Just trying to understand.....
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:50 PM
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AA is about alcoholics helping alcoholics. We can not be their solution, their "go to person" and we can't possibly understand.

He is only around 60 days sober, his addiction is still trying to control him. IMO, its best not to engage with him during these times. He needs other RA's that can help. As a fellow codie, these conversations sent me into a tailspin and made it harder for me to work on ME!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Peacegirl View Post
Choublak--sometimes I wish he wouldn't discuss it with me so much but tell me why you say this. Just trying to understand.....
Because it's his program to work, to own, to live. What everybody else does is irrelevant.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:53 PM
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That's what I figured, he should be talking to his sponser. It just scares me because this is how he acted right before he relapsed last time. Kills me that I just have to stand by and watch.....
(Obviously I've still got a way to go with working on myself!)
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:15 PM
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PeaceGirl, I can't tell you about AA but I know for me it took a long time to "get" the Al-Anon program. My compulsive behavior towards my AW consumed me, even after I had moved out I had multiple fights a day with her in my head and this was while attending 3 meetings a week. It took a long time for me to find my center and be comfortable being there.

Your friend,
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:22 PM
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Tell him, "Well I think you are MARVELOUS!",
and leave it at that.
AlAnon, AlAnon, AlAnon......

Listen to these people, read, post, read some more.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:27 PM
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First....He has not been "working the program for awhile now." 52 days is in the early infancy stage.

He needs to give it time. He's expecting too much too soon.

Second....I wouldn't let these convos go on during work time. It's a distraction. He needs to be working; you need to be doing your stuff.

It's one thing to be a compassionate listener for maybe 10-20 minutes in the evening, but more than that means that he's dragging you into his recovery.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:23 PM
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Unhappy

Yes, he is expecting too much too soon. He has always been a very impatient person and this is no exception. I know I need to stay my own course and I will do that. Its hard not to get involved but little by little I'm starting to get it. Over the years I have let my caretaking consume me so much that I have neglected myself and my health and mental well being are suffering. Its not something that I ever thought I was doing until it was too late and I started suffering physically. I need to get myself back, I'm too young to feel this broken.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:03 PM
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52 days. dam, the fog wasnt even gone at 52 days for me let alone know anything other that i was powerless over alcohol and my life was unmanagable, which, IMO, is what he is exibiting.
going to meetings and not drinking doesnt treat alcoholism. if he doesnt have a sponsor and working with him( since he says he understands the principles in theory, and that he says hes no different than when he drank,i am gonna take a shot and say he doesnt have a sposnsor) he best get his ass in gear.
2 things getting sober takes( sober-of sound mind):
footwork
T.I.M.E.
personally i think ya may want to get a lil brutal with him. you can tell him this ex drunk says to quit screwin around and get a sponsor and make that sponsor earn combat pay.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:20 PM
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I went through this one with my XAH. He had a sponsor and went to meetings often. Shared everything with me and others warned me that it was not my job to hear nor handle everything. I was redirected to tell him to talk to his sponsor in private (he often did it in front of me), to call AA members instead of me to learn how to cope with daily problems, and consider talking to a therapist instead of taking that role.

I thought it was my supportive way to listen et al. I recall thinking I was blessed that he shared so much with me instead of keeping all a secret. But what I learned is that coming to me did not teach him to use his sponsor , did not teach him to use other AA members to teach and coach him in dealing with life on life terms, and he did not learn to rely on others for help.

So I ended up being everything and overwhelmed. I could not help him, did not help him as he needed and eventually became the enemy - and allowed him to relapse and not learn the skills he needed to learn from those who have more experience than I do.

I have learned that my role was to be supportive as he learned to use the program and others to help him. In the mean time I was to learn how to help myself and set good boundaries so that I learned how to cope and live each day in a new way.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:37 PM
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If he is hangin in there then just be proud and grateful
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 PM
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Shared everything with me and others warned me that it was not my job to hear nor handle everything.


I think one reason that A's need a sponsor is because A's usually don't except personal responsibilty that well, so if their significant other is " calling them on BS" then it just leads to arguments. However, if a sponsor pulls the BS flag, the A will likely respond better.

When my AH had a relapse, he blamed me. His sponsor quickly made him "own" his relapse as ONLY his own doing/choice....and that I was not to be blamed. If I had told him that he wouldn't have believed it or accepted it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:48 PM
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My XAH also wanted me very involved in his recovery once he started down that path. I had pointed him toward this forum at one point as another source of support in addition to AA (and not me) because he complained that he wasn't getting enough feedback at AA. I told him that I supported him, but that I couldn't be the one who helped him because I had no idea what he's going through. He needed to talk with professionals and other RAs for feedback and advice. I told him to not call me.

He ignored me, and proceeded to send me long emails sharing his every mood. He also shared with me his handle on SR so that I could read his threads and learn more about his recovery. I am proud to say that I never looked him up on here, although many times I was tempted. We should all feel free to express ourselves on here without fear of someone taking advantage of our vulnerabilities. And, I think that only happens when you are able to share anonymously.

The thing is, I do believe that I couldn't help him despite how much he tried to convince me otherwise. I lack the skills and understanding with this one. He eventually decided he didn't want to try to recover our relationship. Whether that was because he was overwhelmed by the challenge of earning my trust back, or he decided I was unsupportive... I don't know. What I can say is that I took every opportunity to tell him he was loved and that I thought he was an amazing talented person. And, I always encouraged him to find people who would understand him better than I was capable at that time.

What I think is... He was so fixated on proving to me that he was different. His recovery was "easy" and "accelerated". He was so much better that his therapist couldn't think of anything else to talk to him about. He wasn't like all those other people in AA. When he started reading on SR, he visited F&F. He told me, "I'm not as bad as those other As!" Well, why don't you ask my opinion on that one? Anyway, all I heard was "quack." Because he's not really that different. He just wanted to believe he was, and to convince me, so everything would go away and be good again. I think when he's willing to face his addiction for himself (not just because I left), he will reach out more to those that can really help him. I hope he's there now, but I don't know.

Well, I'm sorry this is a downer of a share. This is my experience with supporting him, but refusing to take part in his recovery. I think it was the right thing to do. I felt like I was truly accepting the situation as it presented itself, without letting my Codie emotions steer me. He could not accept that, and so our relationship is broken.

I truly hope your experience is better.

Take care,
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:12 AM
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Just wondering if he really embraces the concepts of AA? maybe he does and its just taking him time to apply it to his life; that would be understandable. But maybe he just doesnt believe or accept it, and he is trying to force himself. To be honest, it doesnt work for everyone, and that doesnt mean its a negative reflection on him. Has he ever tried a different method, or 1:1 therapy?
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:16 AM
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Hmmm I suggest he discuss his Alcoholism with his sponsor or take it to a meeting and ask for HELP. I assume you are not alcoholic and cannot possibly understand what is happening in the mind of an alcoholic, at least my normal partner is clueless as to what makes my mind spin and this is after 17 yrs sober. Oh yeah maybe interruptions at work with non work issues is not a good idea either.
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