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Rehab Again

Old 04-08-2013, 06:54 AM
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Rehab Again

My AH left for rehab again yesterday. The events leading up to his decision are a little murky -- we have been separated for about seven months but still talk on a semi-regular basis. Right after we separated, which was due to a full blown relapse, he took a new job that required a lot of travel, quit attending meetings, and stopped following through on psych appointments. A couple of months ago, he started exhibiting symptoms of anxiety again and didn't seem to be managing them well. When he came to me, I encouraged him to start working the program again, even while on the road, and get with his counselor, sponsor, and psychiatrist to manage his symptoms so he could manage his life. He dragged his feet. He lost the job, and has spent the last month holed up in his parents' basement, depressed and panicked.

He swears he hasn't been drinking, but I don't really believe it. He's going to a fancy rehab up north -- of his own volition ** applause! ** -- that will require full detox upon admission, which tells me what I need to know. He isn't sure how long he'll be gone, but I encouraged him to consider doing the full rehab and sober living experience afterward, reiterating that he's no good for me or the baby if he isn't sober AND thriving (which has been my belief all along). He told me that he was really honest about his drug history "this time," like it was something to be proud of. I was like, "You mean you were DISHONEST the prior three times?" Fer chrissakes.

I used to be extremely resentful about how his addiction affected me, but in recent months I have felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I'm just living my life, enjoying the company of my children, being outdoors, being active, being creative and crafty, and feeling grateful. I have battled depression since puberty, and with the help of counseling, medication, and SR, I have felt like I was at my best for the last year or so (minus the situation over the holidays when I quit smoking). I feel like I have possibilities, and I don't feel any rush to jump into a relationship, or be out on the town, or anything like that, which was my old norm. My DS13 is so charming and sweet, and I genuinely enjoy his company. The baby is a doll, and basically the three of us tool around town and shop, paint, go out to eat, and ride bikes every day. I see my friends when I can, and I have a lot of hobbies. I'm making personal goals for myself around keeping house, learning to cook, trying to lose some weight/feel like I'm in shape. It's pretty great. Not having the burden of AH, his lack of income, his neediness, his ability to rule the household with his moods whether he was drinking or not, has been transformative.

AH stopped by on his way out of town last night. I didn't know he was coming. The kids and I were playing basketball and drawing on the driveway outside when he pulled up, and he had clearly been crying and was feeling extra dramatic. He said some things that made me ask if he was actually driving to rehab, or if he was suicidal. He reassured me he was going to rehab. He seemed bothered that we weren't sitting around being worried about him. My stance since the separation is that life goes on. I tried to support him in recovery while we were living together, but he was consistently dishonest or inconsistent in his commitment to the program. Since we've been apart, this pattern continues.

He is a good person, he means well, but he has yet to wrap his arms around the particulars of this disease and how to manage it. He just won't take direction from the program. I consider it part of the disease. For example, when he came by last night, he grabbed an old cell phone. I didn't ask why, but he told me later that he planned on turning over that phone and keeping his iPhone on him in rehab so he doesn't have to wait in line for the phone in rehab. I was like, you've got to be kidding me. He tried to make some excuses, and I just said, look, maybe following the rules is something you should try right now, because you keep telling me the shortcuts aren't working for you.

One step forward, two steps back.

I have no expectations this time around. My experience of my life without him at home is a proven thing, his patterns of failure around the maintenance mode of mental health are also a proven thing. We have always been good friends, and I don't see that ending provided he maintains a certain level of stability, but I don't really desire to be with him any longer. I have held off on filing for divorce because... I don't know why. I feel like I need to move forward on filing for divorce this year -- I also don't have any feelings about this, it just needs to be done. But I'm not in any hurry either. It will happen.

Recovery feels good, guys. I'm glad this is part of my life.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:06 AM
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(((((Florence)))))

Wow, what a POSITIVE post to read first thing Monday morning!!!!

You go girl! Your recovery is shining!!!!

You just made my heart smile. Thank you!

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:12 AM
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Beautiful and inspiring post Florence. Thank you so much for sharing. You have encouraged to to continue to seek that peace and serenity today.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:15 AM
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Dear Florence, this is what I was thinking as I read your post: It looks like you have detached from your entanglement with him to the extent that you can see what is "'HIS" to manage---as seperate from what is "YOURS".

The cell phone part is so pathetic--and, almost laughable in it's transparency!

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:21 AM
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By the way--if the rehab is the "fancy one up north" that I think it is---they are on top of the fact that people "sneak" cell phones and other substances. He will get busted, for sure.

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Old 04-08-2013, 07:25 AM
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By the way--if the rehab is the "fancy one up north" that I think it is---they are on top of the fact that people "sneak" cell phones and other substances. He will get busted, for sure.
Right? The phone is beat up, dead, and WAY out of date. I'm just shaking my head over here.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:30 AM
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By the way--if the rehab is the "fancy one up north" that I think it is---they are on top of the fact that people "sneak" cell phones and other substances. He will get busted, for sure.
Yep, they are even known to do body cavity searches when they suspect the person may be sneaking any type of taboo items in, so what he proposed, when I read it, I just laughed out loud, knowing full well he was still 'playing' with recovery.

Enough of him, you really are growing. As I said above you made my heart smile and it still is smiling!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:03 AM
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(((((((((Florence))))))))))))

Wow. Your recovery is shining sooooo brightly....I need shades!

Seriously, I am so happy for you. You are living your life outside of the shadow of his addiction. And in doing so, you've given you children a chance to grow up outside of that shadow too! And you've managed to maintain compassion and yet have clear boundaries for yourself. I'm just so inspired by your post and happy for you.

Thanks for the uplifting post.

Mary
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:32 AM
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so proud of you, Florence. Thank you for posting the specific things you are interested in pursuing for your own benefit.

That helps me compile my own list.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:19 AM
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what a great recovery post!! -

So glad he could see that life goes on for you & the kids ~

Keep taking such good care of you & them!

Let that wonderful peace continue to grow!

pink hugs!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:09 AM
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so proud of you, Florence. Thank you for posting the specific things you are interested in pursuing for your own benefit.

That helps me compile my own list.
Thanks! That's actually been a big part of it. First, what did I want to do that I never got to do because I was taking care of AH? Second, what did I used to do BEFORE AH and I got together?

But finally, I just read somewhere, maybe on here, that the more places from which we derive our self-esteem and feelings of well-being, the better off we are overall.

Over time, my busy and full life had been chipped away by my entanglement with AH and his chronic problems. As I've gotten more involved in the community and at home and started to redefine simple, achievable goals for myself, I feel better and better. I write some, so I've been getting back into that. I'm also involved in some big community/county/city stuff that I'm quite proud of. I've always been artsy, so I indulge in something creative now (that could mean literal art or writing, or something more practical like cooking), and I USED to be athletic, so I'm trying to see what I'm still capable of there. I love garage sales and auctions, and the people-watching at these events, so I go to those when I can. I've met a ton of cool people doing these things. My friend circle has expanded quite a bit in a good way, and it reminds me of all the healthy ways of being and that I get to pick and choose how to live my life -- WITHOUT asking permission of my AH or my codependent mom.

It turns out I'm a grown up and I get to make decisions about myself!

My kids are more than happy to be along for the ride. I make sure to center them and their needs and desires as well, but they have both responded to my change in demeanor, especially DS13 who was surly and scared this fall and I was really worried about what was in store for him.

The turning point for the two of us was a counseling session where I basically "told his story" and laid out the difficulties we faced, my failures as a parent, and how I planned on turning the boat around to the counselor. DS13 was in the room while we did this, and I think something about airing out these experiences together was a real healing and bonding moment. It meant a lot to him, and it was important to me that he knows I'm aware of my shortcomings and that I care about how my choices affected him. I'm also very committed to giving these kids a good life. We're broke, but damn it, we can have a very full life together.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it really isn't THAT much. I work an 8-5 job, and when I get home, I have 2-3 things planned, household or otherwise. Sometimes the housework gets ditched and we do fun stuff. I admit I pack the weekends full. We went without cable for a long while and that was actually a small catalyst to getting us off the couch and into the world. I recommend it (get Netflix!) if your family needs a jump start.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:59 AM
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Florence,

Great posts from you in this thread. Really a shinning example of recovery in action and focus on one's self.

I will be using some of your ideas/thoughts to make sure I am living up to my full potential. It really sounds like you are!

Thank you
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:58 PM
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Florence, you are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story. You really are an inspiration for me as I work on my recovery. Thank you!!
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:32 PM
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What an uplifting post - so glad to hear how well you are doing! As for him....like them all...I hope this time is it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:06 PM
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Florence,
Thank you for posting this, particularly about the turning point with your son. That hit close to home and has given me so much to think about. But most of all your post has given me such hope.
I experience glimmers of what you have seemed to acheive but they're relatively fleeting.
Good for you! Your children are so lucky to have such a wonderful mom!
Hugs,
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:14 PM
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Florence, that is GREAT!!! Your post is so healthy-minded; it epitomizes acceptance and action. Thank you! This is what recovery looks like!
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:32 AM
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And just a quick update, because I know that everyone always gets hopeful when "their" addict decides to go to rehab: AH never made it to rehab yesterday. He called me yesterday and left a long rambling message about a medical emergency, and how he is holed up in a motel outside of a truck stop somewhere in Wisconsin, and that someone offered him crack, and wasn't that weird?

I did not call back.

This is a guy that purports to be in recovery already, and just needs a little help from rehab. This is one of those examples where drawing lines around what he DOES compared to what he SAYS is crucial to one's well-being.

Meanwhile, I supervised at DS13's first track meet last night and met tons of kids and parents from his school. Great weather.

Life goes on. It really does.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:37 PM
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boy he really needs to get that GPS navigator in his car fixed huh?

Florence,normally i'd off my sympathies but i just don't see where that's all warranted here. you sound very centered and in touch, and your life is no longer wrecked by what HE chooses to do or go or end up. you do provide a very VIVID example of ACTIONS over WORDS, that's for sure!

Look at you go, Track Mom!
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:20 PM
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We don't have cable either. And we are busy. I feel like I am never home.

My son is 11 and very mature. I like the idea of talking to the counselor with him. My kids' dad is almost certainly eyeing the 12 years-old and can choose the parent they live with horizon.

Now might be a good time to be very honest (not scary, just forthright) with my son.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:20 PM
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Another update:

I'm not sure if I'd call this a codie relapse, but I have been very irritable and resentful about this latest trip to rehab. Someone please talk me down off the ceiling.

Suddenly I'm talking to counselors and being asked advice from his codie parents about how to proceed. I'm only offering what I am comfortable offering -- i.e. WORDS and no more -- but it's weighing on me and getting me frustrated that I have to deal with this again. So many people in my life are disappointed that I'm not holding vigil for his miraculous recovery. I find myself slipping into the codie mindset of needing to justify and validate my reasons for leaving him to friends, family, and myself. So far I have been able to stop myself.

Today the counselor called from the rehab to talk to me, and he told me that AH reversed the consent form, so that he (the counselor) could listen to me, but couldn't confirm or deny any input. All he told me was that he was not happy about this reversal. A couple of times he said, "Well that explains it!" Ha. It sounds like AH is playing the half-truth confessional game and the counselor isn't having it.

It's a familiar game! Divide and conquer. AH can't stand it when we all start talking to each other.

AH is mad because I didn't give him the go-ahead and all my validation and understanding on sneaking the cell phone into rehab, and I told the counselor so. His parents were totally cool with it because that meant they could still text him and whatnot. This morning, I saw that sometime in the middle of the night he had "liked" something on one of my social media accounts, and I finally sat down and just blocked him from everything. We've been friendly up until this point, sharing baby pictures and whatnot, but I told AH awhile ago that I wasn't going to help him kill himself anymore, and I meant it. That includes all the lying and whatnot that goes hand in hand with addiction. That's not me. I'm not going to do it.

I gave the counselor the quick overview -- the general timeline, my trip into recovery for myself, my frustration with seeing AH squander his time and opportunities, the lost jobs, the excuses, the ever-present lying, his resentment against me for changing my life without him, and just explained that I wasn't going to help him lie or tell him it was okay to proceed with his shady business, and that I was prepared for any "I'm gonna be so mad at you" backlash.

I firmly believe that AH is in a life and death situation -- it may not happen tomorrow, but the more I see of AH and his descent into addiction and the maladaptive, immature, ego-centric behaviors that keep him firmly in his addiction, the more I believe he will bring himself to an early death from drug and alcohol use or suicide. As he progresses, his depression and anxiety worsen, and there have been several suicide attempts in the past few years. His parents are find with enabling him as long as it means they don't have to deal with his disease in a meaningful way. I have been backing off over time and see the massive changes and improvements in my life thanks to doing so. From a distance, I also see the bad family systems that keep him where he is -- both on the part of his immediately family, but mine as well, with my highly enmeshed, codependent mom ever trying to talk sense to him behind my back. Parts of me still care for him and it's just heartbreaking to see him fall apart so completely, and lie to everyone and say everything is fine when it's not. I wish him well, but I'm not on this ride anymore.

I made an appointment to go ahead and file for divorce provided I can gather all the paperwork together for the appointment. There isn't much. We basically have no assets. But I want this out of my life. I don't want to be responsible for him. I don't like the way this makes me feel. I'm considering going NC for the rest of the month to get my bearings. Any other wisdom or suggestions are welcome.
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