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Old 03-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ABF Sober since Friday...what to expect?


I've been in a 16 month relationship with a lifetime drinker who is now 40 years old. The longest I've seen him go without drinking is two days, and I've come to know what to expect during that two day period. He has not had a drink since Friday night. His anxiety is now lower and he says last night is the first night he's done without the cold sweat and nightmares while trying to sleep. I'm wondering what to expect from him mentally, emotionally, and physically should he continue on this much-needed path. Any advice is so much appreciated!
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...periences.html
Why We Don’t Get Better Immediately: Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) | What…Me Sober?

My husband would sometimes make it between one to two weeks and start drinking again. He was once sober for 2 months but never worked a recovery program and relapsed hard. I kept thinking "if only he'd go to AA", but what he really needed, and thankfully received, was an inpatient rehab program. It's not for detoxing, most want patients to be sober before entering. The one my husband went to was based on AA, with great counselors and a lot of self-learning required. Rehab is for learning how to recover -- that's a lifelong job. Not a bad thing -- learning to do everything sober, to enjoy life, to beat an addiction that will keep trying to take you back, to learn your triggers and how to change ingrained habits, it all takes learning brand new skills.

Have either of you been to AA/Alanon/Celebrate Recovery yet? They're good places to be. A lot of very good people have this chronic disease. The disease makes you think you can do it on your own (often, that you really don't need help at all), but recovery actually requires reaching out for help. For alcoholics and for us co-dependents.

Good luck to both of you.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Big picture?

Expect him to drink again. At least sometime.

It happens. But they can fall down. And get up again.

But for best results he should probably at least try some long term program like AA.

And if you are going to stick around for the roller coaster ride, Alanon is a real good thing for you.

If he stay Dry AND Work a Program for a year or more . . . things can be pretty good. But that first year can be a long one.

Do you know where and how to get Alanon for you?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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AA, at this juncture, is pretty much out of the question. He's not the open, pour-your-heart-out, communicative type and has a difficult time dealing with emotions. Also, he grew up Catholic and now holds a disdain for anything spiritual/faith based.

I do expect failures, but I'm happy to, at least, see an attempt right now.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If he refuses to do AA (as my RAH does) there are other options. Rational Recovery is just one of them. there are dvd's books etc, but the premise is simple. You still have to stick to YOUR boundries though. That's tough and where al anon can help YOU. (even though Rational Recovery is dead set against that--it's good for YOU to have support)
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've already looked into al-anon and there are meetings available just about every week. I'm also considering some therapy for my co-dependency issues.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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keep in mind he has had a drinking problem for a LONG time...Saturday thru Thursday is a very small amount of time. is he doing anything else to help him stay sober besides NOT drinking? without some tools and skills, when the desire to drink returns he won't have much of a defense......
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, I definitely realize that five days isn't long in the grand scheme of things, but can't help to acknowledge that it's more than twice as long as I've ever seen from him. I've never even witnessed him get past severe anxiety and cold sweats.

But, no. No tools, no real support system or even a positive distraction for him, right now, which I find a bit disheartening because I know that boredom could be his worst enemy.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No tools, no real support system or even a positive distraction for him, right now, which I find a bit disheartening because I know that boredom could be his worst enemy.
Then you can pretty much rest assured, he will drink again, sooner rather than later. And there is not a thing you can do about it. One of the things you'll hear a lot in Alanon is the 3 C's--you didn't Cause his drinking, you can't Control it, and you can't Cure it.

If you haven't had a chance yet, you might benefit from checking out the stickies at the top of the page. Here's a thread that might be good to start with: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

Since you can't control or cure his alcoholism, that leaves you with one person who you CAN definitely help out--yourself. You state that you have codependency issues, and in realizing that about yourself, you're a step ahead of where many of us were when we came here. The book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is often recommended; you might want to read it if you haven't done so already.

I'd strongly urge you to go to some of your local Alanon meetings. Try a couple different ones, partly b/c you may want to go to more than one a week and partly b/c different meetings can have very different flavors, where you may feel more comfortable at one than at another. SR is a wonderful community, but it's a good idea to have some support in the real world also, IMHO.

Read, read, read here, DezSantos--the more you can learn about alcoholism, the better equipped you'll be to understand what you can and can't do to change your life. Wishing you strength and clarity!
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Support system or not, I'm pretty sure that he will drink again, being that this seems to be his first serious (?) attempt at quitting. Thanks for the recommendations - I'll definitely look into them.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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so how is all this going for YOU Dez? 16 months with a hard core drinker can really take its toll. but so can 16 years. how long you got in ya?
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the links - I found them to be very informative and helpful.
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the links - I found them to be very informative and helpful.
Knowledge is power, Dez! You have to know what you're up against before you can figure out how to deal with it.

I forgot to include a link to Alanon meetings in my earlier post. Here it is: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/how-to-find-a-meeting
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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But, no. No tools, no real support system or even a positive distraction for him, right now, which I find a bit disheartening because I know that boredom could be his worst enemy.
RAH (Recovering Alcoholic Husband) here. Boredom isn't the enemy, alcoholism is. Boredom is the excuse alcoholics use to drink.

I also have a reading recommendation:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm glad to hear you bf is giving sobriety a try, great news.

As for what to expect, everyone is unique so each recovery will be a little different too.

My RAH has been sober for almost 6 months. He did have a slip about 3 weeks ago, but it was a few drinks and he got back on track the next day.

The first 2 months were a bit trying as had boundless energy and just could NOT stop talking. (drove me up a wall!) He seems to have leveled out more now.

Mine also refuses AA, but seems to get as lot from reading Rational Recovery books. He talks about going to therapy, but hasn't yet.

I find Alanon very helpful and SR has saved my sanity. I don't know where I'd be without all the kind people here!

What you do for yourself will have the greatest impact on how you weather this. Take good care of yourself physically and emotionally. Read as much as you can about this disease and make sure you have some emotional support. Stay positive and hopeful, but always be prepared for a possible relapse.

Many do recover and become better people!

Wishing you both all the best!
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