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He's going to have a drink

Old 02-24-2015, 02:38 AM
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He's going to have a drink

Ah has been sober 6 months but his recovery has stalled. Apparently it's not abnormal to hit a flat spot in recovery. But he's doing stuff all to get himself out of it. Still attending all his sessions etc but that's it. Whatever.

The addiction specialists and rehab he went to don't necessarily work with an 'abstinence forever' model. They tell me 'testing' is very common in recovery. But it's about how you test. Glass of wine with dinner with me very different to. 'I had a crap day so am having a beer by myself'. Knowing why you are having a drink. Ensuring that it's not for an unhealthy or dysfunctional reason.

Anyways he's at the latter point so moot really.

He told me he came really close to having a drink today. It's going to happen.

My reaction? Nothing. No panic. Just...nada. If anything it was relief. Huh??? What's that?

What will be will be. I can't control it. It's not my business.

I'm just so tired. Don't know what I'm looking for here, but one things for sure...this girl ain't purchasing a ticket to ride the crazy train again.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:18 AM
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All I can say is I'm sorry. I was very much at the same point your husband was in the last month leading up to a year of sobriety. I didn't get sober for myself, I got sober for other people. This will carry you only so far. I got "called" on this by my recovery group. I had to do some very serious re-thinking of why I was staying sober since I was told that emotionally I was at HUGE risk for a relapse. I rode it out and changed my thinking and realized that no longer was it for other people it was for ME. I'm finally making more strides having rode over that hump. This information helps you not at all. That said I think that keeping your boundaries in place, reminding him of them, and letting what will happen will happen is the best course of action for you.


Peace,

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:48 AM
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So what are your boundaries if he chooses to drink in your home Jarp?

I'm sorry you are dealing with this, but it seems all of that needs to be clearly put on the table up front again
as we alcoholics have selective memory when it comes to consequences for our drinking.

He's been "honest" in saying he's ready to drink.
What your reaction going to be and does he know it?

As an aside, these are the same people telling you he's "testing"
as told you you should let him move back home with you and the
kids no matter how you felt about it, right?
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:52 AM
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Jarp - I am sorry this sucks. I went through it for a bit after RAH relapse. Here and there he mentioned having a drink. My only response was "its a bad idea but you do what you want". No discussions of alcoholism no nothing. He didn't drink my knowledge.

I think picking an argument over it is a manipulative way to do it, really saying it at all is. If they are going to why say it? Just do it. In my mind they want that fight because then the fight becomes the reason to. Best not to engage and you handled it well.

Time will tell, he may not.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:58 AM
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I could get on a rant about "healthy reasons" for alcoholics to drink--there are none. There are benign reasons for NON-alcoholics to drink. None of them apply to alcoholics.

Only you can decide when you've had enough.

Hugs,
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:03 AM
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My alcoholic friend tried some harm-reduction / drinking in moderation approaches, and while these approaches might be worthwhile for some people struggling with alcohol, I wasn't comfortable with them at all. I know that my "discomfort" was my problem and not the alcoholic's, but just like you I was just so tired of all the drama alcohol caused in this friendship.
Agreeing with what the others said (know your boundaries and time will tell)and saying sorry and I can relate.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:11 AM
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Jarp - Can you explain the recovery program he is in a little more? You said they aren't necessarily abstinence forever. Is this a program that suggests moderation?

I'm a little confused.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
Jarp - Can you explain the recovery program he is in a little more? You said they aren't necessarily abstinence forever. Is this a program that suggests moderation?

I'm a little confused.
Me too, & out of curiosity what kind of success rate do they claim with this method of recovery?

I'm sorry you are facing this challenge jarp, but you sound like you are staying firmly on your side of the street here & that's a great, healthy attitude to have. ((((hugs)))) It would make me uneasy for a lot of reasons, mostly because it's more than JUST the drinking in a lot of cases - the rest of the associated behaviors can be a much bigger issue.

With your RAH isn't there a dual-diagnosis? Wouldn't drinking in any way compromise his stability/meds for his other issues?
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:15 AM
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Oh Jarp, I am sorry.

I agree that staying on your side of the street is the thing to do. Tight hugs my dear friend.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:22 AM
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Nothing helpful to share but wanted to send some support during this trying time. Hang on to your recovery tools and line up your real life supports and I'm glad you have SR.

out of curiosity what kind of success rate do they claim with this method of recovery?
If abstinence is not a marker of success, that no doubt helps their 'success rate'. :/
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye13 View Post
So what are your boundaries if he chooses to drink in your home Jarp?

I'm sorry you are dealing with this, but it seems all of that needs to be clearly put on the table up front again
as we alcoholics have selective memory when it comes to consequences for our drinking.

He's been "honest" in saying he's ready to drink.
What your reaction going to be and does he know it?

As an aside, these are the same people telling you he's "testing"
as told you you should let him move back home with you and the
kids no matter how you felt about it, right?

In fairness Hawkeye - he didn't say "he was ready to have a drink", he said "he was really close to having a drink today".

I asked him why he didn't, and he said he knew it was not the right thing to do, and decided it would put him and what he's worked so hard for at risk.

He's an addict. He's going to sometimes 'want' his DOC. In MC we have been working on him bringing me into his thoughts and feelings - rather than isolating himself and therefore me. I DO appreciate him telling me. I'm GLAD I didn't carry onlike a pork chop like I would have in the past.

But I am tired. Tired of it. A bit sad.

Also in fairness - his doc didn't say he should move back in regardless of my feelings. They said 'home' would be the safest place for him...but what I want and feel etc would be separate to that.

My boundaries my boundaries.....I'm working on that right now. I actually feel very confused and lost.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:33 PM
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I think feeling confused and lost is expected.

Doesn't he have a sponsor type person (even if it isn't AA) or a counselor that he can call with that kind of thing? It is one thing to share in broad terms about the struggle to stay on a recovery path, or I'm having a stressful week etc - and another to say he wanted to drink. I'd be triggered like mad. I don't care how strong a person's recovery work is - that is a triggery thing to hear at this stage of the game. There is more than one person in this partnership and your recovery and well being counts for something too. ((hug))

ETA: I'm willing to hear I'm wrong for that matter. Maybe that conversation is perfectly fine and desired.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
Jarp - Can you explain the recovery program he is in a little more? You said they aren't necessarily abstinence forever. Is this a program that suggests moderation?

I'm a little confused.
No it's not - I am not explaining it very well.

They believe that every addict is different (TRUST ME I laughed out loud when they said this to me....all I could hear was SR friends telling me about terminal uniqueness)!!

Im not sure if I can explain really well, and I don't really want to enter an argument bc its not my choice to make. In the state I live in Australia there are 4 major rehab centres - RAH attends the one that also specialises in dual diagnosis. Its a psych hospital. The 4 rehab centres actually work in similar ways. AA is not big in Australia at all. AA is offered...but its not the holy grail of treatment here as it is in other places.

They differentiate between alcohol abusers and alcohol dependence. They specialise in dual diagnosis.

Some addicts work well with AA and other abstinence only based programs. Many/ most need total abstinence. Forever. Some alcohol abusers, after a long period of abstinence and significant recovery work may not require this. Not many, but some.

They also say lapses, relapses and 'testing' behaviour is (not an inevitable) but possibly a normal part of recovery. If someone lapses its not the end of the recovery road. They try to prepare F&F, and educate.

I'm not explaining myself well. In NO WAY are they suggesting to RAH he 'should' drink, or that he 'will be able to' drink in the future. They don't suggest 'moderation'. They've told him that alcohol is contraindicated with his meds. They've explored scenarios with him. Alternatives. Gone through his plans. They work with the addict through this. At the end of the day they firmly believe HE has the right to make whatever choices HE wants to make.

And I have the right to my choices.

RAH also has borderline PD. BPD'ers don't work well with being told what to do. They don't work well with having more shame and guilt added to their load. They've been trying to work with him on the impact of his drinking behaviours without attacking the core of him as a human being. They treat people as individuals and treat their individual dual diagnosis scenarios.

They are also supportive of my boundaries, of working with the family. They keep emphasising my load and that I need to walk away when I need to walk away. They've talked to us endlessly about impact on children, and OUR role in protecting them. Talked endlessly to me about building support around me, looking after me etc etc.

They've said its not unusual for recovery to stall at this point. Its what he chooses to do with it that is important.

I sometimes feel that here at SR we have unreasonable expectations. Put down that drink and never drink again. Enter recovery and have only an onwards and upwards trajectory. Never feel any desire for your DOC. We will instantly leave if they express that they have a craving. And god forbid they lapse, or relapse. Never have a bump, a blip, never hit a flat spot, never recognise the losses, the difficulty. Don't show empathy or you'll be called out for your co-dependency.

I'm all for boundaries, I have mine and am confident I'll enforce them. I've made mistakes. I've had regrets. I've done things that others at SR told me I shouldn't do that I DON'T regret - but do recognise are hard.

ANyways I am sorry for my rant I know everyone cares and means well. I am just really down today.

Mum is having surgery and exploration for lung cancer today. she's my only practical support. So I am scared as well. Apologies in advance.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I think feeling confused and lost is expected.

Doesn't he have a sponsor type person (even if it isn't AA) or a counselor that he can call with that kind of thing? It is one thing to share in broad terms about the struggle to stay on a recovery path, or I'm having a stressful week etc - and another to say he wanted to drink. I'd be triggered like mad. I don't care how strong a person's recovery work is - that is a triggery thing to hear at this stage of the game. There is more than one person in this partnership and your recovery and well being counts for something too. ((hug))

ETA: I'm willing to hear I'm wrong for that matter. Maybe that conversation is perfectly fine and desired.
Yes he does and is talking to them today about it.

I am actually OK with him telling me where he's at with his drinking and cravings etc etc
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:01 PM
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That all makes sense. Sending good vibes out to you, your husband and your mom. I hope you get some good rest tonight.

Actually I bet you are just starting your day, lol. You are always one step ahead of me
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jarp View Post
No it's not - I am not explaining it very well.

They believe that every addict is different (TRUST ME I laughed out loud when they said this to me....all I could hear was SR friends telling me about terminal uniqueness)!!

Im not sure if I can explain really well, and I don't really want to enter an argument bc its not my choice to make. In the state I live in Australia there are 4 major rehab centres - RAH attends the one that also specialises in dual diagnosis. Its a psych hospital. The 4 rehab centres actually work in similar ways. AA is not big in Australia at all. AA is offered...but its not the holy grail of treatment here as it is in other places.

They differentiate between alcohol abusers and alcohol dependence. They specialise in dual diagnosis.

Some addicts work well with AA and other abstinence only based programs. Many/ most need total abstinence. Forever. Some alcohol abusers, after a long period of abstinence and significant recovery work may not require this. Not many, but some.

They also say lapses, relapses and 'testing' behaviour is (not an inevitable) but possibly a normal part of recovery. If someone lapses its not the end of the recovery road. They try to prepare F&F, and educate.

I'm not explaining myself well. In NO WAY are they suggesting to RAH he 'should' drink, or that he 'will be able to' drink in the future. They don't suggest 'moderation'. They've told him that alcohol is contraindicated with his meds. They've explored scenarios with him. Alternatives. Gone through his plans. They work with the addict through this. At the end of the day they firmly believe HE has the right to make whatever choices HE wants to make.

And I have the right to my choices.

RAH also has borderline PD. BPD'ers don't work well with being told what to do. They don't work well with having more shame and guilt added to their load. They've been trying to work with him on the impact of his drinking behaviours without attacking the core of him as a human being. They treat people as individuals and treat their individual dual diagnosis scenarios.

They are also supportive of my boundaries, of working with the family. They keep emphasising my load and that I need to walk away when I need to walk away. They've talked to us endlessly about impact on children, and OUR role in protecting them. Talked endlessly to me about building support around me, looking after me etc etc.

They've said its not unusual for recovery to stall at this point. Its what he chooses to do with it that is important.

I sometimes feel that here at SR we have unreasonable expectations. Put down that drink and never drink again. Enter recovery and have only an onwards and upwards trajectory. Never feel any desire for your DOC. We will instantly leave if they express that they have a craving. And god forbid they lapse, or relapse. Never have a bump, a blip, never hit a flat spot, never recognise the losses, the difficulty. Don't show empathy or you'll be called out for your co-dependency.

I'm all for boundaries, I have mine and am confident I'll enforce them. I've made mistakes. I've had regrets. I've done things that others at SR told me I shouldn't do that I DON'T regret - but do recognise are hard.

ANyways I am sorry for my rant I know everyone cares and means well. I am just really down today.

Mum is having surgery and exploration for lung cancer today. she's my only practical support. So I am scared as well. Apologies in advance.
Thank you for the explanation. It sounds like he is getting excellent care and that it is a good program. No judgements here. One size fits one.

Please let s know how it goes with your mom - sending prayers. Sorry for so much stress right now I hope it alleviates soon.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:09 PM
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Thanks so much Jarp for providing additional information. Given what you've said if I had shared each and every time I "thought through the drink" in the past year, which is what your husband has been doing, then well this board would be lit up with my family posting non stop;-) Kidding of course but still.. just because you stop drinking doesn't mean the urges go away. There's a lot of learning new coping skills that goes into recovery and I think its great that he is able to share with you. The outpatient program I attended was not twelve step based and it sounds to me like his program is taking a healthy approach. I attended a number of SMART recovery meetings (looks like they do have this in Australia) and the whole thinking through the process of drinking and weighing what will happen if you do is a hallmark of that approach. I don't think its a bad one at all either. All of that said I'm sure that this is a trying process for you. If I were you I'd be sorely wanting a crystal ball to say "well is he going to relapse or not?" If he does you know what you're going to do. I would think the uncertainty of where he's at right now would be challenging to say the least. Great big thoughts of strength going your way into "the Land down under" :-)
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jarp View Post
No it's not - I am not explaining it very well.

They believe that every addict is different (TRUST ME I laughed out loud when they said this to me....all I could hear was SR friends telling me about terminal uniqueness)!!

Im not sure if I can explain really well, and I don't really want to enter an argument bc its not my choice to make. In the state I live in Australia there are 4 major rehab centres - RAH attends the one that also specialises in dual diagnosis. Its a psych hospital. The 4 rehab centres actually work in similar ways. AA is not big in Australia at all. AA is offered...but its not the holy grail of treatment here as it is in other places.

They differentiate between alcohol abusers and alcohol dependence. They specialise in dual diagnosis.

Some addicts work well with AA and other abstinence only based programs. Many/ most need total abstinence. Forever. Some alcohol abusers, after a long period of abstinence and significant recovery work may not require this. Not many, but some.

They also say lapses, relapses and 'testing' behaviour is (not an inevitable) but possibly a normal part of recovery. If someone lapses its not the end of the recovery road. They try to prepare F&F, and educate.

I'm not explaining myself well. In NO WAY are they suggesting to RAH he 'should' drink, or that he 'will be able to' drink in the future. They don't suggest 'moderation'. They've told him that alcohol is contraindicated with his meds. They've explored scenarios with him. Alternatives. Gone through his plans. They work with the addict through this. At the end of the day they firmly believe HE has the right to make whatever choices HE wants to make.

And I have the right to my choices.

RAH also has borderline PD. BPD'ers don't work well with being told what to do. They don't work well with having more shame and guilt added to their load. They've been trying to work with him on the impact of his drinking behaviours without attacking the core of him as a human being. They treat people as individuals and treat their individual dual diagnosis scenarios.

They are also supportive of my boundaries, of working with the family. They keep emphasising my load and that I need to walk away when I need to walk away. They've talked to us endlessly about impact on children, and OUR role in protecting them. Talked endlessly to me about building support around me, looking after me etc etc.

They've said its not unusual for recovery to stall at this point. Its what he chooses to do with it that is important.

I sometimes feel that here at SR we have unreasonable expectations. Put down that drink and never drink again. Enter recovery and have only an onwards and upwards trajectory. Never feel any desire for your DOC. We will instantly leave if they express that they have a craving. And god forbid they lapse, or relapse. Never have a bump, a blip, never hit a flat spot, never recognise the losses, the difficulty. Don't show empathy or you'll be called out for your co-dependency.

I'm all for boundaries, I have mine and am confident I'll enforce them. I've made mistakes. I've had regrets. I've done things that others at SR told me I shouldn't do that I DON'T regret - but do recognise are hard.

ANyways I am sorry for my rant I know everyone cares and means well. I am just really down today.

Mum is having surgery and exploration for lung cancer today. she's my only practical support. So I am scared as well. Apologies in advance.
Jarp,

this is also the concept here in the United States if you follow with the medical, evidence based treatment side of addiction and recovery as its outlined by places like the United States National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Addiction is a disease where people can relapse and its not failure, addiction doctors prepare family and the patient for this. Family is also suggested to play a strong role and its not our feelings dont matter, but family support and structure can be best, but it depends on the health of the home and relationships, so usually family counseling is done together.( Our doctors call us a team in recovery.) My husband tells me when hes struggling, in the beginning of recovery he would wake up after a drug dream and tell me about it. Ive learned how to relate to him and handle it through our counseling, and it got easier for me with time.
My husband wasnt addicted to alcohol, it was drugs. He was always ok drinking. After his problem happened, his doctor suggested he abstain from alcohol but he decided he wanted to try to drink normally, and like u said in your earlier post, differentiate between normal drinks now and then, versus emotional drinking. He is very aware of the difference, struggled some at first but hes over a year out and is able to drink normally so far but he remains aware. I think this is what u mean. It scares me, more at first than it does now because I see him handling it. For a true alcoholic to moderate I cant comment, but I do understand your treatment plan and concepts for the most part, because it is accepted here in USA too.

Im sorry about your mom , and I hope things improve for all of you. ((Jarp))
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