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ukiah77 11-18-2017 12:31 PM

RAH in a funk and wants to "cancel Christmas"
My RAH quit drinking 3 months ago and has been in a depressed funk ever since. He is in the throws of dry drunk syndrome and feeling sorry for himself. He refuses to work any program which is the problem, but just like others, thinks he can do this on his own. While in another bad mood this morning, he exclaimed that he's not in mood for company and wants to "cancel Christmas." Our Christmas plans consist of about 15 people coming to our house and we host dinner. It's all HIS family, his brother, cousin, their kids, and his parents. I usually do all the work anyway, and all the kids (mostly ours) look forward to this get together all year. I thought I would try to have his dad talk to him since my words just seem to set him off and cause an argument. I understand that he is not on the mood for party situations but Christmas can not just simply be cancelled because of him. Anyone have any advice on what's the best course of action? Not only does he want to not do Christmas, he is also saying he doesn't want to attend Thanksgiving at another family members house. These are long standing traditions that mean a lot to our 3 kids and the rest of people involved. I don't want to be insensitive to his sobriety but I feel like here we go again, he's being selfish (just like when he was drinking) and once again, it's all about him. He has been moody, feeling sorry for himself, and obviously longing to drink again. I know this is slippery territory and anything I say could make things worse but I am at my wits end! We haven't done anything social since he quit drinking, I have been trying to be supportive and letting him vent and have his space. I've been doing everything around the house and for the kids, while he's been sulking and wanting us all to leave him alone. To say this isn't fair is an understatement but I understand how this works, he needs to work on him right now so I've been letting it go. Anyone been through this or have any advice? I am angry but not showing it, as to not send him spiraling toward relapse.

dandylion 11-18-2017 12:49 PM not worry about sending him to relapse. If he wants to relapse...he will find blame it on!!
I think it is very unfair for you and the rest of the family to be penalized because of his moods. If you cancel things...I think it would send the message to the kids and others that the alcoholic is still the central one in the family.
If it were me...I would not do it.
If it were me (and it isn't)...I would tell him to occupy himself elsewhere... anywhere...and go ahead and have a good family get together. If he gets mad...well, too bad. He can stay mad till he gets glad! Nobody stays mad
On Thanksgiving....just tell the others that he is not in a social mood...and, leave it to that. If they ask can just say..."I'm not sure..I am just going by what he said"....

One of the very destructive things the alcoholic does to the rest of the family is to become the central focus of everything...sucking the life out of everyone else's bones. I don't suggest that you cater to that. It smells very close to

tomsteve 11-18-2017 12:57 PM

I am angry but not showing it, as to not send him spiraling toward relapse.

relapse ends with a drink. someone thats "... in the throws of dry drunk syndrome and feeling sorry for himself"
is already on the way and lookin for an excuse.
there is absolutely NO ONE that can cause a drink to get down anyones throat other than the person in their own mirror
thats all just my opinion.
as always,dandy has awesome advise

Bob4x4 11-18-2017 01:24 PM

These are the kind of threats my NPD parents would use to control others to bend to their will. (narcissistic personality disorder).
Threats like this make others walk on eggshells.
Threats like this make others guess what you're thinking , OR ELSE !!!
Threats like this make you wonder who has the power in the relationship.
Threats like this take away your power and make you feel powerless, worthless, and unloved.

I feel lousy reading this post and remembering what my parents used to do to us kids and each other around these family holidays. It's not really important stuff but it IS really important stuff. and it is angering to me that my mother or father could minimize this kind of gathering to bring attention to his own need for attention and self pity. But of course the Xmas dinner would come and go and all is back to normal ( WTF was all that noise about again?)

My mom tried to continue this kind of manipulation after my father had passed a few years ago and now NOBODY goes to her xmas dinner besides the one money scheeming daughter. any who . . . i digress.

my feeling when i read your post is just do it anyway, let hubby stew and babble away. If it has always happened then he is still expecting it not to change, just he's being a jerk, grumpy, moody... ignore it, employ the 'yes dear' tactic.

when my mom used to do this kind of nonsense my dad would ignore it and say ' mom is in a snitt' .... you use the word 'funk' which is good, kinda defines a temporary mood that is going to change to 'not in a funk' .. I'll bet in the next 6 weeks or so it will change to 'not in a funk'

IMO a big visit will rapidly change the mood from funk to not funk.

Nata1980 11-18-2017 01:25 PM

Aww poor baby. Not.

No reason to cancel anything and shortchange yourself and your kids - you can still do what you want to do he can choose to participate or not

I second tomsteve on that if he is looking for excuse to drink - it does not matter what you do

I hope you have a great holiday!

SparkleKitty 11-18-2017 01:29 PM

He's an adult and can opt out of the Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations as he wishes. You will all probably have a much better time without him there anyway.

What he wants and thinks and wishes doesn't have to alter your plans or your kids' plans one bit.

dandylion 11-18-2017 01:31 PM

LOL...Wasn't it GRINCH who stole Christmas.....?

PeacefulWater12 11-18-2017 01:35 PM

You have the Christmas you and the kids want.

AH can throw all his toys out of the pram if he wants. Leave him to it! If he is going to drink, he will do it whatever you do.

Nata1980 11-18-2017 01:41 PM

Originally Posted by PeacefulWater12 (Post 6677621)
You have the Christmas you and the kids want.

AH can throw all his toys out of the pram if he wants. Leave him to it! If he is going to drink, he will do it whatever you do.

I am borrowing "throw the toys out of the pram" expression - it's great!

NYCDoglvr 11-18-2017 01:41 PM

A saying I heard about alcoholics sums it up perfectly: his majesty the child.

PeacefulWater12 11-18-2017 01:46 PM

King Baby Characteristics - Alcoholics Anonymous - North East Wales

I found the above enormously helpful. King Baby.

Mods, if not allowed to post links, please delete.

searching4shay 11-18-2017 02:22 PM

My AH and I had a similar conversation a week or so ago. I told him we'd miss him. That was not received well, lol. He couldn't understand how we'd celebrate without him, which only confirmed my gut feeling about his intent in saying it in the first place. Once he realized he wasn't going to control the situation, regardless how "awful I was for leaving him out" (what?!?) he backed off. Your RAH may have other reasons for not wanting to go, but you and the kids should continue on with your plans and hopefully he'll come around. This disease controls enough as it is.

OpheliaKatz 11-18-2017 02:29 PM

Hey, I missed tons of events because my AH was "not feeling well". Like everyone said, he will drink if he wants to drink. Everything he says will just be an excuse. If he's causing you to walk on eggshells, that's on him not you. Go if you want, leave him at home. A bit of socializing would probably do him good though -- if he chooses to do it, that is. Have the best Christmas you can possibly have.

53500 11-18-2017 02:36 PM

Ukiah - nothing you do or don't do, say or don't say, will "make" him drink. If he decides to drink that's all on him.

If he does not want to attend the holiday gatherings that's fine. I expect you'll all have a better time without someone in that crappy frame of mind! No need for you to change your plans.

AnvilheadII 11-18-2017 02:38 PM

it is perfectly ok for him to decide he does not want to participate. but that does not mean the rest of the world must also abstain. what's he going to do.....sit on the porch with a shotgun and threaten any visitors, bar them entry?

he's not the center of the damn universe. his "sobriety" is not anyone else's problem or concern but his. it's time to stop playing into that. just move forward with your plans...move around him. he can get a hotel room and eat a drive thru burger for christmas if he's really feeling THAT strongly about it.

SoberLeigh 11-18-2017 02:56 PM

I hope that YOU and your kids enjoy your Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday,, ukiah.

I feel that it is unfair of him to try and influence the gatherings and plans that you and your children enjoy.

Any relapse that may or may not occur is beyond your control and definitely not caused or influenced by you.

Be supportive but draw the line at enabling.

I hope that your AH seeks some kind of a support system; it could truly benefit and enhance his sobriety.

maia1234 11-18-2017 10:27 PM

He's nothing but a dry drunk, no different then when he was drinking. Is this what you want in life. It will not change unless he grows up, sobers up and works a program.

I think you still have some hard decision to make in your marriage, doesn't sound like to much fun in your home. Happy holidays my friend.

FeelingGreat 11-18-2017 10:38 PM

I'll go the other way and say that if you can do without the dinner for one year and keep it a quiet day you should probably do it. It can be terribly hard to get through these traditional drinking times if you're hanging on by your finger nails.

I suspect it's his way of asking that's getting you offside though. If he'd sat you down and explained how hard it will be for him to resist drinking anyway, and could you be anti-social just this year you'd probably be very understanding.

I might give him a pass on the festivities but definitely not on family work. Why would being sober stop him sharing the workload? It should make it easier to cope. Please don't think you're pushing him into relapse if you ask him do a fair share of the work.

Mango blast 11-19-2017 01:10 AM

Recovery is something far different than not drinking and being in a bad mood. Not drinking by itself is a very normal phase of active alcoholism.

The "I-can-do-this-on-my-own" phase with just enough evidence to keep everyone reeled into that thinking. This family disease of alcoholism lies to the alcoholic and everyone else in the vicinity.

Whether he's drinking or not, Al-anon can be an important resource for friends and family.

It's okay for you to enjoy the holiday, even if someone else isn't.

atalose 11-19-2017 08:39 AM

It’s only all about him if you allow it to be all about him. Nothing you say or do or have someone say or do will make him drink or not drink – that decision if he makes it is all on him.

I personally believe that if an alcoholic is not working on their sobriety with outside help then they are working on a relapse, it’s only a matter of time before he drinks again, I hope you do realize that is a very good possibility seeing he’s just abstaining from booze but not getting help for the under lying issues.

If this were me, I would bring my kids and go to Thanksgiving dinner if he chooses not to come along then that is his choice. As for Christmas I would not change my original plans based on his mood today I would proceed as normal and if he chooses not to participate then he can sit in a room away from everyone or leave the house but again you, the children and the rest of the family can’t allow him to drive the bus to all of their holidays.

The situation might be different if he was actually working a strong program and this first holiday season in sobriety 's was a big trigger for him and heis unable to maneuver through them and asks for a pass because he feels he needs to be at AA meetings instead until he gets on stronger ground, then it would be understandable but that is not the case here.

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