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Old 03-09-2018, 09:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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But doesn't he still deserve love and support? Why am I being encouraged to treat him like he's worthless garbage?I thought people struggling with disease deserve care and affection just like anyone else . I'm getting mixed information.... one minute I'm told alcoholism and addiction are a disease just like any other disease, next, I'm being told his condition makes him the scum of the Earth and it doesn't deserve the time of day.

great questions and insight.
i reread all of the replies to see if i could see where anyone says hes the scum of the earth. i havent read anywhere it said his condition makes him the scum of the earth and doesnt deserve the time of day.
what i Do read is experience that continued contact with someone at this stage of alcoholism will drag those around them down with them. here is one thread that has been an ongoing struggle- its been hard for many of us to follow
https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...mputation.html (Hospital visit post-amputation)

an alcoholic in his own cup is a very sick person- try as many wanted to help me see i needed help, it didnt matter. even then, when i was ready for help, the help was best from someone that had been in my shoes.

?I thought people struggling with disease deserve care and affection just like anyone else
theres a difference and ill give a bit of my experience:
the disease of alcoholism, which i believe to be a spiritual disease, was 100% completely and totally different than the disease of melanoma i was diagnosed with. the cancer didnt cause me to wreak havoc on the lives of anyone around me. it didnt cause me to get fired from numerous jobs, didnt cause people to be worried about me when i didnt come home, didnt cause me to get into a blackout and not know what happened. didnt cause me to end up in jail,be responsible for the death of another human while it was active, and a LOT more.
but that did all happen in active alcoholism.

if you want to stay in contact with him- go for it. theres a LOT of experience here that has TRIED that.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:38 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Yes, alcoholics deserve to be loved just like anyone else. No, they are not the scum of the earth. You are correct about that.

The reason everyone keeps telling you to look out for yourself is that alcoholism is not just all-encompassing for the alcoholic, it is all-encompassing for those around him as well.

Look at your own situation. He isn't even there and you are worried and anxious. You've called his parents to bail him out of jail, you've sat in the ICU waiting room, you've had him Marchman Acted. He has now gone "missing".

Do you want that to be your life? I don't necessarily mean forever or all day every day, but do you want to be involved in that madness? Romantic relationship or friend, do you want that involvement?

These are the real choices you are facing. Now, you are also free to make that decision, just like he can make a decision to not answer his phone.

He was an alcoholic before you met him and he still is. He managed. Ask his parents if he has dropped out of sight before. If they are really concerned about him they can call the police in your area and hospitals. Why is that your job?

Truthfully, if he wants help it is all around him. He can ask for help, but he hasn't. There are trained professionals that can help him, IF he wants that help.

Just had a quick look and there are about 50 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Tampa today, they are free to attend.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:41 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Does wanting to know that he's safe and helping however I can make me the bad guy, an enabler, part of the problem?

have you been able to help him as is?
as is, you almost killed him by not understanding how dangerous detox is. what do you possibly think you have that could help him?
love is NOT enough to save an alcoholic.
i was being loved to death by the people that stayed around me. LITERALLY- they were helping dig my grave.

LETTING GO TAKES LOVE
To let go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it's the realization I can't control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
it's to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective,
it's to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Nitabug, I know you are frustrated and confused with your boyfriend and with some of what you have been hearing and learning here. Unfortunately, life stays frustrating and confusing the longer you allow an addict to remain in your circle. And it only gets worse. I'm so sorry you are having this experience. I'm so sorry all of us here have had that same experience. It sucks.

I hear a lot of "what ifs" in your last post. That's called "future tripping" and it will drive you insane. It is all consuming to constantly be reacting to things in your mind that haven't even happened and likely never will. Not every scenario you spoke of could happen, right? Individually yes they COULD, but certainly not all of them... yet you are consuming yourself worrying about ALL of it when probably NONE of it has happened.

Most likely he is out there drinking his face off like drunks do and he doesn't want to deal with you or his parents... Or maybe his phone died and he hasn't been responsible enough nor even wanted to charge it.

Bad things do happen, all the time, to everybody. We can't spend every moment in fear of these things or we would be paralized with that fear, never living our lives to the fullest.

Some of the best advice I ever gt was: "Deal with what IS, not what IF"

Breathe. Deep breaths.

Hugs
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:50 AM   #25 (permalink)
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nitabug.....I suspect that you feel criticized and are feeling a bit defensive, back. That is o.k. Not unusual, at all.
Of course, you are entitled to all of your feelings. we all are. Every feeling is real...it is just how we direct or manage them that is the important thing.

You should respect your own values and take whatever humanitarian actions that you would take for any other human. That is how I look at it.
You can still keep your compassion.
Of course alcoholics are as human as anybody else. I worked with alcoholics for several years ....we are all human and entitled to love and compassion....
The sticky wicket is when we, unknowingly, sacrifice ourselves to enabling an alcoholic. That actually harms them (and us)...in the long run.

A romantic relationship may not be possible with him....or, good for you. You can still be compassionate and not be in a romantic relationship.
He really needs the help from those who are more equipped to help him in his alcoholism. You...we, loved ones are the least able to help...because we are too close to it.
That does not to say that you shouldn't give the same humanitarian help/concern that you would extend to any other citizen....

that is how I look at it, anyway.....
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I think I can accept that I'm not going to be the answer to his problem. I can't fix him. That's been made very clear to me. However, the part I still haven't been able to understand is why so many have told me to completely disassociate with him entirely.

I get it, a relationship is not the right choice. It's not smart for me to baby him through situations. But doesn't he still deserve love and support? Why am I being encouraged to treat him like he's worthless garbage? I thought people struggling with disease deserve care and affection just like anyone else. I'm getting mixed information.... one minute I'm told alcoholism and addiction are a disease just like any other disease, next, I'm being told his condition makes him the scum of the Earth and it doesn't deserve the time of day.
OK - I know this is how this all sounds to you.

For the record, we don't think active alcoholics are scum or worthless garbage....however...many of the things they do are pretty scummy, so...

We ALL love or loved alcoholics, and we've all felt the way you feel.

The reasons for disassociating from him entirely:

1 - you've known him for a couple months and hes put you through complete hell in that VERY SHORT amount of time.
2 - he does not want to stop drinking right now, so, this is as good as it gets my friend. It ONLY goes downhill from here, and from what you've been through, that's hard for me to even imagine.
3 - you are VERY invested in this person in a very short amount of time, and that's codependent behavior (ask us why we can spot that a mile away )
4 - Per # 3, you gotta figure out why you are so invested in someone you've known a couple months, and you can't do that when you are so focused on him
5 - we aren't recommending this because he needs "tough love" we're recommending this because he will drag you down through the pits of hell (more than he already has) if you don't save yourself
6 - you are very focused on helping someone who does not want to help themselves - and you cant - but if you're like us (and I think you are).... you'll kill yourself trying to help him and won't realize it until you wake up one day and and it occurs to you that you have migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, hair loss, weight loss, weight gain, ptsd, and a couple years shaved off your life due to stress....OH and a lovely general feeling that you are a shadow of your former self, relatively soulless, and have NO sense of self - who you are, where you are going, or where you want to be.

If you don't believe me on this, keep doing what you're doing and check in with us here in 2 years...

You can love someone and hope the best for them from a distance - especially when they are in wrecking ball mode and don't give a crap who they hurt around them (friends, family, innocent motorists...)

The best thing to help him and yourself is to get out of the way. There is nothing you can do to support him until he is ready to help himself.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh - I remember being thoroughly offended when I first got here.....but please, PLEASE keep reading!

And (((HUGS)))) to you - there is no pain quite like loving an addict.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #27 (permalink)
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nitabug, it's entirely understandable that your mind is spinning with the possible worst-case scenarios.

I was an active alcoholic for many years, and got myself into a pickle or two. Or three thousand.

I always got myself back out, sometimes the worse for wear. In all that time, I figured drinking is what I did and what everyone did. Little did I see at first that I drank a lot more than most people. I had to have serious issues before I was ready to quit. Several wrecked cars, scrapes with the law, medical emergencies, r e a l l y bad decisions while drinking that I won't even go into - but lots of consequences piled up in my twenties before I quit in my early thirties. So, about 17-18 years of bad choices and bad consequences. Who knows where on the line this guy is. It could go on for 20 more or 40 more years. You ready for that?

Sadly, many people do not make it out alive. It's often said in AA meetings that if an alcoholic continues to drink they have three places they'll end up: jail, institutions or six feet under. He may or may not ever seek recovery, and if he does it won't be because you made it happen. None of us have that kind of power over another.

I've known many who have died of this, whether it be from diseased body or accident or foul play - it's just a dangerous life for him, and for you. I'm sure he is making epically bad decisions all-around. Have you thought of who he may be sharing a bed with when he's blacked out drunk? I guarantee he #1. Won't remember and #2. Wouldn't confess to you.

You've stated your intentions with him. Now you have to let him make his own grown-ass man decisions.

In addition to, "Let go and let God," I would say, "Let go or be dragged."
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:10 AM   #28 (permalink)
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i think you've "DONE" more than enough to this man and to his parents. and in very short order. i don't think you can really see the chaos that YOU have caused here.....

you "forced" a home detox on him that almost killed him in week one
you took him to the ICU by date #3
you invited him to stay with you , he had a seizure, off to the ER and you signed Emergency Power of Attorney
you brought him back to your home - he got drunk again - he left got a DUI
you then did a Marchman Act and he was sent to a mental institution
and that was just the month of JANUARY

February, AWAY from you, he stayed sober and began to feel better and have a better outlook

March he came to stay with you and in four days was again blind ass drunk and you stuffed him in a cab and sent him on his way.

and now are panicked about his whereabouts and getting his parents all worried and concerned. and you are considering filling a missing person's report and wondering what to do if he shows up during an active search.

you must thrive on drama. but seriously, look at your own actions here and what you have helped bring about in less than three months time.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:13 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I agree that you have been acting like a true codependent. Not judging at all, lord knows I’ve been there and even though I’m climbing out of that trap it sneaks back in here and there. How could it not after that has been all I’ve known for so long.
No one is saying alcoholics are the scum of the earth. In fact a huge number of them are upstanding well off people which makes it even harder to see through it all and hard to understand why these educated people who should know better can’t just stop drinking.
Yes it is a disease, but not one anyone can fix. Not like diabetes where you take medicine and it gets controlled. Plus honestly, if a diabetic doesn’t want to take his meds or take care of himself, there is nothing anyone can do to help him or her and eventually they will die from complications of uncontrolled diabetes,
The reason everyone is telling you to run is because we’ve been there. We all are the rescuer/caretaker kind of people bcause otherwise we would not end up with addicts, or at least not long term.
The fact that he almost died and he still hasn’t hit rock bottom is all telling. He quit but not for himself. If quit to make everyone around him happy for a while. Quitting alcohol takes much more than just stopping the substance. Without professional help he will be just white knuckling it and live a ps a dry drunk until he relapses again. We all kept hoping it would get better each time they quit and often times it did, for a short while. Alcoholism is a progressive disease and it will only get worse. As soon as they start drinking again after quitting it is like they never quit to begin with, they start right where they left off.
Is it frustrating that you don’t know where he is or what he is doing? Absolutely. Would you feel guilty if anything happened to him? Absolutely, that is codependence at its best. But if we could truly help our alcoholics none of them would be alcoholics anymore. We can cover and enable and try to protect them from themselves for a while but that’s just putting a bandaid on things, not fixing the problem.
He has been through withdrawals before so this has more than likely been going on for many years already. And near death didn’t make him see that he really needed to quit, he was drunk again 2 days after discharge. Until he himself wants to quit AND seek help for it, he is gonna do what he is gonna do, and yes, unfortunately for some people that means dying (just look around this forum). But nothing or nobody can prevent that from happening, maybe for a little while, but it is just delaying the inevitable. He is an adult and can make his own choices. He will drag you down with him. You’ve only been with him for not even 3 months, how much fun have you really had with him? New relationships should be fun and getting to know each other, not spending your birthday and 3rd date in the ICU where he is near death because of his drinking problem.
No one can tell you what to do just like you cannot tell him to quit. But you have very little time invested in this relationship. And it will only get worse. Even IF he decided to get clean and get help today, he should not be in a new relationship while he is working his recovery. That would need to be his main focus. For this of us who are married or have been in a long term relationship with our A, it isn’t as easy but I am realizing that it probably would not have been a bad idea if my RAH had moved out after rehab while we w ere both working on ourselves. Because without recovery (on both ends, the A and the codependent) there can’t be a normal functional relationship.
No one said you need to stop caring, but what is knowing where he is going to do for you besides worry more and trying to think of ways to help him. It is called detachment with love. You need to live your life and right now it is all about him.
This is no way to live. With my RAH we didn’t have the turmoil early on in our relationship and he never ended up in the hospital thank goodness. You are already dealing with someone who is in the advanced stages of alcoholism, he lost his job, his home etc. Yet he can’t be bothered to takes steps to fix himself,
The sooner you can accept that the better. And it isn’t easy because we all like to think it will get better if only.... he doesn’t feeel like he has a problem obviously. Until he does and has been sober and working a program for at least a year I recommend that you go NC. And read Codependent no more, like yesterday. And keep reading here. I have been with my RAH for 16 years and he’s been clean about 18 months. Plus I’m a medical provider. It is amazing to me now how little I knew about addiction, even with living with it for so long. I’ve learned more than I ever wanted to know about addiction and codepdence in the past year. I can’t turn back the clock but I really wish I would’ve sought help and found this forum many years ago. It may not have changed things much but I would lie to think it would have, especially for me taking care of me.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:19 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Btw, you title, “Can I still help him”, you never could to begin with. We all thought we could but sooner or later we finally realized we could not help our A at all.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:21 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I'm literally crying my eyes out here at work. I shouldn't even be spending time in forums when I have real work to do. But I am touched by the advice and support everyone has given.
There is so much pain right now because I know that everyone here is right. And I hate it in the sense that it feels like giving up. But it really is for the better.

When I quoted "scum of the earth" it wasn't a direct quote from this forum. Other friends and family have also weighed in on the topic. I've sought information and help from whoever would listen.

I don't want to sit here and worry. I don't want to feel this sad and angry. I'm updating this forum in real time as it's happening to me. And it's overwhelming how I feel at the moment.

It's been a short amount of time for our "relationship," but I've known this guy and his sister since we were kids. Near 20 years. I just reconnected with him and it felt good to look back on and have great memories. I don't want what I'm feeling right now to be the last memory.

I'm so scared and so hurt. I'm not trying to be different or think that my situation is. I didn't mean to get defensive. I want to stop feeling helpless.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:26 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I think you are an amazing person who has done nothing at all wrong in this situation. It sounds like you, and his parents have tried to be supportive and have focused on his health. For 30 he appears to be very ill from the addiction, and its heartbreaking.

My husbands trajectory was somewhat similar so I will share with you what I had to do in order to get through it.

I had to get my emotions in check because it clouded my thinking. Here are a few facts I believe about addiction.

1. Its a complex issue, and its hard to resolve even when a person is willing and dedicated to the process. (if you go to the newcomers section here, you will see people struggling everyday, even though they want to stop drinking or using drugs). Its not simply about willpower as addiction happens in the brain and that affects thoughts, feelings, cravings, logic. As I said complex.

2. When a person relapses all it really means is that what they were doing in an effort to make changes (to stop) needs to be re-examined and a new plan needs to be put in place. More pillars of support through doctors, inpatient, outpatient, therapy, support groups, or whatever. Those things are personal choices and may change during the course of ones recovery.

My husband tried to stop and relapsed several times. His behavior became crazy at times and he was illogical. My inlaws were involved at this time also, we all made mistakes but we each had the best of intent because of goal was to help him get proper treatment. There is nothing wrong with this, its not "enabling" the addiction. Its a move where you try to help get people in the loop who are trained and can help. BUT ITS HARD AND IT TOOK AN EMOTIONAL TOLL ON ALL OF US.

So this is where its easy to say, if you don't have a lot invested then don't get involved and leave it to his parents. BUT its not my place to make decisions for you, and I wont insult your ability to take a step by step approach, and figure out your own path. You've already shown you have your own personal identity and have boundaries for whats allowed in your home. That is great ! because its easy to put ourselves 2nd in these situations, and what Ive found happens is if I did it for too long, then I got weaker, stressed, confused emotional and it hurt me. Once I was hurt and weak, I didn't have anything to give anyone else in my life.

Cutting through the emotions on this.

Was he doing any kind of ongoing treatment? Does he have any pillars of support in place other than you/family? When he sobers up, does he have a therapist to talk to, anyone who can help him figure out what went wrong?

If he calls what should you do? Its really up to you and there is no right or wrong. Knowing myself, I would answer of course because I would want to know what the heck was going on. I would reinforce the positives that he had a month of sobriety and this is a blip. reinforce its hard but there is help. I would stand firm in the boundaries I need for my health and sanity, but other than that there is no reason to shame him for a relapse.

The relapse wasn't personal and had nothing to do with you, hope you know this. most likely I think it was a change of scenery, an influx of emotions that triggered him to want to drink and he wasn't strong enough and said heck yeah great idea Im going to the liquor store, consequences be ignored. It takes a long time, way longer than a month for the brain to rewire away from addictive processes. That to me is what it really boils down to. Now once he starts can he stop again? Remember the brain begins to rationalize things abnormally. complex.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
i think you've "DONE" more than enough to this man and to his parents. and in very short order. i don't think you can really see the chaos that YOU have caused here.....

you "forced" a home detox on him that almost killed him in week one
you took him to the ICU by date #3
you invited him to stay with you , he had a seizure, off to the ER and you signed Emergency Power of Attorney
you brought him back to your home - he got drunk again - he left got a DUI
you then did a Marchman Act and he was sent to a mental institution
and that was just the month of JANUARY

February, AWAY from you, he stayed sober and began to feel better and have a better outlook

March he came to stay with you and in four days was again blind ass drunk and you stuffed him in a cab and sent him on his way.

and now are panicked about his whereabouts and getting his parents all worried and concerned. and you are considering filling a missing person's report and wondering what to do if he shows up during an active search.

you must thrive on drama. but seriously, look at your own actions here and what you have helped bring about in less than three months time.
What I have done? I didn't force a detox. I asked him to quit. He said he'd been through it before and I trusted he knew what he was doing. Ignorance may not be any excuse, but I asked him to go to a detox center and he said no. I can't make him go, they wouldn't keep him if he didn't want to stay.

The seizure was due to complications from the detox meds they gave him at the hospital. He wasn't drinking when that happened. It was a freak occurrence because his body doesn't process medications anymore.

He came down here 4 days ago on his own. He asked if he could. I thought it would be ok as long as he wasn't drinking. He showed up at my door.

All I have ever done is dump out bottle after bottle of bourbon and research rehab facilities. It's been noted that I wasn't and am not knowledgeable of the disease enough to treat it, but I trusted that he knew his body and what he needed to do. He'd been through treatments before and so I assumed he knew best.

If anything, he took advantage of my lack of knowledge and knew that I wasn't able to stop him. He convinced me he was ok and no longer drinking on several accounts. He used me and my home to harbor himself until he could "get away with it" because there is no consequences for disrespecting me and my wishes to keep alcohol out of my home.

So now all these things are my fault because I didn't know what to do? It's my fault because I didn't know how to enforce rules for an addict? It's my fault because HE took advantage of how stupid I am?
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:42 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I don't want to sit here and worry. I don't want to feel this sad and angry. I'm updating this forum in real time as it's happening to me. And it's overwhelming how I feel at the moment.

It's been a short amount of time for our "relationship," but I've known this guy and his sister since we were kids. Near 20 years. I just reconnected with him and it felt good to look back on and have great memories. I don't want what I'm feeling right now to be the last memory.

I'm so scared and so hurt. I'm not trying to be different or think that my situation is. I didn't mean to get defensive. I want to stop feeling helpless.
It is very overwhelming, heart breaking, soul sucking, and soooo defeating. ((MORE HUGS))) You aren't the only one here who's sat at work bawling here, and you aren't alone in any of this.

Knowing him previously and then reconnecting doesn't change anything, and you don't have any control over what your last memory of him is going to be. I have the quote below in my signature here to remind me of that OFTEN!

Who knows what the future holds...ideally, he'll call you after a couple years of recovery - a happy, healthy individual. You can hope for that without dumping your whole being into trying to get him there.

There are a couple books (Codependent No More, and the Language of Letting go) that are brilliant - and the stickies portion of this site is pure wisdom.
https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...potential.html (Potential)
https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)

The Language of Letting Go is a daily passage reader, and what do you know....here is today's - seems like its just for you today.

MARCH 9

You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go."

Taking Care of Ourselves

We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person's feelings. It's impossible; the two acts contradict.

What a tremendous asset to have compassion for others! How difficult that same quality can make it to set boundaries!

It's good to care about other people and their feelings; it's essential to care about ourselves too. Sometimes, to take good care of ourselves, we need to make a choice.

Some of us live with a deeply ingrained message from our family or from church about never hurting other people's feelings. We can replace that message with a new one, one that says it's not okay to hurt ourselves. Sometimes when we take care of ourselves, others will react with hurt feelings.

That's okay. We will learn, grow and benefit by the experience; they will too. The most powerful and positive impact we can have on other people is accomplished by taking responsibility for ourselves and allows others to be responsible for themselves.

Caring works. Caretaking doesn't. We can learn to walk the line between the two.

Today, I will set the limits I need to set. I will let go of my need to take care of other people's feelings and instead take care of my own. I will give myself permission to take care of myself, knowing it's the best thing I can do for others and myself.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:49 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I think you are an amazing person who has done nothing at all wrong in this situation. It sounds like you, and his parents have tried to be supportive and have focused on his health. For 30 he appears to be very ill from the addiction, and its heartbreaking.

My husbands trajectory was somewhat similar so I will share with you what I had to do in order to get through it.

I had to get my emotions in check because it clouded my thinking. Here are a few facts I believe about addiction.

1. Its a complex issue, and its hard to resolve even when a person is willing and dedicated to the process. (if you go to the newcomers section here, you will see people struggling everyday, even though they want to stop drinking or using drugs). Its not simply about willpower as addiction happens in the brain and that affects thoughts, feelings, cravings, logic. As I said complex.

2. When a person relapses all it really means is that what they were doing in an effort to make changes (to stop) needs to be re-examined and a new plan needs to be put in place. More pillars of support through doctors, inpatient, outpatient, therapy, support groups, or whatever. Those things are personal choices and may change during the course of ones recovery.

My husband tried to stop and relapsed several times. His behavior became crazy at times and he was illogical. My inlaws were involved at this time also, we all made mistakes but we each had the best of intent because of goal was to help him get proper treatment. There is nothing wrong with this, its not "enabling" the addiction. Its a move where you try to help get people in the loop who are trained and can help. BUT ITS HARD AND IT TOOK AN EMOTIONAL TOLL ON ALL OF US.

So this is where its easy to say, if you don't have a lot invested then don't get involved and leave it to his parents. BUT its not my place to make decisions for you, and I wont insult your ability to take a step by step approach, and figure out your own path. You've already shown you have your own personal identity and have boundaries for whats allowed in your home. That is great ! because its easy to put ourselves 2nd in these situations, and what Ive found happens is if I did it for too long, then I got weaker, stressed, confused emotional and it hurt me. Once I was hurt and weak, I didn't have anything to give anyone else in my life.

Cutting through the emotions on this.

Was he doing any kind of ongoing treatment? Does he have any pillars of support in place other than you/family? When he sobers up, does he have a therapist to talk to, anyone who can help him figure out what went wrong?

If he calls what should you do? Its really up to you and there is no right or wrong. Knowing myself, I would answer of course because I would want to know what the heck was going on. I would reinforce the positives that he had a month of sobriety and this is a blip. reinforce its hard but there is help. I would stand firm in the boundaries I need for my health and sanity, but other than that there is no reason to shame him for a relapse.

The relapse wasn't personal and had nothing to do with you, hope you know this. most likely I think it was a change of scenery, an influx of emotions that triggered him to want to drink and he wasn't strong enough and said heck yeah great idea Im going to the liquor store, consequences be ignored. It takes a long time, way longer than a month for the brain to rewire away from addictive processes. That to me is what it really boils down to. Now once he starts can he stop again? Remember the brain begins to rationalize things abnormally. complex.
Thank you for your insight. It sounds like we're alike in that we're both compassionate and caring people.

No. He did not have pillars and wasn't enrolled in a program. We were researching and touring treatment centers in February, but without insurance, they're very costly. His family made the decision for him to be at home. His DUI happened in my county and his lawyer is here as well. His mom was taking him to court related things and driving 2 hours to get him places.

I don't know enough about the disease and thinking it was okay to allow him here, I was wrong. At the time, we all thought it would make it easier for him to get to lawyer meetings and look into programs here. But he was left alone long enough to relapse.

People told me to kick him out, so I did. And I'm very worried now because we haven't heard from him.

I didn't know that my version of helping could be so wrong.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:00 AM   #36 (permalink)
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"the part I still haven't been able to understand is why so many have told me to completely disassociate with him entirely."

It is very unlikely that this person is going to settle for a non-toxic normal relationship with you. It is very unlikely that he will accept your "help". It is more likely that he will drag you down with him. You are not dealing with a normal person who will benefit from a little kindness and friendship. What you have described is someone who is deep in their addiction, despite copious negative consequences. And, despite already having people (his parents) and resources (detox and rehab), he has continued on his destructive path.

No one is calling him worthless garbage, scum of the earth. The point being made is he has to be the one to choose change. You don't get to do that for him.

There is an expression around here - "let go or be dragged". Believe these people who have been in the trenches with addiction. Your addict will not care how far down that he drags you.

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Old 03-09-2018, 11:04 AM   #37 (permalink)
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I want to stop feeling helpless.
well, thats a lie. youre not helpless FOR YOURSELF.
ya know, something ive heard and read here a few times:
we shouldnt get in the way of an alcoholic finding their bottom.
after i got sober and started TRYING to help other alcoholics, i had to take some seriously hard knocks.
i was working with a man for some time. doing what i could do guide him through the steps of AA. quite a few times i went to my sponsor for guidance. many,many times he guided me to a little part of the big book of AA:
Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.
my sponsor had been sober 30+ years, worked with many alkies, and knew if someone was ready for help or not. thats why he kept pointing me there. well, that and he was prolly tired of telling me the same things over and over:
you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him drink. you can even shove the horses head in the water but that doesnt mean hes going to drink.

it wasnt long after that i had accepted im only responsible for carry the message of hope. carrying the alcoholic hurts me and this case was proving it. i accepted i am not powerful enough to rescue/save an alcoholic and in doing so only hurt myself.

one day soon after accepting that i showed up at an AA meeting. standing outside beforehand, the mother of that man i was TRYING to help came up and started screaming at me. he died from alcoholism and she was blaming me for it happening.
fortunately my sponsor- a man who used the crowbar to pop my head out of my arse to help me realize i cant help someone that wont help themselves- stepped in between and guided the woman aside while i walked into the meeting.
they sat outside chatting while we had the meeting. afterwards my sponsor came up to me and said,
"dont even try kicking yourself in the ass. there was nothing you could do or say to get him sober and you dam well know that. im just reminding you of that fact."

admitting im powerless over whether someone gets sober or not aint easy.
but its necessary every time i work with another alkie.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:12 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Thank you for your insight. It sounds like we're alike in that we're both compassionate and caring people.

No. He did not have pillars and wasn't enrolled in a program. We were researching and touring treatment centers in February, but without insurance, they're very costly. His family made the decision for him to be at home. His DUI happened in my county and his lawyer is here as well. His mom was taking him to court related things and driving 2 hours to get him places.

I don't know enough about the disease and thinking it was okay to allow him here, I was wrong. At the time, we all thought it would make it easier for him to get to lawyer meetings and look into programs here. But he was left alone long enough to relapse.

People told me to kick him out, so I did. And I'm very worried now because we haven't heard from him.

I didn't know that my version of helping could be so wrong.
Maybe think about it like this - you and his parents didn't do anything wrong. The plan you shared above was a pretty logical way to handle the distance, the court issue. There has just been a negative turn of events that none of you were expecting. There doesn't have to be blame assigned.

Well I can say with honesty that I would be worried also. Worry is a normal emotion. What I try to do in these situations is think about what part of the situation I have control over. Normally there is a lot that I cant do much about. So I shift to thinking about how I will handle potential outcomes. I guess its a looking forward approach. I use it in my work also, and its about the only productive thing Ive found to help lessen the anxious feelings.

(Cyber hugs)
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:21 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I'm sorry if this sounds harsh - I remember being thoroughly offended when I first got here.....but please, PLEASE keep reading!

And (((HUGS)))) to you - there is no pain quite like loving an addict.
It's not harsh if it is legitimate advice and helpful. I have been offended more than once reading the replies to this thread. People have gone so far as to blame ME.

I am suffering enough guilt and thinking I did this to him that I don't need people saying I'm the cause of his actions. Thank you for understanding that and for giving me firm advice and tough pills to swallow without passing blame.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:43 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Nitabug...short answers...

1) Don't call him
2) Don't answer calls from him (believe me, he's fine doing what he wants to do)
3) Go about your life
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