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Old 06-14-2019, 09:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Recovering, But in Denial?


My husband has been drinking steadily since he dropped out of outpatient rehab in October. In March, we discovered he had a severe herniated disc, so he had to have back surgery in April. He drank right up until the surgery and afterwards (he went in at 6:30 am and was out by 2 pm) he went right back to drinking....they'd given him pain meds, but he opted not to take them and drink instead. (I am thankful that I never have to worry about him abusing pills; it's hard enough to get him to take advil!)

We have a very candid, open way of communicating about alcohol now. He doesn't hide it and I don't count his drinks, mark the bottle, or nag him. Recently, on his own, he decided he was ready to stop....not cold turkey, bc last year he had a seizure due to alcohol withdrawal. So he's been tapering down. I think it helps that he's been prescribed a drug called Gabapentin to help with his nerve pain - - I looked it up and it's also good for managing alcohol withdrawal.

Anyways, he hasn't been feeling well lately, so he's at his liver doctor this morning. He's been running a low grade (99.4-ish) off and on, sometimes he gets nauseas, and he called me from the Dr. just now and said his heart rate was elevated at 125 bpm, which alarmed the nurse. I looked his symptoms up and all of this could very well be due to the withdrawal. I asked him if he'd told the Dr. about his drinking (or lack thereof) and he got snippy with me.

He never mentions it to his parents when he's talking about his ailments and he doesn't tell his doctors. What's up with that? It's like this huge denial, but if you have to make it an effort NOT to drink, don't you understand there's a problem? I saw yesterday when I was filling out his updated medical information online that they have diagnosed him with cirrhosis of the liver. I mentioned that and he quickly dismissed it, saying his doctor told him otherwise and that his liver was fine. (So why is it still on his chart????)

I'm just confused. He can't get the correct care that he needs if he's not up front about his exact state.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Lying is a symptom of this disease of alcoholism. So is minimizing, deflection and hitting bottom.

My husband has hit many bottoms. He's been in recovery several times. Nothing I'm reading from above looks like recovery. I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

What support are you getting through all this?

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Old 06-14-2019, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like a lot of denial is still happening.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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** 10 minutes after posting **

Just got off the phone with husband as he was leaving the Dr's office. "It's not good", he said. "The doctor says he thinks I have liver disease"

"You mean cirrhosis?" I said

YES. He has to go get a scan this coming Tuesday. He said he knew that was what the doctor was going to say. I asked him if that was why he was snippy with me yesterday when I brought it up and he admitted it was. He said he's not going to tell his parents "cirrhosis' because his mom will freak out. (She will.....but it pi$$es me off because if you read my previous posts, they'd let him stay at their house and drink, drink, drink when I'd kick him out for being drunk and mean...they are ostriches, sticking their heads in the sand, blaming me, and never accepting the fact that their perfect, precious son is a raging alcoholic. - I want her to freak out. She deserves to freak out and get a taste of what I've been putting up with for years. <a LOT of resentment there; forgive me>)

He was pretty matter-of-fact: No more alcohol in the house, no more drinking, and "party is over".

I pray he means it.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Fingers crossed for you and your husband LPS. Let's hope this is a defining set of circumstances for him.

Just a FYI, in case you didn't know, gabapentin can be abused. Considering sometimes alcoholics will switch to a different substance when they have to give up the booze, it is just something to be aware of.

Thanks for the update! I sure am hoping your husband is about to start making wiser choices.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango212 View Post
What support are you getting through all this?

None. I do take my daughter to Alateen on Mondays and she enjoys it. Her best friend from church is there.

I have an Al Anon app on my phone that I listen to sometimes.....it's a great app called "Alanon Companion". I think I paid $5 for it, but it's worth it. It has a lot of testimonies and I enjoy listening to those.

I *really* don't want to go to meetings. I was looking into them to see when/where there was one near me, though, and there's one a mile from my house. It's at 7 pm, which is usually when we eat dinner, but come on - I could put something in the crockpot that day and the world would not stop if I was gone for an hour.

SmallbutMighty - yes, I am aware of the potential for abuse. I saw on this board in another section where people do abuse it. My husband takes it, though (about an hour before bed), and it literally knocks him OUT. That's why he doesn't like pills...he has a prescription for xanax (as do I - I am diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder) and he won't take them. I have a prescription for phenagran (nausea due to anxiety) and he won't take it even if he's throwing up or nauseas. They all make him sleep for hours. It's not the kind of "high" he likes. And the prescription right now is just for after the surgery. No refills. I'm on the alert, though.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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"the world would not stop if I was gone for an hour."

The world as I knew it got a whole lot bigger through Alanon meetings, events and having a sponsor.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovePeaceSushi View Post
I'm just confused. He can't get the correct care that he needs if he's not up front about his exact state.
He lies to you, why wouldn't he lie to them. There is lots of denial going on there still.

Your title is "recovering". He's not in recovery though. In fact, nothing has changed at all. He has short periods of not drinking then he goes back to drinking.

Why is Recovery So Hard?

"Nevertheless, it is important for an understanding of addiction to bring into focus as sharply as possible the type of unconscious denial that deceives the addict himself about his problems – for it is this type of denial that poses the principal obstacle to recovery from addictive disorders".
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
He said he's not going to tell his parents "cirrhosis' because his mom will freak out.
Quote:
She will.....but it pi$$es me off because if you read my previous posts, they'd let him stay at their house and drink, drink, drink when I'd kick him out for being drunk and mean...
And that’s probably the real reason why he won’t tell her, he wants to keep a place available where he can drink.

He’s not fooling the doctors, they know and when they see his liver scan it will confirm what they already know.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This may seem simplistic, but if someone is recovering, they are not in denial.

Likewise, if they are in denial, then they are not recovering.

While it's a start, it takes a lot more than a decision not to drink anymore to recover.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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From what I've seen and heard in open AA meetings, levels of denial --- and moments of lies or denial --- are also often on the recovery journey, during actual real recovery. Recovery is a practice, it has a learning curve and a lot of surrendering. To that thought: so is recovery in Al-Anon for the rest of us affected by this disease. My denial has been deep.

Three A's: awareness, acceptance, action. This is critical. Each part of it, allowing different interpretations as our recovery deepens and as we're ready to tackle things that are too much to get into right at first. It's a journey done at different paces - connecting with life in healthy ways. Sometimes very quickly progressing. Sometimes simply listening, waiting (huge skills), pausing to allow Higher Power room to do for me what I can't do for myself.
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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LPS...…
You are critical of your husband for not wanting to seek treatment....but, you don't want to go to alanon……
Could this be a bit of the pot calling the kettle...?
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm sure it is.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That's a huge part of how this disease tends to work with family members and friends.

Recovery is beautiful. Good. Connected. We can only do our own recovery, yet there will always be many others in recovery beside us. (((hugs)))
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi, LovePeaceSushi.
Very sorry to hear about the diagnosis.
Agree that he doesn’t want to tell his mom because that could possibly shut down his secondary drinking den.
Maybe not, though. Who knows?
My brother has cirrhosis and, frankly, I am amazed every day that he is still above ground.
He was diagnosed with Wernicke Korsoff syndrome, brain damage from a lifetime of drinking, about eight years ago, and told that he would die if he continued to drink.
Well, he has continued, and he’s in very bad shape.
I guess all that I am saying is that dying from alcohol addiction is not pretty and can take an awful long time.
I think Al-Anon meetings could help you, but that is really up to you.
I assume you are planning for his future care?
My brother lives with my mother. If she predeceases him, we are planning a forced detox and entry to a sober house.
Unless his health has deteriorated to the point where he will need nursing home care, in which case, forced detox (no nursing home will take an active alcohol addict) then nursing home.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sorry LPS. Who knows, many As give up drinking after a serious health scare. My sister told me once that her patients who had smoked their whole lives often gave up smoking when they were diagnosed with lung cancer, too late.

I see his secrecy a little differently than many in that I think he's ashamed and he's been doing some inner bargaining about recovering soon, so there's no need to put it out there. Of course time passes, you still haven't given up and eventually it gets too serious to hide. He's still clinging on to secrecy with his parents because he can. It can't last forever though.
I hope he can stop drinking between now and forever, but if not, maybe his doc can help him out once the scan comes back. He must have come across many patients like your AH. I don't doubt the doctor had a very good idea about the drinking whether your AH admitted to it or not.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm in my 28th year of recovery and still have to deal with denial and rationalization.........just not about alcohol.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I agree with other posters about your lack of action in your recovery.
In my life I began to live my recovery out in the open. Making it
real in my life, in my home, for family members. I spoke about
going to meetings, I had books lying around the house about
the family disease of alcoholism, addiction and codependency.
I mentioned my sponsor if I was going through a difficult
period. I lived my life in as much reality as I could, though not
perfect, and prayed every day to not be in denial any longer and
for the wisdom to know God's will and the courage to carry it
out. In short, I made my recovery a priority in my life.

My ultimate goal being to care about myself more than
other's addiction.

OTOH, I find it shockng the way doctors never ask about
alcohol or other addictions, especially in this current
culture.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear this LPS;

I hope he backs his words with action. Wishing you both healing and peace.
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All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

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Old 06-15-2019, 02:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I’m so sorry to hear all this. Makes me re-live the hell I went through with my ex... in & out of hospitals for years. She lied to doctors 99% of the time... oh the stories & lies she’d tell (& I’d be steaming inside!) but they’d look at me with such concern as if they could read my mind... and endless thoughts of disappointment, anger and sorrow.

Alcoholism is honestly very obvious to most doctors. And they’d pull me aside and tell me their concerns. It’s pretty obvious I think to most people — we’re just so used to living in chaos and lies. She’d lie to her parents as well... & we’d fight about that constantly. They believed she was living a sober life!!?
Now that’s utter madness!

My ex always said if she became terminally ill from her alcoholism... she’d drink until death. Heartbreaking beyond words... but her choice.

I sincerely hope for the very best for you & your family... hope things change for the positive. You so greatly deserve that!

Hang in there.
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