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Trying to get a baseline understanding here

Old 03-13-2007, 08:24 PM
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Trying to get a baseline understanding here

So addiction is a sickness and not the result of free will - like a chronic, if not terminal, illness and not the result of a bad decision on the user's part? I still haven't grasped this.
I'm trying to get my head straight on this, but I'm having a rough day in terms of MY recovery...feeling so resentful, angry and depressed TODAY about the fact that my husband ever chose (?) to sniff, inhale and/or swallow any and everything.
It almost seems that the more I learn, the more suspicious I am (because I was so clueless until a little more than a month ago)...why did he start feeling badly, flu like, yesterday? And why is his nose running? He even had to leave work early today and go home because he felt so badly.
I know, hands off and don't fill in the blanks - his business. Or should I tell our counselor and let her decide?
"School" me, please - and thanks, in advance. If this is moreso a question for another forum, please direct me to it.
Off to read some scripture on fear...
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:49 PM
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recovering addict here, for me, it started out as a choice. younger i tried alcohol, weed and a pill or two, never like what it made me feel like so i didn't get off into getting high, but i did try it and never did it again. but when i decided to try crack, i honestly thought that it would be the same way, i never knew anything about crack other that it was all in the mind, never dawn on me that they meant literally, so i thought that i could try it too and quit. unfortunately it didn't work that way for me, once and i couldn't stop.
i didn't choose be an addict, i honestly didn't know until i was already hooked.

i think that i have an addictive nature, whether inherited or chemically acquired i don't know, but i do believe that it has clinical backing. jmop

sorry that you and your husband is feeling badly. have he been to a doctor yet? i have experence the same feeling as you, my husband is a recovering crack addict and i still have to deal with the anger and resentment issues. i'm doing a lot better now since i came here and began to learn how to help myself feel better in all of this. have you gone to any meetings yet? there is a lot of helpful info at the top of the forum page and there are also alanon and naranon meeeting for family members.

i think that it would be good that you talk to your counselor about your concerns. i pray that things get better for you and your husband soon keeping you and your in my prayers
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:14 PM
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Hello...The addict in my life is my 21 yr old daughter. I to still have trouble with the whole "addiction is a sickness and not the result of free will " thinking. While I see that when they are actively using it is a sickness, but when they have stopped for awhile an the drugs are out of there system an they start using again..that to me seems more like a choice. An if reaching their bottom can cause them to stop, that again seems like it is a choice. Or extremely low willpower.
I'm not saying it is, just that like you I'm having trouble grasping the whole concept. Maybe someome on here can explain.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:14 PM
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Thank you for writing...and particularly for sharing that you still wrestle with some issues related to your husband.
No, my husband hasn't been to the doctor - but then again, if he went I don't know that I'd believe the report about it, not that I'd ask...and I can't imagine that he's ever been straight up with the doctor about using anything. The latter is so scary to me - my husband is being treated for high BP, and has been for the last 2 - 3 years.
Anyhow, if you read a couple of my postings you'll see that we've been to the counselor: twice as a couple, AH goes weekly and I've been once on my own. I have another appointment on Friday, and will likely go every other week from here on out. I've been to 2 alanon meetings (no naranon around here) - have made a commitment to go go once a week and have for the last 2 weeks....this all started a little over a month ago for us. Anyhow, I listen to counselor recommended CDs (i.e. set on enabling and another on control, both as related to addiction and recovery) whenever in the car. I've been on SR a BUNCH since the counselor recommended it +1 weeks ago. I read (i.e. starting the Recovering Pharasee - related to being judgemental) and watch, as a homework assignment, "Intervention." Gotten the impression I'm Type A? That I feel like I've failed him/our family/me and that I better give over to Him and His tools? If so, you've got my number.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:26 PM
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I personally believe it is a choice at first but in some cases one bad choice and they are hooked. I do know that it is a choice to get high and a choice to not get high. The addiction itself manifests desires that the addict will not chose to reframe from acting out. There is a feeling (IMHO) from talking to a recovered addict that there is a level of pleasure but I don't know personally. I am sure there are others here who can answer your questions better. I wish you and your A the best.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:26 PM
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And, Take, I see that addictive nature - he's addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling (lottery, if not more), porn (and that has escalated since working to kick drugs and alcohol - what IS up with that?), money, just having stuff (materialistic, a greed thing going on per the counselor), attention and approval (like from his clueless siblings and people within the community), etc.
Yeah, I need to get going on that book about being judgemental - having a rough time.
I feel like one of those hamsters on a wheel - you know how they just run and run, and the wheel keeps going round and round? Or are those gerbils...
Anyhow, I think I need a break. But isn't time of the essence? A luxury that I can't afford, especially right now?!
Pity party in full swing - I need to suck it up.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:29 PM
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wking, are you saying that you think that you have failed him? i hope that you do know that this is not your fault. i still believe that it was a choice for me to use in the first place but i did not choose to be addicted. now that i have few yrs clean and a few recovery tools, then yes i feel like it becomes a choice to use. i don't know if i'm confused here. nobody has to continue to be active in their addiction. i just believe that i do have an addictive personality i'm one to get addicted to almost any thing i touch.

it is so good that you both are seeing counselors, and i do understand how you feel. my husband is also addicted to crack and i have been tring to cope with his addiction for the whole 21 yrs of marriage. when i first came here, i was stoned crazy. if i misunderstood your post then i'm sorry.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:41 PM
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Okay, Noah - I - like you - don't know personally...and, for me, that was and is by choice.
So, when AH initially felt he could stop cold turkey, that was wrong - wasn't it? If the addiction takes over, and one gives into it because they've lost... what...self-contol...then how would it even be possible to grasp that control without help and therefore do it on one's own?
And, I guess I have another question for all - on a roll tonight. Every person's rock bottom is different, as is how they respond to it? And, if an enabler is in the wings, that rock bottom opportunity for recovery will likely be lost...right or wrong?
My husband is one of those people you read about that is (pray, WAS) hooked on payday loans. Addiction doesn't allow one to think does it? I learned a lot by reading Ann's reposting from Jon about addiction. It's all about the addiction and not about the consequences for anyone adversely affected as a result of that addiction, right or wrong?
In short, it can all go down the tubes for what? A few minute of something called a "high?"
I need to pray for gentleness and compassion - guilt running high. I guess that none of this is really for me "to get?" It's not "my business?"
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:41 PM
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look like we were posting at the same time, talk about addictions, i forgot that i had an addiction to gambling too and i think that my ah had a sex addiction, something that he's never admitted to, but to me it was true so that what i chose to believe and work on how i was not gonna allow it to affect me.

addiction gets so much worse. you would think that maybe it could have been greed for material stuff, maybe it could have been more a desire to be able to have money for drugs.

sorry, but i think that all of this does take time. focus more on you and less on him and things will began to feel a little better as time goes on.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:47 PM
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wking2change I went to a seminar once with a man whom was a recovering alcoholic explain addiction as a disease to the group. As he explained it me I will try to explain without botching it up.

A person with the disease of addiction do not go thru the normal filtering of the chemicals when injested, smoked, consumed. Our bodies filter thru and go thru phases of unconcious reactions we are unaware of. Although you may not remember it, your body is rejecting the chemicals or toxins which is what drugs are, and your body doesn't want to experience this again, thus making you feel ill at the thought of a drug you might have experimented with. The addicts body bypasses these filterings and experience a whole new level of feel good. So when we do something that makes us feel really good and our body's are not rejecting it in the normal way, we want more of it. It is then when they become addicted.

So while we can not understand why they want to do drugs, they can't understand why we don't do drugs. I was 1 out of seven children whom didn't get the addictive gene passed down from my father. The other six are recovering from alcohol and some drug addictions. And a couple are still active addicts. So after trying many different drinks and drugs over the years to try and "FIT" in, I finally realized i was not an addict or alcoholic. My body said no even when my mind said yes. So I have no more choice to not be an addict/alcoholic no more than my 6 siblings have to be one.

I hope this helps as it helped me come to a better understanding of my family. I found to no longer hate the person, but hate the disease.

And by the way you sound like you are on the right path, you inspire me to get on the ball and restart my work on my recovery. and like you I think i am a type A, I felt like I failed when my husbunds addiction got out of control. But keep working on the things you have said above, it gets easier and as time goes by, we find serenity. And as if you needed to add to your list of reading might I suggest one that helped me a great deal? Melody Beatties Bokk "Codependant No More". She really hits a few nails in her book.

Sending some hope and prayers your way
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:49 PM
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No, Teke - you didn't misunderstand. TODAY, I feel like such a failure...again. I know that this is all so new...but how could I have been so stupid? We have children, wonderful children - they deserved and deserve better. I see where his addiction and my behavior have caused and are causing problems for them - it just can't be too late...it just can't be. In my head, I know it isn't my fault - you all say that, the counselor and those at alanon say that - all I read and hear supports that. It's a hard pill (okay, maybe a poor choice of words there) to swallow, though. I remember myself at my kids' ages - what was going on, my thoughts and feelings as a result. I know what baggage I've brought into this from my childhood - and, I guess my husband counted on that baggage. The cycle can be broken though, right?!
Crying in the Starbucks I wish I had in front of me...
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:56 PM
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i tried everything i knew to do the cold turkey thing and believe that my ah did too. i believe that it takes help, professional help and i believe some kind of belief in a higher power.

its like the drugs take over the mind, body and soul. its like it takes away all common reasoning, not that you don't think its that the drug seems to rule. it like a demon, if you could imagine, takes over the body and the body does what it wants to do and the real person is locked away deep inside the body wanting to be free but don't know how to stop what is happening. it is something that you never experiencing, could never in a million yrs understand what its really like. an addict most of the time is really suffering but the love can't know how much.

in my opinion, someone who is enabling is making it a little easier in some ways for it to be easier for the addict to continue using. left along, he's more apt to feel the real weight of his addiction. i think that it is best to allow the addict to suffer the consequences of there own actions and not one knows where that bottom might be, most of the time, even the addict dont' know it until he reaches it.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:01 PM
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Enabling slows the addicts recovery way down. We fix and jump thru hoops to fix the wrongs. They don't have to face the concequences of there actions, but we sure the heck do. Thats why we get so crazy anticipating there next move. After one saves a few disasters from happening you tend to get a little crazed at thinking whats next, I have to stop or keep it from happening.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:08 PM
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If your AH felt he could beat his addiction cold turkey, alone and relapsed I would say I am not surprised and he was wrong. In fact many people go through programs that keep them days or 6 months only to see them get out and use in hours or years later. Do I think they want to, no of course not but they still do and going back is a choice. Addiction is powerful and can be beaten cold turkey by some but probably very few. I feel IMHO that addcition is a horrible physical demand that thier minds create. They want to stop but can't or won't and in some cases I am sure some are not bothered by it either way. The thing that can happen is you allow an addict to USE your resources for his fix or to help them through the down moments. After doing this time and again we get sick and things tend to fall apart around us or at least IMHO. The lust or hunger never goes away but can be dulled in time by not using but they are always addicts. As much as we would like to approach addcition IMHO as a cold or cancer, its not. Addiction is ultimatley about a choice, that leads to the NO choice feeling to the addict and back to they have to make a choice or die. To me that is a horrible disease based on choices and physical dependencies. Do addicts want thier life? I don't think so but they do not have the power nor the will to make that right choice until they have had enough pain and are ready for change assuming they make it that long. Of course what do I know? I hope I helped you with your question on choices of the addict.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:09 PM
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i think that it maybe really time for you to stop right now and breathe, NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT. we have 7 kids and i had the same concerns as you, you can now do what you need to do to protect you and your kids, its never too late. my counselor told me once about my kids when i was so scared that they would be scarred for life, he told me that as i got better, they would too. i found that to be mostly true so far. today i have 5 grown kids and yes i do see some codependance in their adult lives today, but i can't change what happened in the past. i did all i knew how to do, giving the circumstances. i took them to meetings and counseling and i had to decide to make a better more stable life for them even if i had to do it alone. i don't know yet, if any of them are addicted but i can't continue to worry about my past, its what i do today that counts for me. all that i can do is set an example.

again i say, it is not your fault or your responsiblity to take care of nobody but you and the kids. nobody is saying that you have to leave your husband, all of the time i didn't leave mine, but i decided what i could and would not live with and made a decision to stick to what i said, the rest was up to him.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:25 PM
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Txsun, I think there's a common thread (was, in your case)..."never enough"
To all, I've spent my life in that mode. Lord knows my parents and extended family members cultivated it. So, at 27 (almost 20 years ago now) I sought out counseling and worked toward change..."To continue a relationship with you (dad's side of the family), I need for us to redefine/renegotiate our respective realtionships." Sadly - and I was prepared for this - all family members chose not to...and I had to respect their choice (they didn't want to give up control). Afterall, I was asking them to respect my choice.
I couldn't stand another minute in the stifled, controlled world I was living in with them (mind you, I was a self-supporting adult and living well on my own). I've been happier away from them, honestly. The counselor at that time taught me that being related to someone doesn't give them the right to treat you like crap.
And then all of this...guess I never really learned that lesson. Or was/is there a big neon sign above my head letting the world know?
It's funny - I'm told that I come off as secure and confident...and yet I am so not. Is the latter what attracted my husband and this life? Did he count on me creating and maintaining the illusion of a happy home and family so he could be a functioning addict?
And what is a functioning addict, by the way?
I don't know why this all matters tonight - I just told the counselor last Friday that I wanted to focus on here and now because we can't change the past...whew.
And all, we go to the same counselor - thoughts?
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:36 PM
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i don't really understand what a functional addict is because what seem functional to me, don't seem to last long that way unless the addict becomes clean and stays clean. you do sound like you are overhelmed a bit, but you sure sound secure and confident to me, a little confused about addiction, but aren't we all.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:41 PM
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Two books that have been helpful with my understanding of the physical, genetic basis for addiction are -

Under the Influence (Milam and Ketchum)and

Beyond the Influence (Ketchum... and someone whose name escapes me).

We have excerpted parts of the Under the Influence in the Alcoholism forum - here is the link: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html

Why did I take my first drink & drug? Same reason as everybody else... curiousity. 95% of all young adults claim to have tried drugs or alcohol by age 25. Trying it was perfectly normal. Except, I'm not a normie... so my experience was different.

When YOU had a bad consequence as a result of drinking or drugging... say a hangover, a wrecked car, a broken curfew... etc. YOU probably thought - "I need to quit doing that"... and did.

When *I* had those bad consequences 1 of 2 things happened. My FIRST thought was, "I need to learn to drink "right". Second, I began, almost immediately, to build a tolerance to the drink & drug... it soon took more to get that same happy glo. I could "drink others under the table" before I had been drinking for even 6 months. Right from the get-go I drank like a drunk... I NEVER drank like a social drinker.

I got sober because I was motivated to do so. For me, it was having kids and a family... that was the BIGGEST thing in my life, and I had planned it for ...ever.

What I know today, 23 years later, is that I am still an addict. That a couple of surgeries and some Percoset were enough to convince me that I cannot take those pills as prescribed... and I have NEVER gotten my eating under control... and under stress a few years ago, I discovered I was using gambling to relieve stress.... and when I taught aerobics I became so enamored of the feeling I got from it I was working out HARD three times a day... when my first marriage was falling apart, I found myself nearly LIVING at my job, always doing more more more....

It is there... behind almost everything I do... obsession and compulsion. In addition to the physical intolerance.

Addiction is HUGE.... it is far, far more than just drinking or not, or drugging or not. It is an element in almost every facet of my life.
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:46 PM
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Is the latter what attracted my husband and this life? Did he count on me creating and maintaining the illusion of a happy home and family so he could be a functioning addict?

Naa thats what you needed to get your fix. I did the same, and when I couldn't keep up no more, I had to admit my life had become unmanageable.

a functioning addict is what you ask? I still haven't figured what that means. skimming by, barely squeezing thru, but not at all functioning. My AH made enough money to tend his drug life and his home life. He never functioned in a well manner as he was either high, wanting to get high, or figuring out a way to get higher. His job didn't suffer because his brother enabled and fixed things at work for him while i fixed and maintained at home. take all the cusions away and there is no functioning going on.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:00 PM
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You know, you're right 1day...to get my fix (I could thro up at the thought...reaching for a Pepcid now). As much as I hate to say it. I just heard all of that on an enabling CD from the counselor last week. I have trouble with the enabling term as it was defined onn the CD, though...because I don't see myself as a goody two shoes and have sunk to being mean, impatient, frustrated...a stressed out hairball, in short.
I do see the controlling thing in me - oh yeah, on all fronts. ICK!
Teke, you SO have my number...everyone tells me to stop and BREATHE.
Thank you, BigSis...thanks to all of you. I'm going to stop my madness and go to bed now (really).
I'll be back tomorrow, though!
Blessings and hugs all around...
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