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Don't they have a choice??

Old 10-11-2008, 11:00 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I don't dread withdrawals, it's only 3 days. Once I get past that I don't go back, I know it's all psychological not physical. What I dread is having to adjust all my habits and routines again.

WOW ....... Chino. That totally makes sense. I am wanting to quit smoking too - and that is my biggest pain - adjusting my habits/routines. Thanks for saying that -

DW - the thing about your husband's justification with using to work... is that what comes with addiction is that in the end you lose it all anyway. So - it's just a matter of time for him to lose his job. SO- that will be one consequence he will suffer not at the hand of you - but only himself! I'm sure you and he have already had this discussion - so in the meantime - this is where you are doing so well with looking after yourself - reaching out for help - so that you can be self supporting. Baby steps DW....
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:20 PM
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I haven't been on in awhile having decided that living alone, supportimg myself and not having to compromise any part of my life is just the best thing that ever happened to me (OK.. the Cats and the dog get compromises LOL).

However, I can say this one thing when I read about intentions. Addicts may wake up in the morning INTENDING not to use that day. They may go to bed at night intending not to use tomorrow. They may intend to project an honorable personna.

And all the while in my mind I cannot help but think, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions..."

Actions count and only actions count. All the rest is just background noise. Disease or not is not the issue. The issue is actions and taking action and that usually doesn't happen unless the person has finally had it with the consequences of addiction (they have lost everything, including self respect).

I am sorry DW that you are still suffering the consequences of your husband's addiction and I am sorry your husband is not suffering the conseqwuences of his addiction. He has no reason to make a different choice until all other options have closed down. That will be both a sad day and a glad day, but he won't see it for awhile, if it indeed, ever happens.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:47 PM
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When my RAS was in treatment, there was a conselor there that explained that drugs alter the chemical make-up of the brain the first time someone chooses to use. Each time a drug is used after that it is like another nail in the coffin of the addict because the chemicals in the brain are damaged even more. Until the addict is clean and sober for a period of time, this imbalance causes the brain to play tricks on the addict, making them think it is a neccessity for life and without it the person will die. Until the addict hits his bottom and realizes that his brain has been lying to them nothing will change. We, as the family that love them, find it hard to understand because we don't have that same kind of chemical imbalance.

While it didn't make me feel happy hearing that my son was destoying his brain cells on a daily basis, it did help me understand a little why I was confused as to why he couldn't contol his usage.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:05 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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of course they have a choice to use or not...

I tell ya when I stopped trying to be inside my H's head I found a lot of peace. Trying to understand his choices just mad me crazy as hell. I don't need to go there anymore.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:31 AM
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I understand what you are all saying. But in my naranon group yesterday, a very wise woman who has been in naranon for over 20 years (her qualifier being her ah), said that addicts have choices, and her ah hates when the excuse is made that they are addicts and that is why they do what they do.

Also, i am trying to get it through my brain, but finding it difficult that why is it that when they hit a bottom, whatever that is to each indivdual addict, does their brain finally function correctly and tell them they need to get help??? Why doesnt it keep telling them that it is ok??? And maybe for some it still does, but why for others it tells them they have had enough.....?? It is a baffling disease and i know that maybe i spend too much time thinking about it...but i need to understand what i am dealing with for me to move on in my recovery.

Sometimes i feel that if it is a disease, then shouldnt i stick by my ah (in sickness and in health??),.....and i start to feel a little guilty being so angry at him for something he cant help. At the same time i think that i didnt sign up for this, and he made a choice at one point to use (again though, i am in conflict with myself because as humans we all make mistakes). I know the best thing for me and my children is to get out of the insanity of addiction.....and at the same time, I feel sorry for him...I know that he needs to feel the consequences of addiction and maybe by us being a part he will, but for some reason i doubt it...(i think his brain will tell him i left for some other reason).

I need to find the courage to leave.....and i dont want to wait until something really bad happens.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:03 AM
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Once I started spending time worrying about my own bottom rather than my ex's bottom, I hit it. And found the courage to leave. His problem was a distraction for me so that I didn't have to focus on myself and my own problems. Change is hard - for both addicts and their partners. Avoiding change can be an addiction too.

You can feel sorry for your husband and not allow your children or yourself to suffer consequences from his selfish addiction.

It's the same for you as it is for your husband. Your husband has numerous excuses why he won't quit using drugs and you have numerous excuses why you continue to stay even though YOU SAY it's insane and bad for you and the children. It's an addiction. So I'm glad you are getting help. I hope you keep going to your meetings. And maybe try working some steps... Action not words...
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:40 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by drainedwife View Post
Also, i am trying to get it through my brain, but finding it difficult that why is it that when they hit a bottom, whatever that is to each indivdual addict, does their brain finally function correctly and tell them they need to get help??? Why doesnt it keep telling them that it is ok??? And maybe for some it still does, but why for others it tells them they have had enough.....??
Their brains aren't functioning correctly when they hit bottom, their brains have been shocked hard enough by whatever event(s) to merely stop the cycle. It's during recovery they retrain their brains.

It's a poor analogy but think about deep sleep. It takes loud noise or something along those lines to wake you. Getting back to sleep becomes a challenge.

Our brains run on electrical currents. Those currents are brain waves (alpha, beta, delta, theta). They have specific routes (cycles) they run and in specific strengths. They don't hardly ever deviate from their cycle unless there's an outside stimulus. Before addiction the brain was running a certain way, but the introduction and abuse of whatever substance altered the cycles.

Some people will relapse, even after years of sobriety, because the brain doesn't like to remember pain. It's self preservation. That's why working a program is so important. They have to remember lest they forget.

Everything I typed applies to us on this side of the addiction as well. Co-dependency is a learned behavior and our brains adjusted to it. For our brains to stop the cycle they have to be shocked, too. To change the cycle we have to retrain our brains, introducing new material and behavior patterns. If we don't work a program we will forget, too.

Another analogy -- we can learn a new language, maybe even master it, but if we don't practice it we won't retain all of it.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:51 PM
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DW ....... what I have found to help me is being back out in the work field full force. I know you have thought about this for yourself... and I can't tell you how much it is helping me! For the past year I have worked from home and I found myself having way too many distractions. Just being out of the house and having my thoughts elsewhere has been a wonderful boost in my recovery. For me it is about making it financially because that is not a nice to - but a have to! But truly - the benefit is having something that is just for me!
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:29 PM
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A marriage is a bit more different than the mind of addiction.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:23 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Really REALLY good answers above me, DW.

I am struggling with this idea (again) as my daughter has walked away from her two beautiful babies to return to the drug world.

But reading these answers reminds me that "being sick and tired of being sick and tired" is that worn out, can't take another minute, it's this or death feeling that even the anons can share with the addicts.

The disease is inherited, my daughter can't help that she "got it". The choice, initially, was never really hers... her experience using was different from a normie.

Relapse, though, has been a matter of not having had enough, I think; and the ego of believing that she had it under control. I've had those same thoughts, I was just fortunate enough to not have so much at risk.


My heart breaks for my daughter, but even more for her boys. I have to choose to believe that God has her, is walking with her and knows what is ahead of her and will hold her up during these terrible days.

As He will give ME the strength to tell her "no" when she decides to return. So that she can figure out how to be fully adult in the world, instead of the perpetually adolescent girl.
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