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A pattern I have noticed

Old 08-24-2010, 07:00 AM
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A pattern I have noticed

My AS at one time had his life in good order, 6 months of sobriety, awesome job, hope for the future....worked this job for a little over a month and relapsed on Xanax, went to work under the influence...sent home...fired...suddenly he was back at the bottom, wondering what 'bad luck' had befallen him to get him there..

My Brother is an alcoholic, has been through 3 treatment programs, lost his marriage and the love and respect of his son, demoted at work and close to getting fired completely. Lots of relapses later he finally goes to a 90 day treatment and continues with AA, working the steps, doing well at work, etc..almost a year sober. Within the last month or so he and his GF have been making plans to get married, buy a house, etc. Life looked good and then bam...relapse again..Big Time. I hear is is driving around drunk with booze in the car, back to being banned from visiting his daughter and grandchildren because of his drunken behavior. GF is about done with 'one more last chance' for him. She ask him what set him off to drink again and he told her that was something she had to figure out herself. (I printed out and gave her a stack of posts and stickys from this site

Has anyone else noticed their A doing this kind of 'sabatoge' to their life when it finally starts falling into place??

Is there something in the addict brain that makes them afraid of success and happiness? Is it the stress of 'keeping their sobriety'.? I don't get it..?
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:13 AM
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I have no idea what makes a relapse happen.. but many :hugs: to you.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:46 AM
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I have no answers for you and I have been sober and clean a very long time.

I see the pattern over and over in some and yet in others once they finally 'get it', whatever 'it' is, they go on to live pretty great lives.

The only conclusion I can come up with is that they are 'not done' and the 'fear' of living life sober and clean is greater than the 'fear' of being in addiction.

There are just no guarantees with an A in recovery.

Wish I had the answer.

Love and hugs,
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:47 AM
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The terrible truth off addiction? Its absolute resilience, its ability to come back months, years, decades later and destroy everything. (Hopefully only for a short time)

The comforting truth about the human spirit? Our ability to pick up the pieces and get back on the right track.

my (ex)bf an addict in recovery from oxycontin and xanax, has 6 months sobriety and is currently still in inpatient treatment. there's not a day that goes by that i don't think of how much better things are going to be for him and all that is within his (sober) reach. and maybe that is the same problem an addict faces in recovery. when one may forget, even if only for a short time, the importance of living day to day. regardless of how much clean time. an addict is an addict is an addict, i look at sobriety as a life style not simply a bridge to cross.

i will keep you and your family in my thoughts. the great news is that they are fully capable of attaining sobriety! this is only a bump in the road for everyone.

hope is never lost
xoxo
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I guess I was looking at their relapses as connected to them finally achieving successful lives and not as just another relapse.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:58 AM
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hurtbad
I do understand what you mean. My husband has said of our son that he seems to have the uncanny ability to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory". Our AS seems to be his own worst enemy.

I have no idea why this seems to be a pattern. Boredom? Comfortzone? I do understand what you're asking. I just don't know the answer.

gentle hugs
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:13 AM
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I know what you mean. I've often thought that my son's relapses occur due to the fact that he gets confortable enough in his "better life" to push the limits more. Its as if he feels back in control.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:09 AM
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Why do seriously overweight people lose the weight ( surgery assisted or otherwise) and then regain it and often more?

Why do people fill their closets and homes with stuff they do not need, despite that the acquisition gets them deeper into serious debt?

Why do people consolodate their debt and then use credit cards and do it all over again?

Why does an ex smoker light up again?

Why do we codependents become fixated on fixing other people, despite the universal lack of a successful track record?

The " it " seems to offer temporary relief from reality, life as is/where is.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:28 PM
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YES! I always thought he had a fear of success myself. That he never felt worthy of a life of happiness and satisfaction. Every single time my XAH relapsed it was when everything couldnt be better; job, marriage, kids, finances..etc. I just attributed it to the insanity of addiction and let it go....
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:56 PM
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I have asked the same question....and a dear friend here knew what i was taking about....this is her quote...

(07-25-2010 01:02 PM - Angelic17)
Maggie, Yes, it is true. And it takes the brain over a year to go back to normal. The drug is out of your system in a few days. The mental obsession associated with the addiction takes between 1 year and 18 months. It's a very long process. The brain keeps telling the addict to go, even though they don't want to. That's why relapse is so common. Especially with opiates. The addict feels so horrible because the brain takes time to start making its own seratonin and dopamine on its own again.


I hope this all helps....
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:20 PM
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Hurtbad, Relapse is a very big part of addiction. It's so weird, because you hear and see people who have been clean for 30 years, and then all of a sudden, they've relapsed. Nobody really knows why. I don't even think doctors know why. That's why NA and AA help and are great for certain people. If the addict works the program, the program can work for the addict. It seems to me the addict needs to keep their addiction in check. I personally think that the brain remembers the relief that the person felt while they were under the influence of thier drug or drink. And what ever it is that triggered the need for the feeling wasn't put into check. I have never worked an NA or AA program. But, I know that it saved my sisters life. I was stronger at giving up drugs then she was. I didn't need meetings, she did. I don't think that there will ever be an answer as to why people relapse after many years of sobriety, other than something triggered it. However, what I do know about early opiate recovery, it takes the brain a good 18 months to get past the craving stage, at least for me it did.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:35 PM
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^^^^ thank you love...you're the best! and thank you so much for sharing Angelic17, I so found, that, what you said about how the brain works and drugs...its true...the drugs really do FRY YOUR BRAIN...now, we all know really how and why.....the program..."IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT"
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:09 PM
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It is a cunning and baffling disease..never heard a better description. Scary how it will always be there.....
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:17 PM
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@ keepinon...I agree with you....
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:19 PM
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Wow, Hurtbad, I could've written that post myself. I've always wondered why my AS self destructs just when things are going better. I tried for years to figure it out, I guess there is no answer, it is just incredibly sad for all of us who have to sit and watch. He has been on probation for 2 years, and fulfilled all the requirements he needed to, and then just a month ago, blew everything off and will now go to jail. WHY? I wish I knew. Good post.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:40 PM
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I've seen my son relapse when his life was wonderful and on track. I've seen him stay sober through some grueling stuff.

It's not about relapses, I think, it's about diligence of recovery. Many recover through many programs or means, but something I hear as common ground from recovering addicts is that they have to focus every day on their recovery.

Complacency is a relapse waiting to happen, according to my recovering friends. I know that is true of my codependency.

Hope your son finds recovery again, he's had a taste of sober life and he may just want that back again.

Hugs
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:13 PM
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such a great observation and very insightful. My husband was a chronic relapser - 20 years of crack addiction. He went to multiple inpatient facilities and it never "took". Finally, he went to a counselor that specializes in relapse prevention. Her client load is the addict that has not been able to stay sober.

She trained under a man named Terry Gorski (he has a web site you can look up). Basically, it is a theory that delves into the mistaken core beliefs/issues that lead an individual back into relapse. I know that my husband saw her weekly for over a year and then did a weekly group for 1 1/2 years. He follows up with her still periodically. It wasn't until then that his sobriety "took" (at least for now). He has been sober for 5+ years. The counselor said that he honestly was one of the worst of the worst - so there is definitely hope.

Whether we are addicts or not we all have core issues...some are more extreme than others. I know that my husband's core issue is "the loser". Right when he has it all going for him he sabatouges it. "The Loser" loves to prove that he is right. The counseling taught him how to counter "the loser's" belief system.

Like I said - we all have core issues that we must take a look at. For instance, my mistaken core belief is that I don't matter. It's a crazy belief but there it is. I jump through hoops to prove it to myself (and others) that I matter....when it reality (and when I am sane LOL) I know that I do matter.

I know that the recovery rate for this method is pretty good.. It is intense and the addict has to "want it"....but there are people that chronically go back out and I believe that generally it is because a mistaken core belief system continues to be active.

Just my experience.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lightseeker View Post
such a great observation and very insightful. My husband was a chronic relapser - 20 years of crack addiction. He went to multiple inpatient facilities and it never "took". Finally, he went to a counselor that specializes in relapse prevention. Her client load is the addict that has not been able to stay sober.

She trained under a man named Terry Gorski (he has a web site you can look up). Basically, it is a theory that delves into the mistaken core beliefs/issues that lead an individual back into relapse. I know that my husband saw her weekly for over a year and then did a weekly group for 1 1/2 years. He follows up with her still periodically. It wasn't until then that his sobriety "took" (at least for now). He has been sober for 5+ years. The counselor said that he honestly was one of the worst of the worst - so there is definitely hope.

Whether we are addicts or not we all have core issues...some are more extreme than others. I know that my husband's core issue is "the loser". Right when he has it all going for him he sabatouges it. "The Loser" loves to prove that he is right. The counseling taught him how to counter "the loser's" belief system.

Like I said - we all have core issues that we must take a look at. For instance, my mistaken core belief is that I don't matter. It's a crazy belief but there it is. I jump through hoops to prove it to myself (and others) that I matter....when it reality (and when I am sane LOL) I know that I do matter.

I know that the recovery rate for this method is pretty good.. It is intense and the addict has to "want it"....but there are people that chronically go back out and I believe that generally it is because a mistaken core belief system continues to be active.

Just my experience.
Lightseeker, thank you for posting this. It's very interesting, and it makes alot of sense. I'm so happy that your husband is 5 years plus clean. Thats beautiful. And core beliefs is probably why alot of people do relapse. They believe that they are bums, or drug addict losers, or that they don't matter.
I do believe that all of our pain comes from our core issues. I am the adult child of an alcoholic. I was lied to most of my childhood. I learned not to trust at a very young age. I struggled through relationships with trust issues for years. Until I married the most honest, trust worthy man, who has never, ever lied to me. This post really opened my eyes, and I thank you for that. Oh, and Lightseeker, you definitely matter. Especially to me.
:ghug3
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for the insightful posts...gave me a lot to think about.



Originally Posted by lightseeker View Post
s

Whether we are addicts or not we all have core issues...some are more extreme than others. I know that my husband's core issue is "the loser". Right when he has it all going for him he sabatouges it. "The Loser" loves to prove that he is right. The counseling taught him how to counter "the loser's" belief system.
This made a lot of sense to me, and pretty much what I was thinking. I also think, especially in my brothers case, that maybe the A doesn't think they deserve to be loved or successful. Maybe because of things they have done as an addict, or even before addiction.

Very interesting to me. Even though I've learned there is no 'reasoning' of addiction, sometimes it helps to made some sense of it...
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:32 PM
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I don't know the answer to that...but I do know my exah has told me something that never made sense...but it does fit in with this discussion. I always insinuated to him that I felt he used whenever the stress got to be too much, to escape reality. He told me, "No, that's not a trigger for me...I use when I'm happy and content...I always feel like using will make me even happier...sorta like the cherry on top!" It never sounded logical to me...but he's told me that on more than one occasion.
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