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Old 02-07-2015, 07:02 PM
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My Niece

As some of you may be aware, my favorite niece went to rehab shortly before Christmas for alcoholism. I managed to visit her at her treatment center on my trip down south during Christmas, but I've been largely out of that loop since returning home.

The only thing I've done since returning home is make sure, through my nephew, she has my contact information. Aside from that, my approach to this has been hands off.

Well, she texted me this past week. She let me know she was out of rehab, and she was reading a book I had recommended to her while she was in. She was doing OK. I simply told her she was in my thoughts and I was there for her. She responded by saying she really appreciated that and she loved me very much.

As time's gone on for me and I've learned more about addiction and alcoholism, I've become very aware of how these things can go. A lot of times people get out of rehab and they simply pick up where they left off, which is awful. My mentor was like that; after his death, his wife told me after he spent 30 days in Betty Ford, he came home and hit the bottle immediately. Less than a year later, he was dead. But sometimes people commit to doing whatever is necessary to stay on the path to recovery.

I have no idea what my niece is going to do. Long term, I'm cautiously hopeful for her. Short term, I'm worried. But knowing what I know, I've detached from what's going on down there. If she drinks, she drinks, and there's nothing me or anyone can do about that. With that said, the day I got home from my trip down there, I fished out her senior picture and put it in my wallet. It's a prayer of sorts. It's my way of carrying her.

What I told her before I left for home was she's got a vulnerability, one she has to guard and protect for the rest of her life. There's no days off from that. There's no room for dishonesty, no room for denial. It's going to be a tough road for her. But, as they say, it is what it is.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:14 PM
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Zoso - I'm glad that your niece is reading the book you recommended, and it sounds as if she is doing well.

As an RA, I think the way you are handling it is really cool. You obviously love her, you know more than most people about addiction, but you're letting her find her way through it all, being a cheerleader on the sidelines. Most of the people I am closest to, to this day, did the same thing.

Big hugs and prayers to both of you,

Amy
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:29 PM
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Zoso, I too admire how you are handling this and your niece is blessed to have an uncle like you.

I will keep her in my prayers, that she can stay on a good path and find a happy life sober.

Hugs
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:59 AM
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Zoso, I am glad she knows she can reach out to you. That is very good for her. I hope she makes the right choices. XXX
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
Zoso, I am glad she knows she can reach out to you. That is very good for her. I hope she makes the right choices. XXX
Me, too. But as I said, in the short term, I'm quite worried.

She's a smart kid, has always worked hard at everything she does, but we're talking about alcoholism here. Being smart and being a hard worker does not necessarily translate into sobriety.

Time will tell.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:48 AM
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Yes, time will tell. However, hopefully she is learning something in rehab. And she knows that she has you. That's all you can do for now.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:53 AM
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Zoso,

You are so strong! I really hope that your niece can stay healthy and on track.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:35 AM
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Dear Zoso,
I agree that your niece has you to reach out to. She knows you are there
and I hope if she needs your support, she will call on your wise advice!
I know I have listened to you! with positive results!
TF
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:08 PM
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Zoso thank you for the update. As the parent of a RA, I agree completely with how you are handling things. You have let her know you are there for her and gave her a good book. Allowing them to figure it out for themselves is a good part of that process to recovery. Many make the mistake of trying to do it for them or help them too much. The odds are against recently sober or clean individuals of staying off so soon after rehab, especially when it is their first rodeo BUT it is possible for her to remain sober if she uses the tools she learned in rehab and reaches out when in need. I pray for her continued sobriety.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by needingabreak View Post
Zoso thank you for the update. As the parent of a RA, I agree completely with how you are handling things. You have let her know you are there for her and gave her a good book. Allowing them to figure it out for themselves is a good part of that process to recovery. Many make the mistake of trying to do it for them or help them too much. The odds are against recently sober or clean individuals of staying off so soon after rehab, especially when it is their first rodeo BUT it is possible for her to remain sober if she uses the tools she learned in rehab and reaches out when in need. I pray for her continued sobriety.
Thanks, NaB.

The book I recommended to her was It's So Easy (and Other Lies) by Duff McKagan, the former bassist of Guns N Roses. I picked it up when I was having issues with my then AGF, and it was a fascinating read.

He had acute pancreatitis as a result of his drinking, and he was told if he didn't stop, he'd die. So how did he stay sober? He took up mountain biking and then mixed martial arts. But what he also did, which I really respect him for, was go to college, and he's only a few credits shy of his BA in finance.

The reason why I recommended it to my niece was to show her that sobriety was possible, and this is how one guy did it when he committed to it. Obviously, I don't expect her to start doing MMA. What I wanted her to do, though, was think. What she does with that information, and how she processes it, is up to her.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:37 PM
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That sounds like a fantastic book. It will hopefully get her thinking, as you say, to the endless possibilities of how to conquer alcoholism with different tools. I admire him for what he has accomplished despite the challenges. I read Guts by Kristen Johnston as my son was addicted to pills. Not nearly as inspiring but amazing read as to see how far one goes no matter how bad they get.
Please keep us updated.
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