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Getting the courage to go to counseling

Old 05-24-2010, 10:05 AM
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Getting the courage to go to counseling

I saw my MD 3 times in the past 3 months to get things squared away... so counseling was recommended in conjunction with the Naltrexone treatment. She said she wanted to talk to me about how it was going next appointment (August).

Problem is I have never gone to counseling and I'm not big on talking about my feelings in person etc. In other words, I am terrified to make that call. The dental school offers it for free (affiliated with the college, not the school itself so no one would know) and its confidential or I can pay $20/session copay and go out of the school program.

How do you get up the courage to make that call?

Also, is the medication alone considered "substance abuse/dependence treatment"? I am applying for an assistantship and one of the application questions that they say won't count against you (anonymous demographics survey) says "Have you ever been treated for substance abuse or dependence" thought that was weird. It isn't like I was ever at a treatment center.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:12 AM
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Laura you have a great opportunity here. If this is what it takes to get better you should do it. Just be honest. Don't be ashamed. The person you will be talking to most likely will have heard what you are telling them before. I don't know what anyone can tell you so you can get the courage up, you need to find it inside you. Be strong and good luck.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:40 AM
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I'm not clear (ever, maybe): have you quit drinking?
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:02 AM
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Thanks Ghost... Yeah Norther. I quit March 19, drank bc of a big project (couldn't get my mind off of alcohol unless I drank April 21-22)... and last drank on May 11 just to test the naltrexone (which worked... no pleasure even after about a bottle and a half of wine so I quit early, just fell asleep)... I don't know what will happen after residency and children but I know I can not manage to drink anymore while in dental school (hopefully forever)... I was almost kicked out or held back (they didn't specify) for missing clinic. With 200,000 in debt, I can't risk it! Beside my mom was crying begging me to stop and it broke my heart... my husband also asked if it is worth risking our marriage for...and I don't think it is.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:15 AM
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Oh, and I wanted to try SMART recovery because I just can't find the whole AA higher power thing but in my area, they only offer it if you are in inpatient treatment and even then only if you are in jail... lol my apartment is like rehab... my husband babysits me... bummer they don't have community meetings
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:18 AM
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AA only in connection with an inpatient program? Weird. That seems to violate the "not associated with" principle. If you're thinking you can't go because it is a "closed meeting,"
you're mistaken. Anybody who believes they might have a problem with alcohol can go.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:20 AM
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Laura... I go to SMART meetings in my area (as I recall, you are not far from me?)

They are free of charge and open to all. Send me a PM if I can help you more on this.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:22 AM
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Nah... Not AA... SMART recovery. THey have AA meetings everywhere here, but it's just not me. I can't take all control out of my hands and put it into my HP. I do somewhat believe in God... but overall, I'm kind of agnostic despite my Catholic faith and 12 yrs of Catholic education... I don't think that fits AA well...maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:22 AM
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I think medicine like naltrexone counts as treatment at least to me it does. I'm on that med too have been for a while. Hope it is helpful for you. Though if you were on psych meds I wouldn't count that as treatment for substance but naltrexone definately a treatment option.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:33 AM
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OK: sorry for misunderstanding. I struggle with the HP idea to some degree, but I still benefit by going to AA meetings. I listen to the other drunks talk and I learn about myself. I'm sure the same happens in SMART, so best of luck whatever program you find. Meanwhile, there is always SR!
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:52 AM
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I wish you well. I don't mean to sound mean when I say this but I don't think you have seen the true devastating effects of alcohol yet. Which is a very good thing because I wouldn't want to see anyone go down that road.

I did counseling and no I didn't do meds. Just make that call and go in. You will be amazed at how easy it actually is. You may be hesitant at first but once you start opening up and getting real you will gain so much from it.

I wish you all the best but to remain sober you need to make sobriety your number one priority.

All the best!!! Looking forward to your journey
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:57 AM
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Maybe true... unless you count shaking for 6 days straight, insomnia and mood swings as well as almost getting booted or held back in dental school (tune of $60,000K per year) and husband asking if it is worth risking our marriage for... a consequence (which I did)... and hypertenstion + mitral valve murmur which MD suggested may be alcohol related. At any rate my MD says I need to stay off of the stuff... and since my grandparents died at 57 and 60 respectively from heart issues... I cant take my chances.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:01 PM
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Then Laura....you know what you have to do. We are 100% here to support you.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:05 PM
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Hi,

I am currently going to a therapist because first off, I was married to an alcoholic for 13 years. I endured verble abuse and lost all self-esteem. I finally had the strength to leave when I saw the look in my children's eyes. I met someone 2 years ago, and we just barely started a relationship when he moved away. We kept in contact with one another, and now finally he moved back to where I am. We began seeing each other and he confided in me about his past. Turns out he's a struggling alcoholic. He has been sober before, but he has lasped before. He wants to turn things around, he recently entered a rehab facility. I am trying to decide is it the enabler in me that attracted him to me? Am I setting myself up for more misery? He has made me all sorts of promises, but I'm not sure how much of that I can believe. I do care for him, and we do have a great connection - we have great long talks, and we laugh a lot together. He decided to enter a rehab program - 60 days. Which is a great opportunity for me. I am going to a therapist and I am learning a lot about myself. I realize it's not my job to "fix" everyone, and I need to focus on my kids. I am thinking....if you love someone set them free...I think these next 60 days will be good for us to work on ourselves. Then we can take it one step at a time. I do feel he is worth it enough to give a relationship a try, and I feel we are both taking steps in the right direction to work on ourselves first. Am I being realistic?

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and suggestions. Thank you for reading and thank you in advance for any help and advice.

Summer
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:19 PM
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Thanks Summer for your comment... I hate being dependent on alcohol. Worse, I feel stupid for it. My brother even says that "I'm too smart to let it go on for too long" but when everyone confronted me on it at once... I realized the need for a change... I cannot pay off the debt that I am in... and dental school is what started me on an alcohlic journey bc they forced me to do things I wasn't comfortable with doing.

What am I supposed to tell the patient that noticed my shaky hands... what am I supposed to do if my husband looks at me with disgust and asks me why I just can't stop drinking? And I have no good answers.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:38 PM
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Glad you're back. Yes, Naltrexone would be considered 'treatment', as would the counseling.. and often comes with a diagnosis of 'alcohol dependence'. I know my counselor informed me of such (the diagnosis, I didn't take meds) so that I knew it was on my health record, but I needed the treatment more than my pride screamed I didn't want a label or other issues w/ having a health record saying as such. HIPAA should protect your privacy other than some specific situations.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:12 PM
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Thank you Flutter. I feel ashamed of being diagnosed as alcohol dependent some don't feel that way... but I guess it is pride. I feel I should be above that. I don't know why I have addictive personality triats. I'm not proud of it. I just wish it would end.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:26 PM
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Sorry Kimber for PMing a questionabilty about your alcohol dependence. I didnt' mean it. If you feel you are, you probably are. I just thought you were pretty young and so should stop it now while you had a chance. Didn't mean to offend you or say that you hadn't hit bottom... I don't believe you have to to "recover" Just you seem SOOO young and uninformed.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:49 PM
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Laura, I don't think any of us are proud to accept that we are addicts. I sure am not and was shocked when it happened.

But, honestly, acceptance is step one. If you deny that you are addicted, I don't believe you can begin to heal.

I found it interesting what you said about dental school and that it basically triggered your addiction because of the stresses involved. But, now you are in debt for a large amount of money and need to continue with dental school in order to pay off the debt. That doesn't sound like a perfect situation to me.

I hope you do whatever it takes for you to stop drinking.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:58 PM
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Maybe if you got some good help you could take the babysitting burden out of your husbands hands.. can you imagne HIS stress? I've never been ashamed of being an addict in recovery, but I honestly feel it takes a lot of growth and strength to get to that point..I bet a lot of "I'm too smart/pretty/successful" folks kept that denial to the grave. I've become very humble in my recovery journey too, yet another gift of making the decision to heal my life.
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