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Old 04-18-2015, 07:00 AM
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Unhappy Family interaction

Hi everyone

I have eight days sober and so far it's a wild ride, mostly good but the lows suck!

Anyway, I just wanted some advice.

I don't live close to my family and I live in a tee-total home (now). I feel very nervous making any phone calls and this extends to my family. My grandparents are alcoholics and have had massive health problems due to it. When I call them, they are drunk. Whatever time of day it is, they're drunk. My dad is also an alcoholic so I consider myself unlucky when he picks up the phone instead of my mum. I also have an alcoholic uncle and auntie who both experience fits and have massive damage to their bodies from booze.

My issue is, when I visit any of them, I find it very triggering. Despite their health affects from alcohol, I feel so sad and disappointed that it's the one situation which I find difficult to refuse alcohol.

I know it should be a push to remain sober, but it has the opposite effect. I know I need to protect my sobriety but I get upset when I speak to them on the phone and even worse when I see them in person.

I just wanted to get that out!
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:27 AM
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I don't live close to my family either. However, you need to do what is best for you to maintain your sobriety. You may need to distance yourself for awhile given what you've described. There is nothing wrong with looking after yourself and your sobriety.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:08 AM
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You need to do what you need to do to protect your Sobreity at all costs!!

My family on my dad's side sounds like yours, and for a long time I avoided them, my aunts/uncles spend too much time drinking, always in the pub etc, so I stayed away until I could be a non drinker around them and be strong enough to make it happen.

Hang in there Jane!! 8 days is fantastic, and not worth compromising for anything or anyone!!
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:34 AM
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(((Jane Lane)))
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:40 AM
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YOU come first. IMHO, you should allow yourself some time to build a strong foundation for your sobriety before exposing yourself to triggers if you can avoid them.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:13 AM
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You don't have to visit anybody if you don't want to. Family members can trigger us in early recovery for many reasons. I worked really hard to keep only positive people in my life in the early months. You must put yourself first and keep the focus on your recovery.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:08 AM
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Thank you loves. I really appreciate your advice and kindness.
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Old 04-19-2015, 03:39 AM
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Yeah, my mom's an alcoholic. I've actually begun ignoring some of her Skype calls. If she calls in the morning my time, I know it's night time there, and she's plastered drunk. If she calls at night my time, I know it's morning there, so she'll be sober.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:19 AM
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Firstly, I'd like to say I'm sorry for your situation. What you are experiencing isn't easy. When we are dealing with difficult things in life we want our loved ones to be there for us. You don't have that luxury. You have the reminder of what you are trying to achieve and why with the allure of alcohol in addition to it. I totally understand. My Mother "sets" me off. I don't like being around here when she is drinking which is at every social or family gathering we have. You have received terrific advice. I cannot offer anything other than what was already said. You must come first. Establish a strong sober foundation before trying to socialize with your family. It is hard, but sounds crucial given your situation. My best to you...
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:36 AM
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Hi Jane. I'm sorry you are feeling in a bind with family. Protect your sobriety first. Sort through the tough initial days and then see what happens. If you don't have trouble with your mother, does she have a mobile you can call on? That way you know you will get her, not your dad.

Hugs. You're doing great.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by LosingmyMisery View Post
Firstly, I'd like to say I'm sorry for your situation. What you are experiencing isn't easy. When we are dealing with difficult things in life we want our loved ones to be there for us. You don't have that luxury. You have the reminder of what you are trying to achieve and why with the allure of alcohol in addition to it. I totally understand. My Mother "sets" me off. I don't like being around here when she is drinking which is at every social or family gathering we have. You have received terrific advice. I cannot offer anything other than what was already said. You must come first. Establish a strong sober foundation before trying to socialize with your family. It is hard, but sounds crucial given your situation. My best to you...
Thank you so much. Yes, the strong foundation definitely needs work.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ruby2 View Post
Hi Jane. I'm sorry you are feeling in a bind with family. Protect your sobriety first. Sort through the tough initial days and then see what happens. If you don't have trouble with your mother, does she have a mobile you can call on? That way you know you will get her, not your dad. Hugs. You're doing great.
Thanks for replying ruby! My mum is very critical so even when I call for a chat, there's always some kind of criticism about me, which makes me feel bad of course. My plan is to take some space from the whole situation. As you said, I need to protect my sobriety and that's the one thing I really haven't been doing
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by TroyW View Post
Yeah, my mom's an alcoholic. I've actually begun ignoring some of her Skype calls. If she calls in the morning my time, I know it's night time there, and she's plastered drunk. If she calls at night my time, I know it's morning there, so she'll be sober.
Troy

I'm sorry about your family situation. I can relate to screening your calls. Sometimes it's good to take time and space.

I hope you've got lots of support, we are all here for each other :-)
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Anna View Post
You don't have to visit anybody if you don't want to. Family members can trigger us in early recovery for many reasons. I worked really hard to keep only positive people in my life in the early months. You must put yourself first and keep the focus on your recovery.
That's great advice, thank you Anna. I need to prioritise my recovery, definitely.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
YOU come first. IMHO, you should allow yourself some time to build a strong foundation for your sobriety before exposing yourself to triggers if you can avoid them.
Thank you B. I've got some amazing advice here and I'm grateful for everyone's kind words.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Purpleknight View Post
You need to do what you need to do to protect your Sobreity at all costs!! My family on my dad's side sounds like yours, and for a long time I avoided them, my aunts/uncles spend too much time drinking, always in the pub etc, so I stayed away until I could be a non drinker around them and be strong enough to make it happen. Hang in there Jane!! 8 days is fantastic, and not worth compromising for anything or anyone!!
Purple, thank you! I naively had it in my head that I could "just" change drinks when I go to a pub or when I'm stressed. That voice is far stronger than I realised.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by strategery View Post
I don't live close to my family either. However, you need to do what is best for you to maintain your sobriety. You may need to distance yourself for awhile given what you've described. There is nothing wrong with looking after yourself and your sobriety.
Thank you. I definitely need to take some space and also work on my recovery away from massive stress for now.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:41 AM
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I too drank often to numb feelings of sadness, disappointment, confusion, guilt, anger, resentment etcetera that I felt around the dysfunction in my family.

Namely my parents. It's been a constant trigger in my life, I never knew of any other way to cope with those feelings. I know just how you feel JaneLane
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Stratman1 View Post
I too drank often to numb feelings of sadness, disappointment, confusion, guilt, anger, resentment etcetera that I felt around the dysfunction in my family. Namely my parents. It's been a constant trigger in my life, I never knew of any other way to cope with those feelings. I know just how you feel JaneLane
Thank you. I'm so pleased that other kind souls on here can share and relate. Makes it a lot easier going forward :-)
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