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Old 01-27-2018, 08:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exhausted with family and friends


Hi I'm a newbie here. I finally went to rehab for 4 weeks after about 20 years of drinking. I was a high functioning alcoholic until about 3 years ago when I started to spiral. I went into rehab eyes wide open, ready, took it all in. I was excited about how good i felt and as a single mom and caregiver to an autistic relative. I realized I stopped focusing on me a very long time ago. My life cycle was get things done for them, the house, car, work, drink...repeat.

So when I decided to go to rehab at the suggestion of a relative. I didn't fight back like they expected. I got the heck out of dodge and into rehab.

Since I've been out I've had one black out episode and one alcohol poisoning incident. When i came out and relapsed my family bombarded me with very wrong and unhelpful advice such as: "I have a friend in AA so i know all about it, I know what you're going through". "Get some will power". "You need to go to my church". "I don't think rehab worked, these meetings aren't working". "You just need to stop" , " I told everyone to not bring any alcohol to Christmas because of you" (I stayed home and you know the rest)

Now since I scared the crap out of some of these family members with my black outs.....NOW they want to know about alcoholism.... from me. I can't. I'm trying to figure this out. It's like these people never heard of Google or something.

Not to mention my kids father hasn't spoken to me since I got out. I think that's a good thing actually.

I'm so frustrated with trying to educate my family about this when the only person that took the family addiction class to visit me was my drinking buddy... an active alcoholic. I'm drained on unwanted advice from non alcoholics and people that won't try to learn

I'm getting frustrated, the part that I'm scared of is that now I've pushed everyone out of the loop. No one knows that I'm still having trouble staying sober.
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like these people really care but don't know what to do.

Can't blame them for that?
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Old 01-27-2018, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good for you for trying to make a change! From reading your story, I can see you try hard to support your family, and they are trying but falling short of being helpful in the ways you need. I think a lot of us can relate to this, which is why we need this forum; only alcoholics can understand the mind of an alcoholic. Maybe you can build up your support system beyond your family? Is there an in-person meeting you can attend? Or even sober friends you can connect/reconnect with to get some outside advice and support?
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome Catldy,

Sounds like you have a lot of good reasons to be sober. Don't give up and try to be patient with your non-alcoholic loved ones. Non-alcoholics can't understand why we just don't stop. They think it's a lack of will power or a choice. As frustrating as it is, you need to just ignore it or learn to live with it because drinking at these people just keep you in your disease. Good luck
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it's wise to just tell them exactly how you feel.

"I'm a bit overwhelmed right now, could you please give me some space without judging and giving advice? Thanks." Repeat as needed.

The biggest thing that I notice in your post is that you seem to feel responsible for a lot of peoples' actions and that there is some way to get them to understand or to back off. I find that is not realistic in my life. People show their concern in varying ways. It's up to me whether to take that on board or to ignore them. (Politely, of course.)

I also don't talk about sensitive stuff to people I'm not sure I can trust to react in a loving non-judgemental way.

I agree that you would benefit from spending some time on this site reading and/or getting back into rehab/AA/counseling.

Job #1 is to put down the drink. Everything else is noise.
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR, Catldy!

This is one place where you'll find people to understand and support you. AA helped me a lot, too, as would any other group with people who have found a way to stop drinking. Non-drinkers can't really "get it."
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the others, it sounds like your family really care and are trying really hard. They can of course learn things, Google etc but people without an alcohol problem just don't understand, you can't expect them to I'm afraid.

As has already been said, try telling them how you feel as gently as you can, that you do of course need support but you also need space.

X
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Sounds like these people really care but don't know what to do.

Can't blame them for that?
You are right. I don't know what to do for them. I don't know what to do for myself. Thank you for putting that in perspective. I think my addict brain is truing to push people out if that makes sense.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ProfessorD View Post
Good for you for trying to make a change! From reading your story, I can see you try hard to support your family, and they are trying but falling short of being helpful in the ways you need. I think a lot of us can relate to this, which is why we need this forum; only alcoholics can understand the mind of an alcoholic. Maybe you can build up your support system beyond your family? Is there an in-person meeting you can attend? Or even sober friends you can connect/reconnect with to get some outside advice and support?
I've been to meetings and have met sober newbies. No sponsor yet but i got overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry. I reached out to a sober friend today. Going to a meeting tomorrow. I'm just so glad to hear other people understand. This is all new to me
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it's wise to just tell them exactly how you feel.

"I'm a bit overwhelmed right now, could you please give me some space without judging and giving advice? Thanks." Repeat as needed.

The biggest thing that I notice in your post is that you seem to feel responsible for a lot of peoples' actions and that there is some way to get them to understand or to back off. I find that is not realistic in my life. People show their concern in varying ways. It's up to me whether to take that on board or to ignore them. (Politely, of course.)

I also don't talk about sensitive stuff to people I'm not sure I can trust to react in a loving non-judgemental way.

I agree that you would benefit from spending some time on this site reading and/or getting back into rehab/AA/counseling.

Job #1 is to put down the drink. Everything else is noise.
Thank you, I'm going to say just that. I'm getting support with AA and people that went to rehab with me. And on this forum. This is really helping me out
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Welcome Catldy,

Sounds like you have a lot of good reasons to be sober. Don't give up and try to be patient with your non-alcoholic loved ones. Non-alcoholics can't understand why we just don't stop. They think it's a lack of will power or a choice. As frustrating as it is, you need to just ignore it or learn to live with it because drinking at these people just keep you in your disease. Good luck
Thank you done4todat,
I didn't realize it but that's exactly what ive been doing. This "I'll show you" mode. It's weird. I've never had to go against the alcoholic in me before. Thank you
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Old 01-27-2018, 02:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Trying to explain alcoholism to non-alcoholics is like talking to a brick wall, they will never understand it.
It is often times just human nature to look for support from those closest to us, but when it comes to addiction, that isn't the case.
Going to rehab was a good move on your part, but drinking afterwards is not and something went wrong with your recovery.
Have you followed up afterwards with regular AA meetings? Outpatient rehab? an addiction therapist? If not, then you really need to for a support system that does understand alcoholism to keep you on the wagon.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome, Catldy. I felt exactly the same when I found SR. It was such a huge relief to be able to talk things over with those who understood.

My family, co-workers & friends had no clue what I was going through. I really didn't know how to explain it to them - sometimes it makes no sense to me either. All the comments/advice from people who can't possibly relate are so unhelpful. I hope you'll stay with us and post often. You're among friends who care - and 'get it'.
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