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Old 02-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 7

My partner's withdrawal and irritability during recovery


My boyfriend of 2 years has recently decided for himself to try to stay sober. I don't know what the future holds, I am just trying to be extremely supportive and not "ask" at the same time. ( difficult)

I need some suggestions if there are any books I can read on withdrawal symptoms and what support really means during this difficult.

We have been working on communication and going to couples counseling, and lately he has been doing so well. sharing his thoughts when there is an issue, we end up discussing and we are not angry afterwards. ( a big step) We started to really enjoy eachother and felt deeply in love & happy for the first time since we met. He was cutting back on the drinking, but like alchoholism goes, he started blacking out again and made the call to stop drinking completely.

This is where I need help: Now, Since he has started " recovery " and going to AA which is less than 1 month, I've noticed some days he just wakes up on the "wrong side of the bed" and it lasts all day. Sometimes for a few days. Edgy, anxious as hell, irritable, and just plain mean sometimes. He will often say, "its not you its me. i need to be alone." That communication we had going isn't happening right now. He can't handle the added pressure of talking about any thing even if it's small. Even if I am considerate and calm He shuts down, is extremely frustrated, and sometimes is even sarcastic or says mean things. Then he leaves my place and goes home and I am standing there wondering what happened and why I feel so alone. How could this happen when I thought so carefully about how to say everything so that it didn't cause a negative reaction. I always get a negative reaction now. no matter what. It is so hurtful and so frustrating. And I miss the communication we had worked hard to achieve. When he leaves, Sometimes I let it go and say it is just right now. But sometimes I am just emotional and cry and get so frustrated. That usually makes it worse and he ends up acting like I've violated him in some major way. He may even get so frustrated he will tell me to shut up, he'll hang up, or go home!! I get so sad b/c I realize I have no idea what I am doing and I never get nasty back I just feel helpless and i hurt. Ive tried to tell him he seems edgy and its been hard to get him to talk to me, but he doesn't see it that way and say's it's not related and its me. Before he started this recovery if I tried to talk to him about some of these unrelated issues, he would have been fine so its hard for me to accept that. I feel helpless seeing him this way, and there is some anger funneled toward me that is pretty profound and strong and doesn't seem fitting for anything I have ever actually done to him. especially tonight.

I know he has been having stomach aches, and I cook for him often. I would like to know what I can make to soothe him physically, also what to expect right now as he goes through the rough days, and how I can help emotionally. What I am doing seems to make it worse and he just borderline hates me it feels like.

Please advise ..I feel alone and don't have friends who can understand or give advice on "living sober and recovering". My therapist is searching for some sort of books I can read about this, how to be supportive, what to expect.

thank you. <3
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: W Washington
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first 30 days clean can be really rough, really really rough. his mind and body CRAVE alcohol, and i'm sure he's got quite an inner war going on. his system is messed up, his blood sugars are messed up, his liver is trying to recover, and his body is ridding itself of toxins (poisons). his response is to be super crabby and irritable. he probably feels like crap. headaches, nausea, cravings, the whole nine yards.

the best thing for you to do is give him space. lots of it. don't hover. don't keep poking the bear with a stick. occupy yourself as right now he's not very good company. quit trying to HELP,this is not your fight.

read up on addiction, maybe check out some Alanon meetings (not AA), and at least be glad he's giving it a go.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:13 PM   #3 (permalink)

Join Date: Dec 2012
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Hi Anvil,

thanks for the reply and advice. I will do that. I did go to Al Anon, and read the books since the moment I realized I was facing this. He isn't very good co. for sure, and I have adjusted to being alone most of the time now or with friends and seeing him when he can handle it.

Unfortunately he didnt make it the first thirty days, and got pretty tossed the other night. I kinda stayed out of the picture this weekend, I could just see it coming. That made him hate himself even more and me for some reason! I wasn't even there! lol, and I didn't ask. He did enough that it was obvious and we both just are letting it go. I actually am less interested in seeing him now, b/c I feel too overwhelmed by this recovery and what it entails. Not sure if I have it in me tonight and feeling pretty discouraged.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Happy2013, it sounds like you are taking more initiative for his recovery, than he is.

In my opinion, the support you lend ought to be directed toward yourself.
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