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Old 04-19-2007, 09:10 PM
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Newly here

Hello. I am the daughter/granddaughter/neice/wife of alcoholics/drug addicts and the mother of a three-year-old. My husband recently had a relaps. We have recently started marriage counselling. Today he went to a SMART meeting and liked it fine, which is the beggining of a relief. We both have trouble with AA, in part (on my part) due to the god stuff. I am an atheist.

I do not know if there are groups meeting in my area for Significant Others, but if I find one, I will go.

Anyone with any experience form that angle- book recommends, etc, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:58 PM
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I am an atheist but Al-Anon helped me a great deal with my wife's alcoholism. Also, the family programs at the treatment centers that she attended helped a lot. She had advanced liver damage from drinking at age 28. The ideas that I came to accept was that I couldn't control my wife's drinking and that I did not have to tolerate it. I never did get beyond the first step in al-anon (I was powerless over my wife's drinking) but the first step was all that I needed from that program

I'd love to say that she ended up recovering but she did not. She died at age 37 about 4 years after we were divorced. I felt bad when she died but there wasn't anything I could do to make her better. If anything, I just enabled her for a long time.

Ironically, after we were divorced my own addictions became evident and more severe.
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:02 PM
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I am very sorry to hear that. I hope thing work better for you nowadays. 37 is too young to die of anything.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:33 AM
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Welcome, Andshewas!
Nice to finally get to know something about you!

I do suggest a book, Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie. I know it had lots of good information that helped me in dealing with my addicted son. I learned where I was enabling, and how to let go and let him live with the consequenes of his actions.

Please do let us know if there is a SMART meeting for segnificant others. I'd be interested.

There is a program, CRAFT, for the family memebers too. Here's a link.
http://www.communitybridgesaz.org/pr...ningCRAFT.html I hope you find it helpful.

Shalom!
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:48 AM
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Welcome Andshewas, thanks for taking the time to post here, and in the other threads.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:17 PM
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I have read a lot by Beatie- I think Co-Dependent No More was the most helpfull of her books- very to the point and well-organised.

The things which have helped me most so far are my dialectical materialist view (ie, there are objective forces over which I have no control. His drinking is one of them.), and reviewing books (because then I know there are things over which I do have control- my writing, for one.)

Of late I have been feeling very impatient and have been becoming distant. We are going to a marriage counsellor, and this (relapse and distance) situation has come up, and will again today. I have trust issues. While I want to work them out, I am beggining to think that choosing someone trust-worthy might be a big part of this whole thing and I wonder if I have made a terrible mistake.

My big (BIG) fear is that my son will have the kind of childhood I did. It was very bad, encompassing all kinds of abuse from emotional to sexual. While I don't think my husband would physically or sexually abuse my son (or I'd be gone), I worry that his drinking and my distance will model an unfortunate "norm" for him. (He's 3 and a half and advanced, according to professionals.)

There are good periods, of course, some very very good, but for me, there's the fear that there will be another relapse, more distance, and etc.

This last time there was not just alchohol, but also cocaine. Which indicates a deepening of the problem. The good news is that he "enjoyed" (or at least felt comfortable) at the SMART meeting. The bad news is that I still can barely talk to him. I am so very angry. I also feel that I am entitled (if you will) to my anger. This is not fair, and (yes, yes, I know LIFE is not fair, but so? Does that mean that we should not work toward fairness? I think we should) it makes me angry that someone else's fall would also bring me and potentialy my son down with them. That's where I am right this minute.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:37 PM
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Hi Andshewas,
(is that from the Talking Heads song?) I'm just a reforming drunkard myself, so I don't know directly what to say to someone who has to live with one. All I know about the misery an alcoholic causes is from beginning to realize the misery I caused along the way.
Welcome aboard the board, though.
nl.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:44 PM
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Thank you, yes it is Talking Heads-based.

The thing is, I do have compassion for addictive behaviour. I know that I am probably a dry drunk or something- I just have seen so many family members and friends go down (and some never resurface) that I have not engaged in the behaviour. I do have a wicked sweet tooth (which I understand is common among adult children), though, and that is (to me) further indication of a propensity to addiction (like, I will eat smarties until my tongue hurts and want one more...I know it sounds lame compared to "real" addictions, but it is an addiction and I shudder to think what kind of trouble I would be if I got into the drinking. So I don't.).

I in NO WAY want to make people feel badly about their addictions. I do know it's difficult. I only post in this particular section because of the secularness of it. I hope that that's ok.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:19 PM
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No - didn't understand your posts as making anyone feel badly about their addictions.

Some feeling badly about it comes with the territory in any case - it's just a question of whether you use that feeling to spiral deeper into the chaos of addiction, or you use it as a way into to useful, serious introspection, and a degree of humility.

It sounds like you are right to wary of substances.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:34 PM
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I have been in SMART meetings online with family members. The SMART program really applies to all types of addictions, not just drugs and alcohol. I used it to help me deal with my addict mother as well.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:47 PM
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Of course it's ok to post here with your family issues as well as *any* addiction issues you may deal with.

I post about my nicotine addiction frequently! I quit using a behavioralist method after 36 years of 2+ packs a day. It's now been One year, four months, three weeks, two days, 8 hours, 42 minutes and 18 seconds since I've quit. That makes it 20334 cigarettes not smoked, saving $5,591.53. Life saved: 10 weeks, 14 hours, 30 minutes.

Your feelings are normal. However, they can turn against you if you don't learn to deal with them in a healthy manner. That anger can turn inward, causing depression. It's imperative that we care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Even atheists admit of a human spirit, huh?

So, we eat right and exercise, or try to...(I'm still working on that, hehehe). And continue to learn throughout our lives. And remember to give ourselves a pat on the back, or a special treat, especially when no one else does. And we meditate or explore art forms that lift our spirits. All of these things help keep us at an even keel. More importantly, they help us to keep the focus on ourselves....the only thing over which we have control.

I look forward to getting to know you as we both grow in our recovery.

Shalom!
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Old 04-21-2007, 02:03 PM
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Hey Teach - is that "money saved" total linked to the current price of cigarettes or to the price when you quit? Are you adjusting for inflation? ;o)
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Old 04-21-2007, 02:08 PM
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When I quit.
Of course, they didn't cost that much when I started, or for most of my smoking life either. But, if I continued to smoke, that's the least amount I would have spent. At my worst, I smoked over 3 packs a day!
No, I didn't adjust for inflation!

Shalom!
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:14 PM
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I have found ACA (adult children of alcoholics) to be the most helpful fellowship when it comes to dealing with boundary issues with other people and the confusion about my vs. their issues and my vs. their responsibilities. I am sure CODA and Al-anon are helpful. I know there are secular organizations for sobriety so maybe some have sprung up for significant others. I know that many, many atheists have gotten sober in AA; a friend told me when he first got sober he met a man who at the time had 17 years sober who'd taken a black magic marker and marked through every word "God" in the entire Big Book. There are a lot of things that I hear at meetings that I discount...things that imply forcing forgiveness on people who aren't ready, shaming of emotions, that sort of thing. But the people in these 'significant other' meetings are so experienced that they have much to offer in the way of help in these areas.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by andshewas View Post
I do have a wicked sweet tooth (which I understand is common among adult children), though, and that is (to me) further indication of a propensity to addiction (like, I will eat smarties until my tongue hurts and want one more...
Hi Andshewas,

I just wanted to say that I am glad that you are here. And you wouldn't believe how fast I can rip through a pack of starbursts or a bag of gummy bears!!

DK
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