When she comes home

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When she comes home

Unread postby Lost_Husban » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:26 pm

My wife will be coming home from inpatient rehab in about a week or two. She was in for alcohol, but also took my sons ADHE meds We are both 45 and married for 15 years…This is her second time. The first was a year ago when she went to a different place for a week.

I read all these stories have how horrible their addicted mate made their lives. I really don’t have any stories like that. For the most part she would cook and rink wine and pass out later in the evening. I mean I knew it was an issue and I know the kids saw(14yo son, 20yo daughter), but she wasn’t abusive, she always very loving, for the most part. This has been going on for about 2 years and she suggested she go to rehab, she really wants to get better and live sober.

So she’s in a 30 day rehab and coming home soon. I’ve been reading online about what to expect when she comes home and it doesn’t sound good. I’ve been to my first al anon meeting last night at her request and most of the discussion was about dealing with an active alcoholic and having to detach because I have no control over her addiction.

To be honest, the last 20 days or so have been pretty nice. I was a complete mess for the first few days but quickly found a sense of calm. I cleaned, or I’m in the process of cleaning up the bills, since she messed them up pretty bad with the shopping (mostly QVC). I’m not made at her, I just want her to get better.

I speak with her ever few days, as I told her to call when she feels up to it. She keeps mentioning that we need a complete life style change, which I agree with. I think we began to isolate ourselves. I know when she first comes home she will be busy with her recovery, going to 90 meetings in 90 days and her IOP. I will support her in what she needs to do. I know I should take care of myself, which means going to al anon meetings (But I don’t really get al anon, I’m a bit narcissistic and find moments of happiness for myself, don’t feel angry ). Actually I don’t know what I feel, maybe I detected too much. I know I love her because I was an enabler in the sense that I would do whatever she asked and I thought I could fix her by loving her more ( in my mind, that meant doing everything she asked for or needed).I would try to do anything to reduce her stress level ( I think a lot of her drink was due to stress and a way to escape the feelings). The reason I say I don’t know how I feels is I know I won’t go through this again. When she was using I was at the point of, I could take her or leave her it really didn’t matter. I’m tired and don’t know how much more I can give or willing to give. Even before all this, my wife always said marriage is hard. I disagree, I think life is hard and marriage should be easy with the knowledge that the one person in the world you can be yourself with is your partner…good mood, bad mood, cranky…..they love you and accept you. Now it can’t be all one side, but you know what I m mean.

I have all these irrational fears, guess from reading too much stuff on the web like Rehab romance which I understand, but fear. She also told me to watch When a Man loves a women, can’t find it on Netflix, Vudu, Zune or on demand, but I read the description on IMDB. Is she trying to prep me that she has changed and my not want me anymore? She’s always been strong, but does she know something I don’t?

Wow, sorry about the rambling, but what can I expect when she comes home? What can I do to support her without enabling her?
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Re: When she comes home

Unread postby CVCshelley » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:30 am

I understand how difficult this must be, wow you sound like a diamond! :)

I would say that the best approach is to absolutely acknowledge how well she is doing, dont let her forget how proud you are of her but dont turn it into a fan fair. A lot of people in early sobriety get to a point where they think "Now what?" as they feel that because they are sober everyone should be celebrating and congratulating them constantly on their success, they also sometimes presume that because they have stopped drinking their lives will suddenly become full of joy and happiness with no stress or problems. She may need helping through this and help in working out how to settle into peaceful sobriety, looking at ways to deal with life, lifes problems, emotions, celebrations and everything else that was associated with drinking. I guess it is almost like returning to childhood, learning to walk again because it is the beginning of working out a whole new way of living and being.

There will more than likely be a huge transition, not just for her but for you also as you perhaps learn how to be in a relationship with each other without alcohol involved. Sometimes it is almost like getting to know someone all over again. There may also be periods of time where there are great feelings of grief and sadness, no.1 because often early sobriety leads to grieving in the same sense as if you had lost a loved one. There may be the 5 stages of grief present and she may need gentle support to go through this as she lets go. No. 2 There may also be these periods of great sadness and grief because many feelings may start to surface after being buried for quite some time. I think it is important to try to remind her that it is okay to feel, it is okay to be up and down emotionally and very importantly it is okay, in fact encouraged to express how she is feeling and not bury the emotions again. I think gentle, peaceful support is the key here, letting her know you are there but that you know she is a strong, mature and courageous woman, not a child that needs babying, protecting and molly-coddling from the world and the stresses that that world involves.
I would like to suggest a few books if I may? Please disregard them if you do not feel they will resonate :)

Transcending Hell - Manifesting a Zen spiritual path in recovery from alcoholism and addiction - Taiyu John Robertson
A Burning Desire - Dharma, God & The path to Recovery - Kevin Griffin
The Twelve Steps - A spiritual journey - A working Guide for healing

Please dont forget to allow yourself to feel also. If you are angry or hurt, you are allowed to be you know and burying those feelings will do neither you, your wife or anyone else any good at all. Remember that you too have a life and neither of you need to be living in isolation. Neither of you need to be dragged into living a life under the label of alcoholism and all the stigma that that label can contain. It is something to go through yes, it is something to be mindful of yes, it is something to heal from, learn from and grow through but please dont let the label rule your lives because the label in itself can be as limiting and destructive as alcoholism itself.

I hope some of this helps. I apologise if I have waffled on a bit! :)

Bless you both and good luck on what may be the beginning of a completely new and exciting life!


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Re: When she comes home

Unread postby pmom2 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:20 am

Good luck and I wanted to say thank you to Shelley. AS she made me see so many things I hadnt seen. My son is in recovery, early and I know all the feelings of sadness and one that I didnt quite figure was isolation. Our family isolates because of the stigma of addiction. My family suffers and I do too. I feel my life has stopped and been robbed of any joy that I used to have. I isolate and think that it makes me feel better being at home if Im needed. wow crazy.
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Re: When she comes home

Unread postby CVCshelley » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:04 am

pmom2 wrote:
> Good luck and I wanted to say thank you to Shelley. AS she made me see so
> many things I hadnt seen. My son is in recovery, early and I know all the
> feelings of sadness and one that I didnt quite figure was isolation. Our
> family isolates because of the stigma of addiction. My family suffers and I
> do too. I feel my life has stopped and been robbed of any joy that I used
> to have. I isolate and think that it makes me feel better being at home if
> Im needed. wow crazy.

It isnt crazy, its an automatic reaction for many people when we love someone. What you need to try to remember however is that it is your son that is the addict, not you. Addiction is not shameful, it is and can be tragic, it is painful, it is destructive but it is not shameful and I defy anyone to say otherwise! If anyone is judging you, your son or your family because of the 'shame' of it then who are they? Are they important to you? If they are important to you why are they judging you in such a critical and narrow minded way? If anyone is judging you and looking down upon you, ask them to walk in your shoes, ask them if their noses are clean and see their response. No one is perfect, no family is perfect and people are liars if they profess them to be so.

Listen to me, you cannot stop your life because your son is ill, you need time to heal and to live your life in the way you want to regardless of whether he has an addiction or not. I understand it is difficult but no.1 are you going to do your son any good if you fall apart because you have no emotional, mental or physical energy left because his addiction has emptied you of any prior essence that you may have had? No.2. May I ask how old your son is? I am sorry, but if he is an adult then I am afraid it is time to let go. He will either be clean or he wont, this is ultimately his choice not yours and no matter what you do, whether you stay at home mothering him and protecting him or whether you go out and live your life he will drink or he wont and it will have zilch all to do with how well or not you have looked after and protected him. I feel that I am being harsh and I apologise if I am but the problem with addicts is people enable them to continue on in their own little cocoon of self-pity, relying on other people, self-absorbed and completely unwilling and/or unable to take responsibility for their own lives, their own choices and their own messes that include consequences. If you continue to give up on yourself, your own life and your own happiness what will you feel if he relapses? Will you blame yourself for not having done enough to help? Not loving enough? Not supportive enough? Not 'there' enough? Will this always be your responsibility or is it time to perhaps get tough and say "I love you with every fibre of my being and I support you but I am no longer wiping your backside. This is your choice but I am NOT going to be dragged down by it" Perhaps if he felt like it was now all down to him he would absolutely take full responsibility for his recovery, his process with the 12 steps if he does them, his honesty with himself and with you and the possibility of his own personal future happiness. This is not your choice, your fault, your responsibility, your consequence or your journey, it is his journey and maybe you have to let him live that journey and work it out himself whilst being a strong, loving but NOT enabling support?

As I say, I am sorry if I am blunt, harsh or sound uncaring. I dont mean to but I know from experience that forcing someone to take their own responsibility ultimately produces the most beneficial results even if it feels like it is being cruel.

Take Care, and go and live! :) laugh, love, smile and experience the beautiful life that is your divine birthright to do so.

Shelley x
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