Detaching with love.

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So, long story but my friend( I say friend but we were more at times, big feelings there on my part and I thought his) went into rehab in June for 6 weeks and it really helped him. We were in contact for a week after he came out by text, but one day after I asked him what I thought was a normal question he said, we need to have boundaries around what I can ask and basically said we should stop contact. Said it wasn't healthy for him or me because it brought back memories of when we would drink. That was 7 weeks ago. He said he would be in touch when he was doing the making amends part of AA programme.

I suppose I'm still struggling with it. I've being doing some self care work on myself, looking at codependency traits I have which have helped, but I still find it hard that in the last 7 weeks it hasn't crossed his mind or had a weak moment and texted.

To give bit of background, before he relapsed, he would text me many times a day and ring as many. All the effort was coming from his side mainly. I hadn't drank for months to support him, yet he says contact with me brought back memories of us drinking( earlier times perhaps, or my most recent visit when he relapsed on alcohol and cocaine).

So I'm wondering am I deluded, did he just bin me as that was convenient or could he still have feelings but ignore me?

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  • Posted

     I'm sorry to say, but this sounds to me like a co-dependency issue that he is dealing with and trying to move on from for his own good.  I am in the same situation, and have been for years, and have not been able to break the cycle with a partner who is equally dependent on alcohol as me.  Initially we stayed together for what we though twas love, but it is really co-dependency. Now,  the primary reasons we are together after nearly thirty years of tumultuous marriage due to, in part, alcohol, we have three children (one in university and two in secondary school), two professional careers, a home that is almost paid for, etc., that all contribute to a very complex break-up if we decide to ultimately go that way.  If you do not have these joint commitments, my advice is for you to accept that he has chosen this route for his own self-being, and you should do the same.  I would if I didn't have all the joint baggage. Good luck!!!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your honesty Jacqueline. I'm sorry to hear that your only in it as it is codependent. I do recognise that in our relationship too but there was/is also love I feel anyway. That said I'm giving him that space I may never see him again who knows, that makes me sad, but I'll keep in working on me.

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    • Posted

      I think I may have left out a lot in my message to you,... all those years we were deeply in love, connected, etc... that has eventually led to our co-dependency.  Do not think I do not doubt our love and commitment that has always been there deep down.  Unfortunately, alcohol has , over the years, diminished the trust and support we previously had of each other, and ultimately our love.  Alcohol destroys relationships, families, people, there is no denying that.  co-dependency allows this all to happen.  I wish I had a partner who would support me giving up alcohol, but unfortunately that is not my case.  My partner resents me stopping drinking, drinks more when I drink less, and this leads to conflicts, yet we continue to share the same responsibilities of kids and home.   If you can avoid this in your future,...  because this is having an effect on our kids, let alone on us and our future.
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  • Posted

    Hi Greg, a complicated situation and you have not been treated fairly i think. Used as well although you have so supportive. Not good. Not your fault. I doubt how many feelings he has for you. Sorry if I am being too honest or upfront.
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  • Posted

    Help !! So I am now soba 7 years and my brother is a let's just say trying to recover but now due to his wife kicking him out due to his alcohol issues struggling big time. Tonight he is out cold right now but the problem isn't booze it's an amatriptaline overdose and havnt got a clue what to do. He at present is staring into space can't stand up or talk properly and his efforts of doing this before he walked out of the hospital refusing g treatment. Does ANYONE know if we can get him sectioned due to his medical history with both booze and clinical depression !!! Help guys please !!!

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  • Posted

    This is a difficult one, Greg.

    I spent 10 years in AA, and there is something that I heard a LOT whilst I was there.  If the rehab he went too was also 12-step based, then he has probably been hearing it since the day he was able to function in rehab.  That was that previous drinking places, and people, should be avoided at all costs because it might lead to a relapse. It's about staying away from dangerous situations, and therefore staying away from that first drink.... or any triggers caused by that sitaution or person that might cause drinking.  It is suggested to new AA attendees that there is NOTHING more important than their recovery because without recovery, the rest will be lost at some point, anyway.

    There are many partners/friends of drinkers that have experienced this from their drinker.  And it's hard to cope with because whilst drinking used to be the thing that consumed all the thoughts and time of their partner, now it is the need to do anything and everything to stay sober that consumed all their thoughts and time.  The relief of their partner finally seeking help and coming back to them, is soon dampened by the 100% focus needed on 12 step recovery in order to remain sober one day at a time.

    In terms of the making amends part of the 12 step program, this does not have to be done face to face.  In fact, if you have moved on by this point and do not want to risk your feelings being confused or awakened, it is perfectly acceptable for you to text him and advise him that you are going to move on (or have moved on) and do not wish to be part of his amends process.  Do not worry - this will not affect his program.  For whatever reasons, some people don't want to be part of this again and the only requirement for your friend is to be 'willing to make amends'.  He can demonstrate his willing to his AA sponsor by writing a letter to the person he is trying to make amends to, but not send it and read it to his sponsor instead.

    If you look at the 12 steps, step 8 is about making a list of all those we have harmed and be willing to make amends to them.  Step 9 is to make amends to them, unless doing so would injure them or others.  Believe me, there are plenty of people who have no desire to ever be in contact with a drinker ever again after all the pain they might have caused them, and reject the request to make amends.  Do not feel obliged to be in touch with him again if you have moved on again.  It is rather arrogant for him to just assume that you will be happy to accept his request for contact then.

    At the moment, everything revolves around him and his recovery in the same way that it used to revolve around him and his drinking, and sadly there is little you can do about it.  It is probably neither of what you think, either ignoring you or binning you - it's just recovery, 12 step style.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Joanna for explaining it so well. I am hoping that if he does contact to make amends by then I will be in a much stronger place to make a healthier choice for me. Maybe I won't want to by then, God knows as you've mentioned there was a lot of misery caused by his drinking and I'd never want to go back to having him as a drinking person. I know what you mean about the 100 percent focus on AA program and having to deal with that, but I was actually very open to it to be honest and u told him that. Was looking forward to seeing him progress and be there as a support for him. He liked this idea for the first week but something changed.

      Your right he did say he was putting his recovery before everyone including parents who he still lived with.

      Thinking about it now it was quite arrogant of him to assume I would readily accept his contact again. That was him all over, he knew how much I loved him so in his world how could I not!

      Thanks for putting it so well. I get he has to do all this now for recovery. I just wonder how he feels about me now but I guess I'll never know

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    • Posted

      Honestly, he probably won't know how he is feeling about anything, including you.  It takes a while for the brain to start sorting out everyday practical things, let alone anything with feelings or emotions attached to them. 

      At this stage, newcomers are particularly vulnerable to suggestions from long-term AA members in order to try have what they have.  It may be possible that he initially valued your support throughout the process but then he kept hearing from others that he should stay away from old drinking buddies, friends, partners and situations.... and he heard it so often that he decided to follow what they are telling him.  That is maybe all that changed.

      I certainly doubt it was a decision he made based on any horrid intent or dislike of you, but rather the influence of everything he was being told by others at the meeting (specifically, cut off all ties with anything that you relate to your drinking time).  He's new, he's confused about what to do for the best, so it's often that oldtimers have a lot of influence over newcomers.

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    • Posted

      That makes a lot of sense. Probably is that. As a codependent I struggled with him not confiding in me, needing him to need by but I get that is my "stuff". It's 3 months since he went into rehab. Is that still early days for his brain to be sorting stuff out? Asking as I don't have a clue. Do you still attend AA?

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    • Posted

      Joanna has the ability to make deep and well thought out replies with much depth and human kindness! There is a space in heaven reserved for you and i can assure you that i am not particularly religious person. He may change once he is deeper inside the recovery programme and see clearer around him. 😁

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    • Posted

      3 months isn't long really, and it all depends on so many factors.  If possible the suggest for newcomers is 90 meetings in 90 days and that helps to get a stable foothold on the program, or so they say.  It can take a lot longer than that to sort out all the confusing things that he has experienced for so long.  As he works through the steps, then that is supposed to take care of everything in the sense of enabling him to live a life free of alcohol, one day at a time.  Working through the steps is not a timed-thing either, so it is as and when for him.

      I am no longer in AA, no.  After so many years of trying, it didn't work for me and I kept relapsing again and again and again.  I found something different that worked for me.  But that isn't to say that it won't work for him. 

       

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