I do not hug women (that is how we typically greet each other)
I try not to talk to women (if I do it is public and only recover based, not personal)
I do not exchange phone numbers with women.
I stick with men!!!
I stick with people who live recovery!!!
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection
After much texting back and forth - he called me an told me he had been using drugs from the hospital he works at. A serious opiate. And that he started after dday #3 when he was sure we were divorcing.
I am overwhelmed. I don't know what to do. He went to one of his counselors (he has two - one psychiatrist and a LCSW) and admitted to his addiction (although he hesistant and minimizes this aspect - of course). The counselor called me to let me know that he told him. He has come up with no program as of yet. He can't go into a program because he has no time off work and they would find out and he would lose his license and we would ALL be up shits creek.
He has be off the substance since Wednesday morning (if he is telling the truth) and took off work Thursday and Friday. He is now on a boy scout weekend with our son - camping.
When I read about this addiction - it is super serious. And when he goes back to work - he is constantly exposed to the substance that he used. This is so hopeless.
He tells me that he WILL take care of it. That this will NOT be a problem. But isn't that what an addict would say?
I am having a hard time recognizing the man - if you know what I mean. Maybe he's just been talking bullshit to me for years and I just believe it.
He just trades one high for another - affair high - drug high.
OMG - someone please help me.
Minimizing, justifying, and rationalizing are addict (as well as wayward) behaviors.
They are very much the same. Moving from one "high" to the next.
My fWS moved in the opposite direction. All of her PA happened after a drug relapse, when she knew she couldnt keep using drugs but wanted something to help her to forget about the guilt and shame of the relapse.
It is good that he opened up to the councilor. That is a start. There is not a whole lot you can do besides being supportive and encouraging to continue to seek help. There are plenty of people that I know who are in recovery that work in the health field. Their stories are similar in that they helped themselves to medications at work. They have continued to work in the field and have many years "clean". Some of their employers even know and are supportive. It takes hard work, meetings, a sponsor, and 12 step work. All of that work on addiction will also help with fidelity. They both have the same root causes.
He now has to tell his psychiatrist Friday - which will also be helpful.
I am tired. I do not want to look for signs - wonder when he's gonna get caught - etc. I just personally am tired from the As to this of spending my time monitoring someone else. It is not good for me.
It is good to hear that there are health professionals that have been able to remain working and be sober.
And he met them through this.
I think it is a problem with female addicts - mostly they give out available signals
I've had the same problem with my H. I'm trying to figure out how his pattern works.
He has spent so much time in 'the system' - mental illness AND addiction - so many years, that it is not simply a tool for him to overcome his issues anymore. It is not simply a network. It is now a social scene. He has met many of his exes through the program/system, and he has been inappropriate with many women within the program as well, including the counselors.
I think, everyone is at a different stage in recovery. And not everyone enters the system thinking they need to recover. So it does become a social scene to some people. Like you said, sending out available vibes. A lot of people in the system don't have solid boundaries (to out myself - that's how H and I met; we were in the same mental health program. It was my first time in such a program, and I felt so *safe* around him...). They lose sight - and I was guilty of this too - of the reason they are there, and instead respond to the positive mirroring they receive from someone else in there. "Oh, I've been through the same thing!" That can be great to feel supported, but then take it a step further, cross the line into improper fantasy and behavior, and the focus becomes on the sexual tension instead of on recovery. Not using the system correctly at all.
My H tests boundaries. He is easily able to sense who has the weakest boundaries, and he sends out his own signals easily as well. He doesn't tell them stop. He jokes, flirts, smiles, opens up, talks about inappropriate topics, listens. After being around them so much, he knows their patterns. I'm sure a large part of it is, he knows many of them, as addicts, struggle with loneliness. Mental illness is isolating, and addiction is part of mental illness. So it's very easy to send out available signals if you're promising companionship upfront.
No, recovery is not always a safe place for a person in a committed relationship, especially if they have poor boundaries and aren't taking the program seriously. But that's on them.
Anyway, I can relate.
[This message edited by silverhopes at 11:55 AM, October 13th (Saturday)]
There are two very significant differences between Reconciliation we hear about here and Recovery from addiction.
The First One is the search for WHYs.
In Reconciliation we are told that the search for whys is one of the most important thing that WS have to do. Whether those whys are FOO issues, attention seeking, abuse, low self esteem, or whatever, Reconciliation requires that they be found and addressed.
Addiction Recovery says the why is the addiction itself. There is not a need to search for deeper whys. It is what it is. The addiction has always been there and always will be. The focus is put on changing the behaviors by building boundries and borders on the negative behaviors and replacing them with positive ones.
I tend to agree with the Recovery angle on this one. It is a live your way into a better way of thinking, instead of a think your way into a better way of living solution. Just my two cents.
The Second One has to do with Amends.
The Recovery view on making amends is to make direct amends to someone except if that amends could cause more harm. I think a lot of Recovering Addicts use this as a cop-out to not be entirely honest. The main part of the amends is changing the behavior that caused the harm so that the harm is never caused again. It is the most important part and many view that to be enough. But through personal experience with infidelity that holding secrets and not being entirely honest continues the harm all by itself even if the WS is never unfaithful again. On this one I agree with the Reconciliation approach that complete Honesty and Transparency in needed. Again my two cents.
I hope this insight helps someone who is R'ing with an addict.
I'm not sure I'm Ring with an addict. Just not Ring right now. But even if we don't R, I have an addict as a co-parent, so he will always be in my life.
WH is addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs. Alcohol is probably his drug of choice, though, and his addiction that I currently know more about since it is longer-standing.
I just attended my first Al Anon meeting and it was perfection. WH is in IC and starting AA this week in terms of meetings, although he has been participating in a sober recovery forum and reading the AA materials. Sober 3 weeks or so. It is really interesting for me - I have assigned no positive or negative to these actions on his part. I feel a sense of detachment from him and his disease in a way I've never felt before. I'm really taking that as a positive and trying to maintain it as time goes on. Right now, I think the detachment from his recovery process comes from the infidelity, i.e. I feel so violated by that so I can't even care right now about his sobriety. When some of that violation wears off, or turns to anger or sadness, I have to be careful about enmeshing myself in his disease.
Anyway, I'll be hanging around here now, even if I don't R. Hope that's OK.
Anyway, hope to start to share more on this thread if it can become active. From what I see on JFO, there are quite a few addicts around.
I feel a sense of detachment from him and his disease in a way I've never felt before.
It is a special kind of hell to keep popping from one addiction to the next. It is the addict thinking that is a huge problem.
It is a double edged sword. It effects so many areas of our lives that it is so overwhelming. But at the same time that one problem has one solution. There is hope if the work is done.
One day at a time! Working on making sure that my life and my kids life will be ok, even if my SAWH does relapse.
Working on making sure that my life and my kids life will be ok
that and being supportive to your H are all you can do.
That is not where we are at in our process. He needs to accomplish some specific things and make it a little further on his own, since avoidance and manipulation are part of his addict thinking. His IC, group, 12 step meetings, sponsor, etc. are there to support him. I have the same to support me. Of course, I have SI too!
In 1997, I called my mother from jail 5 hours from home asking for bail money for the umteenth time.
She said, "ROT THERE" and hung up the phone. That was the most loving thing that she ever did for me.
Ok. Off the computer for the rest of the day. Lots of things to do.
I'm just taking it day by day, so I don't have much to say about this "compassion for the addict" thing except that I get it, and sometimes feel it, but I also feel like I'm disrespecting myself in the process when I offer it, or lowering my boundaries.
Anyway, I do realize that I'm supporting my WH in three ways:
1) allowing him the time to go to meetings by caring for the kids and home.
2) using joint marital funds for his IC
3) when he wants to talk, I listen. I try not to enmesh myself, giv advice, pat him on the back, etc. (toxic pattern in our marriage). But I listen.