Feeling Guilty

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)

Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:58 pm

I know everyone is responsible for their own actions but...

I met my wife in recovery. I was 4 years sober and she was a "normie". She and I got engaged and about a year later I started drinking. I bounced in and out the rooms for a few years. During this time we got married and started a family. I decided I wasn't an alcoholic and didn't go to another meeting for 8 years. Thing is that over the years she became addicted to pills. I saw it progressing and even encouraged it early on. I thought it was a joke and her use of pills would stop when the prescription was empty. When my liver started to hurt me and I went to the Dr. to find out what the pain in my stomach was I decided to go back to AA for just shy of a year. I decided I had a weak liver and started to drink again. For the next three years I fought with drinking on a daily basis. I lost. Meanwhile my wife was becoming just as much the addict as I the alcoholic. I cannot help but think that the sweet, young, happy girl I latched onto has become what she became because of me.

Now I am trying yet again to stop killing myself with alcohol and I can't do anything for her. If I say anything to her about recovery all I do is start a fight. I know a person has to hit a bottom, but I love her and don't want to see it. Her hitting a bottom is also going to have an effect on our children and me. i feel responsible for this mess. The sad part is that her addiction is more evident from the outside observer than my alcoholism. I cannot drink any more because my body is starting to fail, but I continued to work and function otherwise. She goes through depression and mania with the pills and she is the only one who doesn't see how evident her problem is. She thinks no one else knows. There is so much more to this story but it boils down to this. I believe my drinking enabled and steered her towards her problem. Now that she needs help she wont because of who I am, what I have done, said, and my past with AA. She cannot have much faith in the program after watching me, not to mention I'm an ass and have no right to get on a high horse now that i'm sober...

I just wish there was an easy answer to the mess I've made. Took 15 years to make, I guess it ain't going to be cleaned up in 60 days.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby Brock » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:59 am

I believe my drinking enabled and steered her towards her problem. Now that she needs help she wont because of who I am, what I have done, said, and my past with AA. She cannot have much faith in the program after watching me, not to mention I'm an ass and have no right to get on a high horse now that i'm sober...

I quoted that part because to me it seems to sum up the predicament you have found yourself in, I also was in and out of the rooms. On one occasion I told a lady who I had got close to that I wouldn't be back, she said if you are going so am I. Well I made it back some years later but she never did, she committed suicide and I felt some of the blame rested with me. But praying on it and with time I have come to believe that it was something I had no control over, even her family told me they held no hard feelings, she would have done what she did anyway. And for your wife yourself and me, I believe we all were going to use one drug or another to escape reality at some point, if it wasn’t because you are an alcoholic another reason would be found, and as you say you don't even know if you are the reason. But I suppose believing you are is the natural thing to do, I think it is manly and responsible as well, but it probably is not true, and you may hurt yourself and your own chances carrying around the guilt.

For me this gives more reasons to work on yourself, your own recovery can be the example she follows. Yes now she can't have much faith in a recovery program that seemed to fail with you, but as you go along she should gain faith, it seems that is the route to possible recovery for all, from what you believe was the bad example you become the good example she can follow.

This is one thing to write about and quite another to do, and most of us had enough of a problem when it was just us to worry about, it's a challenge all right, but fix yourself first, and perhaps keep in touch and let us know how you are doing, best of luck to you and yours.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby Robert R » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:36 am

I believe Brock has nailed it for you. From today let her judge you by your actions, not your intentions. What better example of the power of the programme than diving in head first and working it. We know it works if we work it. Results speak louder than words.
Don't know exactly where I am going but I'm on my way and it's already much better than where I've been.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:46 am

Just got back from the ER
Wife ran off road with all 3 girls in car with her. No one got hurt. Wife has now turned this into an issue about me not loving her. I asked her to go to rehab. She is pissed that I don't seem more emotional and happy that she is not hurt. I cannot prove that she was high but I already accused her of it. I need wisdom, strength, and serenity. Right now I've got none.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby Brock » Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:06 am

Thank God they are all OK, but what a hell of a thing, you seem to be being tested over and above what I went through, this kind of thing with the kids in the car, it's not easy for anyone to cope with. But you got to have faith and of course the stones to deal with it, it sounds hollow when people say it I know, but this really will pass.

I guess alcohol being a drug as well, I was often over sensitive like she is being now, and simple things would have me thinking someone didn't care enough, not making excuses for her but this is often true. I can only hope that some good may come out of this for you both, maybe this is the scare she needed and will have hit bottom enough to go to that rehab.

The wisdom strength and serenity you are seeking you know how we in AA get that, ask for the strength and wisdom and you may get a bit of serenity, but of course anyone would probably not be telling the truth, if they didn't say you are in a tuff spot. Try to hold on and get through this for your sake and your girls, I pray things work out and your wife seeks help.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:21 pm

I calmed down and boy was I cut off from the spirit.
Thought I was going to snap my keyboard in half.
Went to a meeting tonight and it was good.
She came around a little and "said" she would go to rehab. I'm going to hold her feet to the fire and try and get her into a rehab Monday.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:37 pm

Thanks for the reply. It means a lot. For some reason I cannot seem to call anyone but I can use a computer. I hope I don't feel as if I wore out my welcome and stop asking for help in the future. I have a sponcer but don't like bothering him for some reason. Maybe I need to seek help from someone different. The big book didn't really address the situation of a family with two problem people. Some one at the meeting suggested I read to the wives and put myself in their shoes.
Have a merry Christmass
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Re: Feeling Guiltyence

Postby Chelle » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:44 pm

*
Last edited by Chelle on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:32 pm

tomorrow is the day she agreed she would go to rehab, but I cannot get her to do anything tonight in preparation for it. She will not pack her clothes or anything. She finished all her pills this morning and has been in bed all day and will not move. I was really hoping to get her help tomorrow since the wreck but I don't see it happening now. I fill like the actor trying to run the show but I just cannot let it go.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby tyg » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:48 am

"To Wives" in Alcoholics Anonymous has a lot of good advise. Just switch the roles and replace, husband for the wife.

"The first principle of success is that you should never be angry. Even though your husband becomes unbearable and you have to leave him temporarily, you should, if you can, go without rancor. Patience and good temper are most necessary.

Our next thought is that you should never tell him what he must do about his drinking. If he gets the idea that you are a nag or killjoy, your chance of accomplishing anything useful may be zero. He will use that as an excuse to drink more. He will tell you he is misunderstood. This may lead to lonely evenings for you. He may seek someone else to console him - not always another man.

Be determined that your husband's drinking is not going to spoil your relations with your children or your friends. They need your companionship and your help. It is possible to have a full and useful life, though your husband continues to drink. We know women who are unafraid, even happy under these conditions. Do not set your heart on reforming your husband. You may be unable to do so, no matter how hard you try.

We know these suggestions are sometimes difficult to follow, but you will save many a heartbreak if you can succeed in observing them. pg.111"


cpr123 wrote: She cannot have much faith in the program after watching me, not to mention I'm an ass and have no right to get on a high horse now that i'm sober...

I just wish there was an easy answer to the mess I've made. Took 15 years to make, I guess it ain't going to be cleaned up in 60 days.

I remember when I was new and found I needed to be careful that my focus on other things wasn't distracting me from my own recovery. Also, being there to take care of my children. They are the ones caught in the crossfire and are helpless, they needed my help & support the most.

When I apply AA's program:
~Taking the Steps with my sponsor and meeting with them regularly
~Going to meetings
~Have a home group I show up to, am in service there and participating in the Group conscious.
~Finish taking the Steps and begin living in Steps 10 -12 daily

I begin to change and people do notice. My actions speak louder than words ever can. Sometimes the only way to help someone is by letting my light shine and be living proof of what this program can do and how it changes me for the better.
~The secret to the AA program is the first three words on page 112~
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby ann2 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:11 am

Thank you for posting and thanks for all the shares. I just want to say first congratulations on your sobriety! I always think there's a special reason we get sober when we do -- and here's yours. Without your sobriety just imagine the difficulties your family would be facing right now.

I think the part of the BB that tyg quoted is very helpful, especiall this

It is possible to have a full and useful life, though your husband continues to drink. We know women who are unafraid, even happy under these conditions. Do not set your heart on reforming your husband. You may be unable to do so, no matter how hard you try.


This is the basis of Al-Anon. Al-Anon is real, solid help. Al-Anon members have great program. Get to an Al-Anon meeting asap. You might in fact find it easier to reach out in person there. However, you are very welcome to keep using the computer!

Ann
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:46 am

cpr123 wrote:tomorrow is the day she agreed she would go to rehab, but I cannot get her to do anything tonight in preparation for it. She will not pack her clothes or anything. She finished all her pills this morning and has been in bed all day and will not move. I was really hoping to get her help tomorrow since the wreck but I don't see it happening now. I fill like the actor trying to run the show but I just cannot let it go.



Hi cpr123:

What you are trying to to do--getting your wife into treatment for her drug addiction--is a good thing for her, your children and you. I hope your wife agreed to check into rehab today but if that didn't happen, you still have options. Please google "Father Martin" + "intervention" and read some of the articles in the search results. Father Martin was a long time AA member and a pioneer in the field of using the intervention technique to successfully bring unwilling alcoholics and drug addicts into a state of willingness to go into treatment. He said when an alcoholic or drug addict is drinking or using they're insane and that anyone who expects them to make sane decisions, like go into rehab, is just as insane as they are. You can check with the rehab facility to find out if they provide intervention services and make an appointment for just you to meet with the team members. They will make suggestions and advise you how, when, and where the intervention will happen. This method has about a 95% success rate in getting addicts and alcoholics into treatment. Hope this info is helpful.

Keep coming back.....
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby clouds » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:05 pm

Welcome cpr123

I'm really sorry you are having to go through all of this. Its really a tough spot to be in, I know, I've been there.

I believe your wife would be addicted to pills no matter what you would have done, or did do, or can do now or in the future.

Its an inside job, these addictions. Either she will come to understand her powerlessness over these drugs or she wont. If she doesnt, there is little chance she will stop using.

So, do the best you can do to stay sober and stable yourself and look after those kids of yours, I know you love them.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby cpr123 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:27 am

She made it into a detox. I had to drive 4 hours to get her there and felt bad leaving but I believe she wants to be clean. Thanks for all the advice and help. I guess I'll post on the al-anon for all the other questions I run across dealing with her addiction. I am feeling hopeful for my little family and great-full for AA. Thanks
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Re: Feeling Guilty

Postby ann2 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:28 am

That is just fantastic. Well done. Treat your own illness now in A.A. and in Al-Anon.

All the best,

Ann
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