Avatar universal

Recovery process...

I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with a spouse or loved one going through the process of recovery. I don't know if I am expecting my husband to be at certain points of "realization" too soon or if I need to be patient. In summary, about 2 weeks ago i had an "intervention" (with his family too) and gave him an ultimatum of going to detox or I would leave with our child. (this is not just a threat, I will leave... for the safety of our child-- and this has definitely proved to be important to him so far) He agreed and did 6 days in detox. After which I told him I was not comfortable with him coming home without inpatient therapy. He agreed to go to rehab and has been there for 8 days. When I visited him in detox... with each day off the opiates (although being weaned using suboxone for 4 days) he seemed more and more like himself. His old self.... if that makes sense. He was embracing the importance of learning things about recovery, triggers, relearning how to handle things like anger, ect ect. I drove him from rehab to detox and he seemed happy about moving forward. He had kept many secrets and gone through alot to cover up his many many levels of secrets of his habit. I imagine this is a huge burden lifted from him... no more secrets. And although perhaps not the way he wanted to come of the drugs... he accepted it.

Now 8 days into rehab and he seems more and more irritated/angry. He did stop smoking 5 days ago, by his own choice. I'm not sure if that is still affecting his mood or not. My frustration is he is talking like since he was "only taking pills" and not "shooting heroin" that he's like "a better addict" or "didn't sink that low". I informed him nicely, that "no, you hadn't moved to heroin yet but eventually $ wouldve run out and you may have done just anything to get high". He got mad. I feel like both are opiates and there shouldn't be judging on one doc vs another. It just seems like a step back from where he had been just a few days ago.

Also, he doesn't seem to understand how this has absolutely turned my world upside down. He questioned why I was watching a documentary with friends (my support system.... one of which is a recovering addict). He said he didn't realize I'd be taking time to do that. I explained that this addiction effects me too. it effects our whole family. I've been seeing an addictions therapist and she said how he is getting the help he needs at his treatment & in all reality I AM the one who has this the hardest right now because I am dealing with learning all this secrecy from the man I married, dealing with home and child alone, trying to work full time, and just keep myself together planning for the future. WHEN does a recovering addict realize how much all this has affected his spouse/loved ones?
21 Responses
3197167 tn?1348968606
It's gonna be all right.....no you cannot "make" another person do anything, you're spot on about that....hopefully, since the rehab facility is used to dealing with addicts they will make some wise recommendations here.
Your husband's perceptions and desires are not necessarily those of the actual rehab counselors and staff.  They should be used to our "con job" ways for sure...lol
All you can do is be honest when his counselor calls you....share your heart....and then put in back in God's hands.  

And just know that if and when they release your hubby from rehab, should you not be ready to have him back in the home....maybe other family options will present themselves.  It's REALLY hard to stay in today.....but we just gotta to stay sane.

You're burnt out....and weary....and that's SO understandable....the healthiest thing you can do is what you are doing....seeing your own counselor.....and holding the family together right now.  Give yourself some kind of special treat....even if it's an hour long bath with music and candles...whatever relaxes you and brings you peace. (finding something...anything that would make you belly laugh...I mean REALLY belly laugh would be especially healing right now)  With all that's on your plate, you will more than likely have to "slot" a time on your calendar for yourself right now....but you are SO WORTH it!!  Please consider this, K?  

Let us know how you're doing....we'll be here for you always~
3197167 tn?1348968606
Yes, you are expecting too much too soon....if you lower your expectations...you own serenity level will rise.

Your husband needs to focus on himself right now...he has a lot of work to do within himself FIRST before he can process the effect his addiction has had on all of you.  His quitting smoking right now on TOP of detox, short term sub use, and now rehab is plenty to deal with and ABSOLUTELY is affecting his moods.

When I was in treatment....we didn't have interaction with family until our 3rd week into the 30 day stay.  This was done intentionally......the fluctuations, irritation, anger, inner struggles, etc. are more than to be expected right now.  

Comparisons are dangerous for any of us....  He will be given counseling and tools to work thru these things while in rehab.  Recovery is a LONG process.....and he has really just begun.  It would serve you both well to limit your contact with him right now so he can focus on himself.....get some Al-Anon or Nar-Anon support for yourself.  I recognize that you are seeing a counselor as well, but yet this counselor has you "comparing", too.  Telling you "this is harder on the spouse than on the addict" is frankly, bad counsel.  Comparisons serve no purpose.  You just came off of an addictive med, too, didn't you?  Each of us struggles and hurts.....if you can return your focus to you and your program of recovery along with learning all you can....it will bless you tenfold.  In the meanwhile....as he works on his recovery.....bit by bit.....he will come to many realizations.  As will you.
4522800 tn?1470325834
I agree with Clean_n_ks on this one..Best wishes for YOU Both.

Avatar universal
Thanks for your point of view. I figured I was expecting too much too soon, but really just wanted to see because I haven't dealt with this before. I think what my counselor meant was that yes, while his recovery is going to be hard and he's going through alot right now he is in a place right now with counselors, social workers, group meetings, others there to talk about the situation with, whereas I have been trying to continue to work my FT job, take care of our toddler and all else around the house by myself and on top of that process just what the heck actually has been going on. (I'm talking ALOT of things hidden from me, bank accts, loans, ect ect ect in addition to just the massive amount of using). I totally get what you mean by not making a comparison between us... that makes complete sense.

We can talk on the phone briefly pretty much whenever. There hasn't been a limit on contact, but i can see why maybe there should be. He has been there about a week and a half and I am going to visit tomorrow. The "visit" is for us to meet with the counselor there and then he can also see our child for a few minutes. He hasn't seen him in a few weeks. I'm torn on if thats gonna be a bad idea or maybe some extra motivation.

Tonight he said that the counselor would probably be "setting his sentence" tomorrow... meaning deciding how long he needs to stay. This isn't a set in stone # of days program.... it is "evaluate as they go". I can say from just talking to him on the phone he's not ready to come home. I'm not ready for him to come home... but i dont know at what point they are gonna say he's "okay".
He also says I can "let loose" my feelings on him in a "open setting"... I dont know what I need to let go as part of the drug controlling him (money taken from kids accts, loans, massive amts of money borrowed & now owed) versus what I can be upset about. That's difficult to distinquish right now & i'm still learning about addiction. Trust is one thing that I know is going to take time to regain.

Regarding myself, I just got off of tramadol that I had been prescribed to and was tapering to come off of it because I had become dependent on it and it was making my headaches/migraines worse. While it was somewhat similar.... I didn't have the drug seeking behavior that an addict would have. I would get my rx and take it... perhaps pick it up a couple days early but never anything out of the ordinary really. So, yes and no about me...
1235186 tn?1549257619
I don't think you should bring the baby. just my opinion. it is going to be emotional for both of you, seeing each other.

don't talk anything about what you have recently learned, how much he used, the missing money. the counselor or your husband said you can
"let loose" on your feelings? I don't think you should do that at this point. way too soon. it could be too upsetting for both of you.

he is very aware of every penny he stole from the household and exactly how much he was using. he will be feeling very guilty about this.

he should stay at the least 30 days and that is still a very relatively short stay. the healing body, mind and spirit take many, many months.
he has a lot to work through, as you do too.
have you been to any alanon meetings yet?

just take it slow. one day at time. it is very overwhelming in the beginning days of recovery.

don't worry about when he comes home and how the money issues are handled. that will come later. oh yes the trust issues takes a long time.
my husband has been clean for 3 1/2 years and it has been a very slow go. I know much of it is me. I was afraid to trust him because I was afraid to get hurt again.

I am so happy for your both that he is there. that is a huge step toward his recovery.
try to relax and things will fall into place.
sending peace, comfort, encouragement and prayers,
4522800 tn?1470325834
This is kind of hard for me to explain but I will try..Back in the 90s when I knew something was not right with the way I was getting out of control on my pills and my friends, I went into a treatment. During the first week it was for detox and I could not go out to meetings. I lasted one week not knowing anythings about this disease. Then for anther 12 years I just went back and went up to the Methadone and the 2 other meds to get wired up. I really wanted to stop for the last 10 years but I was so scared. Well I went to a treatment again in Sept. I stayed 30 days with the meetings, process groups, counselors, therapy etc. I was SO sick for MANY Months that I did not pick up on alot because it was to quick and my Mind was still not functioning well enough to pick it all up and understand..NOW It did get me started so when I got out I continued Studying areas of this disease and in a Scientific way too. I was hitting the meetings 1-2 for 7 days a week for the first 9 months. Now I would not mind even getting a free ride to go back just so I could pick up what I missed. BUT I am doing good and keep it up with my Meetings.
SO I guess to put it in a Nut Shell I would have him stay about 30-60days if this is possible. Everyday you start to feel better, you can pick up a lot more info and really start to get into it and he will want to continue it when he gets home.
One more question?? Are there going to be Trams in the house??
I wish you the both the best and just remember it takes a lot of work to fight this disease but it does ease up a bit when we start to feel a bit better..BUT also when we think we have it that is a Red Flag for Falling.
Support-Support and Support for ever.
3197167 tn?1348968606
Let us know how your visit goes today....and how you're doing, K?
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies and input.

Today seemed to go well. I did take our child... and it was fine. We got there early so he got to play and visit for about 20 mins before my husband and I met with the counselor while my mom in law watched the outside.

I didn't get into all of "my feelings about stuff" which is the only way I can think to lump that all together. We focused on him. On his recovery, what he's learning and where he's at. I heard alot of good things. The counselor was very no nonsense. My husband has a "way with words" and I was nervous he'd pull the wool over their eyes. Well, that doesn't appear to be happening. However, to give him credit I DO think he's learning alot and uncovering alot of triggers that he didn't even realize at first. That being said, I personally still think he has a way to go... plus I do think that the more time away from our home and the "situation" the better. I let the counselor know my feelings on him staying longer, which to be honest was difficult in front of him because I feel like the "bad guy". However this is a "re-evaluate as you go" program so I can only give my input but they make the decision on when he comes home. A good thing is she set the meetings (NA or AA) expectation at 90 meetings in 90 days. He was surprised... and taken back, but I assure you (and her) that it will be the case. Here's where my thinking is right now.... he's controlled this situation for all too long. I'm in charge now... I'm the driver. He follows the aftercare as I say... or he's gone. Sorry, i'm the cold hearted B but I have told him that I"m doing this ONCE. I love him, yes I truly love him, but thats what I'm laying down even though not everyone may like it and it might not be "technically right" but we have a child to consider.... and I REFUSE to have our child see this growing up. Luckily he's too young to really realize whats going on right now.

There is alot of things we as a couple will have to talk about... but first things first. He's not ready to handle it yet and I realize that. He won't be able to handle it all at once, I realize that too.

VIC- No trams in the house. He had an rx since I've stopped mine but that didn't matter to me. He's always been prescribed too... until now, because he had surgery on his injury last month (yep, just shortly before I had an intervention with him). I have fioricet and xanax for occasional use when needed for me. (and that is EXACTLY how they are used.... properly) They used to be in my purse... I have since (recommendation of the addition therapist) got a small combination safe where they will stay. He will be getting the vivitrol shot, so he'll get sick if he even tried to take it, but I'm not taking chances.  
Avatar universal
I have been following your story. I am a recovering addict and want to say, you are doing the most loving thing you could do. It's tough love, but you are absolutely on the right track. Don't think you are to blame or being a 'bad guy.' You are likely saving his life, that's a huge gift you are giving him. I know it hurts, I know it's hard, but you are in the right, don't ever doubt that. My wife didn't give me a choice, she didn't really help with my recovery, at first. I was so out of my mind, that's what it took. I had to get up and go to meetings and seek out all the support I could get, or I was gonna die alone. It's okay to feel sad or hurt, but don't think you are doing anything wrong. I hope the counselor focuses on you more, in the near future, if not, I suggest going by yourself. With you standing strong, I believe you have a fair shot at getting your family life back. You are very realistic, it will take time, but my family life is better than it was before opiates, and it's only been a little over a year. We get the rest of our life now, it has been so worth it and keeps getting better.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much. You have no idea how much your post means to me. It really makes me feel much better.

The addiction therapist I'm seeing is defnitely focusing on me. He's just not hearing it (yet). The counselor at the rehab didn't really say much about me other than "he has a good family behind him".

I feel like they are gonna rush him out of the rehab. He's up for review in a few days. (evaluate as you go vs a 30 day or 60 day program). I'm not ready. Nervous.
Avatar universal
I get it, it is scary. You have no control, neither does he, but he's learning tools to get control back. It feels like a suspense thriller, the music is creepy, and you can feel something intense is about to happen. NOBODY knows what will happen next. I'm not a religious man, but detox renewed my spiritual faith. Having a Higher Power is huge in recovery. I don't know how you  about that, but it brings acceptance and courage for many.

I kinda chuckled about your ''smoothe talking man.' I am one of those. I convinced an addiction counselor that I'm not an addict. Ha!!! I get every job I try for and talked for survival, walking the length of California. I bet that is part of what you love about him. It got me in and out of plenty of trouble, but in sobriety, I don't manipulate anymore. Or lets say, I catch myself and stop. I'm sure your husband can be very charming. Remind him of a time that he used his gifts to show his love, or make your lives better. Don't even pretend you have forgiven what has happened, but let him know you 're watching for that man to surface. Detox and the first months of early recovery are surreal. I couldn't remember being any different. I hadn't noticed I changed. My wife would tell me pre-opiate stories of our life. She pointed out the things that drew her to me, things I had lost. I cried sometimes, was shut down and distant sometimes, laughter took awhile, but it made me think. It made me reach inside for myself. It clicked, I finally held onto myself, the way my wife held onto me through those years of addiction.

I hope they keep him, but I know you will be strong and fight, no matter what, as long is he is trying too. Faith is like walking an invisible plank. We do not see where we are stepping, yet we know our feet will hit solid ground . Keep the faith and give your child lots off hugs, encourage your husband to do the same. You are doing great.

Avatar universal
Thanks again.

I spoke with him last night and earlier today and I feel as if he is "checked out" maybe mentally from the rehab program. He's told me repeatedly that everyone there when he arrived and even some after are gone. (my thoughts: "and they may be right back in there"). He said yesterday how he wanted to get back to PT that he should be doing for his surgery he had a month ago (yes, his PT was cut short because I felt this was more important...) and today he says not only does he just wanna be home with us but he wants to get moving on to more specialized/personalized therapy. Now.... honestly my thoughts go straight to he's probably just trying to manipulate me into whatever he would like me to say when the counselor calls me tomorrow before he's "reviewed" later this week. Thoughts?
3197167 tn?1348968606
He needs to STAY....a MINIMUM of 30 days, imo (45 or 60 would be even better....they kept me about 40 days cause I needed it...lol)   We addicts are great "cons".

IMO, you both would do better by limiting your contact with him right now...he obviously is "working it" in his head and not focusing on his addiction and recovery (which prevents you from doing the same).   Contact with each other right now is distracting the much needed focus. The "getting back together living situation" can be dealt with when that time comes....and that time isn't now....

3197167 tn?1348968606
And as a former back surgery patient who went to PT for over 6 mos (me did...lol)....he probably learned some very basic, quite helpful exercises and stretches he can do IN THERE during his free time to strengthen his body.  Not to the degree of a full PT program of course,....but "some"....just a thought.
Avatar universal
You know, I agree, but I can't MAKE them keep him. If they choose to let him go this week, then he will have only had like 2&1/2 weeks there and 1 week in detox. I DONT think its enough. i really don't. I don't want this decision to be solely on me and its not, as far as I'm aware. I will tell the counselor what I think.... no matter what he says.

That being said, I hardly talk to him, meaning like 5 mins a day. I know what you are saying though.

I am overall not happy with this place. Shouldn't THEY be putting these rules in place? Shouldn't they be keeping a patient longer so they have  abetter chance?

Honestly, I'm beyond frustrated. I'm not ready for him to come home. I'm fed up with his family.... I'm just done. I need to try to channel the positive for both of us... but it's hard.
Avatar universal
Thanks again. Its nice to hear words of support when I am so frustrated. I want with all my heart to believe that what he's saying is the truth.... but considering I've now discovered that this has been going on since like day 1 when we met, its obviously huge to handle.

I was able to take medical leave starting just a couple days ago from work (luckily with full pay or that wouldve just added to stress). It has been nice and hard at the same time. I want to go through things at our home, just to make sure he doens't have things hidden somewhere (and to help me since I like clean organization, which it hasn't been lately) but I've also took the time to spend with our child. That's huge to me since I am getting extra days. However as with any preschooler, they aren't always happy and cooperative so that can be stressful too.

I should hear from the facility tomorrow and his review is the next day.
Avatar universal
I agree, more time would be better, though I never went to rehab. I would have liked to, but it wasn't possible, or I didn't think it was. That being said, wanting things to go my way was part of the problem. Learning new coping skills has been so important, being in today, this minute has played a major role too. I had to replace pills with other things, lots of other things. If he is sent home, don't let that trigger a huge emotional fire.

12 step meetings happen daily, many a day in most places. I highly suggest CBT counseling. Physical therapy and emotional therapy can happen at home, it's hard, but it can be done. That's what I did. My wife chose not to be involved, at first, she saw when I got serious. Even then, I was very aware of her lack of trust and belief in me. I knew she lived me, but I knew she was watching close from a distance. Keep going to counseling, learn what local al-anon folks did that worked. If he comes home, work on your own peace of mind.

Seeing my wife living independent of me, in my own house, really struck me. She was gonna grow and move forward, with or without me. I think that helped me to get my own help. Over time, we grew to be a team again, we are still working on it, the work never ends. That's scary and exciting. I don't know if our bond would have been this awesome, had I never gone through addiction. So, don't get discouraged, no matter what happens, take it as it comes. I totally agree with my friend Clean_in_KS, focus on you. One day at a time.

Let us know what happens next, there is always hope, no matter what happens.
Avatar universal
A little update: he's coming home tomorrow. I have to go get him in the morning as he's been released. The rehab counselor was supposed to call me the day before his "evaluation" this week and never did. He was supposedly evaluated today, yet he knew (via the counselor) that he was pretty much set to go home friday, before the eval. I have tried calling, leaving voicemails, and emailing to no avail. I'm shocked at the lack of communication.

Anyways, I wish he was staying longer. He was in rehab for just over 2 weeks and detox before that for 6 days. He must do a meeting daily so I have told him to have one picked out for tomorrow evening. I've tried to prep around the house but would've liked to do more.

I'm so nervous about him coming home. Luckily he gets the vivitrol shot early next week & has the pill form until then.... that's at least some security.
1235186 tn?1549257619
Three weeks was a jump start. Yes obviously the longer the better.
Well moving forward from here. How are things going since he ce home Friday?
He needs to really work a recovery program daily. I am not too keen on the vivitrol shot. Whose recommendation was that?
How long will he get those?
How are you doing?
Avatar universal
Things started off okay but all the "calmness" he was attempting to keep from getting angry has started to wear off, I think just due to the stuff life with a preschooler throws at you. If that makes sense? Family has irritated him. (his family) and just some other everyday normal things so now he's falling back into staying less calm about the issues. I can see his patience wearing thin. Heck, my patience wears thin too but I guess my point is that I feel like he's trying less.... or something. Anger is one of his key triggers.

He meets the addiction therapist tomorrow and gets his first shot. It was on her list. I am learning now that he could technically do other "classes" of drugs if he wanted but I guess I just have to hope that it at least helps. Its up in the air how long he will get them. Nothing is set.

He has been to a meeting 1x a day since coming home.

To be honest, I'm not doing well. I am growing more and more resentful of him. I think because on one hand I don't trust him with anything at all so I am really trying to control many things in order to not let him fall right back into temptation. Here's the kicker.... he had major surgery like 2 weeks (ish) before I put him in detox.He has been without the PT for the time he's been away. He refuses to follow even what the doc told him (crutches/brace/ect) so now he's "hurting" and wanting to sit around on the couch all day. Well considering that's what he did when he was using while I worked FT, cared for our kid and took care of the house.... him doing it again just is driving me crazy to be honest. We talked tonight and I told him I just needed to be fully aware of the amount of time he must be sitting.... (others have had the same surgery and been walking fine 4-6 weeks later, but he tells me he needs to be couching it for like 3 months-- ACL reconstruction)

Anyways, I'm just frustrated in general. I didn't ask for this... but I'm dealing with the mess and now him and his recovery.... and I feel like not much time is left for my recovery. I feel like throwing up my hands and just letting him do  his thing... if he wants to follow through with his treatment then thats on him. I don't know what to do right now to be honest. I'm having a tough time with this.  :(

Avatar universal
I went through the same thing with my boyfriend. He even banned me from visiting for a few days because he blamed be. But it's a phase. It's part of the addiction. My boyfriend was always very manipulative. He got what he wanted when he wanted. It wasn't like he asked for crazy things it would be a ride to the store and I just didn't want to go so I said no and he threw a temper tantrum and started walking I eventually felt bad and picked him up and drive him. I believe that this was part of the addiction as he has stopped doing that. I believe that this little temper tantrum in rehab was to make me feel bad and get him out and find him xanax and opiates. The best thing you can do is stand your ground and stand strong. You cant force him to do anything. He has to do on his own. But you can support him and try to understand what he's going through. Just be there for him. But do not enable him.
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