Dealing with negative thoughts in recovery?



It’s been a while since I posted. Hope everyone is doing well. My S/O who was what I consider an end stage alcoholic is now 16 months sober. He was drinking 5ths of vodka on his couch, jobless, mean, suicidal, and a shell of himself up until November of 2020. It was life or death and he chose sobriety. Although 10x better than active addiction, the past 16 months have not been without their challenges. We’ve had some issues with intimacy which seem to be ongoing at times. In addition every little hurdle I have felt myself bracing as he learned new ways to cope that didn’t involve a bottle. Thus far, he’s made it through every single hurdle and some have been pretty significant. This week has been another one of those challenges. He recently started a new job and he’s been having some negative thoughts ever since. Mostly, he is unsure if it was the right move and is not feeling confident in the job requirements. He’s starting to allow it to spill over into other areas of his life and thus developing a negative outlook on things. Being a very codependent person I am finding myself wanting to feel down and out right along with him. Last night I took it a bit personal as he mentioned feeling like he doesn’t fit in anywhere even in our relationship. That really got me feeling vulnerable. He explained that he thinks it’s mostly this work issue, spilling over into it all and that we will be fine and he loves me. He said it’s tough sharing things with me as I tend to make it personal. Well, it kind of was! He mentioned our relationship! I also just hate hearing him say he’s feeling out of place. I just want him to be happy. I want us to be content and happy. I attend Alanon and have a sponsor. i’m trying to deal by watching videos and reading literature and work on controlling my own thoughts. . Does it ever get easier? Why do they always struggle so much with what I consider “normal” life circumstances? Why does he continue to feel out of place and unworthy? He works a program (AA) which has saved his life. He has a sponsor. He’s been really doing well, but every time things get uncomfortable, he really struggles with those emotions. These thoughts to me always feel alarming as I know it can lead to a relapse. Any advice? Thoughts? Is there anything I can say to him? How do i learn to detach from him and let him work through the negative feelings with out projecting my own insecurities onto him? I feel it just makes matters worse.


Hi.Im sorry to burst your,bubble.But You will never,win in this situation. I put up with .alcaholic for4 years.He failed.1 rehab.Completed,The second.only to relapse less than a week,out of the rehab. I supported.him. every way.did everything I could. Then the gratitude.i got was.him cheating.on me. Before he went in rehab.( Then.i found out. Also he cheated rehab. Too much damage has been done.You can’t change them…If they don’t want to change.You will be in for constant .stress,and mistrust,And heartache.Best advice,from ,someone,who Tried.And alcaholic. You won’t ever have a normal life. You will just waste,your own.R.U.N…AND DONT LOOK BACK.Good


Hi jess.just know.And not just by comparison.But by proffesional knowledge. (* which i chose to ignore in the earlier days.)Because.i was in denial,of the whole situation.( hopeing he would change. Well.He has not.changed. The damage to his obvious. ( most alcaholics.get sozzled.brain(* atypical of brain alcahol induced.brain damage.) Which is one of the lewi.dementias.*( that forms over .years of drinking…( He disappears every morning for so called walks., ( breaking boundaries we put in place to keep him. Safe.etc. Hes constantly on his phone…( I strongly suspect. Well if he’s broken boundaries again…He will certainly. Be drinking. Again. And cheating again…You can only take so much.Such disrespectful, behavior :unamused: can only be tolerated, for short time. You have to Eventually wake up and smell the coffee… All Addicts. Are Addicts.They may stop. One addiction.Bur then compensate one,for another one Its actually medically.and physically proven facts.of All Addicts with addictions…There isn’t one Trained . Medical / person. / counselor. ( trained in drugs and alcahol.( addictions) That hasn’t.told Me.To him. Leeway.and start working on myself. Which I am…and have done ,since he broke his sobriety. (And my Trust. ) I’m see.That.untill they ,want to change very, much. Standing on egg shells and dragged on along. For the ride. Stop worrying .abour him. .( work on )urself. You have to survive.good luck… .


Everyone’s story is different. people can and do recover. Sorry you experienced such a terrible outcome. This person has been my best friend and love of my life for many years. He has a terrible disease and wants to continue to get better. He has been sober for 16 months and I couldn’t be prouder. We are both continuing to work our programs. I wasn’t asking for advice on what to do with my actual relationship with him. I was asking for advice how to deal with negative emotions in long term recovery. Him and I are both in recovery. Along with that comes many ups and downs and unique challenges. He’s in AA for his alcoholism. I’m in Alanon for codependency. We both work 12-step programs which involve a ton of self-reflection and hard work. We are both working hard at are own recoveries but sometimes there are bumps in the road as we navigate this new way of life together. I was merely asking for advice or wisdom on how to handle negative emotions that may come up in recovery. None of these challenges are a reason for me to leave him or run. I have very strong boundaries and bottom lines that I have in place to protect myself if he ever relapses. Please keep in mind that not every one wants to leave their addicts. Not everyone’s story ends up bad. Sorry to hear you experienced so much pain. Such a terrible disease.


Hi @Jess - how are things going today? It’s good to hear you’re both working your programs and communicating.

I don’t think going through the tough emotions ever gets easier. I think we just become more aware of them. For me, I just try to remember that these feelings pass. They feel the same every time, they’re just as hard to feel every time, they’re exhausting and discouraging and painful, and they always pass.

One thing you might say to him is ask how you can support him. One way to detach is to focus on your emotions instead of his. You mentioned your insecurities - ask yourself what they are and why you have them and go from there.

Sending love!


I’ve heard addiction referred to as a symptom of something larger - mentally, emotionally, something underlying that they are trying to numb out and escape through drug and alcohol use. Oftentimes, if that underlying condition is not addressed, then yes - one negative behavior like addiction may simply be replaced by another negative behavior. It takes a lot of self work and surrender to finally address the “why” behind the addiction. Unfortunately, addiction is like this demon that never fully goes away. There’s always risk of slips or relapses. But recovery is not linear, and those slips don’t erase the hard work.

I’m sorry your experience has been so painful. I hope you’ve been able to move forward and take care of yourself.


@Jess It’s been a while since you posted this but still checking in to see how things are going with you and your partner?