Picking Him Up Today, what to do with the worry and what happens after rehab?



My husband is leaving the clinic for behavioral health/substance abuse today and I’m anxious, I feel like we’re both not ready. To me, 7 days of treatment isn’t enough. My situation is different or maybe it’s not, I guess I’m just assuming that. I thought he was sick for a really long time, I thought he had Alcohol Brewery Syndrome and spent the last year constantly worrying about him, calling ambulances, rushing to the ER and dealing with dr appointments. I asked him so many times if he was really drinking and he swore up and down he wasn’t, I chose to believe him.

Then I caught him, red handed. I asked for him to please stop, he was destroying our lives and he said he would. 2 days later he was passed out again and I called an ambulance, again. This time he was sent to a clinic to get help. I was told by them he has been diagnosed with bipolar 2 and dissociative anxiety, so I’m still learning but it seems a big part of this is mental health. He wasn’t drinking everyday and could go a while without a drop of alcohol but when he did he’d binge until he was at a .4 sometimes, so scary.

I know he doesn’t want to do AA but I’m going to insist on it as one of the biggest issues of him coming home is that he’ll be alone all day long and it’s really unhealthy for him. He needs to have places to go, once outpatient is done at least. I’m anxious how this will go and worried I will just amplify this issue by stressing him. At the same time I don’t want to live my life in a way I’m worrying about him all the time and trying to control the situation, which clearly hasn’t worked.


Sadly, your very difficult situation is not unusual. Setting the firmest boundaries, being clear in your communication of the consequences, and most difficult of all … following through with the consequence is critical to help active alcoholic - addicts find the willingness to change. When the pain of the status quo exceeds the pain of change … change will happen. I understand the challenges with AA; it’s not for everyone unless ‘everyone’ wants it to be for them. There are alternatives; but regardless it is a stigma associated with these things that gets in the way. AA has done amazing things for many (but no where near all, sadly) of all walks of life. Best of luck in your journey; many people and resources out there for both of you when you dig deep enough. Keep digging!


How are you doing? How did the homecoming go? It’s going to be very hard. You’re right, 7 days is not enough time. Recovery takes a long time - it can be months, years before things seem to settle down, and even then, recovery is not linear and there may be slips and falls. Don’t let them discourage you. Progress, not perfection. Whenever I feel like we’re not moving forward, I look back at where we were 3 years ago and I remember how far we have come. Change takes time and lots of hard work on everyone involved.

One of the best ways you can support your husband is getting help for yourself. I believe addiction is a family disease, changing us as well so we develop unhealthy behaviors. Al-Anon has helped me immensely. Find ways to take care of yourself and nourish your soul.

I understand you feel like he needs a program in place to keep him accountable. AA can be helpful for some
people but does not work for everyone. Remember that this is his recovery and his choice as far as how he recovers. I would try not to force any of your expectations on him, but perhaps try to come up with a plan that addresses both of your concerns. Good luck! :pray:t4::sparkles:


I have made a decision that once we are able to get him to the long term care that he needs if we finally are able to get his insurance to agree with the physicians and recommendations instead of as the hospital coordinator stated pushing him through the dirt that I will no longer participate in this relationship. After all he left almost two years ago when I was willing to participate and only came back after now ending up addicted to the dirt pushers 8 medications on top of the opoid disorder. Disgusting and I had gone on with my life finally. All this has brought me heartache and someone reminded me today that this recovery is everyday. He is not my child he is not my husband and we barely had any relationship that I was pushed out of by both him and his mother. Only now after he is so much worse have they started talking to me and brought this horrific situation in my life that is much worse than before. Sometimes families do not want to get better and do not get out of the dysfunction. This has been a 2 fold battle that I do not want to be in the middle of.


So well said!

I would add though that in not ‘forcing our expectations of how’; we must set firm boundaries for change to happen and stick. Making the very difficult decision to make good on the consequences of breaching those boundaries is where and how real change occurs. As you said, it is also a family disease, and there are actions and tools we have that can make a difference. We are NOT powerless in this process. It is not for the faint of heart, but when done with pure love and absence of judgement and resentment, and with consistency and commitment … we will affect the outcome. It may not be the best outcome for those we love, but it is the best outcome for us to not be pulled into the depths of the disease as well so that we may get our lives in order to live in health and happiness.


Well put! I’m starting to get over the trauma of the last 6 weeks. Only this past weekend was the local shooting at the mall near me as well as my son n law shot in the line of duty the next day. (he is ok). I took over all the business this past week for both myself and daughter while they are recovering from his bullet wound he is home and safe now. This has been an extremely MESSY couple of months. Addict actually called me today from the detox facility and told me he was depressed about going back to treatment. I reminded him this is a good place he is going this time. I also reminded him how bad it was this time around using. Much worse than when we were actually still together. Right now all of us need to heal and it is a little depressing for me too. Taking care of myself, getting plenty of rest, eating well and doing a little more each day to catch up on my normal responsibilities that were put on the back burner for 6 weeks is key. Friday was well spent with my younger son daughter-n-law and 3 month old Ellie. He started young like his mother and I am so proud of them. All of my descendants keep my chin up and all I see is the beauty with them. My hope is that addicts family can get a glimpse of the beauty and heal too.


You’re in a tough spot and you get to decide what to do. Life is tough and sometimes beautiful and almost always messy. You get to decide what to do for your life. It’s the only way to be really OK with yourself. You’re no one’s victim and you’re no one’s oppressor. Let us know how you get on. You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but neither do you have to stand alongside and get all wet.