honesty in sobriety

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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honesty in sobriety

Postby Joseph » Fri May 09, 2008 1:24 am

Hello i am Joe and alcoholic and an addict. I have 38 days clean and sober today and am having some difficulty dealing with people in my life in the way of honesty (mainly my family). All my life since i started my drinking/using career i have lied to everyone about everything. I have recently finished my 28 day program at a recovery house where we went thru 8 hours a day of meetings and big book study, resulting in that i am currently working on my step 4 already. Well seeing how honesty is one of my core criteria in my recovery i am taking alot of flack. My whole family is blaming my wife for all the crap i have put myself thru and will not accept that my using and drinking has demolished all my relationships with people in my life. They are still blaming her for my disease even though i am being totally straight up with them all. They cannot accept that i believe in my higher power and realize they have just as sick of thinking as i do even though they don't use or drink. I feel that i have to not deal with them as it feels as i am slipping backward trying to deal with them so early in my recovery. I would love some suggestions if anyone else has gone thru a similar situation so far in their recovery?

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Fri May 09, 2008 9:13 am

Great topic Joe!

I had something similar happen with my mom who I spoke about in another thread. She never really knew or understood about alcoholism when I told her early in recovery. It took her a while for her to grasp what it meant. But by god, she took it on herself to find out more about the illness, and learned how to talk to me about it - without me nagging or suggesting.

At first she thought my ex-wife was to blame for all the problems that were happening to me. She grew to hate my ex. The problem with me was the same with you - honesty. I blamed my ex - AND I beilieved the lies I told myself. This is called "delusion" - a notorious part of any addiction. I told lies about my ex that I totally put together in my own alcoholic mind to take the blame away from me, and to fill in the blank spaces so it all made sense.

When I did my 4th step, my God, what an awakening! I couldn't believe the horrible things I did to my ex. I hurt her so badly and that came to light. It was ALL my doing - it was ALL my fault. I must have cried for a month straight when I came to that realization (I have become a real crybaby, huh?). Then when I began making amends with my ex, she didn't believe I was capable of being truthful until she saw the bucks - money I owed her that I paid. Then she began taking me seriously - for a timeline - lets say about 3 years into recovery. This was when I went to mom and told her how much I lied about my ex.

Like your family, my mother would not accept it at first. That's why they say this is a "family disease". My mother wanted to blame my ex not only for the hard times I faced, but now the alcoholism. But she didn't understand alcoholism - YET. She watched her cable TV and she volunteers in a senior citizen's bookstore where she lives, and boy did she get a learning about alcoholism. She is a devout Catholic, and one day she turned on the TV to her religion channed and there's this Catholic priest who is on TV who was a drug addict and he's telling his story to his congregation on TV. Mom got toally absorbed by this fellow (God bless him!) and it sent her into seeking to understand alcoholism and addiction. Working in the bookstore also gave her access to a lot of books.

It took a couple years, but my mom let my ex-wife off the hook and actually "made amends" with her on her own - for carrying around the belief that my ex was to blame for my alcoholism and the hard times I faced. It was almost as if my mother went to Al-anon which is how much she learned and changed.

A fellow in my home group says this: "Time is the best friend of a recovering alcoholic. Time is the worst ememy of the alcoholic who is still drinking."

Joe - this will take time. So give it time. Give it a chance for your family to come to their conclusions about your illness on their own. There is nothing more powerful than if a person comes to the conclusion you want them to - but they come about it on their own. If anyone in your family has even a small amount of willingness and openmindedness - very gently suggest that they try going to Al-anon because they're pretty good at helping family who are not addicted come to their own conclusions in an objective and powerful way. (PS - I think NA has a similar thing called Nar-anon)

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Postby Dallas » Fri May 09, 2008 11:35 am

Good morning Joe! Thanks for sharing!

For me, my immediate family was the last ones to come around in regards to "understanding." The one's that are still alive still don't understand... one of my brothers died last year of the same condition that I have, but he never experienced sobriety, because of his refusal to understand, and my little sister, who was finally understanding, died in December of last year.

For a long time it was hard for me... because I thought that it would be nicer if they did understand. So, that led me to do too much thinking about it. And, it's my thinking that makes things hard and painful, and discontented!

When I realized it wasn't important what someone else thinks and it's my own thinking that brings me pain or pleasure, I was able to let it go and just try to show others love, tolerance and patience... and offer to give away understanding rather than receive it. :wink:


Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Postby Joseph » Fri May 09, 2008 2:43 pm

Thank you both for your input on my situation. I can't express enough how much it is helping me to read other stories of similar situations as it helps me to keep my sanity. I feel alot better now that i have read your replies and what worked for you guys. For now i feel i have done what is best for me in my recovery process and the rest will be up to them. I will be here when they are ready, sober and serene. Thanks again and the best 24 to you both.

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