vicodin withdrawal symptoms

I believe my husband is over the hump of his vicodin withdrawal, but I'm curious about the slurred speech and forgetfulness. It has been 10 days since his last pill. It's much better over the last two days, but at first it was as if he was drunk or had taken vicodin again. I know he hadn't because he turned the pills over to me, and he hadn't been drinking. Is that normal? How long does it typically last? We have three kids, and it's difficult to run interference and make excuses. Our oldest is a senior in high school and asked why dad is acting "loopy". In mama bear mode, here.
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  • @Edie ;Hello and Welcome to The Forum . Glad that you are here. I'm glad that your husband is trying to recover from addiction. I'm not really sure about the slurred speech or forgetfulness. I do know that it can take awhile for detox . this may be something that you could run by a doctor . 

    Early recovery can certainly be challenging. Does he have any other outside support? A counselor or substance abuse professional? 12-step group? Just curious, as the path to recovery is certainly different for each person.

    Sending you positive vibes and wishing the best for both you and your husband and your family.
  • @Edie... Welcome to the community. I'm sorry you're going through this with your husband, but I'm happy to hear that it's been 10 days since his last Vicodin.

    Unfortunately, everyone's withdrawal from opiates is a little different, so it's not really possible to tell you if what your husband is experiencing is "normal." I haven't seen others experience slurred speech 10 days after quitting Vicodin, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. If you're absolutely certain that he's 100 percent clean of any substances, you may want to check with an addiction specialist to see what they think. 

    This article may also help you:

    I hope your husband's condition improves soon. I'm sending healing vibes his way.
  • @DeanD...Thank you so much. He is taking doctor prescribed Xanax to help with the withdrawal, which I suspect is contributing. I'll check out the article. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
  • @dominica...Thank you for responding. He has talked to a priest in town who went through some hard core recovery himself before becoming a priest. He is supposed to be going to a support group when the priest returns from Rome, but I am also encouraging him to see a therapist. He is taking doctor prescribed Xanax which I suspect is contributing to his issues. They have improved, but they are still noticeable. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
  • @Edie... You are very welcome. We are here to help any way we can, so feel free to reach out and lean on us anytime. 
  • @Edie glad he has agreed to a support group... and yes, a therapist wouldn't hurt!!

    hope you are doing well!
  • How are things going, @Edie? Check in with us and give us an update if you have a spare minute. We care.
  • Thank you for checking in. Things have improved a bit. He is out of Xanax as of today, and I have made him very aware of his behavior. I suspected for a long time that he had been taking Vicodin because of a couple problems with it in the past. Over the last year or so, I knew his behavior wasn't the result of just drinking ( we are social drinkers and love our wine, I'll admit), but every time I asked about taking V he denied it and acted like I was crazy. He lost his job in July because of an unrelated problem at work, and things got very bad after that. I finally pressed the issue and wouldn't let up until he broke down and admitted taking up to 5 V a day. There have been several rock bottom moments since then. Just when I've thought the worst is over, it has gotten bad again. I threatened to leave him when he was drawing out his tapering of V. I know it would completely ruin him if I left. He has made it clear how much he loves me and values me. Withdrawals were a nightmare, and the Xanax  was there to "bridge the gap". He has no refills left, thank God, and said he won't ask for more. I wouldn't mind the X so bad if his behavior wasn't so affected by it. He acts drunk but insists it's "just one Xanax". I guess because he has hardly eaten for months. What a road this has been. I never in my wildest dreams thought I (or we) would be going through this. He needs a clear head to find a job. He has had promising interviews for jobs that are still open, but no results yet.
  • There was also Clonidine to help him with anxiety and sleeping. Maybe that was worse than the X, I don’t know. I just noticed that the last three disappeared over the last 24 hours.
  • @Edie... Please keep an eye on him, okay? Xanax withdrawal can be tricky, so if he didn't wean off of it it could be problematic. Especially if he's out of clonidine now, too. 

    I'm sending healing vibes his way.
  • Ok, I am. I pressed him last night, and he finally admitted to hiding vodka in his trunk and drinking during the day and getting up in the middle of the night to drink. I poured it out, and he swears that's all there was. Now he has been vomiting and has diarrhea. It's hard to say if it's withdrawal from the drugs or alcohol, but I guess it doesn't matter either way. It just sucks, and I'll be lying to the kids again for him.

    You're so kind to read about my and my husband's problems. I appreciate your support.
  • @Edie... I'm sorry you're going through this. Keep him hydrated, okay? And if his symptoms get worse, don't hesitate to take him to the ER.

    Big hugs to you.  
  • Saturday was rough for him, but he hasn't had any pills or alcohol since. The strongest pill in the house now is Excedrin, and there is no alcohol. He is very humbled and back to the guy I know. Hopefully it will last. He knows I can't stick around if it doesn't, and he says he's committed. I'm cautiously optimistic, but keeping my guard up.

    Thank you!
  • @Edie... I'm happy to hear he got through the rough patch. It's great that he hasn't had any pills or alcohol and is feeling humbled. I hope it lasts, too. He should take things a day at a time, or even an hour or minute at a time; whatever helps keep him moving forward. Has he considered going to support group meetings? They might really help him.
  • He has considered it, but he has a tendency to procrastinate about everything in general. I am planning on strongly encouraging it. :)
  • @Edie... Good for you. Definitely encourage it. You can even make it a requirement if you want. You're allowed to establish boundaries in order to keep your life sane.
  • Thanks again for your advice and support. I'm cautiously optimistic that it will be the best Christmas in a long time. Wishing the best for you and your family, too!
  • @Edie yes, i pray you have an amazing Christmas! The best you have ever experienced!
  • Thanks for the Christmas wishes, @Edie. I hope your Christmas is truly awesome. :)
  • Merry Christmas @DeanD and @dominica! I hope you have an amazing holiday with your loved ones. My hubby is on the straight and narrow still and doing quite well.
  • Merry Christmas to you, too, @Edie! I'm very happy to hear that your husband is doing well! That's the best Christmas gift of all!
  • Hello, @DeanD. I just thought I would float a couple of developments your way. After an embarrassing New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, my husband offered to finally call a therapist. He's had one appointment and has more scheduled. Still there have been huge improvements. But still, I swear that he is slightly under the influence occasionally. I notice it instantly, but he doubts me. I'm sure it isn't pills, but alcohol. I found out (after finding the bottle, not because he would admit it) that he had been sneaking it at New Year's, which was the issue. He says he doesn't have any more hidden, and he is starting to get angry with me when I notice a change in his behavior and ask about it. I feel like I have the right to ask when I see a change. It really pushes us apart. We used to be the couple that people were envious of, but that has completely changed. I want to do the right thing and be supportive, but I find that difficult when I feel like he is lying to me STILL. Do you have advice on the best way to handle this? In the past, I left it alone because he got mad at me so easily, and I feel like that enabled this to happen. Now, I'm not willing to let anything slide, and he's getting mad at me. I am very happy that he has more appointments scheduled with the therapist, and I hope that this will eventually help our relationship, too. Thank you, Dean.
  • @Edie... I'm sorry New Year's Eve and Day were problematic. But if those problems resulted in your husband reaching out for some help, maybe it was, in fact, a good thing. If you have seen huge improvements after only one appointment, that's very encouraging.

    As far as the lying goes, I'm not sure what to tell you. Have you considered couples counseling? That might be an excellent option. It would allow you to air your concerns in a safe environment with a third party moderating. A lot of times, this kind of setting can help couples make progress because it keeps the discussion calm and on track.

    Also, you say that you are now "not willing to let anything slide." While I totally understand that mindset, I'm not sure that it's the best thing at this point. Remember: Recovery is about progress, not perfection. If you're expecting perfection from your husband, I can guarantee you will be disappointed. Expecting perfection also puts a lot of pressure on him and kind of sets him up to fail. I'm not taking sides with your husband; I'm just being 100 percent honest. "Expectations lead to resentments." That's a saying I've grown to know and love. Recovery is a process, and there will be ups and downs along the way.

    I hope the therapy continues to go well for your husband. And I hope things keep improving for both of you. Please know that we are here for you anytime you need us. You are not alone.

    Love and light to you and have a wonderful weekend.
  • That's advice that makes sense. I appreciate your honesty, it's what I crave. We had a "date night" tonight, and I write this as he is passed out upstairs. Am I expecting too much? We had a long talk this afternoon about trust. I gave him another opportunity to come clean about suspicions I had, and he denied any sneaking of alcohol. We felt like we were getting back on track. I still felt like he was acting off, but I'm trying to trust him. We had a casual dinner and stopped at our friends' house before heading home at 8:30. When my husband left to use the restroom, our friend told me that he could tell that he wasn't "right". I could see this, but kept trying to believe what my husband had been telling me. I pressed the issue at home, and he finally admitted to sneaking vodka. You're right, I should not expect perfection. I just don't know what to do with this. He keeps wanting to get back to normal, but keeps sneaking alcohol and acting like I'm out of line when I call him out. I have no idea how to react. Couples counseling is the logical next step. I really appreciate you reading about my problems and helping me out.
  • @Edie hey there. just catching up on your posts.... i am sorry that he is not being truthful. that is what addiction can do to people for sure, and i agree with Dean that it's about progress.... did he ever get to a support group? i know you mentioned he was open to it, but not sure if he followed through.

    it's challenging when one partner is willing to "do the work" but the other isn't. if he's willing to at least get on the road of recovery (for real), then that does make it easier for you to allow him to keep his side of the street clean while you keep yours clean... but if he's just trying to willpower his way through this, and not doing so well, that does pose a challenge.

    if he's willing to go to couples counseling, that can be valuable.

    i read somewhere that for some alcoholics, their brain is literally screaming at them "i'll die if i don't get more booze"... it's like that survival part of the brain.... this is one reason professional help is oftentimes necessary, and a process of learning about alcoholism and recovery.

    meanwhile, yes, you take care of you. some find help via al-anon or some form of support. i know it's not easy.. and i really do feel for you.

    here if you need.
  • @Edie... I'm happy to help out any way I can. That's what this forum is all about. How are you and your husband doing? Are things any better? Have you thought any more about counseling?
  • He has had one appointment with a therapist and has 5 more scheduled, so that's encouraging. He tells me regularly that he is committed to getting better, and there are a few job possibilities on the horizon, which will help his mental state. I am resisting the urge to feel optimistic because of past experience. I think what I need most is time without any drunk recurrences to be convinced that there is a chance that this will get better. It has been 7 days since his last drunken evening, and he wants me to trust him. I think I have gotten him to understand that a few days isn't enough as this has been going on for months, at least.

    Thank you both for your support.
  • @Edie hey there! thinking about you and hope you are doing alright....

    Hope to hear from you!
  • Hey, @Edie... How are things going? If you get a chance, check in with us and let us know. We're here for you.
  • @dominica @DeanD Hello, we are still on a roller coaster here. He was drinking this week and wouldn't admit to it. Then I found vodka hidden in his office, and he still tried to lie about it. He finally fessed up last night. He is still unemployed and says that things will get better when he gets a job. I told him that he can't wait for that to happen , that he needs to take control now. He agrees, but I don't know if he can. The lying is the worst part of this for me. It's worse than the pills were and worse than the drinking. It would be easier for me to support him if he was honest. The lies make me so angry that I want to take the kids and walk out the door. But I also have to think about how that would effect the kids. Our daughters would be crushed. I think our 18 year old son would get it. Rob is seeing a therapist, and I was wondering if the therapist would see us both. However, I do want Rob to have time with him without me, also, so he can say exactly what he feels without me watching. Also, it's a $25 copay every time he goes, and money is going out faster than it's coming in here. So I want him to go as much as he needs now, but I think we will need couples counseling in the future. It's going to be difficult to be happy in this marriage with so much trust lost, even if he gets better. My mind is so blown that he thought any of this was okay in the first place.

    You two are incredible. Thank you for your continued support.
  • @Edie thanks for checking in. sorry things are still up and down right now... i understand it can be quite challenging... know that we are here to listen and encourage you best we can!! you're part of the FREEDOM TRAIN here! :)

    try to have a good day, and do something that YOU enjoy....
  • @dominica @DeanD Thank you. I did spend time with girlfriends on an overnight last night, and it was just what I needed. My husband invited friends over to play poker which he needed, although I knew there would be drinking. I didn't expect him to be acting drunk when I got home today at 11:30 AM. He was and he vehemently denies drinking anything this morning. I've see this many times before, and I'm pretty sure he's hungover and drank something to help with it. You know the old saying, "Bite the dog that bit you." I watched a video that Dean posted on another wife's page about her husband relapsing. It told how not to expect perfection and compared relapses to slipping on the ice. Good video, it helps. A lot. What I just can't get over is the lying. I can clearly see the bleary eyes and hear the slurred speech, and he still denies. His friend suggested that maybe he's diabetic and had low blood sugar. I'm pretty sure i know drunk when I see it in my husband...especially after over 20 years together. I told him two days ago when I found his hidden vodka that the lying is worse than the drinking. I don't understand how he expects to keep lying to me and still have an intact marriage. He is seeing a therapist, but do you think it's time for inpatient rehab? I just can't stand being around him when he is in this state, and the mama bear in me wants to protect my children. I find it impossible to be any source of support for him when he lies to me.
  • @Edie i'm sorry you're going through this. being lied to is not fun at hurts... have you sat with him and let him know how the lying makes you feel? gently sitting down with him connecting at the heart level (no judgment)... telling him..and asking him for the truth, even if it will hurt you... many lie b/c they don't want to hear the "reaction" from the partner...

    tough to say about inpatient, but it will be up to him. you can state your wants and needs, and i would... it's not easy, i do understand that, and i'm sorry for that.

    great that he's seeing a therapist.. how long has he been doing that? it can take a while to really get to the nitty gritty in therapy.... but it's good he's going.

    hope this helps..and know that we are here to listen anytime.
  • @Edie... It sounds like things are a more than a little dicey with your husband and I'm very sorry about that. I totally agree with @dominica about sitting down with your husband and having a super-honest talk with him about how his lying makes you feel. Lay it all on the line for him. But do it with love and compassion, not anger.

    Inpatient treatment is definitely an option, but unless your husband is ready and willing to take that step, it likely isn't going to happen. Or, if it does, it might not do much good. The person who is struggling with an addiction has to be willing to accept help; or at least partially willing to accept it. Otherwise, it's kind of like a car spinning its wheels.

    I'm wondering... Have you seen me mention the book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change in other posts? It's a fabulous book that was written specifically for partners and parents of people struggling with addiction. It's full of incredibly useful information that I think will really help you. You might want to get a copy and read it.

    We're here for you, my friend. You are not alone, because we truly care. So please come by and post anytime, even if it's just to get something off your chest.

    Sending tons of positive juju to you and your husband. Always.
  • @DeanD Hi, Dean. Still dicey here. One positive, however, is that my husband has a job offer on the table. We are just waiting to find out exactly what compensation is being offered. He got that information yesterday after finishing a pint of vodka and throwing it away at a local gas station so I wouldn't find the bottle. I got that information out of him after pressing quite hard, which has become the routine. I took the day off work today to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't drink as he's expecting a phone call with the offer. He has been throwing up this morning, and I wonder if it's withdrawal from alcohol. I asked him if he thinks that's the reason, and he said he doesn't know. So I'm inclined to think that is, in fact, the reason. I think he needs some type of program for this problem before he starts a new job. I think that he believes the job will be the cure because it will keep him busy and eliminate the biggest reason this has happened: unemployment. He is coming up with every possible excuse not to search for a program. Any recommendations? We are in a northwest suburb of Chicago.

    I have had countless honest talks with him about how hurtful the lying is, but I'll admit, I have done it with anger, not love and compassion. Does he need to tackle this before we try couples counseling? That's what I'm feeling. I know that depression plays a big role here. Not only does he sneak the vodka, he barely eats, has insomnia, sits in a dark room alone sometimes, and, as I discovered yesterday, went three days without showering. Yikes. It's very difficult for me to wrap my head around his behavior. I've discovered how completely opposite we are over the years. I am a glass half full, look for the good in people type. My default emotion is happy. He is the opposite of all of those things. Always has been.

    Thank you, again, for your support.
  • I'm sorry things are still dicey, @Edie. Maybe this job offer will be the catalyst for him quitting drinking. I certainly hope so. But I think it would be a good idea for your husband to get some help, too. If he's struggling with depression, too, seeing someone who specializes in co-occurring disorders (depression + addiction) would be the best thing for him.

    If you put your zip code in the Treatment Services Locator tool in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) website, it will give you a list of treatment facilities in your area. Most treatment facilities have medical detox programs, too. Here's the link to the SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator page:

    Sending you positive energy.
  • @DeanD Thank you. He is feeling very sick and just said that maybe he needs a little alcohol to curb the withdrawals. I told him I thought it was the worst possible idea. Ii will check the link.
  • A little alcohol to curb the withdrawals isn't the best idea. Hope you can find a good place for him to detox, @Edie. How are things today?
  • Things have been better the last few days. He accepted the job offer and has two weeks before he starts. He thinks that this is the change he needs, but we have talked a lot about how this was a problem long before losing his job. It just got very bad after losing the job. I highly doubt he will check into an inpatient program, but he still has upcoming appointments with his therapist. I guess that's better than nothing.
  • I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, @Edie. I hope this job might be the catalyst for him to change for the better. And yes, upcoming therapy appointments are better than nothing. Remember that we're here for you, okay?
  • I'm so sorry you are going through this. The only thing harder than being an addict is loving one. Wishing you luck. Remind your husband that he has to work on his recovery every single day. He can't half ass it.
  • "The only thing harder than being an addict is loving one."

    Amen to that, @Kaylee123.
  • @Edie thinking of you! know that we are here anytime... :)
  • Hey, @Edie... How are things going for you and your husband? Check in with us and let us know if you get a chance.
  • Hi, @DeanD and @dominica . Things are going much better since he took the job. He hasn't started yet, but his mood is completely different. He starts on Monday. He has completely cleaned up and organized his home office. What an improvement! It's kind of symbolic of cleaning out the bad clutter in his mind, I think. I did slightly suspect that he might have had a little to drink yesterday. He denied it calmly and reiterated his commitment to staying on the straight and narrow and giving me room to heal. Again today, I slightly suspected he had a little to drink again. I haven't said anything, because I know he will deny it. I alternate between thinking he will never be honest with me about it and second guessing myself. Then I feel angry that he has caused me to second guess myself when I have turned out to be right about it in the past. I just don't know what to think.
  • @Edie thanks for sharing. glad things are getting better.

    i can relate in that my adult son... drinks. i'm not sure how much or how often, and i've made it a point not to ask him anymore. his life... his decisions. i've had plenty of talks out of my concern and have given him resources should he want to quit and can't. he knows im' here if he needs.... but i've stopped asking and i tell my other kids not to tell me anything. why? b/c it will drive me crazy. and, if i keep on him about it, it will cause him to put his walls up and back off.

    i'm sure it's different living with the one with the alcohol dependence.... (over a child)

    my role in my son's life right now is to enjoy his company... affirm him regardless of his consumption or life decisions. i have boundaries (we don't drink together... i won't answer phone after 8 or 9pm (cuz he likes to talk when drinking)...and so on. i don't enable.

    ok, my point.. maybe just let him be and not ask.... for now.

    i'm learning so much in the book Beyond Addiction. have you checked this link out?

    anyway, i do hope he will stick to his recovery plan...and that you can enjoy some peace of mind :)

  • @Edie... I'm happy to hear things are going better. As far as second-guessing yourself goes... Maybe try to detach from the situation a little bit. I know it's not easy, but maybe try not to question his behavior as much. Or whether or not he's being honest. Because you really can't control either of those things. Just take a step back and see how things go. It might make things better for both of you.

    Just a thought.
  • Hi, @DeanD and @dominica . Things aren't the best here. Rob started his job two weeks ago, but he hasn't been super busy yet. This week he will be getting out of the house to meet new customers with his boss. When he has office work to do, he works from home. His being home so much has made the drinking very easy and tempting for him. I have to give him credit for continuing to see the therapist when he can get in. Apparently, he is very busy. Rob even asked him if I could come to the next appointment, which I plan to do. A few days ago, he went to a group at church. It sounds like an AA group. Rob left feeling like his problem was small compared to the other people there, but I tried to make him see that it is affecting our marriage and friendships with other people, so it's a big deal. When I got home from work a few days ago, he had clearly been drinking. I didn't say anything but felt very angry. He actually told me that he drank that day. He has never admitted it at the moment, so I was so relieved that he was finally honest. It didn't last, though. It seems like every time he leaves the house, he finds an opportunity to have a drink. Yesterday morning, he went to get an oil change, and I could tell when he came home that he was a little off. We had a St. Patrick's Day party to go to last night, and I could tell that he still was under the influence. Not drunk, but it was still sneaky. I know going to a party is risky, but we go every year, and I really wanted to see friends. He promised to be good. I looked back at him at one point just in time to see him do a shot of whisky. Alone. It wasn't like a group of guys was doing it. (Sorry, I'm venting here.) So that turned into a big fight when we got home. He tried defending his behavior, which I find completely absurd, and I ended up yelling. He hates when I yell, and I know it isn't productive. It's just difficult not to when I'm so angry. The worst part is by far his risky behavior and the lies he tells about it. But I'm also angry because I feel like I can't have a glass of wine when I want. I so enjoy a glass of wine sometimes, and I feel resentful that I should probably stop because it's rude to do it around him. He is the one that can't handle it, not me. I feel like I want to tell him that this needs to stop by summer or I'm leaving. I don't know what to do. Thanks for doing what you do.
  • @Edie hey there. so sorry things are going as such. i'm sure it is frustrating and disappointing. still good he's making efforts...change does take time...longer than we like most of the time, but seems as if the effort is there some.

    maybe couple therapy you can get some things talked a safe space with a professional. i'm sure deep down he wants to stop. most alcoholics/addicts do, but they're clearly addicted and it's not so easy to stop. for some easier than others.

    do your best to take care of mental well-being while he navigates his recovery. have you gotten a chance to look at the book? Beyond Addiction? or the guide? might help.

    sending you positive vibes...for YOU to have some peace of mind through this.
  • No, I haven't had the chance to check it out. I will. After I typed that long message this morning, I continued to reflect. I tried to change my mindset to stop being angry and be supportive. I haven't been able to do that yet. We had a good talk, I apologized for yelling, because it can't possibly be helpful. I told him that I will be more patient and supportive. I also decided that I will stop drinking, too. I will miss an occasional glass of wine, but we need to break the cycle together. It will be hard when he slips up, but I need to be a source of support, not shame.

    Thank you, @dominica
  • @Edie... Although things may not be going as swimmingly as you'd like, there still are some positive things I can pull from your update:
    • Your husband is continuing to see his therapist when he can.
    • He invited you to come along with him to his next session (that's HUGE!).
    • He's gone to AA.
    • He was honest with you and admitted that he drank that day you came home and noticed that he'd been drinking.
    Yes, there are negative things going on, too. But at least there are a few silver linings in the clouds. That said, it sounds like Rob needs to focus more on abstaining. And you have every right to want things to change, because it's no fun living in the situation you're in. So, maybe sit down and have a calm, empathetic heart-to-heart conversation with him. (You're right: Anger doesn't do anyone any good in these situations.) Tell him your thoughts. Tell him you'll quit drinking to help him quit drinking. Maybe even suggest getting all the alcohol out of the house.

    Just know that everything you're feeling is okay. You are entitled to the full range of feelings and emotions you're having. And you're entitled to set boundaries, too. After all, it's your house and life, too, right?

    If I were you, I'd consider the couples therapy that @dominica suggested. And for sure get ahold of the Beyond Addiction book and read it. I think it would help you soooooo much. So would the 20 Minute Guide. And that's easily accessed online:

    Keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers. And sending you more hugs full of hope.
  • I purchased and downloaded the 20 minute guide. I look forward to reading it. We actually did have a really good talk yesterday, and I told him I was quitting, too, to support his efforts. I sent him a supportive text when I got to work this morning. When I came home, he had been drinking. And he is working at his new job! Today he was working from home, but he has to be out with his new boss for a few days this week, and I'm so scared. I feel very hopeless after coming home to find him like this. I have gotten rid of all alcohol before, but he either hides a bottle (I have found it before) or leaves to get it during the day. Can you give any advice on how to set boundaries? I feel like I have tried. I feel very powerless. Also, I don't know how to be supportive when I am so incredibly disappointed.
  • @Edie... Setting boundaries is a huge part of self-care. It means you're giving your loved one limits as to what you'll accept from him behavior-wise. You are perfectly within your rights to establish boundaries/limits for your loved one. That said, know that living with the limits you set requires conviction in their validity, plus tolerating your loved one’s reaction when you stand by them.

    Here is a bit more from the Beyond Addiction book. It might help you.

    You can think of your limits as boundaries, personal thresholds, life rules, or expectations (whichever rings true for you) that demarcate your physical and emotional well-being in your interactions with other people. They are the lines between what is acceptable and unacceptable, between what you can and cannot handle. How do you know what you can handle? Limits can be shifty. You might surprise yourself by rising to an occasion you thought would be too much. On the other hand, sometimes your limits will turn out to be closer than they appeared. What you can handle without losing your temper, dissolving into tears, or panicking may fluctuate from day to day. Nonetheless, with awareness, careful self-assessment, and practice, you can learn to see your limits from a safe distance and even use them as guides. Consider the following questions:

    • Do you find yourself doing or saying things in the moment that you later regret?
    • Are you acting in ways that do not match your internal image of yourself and the person you would like to be?
    • Do you notice tension, resentment, or frustration building up within when dealing with your loved one?
    • Do you feel mentally and/ or physically not okay?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be living beyond your limits, telling yourself you can handle more than you reasonably can. Dealing with another person’s substance problems can stretch you until you’ve completely lost sight of what a reasonable limit really is. Not only is this a desperate, miserable place to be, it is not solid ground for the helping work ahead.

    Taking a step back and looking at things with your newfound perspective, equanimity, and resilience will let you examine your boundaries from a safe distance. Knowing your limits is part of being aware and having reasonable expectations; you can work with them instead of being surprised and shattered by them. If you expect to have limitless patience for your loved one, you’ll be more vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed when you run out of it. You may wish you had more tolerance, patience, or goodwill, but it also takes strength to recognize when you’ve had enough. The conscious act of recognizing how much you can stand makes your situation more predictable— no small comfort to people who have been trying to live with chaos. Awareness won’t change your circumstances, but it does allow you to anticipate what’s coming and plan for it as best you can. Foresight gives you time to avoid situations that you know will push you over the edge, where you lose your temper and say things you regret, or cry so much you feel out of control, or otherwise don’t recognize yourself.

    Foote, Jeffrey; Wilkens, Carrie; Kosanke, Nicole; Higgs, Stephanie. Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change (pp. 119-120). Scribner. Kindle Edition.
  • @DeanD Thank you. I'm definitely beyond my limits right now. It's worse than I ever thought it would be. He is drinking vodka every day and feeling withdrawal symptoms by noon every day now. The kids and I visited his parents in Florida, for a week, and came home to find him half drunk. He said he was hanging from the night before when he drank a pint of vodka straight from the bottle alone at home. I don't know if I was more shocked that he did it or that he actually told me about it. He is at an AA meeting right now. Someone he met at the first one picked him up. I told him that this needs to be under control by the last day of school, or I'm taking the kids to my parents until he can get it under control or we split up permanently. I am going with him to the therapist next week where we'll talk about an antidepressant. At my wits end.
  • @DeanD Update...after the meeting this morning, he decided to check himself into detox. The friend that picked him up talked to him for a long time this morning and helped him come to this decision. He has been through it himself and has helped other people like Rob. I'm so thankful for people like him and you. We are nervous about him probably missing a couple of days of work at this new job. I figure we just tell his boss that he was hospitalized for an illness, since it's the truth.
  • @Edie... I'm really happy to hear of this development. Sometimes it takes the help of someone who's "been there, done that" to break through that force field that so often surrounds an addict. I am keeping good thoughts for you and Rob, and praying, too. I hope things are going well. And yes, telling his boss that he was hospitalized for an illness is totally legit.
  • Thank you @DeanD . His blood pressure was so high that they were afraid he might have a seizure. He's never had a problem with blood pressure before, so I'm hoping if he can stay on the straight and narrow his blood pressure will improve. What makes a person make the bad decisions he has made? Alcoholism and depression both run in his family. I guess that's my answer. It's just difficult to understand. I keep wondering how we are ever going to go to a friend's party again or just hang out casually without him being preoccupied by thoughts of drinking. It was definitely a part of our culture, just never to this extent.
  • Addiction makes people do a lot of things we just don't understand, @Edie. Unfortunately, that's the nature of the beast. Just be glad he checked himself into detox. And please don't worry too much about the future right now. Try to focus on the here and now and take things a day at a time. That strategy works for both the addict and their loved ones.

    We're here for you, my friend.
  • @Edie hey there.... i know it's been rough for you...and i'm sorry about that. i'm glad he is moving forward with detox, on the path of recovery. it takes time, and change is happening. look for the positive, little changes...they add up!

    and yes, keep practicing self-love and self-care. your emotions may be all over, and i get it.... but if there's something you can do to try to keep them under some sort of control, do that regularly. for me, it's being quiet, prayer, walking in nature, reading, etc. what works for you?

    we are certainly glad you're here and know that you're not alone!
  • Thank you @DeanD. I'll do that. Bless you.
  • @Edie ya'll are in my prayers this weekend!! <3
  • No problem, @Edie. I hope things are going well. Be sure to take the time to work on YOU.
  • So it's been three weeks, and I seem to have my husband back. He hasn't had any alcohol this whole month. It's probably the longest he has gone without a drink since he was a teenager. Definitely since the age of 21. He is sleeping well and is acting more like the man I married. I haven't been this hopeful since last July. I can't thank you enough @DeanD for your continued support and advice. I hope things continue on this path, but I am prepared for setbacks.
  • @Edie this is wonderful news! you deserve to have your husband back! :)

    thank you for the update. know that we're here for you to lean on anytime!
  • @DeanD and @dominica my husband has had a setback. He is in detox for the second time, and he lost his job. I went to my first al-anon meeting last night. Both of our families now know about his problem, and our kids know, too. It feels good to have it out in the open, but also really bad, of course. I just wanted to share. Send some positive vibes our way, please.
  • @Edie... I'm sorry to hear about your husband's setback and job loss. It's good that he's in detox, though, and I'm proud of you for going to an Al-Anon meeting. I hope you were able to find some comfort and understanding there. And while I totally get the ambivalence of having your husband's addiction issues out in the open, I think it's the best thing. If nothing else, perhaps a little more support from family will be a good thing.

    I am sending the maximum number of positive vibes allowed by cyberspace your way. And your husband's way. And I will keep you, your husband, and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Remember: Love the addict...Hate the disease.
  • @Edie thank you for the update. i'm sorry he's had a set back... but it is a good thing he is in treatment...and that you are attending meetings.

    how did you like the meeting?
  • yes, that's a bit of a struggle right now. I am making my best effort to turn my angry energy into firm, nonjudgmental talk. Thank you for your support.
  • I'm proud of you for working to turn angry energy into nonjudgmental talk, @Edie. Believe me, it will be a better approach.
  • Trying hard to love the addict, hate the disease. He is now in a 30 day program following his third detox. The disease is bad enough, but the lying has really cut deeply. I guess that comes with the territory. He is committed, and we have many friends and family supporting us. I just fear another relapse. Hoping that this time is different since he has entered a residential program.
  • @Edie hey there. thanks for the update. i'm sorry you are hurting... being lied to can certainly be disheartening...

    i hope this time he can really make some headway and be able to stay on the recovery path without relapses in the future....

    and of course, know that we are always here for you!
  • @Edie... I'm glad to hear he's in a residential program. Hopefully this 30-day stay will open his eyes and provide him with tools he can use to stay on the right path. It's also great that you have the support of friends and family. That's a huge plus, for sure.

    Take this time to work on yourself, okay? When someone we love struggles with addiction, we have to work on our own recovery, too. So take these 30 days to put some focus on your own self-care. You deserve it, my friend.

    Sending positive, healing energy your husband's way. And sending you lots of love, light, and hope. We're always here for you.
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