When your loved one is clean, and life is perfectly ordinary, and you’re just grateful for the happiness and the small moments and how far you’ve come… do you ever get scared that it’s too good to last? How do you cope?
I know what you mean! We get so used to the ebb and flow of healthy / harmful behavior it can be tough to know when real change has been made and if they are here to stay.
Are there real factual reasons to have any worry right now?
Like…in the past they’ve only gone x months before something happening? Or maybe now that I feel better I have more energy to worry, and I need to find another activity to spend that energy on? Perhaps if we can find the root of where the worry is coming from then we can figure out how to process it?
What do you think?
I’ve found that over time lets the outcome of actions builds up to new stored knowledge that I can draw on to say ‘this is the new normal’ and for us it really has been like a step ladder moving up rungs…but it does take a long time. And my husband’s drinking still bothers me.
What’s been helpful to me is keep a view of experimentation - how is this working right now? And if something isn’t working let’s go back to what was or find something new to try. That way any kind of slip up doesn’t seem so irrecoverable.
Thanks for your response, @Jane. Right now, nothing to really worry about. And I’m not complaining! I am grateful for every moment and we’re both aware of just how well we’ve been communicating. You mention the ebb and flow - I guess I know that life has ups and downs, and sometimes there are moments when I know we’re up, and I wonder how/when the fall will occur. Maybe the emotional trauma of living with active addiction is still a little too close. I hope it keeps getting better with time. Just have to remind myself that all the work we’re doing now is helping us build up that strength and resilience should we find ourselves falling.
Jane you also said something to me which was super helpful and that was to be patient with myself. For so long I was scared and anxious and playing detective that when you don’t have those same stressors it takes your body and mind time to catch up. You reminded me to be kind to myself and allow myself time to adjust just as my partner is.
Also acknowleding that the fear is a false sense of safety. Like if you worry all the time and my partner relapses somehow it’ll have less of a blow because we were expecting it. But that isn’t healthy and allowing yourself to focus on the good and lean into the new norm takes our nervous systems time.
I’m shell shocked because I have done this up and down thing too many times. In fact Friday I got a call from my son I tears because he was afraid of parole. He knew he was going to have a hot urine. I’m grateful for all of you and your answers. I just don’t know if I will ever not have this anxiety.
Interesting that @Jane mentioned being anxious at a certain time period. My S/O has made it up to about 8 months In the past. But mostly it’s been 30-60 days and then a relapse. We are coming on 60 days next week. Last year he made it 59 days and then relapsed, so naturally my anxiety is heightened. This time around is very different as I am very involved in his recovery, he been very honest about things like money, and he is truly working his recovery. But it still feels at times like waiting for the ball to drop with every new challenge. Today I am so grateful for the 53 days we have had. It’s been a beautiful very connected experience for us both. But an upcoming trip and day 60 on the horizon has truly made me very anxious. ️
Hi @Brenda_Allen - It’s definitely much more difficult to manage anxiety when you’re in the middle of a roller coaster. How are you doing today? Is there anything that you are able to do in the moment that helps?
Yes! I feel this way too. My husband is in early recovery, so it all feels too good to be true sometimes. Coming off of such a chaotic year when I felt like I could hardly see the person I married in there, enjoying an afternoon together feels like a dream come true, which also makes it feel fragile and fleeting. Because this is his first stint in recovery, I found myself trying to brace myself for a slip or a relapse to try to prevent myself from getting my hopes up that it won’t happen to him, but the reality is that I won’t be any less scared if it does happen, so I’m trying to embrace this time and every moment that I can.
I’ve realized that I’ve always struggled with anxiety, so this is no different. I am working so hard to be in the present and not let myself get carried away by stories of “what if” and talking to my husband about it has been helpful. I’ve been careful with how to bring it up and always ask him to debrief how he’s feeling about it afterwards, but just saying the fears out loud has been helpful to me in those moments. Also acknowledging my trauma reminders. Weird things remind me of his drinking days and I allow myself to process those memories as they come up. I think when we were going through it, I had to internalize so much to keep it together that my brain is now sensing that these things need to come to the surface. I think it’s all a part of our healing journey.