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:


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.