Author Topic: Supportive peer group  (Read 7064 times)

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Offline AACameToBe

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Supportive peer group
« on: August 10, 2012, 07:30:04 PM »
RFR, in spite of itself will eventually come around to the understanding that they are AA and Al-Anon. Just keep reading their members post. AllyB doesn't post there much anymore. Wonder why?

Supportive peer group

Postby AllyB ยป Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:18 am
First off I apologise if this comes off strangely or perhaps massively immodest considering why I am interested in this subject (as the wife of the drinker) but the more thought I give this and the more time that goes by, the more I see the importance of the supportive peer group. By this I don't mean a group like AA or Life Recovery or SMART but the people who the alcoholic naturally has in his/her life. Their family, their friends and perhaps most importantly, their partner. I think that if these people are able to look beyond 'their alcoholic' and see the person their loved one is, the person they know who is in pain and needing help, help unique to that particular individual. Then that person has a better chance of recovery.

I decided that one night when my husband came home drunk out of his mind. Normally I'd put him to bed in the spare room and go back to what I was doing or go to bed by myself. It was the advice I got from everywhere, from Al-Anon to specialist addiction psychologists and at times it's a good path to take, it's certainly better than starting a row or bursting into tears. But it shouldn't be the only path to take. That particular night he looked so bloody sad that I put him into our bed, got in with him, put my arms around him and we talked. Being drunk he had all his guards down and it was the first time he admitted how scared he was, the anger and hurt that were at the root of his drinking and the fear that it would never stop and he'd lose everything. It let me see him again underneath the arrogant, drunken imbecile I had become used to.

I resolved to stay with him and help him through. To be very honest I didn't think I could help him stop, I thought he was too far gone for that. He had already suffered liver and kidney failure that year and I thought, as did every doctor he saw, that he would be dead within a year. I thought at best I could just be there for him as much as I could while he slowly killed himself. So I told him I loved him and wouldn't leave him, I stopped detaching from him and instead I decided to hold him up as much as I could. And looking back that was the turning point. It gave us both a little bit of the confidence we needed to beat his addiction.

It makes me so bloody angry at Al-Anon and the rest of the psychology industry who have nothing to offer those living with addicts but the advice to detach. Now I do honestly believe that the advice to detach is useful. Living with an active addict is a special kind of hell and being able to switch off from it when you need to is extremely important but it should only be one tool in your arsenal. The most important of which is learning to examine your own instincts and to trust them. Sometimes they will tell you to walk away from it tonight and other times they will tell you when to actively support. I ignored mine for a long time due to all the 'professional' advice I got and things got worse. When I started trusting them things got better, a lot better, very quickly.
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