Life After Treatment
Life after treatment from alcohol use disorder or any addiction isn’t always easy and comes with a new set of challenges not only for the newly recovered but for family members as well.
When my husband returned from rehab, I expected we would have a new life after treatment. The addiction would be gone, and we could focus on rebuilding our relationship. Boy, did I need a wake-up call.
I rarely spent time with my husband the first month he was home. His life after treatment consisted of work, AA meetings, more meetings, private phone calls, and time spent writing or meditating – with the door closed. My life consisted of loneliness, fear, and feeling abandoned. Life after treatment was supposed to be about us, and I was hurt and disappointed when I fell to #10 on his priority list.
I felt unloved and unappreciated.
My role for years was to take care of him and keep him safe when he was drinking. Life after treatment didn’t allow me that responsibility, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My fear of not being needed got in the way of his recovery. I became resentful, and he became angry.
With the suggestion of his sponsor, I tried an Al-Anon meeting. I knew they would agree my husband was being selfish and our relationship should be his top priority. All I heard was “keep coming back.” I didn’t go back; I wanted answers to my problems, and Al-Anon wasn’t giving them.
As my husband progressed with his life after treatment, I became depressed and even more resentful. Did he forget that I was the one who put him in treatment? That I was the one who stood by his side through all those terrible times? That it was me who took care of him when he couldn’t do so himself? I was so angry, so sad, and so lost that I finally decided to give Al-Anon another try.
I can’t explain to you what was different this time, but after the meeting I felt completely better.
I still didn’t get the answers to my problems, but I got something else. I got hope that I can have what these people in similar situations had. I can have a life after treatment with the man I still love…but I had to do some work on myself.
What an amazing gift Al-Anon has been to me. In just a few months I have learned how to have a life after treatment that doesn’t focus on my husband but focuses on me. I learned that I am only responsible for my actions, my thoughts, and my feelings. Living with my husband’s alcoholism was a nightmare – but I’m grateful because his disease brought me to Al-Anon, and Al-Anon helps me live a fulfilling, beautiful life with the man I married.
If you are seeking help for a loved one trapped in addiction, please contact us anytime at 337.456.9111.
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