Your Spouse and Family are Deluded Too
One of the most common myths that rehab programs sell is the one where you go off to treatment, they dry you out, you return home, and everything stays exactly the same, except you aren’t drinking anymore.
What do you think the chances are?
Again, rehab operates on the false premise that alcohol is the problem. We grant that it’s become one, like tooth decay resulting from poor oral hygiene, but it, like the decay, is still the sign of self-neglect, not the fundamental problem.
Since we don’t have any illusions to sell, we’re free to state the obvious: when you stop drinking, your “sobriety” is going to affect the people in your life to the same degree your drinking did. Frequently more.
Granted that is not a fact that anyone is going to pay $45,000-$200,000 for you to realize.
You, on the other hand, don’t have to think very long or hard to see how this plays out.
We address this initially by asking one very informative question: what benefits do your family get from your drinking?
This is a possibility neither you, nor anyone else, has considered, or even imagined, before. Certainly not the people who are looking to railroad you into months of “treatment.”
You lose your vote in family decision making. You become the scapegoat for all family problems. You provide distracting cover for others’ deficiencies and problems. You never have to be considered. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!!!!
And when you stop drinking and want your “vote” back? When you remember what you actually agreed to? When you swap assertive for passive-aggressive? When you refuse to be “the problem?”
Yes, Virginia, there will be changes which affect everyone, just as your drinking does.
Happily, because we de-program family too, if you want, most of these “growing pains” turn into greatly enhanced marriages, partnerships, and parenting. Which helps to reduce the temptation to revisit the bad old days.
Whether you medicate your life with alcohol, or AA, or Alanon, you’re still leading a medicated life. Instead of sitting around drinking, or in endless meetings, waiting to die, why not at least see what actually living your life feels like?
You can always go back to drinking, or AA, but one day you will run out of time to live your own life. And it’s the only life you’re going to get.