Explaining to friends

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Explaining to friends

Post by shannon » Sat May 04, 2013 10:43 pm

I don't know that this is suited for the other forums, so I'm posting it here.

One thing I struggle with is interactions with others (friends, family) who are not intimately knowledgeable or even aware of my RABF's addiction. I find myself making excuses... like he's working or busy, when in reality he is at a meeting or doctor's appointment or just feeling down during this period of time where he is struggling with getting sober. Do you do the same? Or do you lay it out on the table?

Last weekend we were invited to dinner at a co-worker's house. My RABF has had a bad few weeks (struggling with relapse and getting into a treatment program again), so he did not come to dinner, but I went. I made an excuse for his absence, but felt awkward in doing so. Is this how everyone else with an addicted loved one feels? I'm afraid of being judged poorly by others if I speak of his addiction openly.

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Re: Explaining to friends

Post by Marianne » Sun May 05, 2013 12:18 am

Dear Shannon,

I understand how you are feeling. My qualifier is my RAS. I spent the last 8 years before I found Nar-Anon making excuses about my Son. All concerning his addict behavior and rehab attempts over the years, he has also be incarcerated quite a few times. I kept it a secret from most people. I didn't even like telling my family because they judged me and blamed me for his addiction.

I lived in shame and held my head down for many many years. I had no self esteem because of his addiction. Learning the 3 C's, that I didn't cause it, I can't control and I can't cure it and accepting that has helped me tremendously. I don't shout to the world that my RAS is an addict but I also don't deny it and live in shame anymore. If I talk about it with someone I have a different attitude. I tell it like it is, that he is an addict and I don't have any control over his choices. I love him with all my heart but only he can choose to want recovery and work it. I am grateful JFT that he is in recovery but I know that can change in the blink of an eye at any time.

I will no longer live in shame because my Son is an addict. He always will be an addict whether in recovery or not. That is the reality of his life and my life as his mother.

Keep coming back!

"Acceptance of what is does not mean liking it as it is." ~ Iyanla Van Zant

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Re: Explaining to friends

Post by addictswife47 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:16 pm


I totally understand how you feel. I have been living with this "Secret" for too many years. Now that I have become aware of all the people that have an addict in their life and I am seeking help for me, I have now decided to share this information with more than just my family and closest friends. So far that has worked out fine for me so far. I am selective though.

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Re: Explaining to friends

Post by sisterbear » Wed May 15, 2013 4:39 am

What a tough one this is... My RAB has been in rehab 8 times and arrested I can't tell how many, always bailed out and not convicted, people know but they don't ask and my family pretends everything is ok. when asked my mom tells everyone how great things are and how well he is doing. Even her best friend knows but they never talk about it. However, I have finally talked with friends about him and they have been very supportive and understanding. There are so many families that have an addict of some kind in their life its kinda crazy. It is a hard thing to do to tell others because, they may not see the behavior and typically addicts are really good at lying and hiding and blaming others for whatever problem they have. Some are so charming people can't believe it, until they see the behavior themselves. Making excuses for missing dinner is better than having him there, falling asleep in the mashed potatoes, (happened to me) it is more embarrassing. However, you may get some support from your friends that probably already know anyway and just don't mention it. My best wishes and prayers to you and live YOUR life, concentrate on you and keep coming back we are here for you...
"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth" -- Albert Einstien

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Re: Explaining to friends

Post by Roxers2011 » Wed May 22, 2013 8:29 pm

Shannon, it is tough. I don't tell everyone about my ABF's disease, but I do have a few friends that know the truth. I can't keep it in all the time. Most of my co-workers don't know. When he was in rehab I told them he was out of town on work - he actually did have a job that he had to travel with, so at least there was kind of a precedent there. Recently, when he relapsed and disappeared the day of one of my coworker friends' birthday parties, I had to go alone. People asked and I sort of gave a noncommital answer -"He's not here" and if they persisted "I don't really want to talk about it." I am a terrible liar, so I can't get very far with made-up excuses. Christmas, for example, when he relapsed before we were supposed to go to my family's together... I tried to tell my dad (who doesn't know the whole story) something like "he is sick" but he could tell there was more and said "What are you fighting?" I went with yeah, something like that. It is hard and I don't like having to hide things, but at the same time I don't think it is everyone's business to know about his addiction. It is not really my place to share it with the world, so I try to only tell people that I know I can trust and that I feel deserve to know what is going on with me. ((hugs))

river rock

Re: Explaining to friends

Post by river rock » Wed May 22, 2013 11:52 pm

I know how you feel. Everyone is different with how they
handle things, some people have no secrets and tell it all,
others, like myself, have told some, but not others. My husbands
family for example, have not been told. They live out of state, and
my husband was never taught communication skills growing up.
Im not telling his family, because its not my place.I told some
of my family, but I have never told anyone everything, not intentionally,
it just has happened that way.Its what you feel good with. Hope you
keep coming and learning, much to learn, good support here. We have
meetings on here everynight.
River rock

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