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Grief in Recovery

answered 04:04 PM EST, Sat October 15, 2011
I am a cocaine addict about 6 months in recovery. I just learned yesterday that my wife is having an affair with one of our mutual friends. I am now staying in a hotel and I am craving like you would not believe. The whole reason I really wanted to get clean in the first place was for our family and to be a better dad to our 2 small children and it looks like all that work I did was for nothing. I was trying to be a good father and trying to make up for lost time but now here I am, on my own in a crappy hotel room with nothing but the TV and images of my wife and some other guy to keep me company. How am I supposed to maintain my recovery when everything I was working for and with was taken away from me in an instant last night? I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained, but I am really on the edge right now and I am not sure if I have the strength anymore to fight it. I have already had a few drinks tonight, which I am not supposed to.

She was the one who begged me to get clean and now that I did it this is how she repays me. I am kind of feeling that the right thing to do right now would be to take what we’ve saved in the last few months and get high and stay high. Screw her. How am I supposed to stay clean in this situation?

Melissa Borlie Says...

Melissa Borlie M. Borlie
MHR, LPC

Most people get clean for someone else; wives, husbands, kids, bosses, etc. We really get clean for ourselves. Clean and sober, we can be the best father to our kids whether we actually live with them or not. People who don't use get divorced and are separated from their kids and the life they have known for so long. I wouldn't recommend they get high anymore than I would recommend that you do. To stay clean through this you do the same things you, hopefully, have been doing for six months.

  1. Call your sponsor. If you don't have one, please get one quickly.
  2. Get a phone list from your group and use it. Call people to see how THEY are doing. This gets you our of yourself and your own mind.
  3. Go to meetings. Lots of meetings.
  4. Use your higher power for strength and help.
  5. Read your book. Just open it and start reading; the answers are there, if you look for them.
  6. Work with newcomers. Again, this activity gets you out of your own mind which is a dangerous place for you right now.
  7. Make a gratitude list. You might be surprised at what you can find to be grateful for, starting with your kids, alive and healthy.

These are not novel ideas; they have been proven to work for millions of people trying to stay clean and/or sober every day. Sobriety is a choice you make every day; sometimes a thousand times a day. Make it for you this time.

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Page last updated Oct 17, 2011

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