What is normal behavior for a recovering alcoholic? -
12-14-2008, 11:50 AM
My husband returned from alcohol rehab 4 weeks ago and has since been sober, however, his moods are all over the place, either euphoric or full of remorse and regret. He's been attending AA Meetings and has a sponsor whom he calls at least 3-4 times per week. My question is, is it normal for someone in his situation to have his emotions swing back and forth numerous times during the day? If so, how long does this usually go on before his emotions stabilize?
First, congrats to your husband. 2nd this does not seem unusual to me. The duration of this unstable period probably has to do with how long and how much he was drinking before.Tell him to hang in there (and you too).I would also suggest Al-Anon for you-it can help you figure out your emotions and how to be supportive of him. God Bless
There are wide variations in how people recover, but wide mood swings as you describe them are pretty common. It helps to learn how to live sober, not just abstain from drinking. Drinking occupied a lot of hours, from drinking to planning to drink, to hiding it and coverng up, to hangovers, etc. With all that free time, a hard part of recovery is to find a satisfying way to spend the days. Lots of folks find that there homes get very very clean in the first few weeks. Eventually, they find a way to spend the hours in a satisfying way. He should talk to his sponsor about it. Lots of folks recommend making a list of 30 things you once liked to do,or think you might like, from taking a walk to going for ice cream to shooting pool -- things that can be done daily -- and then trying one every day for a month just to see what you like now.
Congrats to your husband and to you for standing by him. You have to figure his mind and body are undergoing an enormous change right now and will be for quite some time. His body or mind needs time to know how to react to'normal'things without the effect of alcohol. Give yourself a break and go to Al-anon. They can help you learn more about your husbands disease and how you can help yourself. Your husband isn't the only one going through a life changing experience, you are too. Take care of you too. It will eventually even out but it could take up to a year or so.
the behavior that you're husband is exhibiting is quite normal, unfortunately for you. alcohol is a drug, and it takes time to get it out of the body, it will take some time and patience on your part to make his recovery complete. you are a wife worth keeping, a lot of ones that i know would get the heck out of dodge, and he should be very thankful for having someone that can put up with this.
Yes, this is normal. I am a recovering alcoholic (8 + years sober) and so I've been through this myself and I've seen it in countless women I sponsor. Your husband's body and brain are adjusting to life without alcohol, and this is part of the process. In my experience, this lasts for a few months, although the severity gradually decreases with time (assuming of course that your husband stays sober). You can help him by supporting his attendance at AA meetings (the meetings and all the sponsor contact can seem like an imposition, but they are SO important!) You can help yourself by going to Al-Anon.Hang in there. It will get better!
It's not uncommon for people to develop mood disorders after withdrawing from alcohol. Also many people with mood disorders may self-medicate with alcohol, become addicted, get sober but the mood disorder remains. Sometimes after the more dramatic withdrawal symptoms have passed other symptoms like depression, insomnia, anxiety, etc. can linger for a few months. He should talk to his doctor. An antidepressant and/or a mood stabilizer could make a big difference. It's only been a month. If he's been drinking for a long time it make take awhile for these symptoms to gradually disappear. At any rate, this is a very vulnerable period for him. Make sure he gets counseling and goes to support groups. Just be there for him, love him and encourage him.