Re: Wife in rehab for Lortab addiction. I need advice.
Good to meet you. A supportive spouse is so invaluable to those seeking to break the hold painkillers and drugs can get on us. Many extra burdens are placed on the supportive spouse as the addicted partner seeks to get better and rid themselves of any need and pull from the narcotics the body and brain have become dependent on in everyday living. My husband stood faithfully by me over the course of a loooong year as I withdrew from opiate painkillers and Xanax. I will always be grateful for the extraordinary patience he practiced during my own withdrawal and eventual recovery.
"In sickness and in health, for better or for worse..." To say those words is one thing... to practice them another. And boy! Did my Hubby ever practice them. While I had to reach deeep, deep inside myself to find the strength to make it through withdrawal ( and it is really tough on us), he loved me by reaching somewhere deep inside himself to find the patience and fortitude to deal with me as I struggled with my body physically and my brain as both need time, lots of time, to find balance and work again properly without the drugs they are used to have being pumped in. The body and brain have awesome restoration powers, but it is time as well as practice that allows the neded processes to take place.
After the physical withdrawal, there is a lot of emotional aftermath that takes place. A depression sets in that is pretty unavoidable as the brain needs time to begin producing natural chemicals on its own again. Walks, exercise, distractions that temporarily give relief from the anxiety that comes is very much needed. For me, a lot of crying took place for a long time and I appreciated that my husband would just hold me or let me be as I struggled through it. He would take me for quiet rides and if I didn't talk at all, he didn't push me to talk. I was filled for a long time with so much regret that the drugs had taken over 'me' and I had not been a full capacity wife for a long time. When I cried about it ( often!), he just told me that marriage is about partnership for life and that partners stand by each other. He never berated me and he remminded me often that he loved me and knew I had stood by him in the past and would do it again if ever needed. It was important to me to have him tell me I had worth because as the user reflects on the time lost to the fog of narcotics, self esteem goes right down the tubes.
He helped me by helping me set a goal for the day... maybe folding a basket of laundry... small tasks that were doable and slowly helped me find my way back into 'normal' living.When the anxiety and depression became overwhelming, he qwould take control and tell me to put a coat on as we were going for a walk or ride.
He gave me the space and breathing room I needed. He would remind me of what happened better on a day than had happened the day before. Many times as we move into recovery, it is difficult to see for ourselves that we are getting better so it is good to have someone else help us to see it.
Hubby and I were already in an empty nest so that was not an issue for us. However, I think the family dynamics are best just left in place. Wife needs to learn balance once again within the scope of her own household. People and family came to my house as I worked my way through everything and I was okay as long asd I had my 'safe' spot, which for me was my own bed in my own bedroom. If I became overwhelmed, I just retreated there for a while.
I think a good option for you is to find and attend some Nar-anon or Al-anon meetings while Wife is in treatment. The people there can offer so much support and practical advice to you about the whole situation. It is a very therapuetic group in that advice for you as well as understanding of what Wife is dealing with can be found. It would be just great IF the girls made a couple of meetings also. If not, go without them. You can sit and just listen or speak as you wish.
I wish you and Wife well in this part of the journey in your marriage.
Hope to see you here again with any questions or thoughts that crop up.
God bless the marriage