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2 monts sober he jumps in sleep, sweating, heart pounding
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2 monts sober he jumps in sleep, sweating, heart pounding

My boyfriend quit cold turkey -As he said he would for me and himself
He's from New York City. Was a quite famous guitar player.  I took him 400 miles upstate to sober up and he did.. Its winter now, He has not had a drink in 3 months but has started going threw horrible, loneliness, guilt,  culture shock and nightmares.   Sometimes he "spike" jumps in his sleep (like hit by lightning) hurting himself and scaring the crap out of me.    I know he feels very lonely and depressed.  If I shout, pound and wake and cuddle with him the panic attacks totally stop--- no problems.
Drinking has stopped but I don't understand what's still going on.  I did the best I can and feel I failed ?
He says NO, its brain damage that will take a long time to repair itself than god you were here...then blames himself more and runs off. --I think to cry
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it takes time to recovery from damage we do by drinking and using.  two months is a good start, but it's really just a start . . . and, most importantly, just not-drinking is not enough to make us better, it's simply a necessary pre-condition for doing what's necessary to get better.

they say that when we fall victim to the disease, we get sick spiritually, then mentally, then physically.  when we recover, we do it in reverse order -- first physically, then mentally, then spiritually.  not-drinking for two months is a big start on reversing the physical aspect of the problem.  with just not-drinking (or not-using) we start to eat again and begin to sleep normally . . . we can even start to get some exercise.

mental takes longer.  i remember there was a BIG mental change in me right at three months.  it was very noticeable and very dramatic -- i was suddenly aware that my brain was working differently and i somehow just knew that THAT was how i needed to be if i wanted stay clean and sober.  i later read in Time that the brain goes through a re-set at about 90 days.  see,9171,1640436,00.html

but the mental aspect wasn't done for me at 90 days -- it took a lot longer.  i've heard them say that if you go seven miles into the woods, you've got to go seven miles to get back out.  however, i think the way out can be much quicker -- if it's a purposeful, directed march.

i wasn't ready to go back to work until about six months . . . and then i found that it took a long time to get back to where i was.  but it took the slow, laborious doing of things that i used to do quickly and easily, to get back.  it took me a long time to quite being so self-critical and just accept what i could do -- when i did that, the progress was quite rapid.

there are lots of good books on healing the brain from active addiction/alcoholism.  just Google .

spiritual healing takes the longest and it is, in my opinion, the biggest piece of the puzzle.  what worked for me was 12 Step meetings and LOTS of reading.  i went to AA even though i was really a non-drinking drug addict simply because i fit better in AA . . . and i believe it's all just one disease anyway.  i went, and still, go to a lot of meetings.  i also read everything i could find about addiction and the spiritual aspects of recovery.

there a so many good recovery books out there!  i had one trusted professional (who had hundreds of such books) say that if he could only have one, it would be Staying Clean and Sober, by Miller and Miller.  i can also personally recommend that book.

a great book to start anyone on the spritual journey of recovery is The Spirituality of Imperfection, by Kurtz.


It's hard to just sit down somewhere and be sober. I know I couldn't do it. To face not drinking without some sort of fellowship of others who are facing the same situation would be very hard, if not impossible for me. Citing a fact about myself: I'm a recovering addict (and a not-so-famous Guitar player of 55 years).

As a practicing addict/alcoholic I used to live and I lived to use. People with the disease of addiction (be it alcohol or drugs) use their drugs of choice no matter what happens in their lives. Being distraught because something bad happened, or simply celebrating a beautiful day, it doesn't matter, I used.  And then I stopped. Addiction is a mental, spiritual and physical disease. Some, if not most addicts, are still sick even after they stop using; until they work on "themselves" through aftercare. This is something nobody else in the world can do FOR us. Therapy can point us in a direction, but we must do the leg work by ourselves and ourselves alone. WE make a decision to go to meetings. When I decided to get clean I had to do it for me, because I finally felt I was worth it. If I had cancer, that could be arrested by chemo, I'd go and get chemo. After I stopped, I had to get myself up and go to the meetings because my life depended on it.

When I used I got ugly. If I drank into a blackout I didn't remember what I said or did. Using led me to depression 24/7. The depression led me to saying and doing things I normally wouldn't do or say, even when briefly sober and clean. I had to completely change my thinking through aftercare.

I go to lots of meetings. What the heck, I went to lots of bars. I didn't feel good when I left the bars. I feel wonderful when I leave my meetings. AA has nothing to do with religion... but everything to do with spirituality... religion is for folks trying to stay out of hell, spirituality is for folks who have been there.

There are meetings for him, and for you there's Al-anon. The world is blessed with meetings everywhere. I've attended them from the daily 12-Coconuts AA meeting on Queen's Beach, Hawaii to Danvers, Massachusetts.

I wish you both blessings and good health in the future. -Robert
I hear you all, Robert, CATUF thanks!
You guys really put in a lot of effort to respond
It all makes total sense I understand now
Looks like one problem---Unfortunately he checked out meetings and hated all the spiritual talk; he's not a spiritual person---not going to happen. Quote: If spiritual crapola and people telling story’s and talking about booze is the only cure for this I’m already dead,  I better stop on my own !
He won’t even step in a church for weddings and funerals.
The Dominican nuns in the catholic school he went to as a kid beat him (as they did all the non German or Irish kids). It apparently destroyed social skills.
I have no doubt this
has something to do with all of this.   He drank and "sniffed" to overcome shyness (and he apparently did) however he then couldn’t stop.  
He no longer likes to drink and party, According to him his "70's culture" is gone, friends gone, it’s just not more fun anymore"
The friends he HAD left he repeatedly scolded "stop calling me to go out drinking"  "how many F**ng times do I have to tell you no more partying"   Now those friends have dumped him but he doesn’t care, has no interest in them
I would have to say that new interests, meditation, art, hobbies, animals, exercise and nutrition are the way to go for your man.  Redirecting energy and attention worked for myself and my husband after becoming clean and sober in '99. I just went out and got myself the tools and materials to get into Pyrography, by Sue Walters, which is wood burning and am really excited about getting into one of the projects that are included in her book of a wolf in the woods. I never thought too much about carving, but I know that I have to keep an open mind and keep busy with many different projects so I don't get depressed thinking. I've got a treadmill, but another thing that is very cool is an inverse board. It helps to stretch your muscles, helps with any back pain, and you can do sit ups while hanging upside down. It's also meditative and can help to clear your mind. You've mentioned that your addict is lonely. Maybe he might think about volunteering at an animal shelter, or call around and see if you can become foster parent's for sick wildlife? He needs to now get busy living, it sounds like, and start to fill his time different projects. Good luck, and congratulations on helping your guy to get sober. You're a good woman. Take care. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
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