Straight to voicemail

It’s been two days since I’ve spoken to Ben. He won’t answer the phone or his mobile. He won’t answer my Skype calls. I’ve asked a friend to contact him. Most of the time, he won’t answer her calls either.

Meanwhile, I have been searching for detox centres. One of them quoted a fee of 4000 pounds for two weeks. None of us has that kind of money to throw around. Given that Ben used up all the public funding he had from our borough on his day rehab programme (the day programme he failed from day 1 because he was drinking on the sly), it is very unlikely that he will access another detox through the NHS. So, we have to go private.

I think most families of addicts end up here. Having exhausted all avenues through the NHS, they have little choice but to go private. It is not something I believe in, in principle, because, as Danny Boyle’s Olympic tour-de-force so movingly showed, the NHS is a great British initiative founded on the most basic principle: that everyone is entitled to quality healthcare, whatever their financial means.

But here we are. The NHS has helped us, yes. Ben has been detoxed twice already and received a generous funding package for him to go into a rehab day programme. But the  fact remains that he was given the wrong care, because the NHS blindly follows guidelines motivated by budgetary concerns. Because he hadn’t received care in the community the funding panel, in their infinite wisdom, chose to send Ben to a day programme rather than a residential one. Everyone, including Ben’s own care manager, knew this was the wrong choice. In the end, it was a waste of public money.

So, here we are. There is no guarantee that going private won’t be a waste of private money, but what other choice do we have?

How do I feel about all this? In refusing to answer my calls, in provoking and sustaining my anxiety, Ben has done the unforgivable. Yes, I will sort out his detox. Yes, I will ensure he gets from there to rehab (well, my friend will). I may even try to sort out an exit plan for him, once rehab is over. That exit will probably entail him going back to Australia. Because I don’t want him back in my home.

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20 thoughts on “Straight to voicemail

      • You shouldn’t. Everyone needs a space to vent and your blog is very inspiring to others – Im sure a lot of people can relate to it. Plus, one day you might show him, and trust me, it will really hit home. Definitely don’t feel guilty.

  1. Your nightmare continues. Some holiday, eh! You poor girl!
    I know you want to save/rescue/fix your husband…..but is it any use trying to do this if he isn’t ready yet? Does HE truly want to go to rehab? Has HE acknowledged that he has hit ‘HIS” bottom? It’s all so futile if he honestly isn’t ready.
    This isn’t a criticism of you. The farthest thing from it. I know you are trying to do your very best and that you are such a wonderful person.I know that being so far away and feeling like there is nothing you can do to ‘fix’ things is a horrific feeling. Only the alcoholic can ‘fix’ himself and will do so only when he/she is ready.
    My prayers continue to be sent your way. Praying for your strength and God’s guidance. Take care.

      • Sometimes once you have tried ‘everything’, it is time to try ‘nothing’. Again, I know, I know….easier said than done.
        I keep thinking of the ‘three C’s’. YOU didn’t Cause it, YOU can’t Control it, and YOU can’t Cure it. Is it time to simply ‘detach with love’….I know these are all Alanon phrases, but there is so much truth to them.
        Please know that I am not criticising you and your decisions…only trying to be supportive…and also realizing that I don’t know what I would do if I was in your situation. We all just do our best with the resources and the strength that we have in a particular moment and time. Take care.

      • I didn’t know what to do either. The answer was that I needed to take care of myself. I needed to let him go or it threatened to turn me into a mental case. When I detached from him, he truly got better because I wasn’t doing everything for him. He had to do it himself. And guess what- he was capable of figuring it out for himself!

      • Thanks KatherinesDaughter and Shelley. Today, I didn’t even try to ring him. I thought, if he is going to ring, then he will ring. If he wants to carry on doing this – whatever that is – then there’s nothing I can really do, is there? I think a lot of my anxiety relates to my fear of what I will find when I get home. What will I find? Will he have trashed my home? Burnt it down? Left it unlivable? It terrifies me.

      • I understand the feelings of fear. If you are fearful every day, consider calling a help center and talking to someone about it. I am thinking of you and praying for you.

      • Think about it: So he ‘trashes’ your home! A home and all it’s contents are just THINGS. Although expensive to replace….they are just THINGS!!! His addiction and behavior are ‘trashing’ both your and your daughter’s lives (your well being)…and those//these years/experiences can’t be replaced. I am very proud of you for trying just to ‘let go and let God’ today! Take care!

  2. I wish you the best. Having the strength to align his care and to ensure he goes while making a lifestyle change for the better is incredible. I hope your daughter understands why this has to happen.

    • Thank you. Maybe one day she will understand. Right now, she takes everything at face value, so something as complex as this isn’t so easy to grasp. She’s a smart girl, though. She knows her dad is ill.

  3. Sounds as though you and I could swap some stories! This life challenge of being derailed and blind-sided by an alcoholic spouse is sadly not unique…but each of these tales (like my own) is personally unique in the way that it effects you and yours, and unique in the way that you deal with it. I wish you strength in your epic and enduring battle.

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