I understand the desperate need to control a difficult and scary situation. My ALO has gone to rehab twice in the almost 2 years i have known him. The first time he bought weed the day he got out and did not work a recovery program. I tried and tried to push him to do one and he wouldnt. And I ended up enabling big time. He relapsed onto his DOC, crack cocaine. (not a surprise). The second time he came out with a sponsor in place, ready to work the NA program, excited about his recovery, having actually read some of the books, etc, etc. This happy period lasted about three weeks and then he relapsed while I was out of the country for a wedding. After that he got back on the wagon but then it became a charade, and eventually he started using crack every night like he used to before he met me.
The second time around I thought for sure this was it. He acted so differently, he was so excited, he was really passionate about the idea of recovery, about sponsors, about everything. But it didnt last. He started and then I guess he felt the work was too hard, or it was too scary or tough to face himself or he was bored or maybe a combination of many things. It is not easy to live a sober life, especially when you haven't for a long time. He went back to what he knows best.
The point is, I tried so desperately to control the situation. Over and over and over again. And I couldn't. That is how I came to Nar-Anon, after this second relapse, when I was feeling lost and scared and insane. I still try now and then to control the situation, in fact, Saturday and Sunday nights I called up my ALO crying and sad because of the situation, and of course by doing that some little part of me was hoping he would see, he would finally understand that he was losing me that he was losing us and that he was hurting me and that he would suddenly get it, and get back into recovery. Well. That is unlikely to happen. And it just hurts both of us when I call him like that.
There is no guarantee that your ALO will get better this time Tanya. This may be it, this may be the time, but it may not be either. Yes, that is scary as all f--k. Yes, its sad. But it is also true. We can't know and we dont know when its going to stick, when its going to be "the time" that they actually make it. And even people in long term recovery do relapse-sometimes they hop right back onto recovery-and sometimes they dont. There are no guarantees and no control. We cannot control their addiction, we cannot cure their addiction. NOR can we control their recovery. Its their recovery, not ours.
All I can say is that the more time I spend working my program and the less time I spend making rules or regulations about exactly what I must see from my ALO, the better for me. Why? Because I am less focused on my ALO. Like a number of people have said here, you will KNOW when he is working his program, REALLY working his program. There is no way to judge whether someone has gotten rid of 60% of their negative behaviors unless we figure out a way to measure peoples behaviors and grade them and judge whether they are bad or not. There is no way to know if he actually listened, heard, learned, from the meetings he attended. I could attend ameeting every night here and pay no attention to what is being said. The same with your ALO. If he is really working the program, you will know.
Some things that catch me a lot: projecting about the future, worrying about what will happen, getting anxious and playing out blow by blow scenarios in my head: "if this happens Ill do this, what if he does this when what will I do, etc" This causes a lot of stress for me when I do it.
The tool that helps me most is reading over and over the little blue book where it talks about living in the present and trying very hard to do that. Focus on today. Focus on RIGHT NOW. And do nice things for yourself. And work on your recovery. The rest WILL become clear, day by day. You DO NOT have to figure it all out and plan it all out now-things are going to move and change and flow over time. You DONT Have to make all these big decisions now, and remember, you CAN change your mind and decide things in the future too. Dont worry, let it go as much as you can. It WILL work out.
When I just enjoy today, take care of me today, make it through today without worrying too much about the future, I do best. I struggle with this too, so I know its not easy. But I try to remember: Let Go and Let God. Let Go and Let my HP guide me. Let Go and have faith-it WILL work out. Ill be ok. And so will you. You dont have to decide when or how you are taking him back yet. You dont have to plan months in advance. All you have to do is enjoy the day. And know that things will work out. And keep working it. It will get easier (I have to believe that myself because some days ARE hard).