My Recovery from My Husband’s Addiction by Anonymous (Rabbi Nivin Testimonial)
Yesterday, my teacher, life coach Rabbi Aryeh Nivin started a new Personal Development Chabura. I highly recommend this life-altering Chabura to every JewishMOM reading this. For me, the Chabura has improved my life DRAMATICALLY in so many ways.
This year, for the first time ever, there will be two chabura options: the full-weekly Chabura (for only $5!) and the mini-monthly chabura (for only $1) for the entire 4-week Elul session. Every JewishMOM.com reader who signs up for this nearly free session will automatically enter the raffle to win a free 12-week course registration (worth $165). This means that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by trying this out.
I cannot tell you how many Emails I’ve received over the years from JewishMOMs thanking me for telling them about this phenomenal course. Who knows, maybe in a few months you’ll be sending me an Email like that too;)
Visit www.newchabura.com to learn more. You can also call (646) 863-4123 (US) or 02-580-6406 (Israel), or email email@example.com for more information.
Read one mother’s story about how Rabbi Nivin’s Chabura enabled her to cope with her husband’s alcoholism:
It all started around Elul this year. Really earlier, but the awareness, as we call it in recovery, started in Elul. I became aware of a lot, but here I will just focus on one issue.
My husband is an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease. My husband is a good, loving person but his addiction can be all encompassing, leaving no space for me and our children. B”H we have little kids at home and I was pregnant at that time. I was so tired, we couldn’t host, I was working, had no extra energy and hit rock bottom. I had no support and when I tried discussing with my friends about being tired they would say, “Well let your husband help!” The thing is he couldn’t help me – he was drinking.
After listening to Rabbi Nivin’s Chaburas I decided my 72 days of Chesed project was to stop my husband from drinking and I was sure Hashem would grant me this by doing my mini avodah. My avodah was reaching out myself to find resources to help him so we could all be helped. He would obviously have to change for me to be happy because life was untenable like this. I was connected with an organization called JACS – Jewish Alcoholics and Chemically Dependent Persons and significant others. They told me to read Al-Anon literature and go to a meeting. I said, “I’m not going to a meeting; there is nothing wrong with me. My husband drinks too much and is dysfunctional, that is the problem.” They then set me up with some wonderful women to speak with and one of them convinced me to go to a meeting and it was wonderful. People shared stories I could relate to and it was an environment filled with love and community vs. the extreme isolation I had been feeling.
I didn’t want to share much but at the end of the meeting a woman came up to me and hugged me and told me how happy she was that I was there and she enabled me to open up. I only said a little about the deep inner struggle I had faced and she smiled and looked at me with approving, empathetic love.
I realized through these initial experiences that there is something called co-dependency which is when someone bases their happiness on someone else. It is very common for the spouse/child/parent of someone with an addiction to suffer from this. It is a very sad, angry, isolating existence because the addict can only change if he or she chooses to change. Rabbi Shaus Taub says there are 3 things in life we cannot change: the past, the truth, and another person. So what does that leave for us to change? Ourselves. And that is the goal of recovery from co-dependency. To show us that no matter what happens around us we can create a happy environment for ourselves and G-d willing our children and eventually the addict themselves.
So is my situation better? Immensely. Do I still need to keep going and working on myself? Absolutely. “Open for me a keyhole and I will open a gate wide enough for Horses and Chariots to go through.” I just read a little, made a few phone calls, davened, and now I’ve been to 3 whole meetings. I am so thankful to Hashem because for the first time in years, maybe in my life, I can be present to enjoy myself and my family. It’s a long road ahead but I have love, resources, and my G-d, our G-d, Who can help all of us in our times of trouble.
I’m sure other JewishMOMs out there struggle with this quite often in silence, just as I did, because of the stigma attached to it. If we had a family member that had an accident and was injured severely, G-d forbid, we would be able to talk about it and receive support. With addiction that support is lacking and it is stigmatized to talk about in public. If you haven’t faced it you may not understand, but if you have, you know it is a lonely road. I hope there are women who can help themselves when they find this. Thank you to Rabbi Nivin, who enabled me to take the first step towards healing myself and my family. May we all find simcha and continue to have the koach to grow.
Visit www.newchabura.com to learn more about Rabbi Nivin’s Chaburas. You can also call (646) 863-4123 (US) or 02-580-6406 (Israel), or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.