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Post Info TOPIC: Lost, Confused and Devastated


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
Lost, Confused and Devastated


Hello - I am new to this group. I have been attending meetings since March 3 and just yesterday got a sponsor so I can begin the 12 step process toward healing. I don't even know who I am right now, but I am completely lost and devastated. My h is an alcoholic. We have been together for almost 24 years and married 17 years as of May 27. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, but I'd like to believe most of them were good. We have 3 children who are suffering now as well because all my h and I do is fight. For years I have begged him to get sober so we can live a happy life, but all I got was empty promises and lies. The last almost 2 years our marriage has basically been nonexistent. He was a disgusting drunk and I couldn't stand to be near him or touch him. We were roommates and I was a single mother. My children have suffered so much especially my oldest. She is 14 and has lost all respect for her father. I knew I had to do something. Then, in December, he reached his bottom. I was ready to take the kids and leave and he begged me (yet again) to stay and support him because he loved me and needed me and this time he was going to get sober. Well I stayed, and he did start going to AA. I was overjoyed and saw the light. But it was not as I hoped it would be. I was overwhelmingly alone as he spent all his time with his "new family". He became mean and even more self absorbed than he ever was. He kept pushing me away saying I could never understand what he is going through and I needed to work on myself if our marriage was to survive. I was so confused - I wasn't the alcoholic!! 3 months past and I knew I needed help, which is when I found Al Anon. I immediately started making changes in my life - physically and mentally. Then on April 3 my world fell apart when I found out he was having an affair with someone he met in AA. He is so cold and distant to me and has such anger and resentment that he won't even talk to me. I am in so much pain- all I do is cry and all we do is fight. We are in marriage counseling but he said he doesn't know if he even wants to stay with me. He said he needs to focus on himself first and then in time, maybe be able to work on us if he wants to. We are still living together, but just as friends. He said he enjoys spending time with me when we aren't fighting, but he can't give me anything more right now. He told me to start dating and thinks we should stop wearing our rings. I know I need to just focus on myself, but he (as well as the affair) consume my every thought. I just don't understand how he could go from being so in love with me to having an affair and not wanting me anymore. He said as he got sober he started realizing how bad our marriage was. My response was so instead of talking to me, you have an affair and check out? He knows all of the wrongs he has done to me, but said I won't get my grand apology until his 9th step. He is only on his 4th. I just don't know what to do. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. 



__________________
Laura N


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 560
Date:

Hi Laura, welcome to MIP. I'm glad you attend meetings, have a sponsor, and found your way here.

Alcoholism is a baffling disease.

I remind myself of that often. In my experience, I have discovered that I cannot find logic in the disease, no matter how hard I look and how hard I try. I do not understand the inner workings of an active or dry addicted brain. When my wife first started her journey of recovery, I was amazed at the "logic" she shared and the things she thought. For me, it was useful to know that I cannot reason with someone who is actively using, or someone who is not in recovery. I think it takes 90 days of sobriety for the brain to begin to recover. BEGIN to recover. With my wife, I found that it took a couple years in recovery before she was able to think through things logically, and even now, I can tell when we can have a conversation about something and when we cannot.

What I mean by this is, it sounds from your share as though you might be looking for logic or reason from someone who is not capable of giving you those things. It sounds as though you are challenging yourself to understand something that might not be understandable for you, as someone who is not an alcoholic.

In Alanon, we try to keep the focus on ourselves. This makes sense to me, because I am the only one I can control. I think it is great that you are allowing yourself to feel your emotions and that you are naming them. (It took me a long while to be able to do that myself.)

It sounds as though you have identified that your marriage does not function in a way that you believe a marriage should, that you are upset because your husband has been emotionally unavailable and unfaithful, that you feel more alone with him than you might without him, and that you carry the sole responsibility for caring for your children.

So, my question for you is what are you going to do for yourself in this situation? Will you call your sponsor? Will you attend more meetings? Will you detach from your husband? Will you take your kids to a park or movie? Which Alanon slogans will help you?

I found that, when I didn't know what to do or which way to turn, heading to a meeting or MIP was the right place to be. I hope the same will be true for you.

Keep coming back, the program works when we work the program.

__________________

Skorpi

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu

Bo


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 393
Date:

Crushed16 wrote:

Hello - I am new to this group. I have been attending meetings since March 3 and just yesterday got a sponsor so I can begin the 12 step process toward healing. I don't even know who I am right now, but I am completely lost and devastated. My h is an alcoholic. We have been together for almost 24 years and married 17 years as of May 27. It has been a roller coaster ride of emotions, but I'd like to believe most of them were good. We have 3 children who are suffering now as well because all my h and I do is fight. For years I have begged him to get sober so we can live a happy life, but all I got was empty promises and lies. The last almost 2 years our marriage has basically been nonexistent. He was a disgusting drunk and I couldn't stand to be near him or touch him. We were roommates and I was a single mother. My children have suffered so much especially my oldest. She is 14 and has lost all respect for her father. I knew I had to do something. Then, in December, he reached his bottom. I was ready to take the kids and leave and he begged me (yet again) to stay and support him because he loved me and needed me and this time he was going to get sober. Well I stayed, and he did start going to AA. I was overjoyed and saw the light. But it was not as I hoped it would be. I was overwhelmingly alone as he spent all his time with his "new family". He became mean and even more self absorbed than he ever was. He kept pushing me away saying I could never understand what he is going through and I needed to work on myself if our marriage was to survive. I was so confused - I wasn't the alcoholic!! 3 months past and I knew I needed help, which is when I found Al Anon. I immediately started making changes in my life - physically and mentally. Then on April 3 my world fell apart when I found out he was having an affair with someone he met in AA. He is so cold and distant to me and has such anger and resentment that he won't even talk to me. I am in so much pain- all I do is cry and all we do is fight. We are in marriage counseling but he said he doesn't know if he even wants to stay with me. He said he needs to focus on himself first and then in time, maybe be able to work on us if he wants to. We are still living together, but just as friends. He said he enjoys spending time with me when we aren't fighting, but he can't give me anything more right now. He told me to start dating and thinks we should stop wearing our rings. I know I need to just focus on myself, but he (as well as the affair) consume my every thought. I just don't understand how he could go from being so in love with me to having an affair and not wanting me anymore. He said as he got sober he started realizing how bad our marriage was. My response was so instead of talking to me, you have an affair and check out? He knows all of the wrongs he has done to me, but said I won't get my grand apology until his 9th step. He is only on his 4th. I just don't know what to do. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. 


 

Welcome. You are in the right place. So, first, stop, breathe and stop the mind-racing, analysis, etc. Just slow down and stop. That said -- you did the most important two things...you attend face to face meetings, and you now have a sponsor. In my opinion, without those two things, your chances of getting better are much less. So, keep doing that. A lot. Go to as many meetings as you can. You may have heard of 90/90 -- which is 90 meetings in 90 days. I did it. Actually, I did more -- I did 180 meetings in 90 days (al-anon meetings)! That's how desperate, said, in pain and sick I was.

For years you begged him to stop. That and any and all of the other efforts you tried, things you did, whatever...here's the question...how did that work out? It didn't. Why? Step one -- you are powerless. There is nothing you can do about his drinking. He will not stop and will not quit unless and until he wants to. You can't do anything about it. You are very focused on him. You are focusing on him, what he's doing, how he's doing it, etc., and occasionally you reference the impact it has on you, but you are really focused on him. Stop. Focus on YOU. Forget about him. YOU should do what's best and healthy for you, and you should be talking about what it is you need to do on a daily basis so that you can get better -- and none of that has anything to do with whether he's drinking or not. See the difference? Focus on YOU. Go meet with your sponsor. You will get better. Keep coming back.



__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 393
Date:

BTW, I understand how he and the affair consumes your every thought. I get it. I was there! I went through the same thing! I will speak to that later in detail, however, I have to run into a meeting with a client. Thanks.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 7617
Date:

Laura - hello and welcome to MIP - so glad you found us and so glad that you opened up and shared. Alcoholism is a disease that affects all elements of a person - mind, body, soul, values, thinking, etc. It's progressive and powerful as you've discovered and is also considered a family disease as it reaches out and affects most all who live with or love them.

AA is for the alcoholic and Al-Anon is for the family/friends affected. Each work the 12 Steps and each suggest we work on ourselves. This is darn hard in a marriage - darn hard!! I am sorry for all the pain and heartache you have experienced - we can relate and you can heal....it's not a quick process, but it's effective - so as best you can trust the process.

We who work the program avoid giving direct instruction and advice, rather speak of our own experience, strength and hope (ESH). We try to share in a gentle manner always remembering that feelings are very real (and raw at times). Yet, we do learn in recovery that feelings are not facts. We also learn that where we are today (happy, sad, mad, etc.) will pass - as all things do....we say often, "This too shall pass"...

I too married a man who I intended to love, honor and cherish 'till death do us part'. We actually met/married sober in AA. Within 3 years, he relapsed and has never returned to the program. I could provide extensive details about 'all that he did' but that's not what recovery is about - it's about us and how we recovered from the affects and damage of the disease.

We have 2 children, they are 25 and 23. They are both also alcoholic/addicts. So - when I arrived at Al-Anon with years and years of sober time, I was still absolutely insane. I was living with 3 active A(s) and it was like a really, really bad ping-pong game - I felt my waking hours were spent watching, monitoring, trying to manage 3 out of control persons all going in crazy different directions. I was sad, mad, defeated, felt cheated and just broken.

I first heard the three C(s) - which I'm sure you know. That gave me a bit of room to breathe deeply for what felt like the first time in years. I had been hearing from all 3 that I was the problem in the house. My self-esteem and self-worth were in the tank and I was half way to believing most of the insanity that came from their mouths resulting from the disease.

What I came to 'see' by working the steps is I played a much bigger part of the insanity that I even knew. My attempts to mother, manage, control, change, etc. were nothing but a waste of time/energy. All the while that I was battling a disease larger than me, I kind of 'let me go'. I was not eating well, sleeping well, living well and clearly my thinking was distorted. My attitude and outlook were always bleak/gloom/doom...

Meetings helped me level out a bit and then the program suggestions helped me regain my life. Slowly, practicing what was suggested, I came to understand what happened in my family is because of the disease and all 4 of us deserve to be happy, joyous and free as individuals. A healthy relationship is virtually impossible with unhealthy persons, so I decided to do my part - get sane/healthy and recover no matter what they did/did not do.

For the first time EVER, I put me first. I managed my day based on my needs/wants and then if I had time/energy, I was of service to others. I no longer enable, yet help out if asked and if possible. I stopped taking it all personally recognizing the disease was behind much of their words, actions and crazy-making. Skorpi is right - there is no rational thinking/processing with an A unless/until they can come to the table with an open mind and heart.

I live one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. I try to make a gratitude list and an asset list each day and I have routines that help me stay serene and grounded. My AH moved out of our room, which was great with me as he snores always - worse when he's drinking. He's now got heart disease, so has cut way back. However, he has picked up a pill habit that we've never discussed. It's not my business if he chooses to live his life in an altered state, so long as he respects me and my boundaries. I booted (evicted) both of my boys out and they are doing their thing. It's far from a Norman Rockwell family, but it's perfectly fine with me today as I trust my HP to lead me to what's next for my joy and serenity.

I had some tunnel-vision ideas of what life, love, marriage, family 'should look like' - and I had to let go of the fairy-tale in my mind. Relationships are difficult with healthy folks and really, really hard when there is alcoholism/addiction. I have more joy in my life now than in a long, long while and it has nothing to do with what they are/are not doing. It's because I am doing what I need and want to do for me, my joy, my future, etc.

So - keep coming back - there is hope and help in recovery. Be gentle with you and trust that what he is/is not doing has nothing to do with you - it's about him. You are worthy of joy and peace and deserve it as we all do - stay present and lean into recovery....you will be OK! (((Hugs)))

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13361
Date:

 

 

Aloha Laura and welcome to the board from this side of the planet...yeppers we got the disease here in Hawaii also and yesterday I was discussing my history in recovery along with my history in the disease.  I was born and raised in it and it was brought here by foreigners who suffered from it.  My whole family on both sides have been affected by drugs and alcohol.  Yes we have suffered all of the consequences and continue to do so for those not in recovery.

Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, spirit and emotions and can never be cured; only arrested by total abstinence and there is more.  I was given that my first week in Al-Anon as I tiptoed into program in California.  I hated it more than I hated the disease because I was addicted to my alcoholic/addict as I was told and now believe.  We get addicted to the drinker/users just as they do the chemicals and more.  That is why both programs use the same 12steps and traditions and slogans etc.

I am also a "double"; a member of both AA and the AFG.  I married the women I drank with and had relationships with and there were several and I repeated what my families of origin was doing so I came to understand that I was a carrier. My eldest son is duplicating my life with the exception of recovery.  Yes the disease is communicable and you can see it in DNA test.  I had a huge desire to understand why my life was sooo screwed up that I went to college to understand the disease of addiction and alcoholism with some consequences being weeping during lectures and speaking with PTSD therapists abut what happened, what it was like and how I wanted it to be now. 

You are confused and devastated     now which is normal for active alcoholism and the victims of it.  It touches everything and one it comes into contact with.  It is over 6000 years old beyond the birth of the Christ sooooo confused and devastated?  Sure....normal.  It's temporary because you with the help of the world wide program of Al-Anon and the MIP board and all of the other recovery services you use will make it temporary.  I didn't know or believe that when I first found the rooms of the face to face meetings; and it took me two trips and then that was in 1979 and I started to get my life back with my sanity (last word in the second step).

One of the many very important suggestions I took and continue to take today is to self focus.  Put the focus on me and no one or thing other than me.  When I turned loose of the grip of my alcoholic/addict she eventually got clean and sober.  We knew we loved each other and also knew we had no justification to be married...strange?  I found out I didn't need her to make me complete ...strange.  I am responsible for me and my life; private and public and with the program so far its doing very well.

I am in support of your membership and hope you keep coming back.  Your life is so important ((((hugs)))) smile



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 331
Date:

Hello and welcome, ((((Hugs))))). Alcoholism is really really confusing, I know I got so muddled up I didn't know who I was anymore, or what I felt, or what I wanted... Alanon helped me regain myself back, and, as I'm still pretty new to the program, this is all very much in progress for me. Some wise person here on the board wrote - you need two people to have an argument, and this really has helped me not to argue back, whatever the A was throwing at me - blaming, name-calling etc. I don't always manage it, but it got easier and more natural with time.. Keep coming back, I'm happy you are beginning your recovery and happy to share my journey with you :)

__________________


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

Thank you everyone for all of your responses and kind words. I know I have to keep the focus on me. Right now, that is a very hard concept as I have never done it before, but I will. I have to. I will keep going to meetings, talk with my sponsor, use slogans, come here, and work on the steps. I look forward to a healthier me and am thankful for Al Anon.

__________________
Laura N


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

I would love to hear more about your story Bo. It is so helpful to hear similar experiences! Thank you!



__________________
Laura N
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