LINKS

Al-Anon Group Home Page
Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room
Site Technical Problems or Questions?
Step Work Board - A Step each week!
Online Meeting Schedules


Al-Anon Family Group
Message Board

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

"Real" Al-Anon Meeting Directory


A new step every two weeks in the order they were written!


Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Newbie. Need help how to handle situations


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:
Newbie. Need help how to handle situations


hi.  I am new to alanon.  Just went to my first face to face mtg last week.   Different.  Still looking around. Glad I found this site.

ok. I am underatanding about the general rules, principles, but hazy on home to put into real world practice.   Example:  my husband brinks frequntly at night, usually 2-3 beer, perhaps 6 watching a big game. He gets loud, talks to TV, hoots.   If I come in room and he makes a comment I don't reapond to or respond to in way he likes, or if need to ask himfor something he is rude, makes flippant responses, says I am uptight, etc...    Ok-- so I need to accept things right-I accept I can't ask his to change his drinking or change how he responds to me.  And if his behavior when he drinks annoys me--then the only thing I can do is change me-- so that means go into another room, stay away from him till he is normal again?  But this then makes me angry and resentful. So I can't be in certain rooms of the house I want to be in because he is there drinking....I cant do what I want to do because he is I the room I want to do it in...he is soooo loud I hear him throughout the whole house.   It is uncomfortable.  And we have 2 teenage sons that are seeing this behavior.  They see to a certain extent the excessive loudness/behavior and have occasionally been victims of his hurtful comments.  So acceptance is one thing..  But how to I live with it and still end up happy on my end?    We are entering football season-- which means every Monday he will be drinking, ignoring me, and I will have to not interact with him and better to be out of room/house...so I need to force myself to go somewhere just to be away?  But then th kids will be left there trying to study with all the loudness, and he often tries to pull them in----look at this, watch this as he explains things loud on tv or swears...,     So what do I do?  do I just watch TV in another room?  Try to not interact with him?  It is hard to go to sleep at night he reeks of beer and just laying next to him repulsed me.  I often have to take a sleeping pill just so I can get to sleep when I know I will be so upset and physically bothered by his drinking.   What do I do?  Help me...



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 630
Date:

Hi, Dancer and welcome....what a brave and honest share you are offering...I'm sorry you're dealing with this....I left my alcoholic, but many on this board are staying with their active alcoholics and can weigh in and tell you what THEY are doing to take care of themselves....Meetings and more meetings, 5-7 per week is what I did in the beginning until I got really grooved into Al-anon and taking care of me, and focusing on me and not any of my qualifiers....I dove into the steps with a sponsor and practiced the slogans and fellowshipped with other Al-anons and I looked at the successful ones and wanted "what they had" so I watched them and asked questions and all of them where diligently working the 12 steps, going to meets regular, working with recovery partners or sponsors, practicing the slogans and they focused on themselves and their minor children if they had any and NOT the alcoholic...They practiced detachment big time..Meaning that they just "let the alcoholic to his own devices" as they take care of the one thing they can change and that is themselves.....I wanted the peace that they had, so I just dug in and soaked up this program and its a life saver..I am so glad you went to your first meet...You will love this program and the new healthier way you can deal with situations...this is my "life 101" manual , life may not get easier, but the program will help you respond to it better and hang on till the storms pass with your head still on your shoulders....I am glad you came here...You will love this community...WELCOME and glad you reached out........HUGS of support

__________________

Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 15336
Date:

Welcome Dancer  You are not alone.  I   too have experienced much of what you are enduring.  I am glad that you have found alanon face to face meetings and are embracing the principles.  

When I arrived to the doors of alanon,  several years ago , I needed to see that my anger, resentment, fear and self pity were only hurting me.  My partner was enjoying his life and our home--  I was not .  

Alanon suggested that I keep the focus on myself, learn new tools to live by and understand that alcoholism was a progressive. chronic, fatal disease (that infects the entire family) and over which I was powerless.

I found the slogans and the serenity prayer very  helpful.  I would  recite them  over and over in my head when I was tempted to engage in a destructive argument.  

Acceptance of the fact that I was dealing with a disease gave me the ability to choose healthier responses to my partner. I could ask for what I needed and take care of myself .  I could , say whet i mean and mean what  I say without being mean.

You are correct, we do need to look at our actions and become willing to change.  The Steps. slogans, meetings and a sponsor will help in the process.  I decided I was worth the effort so I kept coming back   Hope you will too.

 The "Just for Today" bookmark really helped me in this process

Good luck  



__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 7651
Date:

Dancer - I too send welcomes out to you. So glad that you found us and shared. Also, keep trying to find a meeting that works well for you - I had to go to a few to find my home group...It was suggested to me that I go with an open mind and look for the similarities instead of the differences.

I use the Serenity always/often in my recovery. In the cases you describe, I can certainly relate. I love what Betty said about enjoying life and home (alcoholic) and that was so true for me. I ended up making small changes that carved out a 'spot' for me to have privacy and respite. I too had sons who witnessed the chaos and in time, joined in...

There is AlaTeen as well that may help your children understand that this is a disease - it's not a choice, can't be cured ... can only be arrested through abstaining and some type of recovery. We learn how to set up boundaries, how to detach and how to find our joy and serenity no matter what they are doing.

Over time, I established a man cave for my AH and that gave me back the majority of the home to enjoy and do as I want/need. The more I kept the focus on me and worked on healing/dealing with my own spirit, attitude and beliefs, the more peace came to our home. I am a big believer in user all tools available in Al-Anon - it has brought me great gratitude and serenity.

In early recovery, I would leave the room. I would go to another room. I would put in earbuds and go for a walk. I would schedule my meetings and grocery trips for sporting event nights. I would plan girls nights out. I put me first and listened to suggestions and found things I enjoy that served two purposes - got me away from the dysfunction and got me some healthier company/events.

(((Hugs))) - there is always hope and help in recovery!!!

__________________

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: 2139
Date:

Welcome to MIP Dancer 66,

Thank you for your honest post, as I read it I recognised a lot of my own frustrations, resentments and anger. I don't know how it is for you, but I know that I was uptight so I laughed in recognition at what your husband says to you, and snarled at my recognition of how darned irritating that kind of comment is - it gets me every time!!

We do have choices, but they are not easy. I found that this board and face to face meetings helped me to find a bit of space in which I could consider what I needed for myself. I found it useful to assume that I couldn't change my husband's thinking/behaviour, only my own.

As far as dealing with my resentment, I established a rule of equal and opposite force because the last thing I wanted to turn into was a bitter old woman! My plan was purely for myself and I did it without telling AH. What my plan meant for me was that when something or some action or words upset me I would seek out something soothing and enjoyable of equal and opposite force. It worked for me on two levels - firstly it helped me to establish just how irritating an action was and most actions were actually not as bad as my mind liked to make them so those small irritations merited a bubble bath or a new nail colour. Other things were, in effect, more rewarding and I booked a couple of holidays!! I resolved to have as much fun as possible as a result of my husband's rudeness and I'm fairly sure that as a result of my enjoying life so much the rudeness eventually stopped - I was just having too much fun and perhaps that took the heat off my husband a bit as well!! The second benefit for me was that I was learning to sooth myself, not relying on someone else to make me feel better and that felt really empowering for me. My self esteem started to go up and eventually I didn't need to have something upset me in order for me to have fun, I chose to do it anyway.

As I started to feel better I became more able to understand my own needs and therefore more able to express them. For example, I don't think it is ok for anyone to be rude or insult to me, including my husband (in fact especially my husband!). Eventually I was able to not take what he was saying personally, it just made me like him a bit less, whilst also pointing out that, for example, I needed some quiet time. You can imagine how my comments were initially received and they were thrown back at me defensively and I would feel 'less than' - except my law of equal and opposite force would then kick in and I would think 'hey! I'm off to see that exhibition I wanted to see!' I guess that there are all sorts of merry-go-rounds! Not an ideal relationship by any means, but it helped me to create the space I needed in my life to decide what I wanted to do next, Just for Today.

PS . I found lavender oil on my pillow helped me to sleep and masked the smell! However, I did come to ask myself why I was sharing a bed with someone when I felt repulsed so eventually I moved into the spare room and turned it into a peaceful sanctuary. I needed to be honest with and for myself.

Sending ((((((hugs)))))))) - it is sooooo not easy and I'm really sorry that you are in this situation - it sucks, but it can get better.


__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date:

HI Dancer, I am currently with ABF in a one bedroom flat so I understand your frustrations and despairing. I am also new to this. I find that headphones help me with noise. I also will take myself entirely out of the situation by going for a walk with my dog. I refuse to sleep with ABF when he's drinking because of the smell so I take the sofa. Not ideal but I get to be with my dog which is nice.

Keep coming back, this is a safe place full of helpful sharing of other people's experience and community.

__________________

"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all" Dave Matthews Band



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 454
Date:

Welcome, Dancer! I understand and have been there ... it really sucks to not be able to enjoy your home, and to need to get out in order to have some peace, as well as worrying how this affects the children. But, for me, it was the reality at the time. The worst thing was fearing that this situation would last forever ... but, thankfully, nothing lasts forever.

I also moved into another bedroom, spent as much time as I could outside the house or busily occupied (work, gym, mini-vacations, volunteering, studying for a master's degree ...). I got back in contact with some old friends to talk with.

One thing I can offer is that my husband was eventually willing and able to change certain behaviors -- like playing loud music and acting belligerent -- even though he was not able to completely stop alcohol. This happened after a serious medical crisis due to drinking, when the children and I were able to be honest with him about how his behavior was affecting us. I'm very thankful I had open communication with the children, who were young adults by this time.

I had individual therapy as well as Al-Anon. I found the "one day at a time" slogan helpful. Al-Anon meetings and a sponsor were a god-send during this time. It really clicked when I realized that I deserved my own recovery. I came to understand that I was in a crummy situation, but that there was hope for me.



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

Thank you all for your responses. It helps so much to know that I am not alone. I love the support and encouragement. So here are some of my questions about how to handle things. Yes-I want to get out of the house and do things--so How do I respond to him when he asks why I am going out--I know not to blurt out the truth, but eventually he will see that I am doing lots of things with our him. So I can see him saying that I can't complain that we don't do things together when I keep going out without him. Do I ever say (when he is sober) that I would like to spend more time with him, but that I don't like spending time with him when he is drinking? How do I respond to him when he comes up after drinking and asks to like watch one of out TV show series we watch--but the thought of being with him smelling of beer makes me nauseated? Again I know not to tell the truth because it will only piss him off, so I lie basically or say I'm just not in the mood?

I love the suggestion of the Lavender to kind of block the smell, the smell of beer is such a big turn off. But again--I can see him asking or complaining why (if the lavender bothers him)--and I know that saying the truth will just make him mad. So do I just skirt the truth and say "its to help me sleep better?" (Ob bonus--if he doesn't like it maybe he will sleep on couch??? Wishful thinking).

How do I know how much my kids are seeing or being impacted by this? I know they can see dad drinks a lot and gets stupid and loud and is an idiot when he drinks, and can say things inappropriate or hurtful (at least not too much has happened this way).

For those of you that said your alcoholic eventually changed--was it only after something big happened? Did you ever talk to them when they were sober?

Did any of you tell your alcoholic person that you were going to Alanon?

Here's a good question--how do you enjoy the time that the person is sober and acting appropriately with you when you know that the day before and the next day they will be drinking? How do you not let their actions over shadow the little good times?

Thank you .......



__________________
Bo


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 393
Date:

Dancer, welcome...you are in the right place when you are here and in face to face al-anon meetings. Keep going -- as many meetings as you can get to. Start sharing, asking the questions you asked inside the rooms, talk to people, get answers, learn about options, and learn. There is a lot to learn. This program helps us -- you -- get better, get healthy. It does that in many ways, just one being, how to help you deal with the alcoholic on a day to day basis. We do this -- yes -- by making changes, in our thinking, actions, reactions, behavior, mindset, and more. Practical application? Day to day? Those are the toughest things for a newcomer like yourself.

From my experience, the best thing I did was get a sponsor -- ASAP. I found someone who had a lot of experience in the program, who shared and what they said made sense to me. I didn't understand and agree with a lot of it -- but based upon what this person was sharing, I realized they "got it" and they were able to get better, get healthy, and find peace, whether the alcoholic was still drinking or not. That may seem impossible -- but you will hopefully soon learn it is not impossible. The entire situation may not work out the way you want it to, or how you would like it to, or how you expect it to -- but even if it doesn't -- you can be OK. I was.

You asked a lot of detail questions -- and there are answers -- but in my experience, it is best for you to ask those questions, and get answers, by starting to focus on yourself, and starting to do the work. That means learning and understanding the steps, the various slogans, and the tools of the program. That is the work you do with a sponsor, one on one. Go to meetings, as many as you can, find a sponsor, and start working with him/her. Meet with him/her, ask all of these questions, seek answers, explore options, and more.

Good luck and keep coming back. The answers you seek, the solutions you are looking for -- are inside the meetings rooms, and in the work with your sponsor. Keep coming back.



-- Edited by Bo on Monday 21st of August 2017 11:45:16 PM

__________________

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:

Also, you mentioned being angry, resentment, etc. Yes, that is very common. I felt that way and lived with that a long time -- until I started doing the work with my sponsor. First, I immersed myself in acceptance. Not just intellectually accepting that there was nothing I could do about the alcoholic's drinking. I had to accept that -- that the alcoholic would not stop drinking UNLESS and UNTIL they wanted to. Period. So I had to accept it -- and then stop doing all the things I did to try fix, control, change, etc. Accepting, for me was accepting and STOPPING trying to fix it, control it, etc. I had to stop all of the efforts and all of the things I had done.

After that, I learned to detach. I also learned not to enable -- not to contribute to the chaos and turmoil that was going on. I had to look at my role, my contribution to all of it. Anger and resentment was one thing I was living with. After acceptance, detaching, not contributing, and more -- I was able to let go and get past the anger and resentment. But, it was a process. It required CHANGE, all on my part.

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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13378
Date:

 

 

Dancer welcome to the family and great that you posted.  Kinda of exactly like a walking on eggshells post.  We all have gone thru it as newbies to some degree or not and then it's usual...not fun just usual.  It is part of our learning and journey and as we learn more and get farther along life got beyond my wildest imagination.  My alcoholic/addict wife once accused me of talking about her at meetings (we don't use names...the program is anonymous) and I responded that if she feared it she could attend a meeting by herself and see if anyone knew her.   Of course she never did and no one would.  I've been in recovery for 38 years and still no one knows my last name. You are going thru lots of fear right now for many reasons so bring it here and let us work it out with you.  Keep MIP anonymous with him so he doesn't have fuel for anger because you are being supported.   How you handle going to face to face meetings will be a bit of a milestone however if he knows that you are being affected by his drinking and are looking for support to understand it might go well anyway.  Keeping the kids safe when you do that is important though some meeting have childcare or allow the kids to sit quietly.  The kids will learn from listening and they should come to understand this incurable disease.  It can only be arrested by total abstinence.   

Literature is important and we have tons of it in the program...go and find out and make your choices.   Keep coming back this works when you work it.   ((((hugs)))) wink



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Online
Posts: 7651
Date:

Dancer - I had to learn in recovery that how I think and process does not match how others think and process. I used to apply my values ("Where are you going?" and "Why?") to my A(s). When I began recovery, I would just say that I was going out for a while. Interesting enough, nobody drilled me on where and if I wanted to guess what they were really thinking, it would have been 'good' - we all needed breaks from the insanity of the disease in us and all around us.

When I got a sponsor and some program tools, I then was able to define boundaries and implement them. I am a double-winner (AA & Al-Anon), so I just simply stated that our home was a substance-free zone. They all have been in/out of AA so knew I had that right as an Alcoholic in recovery. I booted both of my boys out for violating my boundary. My AH still drinks but hides it well enough that it is no longer affecting me.

You/I/We have every right to establish boundaries for our safety and sanity. What yours are will be based on your situation. My best suggestion is to get a sponsor and move forward with her. What works for one of us may not work for another. In time, here, I was able to share I was going to recovery meetings and out with recovery friends. I was NOT subjected to scrutiny or complaints as I had worked hard on cleaning up my side of the street, learning how to unconditionally accept and love them and was moving forward for me.

Keep working it, keep asking and keep moving forward! It does work when we work it!

__________________

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

 

 

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us