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Post Info TOPIC: Hi, new member here


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
Hi, new member here


Hello everyone! I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from you all. I'm walking down a road that I've been down before and can certainly benefit from any wisdom/experience shared here in this forum. To give you a little history, I was married to an alcoholic for fifteen years. Our marriage ended five years ago. Through support from Al-anon, I was able to detach from ex-AH's bad behavior-however, it was the "with love" part that gave me trouble. With the detachment came a loss of love. Fast forward to last December, I started talking to a co-worker. We had such wonderful conversations and lots of laughter. I found myself falling in love with him. He mentioned to me that he had been to rehab twice for alcoholism and cocaine abuse. This should have sent the red flags flying, but of course I followed that age-old pattern of denial... oh, I've been down that road before, I know what to do to support him and help him recover! He's been to rehab, worked the steps and he's enlightened! I found out soon enough that he was relapsed. He almost died. He drinks vodka, which isn't easy to smell, and is very easy to hide, in water bottles etc. My new ABF has severe epilepsy. He is on three different medications to control his condition, but the medications are rendered ineffective with the use of alcohol. This past January he was walking (license revoked due to epilepsy), he was very drunk and he fell and had a seizure beside the road, cracked his skull in four places, and had a light stroke. He was intubated for twelve hours because he wasn't breathing on his own. Once he started to breathe on his own and became semi-conscious, the detox began. He had to be strapped down to his hospital bed because he was violent and a flight/fall risk. He was in the hospital for a week but signed himself out AMA. I know that I should have refused to pick him up, but I went to get him just the same, because he would have walked out of that hospital with or without a ride, and could have died, mid-winter, snow on the ground and no clothing to wear. His eyes lit up when I arrived, and he said that he would collect his belongings from his mother soon and get his money, and he was going to stop for vodka on the way home. He was angry that night because his mother had taken his money and paid his bills, so he was broke and had no money to buy vodka. His doctors said that he had what they called a "breakthrough seizure". It took him a few weeks but he was able to return to work and I thought he was doing well and was so proud... He's still drinking, hiding, lying. Of course, ask the classic excuses are used. "I'm only drinking pints now, it used to be half-gallons." "Let me get drunk once in a while and then I'll give you all my money so I can't buy more." "I should just go get stupid drunk since I'm going to be accused of it anyway." So much denial. He is as addicted to alcoholic behaviors as to alcohol. He likes the thrill of doing something he's not supposed to do. When he's not drinking he exhibits all the behaviors of a dry drunk. I've been exhibiting behaviors myself that I know from previous experience are unhealthy, such as searching his apartment for bottles, following him to see where he goes, etc. I know that this is not good for him or me and I really need support right now! I realize that the very fact I was attracted to him fits a pattern. I also know that we both still need to heal from past trauma, him especially. Thanks to all who take the time to read about this very complicated situation!

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 9902
Date:

wvlady - good morning and welcome to MIP! So glad you found us and so glad you joined right in. I am sorry that this disease is affecting your life today - I wanted you to know that you are not alone. I am grateful to hear that you've been involved in Al-Anon before so when I suggest you find and attend meetings nearby, it won't sound foreign.

I had a pattern (unintentional) of finding the wounded person in the room. This applied to boyfriends, husbands, friends, etc. It took me many years to realize that while we all have our defects, diseases, etc. I needed to change me if I wanted to be healthy minded and have healthy/healthier relationships.

I am still married to my A, which is not why I came to Al-Anon. I met and married him in recovery - he relapsed and never returned while I stayed true to the recovery path. I arrived as both of our boys are Alcoholic/Addicts. The heartbreak of being powerless over this disease as a parent was way too much for me to handle even with my knowledge of this disease, recovery, relapse, etc.

So - the only place I found my direct path to peace was in Al-Anon and in keeping the focus on me. I am not who I am nor where I am today because of the actions, words, choices of others but rather through my own self-will. That self-will today has been set on the back burner, as I instead choose one day at a time to let Go and let God!

Please keep coming back and know that there is help and hope in recovery no matter what another is/is not doing! (((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: 1288
Date:

Hello wvlady-My story has many elements of yours, including searching through belongings, trying to cope with the lies and sneaky behavior, knowing better but having a pattern of addicted people, etc. The one and only thing that helped me change to have a better life, is alanon. Ive been taught how to focus on myself, and through my practice of program principles I am happier, healthier, and more sane. Im still married to my A close to 28 years, but the A is finally sober but things are not perfect. What is good is that I continue to work on myself so no matter what my A is doing, I can be OK. I know it sounds ridiculous but I am devoted now to myself, instead of my A. I need to be OK and I deserve it. Give alanon a chance to give you your life back. No major decisions have to be made today, Lyne

__________________

Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1480
Date:

Welcome back. I hope you find yourself some face-to-face meetings on top of coming here.

I often hear that the alcoholic/addict's disease is the need for drinks/drugs. Our disease as al-anons is the need for other people. Feeling like we are responsible for them and can guide, control, and change them. How often have I thought "If I don't take care of this person he may die!"

I'm taught that each time I step in and rescue the active addict I am enabling. Each time I step in and rescue I am getting between the addict and his or her Higher Power.

This looks like a great opportunity for you to let God get really big in your life again.

I'm glad you've found your way back.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1573
Date:

Welcome. I am so sorry that you lost your way and are now riding that merry-go-round of horror, yet again.
You sound very self-aware about your denial, yet are still entrenched with an alcoholic. Things will change for you when you have reached YOUR bottom. If it is FEAR holding you back from grabbing your best life, then I must agree with Iamhere and Lyne - Al-Anon will help you to see your path clearly, and not live in the fear.

As someone I consider very wise once said to me (very frankly), "Nothing changes if nothing changes."

I wish you peace, light and love today!

__________________

 

PnP

Music makes my soul soar!

"The TRUTH is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself." St. Augustine

~~If nothing ever changed, there would be no BUTTERFLIES~~ anonymous

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1276
Date:

First, he's addicted...but more importantly...so are you! You are addicted. He's got a disease, an illness...and so do you.

Second, you are focused on him. Not you. You are enmeshed, immersed, entangled, and consumed with him.

Third, nothing changes if nothing changes. This is not about him and his recovery or non-recovery. This is about YOU and your recovery. There is no "our" recovery. If you want to get better, you must focus on YOU and recognize that this is about YOU and YOUR RECOVERY. Him, his recovery, what he's doing, money, drinking, negotiating, anything involving him and the day to day drama, chaos, turmoil and havoc -- even if you don't think it's that -- will prevent you from getting better.

You are lost. Very lost. You may not even realize you are lost, and extent to which you are lost...YOU have to take YOUR first step and decide if YOU want to find YOURSELF and get better, get healthy.

More to follow...I have to run into a meeting.



__________________

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


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1276
Date:

wvlady, I am going to post some of what I posted on another thread, as well as speak to my experience being where you've been. Many people here have faced what you are facing, have seen what you are seeing, and have felt what you are feeling. The problem is your mind, your thinking, your feelings...have been hijacked by the impact that the disease of addiction has had on your life. You are no longer thinking as the person you once were. You are no longer behaving and making decisions normally, rationally, and with intellect and healthiness.

It is very common to feel and go through what you are presently experiencing, very, very common. You are so deep "in it" -- that you can't think clearly, and perhaps you think you can, but your clearly is so distorted. Your norm is so abnormal and unhealthy, and you don't know it. No different than alcoholism is a progressive disease, so is the illness and all of the problems we have. I am sorry to say, without "treatment" our lives get worse. And many times, we just don't know it's happening. That said, some people use alanon and feel that alanon is a program that helps them tolerate the intolerable. It helps them accept the unacceptable. It helps them bear the unbearable. And so on. Alanon is not designed for you to get healthy so that you can then rescue the alcoholic, get them clean and sober, fix them, etc. If that's what a person chooses to use alanon for -- then so be it. To each their own. Hence, we have a phrase in alanon...take what you like, and leave the rest. Don't let the tail wag the dog. Don't be and live in denial. Don't let alanon be a crutch for the perpetuation of denial. One thing I always did was ask myself -- is nothing changed, nothing, is this where and how I want to be, is this the life I want, one year from now? Three? Five? And that takes a very open and honest, and objective look, not just at the situation and circumstances, but at me as well. Some people use alanon to make life just OK, bearable, tolerable, acceptable, etc. Like I said, to each their own. I look at alanon very differently.

In my experience, I have learned that alanon is a program -- in two parts -- one, where we can get better. We can get healthy. And, two, as a result of those two things...we can find ourselves in a place, a new place, one where we can then have the kind of life we want, and live the life we want to live. We can be happy, healthy, and truly create and live a life we love. Sounds euphoric -- but it is not. However, there's a lot that is required FROM US in those two components. What is required of us is -- we must do the work. I'll repeat that...we must do the work. It means we have to work the alanon program. The work, for each person, may be different. But there are some common elements. One is CHANGE. We learn we can't change anyone else, their actions, reactions, behavior, or anything else. So, we learn that we can only change ourselves. CHANGE. We change, our behavior, our thinking, our mindset, our actions and reactions, and more. CHANGE. Doing what you are doing and thinking, how you have behaved, acted and reacted has gotten you where you are right now. Will doing the same thing make things different? Will doing the same thing produce different outcomes? Different results? Will you get better, get healthy, get happy, etc., by continuing to do the very same things you've been doing? Intellectually this sounds simple. However, it is not. There is an entire mindset, philosophy, methodology, thought process, etc., in and around this. Now, some people will oversimplify it and think they can boil it down to some words on a bulletin board. I respectfully disagree. I feel you can get some ideas, some guidance, and the like, on a bulletin board like this -- but recovery, real recovery -- takes place by doing the work! Working the program! You can't do the work, work the program -- you can't live -- on a bulletin board.

Alanon is a program where you "do" a lot of things -- and that's what you learn by working the program.

So, what does all this mean? How does one do the work, work the program, find recovery, and so on.

Here it is...one...go to meetings. Face to face meetings. Go to as many as you can, as often as you can. There is a phrase, 90 in 90, meaning 90 meetings in 90 days. I have never met a person who did 90 in 90, worked the program...and did NOT GET BETTER! I did 90 in 90. I did 180 in 90! I did it because I could no longer take the pain of where I was and what I was doing. I had to change. I was afraid that if I didn't, I was going to die. Getting better -- whatever that meant -- was the most important thing in the world to me. I was going to crawl, scratch, claw, beg, do whatever it took, to get better. So, go to meetings. Two, get the daily readers -- Courage To Change and One Day At A Time -- and start to read them, every single day, once in the morning, and once at night. I woke up every single morning -- and I still do -- and the first thing I do, is read each of those books. I read the reading of the day, and even if I remember it, I keep reading it, slowly, diligently, intensely. I carry those two books with me, wherever I go, wherever I am. I have one set in my office, one set at home, and one set in my business/computer bag which goes everywhere with me. Third, find a sponsor. This is a component most people overlook. They think they get it -- what a sponsor offers, does, the role they play, etc. -- but they really don't. If they did -- they would have one! Find a sponsor and start to work with your sponsor. Meet with him/her, talk to him/her, often, ask questions, get guidance, share your feelings, fears, joys, wants, desires, share everything. There were times I talked to my sponsor 10 times from sun up until sundown. I met with my sponsor every week -- sometimes for hours. My sponsor...saved my life. Not figuratively...Literally. Do this work...with your sponsor. This work, with your sponsor -- is working the program. You see, it's not just about going to meetings and doing readings -- working the program, the work, the real work, takes place outside of meetings, outside of readings...that's where living is...that's where recovery is.

Everyone will give you different opinions, suggestions, advice, guidance, answers, etc., about what to do, recovery, alanon, and so on. The above is what worked for me. It is also what the alanon program tells us. Nowhere in the program, or any of the material (conference approved literature), does it say don't get a sponsor. Nowhere does it say don't go to meetings. Nowhere does it say don't do readings. Read the steps. Nowhere are the words them, she, he, they. The words are I, we, and us. This is a program of FELLOWSHIP...not isolation, being and doing alone, etc.

If there are face to face meetings near you, go to them! More than one. If you don't like one of them, go again! Try it six times before you decide that meeting isn't for you. I know a guy who drives 45 minutes twice a week to go to meetings. He is healthy. He is happy. Go to the alanon world services website, find your local information services office, and go to their website. Look for official, conference approved, legitimate alanon meetings in your area. If there aren't any -- go back to the world services website, and also your local website, and find phone-in meetings! That is the next best thing. There are plenty of telephone meetings. If that's the way you have to find a sponsor, so be it. Do it. Find a sponsor you can talk to, on the phone, who is accessible, who can help you.

Recovery, getting better, getting healthy, living a life you truly love...is not a destination...it is a journey. I wanted to begin that journey. I wanted to get better. You have to decide if you do.

Every journey...begins with a first step. I wish you all the best, for health and happiness.

As they say in every face to face alanon meeting, everywhere in the world...Keep coming back (to face to face alanon meetings and the program).

__________________

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...

 

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1106
Date:

Its amazing how familiarity breeds responses we may not even be conscious of until we can't ignore them. My realisation took a lot lot longer than yours on the last go round. I'm glad you're here, keep coming back.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3615
Date:

Welcome - you are in the right place.  It is so, so hard.  I've noticed that a lot of addicts walk such a risky line in their lives that they put one person between them and disaster - and then they try their best to get around that person and head straight into the disaster. It puts us in a terrible painful situation.  We don't feel we can abandon them to their fates - and yet we can't improve the situation either.  It's always right there on the brink of disaster.  Which is SO painful and stressful.

I really wish we had a humane way in this country (or this world) of letting people stay alive in their terrible addiction.  Give them a tiny house, give them some minimal amount of money, have someone professional (and not emotionally connected) check on them every day.  I know this will never happen.  But it would be a mercy for those of us who have fought for addicts' lives harder than they have fought themselves.  Just to have some way of keeping them from going over the brink.

I guess the good news is that when you get help, the whole dynamic changes, and that's the best chance for him to have a better life as well as you.  Your awareness is a great strength.  And reaching out for support here and I hope in real life, with a face-to-face meeting, will also start changing the dynamic.

The other steps are subtle and slow and life-changing.

Hope you'll keep coming back.  Hugs.



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 637
Date:

 

 

It is inspiring to me when I read a post such as this and it reminds me of where I once was and what helped me then.  What helped me then was a question from my sponsor who asked, "What would you suggest to the person who wrote this if you had been them"? That was a huge wake up for me and got me into the program full time to save my sanity.  

Keep coming back.  (((((hugs))))) smile



__________________
Jerry F


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

Thank you all for the warm welcome and insights. I realize that I need to care for myself and work on my own issues, and allow ABF to work on himself if or when he's ready. I still have old wounds from my past that need healing and I will not sacrifice my own sanity to his illness. I know that in the past I've failed to utilize the resources available to me but I'm not about to make that mistake a second time. I found a face-to-face meeting in my area this Sunday and I plan to attend. I told ABF of my plan and he told me that he will check into starting meetings himself. I'm a little bit encouraged but I'm not getting my hopes up too high and I'm not going to pin my happiness on whether or not he follows through. I'll be back to let you know my thoughts and feelings about the meeting. It will be my first ftf. I hope you all have a great weekend!

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 9902
Date:

wvlady - so, so happy to hear you found a local meeting and plan to attend! Please let us know how it goes. It was suggested to me that I go with an open mind, and look for the similarities vs. the differences. I also applaud your choice to care for self! Please know that everybody has issues and we are all perfectly imperfect! Be gentle and kind to yourself and just focus on One Day at a Time - that was so very helpful for me in the beginning.

Keep coming back - 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

 

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1276
Date:

Meeting makers make it.

All the best.

__________________

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: 2403
Date:

Welcome to MIP wvlady. Very sorry for what you are going through. Also, good to hear that you are already familiar with the Alanon program. It's truly a gift that it isn't like formalized education course registration where if you miss the registration date, you have to wait for that offering. In Alanon, we can begin or continue our program work at any time simply by asking for help. This board has been a nice addition to my Alanon in person meetings. There are also online meetings here which can be great if you can't get out to an in person meeting.

__________________

Faith unsticks fear.



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
UpdategRE: Hi, new member here


After making this post initially, my situation has improved greatly. My SO has been sober for almost 90 days. I can still see the person that I grew to love. He is kind, supportive and considerate to me. I keep my expectations very low and he continues to surprise me. We have been planning a future together. It felt so good when he looked at me a few weeks ago and said, "It feels good to be sober!. I know he meant it. I see signs of PAWS occasionally but not every day. He is on high doses of medications for epilepsy, so sometimes it's hard to determine if his moods are caused by PAWS or the awful side effects of his meds. My guess is it's a combination of both. My SO moved in with me in June. So far, so good there. He was admitted to the hospital this past Monday for an EMU study related to his epilepsy. The front desk called to tell us that his room was ready, and he commented that he wished we had more extra money so we could go get drunk before he checked in. My response was a calm "Really? and his reply was" No. ". But the fact that the thoughts were there are disturbing. So I'm scared and unsure of how he will feel once he gets to come home but I'm not obsessing. One day at a time.

__________________
bud


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1929
Date:
Hi, new member here


Thanks for the positive and very inspiring update!!! You're not alone.

I'm glad you're here and your share gives me hope in working my own program stronger. Many thanks

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1573
Date:

You are smart to keep living One Day at a Time. I hope you are aware that his answer of "No," was just what he thought he was supposed to say, not what was truly in his heart/mind. It is good to keep expectations low.
Thank you for the update, you sound like you are in a good headspace!

__________________

 

PnP

Music makes my soul soar!

"The TRUTH is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself." St. Augustine

~~If nothing ever changed, there would be no BUTTERFLIES~~ anonymous



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 9902
Date:

Lovely update! 90 Days sober is a huge miracle. I'm sending tons of positive energy, prayers and thoughts your way for the both of you. Love that you are keeping expectations low and not obsessing. Keep doing you, one day at a time! Keep coming back!

__________________

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

 

 

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