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Post Info TOPIC: 2 Steps forward, 1.75 steps back


Veteran Member

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2 Steps forward, 1.75 steps back


Hi all - been a long time since Ive been on here. Needed a break I guess in order to process some of the things Id started to confront. Real forward progress has been slow but meaningful. Since Ive been here, Ive gotten a job and am no longer dependent on my AH financially. By that I mean that, if I had to, I could leave, and while I wouldnt be comfortable, I could survive. Ive also come a long way in being able to distance myself emotionally from the everyday reality of living with an active alcoholic. Maybe too far in that area as hes now noticed the distance between us and has presented it to me as a problem many times over the past few months. Ive pretty much just ignored his concerns because Ive given up on talking to him about his drinking. His issue, not mine. He knows what the problem is and after years and years, Ive finally grown tired of beating a dead horse. But after continued pushing by him, I finally broke down and tried one more time. In order to try to do that, I drank with him - something I never do. Stupid? Yes. Desperate? Yes. Yes, yes, yes. It did not go well. I completely, utterly, devastatingly, unloaded on him. Years and years of stuff I thought I was over just came spewing out of me. A lot of it, surprisingly, not even about his drinking. Most of it about things that happened that I simply brushed under the rug in the name of peace. I hit him where it hurt and I did it gleefully. I WANTED him to hurt. And he was. Is. To the point that hes unsure now of what the future holds for us. I feel awful. Who I was that night isnt who I am. All of the stuff I laid out before him, all of the hurt...were things that without the shadow cast by his alcoholism, I would have forgiven years ago. Alcoholism is the gaping wound, these things I threw in his face were the salt. Without the wound, the salt would have simply slid off my skin - long forgotten, never given a second thought. Even I had no idea how deep the wound was. Now were both unsure of what the future might bring. Hes convinced I hate him, on a certain level at least. I do not. I still love him. Only someone you love deeply can hurt you like hes hurt me. I still want a future with him, even though Im taking steps to prepare for one without him. What he recognized as the distance between us was me trying desperately to stitch up the wound, to stop any more salt from getting in. And hes now focused on what I said instead of where it all really originated and cant grasp WHY I said them. Hes not yet able to acknowledge the damage that his drinking has caused. He did say that we have work to do to rebuild trust and to try to bridge the divide between us. I hope hes serious when he says We because I know now more than ever that unless he faces his alcoholism, well never have the marriage we both want and deserve. Ill never be able to heal the way I need to if I continue to pretend the wound doesnt exist. And well never bridge the gap between us if I have to shut him out in the name the of peace. I can only hope that as painful as it was to bring all of it to the surface, it was enough to make him dig deeper into his own wounds and start to heal a little too.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome back, (((((Twinkies))))))

Your post reminds me of the Three C's.
I also know that for me, once the denial was removed from my "vocabulary" it was impossible to live "as I did before." So I began the work on me.
I think you are at a similar crossroad... I mean, "years and years of stuff" that you buried that obviously you still hold onto negatively. I wish for you, continued clarity and gentleness towards yourself. Your journey to healing is just beginning!



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"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  ~ Mary Oliver

 

 



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{{{Twinkies}}}. Going through a very rough spot with my A. She is in denial that she needs help with multiple addictions. She was a dry drunk but is drinking again. She is willing to get help (again) for us but for herself she doesnt see it. Its so painful and frustrating. Ive gotten rid of all the abusive people in my life, but not able yet to let go of this 28 year long marriage. I even bought my own condo and live half time near my son and granddaughter. My being stuck is my work to continue in alanon. Sad but I keep coming back, Lyne

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Lyne

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Twinkies, welcome back, and sorry you are facing these difficulties. I too went through something similar with my wife. While it's great to make progress -- getting a job, no longer being financially and/or otherwise dependent on a spouse, etc. -- living with, being married to, an alcoholic still is our life. You can separate finances, social lives, hobbies, whatever, if that's what a person desires -- but still living in the same house, being legally married, is still a fact and a tie that cannot be neglected.

For me, in my experience, being able to leave was an emotional hurdle. Whether or not a person wants to leave is something very separate, distinct, and different. You have amazing clarity around that, and I want to acknowledge that and congratulate you. Like you said, real forward progress, slow or not, doesn't matter, it's still progress, and yes, it is meaningful. At the same time, perhaps the bigger issue is that there were things you wanted to address and confront. I too "detached" emotionally, and didn't get involved or sucked into the day to day drama my wife was involved with. I didn't get drawn into the chaos that was surrounding her life -- due to her drinking. I didn't participate in any of the day to day stuff. I can't begin to tell you how relieved and how happy I was! It was freeing. While I wasn't part of any of it, I was still married to and living with an alcoholic. While I created a life I was happy with, there were still "things" that had to be addressed from time to time. Social events, weddings, business functions, and the like. OK, got that handled. Family gatherings and events, OK, that was a bit tougher, but I got that handled too. I also detached physically when need be. That was difficult for me to handle and accept. I built a wonderful, beautiful home for us, it was a sanctuary for me, for us, I had a home office there where I could work when I didn't want to go into my office, I had a entertainment/game room -- they now call it a "mancave" I guess, LOL -- where we both used to enjoy watching TV, sports, playing pool, pinball, etc. However, no matter how big a house is, there were times where she would "follow" me around, not leave me alone until I engaged, and so on. It was during those times I actually had to leave the house -- my house, our house -- and that was a sore spot for me. I eventually "accepted" this -- and had to -- as "this is the life I have chosen, just for today, and being so, this is what I might have to do. I had no one to blame. It was on me. It was me -- accepting -- realizing and experiencing the results and consequences of MY own DECISION and ACTIONS. Sound familiar? LOL. Just like we say about the alcoholic.

Be that as it may -- YES, this had an impact. It had consequences. In my situation, my wife absolutely, positively, very much noticed the "distance" between us. No, she did NOT connect the dots as to why, how, etc. I remember once she "complained" about how we "never spend time together" and commented that we only had dinner together two nights that week. Yes, that was true -- two nights -- because she was either drunk, drinking, or passed out the other 5 nights. But no, she didn't connect those dots, remember my boundaries, etc.

So, at times I had no choice but to ignore her concerns -- because she was drinking/drunk. However, for me, in my experience, I would address it at a later time, the next day, etc. You see, in my experience most people don't do this. Many people collapse "detachment" and "ignoring" or "not discussing" so to speak. That's OK, to each their own. Just my observation -- and no, not about you, not at all. I too had not regularly discussed her drinking -- because it was always a simple, short discussion. It wasn't even a discussion. No matter what I brought up, her response was -- I was overreacting, she doesn't drink that much, doesn't have a problem, and won't even give the topic any validity by discussing it!!! OK, I get it. So, whatever happened as result of her drinking was ON HER. Not me. And that's the way it went. Period. That was my boundary, and I stood by it. Yes, I too was exhausted from beating a dead horse!!!

While who you are that night is not truly who you are -- do not beat yourself up!!! You said what you meant. OK. You may not have meant what you said, not the way you said it. And, you said it mean. OK. But that's what people do. They make mistakes. However, keep something in mind -- and this is not blame -- he had a part in this too!!! How long did you have to go without him addressing his drinking? And he still hasn't!!! No, this is not an eye for an eye, or tit for tat. No, but you both had a role in this -- and his was major, ongoing, and took place numerous times. If the future is in jeopardy -- he can say it's about because of what you said, how you said it...BUT that is not the entire truth. It is also because -- and everything is because of -- alcoholism!!! That's what I learned in my experience.

Don' forget... HE is now focused on what you said, the effect...NOT THE CAUSE!!! Why? Because he and his drinking is the cause. Cause and effect. Part of this is blame, denial, deflection, gaslighting, and he wants to be innocent on this. No, he won't focus on where all of this really originated from!

So, what now? For me, I learned a lot in all my years going to face to face meetings, working the steps with my sponsor, etc. Well, the reality is he is not yet willing to acknowledge or address his drinking. He does not want to quit. Just for today... FACT. That's what you have to address and deal with BY FOCUSING ON YOU. And, he did say that the two of you have to work on rebuilding trust, bridging the gap betwen the two of you, and so on. How does he expect to do that...if he is still drinking? What does he want you to do...just accept his drinking? Those are questions you may want to ask yourself as you begin this work with him.

I too came to the conclusion that my wife and I could never have the marriage we had, that we wanted, and that we deserved, UNLESS she addressed her drinking. But, you see, it wasn't "we" so to speak. You see, it was ME and HER. I could never have the marriage I had, that I wanted, and that I deserved. But, SHE did not want the marriage SHE had before. SHE wanted what she had right then and there, at that moment. So SHE DID have the marriage SHE wanted -- which was status quo, at that present time -- one where she drank and her drinking was never addressed. And, I have no idea if SHE had the marriage SHE DESERVED, and that point was irrelevant, because it was none of my business. She was an alcoholic...do you think her thinking was rational, sound, normal, healthy, etc.? Unfortunately, it was not.

When I focused on me -- exclusively on me, and no, that doesn't mean I ignored her or shut her out in the name of peace -- I got better. I also learned that I also got to a point that, in my experience, most people don't want to get it...where I was able to ask myself the question..."Is this the life I want to live"..."Is this the life I want to lead"...and in the end it all worked out. You see...in the end...it all works out...and if it doesn't...then it's not the end. The end can be married, separated and reconciled, or divorce. It all came down to ME.

All the best! Lean into your program. Spike up your face to face -- now virtual -- meetings. Work on this with your sponsor. That's what I did...and as we know...it works if you work it...so work it...you're worth it!!!



-- Edited by Bo on Tuesday 21st of April 2020 02:12:16 PM

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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...

 



Veteran Member

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Thank you all for your thoughts on this - I truly appreciate it. Yours was especially clarifying for me Bo. You expressed it exactly the way I needed to hear it right now. Thanks for helping to clear away the clouds surrounding my thoughts on this. You are right on every point and your ESH is extremely helpful.

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Veteran Member

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Thank you all for your thoughts on this - I truly appreciate it. Yours was especially clarifying for me Bo. You expressed it exactly the way I needed to hear it right now. Thanks for helping to clear away the clouds surrounding my thoughts on this. You are right on every point and your ESH is extremely helpful.

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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You are very welcome! Remember...DO NOT beat yourself up!!! Be gentle with and on yourself. You deserve it...and all that you want -- and can control, LOL -- out of life!

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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*~

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Welcome back (((twinkies)) I'm glad you're here and hope you'll keep coming back for Alanon recovery with us. The first thing that came to mind when I read you post was that maybe it was a good thing that your husband heard the things he heard from you. In the best of circumstances we want to say what we mean, mean what we say and not say it mean but these are not the best of circumstances and if he gets to be an imperfect human, well.. so do you. I remember reaching this point with my ex. I had stuffed my feelings for so long and then one day I just opened a can of whoop a%$ on him. I didn't even know what Alanon was at that time but I would bet you the same would have happened with me was new to the program, early in reocovery or away from recovery for awhile. I see how my thinking, attitude and mood all work against me when ignore my program.  

Hey listen, even if you would change your method now after the fact, it could be good that things went down in such a way that you shocked him and have caused him to think about the marriage and any part he may have in this outcome. Sometimes such events can be a catalyst for real communication and change. What's important for me when I feel I've screwed up and hurt someone is to make sure I understand what was and wasn't my part in what took place and make amends for my part. It's all I can do along with changed behavior for the better. How that's received by the other person is really out of my hands. A person I've hurt or angered may need more time to consider my amends, let go of the hurt or anger and make a decision as to whether they are willing to accept my apology. The waiting time may cause me discomfort but a true amends is in consideration of the other person not to rid myself of my own discomfort. 

You wrote that he's hurt and you feel awful about it. I hope there's a workable solution for both of you to stay together and be happier with one another. You know they say in our program "If nothing changes, nothing changes." At least things are out in the open now for better or for worse. If your behavior while drinking was out of character for you, I see no harm in bringing that to his attention. I don't see that as trying in any way not to take responsibility. The whole of who you have been in the marriage counts. The same can be said about the alcoholics we love - separating the person from their alcoholism. If continuing the marriage is based on him being sober, you may get that, you may not. He may try but it may not last. We all learn what we can and can't live with, what the deal breakers are. I wish you the best as you work through your feelings to find the answers that are right for your happiness. (((hugs))) TT

 

 



-- Edited by tiredtonite on Tuesday 21st of April 2020 03:33:49 PM

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Faith unsticks fear.



~*Service Worker*~

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Good to see you back Twinkies! So sorry for what's currently bothering you - I can relate to feeling bad when I unleash a hoard of emotions, justified or not, on another person...the good news - you do have a program, you can own your 'humanism' and you can move on, just like the rest of us, One Day at a Time.

I believe that we (Al-Anon members) struggle to see how deep and strong denial is for another with the disease of alcoholism. For the alcoholic, in spite of reality crashing down around them - loss of family, job, money, income, health, etc. - the disease continues to insist it's just 'dumb luck' or something NOT RELATED to consumption of alcohol. It is a constant, unending, pull from deep down inside and the obsession grows unless/until one hits a bottom and seeks recovery. Sadly, many do not and there's no point in trying to figure out why as self-honesty is almost impossible for one with a disease that affects the spirit, emotions, brains, etc.

I love to hear that you are doing what's suggested - self-care - the job, the detaching, etc. - awesome for you. The future is uncertain and unknown for all of us and it's worked well for me to keep my focus on me, my sanity, my needs and my own recovery. Each of us has a different journey and a different truth. There is no shame ever in admitting what your truth is! My biggest challenge with the diseased folks around me was being able to speak my truth without attacking them as recovery told me that throwing shame/blame at others was extremely unhealthy.

My sponsor is 'golden' for my journey. She helped me collect my thoughts and put them into simple, easy to understand I statements that were not blaming another, and allowed me to be authentic without casting stones. I remember the day that I announced to my AH and our 2 ASons that I no longer would live in a house with others under the influence. That was it. I didn't expand, justify, argue, defend, explain (JADE), I just spoke my truth. I did get three sets of eye-balls rolling back @ me, and some nasty words thrown my way yet stood tall, spoke my truth and let the chips fall as they may. I had a Plan B and a Plan C, and took off for a while. I did return when they committed to my boundary and all 3 disappeared to indulge. Over and over again, my sponsor helped with 'this' because I can't every control another but certainly can and do advocate for my needs.

I still have a second home. It is empty and has been for a few years. I have not had to visit it for quite a few years. In my home, once I started getting better, and learned how to detach and establish boundaries, things got better. My AH had a couple heart attacks, open heart surgery and stents and was warned about his consumption. I honestly do not know if he does/does not drink any more because it's not my business. The disease and it's power no longer affects me, directly or indirectly. My sons are both out and on their own, making their own choices, mistakes, etc. - some good and others not, but again, my boundaries have served me well.

What I know today is that had I left when I wanted to, I would have been just fine. However, in the back of my mind, I always had doubts, and relied on the, "When in doubt, don't." Everyone who came before me suggested the answers would come so long as I worked my program, stayed on my side of the street and practiced this program. I ended up staying and things are still just fine. There's no perfect program, perfect person, perfect marriage, perfect job, etc. - we get to do this thing called life, One Day at a Time and there will always be speed bumps on the road - how we handle them is what really counts!

Keep coming back - you're not alone and so long as you're making progress, you are a miracle in recovery! (((Hugs)))

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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*~

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Hey twinkies , I may get bashed for saying this, but for me??? it was GREAT therapy when I blasted my mother for all the drunken, wrong, hurtful things she did /said to me...One night I had just "had it" and I unloaed on her like a verbal H Bomb....I even told her I was calling another woman "mom" because SHE loved me and cared for me and got me school clothes (I would run away so bad, this family took me in and dad "G" forced the offender and her to share me or we go to court because he smelled abuse worse than what was the obvious) anyway, I told my mom, that mom G was a far better mom, woman, person, etc....

I cut her to the core, I know...but it was a BIG load off me...it was like therapy in one horrid verbal assault...was it cruel?? sure was and I own it...was it justified??? To me, it was, but now, instead of the mean, acidic way asserting myself, I now set boundaries and stand to them and if they are violated or the relationship is a toxic one, i am either going to stand to the boundary or if relationship is not worth it, I am GONE

but I unloaded YEARS of my pain onto her and I hurt her real bad.....so bad she just looked at me and said "do you hate me that much???" and , of course, non recoving me, I said "YES" and I walked out the door

I think it touched something inside of her because from that day forward and wouldn't you know....I had a mental breakdown from all the abuse not even a year later, but b4 I did, she was trying to win me back so to speak...when I had my breakdown, it was MOM who got me to the hospital, it was MOM who took me home and stayed SOBER all those MONTHS i needed care and my medicine, etc., yea, and she told the offender that if he ever harrassed me again, she would end his life---LITERALLY....she kicked him out of the house so she could care for me and not once did she drink....and never drank around me again, the last 2 years of her life (she died 2 years after my breakdown) those 2 years after I was well enough to go back to work, hang out with my friends, etc., AND hang out with her, riding bikes, listening to music together, just chatting...those last 2 years of her life were the best years i had with her EVER

we never discussed my verbal "beheading" of her that cold , rainy night, but inside we both knew that i was spot on, tho cruel about it, I was spot on and she DID feel remourse for all the actions and INactions that hurt me and messed me up so badly....

I think "unloading" on someone is good therapy...yea, now, I would do it firm but kind, addressing behavior instead of assasinating character, but what the hell, I was a kid and NOT in therapy/12 steps....sometimes blasting them with the truth can shake them up into thinking, but It wasn't about changing HER..I had given up on HER, it was to unload ME and boy did it take a load off ME....it was ALL out there in the open...EVERYTHING she did adn said, I tossed at her brick by brick and it made ME feel better...I think I earned it with all the hurt/harm she did to me, but if it were now?? I #1, I would leave such a toxic relationship because I can only change me, never another..either I accept them AS IS or I leave.....AND , now, with 16 years recovery, I don't hit the character/soul of the person, I address their actions and then if things don't really change, I leave /end the relationship....because they DO have the RIGHT to be toxic or healthy...that is their choice....it is MY right and MY choice not to be around it...OR if I do stay around it, I would keep the focus on me and taking care of me, detaching from the other

Some folks stay...Some go....I do what is the next right thing by me...what is best for me...and TRY, NOW to do it in a humane manner

Please take what you can use and leave the rest and welcome back to Alanon

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Rose, a work in progress!!!

KEEP IT SIMPLE_EASY DOES IT_KEEP THE FOCUS ON ME



Senior Member

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I have been around an alcoholic for about 12 weeks now. I definitelh had times unloading on him in the oast This time around I decided to keep that boundary I.dont think there is any#right# thjng to do. Living around an alcoholic is such an unreal experoence The alcoholic I atay with lives in his #ideal# self. According to.him he is generous kind abd #giving# During the firsr week I was here Inhad the Covid virus. He did not even bring me a cup of water The new thing for me is that I acceot tye alcoholic. I am not trying to change him In theory I am rentimg from him for another 3 weeks. There is sone overlap. I beat myself up.so much about what I did and did not do around an alcoholic There are suggestions in al anon. They helo But it is an extraordinary difficult life to live around an alcoholic. A very very very difficult life

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~*Service Worker*~

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Maresie, I hear you , my friend....There, in my opinion, is nothing harder than living with an active alcoholic....I applaud the ones who can stick it out and make a half way life inspite of it, but it wasn't for me....I left....AND to this day, I don't want to be around it....the first thing I discussed with my roommate....ANY abuse of ANY substance and shes outta here....NO illegal drugs and NO abuse of alcohol...Thank God she does neither....I have a beer here and there, but I end up pouring some of it out because I get hungry, but yea, I lived with my 2nd Ex whom I loved dearly, but I drew a calandar date on the fridge and said "by this date, we BOTH are in recovery, OR I am going it alone...I can't do this anymore" he refused....I helped him pack his stuff up (he signed his half of house over to me) we both cried, but he went and stayed on the ship as he was in navy.....I just couldn't deal with that life anymore....but that is me....like I said, it is a very individual proposition.....stay??? go???? its up to the person, I used to be all pushy and stuff, telling people to leave them and all that, but now I never do that unless there is physical abuse and danger to the sober party, then you got a different kettle of fish...my 2nd EX would never have harmed me....the first one tried to get physical and that was the last time he did....I was gone....

Now I look at the active alcoholic as one who is afflicted with a disease of addiction.......I can hate the disease, but I also can love the human being...and there are folks who are active alcoholics whom I really care about, but I keep my boundaries up with them...I won't live with one ever again....But again...That is just me....The goal, I think for all of us here is to be emotionally sober on a one day at a time basis.....this program is for us....and you know, I LOVE to see the AA program alcoholics working Alanon because I think it is a double blessing for them...AA and Alanon are so tied together...I have actually gone to open AA meetings and I am so grateful that I did because those meetings helped me big time understand alcoholism.......When my brother was briefly in program, he would ask me about my Alanon and ask a LOT of questions...I gave him this link, ,but he never latched on.....

Anyway, this is a great topic..

__________________

Rose, a work in progress!!!

KEEP IT SIMPLE_EASY DOES IT_KEEP THE FOCUS ON ME

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