Al-Anon Family Group

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.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: maybe this is a good thing


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 13
Date:
maybe this is a good thing


I'm sure some of you roll your eyes when you see my post.What's wrong now?When is she going to finally get it?Well,I feel the same.I am tired of struggling with myself,my problems,my feelings.I'm just plain tired.I keep posting because I think maybe someone is following my struggles and not responding and maybe my journey will help them.Yep,that's me,always thinking of the other guy/gal.It's not a happy place to deny oneself and completely dive into someone else's life.As you hardy ones know,I have been in and out of alanon for 30 years.The truth is I do not like focusing on myself.I do not like what I see.I can fix you,I tell myself,but I cannot fix me.So I will live your life and even though that is a crazy ride with it's insanity and misery,somehow I always thought it was still better than facing myself.Why look at an empty shell?There's nothing there.

So yesterday started as a good day.Many of them do.But by nightfall I was once again in hell.Yes,I said hell.I felt like I was here and everyone else,including God,was over there.I can't get there where they are.It's like I am a ghost trying to live in the real world.I sometimes cross over but something pulls me back.I think most of my life I have felt like I was on a stage,in a play, and everyone had a script but me.At one place I worked my boss did a Myers-Briggs personality test on all of us.Then she gave us the results.I was amazed at how the description fit me perfectly.It was work based but it was describing ME.Then it said that only 10% of the population is like me.It assigns 4 letters as your personality.I'll just use ABCD.So that means that in the whole world,only 10% of the people are ABCDs like me.It explains alot.I had forgotten about it.I wanted to belong,to fit in.It was hard to except but I knew it was true,I felt it.

I am not giving up on alanon.No,I will continue to work it in my way.I know it is going to be slow.I need the help with the effects of alcoholism on me.I have started Step 1.So maybe Step 1 is working on me.Last night my husband was asleep and I laid there thinking.I was completely deflated and feeling defeated.I said to myself.I am tired of fighting all this.I give up.I GIVE UP.That was not 'acceptance'.That was not surrender,not as I define surrender.It was GIVING UP THE FIGHT.I can't do it anymore.I am not fighting this anymore.He has dementia,he is an alcoholic,my house needs alot of work,my car is old,and I do not have alot of money.It's too much for me.

I realized recently that my husband has always been the leader in our relationship.He was a functioning alcoholic,he always held a job and brought home his paycheck.Just like his dad.His dad drank till he died from stomach cancer but he raised 8 children owned 2 homes (not at the same time) and he took care of his wife and family.My husband was like that as well.In some ways I feel like I lost my husband,the man I loved, when he got sober.He had a sponsor,the best friend he ever had.he worked the steps,attended many meetings.But he changed and when he changed he no longer wanted me.I won't go into why we stayed together thru it all,I think that may be on another post.And I also want to say that this MY experience.Every relationship is different so I don't want anyone to think they will lose the man/woman they love if they get sober.

My point here is that because of the strokes and dementia I am suddenly thrown into the position of being the leader.If we sell the house,if we take out a loan,if we buy a car,all the important decisions are now resting on me to decide.That is why I have been screaming that I cannot do this.It was him that brought the first computer into our home and we figured out how to work it together.It was him who decided to move to a rented house.We had lived in apartments all our marriage.I didn't want to move at the time but we did and it worked out very well.Then it was him who decided we should buy a house.I am glad we bought it even though we never finished the remodel we started.We've taken many trips over the years and I could go on and on about how much he led and I followed.We bickered and we had our struggles but we were a team anyway.Now we are broken.I am alone.My mother in law told me when her husband died that no matter if you have children or friends or a big family,and she had all that,it is not the same as having someone who is there just for you.I understand that now.

So I need to grieve.I have started to remember the man he was.The man I married.I really did come to love him.I guess I still do.He is still in there somewhere.I need to see him.I have stopped fighting my life.I AM the leader now.He took care of me.Not my emotional needs and he never loved me as I wanted to be loved.But he was always there if I really needed him.I think even if we had separated I could have always counted on him.There are going to be big decisions to be made.I can see it coming.I have been so terrified of having to make those decisions by myself that I just wanted to run away.But I am not going to abandon myself  this time.The fight is over.Maybe I have reached a bottom.Maybe this is what powerlessness really feels like. Thanks for reading.

Iris



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 10549
Date:

(((Iris))) - I hope you know that you can post/share anything you want, anytime you want any way you want! This is a safe place for all to share what they need to - I used to 'dump' here just to make it through an event, a day, a .................... You do what you need to do!

I am so, so sorry for how you see yourself...I don't see an empty shell - I see a vibrant, strong woman who's got a ton of 'stuff' happening all at once. I see a smart woman who is identifying and processing the facts, in the hopes of finding a solution that will bring a good outcome for two people in a hard point of life.

I see a thoughtful woman who is able to see the good in a man who's vastly different than desired/expected. This is 'huge' in my mind! I see pain yet a desire to get to an unconditional acceptance of life, marriage, reality. Your post reminds me that we are not measured by how many times we fall down but rather by how many times we get back up and rise to the occasion. While that may sound daunting in this moment, you are moving forward - I see it even if you don't.

When I was at my bottom, night time/darkness was the worst. My mind just seemed to go on overdrive and my outlook/attitude was often just so negative. We often suggest gratitude lists and asset lists, which I thought were totally stupid when I first heard it. Yet, as with most things, when I tried, I did find that my mood improved and my mind was distracted just enough to stop with the negative energy.

Keep coming back, keep sharing and know this is a safe place always! Sending you tons of (((hugs))), positive energy and prayers!

__________________

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: 1027
Date:

Dear Iris, I hear how overwhelming this feels, and I want to let you know that I have been there. Wonderful husband who handled many things that needed to be done, but alcoholism eventually took his health, his personality, and his cognitive abilities, and I had to grieve him while he was still alive. I also had to start making important decisions by myself.

How I did it was one baby step at a time -- and while going to Al-Anon meetings, reading literature, and having a sponsor. I can't emphasize it enough: baby steps, one tiny step at a time, we don't have to solve all the problems at once.

It is overwhelming to think of all the things that have to be done. I had to take one small thing at a time. First I found a support group for family caregivers, and that gave me some information on options for coping with a husband whose health was rapidly declining. After a while, I talked with a lawyer about how to best arrange my finances to protect myself. In time, I learned how to fix some things around the house -- by watching videos on YouTube. I learned to hire people to do work I could not. The handyman now calls me "Boss Lady" -- in a friendly way, which is kind of cool -- because believe me, I am the least bossy person you have ever met. But I had to learn to take charge, because when I looked around, no one else was taking charge so it had to be me.

I WAS terrified about some of the decisions I would have to make -- including medical ones when he could not speak for himself. But somehow I did not fall apart, and the decisions I made worked out well.

It's interesting you mentioned the Meyers-Briggs personality types. Mine is also one that is said to be only a small percentage of the population. Do you see yours as a weakness? I see mine as a strength. All of those types have strengths as well as weaknesses in them. If you think there is validity in that personality test (and not everyone believes in it) -- maybe look up your type online and see what the strengths are.

I am glad you're not giving up on Al-Anon! And you are so right that it takes time. But I believe it is worth it, and hope that with the program you can walk through the fire you are currently experiencing and come out stronger on the other side.



__________________
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1687
Date:

Iris, I certainly understand how overwhelming the trials and tribulations of life can be. I remember feeling as if I was "being smothered by life" and by circumstances.

What's positive here is that you are not giving up, nor giving up on alanon. More importantly, you are continuing to "do it your way" and "work it in your way" -- and that's all that counts. No one else can tell you how you SHOULD work your program, or how your recovery SHOULD look, how it SHOULD go, and so on.

Life is not about the successes. It is about the failures and how we overcome them. Keep going. Stay strong. 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...

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 394
Date:

Iris: No one here is rolling their eyes at anyone. Having a spouse who is seriously ill is a major life stressor. That is not something that can be negotiated easily This is a good place to come and know you will be heard and known. Having a dramatic change in a long tetm relationship is a incredible issue to move through. No one does that overnight Please know that this group is #there# for you in so many ways. You can come here anytime and share your struggle freely All of us have our struggles and really have to ask for support and validation to move through them. So many grouos are in flux right now and it indeed a challenge to work on #zoom# Nevertheless being around other people who are negotiatng the same problems you are is so validating. As hard as it is to find them and get set up on one I think it is something to consider. Please come back and let us all know what you are doing

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2129
Date:

Never any eye-rolling, Iris. Hugs and support to you!

Your life, your role in your life is changing. Change is hard. But change also brings growth. Keep posting, keep supporting yourself!



__________________

"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

 

 

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1194
Date:

Its suggested we make no major life changes for at least 6 months when we begin the alanon journey. It is pretty natural to run through everything and explore it as you are doing, it's part of the process and there's no pressure to act on those explorations, from others or even self. I found literature, getting to know the 12 steps and 12 step exercises to be helpful to those explorations. Meetings and groups can support that and ideally they should, but learnung the framework is pretty important and that's best with either a very directed self or a sponsor and ideally both. Take good care Iris, I'm glad you came back.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 951
Date:

Iris,

You express yourself so well. Thank you for sharing.

Of course it all seems overwhelming. Remember you don't have to decide everything all at once or try to do everything all at once. And there is inner guidance--help from one's Higher Power.

I am so sorry your husband is not the same. That has to be so hard.

Oh--a thought--there are 16 personality types on the Myers-Briggs, so "average" would be a little over 6%. So you aren't as "different" as you may think you are. It is a very interesting instrument. I worked in a psychologist's office and I don't remember why, but somebody had sent in a group of physical therapists to be tested. When I scored the tests, all of them were in the same little box. Out of 16 possibilities. If you haven't, you might like to read up on your type, to discover that perhaps you have strengths you aren't aware of.

Bless you,
Temple


__________________

It's easy to be graceful until someone steals your cornbread.  --Gray Charles

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 13
Date:

I just looked up my personality type and I was wrong, it is 1% of the population ,not 10, and it does say they are very rare.

"People with this personality type tend to see helping others as their purpose in life." No wonder I married an alcoholic! Even the weaknesses fit me to a T as well as the strengths. It says I need to remember to take care of myself. It is amazing how spot on this thing is, truly fascinating.

Iris



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 10549
Date:

Iris - your realization reminded me of the three A(s) - Awareness, Acceptance and Action. I'm one who believes that nothing in my life happens by accident so this has been revealed to you for a reason. The reading for today is about adversity! I can't say for sure where my mind embraced that different is 'bad' or 'not as good' but today, I don't think that way. Different is celebrated actually as I believe we all have a journey predefined which allows us to be the best version of ourselves.

Take good care of you - self-care has become necessary for me to find my joy, one day at a time! (((Hugs)))



-- Edited by Iamhere on Monday 18th of May 2020 08:35:32 AM

__________________

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: 1027
Date:

Iris -- you and I are the same Meyers-Briggs type... so that makes two of us at least in the 1%  smile    I find that the helping-others motive gives a lot of meaning to my life these days. I remember the personality description saying that we like to help others reach their potential.  As Al-Anon teaches me, it's very important to also direct that energy towards myself. 



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 13
Date:

Hello,Freetime, nice to meet a fellow 1% er. I like that the description included a note than we 1% ers need to remember to take care of ourselves.There is alot I can do in that area.As I said in my post, I am not abandonning myself anymore.It is not selfish. I cannot be any good to my husband or anyone else if I am falling apart physically and emotionally.I may have to make some new arrangements in my home,move things around,so I can do things I want to do and still monitor him.That's ok,I am a problem solver so I can do that.I love a challenge.

There is a book out about "Highly Sensitive People". I read it a long time ago and for the most part it also describes me.Those elements are also in the personality results.It is listed as a weakness.Been dealing with that all my life. It is why I am a homebody,need solitude,and like to avoid crowds.It is comforting to me at this time to know that nothing is "wrong" with me.I have strengths and weaknesses and even tho there is only 1% of people out there just like me,it's ok to be me.My mostly alcoholic family thought I was 'weird'.I thought that was because I wasn't an alcoholic.But I am just different,in every way from them.And that's OK.They are they..and I am I.Nobody's wrong,just different.

Still,I have to struggle with the effects they had on me and also my alcoholic husband had on me.That is what Alanon is for.The program helps in so many areas.

Many thanks for all the great responses.

Iris



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 394
Date:

I most certainly can help.other people very very sucessfully. In fact these days Inhave to restrain myself considerably in order to not be engaged in that behavior Nevertheless at certain times in my life it has been very difficult to say this would be a full plate for anyone. That is one of the conditions I am now dealing with. For me it has nothing to do with personality type or defecit. Alcoholics are very good at making others #wrong# According to the roommate making the decision to go back to my apartment is a potential disaater. Unfortunately remaining at his house would also be rather difficult. I know there are times in my life when I need support and underatanding. Finding that in a pandemic is another matter. I urge you to seek out support and respite for yourself in the form of caregiver groups. There are other people negotating the same major life transactions you are. No one has to do this all alone

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1027
Date:

Iris, I agree with Maresie's suggestion about caregiver support groups. When I was in this situation, I found a free support group at our local community center. And there was even another person at that group who had an alcoholic husband she was caring for. Reaching out saved my sanity.

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.