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Post Info TOPIC: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


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AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


During our latest disagreement about life (which started after AH ruined the end of son's birthday, oh joy), it came out that I consider our relationship broken and am considering divorce. AH got all hysterical and long story short, agreed to consider counseling with me. I don't have much hope that that will do anything other than prolong the inevitable (I am not on the board today sharing this story because of that), but something he said made me laugh. 

He doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. He thinks that "the conversation will just stop there and it's not fair". 

Umm... what part of 20oz of vodka a day, DUI, DT plus 6 days in ICU, your wife hates you, you have nerve damage, memory loss, two new hips from avascular necrosis, and you can't get through even 8 hrs without booze before you start to feel it ... what part of that does not say "Hello world, I'm an Alcoholic!", not to mention, comes before all other problems?   

I'd be angrier but I am just agog at how powerful the brain damage is. 

Anyway, he declared that the solution to all our problems was completely obvious and if I would just follow the correct path, all would be well. 

Turns out the answer is NOT to give up alcohol! You know what it is? 

More physical intimacy. More sex. More laying in bed with him while he cries every day.

Now, here's where I know that being on the phone was good. had I been in the room with him in person I would have just vomited and then we would really have gotten into next level fighting. As it was, I just looked at the phone and made a face.  (Ok and then may have muted the phone so I could use some less than lady like language). 

******

On a more positive note, yesterday was so bad but I resolved that today would be better. I got up and right away went outside to exercise. We're having a spate of unseasonably cool weather so it was perfect for making sweat.  Then I made myself a healthy green smoothie, and got on the computer to have a zoom reunion with cousins. AH came over and sat next to me for about half of it, which was a downer (he kept wanting to put his arm around me, which I avoided as much as I could). After that I fed myself and one kid lunch, and then came on here. I plan to do bit of computer work in a moment. So my Self-Care Sunday is going nicely. 

I hope you are all having a good day of peace. 

 

 

 



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AH doesn't want to be


(((Fedora))) - love the approach you chose for your Sunday! I can relate to your Saturday as well...those crazy-drama-filled, chaotic days of active disease would literally make my head spin. My best suggestion is to do tomorrow what you did today. Promise yourself that you will have a better day and then do your day based on what you need/want. It was mind-boggling to me that they more I focused on me the better things got but what I found in my life with my alcoholics is when I stopped participating in the insanity, they acted worse at first and then ... they kind of moved on. The chaos caused by this disease is almost fun for the alcoholic and almost empowers the insane thinking that everything else, but the booze/disease is the issue.

Keep doing what you're doing today and detach as much as possible...this worked really well for me until it didn't and by then, I was moving forward with the steps/full recovery and found better tools to prop up myself on those 'trying days'.

Keep coming back - there's always hope and help 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

 

 

Bo


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Oh Fedora...I hear you...this was argument, excuse, defense # 416 from my wife, LOL. The alcoholic will do and say anything, and everything, in order to defend, rationalize, deflect, distract, and not have the focus be on them, their problem, and so on. Their disease and all that comes from it -- cannot be the focal point. Similar to gaslighting. All of this is part of the entire escapade of the alcoholic and alcoholism.

I don't know if it's brain damage -- and in some cases, I am sure it certainly is -- or if it's simply denial, defense, deflection, and so on... but in my experience, the alcoholic will say and do anything so that it's not their fault. Or, they will have some sort of reason, excuse, why they can't or won't be congruent with normal, healthy, behavior, decisions, actions, etc.

Doesn't want to branded an alcoholic? Not fair? How about this...HAHHAHA. I laugh on the inside. Because I understand. I have compassion for the alcoholic. However, I am not going to be a partner in their drama, chaos, havoc, turmoil...or their BS!!! WHY? BECAUSE THAT'S ME ENABLING. That's me contributing and perpetuating what's going on. I have never wanted to part of any of that, or have it interpreted that my behavior is an implied endorsement. Hence, I was never quick to say "You might be right" as a way to diffuse a discussion or argument, especially when she was behaving in a completely inappropriate or unacceptable way!

Their distorted truth...does not become my truth. The alcoholic doesn't accept one inch, one millimeter of responsibility, ownership, of their actions, of their disease...NOT UNTIL RECOVERY. I no longer fight a losing battle...one that can never be won. I focus on me getting better, getting healthy.

It must have been very shocking and upsetting to FIND OUT that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM and YOU ARE TO BLAME FEDORA!!! LOL. Wow, this entire time, your spouse knew what was wrong...and finally told you! LOL. I am making a joke at the silliness of it all, and the reality of it is sad, but the actual portrayal, shifting, deflection, and so forth...is silly in certain respects.

I like your proclamation and resolution that today was going to be better. We can start our day all over again at any given point in time. I love the getting up and right away going outside to exercise!!! Love it, love it, love it! The weather here was beautiful today, 80 degrees, and not humid, so I sat by the pool, relaxed, read, and yes, made sure I exercised! LOL.

The affection attempted by the alcoholic was something that I struggled with early on. But, you handled it great!!! To me, it eventually became unacceptable behavior. I viewed it as a con job, manipulation. I used to ask her to stop, I wanted space, etc.

Keep up the great work!!! It works if you work it, so work it, you're worth it.

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Bo

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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...

 



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RE: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


I went to couples therapy a few times in various relationships. In both cases either myself or my insirance paid for it. That says a lot Nevertheless I did gain a lot from that experience. It did not appear to me at that time because I was totally consumed with the situation Therapy has always been difficult because it brings up issues that are extremely painful. On the one hand I most certainly acknowledged how my traumatic past affected any relationship I lived in deep denial. Being in any relationship brings up many issues for me. Sometimes I can most certainly have the assistance of others and sometimes it wasnt possible. I encountered a lot of turmoil dealing with relationships and I never really got to the part of what I brought to it until I got to al anon. I understand the intense frustration of dealing with soneine mired in an intractable addiction. Navigating my way through that has been a journey of a lifetime.

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AH doesn't want to be


IamHere - thank you for sharing that this: "what I found in my life with my alcoholics is when I stopped participating in the insanity, they acted worse at first and then ... they kind of moved on. The chaos caused by this disease is almost fun for the alcoholic and almost empowers the insane thinking that everything else, but the booze/disease is the issue." I am going to attempt to gird myself against what will surely be a barrage of "worse at first..." Ugh.

Bo - yes, I guess it really is ALL My fault. My lack of whatever has caused my AH to drink so much booze. And act immature, and not get treatment for mental illness, and .... I'm so productive, I can't believe I'm not an actual bulldozer in real life. UGH. The victim drama is almost unbearable when AH is in my face. When I am physically away from him, I am much more able to think of him as afflicted by a disease. But man, when we are in the same room - aaaagh.

Maresie888 - I'm glad to know you found therapy productive. I've done it for myself awhile back and found it good. I have no idea how things will go with AH because if he even shows up, I am sure his hackles will be raised so high, I'm not sure what will ever get done. But my work insurance has new plans, and I am glad that this should be included (the first few visits anyway). I've gotta believe that the counselor will not be surprised by anything AH has to say or do, and if he just stomps out half way through day one, well, whatever. I will try to stick with it myself. I'm sort of dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I can imagine that it might precipitate the biggest fight yet, and possibly an even bigger bender. That would not be fun. But I guess this is one of those "you can't go around, you just go through" situations.

It's painfully ironic to me - I have a small number of male colleagues who have opened up to me (quite separate from discussion of my own issues) and spoke effusively about the value that counseling was to them. Knowing that, I see them as even stronger male figures than I did before. Like, it did not make me think they were weak. But my AH is sure that counseling is only for weaklings, that Real Men solve their own problems. (This coming from a man who is a 3rd generation alcoholic. I didn't know he was a 3rd generation alcoholic until we were already married, and I had no idea of the implications of that until waaaay too late.)






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RE: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


Actually I was very frustrated by couples therapy at the time. What was telling was that I was the one who arranged it. Needless to say that I do believe therapy had a long term good influence on my significant others. Nevertheless at the time I felt that I was more mired in frustration than ever. I am familiar with people who believe they have to solve their own problems I lived with one of them for the past 4 months. I have to say it was very difficult I believe everything changed for me when I went into al anon. I finally got to the point where I was willing to try other suggestions. Therapy was of course one place that I learned that. One thing I have had to admit is when I am in a #toxic# sitiation part of the toxicity is my contrubution. That has been very painful for me. Very very painful.

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Fedora from my experience in the disease and working with it's victims including myself prior to recovery I rarely ever met a victim willing to admit to being "one of them...an alcoholic"  In my family of origin I never heard the term alcoholic used; or addict for that matter and then both sides of my family practiced.  It was disrespectful and wrong to use the word "drunk".  The terms used to describe people affected by the disease are hurtful and diminishing.  It took me 9 years of Al-Anon membership and practice and then the guidance of my HP to complete the alcoholism exam after I ascertained that a new young patient was.  MY HP asked me the question, "What qualifies him to be alcoholic and not you?"  I had never thought of it until that  time and when I turned around from him I saw a incomplete form on my desk and filled it out anonymously and took it to the adult section of the re-hap I worked in.   The response I got from the night head nurse who I knew from our program was that though she didn't know who's application it belonged to, she did know that the next time the person drank they would die.  I hadn't had a drink in 9 years but I do know this disease intimately and had experience of and with alcoholics who had not drank for long periods of time and when they took it back up, died quickly. 

Your alcoholic is trying to protect his ego, he doesn't want to be seen as or appear to be "a drunk" or any of many other ugly pictures of "bad" people yet not sick people.  It was so very important for me to learn that about my alcoholic/addict spouse who also suffered many of the other symptoms of the disease of addiction until she found a clean and sober way of existence while wearing a bag over her head for two weeks explaining to her substance abuse counselor, "I will never get sober unless I allow myself to be lead blindly thru this program".  That experience was told in Al-Anon meetings by her counselor who was also a member of our program and I learn later who said it.  I did not know she had such humility or saw her disease as being that powerful.  I have never ever heard another disclosure like that in my years of participation on all sides of our disease. 

I did know that the alcoholics I dealt with just hated feeling "less than".  My spouse chased my drinking not knowing that I was "chemically tolerant" or as my doctor told me "would die before I got drunk".  This is my story as a member first of Al-Anon and then 9 years later AA. 

The night of my first for real AA meeting as the alcoholics in succession identified themselves when it got to me, who was known throughout the room as a therapist I could not identify as alcoholic because of my ego and the room created a powerful miracle for me...they stopped the meeting and went to silence to let me sit and think about what I would do then.  Total silence except for my voice in my head which I had to say out loud.  I don't know how long it took me to respond that I was but my spirit changed when I did and the meeting went on...no applauding, cheering...just continued silence.  My ego created additional space for my Higher Power and I still have not had another drink and felt what it was like to lay on the floor with only a heart beat and breath and nothing else. 

I pray you and your alcoholic grow in recovery and that he find the humility and strength my former spouse and I did to kill our prides and reach out with that bag over our heads.  My perception of my spouse changed when I heard her "bag" explanation.  She because a human being and child of God like every other alcoholic I have come to meet since and all the other program members who have helped me learn.

(((((Hugs))))) smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Jerry F
Bo


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"It must have been very shocking and upsetting to FIND OUT that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM and YOU ARE TO BLAME FEDORA!!! LOL. Wow, this entire time, your spouse knew what was wrong...and finally told you! LOL. I am making a joke at the silliness of it all, and the reality of it is sad, but the actual portrayal, shifting, deflection, and so forth...is silly in certain respects."

After me getting blamed and blamed, and being told that I wasn't the one on-board, I was not getting on-board, etc. -- while I never bought into it, I was rarely accused of being the cause for her drinking. And, when I was, like I said, I didn't buy into that. BUT, I was constantly accursed of being the cause for the tone and hostility in the home. I was the cause of the confrontational nature of both her and I, and mostly I was the reason we were both so unhappy!!!

Obviously, my original quote above, from my previous post, was being facetious. Personally, I can't believe he even said those kind of things. I couldn't believe my wife said these things. I couldn't wait for my wife to tell the therapist these things! I wanted someone else to hear the silliness of it all, and the complete lunacy of her "theories" and "facts" (in her mind). Years later she still felt these things, said these things, etc.

Fedora, keep doing what YOU need to do for YOU. You get it. The difference between being in the same room, and being away, is the difference between the most beautiful perfect summer day, and the most extreme, violent, worst winter condition day. Many of us have been there. At my worst, I couldn't stand when my wife walked in the room. I grew to abhor her. Detachment, both physical and emotional, and spiritual as well, didn't help. Not participating and engaging didn't help. Boundaries didn't help. Nothing helped!!! Why? Because I was unhealthy! I was an unhealthy person trying to use healthy tools. Act as if? Nope, never worked. There was a huge disconnect for me. It was me being inauthentic. Regardless, once I found recovery...ALL OF THOSE THINGS WORKED, AND MORE. ALL OF IT WORKED. THE ENTIRE PROGRAM WORKED FOR ME!

You know what to do...and you are doing it. Keep up the great work!!!



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Bo

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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...

 

2HP


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All of us were once like your husband, Fedora.

None of us wanted to be "branded."

None of us wanted to do anything differently.

None of us wanted to go to meetings.

None of us wanted to ask for help or get a sponsor.

None of us thought much of the 12 steps, much less believed they would guide us out of our misery.

None of us wanted to do anything differently.

None of us wanted to change a thing.

All we wanted to do was point the finger. For however many crazy years, we ourselves avoided "common sense."




-- Edited by 2HP on Tuesday 19th of May 2020 08:56:46 AM

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Bo


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Excellent point(s) 2HP!!! Thanks for posting that!

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Bo

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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...

 



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Fedora I hear you. I had to smile at what you said about his being not branded as an alcoholic
And I too liked your Saturday and Sunday. And I would recommend that you just keep doing that. I noticed when I stopped obsessing over the crazy people in my life be they alcoholics or drug users or just dysfunctional people, I noticed when I focus on me and my boundaries and taking care of me, I am less crazy because it is catching, I can detox my life and still allow some contact, the detoxing of my life is not obsessing about them but just focusing on me and Doing my life, and taking care of myself and my program and just stay in basically in my own lane and letting them stay in theirs however I do watch my boundaries and I do a certain when my boundaries are violated and I do stand to them but other than that, I just dont obsess over dysfunctional people anymore
This program has been my lifeline. I dont know what I would do without it and do not want to think about it. Keep your chin up and keep coming back

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RE: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


(((fedora)) sounds like you put a great self care plan in place and enjoyed it. As far as couples therapy, I got more out of it when my ex no longer went. The groundwork was there and I continued. It just was no longer couples therapy but instead individual therapy for me. It was really a life changer when combined with Alanon. TT

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Bo


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Never ceases to amaze what excuses the alcoholic comes up with. Not wanting to get branded is one that just allows them to keep doing whatever it is they want -- mainly, allows them to continue to drink. When my wife agreed to counselling, in no way, shape, or form...did it mean that her having a drinking problem was going even remotely going to be allowed to be discussed!!!

My expectations of marriage counselling was simply me continuing to make change, as I had already found recovery. One good thing was that it was a forum where I could legitimately and respectfully express myself to a neutral, sober, third party. I was not able to do that with my wife for many reasons. One, she was usually under the influence. Two, even when she wasn't, she was always irrational and illogical. Three, she just kept gaslighting, deflecting, denying, manipulating, and "dancing" away from the real and only issue. Her drinking and the results of her drinking made life unbearable and it ended up being unacceptable.

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Bo

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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...

 



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Hi everyone. Today I went to my office. Not entirely necessary, but I made it necessary for my mental health. Even though today's task was quite dull, I see even the most mundane tasks at work as pleasant compared to being at home. I am planning to clean the kitchen floor later tonight. Today, AH lost a few more students (they decided to quit). This sent him into a tailspin because it means that after this month he'll have pretty much no income. For all intents and purposes, his business has failed. He has been ranting about "why did I go to school so I could get nothing" etc. etc... but I remained silent. (No need to point out the obvious things, and I'm learning that the less I say, the less charcoal goes in the fire - at least from my end.) At least he had the decency to recognize that being around the children wouldn't necessarily be good for anyone, so he excused himself to the bedroom with a very tall glass of vodka and drank himself into sleep pretty fast.

SO, the kids and I had a very pleasant dinner time. Big kid continued to play with his friends nicely online, and little kid was excited to tell me about the thing he discovered he wanted to purchase with birthday money from grandparent. (I was also pleased to learn it was not electronic.) I had absconded with the birthday money right away because the last time the kids got gift money, AH stole it. Well, he took it, and openly declared he would be using it and the kids wouldn't get anything. The kids were shocked and complained bitterly but AH would not relent. I was so disgusted. I had thought about taking money from my own account and replacing it, but then I decided I wanted the kids to remember what happened. (Someday I'll replace it but I thought that if I did it right away, AH would get a pass from the kids.) I put it away and the kids and I have an understanding that from here on out, mama will manage the gift money.

*****
2HP, I gotta tell you that your post hit me right in the eyes. I've been so pissed off because I felt like AH was being the way he is because he is just a bad person and not worthy of mercy. As I said earlier, it's a lot easier for me to be merciful when AH is passed out and the kids and I live nicely. After I read your post, I got to thinking about how much I let AH get under my skin. Like, when I let my guard down, he can push every button and it makes me crazy. It makes me resentful that I have to come online for emotional sustenance because I certainly can't complain to my kids, and I can't see any of my friends in person these days. And when I get resentful, well, all the bad things happen.

Maresie: in the middle of my conversation/fight with the AH, he said he would do counseling with me. But I wanted him to find the counselor. He refused. He says he doesn't know how. (this is not entirely untrue - he doesn't understand how almost anything in the adult world works. Banks, doctors offices, instructions from kids' schools, how email works .... he pretty much can't follow instructions.) But I thought to myself, "hey, if you suddenly had a problem with your man parts, or if the local grocery stopped carrying booze - how long would it take you to do whatever it took to fix it/find a solution?" Oh yeah. Probably not real long. Sigh. So I'm going to find it, with the understanding that this is for me. If he comes along, ok. Expectation level, zero. But at least we will be able to say we tried it.





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RE: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


Of course many students are dropping off. Your husband certainly qualifies for unemployment insurance with the new pandemic markers. He can certainly apply for it now. When I did go to therapy it was helpful. In fact it would ge helpful right now but I do not have the bandwidth to arrange it. In the next few months I will. Of course your husband sees catastrophe. I mosr certainly lived my life in terms if catastrophic thinking mosr of.my life. I struggled to get to the point of seeing things as part of our collective bargain. For me they were catastrophe's and simply bv overehelming One day.at a time I try to bring things to more manageable proportions. I am also aware of my linitations. Where do you go to get respite. One issue I had in my recent sojourn living away from my home was the need for respite. In a pandemic that is pretty much impossible. The roommate is a very high functioning alcoholic outside the home. He manages a great front. At home it was another matter altogether Needless to say I was also suffering from a number of ailments. One of them could have sidelined me for some time. I would urge you to find a way to find respite. Exhaustion is one of the issues that go along with being in the midst of alcoholism. Getting too exhausted can creep up on you.

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2HP


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Fedora, you are in a terrific place if you honestly see how you let him get under your skin. taking responsibility for our own minds, power begins to return.

At some point I was told I had to name the problem and when we blame ourselves and not "them," we are getting somewhere. then determine how best to deal with the problem. Becoming sick and tired of BEING sick and tired, I was told "asking" for help was necessary. ask someone who had walked in my shoes if they would help me get to the other side too.

when I asked, I was surprised she wanted me to get clear from the start on what I wanted from her ( like an interview.) "what are you really asking of me? are you looking for friendship because I can do friendship, we can certainly be friends. Or do you want me to show you how I use the steps? what are you asking of me, what are you looking for?" she asked.

I am grateful she took it seriously because I had a serious problem.

My point in posting was seeing the similarities (not differences) between myself and your husband.

I am not alcoholic. But I was stubborn and closed-minded like him. I thought I could and should handle my life, my way. I was dishonest about how I was being affected by alcoholism. before I became willing to get help, I had to first exhaust everything else, including counseling. Minutes turned into hours, hours into days, days into months, months into years

Before we know it, 20 years passes while exercising our free will. Most everyone on this planet is like your husband, just doing "self care" the best way we know how. All the while, there is a tremendous power available, just waiting for us to tap into it.


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RE: AH doesn't want to be "branded" an alcoholic. umm....


Fedora - I so feel for you and can empathise with your situation.  Lack of intimacy was / is also my AHs favourite 'go to' excuse for why he is drinking.  So much so that before I started my my recovery I partly believed it and would become more affectionate when he stopped drinking for a few days until we got into a hideous never ending cycle where we each played our part.

It took me a long time to understand that this wasn't a disease where he would be okay one day and not okay the next.   He might not have drank one day because he didn't have the money - unless he 'stole' it from me or the children, but this didn't mean he wasn't drinking because he wanted to be sober or in recovery.

This lockdown has allowed me to see the disease full on and that in turn has really helped my understanding of the disease and of my own recovery.  What has made the difference for me is total acceptance that I can do absolutely nothing to control or influence him and instead throw all my energy into my own recovery.  

You sound like you are doing some great work on your own recovery and getting out into nature and doing what you can to move forward for you.

Sending hugs ((())) and positive thoughts.  Joanne

 



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I found AlAnon when my life felt unmanageable and I truly believed my suffering was due to the attitudes, actions, and perceived irresponsibility of my alcoholic partner. This directly controlled my perceptions and the steps I took to try 'fix' things.

Contrary to what I expected, AlAnon suggested that I focus on my own behavior and attitudes rather than the Alcoholic's. Alanon suggested that I and the alcoholic are both children of God, I was no better, they no worse.

I had just as many character defects, flaws, and areas of needed improvement. I was in fact, 'insane' in my own right. I had no authority or right to make judgments of others.

In short, my unhappiness and suffering was of my own doing, not the fault of the alcoholic. They had their own journey, higher power, and path that I neither could alter or control, nor should attempt to. Finally, I came to see that I was just as ill as the alcoholic.

Along with working the steps, many pages in Courage to Change and ODAT were impactful in my transition; 337, 214 in C2C were very helpful to "keep my focus where it belongs, on me."

As it turned out, my suffering was indeed self inflicted, but working the steps and turning to a power greater than myself has opened the door to a growing peace that I have never before experienced.

I am so very grateful for the wisdom and guidance of the program that helped me began my own much needed spiritual journey of recovery...



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Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



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Thanks Paul I relate and agree with your share.  One of the early programs shares was "if you don't like it...change it" and then I followed the suggestions of those who came before me and wallah!! my life has changed and continues to do so.  (((hugs))) smile



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Jerry F
Bo


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Pain is inevitable...But suffering is optional.

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Bo

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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...

 

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