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Post Info TOPIC: Struggling to keep perspective


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Struggling to keep perspective


My father is dying. Stage 4 metastatic laryngeal cancer. He is an alcoholic but over the last few years had made great strides in controlling the amount he drank (he finally quit entirely at his diagnosis 4 months ago). As a result of his effort to control his disease our relationship was able to grow and many hurts between us were healed. I am so grateful for that especially now that our time together is growing short. Its sad that just as I got my father back, we are losing him, but Im happy to have whatever time with him I can. My husband, an active alcoholic, is creating additional heartache for me right now though and Im struggling with anger because of it. As expected his drinking has gotten gradually worse. There was a week recently where he cut way back and, stupidly, I allowed a glimmer of hope to take root in my heart. I allowed expectations to bloom and when the change didnt last, I became hurt and angry. Adding to those feelings is the fact that he cant handle the emotion and sadness Im feeling over my dads impending death. Twice in the last week he has gotten frustrated with me for tearing up when talking about my dad. It makes him uncomfortable and he thinks I need to control my emotions so he doesnt have to feel badly. Yes, he said that to me. He wasnt that blunt but that was the gist of it. I was stunned. But heres the thing, I dont know why I was shocked. Its not like I did not know that he is incapable of dealing with hard emotions. That is the main cause of his drinking and Ive known that for years. Logically I can step back and see that. But its hard to keep that perspective when Im now in a position of needing so much support from the man who is supposed to be my partner in life. He provides for me financially, he doesnt abuse or berate or treat me poorly. But what I need from him emotionally I am not getting. Im beginning to question daily why Im still here. Why do I have to try to keep perspective? Why does he deserve that continued effort and that grace from me?

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~*Service Worker*~

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Twinkies - so, so sorry to hear about your father. I am glad that you and he have been able to do some healing, connecting and sharing. I am sorry that you are not able to get what you want/need from your husband. It reminds me of a statement I really did not like when I got to Al-Anon - . . . going to the hardware store for bread. I too was so confused, disappointed and hurt that those I love, live with and cherish could not provide me emotional support when I needed it - it was maddening. Yet, when others in Al-Anon that instead I reach out to those who can, it worked for me.

I was spinning in circles trying to (my will) get people who weren't capable to be what I needed. When I changed up my own thinking, and sought help from those capable, it was much more rewarding. Expectations for me can be a sure-fire way to grow resentments, and I don't like to have those in my life today.

Please take good care of you and know that you're not alone. Keep coming back.



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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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Aloha Twinkies and thanks for the share.  I can  visualize what you Dad is going thru and is doing to get and remain sober.  That is his responsibility which he can and will do the best he can with.  It isn't and will not  be more than the best he can do and for me to understand that he is doing it for himself and with his Higher Power gives me encouragement to do the same in my own recovery.  Peace and acceptance to  him.  "Acceptance is the solution to all of my problems" is what I was given in early recovery and that has stayed and continues to stay with me daily.  Let him teach you also.

Your alcoholic is also doing the best he can with what he has and not accepting that  is part of what we have to build in our own recovery.  We gotta be like Dad and with our Higher Power.   I wish I was with you all so that I can share hugs with you, your Dad and your alcoholic.  Keeping my awareness on this is a compulsion of the mind and allergy of the body which can never be cured; only arrested by total abstinence keeps me aware of how much I need the program and need to work it

Loving the enemy is a constant thought force I have needed since I decided to stay and work our program.  It is my enemy and as I allow it to bumble around, yelling, screaming  and  making the alcoholic feel and know the need for peace of mind and serenity I can and will offer compassion and empathy without treating them with the "Poor Babies" they are wanting.

Keep coming back....this works when we work it.   ((((hugs)))) winksmile  



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Jerry F


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Twinkies - I too am so sorry to hear about your father.  It's a time when you need someone there more than ever.

I can say that you are not alone.  My best friend died a year ago and when I travelled back from seeing her just before she died I just wanted someone to hold me and make sure I was alright.  Instead my AH accused me of trying to get off with her husband because I  had spent so much time there.   Whilst I would never want to repeat that experience, it gave me clarity that my AH could never be what I needed while he was still active and I could see the disease for what it truly was.  

My husband, your husband - probably most active alcoholics are imo simply not capable of providing the emotional support we need.  It's not that they don't want to - they can't.  It's just not on their radar.  They are in the grips of an awful disease which drives them.  My disease is recognising this and acknowledging that the glimmers of expectations I see are just like  a mirage in a desert.  Sometimes I  want my AH to be well so much that I see what isn't truly there.  And the real sadness is that I want him well so much more than he does himself.

Make time to look after yourself and seek out friends or other family members who can support you.   And know that you are not alone.  There are so many others on this board walking alongside you. Much love.  BT

 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Right On BTT ...that is keeping the perspective very well.  Simple and clean.  Keep coming back. (((Hugs))) wink



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Jerry F


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I mosr certainly had the same response made to me by my qualifier. He told me that he wanted ne to damp down my emotions when my mother died Losimg a parent is a huge marker in any adults life. I came from a family of violence addiction snd chaos. My parents never veered from that path theoughout their life. I am more at peace with thst now. I inow when I have been grieving I really wanted somreone to lean on. In fact I have been addressing lately that I felt far more lonely in my relationshio thsn when I was alone What Incan say is that this acute time is a place to focus on taking the edge of. Try to resr, try to cut down on your stresses, perhaps stop listenhng to the news. Try to ear rught. Most of all seek out support for yourself where yiu can be assured of it. Not only are we in unirecedented times, there is not much resoite in sight for many of us. Thar means diubke duwn on the tools of the orogram. For all of us these are very very difficult times. Marezie

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~*Service Worker*~

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{{{Twinkies}}} virtual hug to you as I lost my dad years ago, and my mom, just 4 years ago. I have a 15 year old dog I love and she is not going to be with me much longer.....

I relate and have to watch the "glimmers of hope" when I get tricked into thinking things will be better. I have chosen to stay with my A, and Columbus Day is our 29th anniversary, and I still can see that glass of water in the sea of sand now and then. Many of us stay with our A's, and many leave. It is a very difficult decision and your's alone to make.

What I can say I am certain of is that this program has given me hope for myself, strength and courage I didn't have, and an ability to appreciate myself. I have many good days and an alanon family on this board and also on zoom (used to be in person) that care and provide a voice of reason for me. Don't pressure yourself to make any major decision. Instead, try and find some help from alanon which will guide you with your challenges ahead.

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Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

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Hope you're doing better today Twinkies.  I've experienced that time and the program will heal my fears and remorse. The shares on the board including yours are very helpful to me as they keep me centered on an attitude of recovery.  I like the slogan "If you keep and open mind, you will find help" which was given to me early on in recovery.  Open mindedness keeps me with in earshot of my Higher Power and the elders of our program which helps me to grow and do better.  Reading this share this morning opens my mind and I can revisit the helpful experiences I have been blessed to have.  

My last birthday was the 78th for me which cause a knee jerk reaction of "What the hell happened to the earlier 25  years!!?"  And then I remember "Hey you don't get to do it differently than your parents, siblings, friends, Betty or anyone else".  Let go and let God hold the lanterned in front of your journey (my sponsor) and keep walking. 

This will be a teaching post for me.  Thanks.   ((((hugs)))) awwbiggrinwink



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Jerry F


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There are certain cancers that are really hard. I think.the cancers of the head and neck are really up there in suffering I hope your father is in hospice. Hospice care is state of the art pain managenent. In addition they seem to offer a great deal of support and hands on care. I have always been imoressed with their service I agree with some of.my.colleagues here that having expectations of the alcoholic is indeed a dead end. At the same time there are ways yo have lmits around them. One way to have a boundary is not to argue The other is to give yourself a great deal of space and love. Of course doing that around an alcoholic is a tremendous undertaking. The other is to be aware this is a hard time. The amount of stress at this kind of lifd event is tremendous. Couple that with what we are all going through with the osndemic is s real plateful. That is enough. Taking on the whole world is the norm for many of us in al anon. Llp I do know my time with the qualifier was an astonishing roller coaster oif non stop chaos. I had a saying #every single day# because literally every single day he had another disaster. Of course I was neant to help him deal with every one of them. And of course I had to learn to stop making his problems mine. Disasters and chaos and emotional volatility are part of the alcoholic foundation. Tragedy is also part of it. They can deal honestly with nothing. The other thing is pof course that nothing is ever their fault. The fault absolutely lies simewhere else Taking offense at things said by oersons who occuoy that kind of space is really about unreasonable expectations The exoectation issue is a very hard one to graso in al anon. Of course the reasonable expectation with a spouse is to be supportive. Of course that is something we all want. However the act of giving uo exoecting anything much frim an active alcoholic brings huge freedom. It breaks thev cycle of grieg and resentment. That is a huge relief and significant step. I hoioe you will continue to post about your journey Maresie

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