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Post Info TOPIC: Not silent anymore


~*Service Worker*~

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Not silent anymore


Last week I posted about not asking the question I knew the answer to.  Well last night at our Xmas dinner with family, my A made about 5 trips to the car.  We all knew she was drinking.  And I knew she was drinking last week but didnt ask.  Well I didnt ask this morning, but said I wanted to tell her something and asked her to just listen.  Kindly, I said I knew she was drinking last night and last week.  I said she is an alcoholic who does not want help.  And I suggested we move on with our day.  Im not sure if this would be alanon-approved behavior on my part, but I could no longer be silent.  In addition, she drove us home after I dont know how much alcohol she had.  I cannot sit in silence any longer.  I would appreciate some feedback if anyone has a comment or suggestion.  :)



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Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

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Dear Lyne, I don't have any advice, but to me it sounds like you said what you meant, meant what you said, and didn't say it meanly -- and that's something I learned in Al-Anon.

I'm thinking about the driving issue. Many times I rode in a car driven by someone who had had a LOT to drink, and who asserted that he was a very good drunk driver -- and honestly never got into an accident or DUI, by the grace of Higher Powers. I still wonder if, had I refused to ride with him, would it have changed his drinking behavior (probably not!). Would I have felt safer -- probably yes. I wonder if having a Plan B for transportation would be an option for you, if you don't feel safe. These are very tough questions in a relationship.

I will say that calmly stating my viewpoint, my boundary, was a breakthrough for me. In my case, it was stating that I needed six months without a health/alcohol crisis before I could consider living in the same house. It seems that making a statement of my viewpoint was better than asking a question that would probably cause the other person to respond with denial.

You are not alone, and I'm glad you shared here.


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Senior Member

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{{Lyne}} I agree with FT that you said what you had to say and you did it the Al-Anon way!

I know that staying silent and on the sidelines is very difficult to do 24/7 and there are times,

like you, that I cannot stay silent. I believe that I have the right to say what has to be said

once in a while. I hope that helps you!

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"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



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Good Day All. Lyne, thank you for sharing how you handled your predicament. I am leaning the importance of standing up for myself. The driving issue reminded me of a fearful situation I lived with up until a month ago. My hubby likes to take a shortcut driving home which involves navigating a treacherous curve and a hidden cul de sac. There have been numerous accidents and often I told him I avoid that route. He ignored my pleas to alter his route. One day, I calmly told him if in future

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Senior Member

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oops...if in future I was present he opted to take that road, let me know in advance so I could get out and WALK the rest of the way. My feelings were, if he chooses to risk his life that's his business but I'm not going down with him. He no longer takes that route. My point? Consider your personal safety first. (((HUGS)))

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~*Service Worker*~

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((((((Lyne))))))

I looked at your statement of behavior as very Al-Anon... you said what you meant, but didn't say it in a mean way. I personally don't think it is healthy to always stay silent, b/c as a person you have certain inalienable rights. Safety is one of them. But I no longer live inside this diseased worldscape, so take my ESH with a grain of salt, perhaps.
I feel your healthy boundary is that you want your partner to know that you will be planning on other transportation in the future, b/c your safety is important to YOU. This is not a judgement of your partner's continued drinking, or even commentary of whether they can be a "good drunk driver." And if your SO says it is, remember you do not have to JADE. "This is for me, so that I can feel safe," should be enough.
However, I know from experience that kind of statement can be twisted around to sound accusatory to the addicted person. Just remember it is just "spin."
Sometimes when I was faced with this kind of "spin," I would just remind myself, "It is MY boundary. For ME to follow. No one else. I am not accusing or telling someone else what to do. It is for my safety."
Yes, I actually had to do this many, many times. It helped me to hold onto those important boundaries. Otherwise the gas-lighting would turn my head around and I would be back-tracking on my hard-earned serenity.

My Experience. Take what you want and leave the rest!
Wishing you peace this week, moving into the New Year... it can be a difficult time.



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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

 

 



Senior Member

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Hi Lyne, As I read your post, I thought of the part of our suggested Alanon meeting opening - "As we learn to place our problem in it's true perspective, it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives." This is something I personally must keep in front of me daily. Especially tied into this is the slogan "How important is it?" Have I done what you did? Absolutely, on more than one occasion! Old habits die hard. But I have done some program work around this "reacting." Today, whether it's alcoholism or some other sneaky behavior of another person; I've decided what's most important is that I know because knowing allows me to take care of myself in the situation. This is only my experience but calling the person on their behavior was just met more insanity like searching the hardware store for bread. My gotcha moment brought fleeting self satisfaction because it was met with denial, gaslighting etc. In Alanon, it's always about our own motive for our words and actions. I have to sincerely and honestly inventory myself and ask myself what am I getting out of it. Hope something here was of some help. Keep taking care of you. You're worth it. ((hugs)) TT

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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.



~*Service Worker*~

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When I first came to recovery (the other side of the room), everyone always suggested driving myself to any/all events. This would give me a way out if I was tempted to indulge or uncomfortable in any way. I am not sure why we don't suggest this in Al-Anon too. Once I became aware that my AH whom I met in AA relapsed, we took and still take separate cars to any/all events. This includes family events, golf, etc. If he wants to go early, he can. If I want to go early, I can. I will never, ever knowingly ride with anyone who has had any alcohol - alcoholic or not. Just a personal preference.

As most who know me know I do not drink, I am often the designated driver. I am okay with this role as it keeps me and others safe.

As far as the rest, I don't believe anyone other than you can share if what transpired works within your program or not. For me, recovery is about learning and making progress. I am way less likely to confront any other human in my life about their actions simply because I would not want to be treated the same way. I am not aware of anyone that wants to be told, as an adult, to just sit and listen. I am even more unwilling to sacrifice my serenity and sanity in trying to have a dialogue with my A(s) when they are active in this disease. It's never brought me more growth, more joy or more serenity which I value and chase daily instead of my will, my way, and control.

They know that I know and I know how one with this disease feels. It's easy as one who loves an A to take it personally which is a huge part of our insanity. I do not believe that any human with the disease of addiction would continue to participate in it if they could stop. Not all who go to/through recovery make it and I just choose to take care of me, pray for them and practice empathy and unconditional love & acceptance. I choose progress always over perfection. As a general rule, my sponsor never allows me to confront anybody else with YOU statements; instead, we will work together to formulate I statements so that I am not blaming another for my feelings, disappointment, etc. She always asks me, "What's within you that makes you feel ...................... when he/they do .....................?"

It has taken me more than half of my life to fully embrace that I do NOT know God's plan for anyone else - no matter how much I love them or am concerned about them. I can still forget which is why I am so glad that I am really consistent with my Pause to Pray before I Proceed and why I 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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Thank you all so much for your caring feedback. I have plenty to digest and create my plan B. Peace & love to all of you. :)

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Lyne

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