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Post Info TOPIC: I enabled her and feel terrible about it


Member

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Date:
I enabled her and feel terrible about it


I came to this board to initially post about my relationship with my girlfriend who has a drinking problem. We now live separately but we are still together. It hasn't been easy and it has been a very rocky road but I love her too much to just give up on her. And she has shown me she is trying to fight the addiction of drinking. But we hit a real bump in this journey Sunday night. We were spending the day together running errands and everything seemed great. But then IDK how it happened but she came back into my car after hitting a vape shop and she was like I need to tell you something but you're are going to get mad at me....

I assured her I love her so much and she can talk to me about anything. She said she really needed to get a drink. And she was like please please don't be angry with me. I really had no idea what to do at this point. I knew my first instinct was to say yeah no we can't do that. I was so unsure what to say next. Now thinking back I should have said let's find a meeting. I feel so stupid for not saying that or at least fighting harder to keep her out of that bar. But she pleaded how the loneliness of her life is depressing her and she just feels like a hollow shell. I circled the area a few times trying to think up anything I could to not go to that bar...

I folded like a house of cards. I am so mad at myself for caving so easily. We wound up going to the bar and she drank and we talked for the entire night. We literally closed the place down at 4am. She actually shared a lot with me. A lot of truth that I was really happy to hear. IDK if part of that was the drink loosening her inhibitions and feeling at ease to fully share herself with me or not. I think part of me was just happy to spend time with her. She told me she normally just does this but sits alone at the bar and talks to strangers if she gets enough courage to do so. The biggest thing she communicated to me is that she has a strong feeling of loneliness. And that she is actually a very shy person. But the loneliness drives her to just be social but she can't seem to do it without the drinking.

She has a friend she met in rehab who is fighting like hell to stay sober. She wanted to try to talk to her that night but she was unavailable. I actually said I wanted to talk to her as well. Because I just didn't know what I was supposed to do in this situation. I didn't want to enable her which I totally 100% did. But I didn't have the strength or courage to say no. IDK why....

I think the thing was I rather be there with her at least knowing I am there and nothing bad could occur with me by her side regardless of the drinking. But I still feel awful for again not fighting harder to stop us from sitting in that bar until it closed down. This is so hard...I have never loved someone this much before in my life and I have told her this in sober moments and let her know I will fight my ass off to make sure she gets through this.

I guess I just need to know what to do when this happens again because I know it will happen again.



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 916
Date:

NewRomantics, glad to hear from you and so sorry that this situation is the cause of your

visit to MIP. I have learned in Al-Anon that when mistakes are made it is a time to take

stock in the lessons that are learned. This time indicates that you know there is a better

plan for the next time. Al-Anon meetings for you and AA meetings for her would be highly

recommended. {{HUGS}}



-- Edited by DM2021 on Tuesday 11th of July 2023 09:46:38 AM

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

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

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 575
Date:

You didn't make her drink, pour it down her throat or otherwise. She most likely would have found a way to do it anyways. When someone with an addiction makes up their mind to drink or drug nothing is going to stop them.

Own your part which was participating in the activity, make amends as necessary and learn from this experience.
Have a plan for how to handle yourself next time that leaves you feeling good about your own decisions and behaviour.
That's the only thing you have control over.



-- Edited by serenity47 on Wednesday 12th of July 2023 12:53:01 AM

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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2736
Date:

Welcome NR. I'm married to an active untreated alcoholic for 31 years. The only thing that has saved me is alanon--regaining peace of mind, being able to be happy even though my spouse is not happy, and learning that the only person I can control on a good day, is me. I'm glad you found us and whether you return to the board, find a meeting, or both, I also highly recommend you give alanon a try. Everyone who participates in alanon can relate to everyone else in one or more ways. We get it!

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Lyne



Senior Member

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Posts: 143
Date:

(((NR))) Glad you found Alanon. The 3 Cs of Alanon are: you didnt cause it, you cant control it, and you cant cure it. There is so much wisdom in Alanon for those suffering because of someone elses drinking. Check out in person meetings. I found slogans here helpful as well as the dos and donts when I first found MIP. Keep coming back. You are worth it.

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Senior Member

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Posts: 222
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Sorry that you're feeling bad about driving your alcoholic loved one to a bar, but the good news is that you realize that wasn't a good choice FOR YOU - so, going forward, remember that, and be ready with an alternate choice - an alternate choice FOR YOU! As others have said, you can only make choices for you, not for anyone else. As others have said and as you'll learn for yourself, you did not make her drink - that choice was hers - and also as others have said, she likely would have gotten a drink without your help. I'd bet that if everyone who has ever looked at this message board chimed in, they'd all tell you that nothing they ever did made the alcoholic stop drinking - as in "powerless over alcohol" - I realized after many years (I'm a slow learner) that all of my enabling over the years did absolutely nothing towards my son deciding not to drink - I was good at convincing myself that my enabling was helping him get a fresh start or some other kind of nonsense, but all I was doing was easing MY pain by convincing myself that I was helping him - I was not helping him, I was helping myself believe something that wasn't true.  I think realizing that you could have done better is progress, for you - your alcoholic loved one will have to make her own progress.  This is very tough stuff - don't be too hard on yourself.



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Member

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Posts: 5
Date:

texas yankee wrote:

Sorry that you're feeling bad about driving your alcoholic loved one to a bar, but the good news is that you realize that wasn't a good choice FOR YOU - so, going forward, remember that, and be ready with an alternate choice - an alternate choice FOR YOU! As others have said, you can only make choices for you, not for anyone else. As others have said and as you'll learn for yourself, you did not make her drink - that choice was hers - and also as others have said, she likely would have gotten a drink without your help. I'd bet that if everyone who has ever looked at this message board chimed in, they'd all tell you that nothing they ever did made the alcoholic stop drinking - as in "powerless over alcohol" - I realized after many years (I'm a slow learner) that all of my enabling over the years did absolutely nothing towards my son deciding not to drink - I was good at convincing myself that my enabling was helping him get a fresh start or some other kind of nonsense, but all I was doing was easing MY pain by convincing myself that I was helping him - I was not helping him, I was helping myself believe something that wasn't true.  I think realizing that you could have done better is progress, for you - your alcoholic loved one will have to make her own progress.  This is very tough stuff - don't be too hard on yourself.


I wanted to come back to this board and thread because well it did happen again last weekend. She had already been on a binder for a few days before we got in contact. There are some major triggers that I know were causing this. Some easier for her to eliminate then others. But we wound up getting her to a hospital eventually and checked into a detox. I started finally going to Al Anon meetings and even from just a handful of meetings this week they have helped a lot. The Do's and Don't's really struck a chord with me.

I truly love her but the Don't keep checking in on your alcoholic was a big statement for me. I right now am really caring too much. I always have put someone else's needs before my own but in this scenario it's an extreme. I told her I was going to meetings and she said that is great. It will help me realize I can't just worry about her and not myself. So, she gets it and I love her that she is encouraging me.

I am going to keep going to meetings to understand the program more. I am also trying to find a therapist in my network to again help me deal with this situation as best I can for me.

You said something here that I actually had a revelation about this week. I was enabling her for myself really, not for her. I was more worried about angering her, or driving her away to further bad habits. When she was drinking and I was enabling I would tell her you can't be mean or abuse me as you have done in the past. And I thought so am I okay with this as long as she just doesn't treat me like shit while doing it? I think her taking this step this week and recognizing with the help of a social worker that she is an alcoholic and she cannot control her drinking so this is going to be a life long issue. She said to me I can never drink again because I can never control it. I will always go to the extreme ends.

It is also true she would have just gotten the drink on her own without me there. She already has done that so I need to realize that I CAN'T CONTROL THIS, I DIDN'T CAUSE IT, I CAN'T CURE IT...as long as I remember those statements it helps me look out for me first and foremost.

This is a long journey on the road of life and as long as she is showing me she really wants to work the program, as I have been showing her with my actions I am up for the challenges that we will face.

Thank you all for the kind words of encouragment and the non judgment that Al Anon brings. It really is helpful. It gets so tiring talking to close friends who just pass harsh judgements on her and myself. I know they are just looking out for me. But unconditional support and knowing I need to work this out for myself is a truly great feeling that I am learning.



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 916
Date:

NewRomantics, congratulations for getting into Al-Anon Face To Face Meetings and I commend you both

for getting the right help and to answer your question "And I thought so am I okay with this as long as she just doesn't treat me like shit while doing it?"

No it is not okay for her to treat you badly and abuse you in anyway. "Say what you mean but do not say it meanly" is an Al-Anon slogan to live by.

Keep coming back to let us know how you are both doing or if you need to talk.

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

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

 

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