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|04-19-2011, 11:10 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Washington, DC
My Recovery and Why I'm Here
I've been hanging out here for a couple of months now. I mostly lurk, although I've been posting more lately. I really not sure if I ever posted an intro.
Here's my bio - I'm an ACA, in my late 40's, married to another ACA, and I have two elementary aged children. I have an unusual first name, so I like to post as "db".
I always knew I was affected by my father's alcoholism, but I never realized how much until I almost had a nervous breakdown when I was in my mid-thirties. As an adult, I tried so many different things to distract myself or to make myself feel "good enough". To name a few, I dated men that I needed to save, threw myself into work, and spent years in graduate school. It basically all fell apart when I was in my 30's. This emotional breakdown got me into therapy. It helped. I got married, had two children, bought a house, starting volunteering, ... life felt pretty good.
I notice though that I still wasn't completely present in my own life. I easily got pulled into drama, I would get depressed often, cared WAY too much about what other people thought of me, and more importantly I started to see it affecting my children. I noticed that my young daughter was apologizing for things that were not her fault. I found both my children asking "Mama, are you okay?" I threw myself into so much volunteer work that I started to get physically ill. Three years ago I started my recovery work and it has helped a great deal.
I'm still not "cured" yet though. Life has gotten better, but I'm still triggered over random things and people. Although I'm not an addict, I have a tendency to use food to stuff down emotions and I'm at least 30 lbs. overweight. I still have problems following through with projects. I beat myself up for all the areas in my life that I view as failures. These failures vary based on my mood. Today I'm feeling badly about my weight, my inability to keep a clean/organized house, I question whether I'm a good enough mother, and I'm worried about my performance at my new job. I have anxiety problems and will often take a small amount of Xanax to help me sleep. Although I don't think I have a drinking problem, I look forward to having my one glass of wine during dinner because it helps calm me down.
I attended meetings when I first started recovery, but out of the three different meeting locations that I attended none was a good fit. Two were ACA meetings and one was an Al-Anon/Adult Child meeting. The ACA meetings were extremely small and I didn't notice a lot of recovery. Members weren't working on steps and there was a lot of crosstalk. The Al-Anon/Adult Child meeting was better and I attended a number of their meetings. It's not at a convenient time for me though. Actually, when you're a mother of two relatively young children there never seems to be a good time.
Most of my recovery happened while participating in an on-line recovery group. Unfortunately, that message board was taken down. So now I find myself still needing support but not sure where to go.
I've worked on Steps 1-3 on my own, with lots of input from my old forum. I never formally did a Step 4 because I never got a sponsor.
Even though I have seen the positive changes recovery has made in my life, the shutting down of my old forum trigger my abandonment fears and I find myself being wary about becoming active in another community (face-to-face or on-line).
So here I am, stuck in this partially recovered state.
To add to my dilemma, I just recently went back to work after staying at home with my children for 10 years. I'm having a hard time keeping the house going while also taking care of personal things. It seems hard to make time for a meeting.
I have a feeling that the life that I want is just over the horizon. I'm on a mountain and I've covered a lot of ground. I just need to keep going. Yet, I've set up a semi-permanent camp just miles away from where I could be.
I'm heading to see my therapist this afternoon. Even with therapy, I'm sort of right on the cusp of not even needing her anymore but something is holding me back.
If you have read this far, thank you!
Not sure if anyone else can relate.
Would love to hear other ACA recovery stories ...
Where are you on your journey?
Thank you for letting me share.
|04-19-2011, 11:48 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: falls church, va
Blog Entries: 3
I can relate on so many levels. I am a stay at home mom, currently in my early 30s and currently having a pretty good breakdown...I must say, it seems to be one thing I am good at right now, considering all that has been going on with my parents. I have anxiety issues, although I don't use xanax to sleep....I have been on effexor before. I don't have the time to really get back to you because I run a preschool out of my home and I have three napping children that need to wake up.
I will be responding later but your post hit so close to home with my feelings, thoughts, etc etc, I had to post something.
|04-20-2011, 04:56 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: new state
Hi, db. Oh, yes, I can relate! I've been a mostly-lurker too. I'm 51 and my two children are now 19 and 23. I experienced the same thing with my kids when they were younger. They said those things too. And I felt like I fell short all the time. I was very hard on myself. Maybe the worst sentence I said to myself was, "I should be ___." I still say it, but less often.
I was a stay at home mom during my marriage (when I was 24-38). I did go to grad school during that time, did some quirky stuff that might have been considered work, but not 8-9 hours a day work with colleagues, routine, the whole ball of wax. When my kids' dad and I got divorced, I went back to work and I was so nervous and very overwhelmed. I hired some help- didn't have a spouse- and I remember one day coming home from work and she had made dinner. I teared up I was so grateful! Someone made dinner! (It still kinda gives me a tingle. Okay, sorry.. haha) Anyway, yes, that transition is very hard.
Also, for me, my 30's and early 40's were psychologically tough. I'm not sure why- there were so many factors. I did go to a wonderful therapist, though, for over three years. There were times I thought I was done with therapy or wondered why I was still going, but I just kept going until I felt it was right. So, trust yourself on that. You'll know. And you can always go back if you want to. My therapist gave me a mantra: "It's good to be happy and to want what I want." Pretty radical, huh? haha
Where am I on my recovery? I don't know. Still at it! I went to AlAnon for a long time where I used to live. Then I started going to ACOA meetings, but haven't been as diligent. My youngest DD got into big drug/drinking problems several years ago and I had to go to a series of therapeutic seminars while she was at a therapeutic boarding school. (aka plea-bargained pseudo-jail for teenage girls) Those were intense, submersion sessions where we, the parents, had to examine ourselves and were confronted on our codependency. They were all about detachment. I think I've come a long way on detachment because of those seminars.
The thing that has helped me the most I think is meditation and yoga. After having done yoga for, yeesh, maybe 7-8 years now?, I have a pavlovian response to opening my mat at yoga class. It's as though all troubles exist off the mat- no, it's as though there is only me and it is peaceful and simple on that mat. Even my gastroenterologist prescribed yoga for me because I would get so wound up and had serious acid reflux. When I don't practice regularly enough, I get anxious and distracted. Meditation helps a lot then, but yoga is best for me and my tummy.
My life is simpler now, certainly simpler than when I had elementary school kids and a new job. Try to be extremely kind to yourself- maybe one of the toughest things for us ACA's. Having kids, husband, home and job is NOT easy. Anyone who is actually doing all that and says it's a breeze is lying! :-) Be very nice to yourself.
|04-21-2011, 07:30 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2011
I am very new at this. I was raised by an alcoholic step father and have another alcoholic stepfather in my life right now. Ironically I didn't realize how much it had affected me until I fell in love with an alcoholic (in recovery now) and going through his problem and detox, etc. really freaked me out and brought many things to light for me. I have been to two al-anon meetings and am going to try a Adult Children meeting next week. I have trust issues (trusting someones feelings for me, letting them in, etc.), wanting to control everything, etc. I was single for 10 years after my divorce raising our four daughters on my own. As painful as this has been the last few weeks, I think my boyfriend being an alcoholic might be the best thing that ever happened to me. I am working now on very simply letting go and letting god and taking it one day at a time. I am going to continue with Al-Anon and read these forums as I really think it helps. I want to be happy, and free to be myself without always worrying about everything. Thanks for letting me share.
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