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Old 03-13-2013, 06:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wonderul Relationship: Both chronic relapsers

I am in a wonderful relationship with my girlfriend. We grow together and support each other through thick and thin.

We have both been in and out of AA for a few years but have not managed to stay sober as yet.

Recently my girlfriend managed to put together 2 months but relapsed last month. She is not drinking every night but is struggling to get back on her feet. Me? I am doing better than before but still drink once a month or so.

I am worried that our shared recovery journey (and the over-relating that comes with it) is standing in the way of our respective chances at long-term sobriety. I am thinking that we should do separate meetings and leave our sobriety talk to sponsors or separate mentors. (We are not out in AA as a couple.) Yet I can't imagine us not sharing this journey together.

I feel that I would never have kept at this without my girlfriend. We might not be flying at this right now, but I have a feeling that neither one of us would have stuck at it without the other. We were both out drinking when we got together as a couple and eventually led each other back to AA.

Does anybody relate or have any suggestions?

Breaking up is just not on the cards. However, we do each need to make a fresh start at recovery.

I am actually at the point at which I realise that AA is probably not for me. (I seem to do better with SMART Recovery.) My girlfriend's heart is in AA though, and I totally support her in that.
Can we survive and walk different roads to the same destination? We are both emotionally mature and spiritually orientated and enjoy the process of growth. Whatever happens, we will continue to meditate together and support each other's goals of escaping from alcohol's grip.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi CD. I really do think that separate ways is the best option, though you're obviously very very close, recovery is a personal journey.

I'm thinking that you both need to do the work and get your needs met independently.

Have you heard of codependency? I'm bringing this up because you seem to be open to ideas (and not in denial) - it might be worth checking out. The wikipedia article seems a bit drastic so I won't link you up to that, but you could just google the term. And technically you're both "Friends and Family" of addicts, why don't you read some of the stuff posted right here in SR?

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

This is a good link:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)

Can you relate to any of this stuff?

Take care!
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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welcome back CD - good to see you

I think it's very hard for a couple to get and stay sober together - not impossible because I have seen it done - but very hard.

I think you have to make it your journey, not 'our 'journey - making it our journey means you're depending on someone, and someones addiction you have no control over....if they slip and fall over, chances are you'll follow - unless you have a good programme of your own going.

D
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks to both of you. Mattcake, I recognize that there is a degree of codependency involved and that this factor has the potential to bring each of us down. For a while there, we were sleeping at each other's houses every night to keep each other sober. It worked for a while, but once we returned to our own homes one or both of us would lapse.

Dee, thanks for your welcome back. Your point about making it my journey (rather than `our' journey) is something that I've been working on for a while. I have mixed feelings about this (grief and fear concerning girlfriend's welfare versus the freedom of finding my own path) but deep down I believe that this is the best option. Both of you have helped me to see that taking separate paths to recovery could well be the healthier option.

To be honest, I've been feeling the need to grow wings and create my own recovery path (outside of AA) for a while now. I accept that I have no control over my girlfriend's recovery. It is going to be hard though. I understand the idea of `detatching with love' but putting it into practice is another thing altogether. Mattcake, I'll check out those links to see if I can work with some of the ideas.

All the best xx
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have mixed feelings about this (grief and fear concerning girlfriend's welfare)
I think sometimes we can, and should, feel and be responsible for others welfare - small children, old people, pets - but I'm not sure this is one of those cases CD

D
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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CD, your fears are very understandable, but it seems to me that choosing different routes could potentially bring you closer and bring more integrity to your relationship. Plus, you'd have to go your separate ways eventually, for instance do you really think that you could do the inventory thingy part together? :p sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Keep us posted! xo
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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CD, your fears are very understandable, but it seems to me that choosing different routes could potentially bring you closer and bring more integrity to your relationship. Plus, you'd have to go your separate ways eventually, for instance do you really think that you could do the inventory thingy part together? :p sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Keep us posted! xo
Well, I must admit that I was starting to get irritated by the moral implications of the emphasis upon inventories. I like to reflect upon my behaviour and admit to personal mistakes, but sometimes life just throws curve balls. I'm far from perfect but am just a human being and don't believe that alcohol dependence is necessarily caused by the `defects' of someone suffering from a disease. I choose to focus on the positive and upon improving my reactions to stressful events/triggers. Sometimes when I hear my girlfriend beating herself up over her `alcoholic selfishness' I have to try very hard to bite my tongue. I understand that this works for some people, but this approach is not helpful for me. So yes - doing inventories together would be a disaster.
I love and support my girlfriend in her endeavours with AA - but I'm going to have to learn to step back to avoid getting vicarious whiplash.
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