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Old 01-07-2020, 08:48 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Ugh. Now my school is having an early closing due to snow. The old me wouldíve LOVED that. An excuse to cuddle at home with wine and feel sad about the fight. A chance to numb. So tempting.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Sohard View Post
The old me would’ve LOVED that. An excuse to cuddle at home with wine and feel sad about the fight. A chance to numb. So tempting.
Who wrote 'so tempting'? The old you, or the new you, Sohard?

Can you imagine letting the old you (seeking numbness from a powerful neurotoxin) win, by you listening to it? Can you imagine if you did so, how the new you would feel in the morning?
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:39 AM
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This is a great example of how to use a thread on SR to talk yourself through a craving and use the support available.

SoHard - I found it extremely important to set boundaries in my life, and not just in regards to my sobriety. There will always be people and situations that annoy, frustrate, confuse or anger us. And of course as addicts our default reaction was to drink...but what we really wanted to do was escape or avoid the situation. So that's why just "not drinking" does not solve any of those issues - we need to set the boundaries for what we can and will be responsible for dealing with.

With families especially that can be very hard. Accepting that we cannot control other people's actions or thoughts is necessary I think, but that does not mean that you have to accept that your situation is doomed/broken because of someone else. Even the snow day example is a good one - sure it would have been a good opportunity to drink for your addiction, remember you don't drink anymore. You set that boundary and what your addiction says now is not relevant - it can kick and scream all it wants but it won't do any good. Same with family members...sometimes you just have to walk away ( literally or virtually ) and let them stew in their own juices.
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:46 AM
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On the sister/dog front, it's sad if she's being controlled by her husband, into refusing, for no good reason, to let your dog accompany you at their home. However, if your sister isn't in a controlling relationship, the onus is on her.

I have two dogs and over the years, I've entirely understood if they can't stay overnight with me, because of incompatible pets, children, whatever. But you say your dog has met their dogs, which is why you've felt aggrieved.

Resentments can trigger my alcohol seeking wired neuro-circuits in my brain. Nowadays, if I'm not happy with someone's actions, I say so, I've become more assertive. To thine own self be true, is my new motto; within reason and there are exceptions. And your sister's situation and your dog not being welcome, may be one of them. If not, there's nothing wrong with explaining yourself and standing your ground.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:27 AM
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Sohard ~

Scott saved me a bunch a Bandwidth by more-eloquently saying what I would have said. Boundaries.

I'm not big on Hand-wringing, so the obvious to me here is:

1. This Rescued Pooch is pivotal to your Sobriety. First things first, insofar as maintaining your Serenity. Keep that your priority. Full stop.

2. Separation Anxiety in plenty of Pets - and especially in rescued ones - is real. Avoid that to achieve Priority #1 above.

3. Consider splitting the difference, as it sounds you're going to. Visit sometimes. Skip that visit stress other times. I don't argue my decisions once made. Period. Avoid toxic People. Including Relatives.

4. For me, simply coming to a mental compromise, or strategy, as in #3 above really lowers the stress. That is, situations don't have to be renegotiated all over again in my Head. I've decided in advance how to proceed. This is a real Serenity-enhancer.

I plan everything from our RV Trailer Excursions, to where I park [or not] in the Summertime, around our beloved Goldie. We're all he knows from Puphood [see below]. I hear all kinda stories from Pals at the Dog Park, and Rescued Pets have special needs. Make it clear to - um - difficult Relatives that you're gonna carry through faithfully with Parental duties you signed on for. Whether People like them 'get it' or not doesn't affect my Sobriety one iota. To the contrary, if I knuckle under to unreasonable People and their manufactured situations, I feel like a real sh!theel. This, then, up-ends my Serenity. So, I simply don't do that anymore. The knock-on Serenity that flows from standing my ground is really quite amazing!


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Old 01-07-2020, 01:37 PM
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Sodear,

Not sure if you kept up with my Tony angst in OLand? Seems similar to what you're dealing with here, if you don't mind me being so presumptuous. No, I didn't go to "I wanna drink!" Thank God.

But. I've realized that this is just the sort of thing that I've let go only to have it continue to simmer under the surface without my knowledge. Then added another thing. And another. Without realizing that all of this poison was accumulating into a nasty brew. Until something would come along and make me blow. The folks in the "village" helped me figure out what was really getting my goat about Kvetchy Tony (my equivalent, perhaps to your brother-in-law) was really something about me. Point being, there's something else going on here. (In my esteemed opinion, which of course you are free to take or leave.) This situation is bothering you so much it is literally making you want to escape. That's a pretty big deal, eh? It would be for me. Was for me.

Want to talk about it some more? Like, why does compromising tick you off so much?

Come... lay on the couch and tell Auntie O all about it.

Or ignore me, lol.
I just wanna help but I surely don't want to get all up in your business if you think I'm being too intrusive.

xo
O
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:37 PM
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:39 PM
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:39 PM
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SH,

No wonder you love that little guy so much -- what a beautiful dog.

I have had something similar lately relating to irritability and anger as O decribes about Tony in a way (in my way of thinking anyway).

I dont even know I am angry until something sets me over the edge and I blow up.

I had the same thing after my heart surgery and now I just think that I am so angry under the surface about my friend's death but I dont show it and then kaboom.

I truly do not feel angy and then watch out.

I know it will go away, but in the meantime, not fun and I feel guilty as this is not my MO.

XX
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:43 PM
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Thanks everybody. I appreciate your advice/support/thoughts. I just have to accept the unacceptable brother-in-law and his interference in my life and yet not let it get to me. Itís shameful, though. Iíll visit less, but it is what it is. Iím just sad my sister would let this loser within 5 ft of our family, but deep breaths. I canít drink over it. Iím not asking to visit daily. But, when I do, it sure would be nice if I could bring my dog. But if heís going to say no just to be a jerk (and he is that person) and my sister is going to go along with it, nothing I can do. Thank you.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:52 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
This situation is bothering you so much it is literally making you want to escape. That's a pretty big deal, eh? It would be for me. Was for me.

Want to talk about it some more? Like, why does compromising tick you off so much?

O
good point about the wanting to escape. Itís bc he makes me sick. Heís FINALLY found a way to try to distance my sister and I, using the dog for this purpose, and itís gross. The problem is I would compromise (dog only in basement, just some short trips to visit, etc.). But my brother in law wonít. Bc itís not about the dog. I donít care about him at all, though. Iím just frustrated and SAD that my sister is under his thumb and in such denial about it. And always has been. But I canít drink over it obviously. Anyway.

Iíll read up on Tony situation now.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MesaMan View Post
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Sohard ~

Scott saved me a bunch a Bandwidth by more-eloquently saying what I would have said. Boundaries.

I'm not big on Hand-wringing, so the obvious to me here is:

1. This Rescued Pooch is pivotal to your Sobriety. First things first, insofar as maintaining your Serenity. Keep that your priority. Full stop.

2. Separation Anxiety in plenty of Pets - and especially in rescued ones - is real. Avoid that to achieve Priority #1 above.

3. Consider splitting the difference, as it sounds you're going to. Visit sometimes. Skip that visit stress other times. I don't argue my decisions once made. Period. Avoid toxic People. Including Relatives.

4. For me, simply coming to a mental compromise, or strategy, as in #3 above really lowers the stress. That is, situations don't have to be renegotiated all over again in my Head. I've decided in advance how to proceed. This is a real Serenity-enhancer.

I plan everything from our RV Trailer Excursions, to where I park [or not] in the Summertime, around our beloved Goldie. We're all he knows from Puphood [see below]. I hear all kinda stories from Pals at the Dog Park, and Rescued Pets have special needs. Make it clear to - um - difficult Relatives that you're gonna carry through faithfully with Parental duties you signed on for. Whether People like them 'get it' or not doesn't affect my Sobriety one iota. To the contrary, if I knuckle under to unreasonable People and their manufactured situations, I feel like a real sh!theel. This, then, up-ends my Serenity. So, I simply don't do that anymore. The knock-on Serenity that flows from standing my ground is really quite amazing!


thank you for this. All really good points.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:26 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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How you doin, Sohard?
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:42 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Sohard,
So sorry to hear about your dog! He’s such a cutie and really does not deserve being the bargaining chip here. And you are doing great coming here to work through the challenge instead of reaching for the bottle.
Your BIL is a jerk, plain and simple. Remember that he probably would love nothing more than to upset you and undermine your relationship with your sister. He is not worth drinking at, but you know that anyway.
Nothing left to do but to accept accept the situation for now and celebrate your newly acquired coping skills. It may not seem this way to you, but you have won an important battle.
Whatever nasty stuff your BIL comes up with in the future, don’t give him the satisfaction of sending you back to alcohol just because he is an evil person. That is his problem, not yours. You are done and that is it. The best revenge is to live well, as they say. Take good care, all my support to you!
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:20 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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SH,

I have a similar issue with my SIL. It is not about pets, but she does everything possible to distance my sister from me, and it has worked. But its worse than that. My sister becomes a totally different person when she is around. Withdrawn, uncommunicative, unable to take decisions. So hard to watch.

And the problem is, she really has won in a way becuase family is important to me and I do not feel that close to my sister, and I don't really like her that much when the GF is around.

I hate to even type that because she is all I have left as my parents are gone, my youngest sister was killed 25 years ago, and I have a very difficult relationship with my remaining sibling.

But, this is really in the cant control department. Anything I do, gives the GF more power and makes my sister a better target for her. Plus my sister does not respond to my attempts anyway.

So I am trying to let it go for now and be there if the Sh$t ever hits the fan as it usually does with narcassist sociopaths.

But, I HATE to let her win, because that means my sister losing, but there is nothing else I can do - we are all grown women and can make our choices.

As you say, they really do make a kind of spell these people and put others under their thumb. I know as my Ex did it to me and when I see him now I cannot fathom how that happened -- not at all. But at the time, no one could tell me otherwise.

So I feel your pain, but not sure there is anything you can do to save your sister from herself and in my case even trying made it worse because she became more interesting to my SIL.

So, that is a lot to pull out of your posts, and it may be totally different in your case, but I am here if you want to "talk."

Love your pup.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:39 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Wow, Dropsie.

That's a whole lot of patient and painful endurance right there. I'm really moved by the power of it, the power of deciding to deliberately hold your position because your love is stronger.

The other really powerful thought it brought to mind for me is "this must be exactly what it's like for a 'recovered' alcoholic to watch a person in active addiction." It's like... you know where the door is, but everyone has their own secret code to the lock that only they can figure out. Hard to watch, I'm sure. (Understate much, O?)

O
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:01 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Nez said:
"I was expecting people to be what I wanted them to be, which is sheer folly because they can only be what they are."

Yep. Once I figured this out, and let people be who they are, I was able to start taking better care of myself. What I mean by that is: I stopped expending time and energy on trying to manipulate people and situations to suit me. I stopped fooling myself into thinking I could have meaningful relationships with certain people - They aren't changing, and they don't fit into my new life. It's a tough pill to swallow at first. Especially with family.

Sohard - it sounds like your sister is really struggling with her husband. If I were in your shoes, I'd let her know gently that she could talk to me about anything - explain that you have a feeling if it were completely her decision your dog wouldn't be an issue. Don't push it, just give her an opening if she wants to talk. I understand how frustrating it is for you to not be able to have your dog with you when you visit. I guess I'd compromise by staying home sometimes, and figuring out a hotel for yourself or a boarding situation for the dog when you do go. I don't think it's worth it to completely ruin your relationship with your sister and mom, because of your brother in-law's control issues.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:10 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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PS to add - My family thought I was hell on wheels for a few years while I was married to a narcissist control freak. I was not a nice person to them. He had me convinced my family was dysfunctional and that he was going to "fix" me. I was young, had very little sense of myself, and easily manipulated. Perhaps that's a little bit like what is going on with your sister. Don't know. It's a thought.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:36 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Since you’ve expressed some affection for Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) it may be useful to point out that the AV loves future predicaments that in the past would be a Pavlov dog bell to trek on over to the liquor store. And you’ve clearly expressed “your” desire to drink for the joy of it, not just because of the predicament you have. That sort of honesty is refreshing here.

I found that once I was able to catch the AV and dissociate from that quest for pleasure ALL the time, EVERY time, I was able to solve problems better, faster, and more successfully, than when my unrecognized AV got me to stew in my own juices for lack of that habituated, wonderful assault of chemically enhanced stupidity.

In your situation, I would simply find the closest good kennel to my sister’s place for my pet, and while visiting go get it several times a day, and take it walking - even over to the sidewalk in front of my sister’s house. I would do it with expression of calm and even joy; and I would enjoy exploring around her neighborhood more than I would otherwise.

If I were to run into any neighbors and start visiting with them, I’m not sure what I would tell them about the pet situation, but it would certainly give me some options and put me in control.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:27 PM
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Hi Sohard

Well done venting and ranting. Seems to me a really healthy response to an infuriating situation - whatever happens in the battle with your BIL, you are winning your war with alcohol -which will enable you to fully care for your fab dog

ND
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