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Old 04-19-2022, 05:41 PM
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Obladi,

I have been worried my friend and am so very sorry that it was not misplaced concern.

As sisters from a different mister, I often have a "feeling" when things are not good for you, and out of the blue I started have that dis-ease about a month ago.

My mother had terrifying hallucinations in the ICU, it was so hard on her.

About your trauma, I do wonder if you might want to wait to address the issues that have caused you do much distress and relapses in a controlled environment as was suggested.

About your girls, as we have talked about many times, the hardest thing for me to accept is the pain I caused my eldest, which is also one of the many reasons I do not drink. I cannot be the person I want to be and drink at all, ever, knowing what it has done to her in the past and the pain it would cause her - I no longer have that option as her mother.

There are a million other reasons as well, but if ever I were to be tempted, that is the bridge I will never ever cross.

I love you lady,

XXX

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Old 04-19-2022, 06:31 PM
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Hey Drops,

It's absolutely uncanny how the universe conspired to notify people I was in trouble. My best friend from childhood sent me a text on the Saturday morning after I was admitted to say, "Ok if I don't hear from you by today, I am going to officially worry." My sister said she started worrying on the very day I was admitted (Friday 4/1) because she'd sent me an email and I didn't respond - something I normally do "lickety split." My eldest sister texted me out of the clear blue sky that same Friday. And now, you. None of the aforementioned people are accustomed to regular communication with me even as often as every month. Even though I'd ticked off eldest the week prior with something I'd said, she appeared that Friday per our usual routine.

I feel blessed, I really do. It's nice to matter.

Yes, I absolutely will wait (again) to address those issues. And I still think doing so in some sort of protected residential/inpatient setting would be for the best. It's on my list of things to explore, just so I have an idea of what my options might be.

I'm glad that you've been able to give your daughter a sober mother and have not ever quit that decision, Drops. Clearly, I have a lot more learning than an ordinary bear. (Not calling you ordinary in any way!)

The doctor's appointment went just as well as expected. She even asked to hug me at the end, isn't that sweet? I thought so. She also wondered why I was in a hurry to get back to work this week and suggested that we hold off on that until Monday. I said, "sold!" Although I do feel that all of my mental faculties are back, taking it easy for another few days does sound restorative. So that's what we will suggest to Occupational Health, which is the next hurdle to clear.

Love you right back, dear.




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Old 04-19-2022, 07:39 PM
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I think you have healed, have learned, and have grown a great deal in your recovery.

We will always be in recovery.

This road is not easy. You are doing exceptionally well and moving forward. That is truly all that you can do. Fall forward not backwards. Do not be defeated. You are an example of someone who has not been defeated. There is a lot of strength and determination in you. I know that this time is very hard for you. Its understandable. Just know that you are safe here and you have an immense amount of support. You are doing this, O. I am very proud of you and how far you have come.
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Old 04-20-2022, 12:28 AM
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I'm so sorry you relapsed Obladi.

If I am understanding it correctly, it happened when therapy reopened old wounds?

The closet I have come to relapsing was in a very similar situation. I was forced to attend group therapy, it was torture. It triggered my ptsd and made all my past traumas raw and unmanageable. After the sessions all I could think of was to drink to alleviate the feelings. Luckily I didn't succumb but I did have to leave therapy and accept, for me, it is not healthy.

My past does bother me but it is better left there. Sharing it is just to painful and definitely not compulsory to recovery. What works for some doesn't work for others.

Wishing you the best.
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Old 04-20-2022, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
silentrun, I daresay I haven't "romanced" drinking for a good many years. But perhaps you understand that term in a different way than I do. You're right in the bigger way, though. The blinders are off in regard to many things about myself and the way I relate to (or run from) that same self.

I remember writing this on my whiteboard sometime in February or early March (before I was aware of any desire to drink): "It's ok. You're ok. shhhh" I now see that was clear warning that I was in the danger zone. It reminds me today that I can't just experience negative feelings and blithely move along without giving each and every one a full look-see. Perhaps if I'd spent the time and energy needed to really examine that apparent anxiety - rather than just noting it - perhaps I may have avoided this last event. Hard to know.

It is also easy to see that there was someone I didn't trust in the relationship with my therapist. It's pretty safe to guess that person was me. I hope to start sorting through that with his help this week, then we will figure out where to go from there.

Finally I also see how off-putting my communication style is for most people. I'm working on it...
I'm probably misremembering the thread. I don't find you off putting at all. There are some posters here that I find extremely insightful and intelligent. You are one of those.
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Old 04-20-2022, 07:52 AM
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Thanks, Mizz. I agree with what you say and really appreciate your support.

Kaily, I'm sorry that happened to you. All of it. I'm not sure how to 'resolve' that old stuff that still wants to haunt us, but maybe we can work on figuring it out together. Therapy didn't reopen the wounds; it 'only' cracked open the tightly sealed box containing those wounds. We didn't touch anything regarding childhood during the triggery session, but it was hovering right there over our heads. Because I'd given my permission, even requested, to discuss 'the trauma' now. In the aftermath, a friend suggested that I take a look at Alice Miller's writing. I've just started on her book, "For Your Own Good." I'm not even beyond the preface yet and have already made good use of my highlighter. The way she talks about the perpetuation of abuse makes a lot of sense to me - at least so far. Have you read it?

Thanks, silentrun. You are probably just as INFP as I am.
I just learned that giving the backstory before delivering my conclusion is pretty obnoxious for most. People have tried to tell me about this in any number of ways, but I never took it in. (In part because people don't say what they mean - you know? They hide messages in accusations. "You think too much," "You are using intellectualization as avoidance," "You think you're better than everyone else." "You always have an excuse.") I was really vested in the idea that if "you" understood where I was coming from, you would understand how I got to where I am. Now I know that it's probably better for (most) people if I state the conclusion first, then back up to clarify if the listener requests more information. Feels less efficient to me, but ok, I can do that. Or at least try to remember to do that.

Meeting with Daniel Tiger today via videoconference. I will remain in my pj's for the day (and perhaps beyond) as a cue to myself to stay right here in my safe booze-free environment afterward. Though I don't feel the slightest risk of drinking, we all know that my conscious mind isn't necessarily a defense. Most of the time it is, but I'm not betting on rationality today. My subconscious doesn't seem to give a flying fig about 'rational.'
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Old 04-20-2022, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaily View Post
I'm so sorry you relapsed Obladi.

If I am understanding it correctly, it happened when therapy reopened old wounds?

The closet I have come to relapsing was in a very similar situation. I was forced to attend group therapy, it was torture. It triggered my ptsd and made all my past traumas raw and unmanageable. After the sessions all I could think of was to drink to alleviate the feelings. Luckily I didn't succumb but I did have to leave therapy and accept, for me, it is not healthy.

My past does bother me but it is better left there. Sharing it is just to painful and definitely not compulsory to recovery. What works for some doesn't work for others.

Wishing you the best.
Wow do I get this. Thanks for sharing that, Kaily. One reason I relapsed after more than 3 years sober was that I had been attending AA meetings and kept thinking I needed a spiritual solution of some sort to calm the never ending voice of my ego - always complaining and criticizing.. well I was living in a developing country at the time, no wonder. But I decided to dig into the step work and counseling, and over the course of several months it brought up so much emotional baggage from my traumatic and chaotic childhood and early adulthood, not to mention my long and complicated life (as an ACOA), with all those broken relationships and feelings of guilt and remorse - that I eventually sought relief and caved.

I do think sometimes its best to just make peace with the past and move on in the present because thereís just no way to fix those things now. We have to accept that they're just part of our past, but they don't need to define us now.
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Old 04-20-2022, 08:49 PM
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I'm glad you made it back alive Obladi. You may well be correct about that old childhood stuff being part of your relapse. Often old trauma elicits fear.... and with it, the seeming need for liquid courage.

It was so nice to see you make reference to being an INFP. Its clear you are making the effort to understand yourself. That is very admirable. The words on the
Temple of Apollo at Delphi say it best. "Know thyself". It may be a difficult road but I have confidence you can find your way. Most important right now (IMO) is to understand, as best you can, exactly why you took that first drink. A mistake without a lesson learned is a tragic thing. Understanding that mistake may even make it meaningful.

One thing you might want to consider is asking your daughters how you can make it up to them. Sincerely make every reasonable effort to let them define the terms for you to make things right. I found this very helpful in my own recovery.


This INFJ wishes you all the best.

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Old 04-21-2022, 03:26 AM
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Iím glad you are back Obladi.

It is indeed tricky when life throws curve balls at us, but the fact is regardless of how many days we have behind us, we are always one day away from drinking, so your ďI never drink nowĒ (which I love) has to always be at the forefront, regardless of what else life is throwing at us.

It sounds like you are already thinking of what went wrong and what needs to change, so well done for that. I hope things improve with your daughters soon, I think in these situations the best we can do is recognise our mistake, apologise and tell them we re ready to talk when they are, time does the rest.

Lastly, thanks for being so honest about this, by no means Iím saying Iím glad this happened to you, but it will help me and others stay vigilant as we build more sober time.

Glad to have you back here.
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Old 04-21-2022, 05:41 AM
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advbike, I found a good part of my solution by coming to a deep understanding that I am part of the whole. That's spirituality to me - the feeling of belonging/mattering in the universe even if I don't 'fit.' And believe you me, I don't fit into most places. For instance, you will often find me in the 'exception' places within the AA framework. I don't fit many of the descriptions of the alcoholic you can find there - no small surprise since I'm not a white guy in the 1930s. Nevertheless, I took enormous comfort in knowing that, according to their own rules, I belonged in AA since the only qualification for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I get you on doing therapy and AA at the same time. There was a time when that was a major challenge for me because they felt conflicting. Plus also a whole lot of people in AA seem to think 'sponsoring' means being a life coach... I could go on, but will take this opportunity to practice restraint.

awuh1, speaking of which, I am a big fan of the inscription "To Thine Own Self be True" on the AA chips. Once I started developing a backbone, that sentiment (plus the 3rd Tradition - qualifying for membership because I want to stop/stay stopped) really helped me to pay attention to my truth rather than how others might define me. I agree it's critical to understand why I relapsed, so started doing that in the hospital the day after I came out of dementia. Once home, I was able to fact-check myself on the sequence of events and found that - in essence - I was pretty much on target. When I met with Daniel Tiger (the therapist) yesterday, he cosigned my conclusion that it was a combination of going to his office in person plus an intent to start looking at 'the trauma.' Awuh, are you saying that you asked your children how you could 'make it up to them?' I can't imagine how it would be possible for me to make up for all of the things I put my girls through over the last decade.

MrPL, I called eldest and middlest from the hospital. I expressed my sincere and deep remorse for the pain and fear I'd caused them. I said that I truly never understood (in my heart of hearts) how much I was hurting them by what I was doing to myself. Eldest blew up over the phone but froze me out for 'only' a week at the most. Middlest accepted my apology graciously (without excusing me, which I didn't want her to do) but has not spoken with me since she learned I was coming home. She has very firm boundaries. I'll need to wait. Youngest is a whole different story - we haven't had a real conversation for over a year. I'm reading this book by Alice Miller, "For Your Own Good," and it's revelatory. She describes a parent-child dynamic that I experienced in both roles; the submissive obedient child and the shaming, domineering mother. I see now that youngest bore the heaviest load of pain I unwittingly passed along from how my mother raised me. I believe the key to healing our relationship begins with this more clear understanding. But I also think I need to get patched up a bit before approaching any of that with her. I'm glad you're here too, MrPL.
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Old 04-21-2022, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post

Thanks, silentrun. You are probably just as INFP as I am.
I just learned that giving the backstory before delivering my conclusion is pretty obnoxious for most. People have tried to tell me about this in any number of ways, but I never took it in. (In part because people don't say what they mean - you know? They hide messages in accusations. "You think too much," "You are using intellectualization as avoidance," "You think you're better than everyone else." "You always have an excuse.") I was really vested in the idea that if "you" understood where I was coming from, you would understand how I got to where I am. Now I know that it's probably better for (most) people if I state the conclusion first, then back up to clarify if the listener requests more information. Feels less efficient to me, but ok, I can do that. Or at least try to remember to do that.
I think you are perfectly you, and the way you express yourself is unique to you. Other peoples criticism or opinions of you or I are just that, opinions. It is none of my business what people think of me and so I don't ask. I think the above statements from others does not honor who you are as a person, and these sorts of statements are not conducive to a healthy self esteem. I hope you continue to be you...

"The cherry tree blossoms as a cherry tree, living to fulfill its own unique role. The same is true of the plum, peach, and damson trees. Each of us should do likewise. We each have a unique personality. We have a distinct nature and character, and our lives are each noble and respectworthy. Thatís why we should always live with a solid self-identity, in a way that is true to ourselves" - Daisaku Ikeda

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Old 04-21-2022, 09:55 AM
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Love that Mizz, I did not know it.

O, I am going to order "For Your Own Good."

Re the girls, the hardest part for me is that I can see my eldest is trying but after almost ten years, she still does not fully trust me and I have to accept that because I earned it. And she is a pretty trusting person generally (ouch).

But it does get better every time I see her, and she gets better. Sometimes her getting better means drawing even stronger boundries with me, which is part of the process.

But even when it is hard on me, I am so grateful that she survived and is thriving even after the pain her Dad and I put her through. But the hardest part is I know in my heart there is a little part of her that will never heal and I have to own that. When I think of her when she was a baby, so open and welcoming to life, to the world, it makes me a little sad. She still has a lot of that, but a little bit is missing. But my job is to do what I can to make the missing part the smallest possible, even when it needs to hurt me to help her or just to watch her get her there.

XXX
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Old 04-21-2022, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
Awuh, are you saying that you asked your children how you could 'make it up to them?' I can't imagine how it would be possible for me to make up for all of the things I put my girls through over the last decade.
AH, that's part of the beauty of it Obladi. You don't need to imagine how to make it up to them. That's their job. They are the ones who are perfectly suited to find an answer to the harm you have brought each of them. Asking them how you can best right the wrongs shows a willingness to address the problem in a way they, each, individually find most suitable. It shows them respect. It shows a deep willingness to make things right.

Often the sincere offer itself goes a great distance in repairing the damage.

I used this process in making my amends. I was often surprised by the responses. I was somewhat uncomfortable with a few of the requests, but nobody asked me to do anything inherently wrong, so the burden was on me..... as it should have been.

We cannot change the past. But being truly willing to consider a solution from the person injured gives them a gift. Words are so often not enough.

Give them a gift, as frightening as it may first seem to do so.
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Old 04-21-2022, 06:17 PM
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Oh, Iím not afraid to make the offer, awuh. I just think it may offend them. Anticipated response, ďMake it up to me?!? How do you think you could possibly ever make it up to me?Ē

Did you follow this process with your grown children?
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Old 04-21-2022, 07:17 PM
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I did not need to do it with grown children, but I did need to do it with some for whom I was an "authority figure". These were some of the most beneficial exchanges of all. Not as much for me but for them. None of them were offended. To the contrary. The offer itself was even more greatly appreciated, I think at least in part because they knew it was difficult for me to make.

I found it best to tell people that I did not think a simple apology was sufficient to help repair the damage, but that I wanted to DO something to help repair the damage I had done. I was surprised how often I was told that the apology itself was sufficient. Often the requests were largely symbolic.

Perhaps try out this process with someone outside the family to see how it goes. The most essential part of the process is to communicate your sincerity when making the offer. If you do, the world will indeed be a better place.
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Old 04-22-2022, 06:23 AM
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awuh, I agree this is a sound approach for people outside the family, particularly those for whom I may have caused some sort of material/financial damage. In my view, the relationship of mother-to-child is vastly different from that of an authority figure. Once we get beyond the first stages of healing, I can see calmly saying, "I would give anything to be able to repair the damage I've done," then ask if there is anything. In the meantime, I think the best thing to do is to continue to be here, available, not drinking, working on developing better understanding and insight.

I've been cleared to return to work Monday. The only outstanding bit is that my doctor put a start date of 4/1 on my Family & Medical Leave paperwork. My first day out was 3/28, so I think that was an oversight and have requested that be changed. And of course, I will need to have the return-to-duty discussion with my manager. A week ago, I was dreading this. That's been tamped down to mere queasiness now.

Attended an AA meeting via Zoom today and soon remembered why I'm not particularly fond of that one. No matter. There's one at noon that I do tend to appreciate, so maybe I'll put in an appearance there.

Feels like another rest day to me, though I do feel the first stirrings of restlessness in the offing. This is good - it will spur me to actually get outside and do something soon. In the meantime, I can write, read, think and perhaps even vacuum (!). Yesterday was laundry day. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for actually changing the bed linens and showering.
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Old 04-22-2022, 08:58 PM
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I used this process in making my amends”. yes , and not to put words in your mouth or assume i know how you got there, but i imagine you got to the amend-making after another process. for myself, it wasn’t something i could have done without taking prior steps that gave me clarity and understanding.
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Old 04-22-2022, 09:05 PM
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good to see you after coming out of this nightmare, O.
and to say that my experience of mother-child was very much one of experiencing my mom as an authority figure. my dad, even more.
and they made sure it was so.
and no doubt my kids experienced me that way, also. not solely as authority figure, but yes.
anyone who does any kind of ‘guiding’ has some implied authority, i think. i don’t see it as in and of itself a negative .
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Old 04-23-2022, 07:55 AM
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silentrun, upon waking this morning, I remembered writing here about a long Saturday spent on my couch, contemplating a trip to the liquor store. That event preceded my drinking by some time, but your mention of "romancing" brought it back to mind. (Yes, I'm a slow thinker sometimes - particularly in regard to my own feelings and reactions.) I'm not sure I'd call it 'romancing,' but it most certainly was a tug o' war. I would be remiss if I didn't mention it and thank you for bringing it to my attention.

fini, I agree that there is a necessary element of 'authority' in parenting - and that's not inherently negative. I was probably sloppy with my language earlier. What I meant was that the relationship between me and each of my daughters is very different to that of 'subordinates' (don't like that word, but I'm using it for clarity) in non-familial relationships. Because I was simultaneously the primary nurturer, provider and an increasingly alcohol-sodden mother, they got stuck in a uniquely rotten dynamic. What must it be like to love your mother and hate her at the same time, as they must have? To be reliant on a person who is sporadically and unpredictably unreliable? To be compassionate people (as they all are) but to live in a household with a sick person beyond your control? I think I have a sense of this through my own experience with my parents, becoming clearer as I read the Alice Miller book. I suppose its within the realm of possibility that I could have had similar impact on people who are not my children, but I don't believe I did. I don't think there is anyone in the world who loves me as intensely as they do. The level of remorse I have about what I've put them through doesn't compare to that in regard to anyone else - because I think I hurt them the most deeply. "How can I make it up to you?" That sounds ridiculous, like father pulling out his coin purse while asking the question. It feels deeply insulting to me - until/unless I put it in the framework I described above.
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Old 04-23-2022, 08:55 AM
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Thank you for that post. It brought to mind how do I make it up to my children that I did use money or a gift of some kind while I was distant as a substitute as in my absence I could recognise my failings but not rise above them. I canít seem to be able to resolve that today in any way except hoping and trusting that in time my continued presence will do.
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