He's going out tonight and I will be strong

Old 12-17-2009, 11:56 AM
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He's going out tonight and I will be strong

Hi everyone,

My h is going out tonight, pretty much for the first time in almost a year. We moved to a new city just as he sobered up, so he took advantage of the 'geographic' cure to its fullest and didn't have to worry about too much temptation. He's gone to lunch with colleagues at pubs and a handful of family gatherings and one wedding, and he's done ok, but mostly we had our daughter with us too (2 yrs) and were together so that may have made things easier. He's avoided any invites to bars all together, good for him if he feels unsure, but as a social person, he told me he's also felt isolated. He doesn't yet know how to socialize without booze, and one day will come where he'll have to dip his toe into the water.

Well that day may be today. He received a holiday dinner/hockey watching invite from his volleyball teammates. They are going to a casual sports pub/restaurant.

This will be his first time socializing during an evening thing where booze is served, with friends. He no longer goes to AA and we still have many issues, but he's thrown himself into work and sports and quit smoking too, and it feels like the drinking days are a million years away. It doesn't matter anyhow. I'm meditating to my HP and will let his HP take care of him. I don't know what's going to happen but I will have to be strong enough to deal with whatever does. But I admit that I do feel a bit anxious about it all, especially leading into Christmas and family coming to stay with us - if something goes badly I worry about how it will affect my mood on the holidays (even though I have my recovery tools - it will be hard if faced with something negative)

Vibes of support appreciated.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:23 PM
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I would be on pins and needles as well, but it sounds like you are taking care of yourself first and preparing for two possible scenarios, one good, one potentially bad. Building up that trust factor again takes time and it has been building up based on your h's progress. This is a difficult time of the year and the places where he is going tonight sure doesn't promote sobriety with temptation lurking about, but it is out of your control the decision he chooses on his night out.

My thoughts and vibes are with both of you...
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:55 PM
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I'm meditating to my HP and will let his HP take care of him.

Brilliant!!!! That's all we got sometimes.

Good, sober, happy, content, warm holiday vibes to you and yours.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:19 PM
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Silkspin...remember whatever the is his choice to make. I pray for you that he makes the right one. We are all pulling for him and you. Lots of positive vibes coming your way!
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:09 AM
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Well he drank.

He came home just before 9pm, and admitted that he'd had one beer, and also admitted he didn't know why, since 2 other people were just drinking water. He said he felt like he didn't want to feel left out. btw that was always a thing with him, the social butterfly who always felt he had to go with the crowd. He's never really tackled that issue.

He also said he didn't feel so bad while doing it, but felt bad after because he'd gone without for so long and didn't really know why he drank this time. But he said it was a bit weird after so long, and also said that he felt differently about it because he says he's a different person from a year ago and knows to play the tape forward as AA says, and knows that lots of drinking = ruin of his life and he doesn't want that.

I was detached; we talked about it a bit and then it was done. But inside I'm upset and angry. The first time he's 'alone' (i.e. without me) it's like he didn't even hesitate. I feel that all that we've gone through barely deserved a second thought until 'after' when he felt bad. When he said he was different I just said then it's good that he feels that he's progressed in recovery and left it at that. But in my head I'm wondering, because it sounded a lot like the apologies he'd give when he was drinking more heavily. I tried to be better, I moderated, quack. It wasn't quite the same, but my mind makes that connection because I remember it so well.

I almost feel silly to be angry. It seems tiny, but even a crack in the wall of the dam can cause a bigger leak etc. This is me catastrophizing I guess and need to focus on how to stop it. Going to work now, and then will call my sponsor. And I'm thinking ahead now to the next time - since this time he was able to handle it, will he accept the glass of wine with dinner thinking that he has it tackled? Etc Etc. He said he also felt bad because I'd be upset. I told him what I did a million times before - I never had a problem with his drinking. I had a problem with his PROBLEM drinking. If he could moderate I'd never have an issue, but that was it. He couldn't ever seem to. Could it really have been a choice thing back then - a guy not ready to grow up and have a baby and now things have changed? I'm suspicious to believe such things, and I guess only time will tell. One day at a time. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:36 AM
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peaceful seabird
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Please follow through with your sponsor. Talk it out with her.

Your inside reaction is not matching the outside response. Get your sponsor to help you with the inside work before it shows up on the outside.

Being aware of our emotions and acknowledging them are positive steps in our recovery. Good on you!

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Old 12-18-2009, 07:49 AM
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I almost feel silly to be angry. It seems tiny

Look, don't minimize your feelings. I would be upset too. He is an alcoholic, not a person who has ever established that he can have "one" drink. And that first drink often triggers the spiral back into the insanity again, so don't deny the facts we all know about alcoholism.

That being said -- it is the anxiety and obsession about the future in relation to his one drink that would cause me trouble, because anxiety and obsession and awfulizing the future and etc (I know you know what I'm talkin' about!!) is a symptom of my problem and my bad habits of mind. So you sound like you have a little plan to get through this - AlAnon and calling your sponsor etc.

Just stay in today as best you can. It is a codie trigger reaction to fantasize - when they are active we fantasize about the day they recover and all will be well - when they are sober we fantasize about the downfall of relapse and all the horrors we can imagine! It's a cuckoo way to think/live! I've found the cure to be to stay just right here in the now, accept that I am upset about something and trust that all is as it should be and more will be revealed.

I also keep an active plans list. Somethings (especially fun or positive things!) I know I need to get done - that in the past I would have let my need to obsess over the alcoholic obliterate or relieve me of the urgency to get my own stuff done. Codependence is a MAJOR distraction! If I'm falling I pull out the list and it brings the focus back to me.

stay strong silk - take a deep breath, all is well.

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Old 12-18-2009, 09:17 AM
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I don't even know what to say to be honest. All I can think is I'm sorry. I just keep thinking of the fear you will live in everytime he is alone and how much this can weigh on you. I'm sorry. You're doing the right thing.
Feel the feelings. Talk about them. Give the fear to your HP.

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Old 12-18-2009, 11:25 AM
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Well if I were you I'd throw myself into my own recovery. Detach, detach, detach. Not ask any questions. Not have any discussions about it. Be polite, cheerful and uninterested.

That would take a lot of work, but would take much less work than watching him, obsessing about him and his drinking and trying in any way to control him.

I am sorry. I bet you're freaked out. My AH would "relapse" by going to see his affair partner. It wasn't until I let go completly that I wasn't afraid of what he would do anymore.

Please keep posting. Here's to you!
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:34 PM
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hi silkspin,

when i was wondering about my current bf and his drinking my therapist told me it was not about drink but about BEHAVIOR.. and I needed to know what bothered ME and place boundaries and have them respected...

tonight my bf will go with his friends and drink.. he will arrive home.. and i started to get anxious about how drunk he will arrive.. and how horney... but then i remember i got boundaries

if he is quiet and treats me as usual i got no problem
if he gets noisy i will take a deep breath, and put on earplugs.
if he is a jerk when drunk i will ask him to sleep in a different room.
if he gets horney i will say no once. if he insists he is out of my apartment.

so knowing this I am more at ease because I know what I will do. perhaps you can create a similar plan that works for you.. HUGS
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:47 PM
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My husbands tragedy is that he tried to control how much he drank. He really, really tried. I never saw anyone try harder to drink in moderation.
He's 42 years old & is serving his 3rd jail term for alcohol related driving offenses & he won't get his drivers license back until 2015. He's also been bankrupt & hasn't had any contact with his own children for years.
I wonder if things would have been different for him if he hadn't tried so hard?
He's still saying, while in jail, "I don't think the drinking's the problem". (I think he could shorten that sentence by about half & it would be more accurate!)
He just doesn't get that alcoholic's can't drink at all if they want to avoid the slippery slope down to hell.

There's a big difference between catastrophizing & intelligently interpreting a sign. When the terrible boxing day sunami happened I couldn't help but wonder how different things might have been if all the people who ran to the beach to watch had run for the hills instead. If only they'd known how to interpret the sign.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:42 PM
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Thanks everyone for their support, it really really helps. You all have wise things that I can take to heart.

Bernadette you are so on the mark! If it's not one thing it's the other and as a recovering codie I'm trying to focus on finding my balance point which where peace and serenity lie - in the present. I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring so I must stop worrying. Things are very different he's right about that, but it could still go either way. I have better things to do than obsess about which way the scales will go. Today I actually had no time to think about it, as I worked to package and bring Christmas baskets to the needy. This especially helped to get my mind off and focus on my blessings since there are many much less fortunate than me.

He called today to ask how I was - he usually calls me every day anyhow but today I sensed (or maybe just my hypervigilance radar!) that he was searching to see if I was upset. I didn't talk to him much after our initial conversation, and then went early to bed. I will not be bringing it up again, and I'll be talking to my sponsor either today or tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for your support.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:36 AM
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Today I actually had no time to think about it, as I worked to package and bring Christmas baskets to the needy. This especially helped to get my mind off and focus on my blessings since there are many much less fortunate than me.
This is a beautiful example of a woman determined to focus her mind, soul and energy into making a better life for herself and her community.

Thank YOU!
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:03 PM
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Silkspin - It's like parallel lives. My husband had one beer a couple of weeks ago after nearly a year of sobriety. And when he told me, I forgot all about Al-Anon and yelled -"How could you!" etc etc. Afterwards I went to basics: I have no control over him. I believe in God and I believe whatever happens, will be for the best. Should he try contol drinking again (which so far he hasn't), my boundary is that I don't want to see him drunk again.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:19 PM
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same planet...different world
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that wins the 'big word of the day' award from Barb Dwyer.

I'm finding I almost always agree with Bernadette.
Maybe it's her avatar, I dunno.

I agree that this is when we 'dig in' and keep our OWN insides right.

Chopping wood was always a great anger reliever for me.
As was cleaning stalls.

Now all I have is housecleaning.
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