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New to Al Anon- my story

Old 05-08-2010, 06:48 AM
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New to Al Anon- my story

I recently started attending Al Anon meetings for myself. I have been working in the field of addictions for about 8 years. I have always believed that I could help others and I didn't need help myself. However, I finally came to the realization that I do need help! I look back and see my pattern of relationships are those of with men who are alcoholics. Now, I am married and my husband is a recovering alcoholic. He is coming up on his one year anniversary of sobriety and we are also coming up on our one year anniversary of marriage. Prior to meeting my husband, I got reconnected with my faith and spirituality, started attending church, got baptized and prayed that I would find the right man that did not have the "red flags" that I had ended up with in previous relationships. I was single for almost a year when I met my husband. When we met it really felt like he was my answer to my prayers and I was blinded to any "red flags" that were there. Even when my eyes were opened up and he told me about his past drinking and I saw his current drinking patterns, I ignored the "red flags". We were together a short time and wanted to get married. We bought a house together 8 months into our relationship and were planning our wedding. As we started living together, things were wonderful and his drinking slowed. However, not for long. After living together for several months, there were several times that I talked to him about his drinking and told him of my concern. At times he would acknowledge a problem, but most of the time he would say he didn't have a problem. I often found myself counting the number of cans or bottles in the garbage. If I worked late, I would try to smell his breath when I came in to kiss him 'hello'. I would keep track of the amount of beer or wine in the refrigerator so I knew how much he was drinking. We also had another problem of him viewing pornography. I knew that prior to us moving in together that he viewed it, but when we moved in together, he told me that he threw everything away... that he felt different about it. That was another lie because I soon found out from the start of us living together that he was viewing pornography online and still had several DVD's. After about a month or so of continuously checking the history on the internet, seeing where he was looking and finding 2 DVD's, I confronted him about it. The pornography came to a halt, however, the drinking did not. In January 2009, he really slowed down on his drinking after my numerous times of talking to him about his drinking and my concern over it. 5 months later, in June 2009, we were getting married and that is when the event happened that changed things. 4 days prior to us getting married, he went out with friends and ended up getting his first DUI. However, he did not tell me about it right away... I found out by finding the ticket. With his past pornography issues, I would still go through his stuff to find out if he was hiding anything. This particular time when he went out with friends and didn't call me for several hours the next day sent off a "red flag" to me of things that weren't normal (he would always call me in the morning). When I found the DUI ticket, I was angry, scared, confused... just a mix of emotions. I called him up at work, yelled at him for hiding this from me and debated about what to do about the wedding that was in just a couple days! I ended up going to talk to a counselor, who put things in perspective. In talking to the counselor, she pointed out to me that I had known from the very start that he was an alcoholic. At this point in time, I had to choose whether to stay in this life. She reminded me of what I already knew. If he did get sober, there was always the reality of relapse. I decided to marry him upon the condition that he got help. He already had to go through the 3 day weekend intervention program for the DUI, but I told him that was not enough, he also needed to see a counselor. He saw a counselor for a couple months and then his employee assistance was up and this counselor did not recommend him on for further counseling. For the life of me I do not know why!! However, with having the DUI and court involvement, this helped things along some. The weekend intervention recommended him on for further treatment, so the court would not close his case until they had verification of this. Now he is involved in AA and counseling and attending on his own accord (court stuff is closed out and he does not have to attend for the court). Of course, not everything is perfect and we still have our difficulties. However, I have finally learned to control my compulsion of searching through all of his things. I still do at times, but I am getting a lot better than what I was! Also, I have been able to start rebuilding trust with him. What I am noticing now, is my problem to become overly involved in his recovery and not mine. That is why I started Al Anon here recently. I need to focus more on myself and not so much on his recovery. The meetings are very hard for me. I am a quiet person. I am much better at writing than talking about my feelings and thoughts! I did force myself to speak out at my first Al Anon meeting and started to cry. I hate crying in front of people I don't know! The other 2 meetings I have attended, I have remained silent. I will keep attending and hope to keep forcing myself to talk to become more comfortable. I would like to get a sponsor, but I think it's going to take some time. Currently, I'm attending one meeting and I haven't really felt a connection with any of them. I know I probably need to attend other meetings, too. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:21 AM
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Yes, attend more meetings! I repeat, attend more meetings.

You're on the right track ksumm, just keep moving forward one day at a time.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
You're on the right track ksumm, just keep moving forward one day at a time.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:17 PM
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ksumm,

welcome to soberrecovery, and the friends and family forum. you are an educated person - if you're at all like me, you will appreciate the wise and caring folks that come here, and the super sharp advice that is given.

what you have just done is HUGE.
you are in the know, with your addictions work background. you are clearly comfortable telling your husband what the score is. yet you have had your own moment of clarity! you have realized - in a relatively short period of time - that you need to change some of your thinking, and behaviors, and you went right to it. i commend you.

i wish you the very best.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:49 AM
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I too was the beer police hard life to live. Keep moving forward your doing great.
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