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two futures

Old 09-09-2010, 09:02 AM
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two futures

Hi everyone,

I haven't been posting, but I have been lurking.

My husband hasn't drunk in two months. For those of you who missed my earlier posts: he'd been struggling with alcohol for the past few years, and then from winter through July there was just binge after binge. In June I brought him to the ER with withdrawal symptoms, then in July he had his worst binge yet, actually drove drunk and put a dent in the car.

I had already reserved an apartment for myself, because I knew I'd had enough. But after recovering from his July binge he got a counselor, whom he likes, and he told me he wants to recover. He's not drinking any alcohol at all. So I cancelled the apartment. I never told him about it. He might have guessed; who knows.

So that's his deal, he may or may not be successful in recovering. We've had quite a happy couple of months though. (And, yes, I'm sure he's not drinking--he can't really drink at all without sliding into a binge.)

I've told myself that if he starts up again I'm just going to leave, rather than wait around for him to drive drunk again and kill a child, or set the house on fire, or whatever the hell else.

So it's a weird place to be: if I see an apartment complex on the way to work I make a mental note, just in case. Then at the same time I'm clearing a space in the back garden to plant gooseberries in the spring. Those are the two futures--one with him drunk and me elsewhere, another with us here together and happy. I see both futures shimmering in the air before me.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:07 AM
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I sincerely hope for your sake that he stays on the road to recovery. However, it doesn't have to be as black and white as you described. He may well binge again, and you may well leave...that doesn't preclude that somewhere down the road, he will find a long-lasting recovery and you won't be able to get back together. Alternately, you could decide to leave and find that in the end, you're quite happy in your new life, without him. Anything is possible.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:31 AM
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Wow, so saying:

Husband and I had a lovely day together, just had dinner together, while we talked about different projects, our plans for the weekend.

Then as we were doing the washing up, he said, "I think I'm ready to go back to testing alcohol--trying to drink a little again."

I froze in place. He went on, "It's been two months, quite long enough!" And when I didn't respond he turned around to me and said, "Hey, I'm not trying to be mean. Have you looked into that al-anon thing?"

I really couldn't speak, I just said, "I don't know if I can really talk about it," and I went back up to my study.

He just left for his choir practice without saying goodbye (which we never do).

I'm at a complete loss.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 AM
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haha

So, he's pointing out that YOU have the problem, so YOU need to go get help. Boy oh boy, I remember that.

Well, he's right in a way. You have a problem with his problem. So, he obviously isn't done yet akrisia. He's not done with the alcohol.

I guess you have to decide if you are. I was, I couldn't take one more minute with the damage alcohol had caused my AH. If, as we've been talking about in another thread, the erratic and crazy behavior is due to the damage alcohol did to my AH's brain...well, I couldn't live with the abusive repercussions of that. I left.

This doesn't have to be permanent, if you do decide to separate yourself from the insanity. He might very well eventually decide that he is done with alcohol. Stranger things have happened.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 AM
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oh man, I'm so sorry akrasia. I know you were hoping that things would continue going well.

Perhaps now it's time to start checking out apartments again...
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 AM
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I started smoking cigarettes about 30 years ago. A few years later, still a teen, I started trying to QUIT smoking cigarettes. I tried every which way to quit ever heard of by the human race. For several years during my twenties, I quit smoking every Monday morning. Hundred of times: I've gone cold turkey, I've had hypnosis, I've done the buddy system, I've taken classes, I've done acupunture, I've read books, I've done the patch, I've been on Wellbutrin, etc etc etc. Then finally, this past January I got on Chantix and I QUIT!!!! Finally!!!! Something worked. And here I was just going along, happy as a lark, a Non-Smoker! And then... something happened. I got stressed out. I was so angry I did not know what to do. I tried to fight it but that just made me MORE irritable. So I knowingly, consciously, made up my mind that I was going to drive down to the store and buy a pack of cigarettes. And I did. And now I am RIGHT BACK to my pack-a-day habit.

Quittin's easy. It's the STAYING quit that's so hard.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:59 AM
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Quittin's easy. It's the STAYING quit that's so hard.
Yup. sure is.

And it looks like your addicted husband has picked his future.
what do you choose now?
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:27 PM
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How am I going to live without him?
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:29 PM
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How did you live before you met him?
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:47 PM
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Inadequately.

Sorry, I need to take this offline.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:59 PM
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Hang in there.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:22 PM
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Before I married my AH I was a crazy girl. Partying, whatever. What I thought 20 year olds all did. I didn't have alot of self esteem so when I met my AH he took a good interest in me. We decided to marry. I didn't really take good care of myself before him. I had no bounderies for myself. I was looking for anyone that would take a second look at me. This is awful to write. Once I got married to AH I slowed down on partying and eventually stopped. He didn't. Only now have I really started to take care of myself. It took me over 40 years to take care of myself.

So Learntolive - I lived in insanity before I married my AH and during. Now I am ready to leave the insanity behind. It's going to be a big hurdle but I'm tired. I just want to be happy for once.

I always thought I would need someone so I wouldn't be lonely. Well I did have someone and still was lonely. I have to learn to be alone and love it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:32 PM
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My boyfriend had been sober for 7 months when he decided to test the waters again. I warned him that one sip of alcohol would lead to a full blown relapse--but he already knew that--he attended AA regularly during his 7 months of sobriety. I also warned him that if he had one more drunken episode that I was done. I guess he didn't believe me, because when I picked him up at work that night and found him drunk I didn't drive him home. I dropped him off at the nearest hotel and drove home without him.

He drank himself to death, alone in his apartment, about a year later. An alcoholic is just one drink away from what could be their final relapse.

It's been three years since my boyfriend passed away and I no longer have an alcoholic in my life. So, why do I continue to visit this forum? Because I'm well aware that I'm just one wrong decision away from repeating my past pattern of accepting unacceptable behavior.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:16 PM
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((((((Akrasia))))))

So much sadness around alcoholism....

How strange that he asked you about AlAnon in the same conversation about him returning to drinking! That whole exchange you described with him casually dropping a bomb, you speechless, him leaving w/o a goodbye etc., it's just classic alcoholic insanity!

His thinking is evidence that he did not choose recovery during these sober months. Remember sobriety does not equal recovery and when an A is in recovery it is so obvious, they are so different, that I am not surprised you have been making a mental note of apts. on the way to work because our gut always knows the real deal whether we deny it or not....

That's why it is so important for us to work hard on our own recovery, so that we are staying firmly in reality and living our best life whether the A chooses to drink or not. I needed a lot of help to figure out how to do that. AlAnon was a start but therapy also made a huge difference.

The older I get the more I understand that life is a series of holding on tight to things or people and then having to let them go -- some too soon and too painfully, but all at some point....my problem has always been knowing when to let go! I am often paralyzed by fear or pain or denial.

Peace-
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:55 PM
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How am I going to live without him?
that's so sad to read - having come this far down the codie recovery road.

I can tell you about how much better life will get.
But you're not going to hear it right now.

I think right now,
the thing to do is
understand that we're here when you're ready.

I also think you might wsant to get back
with that alanon group.

Because your ride ... is just beginning.

He's said he's going back to drinking.

Some of us have been down that road so many times
(both as passengers, and as the driveer for some of us)

that we know ... from our own experience

what's coming for you.

And so will the people in that group.
You're going to need them.

Take some time and think about these posts.

I hope you'll remember the spirit in which the answers are offered.

FOR you.
not TO you.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:54 AM
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Hey, thanks for posting.

I've got an appointment with my GP to get referred to a counsellor. Just to have someone to talk to. I'm just focusing on the here and now. Finishing my novel, projects at work, trying to improve my time running 5K.

He still isn't drinking. Last night he brought up again that he's thinking of starting to drink again, and seeing whether he could do it in moderation. He said he wasn't sure.

I listened for a bit without arguing, then told him it was probably something to talk about with his counsellor.

I am trying to disengage, but I did tell him that when he started saying he might drink a little again, I felt like one of Odysseus' crew-men when Odysseus was lashed to the mast listening to the Sirens' song. With husband in the role of Odysseus.

Odysseus: "No, actually, never mind what I said before. Let's change course and go over to the Sirens. It'll be fine. See, the Sirens say we won't actually be destroyed on the rocks. So let's go."

Crew-man: "Yeah. Except the Sirens are going to say that, aren't they? That's their whole shtick."

Odysseus: "They're cool, man. The Sirens and I are cool, we've got it worked out. Come on."

Crew-man: "I think you've got it wrong. Remember, just yesterday we were all talking about the Sirens and their meadow of starry flowers and all the sailors' corpses that they loll around on top of."

Odysseus: "Don't be difficult."

Crew-man: "What's suddenly changed?"

Odysseus: "But you're not hearing what I'm hearing, are you? You've got your ears all plugged up with wax. If you could hear what I'm hearing you'd know that I know what I'm talking about."

Crew-man: "Why don't you try that meditation tape again?"

Odysseus: "You used to be cool."
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:45 PM
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Odysseus: "You used to be cool."

LOL

Yes, what sucks most about loving an A is they (their addiction) will use all the "normal" emotional tactics of intimacy to be able to keep drinking. It just goes on and on.

The Siren song of alcohol is a truly gripping compulsion for the alcoholic. That's why I always tell people never underestimate how trapped your A is, never ever assume that all they need to do is stop drinking. They need to change course, literally, and find their new bearings in a new sea.

Same for us that love them - it is a real sea change when we give up trying to "fix" them or "get them to see", when we put down the magnifying glass and look in the mirror!

Peace-
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:55 AM
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Thanks again.

If nothing else, posting here and reading about it all has made me feel less angry and resentful towards him. I used to think "alcoholics" were people who really really liked beer or whatever. Or people who were just jerks and wanted an easy excuse.

Now I think people are alone in their addictions. There really is some plangent, relentless siren song that my husband hears that no one else around him can hear. So in the most fundamental way I don't know what he's going through and can't really do anything for him.

It's a great relief not to feel so much anger and resentment anymore. I still don't know how things will work out but that in itself feels like a gift.
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