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Introducing myself

Old 09-13-2010, 07:10 PM
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Introducing myself

I've been reading quite a few posts in the last week and am grateful to have found this forum.

I've also been going to several Al-Anon meetings in my city.

I'm still new to many of the concepts but finding comfort and hope in various posts.

The alcoholic in my life is my ex-spouse. He is really out of control right now. He is facing the possible loss of everything, including his life (he has been suicidal).

And I was able to leave the relationship mostly intact. We have been broken up for about a year and a half and my life is good.

But I became involved with him again over the last few months. Not romantically. But as a friend. And perhaps overly involved (ok, definitely overly involved).

Now I am working on detachment.

I haven't talked to him or gotten any news about him since Friday (it's now late Monday evening). At that time, he was planning to go into detox. I don't know whether he did go.

I am struggling with being ok in my own life, knowing that he might become bankrupt, homeless, perhaps dead, even. As much as I want it to, his may not be a happy ending.

He is an amazing person. Just the best guy, when his addiction hasn't taken him over.

I think I have some sort of survivor's guilt.

I am learning more about enabling and seeing how much of it I did over the years I was with him and more recently as I tried to help him in the last few months. I have been mostly a rescuer.

And now I am faced with letting him stand or fall on his own (unless his parents take over the rescue, which may happen, for better or for worse). And I am faced with the possibility of not even knowing whether he stands or falls.

It is a sad, sad time for me. I feel heart-broken in a different way than I did after the break up with him. I find it devastating to stand by and watch this happen to him. Or even to not see it happen, but to imagine it is happening. I have no idea what the future holds, of course. I can still hope for a long happy, healthy, sober, serene life for him (as well as for me).
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:24 PM
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Hi D--

First off, welcome to SR! You will find a lot of supportive people here who understand how you feel. I relate exactly to what you said when you wrote "I am struggling with being ok in my own life, knowing that he might become bankrupt, homeless, perhaps dead, even. As much as I want it to, his may not be a happy ending.". That is how I feel about my Alcoholic Sister (AS). My AS is on a slow downward spiral, and I don't foresee a good outcome; I just heard she went on another (life-threatening) binge. She is in the hospital again. I have found that detaching is all I can do to stay sane in this ever-increasing insanity...it doesn't mean I don't love her; it just means I have to leave her to be the one to sort herself out. It's sad, but that's life.
Sending you hugs, and hope you'll stick around.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:14 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm glad you are here and reaching out for support.

I have an RAXH (recovering alcoholic X husband). We live in different states now. I support him in his recovery, and I am working on my own.

I have heard it shared around these forums:

Work the kind of recovery you wish to see your A working.

For me, that means I need to continue to work on myself and continue to allow my A to work on his life. When my A and I were married and living together, I was always focused on his actions (in-actions), behaviors (mis-behaviors), etc. I was spending more time and energy on his life than my own. It was unhealthy for me. I needed to stop focusing on his life and begin to focus on my own. I needed to remember the 3 C's of his addiciton:

I did not cause it
I could not control it
I would not cure it

The same is true in recovery (and relapse). I still need to keep my focus on my life, my actions, behaviors, etc.

Have you read Melody Beattie's book "Codependent No More"? It has helped me see my unhealthy patterns, find solutions and learn to take better care of myself.

Please let us know how we can help you.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:37 AM
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Deesire,

Welcome. I could have written most of your post. I divorced my AH earlier this year. I maintained no contact for a while and now have limited contact with him. He is attempting recovery but just as it was during our marriage hasn't maintained it for any length of time. I realize that I need to go no contact because his disease is still affecting me. He simply "drops off of the radar" and I always fear the worst.

This forum and AlAnon are the best things that I could have done.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:21 AM
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Welcome to SR Deesire!
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:49 AM
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I could have SOOO written your exact post, too, Desiree. So at least know that you are for sure not alone. It took me a LOOOONGG time to get "OK" with being happy in my life regardless of what was going on in myXAH's, and I would still say that I'm maybe 80% there instead of 100%, but in the last few weeks, I have felt leaps and bounds better than I used to feel. I have been in therapy since our divorce and occasionally attend Al-Anon, but the biggest difference to me was going no contact, which is what many people here advise. I used to think that was just so cruel, that I couldn't add to his burden that way, but after I helped him out monetarily the last time and he again used my money to drink himself out of a job that could have kept him out of the gutter, I finally got that not only could I not cure him, some of my "helping" was actually quite harmful to him.

My ex was in the Salvation Army before (but of course, he left before completing the program). They will take anyone in (any straight male anyway, but that's another kettle of corn) regardless of money, situation, etc. I have cheated in one aspect on complete "no contact", because I read my XAH's emails that he sent to my work account. His last one was very pitiable, saying that if I wouldn't help him now, he would probably die, and how was I going to explain that to our daughter? I sent him back an email that said, "I would only help you if you COMPLETED Salvation Army's program or a comparable rehab and needed help getting into a sober house." Some would say that's me being too interfering or controlling, but it was what I felt I wanted to say--I wanted it known that if he chose recovery I would extend a (limited) helping hand. And I will help in that circumstance. And if he doesn't do that, I don't think there is any chance his story will end happily. And today? My conscience is clean knowing all of that. I'm still sad for him, but it's not wearing ME down like it used to.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!

I haven't read Codependent No More yet, but I do have a copy of it on my bookshelf for when I am ready for it. I have been doing some of the daily Al-Anon readers. And I just finished a memoir about alcoholism -- Dry by Augusten Burroughs. It was very powerful. And I think it was helpful for me to read about that author's rock bottom, and the bottoms of other people he met in rehab. Bottom can be so, so, so much lower than I could ever imagine it would convince someone to stop drinking. Addiction is a unbelievably powerful monster.

I have heard from my ex's parents that he did go to detox and that there is a counsellor there trying to find him a spot in residential treatment ASAP (preferably, straight from detox). He stayed at his parents' place for about a day before he could be admitted into detox and they thought they'd hidden their booze from him. They were surprised to find he'd drunk over a dozen beers, leaving the empties behind in the room where he'd been staying, and yet showing no signs of having drunk while they interacted with him. His tolerance for alcohol is really something.

Today, I am much more ok with everything. I am glad to get news about him and also glad not to have heard directly from him yet. When we last spoke, he said he would not call me again until he was better. We didn't set terms as to what better meant but it implied at the very least sober and not expressing suicidal thoughts.

I truly wish him well.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:03 AM
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Deesire,

I was moving a week ago, and still pretty bogged down, and missed this, your first post.

I wanted to welcome you to S/R !

Please feel free to post as often as you like, knowing that the good folks here will walk with you through your struggles, doubts, questions, and possibly a metamorphosis.

Nice to see you posting on others' threads as well. Jumping right in is great; we ALL have experience, and can help lift other hurting people up.
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