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falling off that ol' wagon

Old 09-29-2010, 08:04 AM
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falling off that ol' wagon

So hey.

Husband has been worried about work lately, which is usually when he turns to drink. (He's been nominated to run for office again for the local ward. He just takes on all this stuff and doesn't know how to say no.)

I came home early this afternoon and found him napping--not unusual for this time of day, since on the days he works from home he always has a post-lunch nap.

But there was just that smell upon the air (though you could tell he'd tried to hide it). He woke to say hello and I stroked his arm and said, "So did you fall off the wagon, sweetheart?" and he said, "Just a little."

He said, "It's just that I have so much to do, I just need to sort things out before we go on our holiday."

I said, "No, you need to relax and finish your nap and then get back up on the wagon," and I gave him a kiss and he went back to sleep.

We're supposed to go out of town tomorrow for the weekend. Which, no, I'm not about to go on a holiday with Mr. Drunky.

I came up here to my study and telephoned some agents in town--there's a nice little apartment not far from here which I can afford. I made an appointment for a viewing on Saturday.

So I'm wondering whether I will have a talk with him when he wakes up. Part of me wants to say: "Sort this out--call your counsellor--or I'll leave."

The other part of me just wants to leave it alone, because arguing with a drunk guy is like trying to have a conversation with a dining room table.

Ugh. Again I say, ugh.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:19 AM
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I remember how hard it was to be Mr. Bad Guy and to be the one to take that first step towards separation. I kept thinking a giant cartoon boulder would fall on my head for even saying the words "I want a divorce". In the end, HP arranged it so my XAH was the one to start the dreaded conversation, but there were a few instances afterwards where I had to squeak out "No, I don't want to be with you anymore", and it was so difficult. Once I did it though, I felt...liberated.

Perhaps the issue of your departure just isn't up for discussion with your AH. Perhaps you will just line things up and leap...and tell him later.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post
Perhaps the issue of your departure just isn't up for discussion with your AH. Perhaps you will just line things up and leap...and tell him later.
Yeah, that's what my instincts are telling me to do.

See, I like to imagine this conversation in which I say, "I'm hurt enough to seriously consider leaving!" and he responds with this great epiphany: "Why, akrasia, has it really gone that far? In that case I'll sober up, etc. etc. etc." And then everything will be lovely. Hey-ho.

But what will most likely happen is that I'll say, "Unless you sober up today I'm leaving for a while because I need a safe place to live," and then ('cause he's drunk) he'll come out with a bunch of garbage about how judgemental people are, and conditional love, and also I'm a horrible person. And then I'll just want to kick his butt. So why bother?

I don't want to divorce him. What I want is for him to be free of alcoholism and for us to live happily together again. I just can't go on living in an unsafe house with someone who's verbally abusive and putting himself and others in danger. It's a promise I made to myself during his last (worst) binge.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:42 AM
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Ah yes, I remember those turn-around conversations that left you feelish stupid and sheepish for even THINKING of separating from the alkie in your life. I mean, how awful and judgmental of us??!!!

There really is no discussing with someone deep in their addiction.

Trust your instinct. While you wait to see that apartment, check around for others, just in case. Start stashing away important paperwork (bank statements, credit card statements, marriage certificate, birth certificate, deed to house if applicable), and start fleshing out your plan. Try not to focus on the long-term stuff...you can work it out later. Right now, today, you've got a great starting point: you refuse to live this life any longer. It takes a lot of strength to make that statement. Bravo.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:54 PM
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So he's a bit freaked out that I'm not mad. When he woke I said, "Do you want to call your counsellor?" and he said no. He said he was going out for tea (supper). And I don't even need Naive to translate that for me!

I was all calm. "Okay, see you later." He looked a little shocked.

He was still talking about going on our trip tomorrow (we have train tickets to go out to Scarborough till Sunday) but he probably won't even be sober in the morning. I have a plan of taking the car and driving to the next town in the morning, setting up in a cute cafe and getting a good chunk of work done while he does whatever the heck it is he's going to do.

While he's been out this evening I've been doing a bit of writing, submitted three stories to three different journals and anthologies. It'll be hard to sleep without listening for the front door, but I'll do my best. I'm sleeping in the guest room.

I just have to be like a shark: keep moving. If I stop and think about any of this I'll be lost. The fact is the alcohol thing is a big insoluble pain in the [redacted][redacted][redacted], but he himself is the most erudite and thoughtful man I've ever known, and his flesh is as dear to me as my own.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:58 PM
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Wow. Gotta say akrasia. I'm astounded at how well you're doing. Keep your eye on the ball. Make lists for yourself if you have to!

You're doing great

And keep posting!
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:32 PM
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good translating akrasia!

yes, going out to tea = heading out to his local for a pint.

as for informing him of your move, if it was me, i would wait until you have your flat lined up and the lease signed. why rock the boat? i do understand that you want the fairy tale that when you mention you're leaving, he will think "dear me, i can not loose this fine woman!" and then he will jog over to the local AA meeting.

however, alcoholic translator reports:

"i will quit drinking because i love you so much" = "i will drink anyway and hide it more"

enjoy your day at the cafe tomorrow!

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Old 09-29-2010, 03:45 PM
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I learned a little too late not to engage in conversation with an active alcoholic. Wait until they are 100% sober.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by akrasia View Post
I don't want to divorce him. What I want is for him to be free of alcoholism and for us to live happily together again. I just can't go on living in an unsafe house with someone who's verbally abusive and putting himself and others in danger. It's a promise I made to myself during his last (worst) binge.
This comment felt a little bit like peering into my own soul. I want this too, but am developing a backup plan!
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Carol Star View Post
I learned a little too late not to engage in conversation with an active alcoholic. Wait until they are 100% sober.
In some of our cases, that means wait forever.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:43 PM
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Even though you have to follow your gut, Akrasia, (and I think your gut has been telling you to leave, find your own apartment, detach, etc.), I completely understand that you are still "hoping" and "wanting" to believe that your ultimatums might actually work ("this time.") I have felt those things over the past 15 years w/ my RAH. Sorry about his relapse.

I left my husband over a year ago. I was ready to divorce. Six months ago, he went into rehab and started his path of recovery. I see him slip into the old "negative thinking" often, as he continues to pursue his recovery. It would be untrue if I said I no longer worry about possible relapse. I do, but I feel that "If it does, I just don't have control over it. I will have to double my own recovery efforts" to deal with it. I have not moved back home, even though my husband has not had a drink in nearly 7 months. My gut tells me, "No, not yet." I'm not sure if our marriage is going to make it. I love him and wish we could work it out. I turned it over to my Higher Powers. If my husband remains sober and stays on an active road to recovery, I'm beginning to feel it doesn't matter if we get back together. I love him very much (and wish our relationship can make it). However, lately I have been thinking that his sobriety is actually more important to me than whether we make it or not. I want him to live a sober life, with or without me. I want to live an emotionally healthy life for myself and for our child, with or without him. Each of our sanity, serenity, and sobriety are more important than if we get back together under the same roof. . . I feel simultaneously a little sad for feeling this way and liberated (from his addictions/addictive thinking) in a way too.

Best of luck Akrasia. I've been reading your posts and the responses to your posts. They all hit home. I think the responses are all so thoughtful and wise. I know they are meant for you, Akrasia, but I'm getting a whole lot from your threads. Thank you so much, Akrasia & everyone here on this forum. You are a blessing!
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Carol Star
(((I learned a little too late not to engage in conversation with an active alcoholic. Wait until they are 100% sober.)))

Hmm, yep could be a looong, loooong wait....if ever or, when sober you get looked at as if you are out of your tree, as they deny they ever said or did anything like you have just mentioned.

Last time I was sarcastically asked, "so what did I say and do this time?" I just said "don't know, I wasn't interested to look or listen." Left him open mouthed.

Own apartment, and out of the chaos that is there and that of the future when he dives to rock bottom. Then you may get a chance for your say, but til then it is his fate in his hands.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:35 AM
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So he came home last night around 9 from the pub and conked out. This morning he woke planning to sober up--he was pretty much sober already, just hung over from the night before. He asked for a hug and I gave him one. He kept saying, "You're mad aren't you? You're mad at me." I said no, hugged him, suggested he call his drink counsellor, and then went about my business.

He was still like, "So we're okay to go on our trip? I'll just get a bit of work done this morning and we'll go." He had his usual breakfast, with extra coffee. I saw that he had begun packing a suitcase for the weekend. I know he had work to do with his community groups this morning--some leafleting, a newsletter, not sure what else.

I was thinking to myself, should I just say no, I don't wish to go on this trip? I knew he would be like, "But we've been looking forward to it! We've already paid for the theatre tonight, and for the hotel!"

So I was thinking what to say. That I didn't wish to go, that I needed some time to myself. That I would only go if he would promise to be sober the whole time? Or just say nothing? Bah.

While I was sorting this out to myself, I was also sorting out the recycling. I drove to the recycling center, and when I came back he was gone. His cell phone is still here, his suitcase. I spent the morning doing some errands and taking care of some business at home. He's been gone for three hours now, just about.

This is what he's done in the past: he starts drinking, tries to still muddle through things while drunk, sort of tries to sober up, then binges. Usually he finds a nominal excuse to binge--I expect in this case it's because I was being cool this morning and because I had the temerity to go to the recycling center. When he's left like this in the past, it's been to a cheap hotel in Leeds, where he'll lie there drinking and watching TV.

For all I know he's gone to the hotel we reserved in Scarborough. I kinda doubt it, it's a long way to go just to drink.

(Oh what a stupid waste. The trip was something we planned after he got sober in July--a nice treat for all our hard work this summer. I guess I'll call the hotel tonight and ask them to cancel the room, see if we can't get a refund.)

That's just such an image of the duelling inner forces, isn't it? The one voice in his head saying, "But no, I want to do my community work, I want to go on this nice trip we've planned," and then the other voice just saying, "Drink drink drink."

Anyway, that's me.

So in a bit I'll go down to the library to work. I could work at home but that's hard to do when you never know when Mr. Drunky will come stumbling through the door.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:59 AM
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that's what i discovered too which my drunk...i was always waiting for him. and he'd leave his cell phone at home, so i couldn't call. he'd think nothing of leaving me waiting for hours.

enough of that! try to get on with your day.

if it was me, i'd also call the hotel quickly, as many require advance notice for a refund.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:35 AM
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Good for you for just plodding on akrasia. What's your next step re: leaving?
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 AM
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Tricky tricky
Originally Posted by Carol Star View Post
I learned a little too late not to engage in conversation with an active alcoholic. Wait until they are 100% sober.
In some of our cases, that means wait forever.
In my case, that meant go talk to folks who are already sober. No more waiting.

I'm amazed and inspired by your detachment, acceptance and self preservation. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by transformyself View Post
Tricky tricky

In my case, that meant go talk to folks who are already sober. No more waiting.

I'm amazed and inspired by your detachment, acceptance and self preservation. Thank you for sharing!
Me too. It seems we have a whole group of relatively "new" members who are light years ahead of where I was when I began my journey. That's a good thing.

One point, an alcoholic who drinks heavily every day, is ALWAYS "under the influence", even when "sober". So waiting to catch 'em in the morning or right after work or when ever, is pretty much a waste of time anyway.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:33 AM
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Thanks all, I really appreciate it. I'm trying to stay on-target for my writing goal today. Also looking for rental properties. It's kind of slim pickings for apartments, especially because I'd really like to stay in this little town--if I do have to move, I want to stay near my doctor, my dentist, my cafe, my chums.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:37 AM
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This whole thread made me smile. And I know it is because you are handling things so well Akrasia. My hat is off to you. None of what you are doing is easy, as I guess we all know.
Sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Please keep posting. You are inspiring.

Naive, you really are good. My ex ABF said, after I caught him sneaking and drinking, "Have I lost you? If not, that will be my motivation. I will never drink again! I love you too much to lose you."
Translation: "I am going to have to be alot more sneaky to get my drinking over on you!"

And thank you everyone here at SR very much. Time was, not too long ago, I would not be chuckling while typing that exchange.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:23 PM
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So Mr. is still not home. It's past nine. I don't think he's been home since this morning. Hey ho.

I'm trying not to worry, but the fact is that a drunk 62-year-old guy with a heart condition, wandering about insensate, is at risk for a lot of things. Once he slept in a bus shelter.

I also worry that he will come home, and forget to lock the door or set something on fire or what have you.

But most likely he's got himself into a hotel. I know he's got his wallet, hence his credit card. And anyway what am I going to do, make a police report? They're not going to put out an APB if someone goes off for one day.

So I'll finish up my projects and go to bed in the guest room with the door shut.
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