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long distance boyfriend shut down communication until i'm three months sober

Old 11-09-2010, 06:37 AM
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long distance boyfriend shut down communication until i'm three months sober

I'm new to this site but really want some feedback. I posted aversion of this this somewhere else on the site, but it was suggested that I come to this forum. A year ago I relapsed after ten years of sobriety. My husband (not an alcoholic) with whom I share three young children and I separated. It was a respectful but permanent separation and very sad. Because I hadn't stayed close to either the rooms or my old sponsor I was obviously vulnerable to relapse. During the past year, I began dating an old friend long distance who is also in recovery. He knew I had relapsed but I wasn't fully honest with him (or anyone) about the fact that I was continuing to relapse and becoming incredibly frightened that I'd never be able to stop, show up for anyone, be a decent mother, ever function normally in a relationship or be able to do all the independent things i'd once done while sober. It was easy to hide the actual drinking from him because we live in different states, spoke daily by phone and visited one another every couple of weeks. But my spiraling behavior was not easy to hide. When I was with him I did not drink. However, our daily phone conversations were another story - we usually spoke late at night and I was generally drinking wine, and a bit of it. I was sick at heart that I was lying to him and everyone and over the course of the summer I became increasingly depressed, desperate, clutching and needy. I wasn't myself anymore. It caused problems between us. I became very negative and needy and dark and one night he abruptly ended our conversation and completely withdrew from me. I tried to contact him every way I knew how but he wouldn't budge nor explain his sudden withdrawal (although I really knew). I plummeted and took a bunch of pills while drunk a week later and ended up in the er. He knows what happened and wrote me an email telling me that after learning that I was safe, he had decided that he would not communicate with me in any way for 90 days. He said I'd become dark and uninteresting and that I needed to focus on nothing but my recovery and showing up for my children for three months and he did not want to interfere with that process. He said that although he loved me, he felt i was using him the same way i used alcohol - as a way not to focus on myself - and I needed to focus on becoming self-affirming, independent and find joy within myself and not look to him or another man for affirmation or I would continue to cycle through pain. He hasn't budged. I've been incredibly angry with him but as time has gone by and i'm continuing to get more sober time under my belt, i think i understand although i still think it was really, really harsh and I'm hurt and don't know where we'll go from here. i don't even know what our status is anymore. I've got 21 more days to go till he'll talk to me. Can anyone offer their opinion on this situation? I'm so hurt, but I have focused on getting sober and I've calmed down quite a bit but still don't know how i should feel about what he did. thoughts?

I forgot to say that I have NEVER attempted suicide and would have never dreamed I'd even consider it a possibility. But then again I never would have dreamed during my sober time that I'd ever drink again and jeapardize (sp) the many blessings I have. That is where alcohol, isolation and dishonesty took me. I regretted it immediately and called 911. I'm very grateful. I know I shouldn't think beyond the present moment, but this is someone I truly love. And I am worried I lost him through my actions. And I used to be such a put together person! I wasn't self-seeking and showed up for everyone and that's the person he knew. But I'm just so confused. I generally do a good job of not thinking about it and just focus on feeling joy in life again and building a solid sober base again, but i'd be lying if i said i wasn't worried, sad and confused. I love him and the fear that i lost him still surfaces. going to meetings daily, praying and talking to sponsor but it still really hurts and i'd love some feedback.
thanks so much, clara
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:43 AM
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You say that your long-distance friend is also in recovery? Well, it sounds to me like he's doing what he can to protect his own recovery and no one can fault him for that. Recovery is not a destination, it is a journey and it's something we must constantly nurture and protect.

He is correct that you need to focus on your own issues at this time and he is stepping back to allow you that time. It sounds like he truly cares about what is best for you.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:47 AM
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clara
Welcome to SR....I hope you find support and love and honesty here.

The thing that stood out in your post was that your BF is in recovery too. He understands recovery. He understands relapse. What he did can be viewed in a couple of ways. First, he was taking care of himself and his own recovery which your relapse could have put in jeopardy. Secondly, he recognized that you needed to concentrate on your own recovery without the distraction of a relationship. How incredibly powerful that he could be selfish and self-less all at the same time!!

It's so good that you recognized what your relapse was doing to you. You encountered a consequence of that relapse and it set you back into recovery mode. That all sounds very positive to me.

I'll pray that you'll stay on track with your recovery for yourself, for your children and for your future. It's hard work...but you're worth it.

gentle hugs
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:00 AM
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I hear a whole lot about him - not as much about what YOU are doing about YOUR recovery.

I think that's his point.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:13 AM
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still waters - that IS his point, I know. but selfish child in me can't help but regress and say "you're mean and you suck!". If you want to smile or wince (it'll be one or the other), what he actually said was that I was "a gaping chasm of alcoholic neediness" and "there's nothing all that interesting about a garden variety drunk" - ouch. As for what I'm dong for my own recovery is working my fifth step later today with my sponsor. It was painful to get it all down and see just how far I've fallen (this issue being a perfect example), but sharing it will clear the way for more progress.
thanks all for taking the time to respond. clara
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:21 AM
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I'd say Clara, that at least you know there is a problem Heck, that's 1/2 the battle.

Have you discussed this with your sponsor? The exact issue I mean.

My personal opinion is: As long as you have this obsession with him, and as long as you have that "you're mean and you suck" reaction - you're not ready.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:25 AM
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Wow. Please see how courageous you are to face yourself like this. Try to forgive yourself for whatever you have done and not be so brutal with yourself. HE is not your answer hon. YOU are. Keep up the good work. Worrying about what he will do gets you no where. Spread your wings and dream big dreams for you and your life that have nothing to do with anyone but you.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:36 AM
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Hi Clara, and welcome!

I think it's best to focus on your own recovery and let him focus on his own recovery. How are your children doing? Is your divorce final? is your ex supportive of your recovery? Maybe cleaning up your side of the street for the time being is best. Your children, no doubt, need a sober mom. I'm the adult child of an alcoholic and that's the best gift you could give them.

Everything happens as it's supposed to. Hugs and prayers!
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:02 AM
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Hi Clara,

I think you were in a bad place. Lying, drinking, hiding and calling bf when drunk are all behaviors associated with alcoholism. You were trying so hard to act like things were normal with you when they weren't. Didn't want to face reality. Your boyfriend gave you a reality check! What he said WAS mean, but wasn't it the truth? In your heart you know the answer. YES it hurts! The truth always does. Perhaps he was sent to you to wake you up and make you deal with your problem.

Maybe instead of counting days until you can speak to him, work on yourself. Get back to the person he loved and respected. Don't wait for him to call you. If you truly have something going he will contact you again. You will be back to your old self and can make the decision whether or not YOU want this man in your life.

We all have lessons to learn in this life. Paths to follow. Instead of grieving the loss of this man, embrace the fact that you are back in recovery and are being the Mother and person you were meant to be. He doesn't validate YOU. Your are responsible in doing that for yourself.

I feel your pain. I know it's hard to be called names etc. I'm not saying I agree with his tactics. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. I wish you the very best. Please let us know how your journey is going!

:ghug3
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:23 AM
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Hey, NYC! I got sober at Fireside first time around. In Boulder now which is oddly filled with NYC folk from AA - we call it the Hamptons of the Rockies. Anyway, you are all correct and I'm sure if I were to offer support to myself with some distance of perspective, i'd say something similar. I don't think this is really about HIM, exactly. In fact he's just a piece of the pie. This is about FEAR. I am cocooned in fear.
I just separated from my husband after a decade. During those ten years I got sober which helped me realize that despite our best and most dedicated intentions, our marriage didn't have long-term potential. I also realized I really didn't want to practice law anymore so I went to culinary school and became a pastry chef. However, I somehow managed to have three children (I hear sex had something to do with it) as well as move with my husband to six major cities to be supportive of his career. This past summer we moved again, I learned my youngest has asperger's, my dad has the early onset of Alzheimers and I've been trying to get my business off the ground here. And drinking during all of that was SUPER sensible, huh? Anyway, I'm afraid of lots of stuff and fear sends me rapidly to my childhood abandonment issues. I understand what is going on and I understand what I need to do to make it feel better, but gosh if I don't feel like telling somebody they are mean and suck rather than saying the serenity prayer! Probably a good thing I am doing my 5th step today.
Oh and my kids are doing much better now. There is laughter and structure in the house again, although the laundry piles remain and that's fine. Their father and I remain dear friends and he is incredibly supportive of my recovery.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:12 AM
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Hey Clara, I just wanted to let you know I completely identify with the fear.

I drank again after 4 years sober. One of the worst things during that period of drinking again was the fear. It was almost overwhelming in between binges.

It was this awful, almost impending sense of doom, if that makes any sense.

That fear didn't go away overnight when I drug myself back up the steps to AA and started over again.

In spite of the fear, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and doing what I needed to do for my recovery.

Those steps will help you again, dear, I guarantee.

The only way to get past the fear is to walk through it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:48 AM
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very true. about fear, i was sitting in a meeting last night and realized that, at least for that moment, i wasn't afraid. but it was like standing on a station platform, noticing a familiar face through the window of a moving train, moving to say "hey!!! i remember you..." only to have the train whoosh by before the words get out.

it was that fleeting, but i felt it and recognized it. progress.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:57 AM
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well said clara.
yep, i compared mine to jumping from one island of serenity to another,
avoiding the shark (fear) filled waters.
i love analogies.

beth
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by clara View Post
very true. about fear, i was sitting in a meeting last night and realized that, at least for that moment, i wasn't afraid. but it was like standing on a station platform, noticing a familiar face through the window of a moving train, moving to say "hey!!! i remember you..." only to have the train whoosh by before the words get out.

it was that fleeting, but i felt it and recognized it. progress.
...And that was the way progress was for me the second time around.

Tiny bits that were indeed fleeting, yet comforting to know they were still there.

It was far harder for me the second time around in sobriety, but it has been so worth it.

God has wondrous things in store for you.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:49 PM
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Here's a great reminder of what is really important in my life. I just walked through the wet snow to meet my kids as they got off the school bus. We just moved from Texas and today marks their first snow in a long time:

My 5 yr-old son (five times louder than normal): MOMMY!!! ISN'T IT AWESOME????? ITS SNOWING!!!! I'M SOOOOO EXCITED!!! I KEEP EATING THE SNOW BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE ME FULL!!!!!! AND IT DOESN'T TASTE LIKE ANYTHING AT ALL!!!!!

Me: It IS exciting. Let's go home and I'll make everyone some hot chocolate!

My 6 yr-old daughter: Yay! But this time try not to make it with so much chocolate.

Me: Oh, okay. Yeah, I guess it was too strong last time. I'm sorry.

My 8 yr-old son : That's okay, Mommy, accidents happen. But its how we learn....

Now see? They seem to know the world better than I do!
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:57 PM
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From the mouths of babes, eh?
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:48 AM
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Hi Clara,

Your kids sound absolutely great - and you have so much to look forward to. You also have some major adjustments going on - divorce, alzheimers, aspergers. These aren't small things.

I'm a fellow alcoholic - in recovery five years - with an alcoholic parent and an XABF. The parent had just died when I leaped (divebombed?) into a relationship with the ex. He had recently divorced, was sober (as far as I knew - never saw him take a drink) and was delightful. Then, not so much. I empathize with you completely. With the ending of a marriage, no matter how amicable, your world has just been upended. And it's easy, the more years we have up, to forget how quickly things spiral out of control when we drink. That scares the s*&t out of me the longer I'm sober.

My ex was a big, gorgeous breath of fresh air right after I had nursed then buried my Mom. If I wasn't addicted to him in the beginning, I certainly was after the rollercoaster started and it felt like I needed to "help" him while he got his act together. During a major life change, feeling like another person can take the pain away is fantastic. But he ultimately turned into that pit of need and when I couldn't take away his own pain and wasn't willing to stop my life in its tracks to care for him, he left me and hopped lillypads.

This is a rambler. My point is that this man (and his email was beyond harsh, even if he was making valid points) isn't going to make it all better. You can make it all better, and you know what you have to do - and you're doing it. When you're back on an even keel, you might not be so interested in him. Having limped out of a relationship with an active alcoholic last year, I wouldn't jeopardise my own recovery by becoming involved with anyone in active addiction again. He has reason to be peeved that you lied to him about something that is a central feature of his life. But the way he communicated was mean, and did suck. I couldn't have put that in an email to my ex. I wouldn't want to be with anyone who could be that cruel.

Hang in there, you're back on track and you are so brave for being aware of all your stuff. Just remember to be really gentle with yourself. You deserve it and you're worth it.

Hugs,

SL
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:55 AM
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Welcome Clara! You have our support and just reading through this thread you have lots of great input on your situation.

As a recovering alcoholic....all I can say is focus on you and your recovery. You need this for yourself and all good things will come from that. You have been through a lot and all of these life changes can weigh on us and if our sobriety is shaky.....it opens the door to relapse.

I emphasize that your #1 focus needs to be your recovery and if this relationship works out as a result great and if not....you have lost nothing and have gained everything.

You are a better person as well all are in sobriety....You can do this.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:59 AM
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I'm back. Its been a really busy past couple of weeks. I really took to heart the wisdom from all the comments. I realize I shouldn't focus on this ex but rather my recovery, but as my three month "time out" comes to a close soon I am having to say the serenity prayer quite a bit and redirect my thinking away from this situation. I keep finding myself feeling sadness and fear over the possibility that I may have lost this person in my life. But then I remember that all I have to do is stay sober and do the next right thing or at the very least, the next thing and I will have to let the rest go. I miss my boyfriend's friendship and regret my actions but I am really working hard at staying in the present and having faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps he came into my life just to be the impetus to get back into recovery. And if that is all I walk away with, it is enough. The rest I will have to leave to my higher power. But it is hard.
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