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I'm really having a hard time again

Old 11-10-2010, 05:39 PM
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I'm really having a hard time again

I posted a little while back. A woman I met in early sobriety has gone out, literally the day after she got six months. It was seemingly a healthy relationship at the time. She was working her program and I was working mine (I currently have 11 months).

She's been drinking on and off for the past 3 weeks. The hardest part is I love her dearly. I feel like I knew this woman (when sober), but now, she's become a different person. For the first week I took care of her (I'm new to the concepts of Al Anon). She acted terribly and I didn't speak with her for 10 days. Then she duped me to coming over to her place under the guise of making amends - when I got there, she was drunk. This has become a trend - her reaching out to me when she's not sober. What do I make of it?

She continues to call, but lately I haven't been taking her calls (or returning them) She's a real alcoholic. That is, she drinks as if she's trying to kill herself. I really worry that if left alone, that's what might end up happening. I understand the concepts of detachment and enabling, but doing absolutely nothing is really hard. I witnessed the horror and madness at her place when she was alone drinking. Am I doing the right thing by completely ignoring her? Is there some middle ground, where I don't feel like I'm completely abandoning her?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.....
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:46 PM
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Here are some steps that have helped us:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:02 PM
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Don't do anything to put your sobriety at risk.
There is a BIG reason treatment ctrs. tell you to stay away from
relationships until at least ONE yr. sober.
Go to what ever lengths necessary for you own recovery, otherwise
you can go right down with this lady.
Tell her you'll see her at the meetings when she's ready to get back.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:17 PM
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"Am I doing the right thing by completely ignoring her?"

May I ask why you ask? Can you look within yourself and identify the feelins you might have that bring about this question? For instance, when I recently had involved myself with a crack-addicted alcoholic, I did so in part because I felt responsible for him. Is there something you feel that makes you think that ignoring her is wrong?

"Is there some middle ground, where I don't feel like I'm completely abandoning her?"
Is there a middle ground in your sobriety? Some point where a little is enough? There is no such point for me personally. Not with alcohol and not with alcoholics or addicts. Except my Dad. But never with a partner. Most of the time here on F&F we recommend 100% No Contact.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:27 PM
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Congratulations...

It appears you may be a double-winner. Get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting and keep an open mind. It's highly likely you'll hear stories that resonate with you at a high level. Much like AA, not every meeting is the same, so try six different meetings before you decide if it is for you.

In my opinion your recovery is the single most important thing for you. Without your recovery you will have nothing. If that means cutting her out of your life so be it. My wife accused me of abandoning her all the time when she was actively using, when what I was really doing was protecting myself and/or our daughter.

Lastly, I believe that when an alcoholic chooses to take that very first drink they are the ones doing the abandoning, not others. There is no middle ground. There is just doing what you think is right, and doing what you think is wrong. I know it's not always easy, and I've changed my mind in the past about what I think is right and wrong, but when there is no choice but to make a decision "right now," I always choose what I think is correct at that particular time, and try to learn from the result/consequence.

Her recovery, or not, is her responsibiltiy completely and not yours at all-- even slightly. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

P.s. I swear to God I will never marry again under any circumstances, and I'll run like hell the moment I find out she's an addict of any kind (including eating disorders). Never again.

Originally Posted by ebarash View Post
I posted a little while back. A woman I met in early sobriety has gone out, literally the day after she got six months. It was seemingly a healthy relationship at the time. She was working her program and I was working mine (I currently have 11 months).

She's been drinking on and off for the past 3 weeks. The hardest part is I love her dearly. I feel like I knew this woman (when sober), but now, she's become a different person. For the first week I took care of her (I'm new to the concepts of Al Anon). She acted terribly and I didn't speak with her for 10 days. Then she duped me to coming over to her place under the guise of making amends - when I got there, she was drunk. This has become a trend - her reaching out to me when she's not sober. What do I make of it?

She continues to call, but lately I haven't been taking her calls (or returning them) She's a real alcoholic. That is, she drinks as if she's trying to kill herself. I really worry that if left alone, that's what might end up happening. I understand the concepts of detachment and enabling, but doing absolutely nothing is really hard. I witnessed the horror and madness at her place when she was alone drinking. Am I doing the right thing by completely ignoring her? Is there some middle ground, where I don't feel like I'm completely abandoning her?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.....
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:23 PM
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Have you ever noticed that when a "good" kid starts hanging out with a "bad" kid the good kid almost always starts acting like a bad kid? It rarely turns out the other way.

Just how do you see your presence preventing her alcoholism?

L
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:53 AM
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I understand, but it's still very difficult

I can fully appreciate the advice that I've received on this board. I understand that this is a two-sided sword. On one side, every time I go see her (or engage with her in any way), I am putting my sobriety at risk. On the other hand, every time I attempt to take care of her (and believe me, I've tried), that sort of codependent behavior only prolongs her being in her disease.

I just find it extremely painful thinking about the fact that she's out there, truly suffering. I have trouble sleeping at night knowing that potentially her life is at risk, by the very manner in which she drinks - as if she's trying to kill herself.

Finally, on a personal level, I keep remembering how great our relationship was, when we were both working a program. it was my first truly authentic relationship with another woman, and I believe it was vice-versa. It is very painful to see just how quickly everything changed, once she chose to cope with life by seeking the bottle. Going from one extreme to the next - well I feel like I'm morning the death of a loved one. But it's worse, because she's still here, and continues to make attempts to reach out to me.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:42 AM
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Difficult you bet, but not impossible.

I work with an xabf and am tempted 8 hours every day to contact him.

So far it has been 2 years of No contact and my life is messy as it is without him.
I just do not need his drama, his selfishness, his rage, his issues. He is not a solution or even an enhancement to my life anymore.

What I want to say is: "things can be very difficult and maybe you are tested every day and every hour, that does not mean your resolve is not stronger than that"



Mourning someone that is still alive and around and close in some level is very very difficult. I believe I am still in that process. Therapy is helping me let go of him and my past in general. As barb says: "same planet, different worlds"

Your sanity is worth way more than anything she can offer at this time.


All the best.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:51 AM
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I have trouble sleeping at night knowing that potentially her life is at risk, by the very manner in which she drinks - as if she's trying to kill herself.


She is not trying to kill herself. She IS killing herself. She has a Higher Power, her life or death are not in your hands.

Perhaps "Codependent no more" by Melody Beatty may help? also "The Grief club" is an excellent book.

May I add after horrible things happened, xabf is drinking the same as usual {or worse- even in the same bar. Had I stayed I would have been restless another 2 years while he essentially parties and does what he does. This person told me he was planning to drink until his last day on this planet. After 2 years of reading many stories here, I believe most addicts have the same intent in mind. We could die waiting for a miracle that won't happen. Can that be called living at all... at what cost would that be??

Our happiness is important. In fact it is essential we achieve the goals we have set for ourselves -balance, health, tranquility- because that is how the world heals. Thinking I am "less-than" has set me up for suffering. Believing I matter and can create positive changes for myself, brings me to a place of power where what others think and do has NO EFFECT over my ability to face the present moment and why not, enjoy it, taking it as it is -MY experience of life, so unique and precious - unlike any other. That my friend is self respect and self love and a whole new way of living, at least for me, that I am very glad to be discovering.

We deserve a real chance for happiness and true love. We can sing songs that have no ending... that is the best way that I can put it.

PS There are many other women with whom you could have true relationships with and won't bring madness with them.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
[I]
She is not trying to kill herself. She IS killing herself. She has a Higher Power, her life or death are not in your hands.
This. You do not have control over how she lives or how she chooses to die. It's difficult to accept this, but it's the only way to avoid a torturous existence.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ebarash View Post
Finally, on a personal level, I keep remembering how great our relationship was, when we were both working a program.
AA has taught me to live in the moment, to see things as they are at this time, and act accordingly.

When I start living in the past, or fantasizing about a possible future, I am headed for trouble. I am not living in today.

I threw away 4 years of sobriety after engaging in a relationship I had no business being in. I rationalized it was okay because he was sober 2 years.

He relapsed, and I wasn't far behind.

It was not worth it.

I was lucky to make it back into recovery after 2 miserable months of binge drinking.

He never made it back, and 20 years later is still busy drinking himself to death.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:36 AM
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When I was drinking there was nothing and no one who could stop me. I had to stop myself. You have no control over her. None. It's sad to say but your sobriety should be your first priority. Her life is her life and you can't make choices for her, no matter how sad it is. I'd say detach with love and let her go.
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