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I just don't get it.

Old 12-10-2010, 02:29 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Just when I start wanting to search deeper in why I became an alcoholic, one short thread post produces such a productive response.

I am the mental alcoholic, craving that elusive feeling it produces, even though I know it will lead to a bad ending someday.

It took twenty years of trying to stop...to stop and want to remain that way. Now I understand why I need to never drink again, and that clarity took a long time to appear. Hopefully every person searching for that clarity will one day have the gratification of discovering it. It's up to that person to want it.

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:44 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I too have struggled with the "Why can't he just stop drinking" question. I mean I'm starting to understand that alcoholism is a disease. This "thing" is new to me. I've never had to deal with someone who has this.

But my argument is this- Diabetes, for example, is a disease. Diabetics get cravings for sweets and sugars. They know that if they eat these "bad" things, they will become sick and possibly die from their disease. Alcoholics get cravings too apparently. Why can't they turn that switch off in their head/thinking that if they take that next drink, they will get sick or die?
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:48 PM
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I spent years (including my entire life, decades) asking. . . "the how's & why's" are great to ask. It demonstrates intellectual curiosity and can lead to problem-solving. . . As much as I am big on being "critical thinkers" and "knowedge = power," when it comes to someone else's addiction, I don't ever want to spend another nano-second, asking "why." It just *is.*
As I've said in a couple of posts, I'm in the "obnoxious stage" post-divorce. And the obnoxious stage includes this general attitude:

I'm tired of wondering about the motivation or reasons or needs behind other people's behavior. I'm completely and utterly ready to let them deal with those things themselves. Me? I will deal with them based on their behavior towards me. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I'm not going to waste my precious time contemplating whether it had a traumatic hatching experience, I'm just going to declare it a duck and go on with my life.

Maybe I'll hit a point where I become more sympathetic again. Right now, I'm not there.
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Old 12-10-2010, 03:54 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Bolina:
But having all the answers for someone else's problem when they haven't even asked the question doesn't really help. It's arrogant of me to think that I can decide the questions and then answer those questions for them, it takes away their agency, it also takes away the personal growth that comes from asking those questions for themselves and it takes my focus away from where it belongs i.e. on me.

I'm with you, Bolina! So well said. I think in the guise of being loving and caring, I was arrogant to think I had the answers for others, after asking, researching endlessly for solutions. The whole experience of recovery (my own) has been very humbling for me but so freeing. . . I don't always "have to know" even though my curiosity gets the best of me!
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:25 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I watched my XAH drink himself into being a bedridden wreck in a nursing home, before finally finding peace last year.....in death.

I have been with BF while going from binge to binge, suffering the hell of withdrawal so many, many times, believing the promises of "never again, no more etc", the pain of having those promises continually broken, until I could take no more.

I cannot give you a perfect reason why HE COULD NOT JUST STOP, anymore than I can give a reason why I COULD NOT JUST DUMP HIM, over those 18 years of hell.

I finally gave him up, and he gave the drinking up shortly after....this time he said nothing, no promises to break.....just got help for himself and did it.

Maybe it was just the right time for us both. I don't know.

I do know that, if the drink comes around again.....I am finished and he can do as he wants, because I will not be watching, waiting or suffering anymore.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:44 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NoAlcoholToday View Post
The bottom line is, highfunction, he plain doesn't want to stop yet. It is you who wants him to stop and that will never cut it.

One of our moderators said on a thread yesterday "I have never seen anyone here on SR fail if they truly wanted to stop".
This is true for me, too. I have been sober for three months. This time I didn't just want to stop drinking... I wanted to live sober. . I never before really wanted to live without alcohol and that's why I fought so hard to keep some vague grip on my drinking.

So I'd ask not 'why can't he stop' but 'why doesn't he want to stop'. I didn't want to because I thought life would be boring and dull without alcohol, amongst other reasons.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:47 PM
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1SweetGirl, you wrote "But my argument is this- Diabetes, for example, is a disease. Diabetics get cravings for sweets and sugars. They know that if they eat these "bad" things, they will become sick and possibly die from their disease. Alcoholics get cravings too apparently. Why can't they turn that switch off in their head/thinking that if they take that next drink, they will get sick or die?"

Unfortunately once an alcoholic......always an alcoholic! There are some alcoholics who have accepted......

- Complete deflation (commonly known as the First Step.)

- Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power (commonly known as the Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Steps.)

- Moral inventory (commonly known as the Fourth and Tenth Steps.)

- Confession (commonly known as the Fifth Step.)

- Restitution (commonly known as the Eighth and Ninth Steps.)

- Continued work with others (commonly known as the Twelfth Step.)

That's why they are called RECOVERING alcoholics!
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:59 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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This is at the crux of it, isn't it? They just need to shut the f*ck up! Stop talking, stop justifying, stop rationalizing, stop promising, stop complaining, stop whining, stop gaslighting, stop arguing, stop manipulating, stop stop stop! It's not about talking. It's about saying nothing and DOING something.

I think you summed it up!
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:05 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Rayn3dr0p View Post
This is at the crux of it, isn't it? They just need to shut the f*ck up! Stop talking, stop justifying, stop rationalizing, stop promising, stop complaining, stop whining, stop gaslighting, stop arguing, stop manipulating, stop stop stop! It's not about talking. It's about saying nothing and DOING something.
And so do we.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:23 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Rayn3dr0p View Post
This is at the crux of it, isn't it? They just need to shut the f*ck up! Stop talking, stop justifying, stop rationalizing, stop promising, stop complaining, stop whining, stop gaslighting, stop arguing, stop manipulating, stop stop stop! It's not about talking. It's about saying nothing and DOING something.
Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
And so do we.
Catlovermi - that hit me like a ton of bricks.

These two posts together are possibly the most powerful two I've read yet.
I was reading Rayn's and doing a silent 'Hell Yes' in my head and then I read yours and ..... 'Oh, <silence> <thinking> HELL YES!!"

This has been a good thread for me in more ways then one. Thank you SR.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:19 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Rayn3dr0p View Post
"I finally gave him up, and he gave the drinking up shortly after....this time he said nothing, no promises to break.....just got help for himself and did it."

This is at the crux of it, isn't it? They just need to shut the f*ck up! Stop talking, stop justifying, stop rationalizing, stop promising, stop complaining, stop whining, stop gaslighting, stop arguing, stop manipulating, stop stop stop! It's not about talking. It's about saying nothing and DOING something.
You're on FIRE tonight!....hahah!
Yes I agree, they need to just stop it!
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:23 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by highfunction View Post
I know it's a disease and a compulsion and it's just different for him than it is for me.

But really I just don't get it.

Why. Can't. He. Just. STOP???

ARRRRRGH!

Okay, back to being patient now...
I don't really have any words of wisdom but I used to drive myself mad with that question. Now I really just don't care "why". My ex ah is just the way he is and I am thrilled that I'm to the point where I just look at it as he is the way he is and it's just not condusive to what I want to be bothered with.

I wish I had the magic solution and answer to get you to that point, but I honest to goodness can't really pinpoint what the catalyst was to get me to where I am now, but I have gone from being in constant fret and worry to just taking each day as it comes and affecting change in my own life to make it better.

I am still very much tied to my ex ah because we have a child, and at this point we are still financially bound to some extent. If he goes belly up and I have to incur his portion of debt due to loss of job or whatever, I am totally screwed. In the past, this would have consumed me. Now, I just figure I will find a way.

The realities of my life have not changed a bit, but how I take them on has changed significantly.

Sorry to have gone off on a tangent there. I guess my point is, it is better to look towards finding out what makes you tick rather than what makes the alcoholic tick.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:36 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bernadette View Post
And it upsets me because outside of this, he's so perfect.

*sigh*
All of our As have marvelous qualities and can be wonderful loving people when not in the grip of alcohol. But the reality is: They are in the grip of alcohol. Accepting that for me took some real effort.

And I learned that the fantasy and magical thinking of "If they would only stop drinking they would be awesome!" is a complete and total fallacy, because the alcoholism is merely a symptom, and the hard work they would need to do to recover from that addiction - well, we just cannot predict what they will be like or who they will be or if we will be compatible.-)
Boy, isn't that the truth?

It is all a total fallacy. Only when you have really stepped away from it all can you begin to see the reality vs the "magical thinking". I used to think that the only issue my ex had was alcoholism, and if we could just get that under control and fixed, all would be right with the world. That just isn't the case.

Being fortunate enough to have distanced myself, I am now able to look back on our relationship and realize that even when he was sober (he didn't drink when we first met), he was not a great person and had some pretty significant issues that I overlooked that should have most certainly been red flags.

I think it is very hard for us co-dependents to see what "is" vs what "is what we wish for" so we will overlook and ignore reality much of the time.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:45 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I'm tired of wondering about the motivation or reasons or needs behind other people's behavior. I'm completely and utterly ready to let them deal with those things themselves. Me? I will deal with them based on their behavior towards me. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I'm not going to waste my precious time contemplating whether it had a traumatic hatching experience, I'm just going to declare it a duck and go on with my life.

Maybe I'll hit a point where I become more sympathetic again. Right now, I'm not there.

Rock on. I'm totally with ya. I'm not sure I will ever be sympathetic. And it's not like I am really angry. Just done. If that makes any sense? I was always more angry trying to be sympathetic. It's a bit peaceful and cathartic not really paying any mind to why someone is the way they are. They just are, and I completely have the choice to not be bothered with, or sucked into it.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:16 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I struggle with this question too - thought I'd share what my therapist said. While the non-alcoholic can have a drink or two and feel satiated, the alcoholic drinks the same amount and has to have more - totally craves more.

It really is mind boggling. That, and their denial of the situation - just has me shaking my head.
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