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Do we become overly sceptical?

Old 03-06-2011, 12:55 AM
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Do we become overly sceptical?

Perhaps with good reason, I think. Still I would like to try to see good and hope and not just be jaded with suspicions...

You may recall that when my AW (who is making some sort of Half-Hearted Attempt at Recovery HHAAR?) just returned from raising hell in her home island.

She came home to the cold reality that I had taken a rental house 20 miles away. That was a week ago.

Through my own recovery work in SR and Al-Anon as well as the aftercare in attend from her last treatment I finally feel detached. I have not said a single controlling thing to her. I am convinced I don’t care if she starts drinking again as we have a nice barrier.

This last week she has been an angel, of course, cooking us a dinner to take home each night, school lunches made for when we pass in the morning, desperately trying (too hard as it happens) to reconcile with 16yr old daughter (who is softening).

We have had a fantastic week together during the day and I am enjoying her without feeling responsible for her outcomes. I genuinely feel if she derails today, I can be disappointed and get on with life, there will be no devastation, just gratitude for what we had that day.

She claims she wants her family back. A week of sobriety, sure impressive, but not new. Is it a mega quack?

I know she wants her car back but has stopped asking after I told her that if she insists I give it back before I think she’s ready, I will have to tip off the cops (this is controlling but we have been through this one on SR already: public safety versus controlling)

Anyway I am going along with it for now, one day at a time, enjoying the good bits. From her attitudes I still see the odd bit of stinking thinking, she is cleverly aware of how to portray recovery but sometimes I see flaws which make me think it is put on for show. I avoid at all costs lecturing her about it, and his is liberating. Think, Think, Think.

She has accepted we won’t be living there until the school year ends June at the earliest, so we shall see if she can keep it up.

Thanks for listening. (BTW: Great surf in western ireland this week!)

Reef
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:52 AM
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Well, I think it's OK to hope.

After all, people DO recover--they don't do it all at once, and even those who are trying their hardest mess up. And people "practice" acting and living sober before they actually feel it in their bones. I like the saying that you can't think your way into acting right, but you can act your way into thinking right.

It's tricky--to keep hope alive and enjoy the good days without constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, and at the same time recognize that the alcoholic might just not be "there" yet.

Sounds like you're doing your best, which is all any of us can do.

Bottom line, yeah, it's OK to hope.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:26 AM
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Thanks Lexie,

Yes I am happy to go along with hope, I actually thinks she wants to pull it together.
Had another nice day together.

Something one of the counsellors at my after-care said to me after saying she was sorry the missus has relapsed so quick was that it was not all lost, she said that after having done the treatment the A would never be able to just drink away the same as they did before knowing what they know, having done full step 1s infront of a group of peers etc.
Been made to face all the truth and consequences

So yes, recovery doesn't need to happen all at once, it can be a cobbled together series of experiences and events that evetually lead them to wanting it and realising it.

Thanks...Just need to make sure I don't throttle back on my own recovery work!
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:58 PM
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Thanks so much for posting. I hear a lot of hard work and recovery in your post and my hat is off to you during this challenging time. I've had to learn to let go of expectations entirely. I can hope, but, when dealing with an addict (and I'm one of them) do not think one plus one equals two.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Well, I think it's OK to hope.

After all, people DO recover--they don't do it all at once, and even those who are trying their hardest mess up. And people "practice" acting and living sober before they actually feel it in their bones. I like the saying that you can't think your way into acting right, but you can act your way into thinking right.

It's tricky--to keep hope alive and enjoy the good days without constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, and at the same time recognize that the alcoholic might just not be "there" yet.

Sounds like you're doing your best, which is all any of us can do.

Bottom line, yeah, it's OK to hope.
Thank you, LexieCat. I think I uttered the exact words to my mother today that I am constantly waiting for the other show to drop even though I can see baby steps towards progress. This is all very hard, and the codependent thinking is makes me batty at best. Onward and Upward.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:20 PM
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Hey, Reefbreakbda. I don't know why I never saw your location - for some reason I always think Hawaii or Australia when I see your name. But, Ireland is one place I have always wanted to visit...

Rayn3drop's post really helped it fall into place for me. It depends on the people involved.

Consistency in action over time leads to trust.

I’m more willing to trust some people than others after a disagreement/incident/whatever, because their past behavior was kind/accepting/polite/considerate – generally respectful of my person, beliefs and boundaries. If the event that bruised our trust was a one-off event and the majority of their behavior supports that, then I’m more likely to trust them again.

Where I got (get) into trouble is when people consistently behaved in a manner that hurt me or my loved ones, and I ignored the pattern and continued to believe that they would be respectful in the future. Instead, I should have begun to trust that they would continue to behave in a hurtful manner.

I think it’s healthy that skepticism enters the picture after some one has repeatedly behaved in a manner that disregards our feelings, thoughts and/or safety. It takes time to re-build trust.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:56 PM
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Do we become overly skeptical?

good question.

I don't think so.
We know A are liars. We know they will do everything they can to continue living the way they have been. Worse..we don't have any kind of lab test or diagnostic tool to say "oh yeah, they've finally hit bottom. Recovery will stick this time"
I think we HAVE to be skeptical in order to cope w/ them whether they are active A's or Recovering A's.
Mine has already lied to me at least twice about major issues we have in our marriage, it really destroyed what little trust we had reestablished. Now i doubt every word out of his mouth.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:17 AM
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Someone told me once, "Hope for the best, plan for the worst."
I try to do that.
There is also a difference between "hope" and "expectation" - as long as it's the first and not the second, I'm fine.

That said, in my life even if there's a best-case-scenario it's a little too late for how I feel now, so I wish him the best, but I am no longer putting myself in that situation.
I do feel a little more cynical and skeptical in the rest of my life now, but since I was overly optimistic about everything before, I think I'm just closer to reality now?
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:39 AM
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"Where I got (get) into trouble is when people consistently behaved in a manner that hurt me or my loved ones, and I ignored the pattern and continued to believe that they would be respectful in the future. Instead, I should have begun to trust that they would continue to behave in a hurtful manner."

Going to the hardware store for milk and bread. Yup I did it over and over and over. And I find myself doing it again this time in a different relationship. It's amazing to me how I choose to ignore behaviors because I think maybe they just need one more chance, or maybe if I just give it time they will see xyz, or maybe they need to understand me better, or maybe . . . excuses, excuses and I make them for people because I honestly know they are good at heart. They are not bad people but just have "bad" behaviors. And I am so damn hopeful and want it to be okay (insert "my will" here) that I refuse to accept what really is. Reality. Just ignore it because it's not the way I want to see it. I hate this about myself. When will I ever learn?

Peace,
Jen
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
There is also a difference between "hope" and "expectation" - as long as it's the first and not the second, I'm fine.
This is key for me and one more piece. If hope springs from the fact that my life/identity/safety/security/serenity hinges on the outcome - I'm in trouble.

I aim to never again put myself in that position. Hope in that case is just a desperate wish and reluctance to steer my own ship.

I have hope that my now xah will find recovery. I don't have 'expectations' surrounding his recovery. I can see him and his recovery (and back steps) with a gentleness that is more my true self then the harsh edges and thorny corners of the person I had become. I see reality and call it as it is. I don't see that as skepticism really but an absence of the desperate hope I once had.

Most importantly, I am not desperate. My life/identity/safety/security/serenity are completely separate from his recovery or addiction.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:49 AM
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Overly sceptical? No

Understandably realistic? Of course


You have such a great attitude to your situation, Reef. Such a brilliant example of being able to act in the interests of yourself and the children whilst maintaining compassion for your wife.
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