Why is no contact so hard? And why is it necessary?

Old 03-11-2011, 06:25 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by courageouscrane View Post
Thanks to all for your feedback. I am trying one day at a time, but it is really like one minute at a time, and making days seem as long as years.

With the exception of this most recent beer-hiding incident, he has always been painfully honest with me. And while I don't like the aCTION of drinking, there have never really been any "bad" actions on his part.

I am finding myself running through a whole spectrum of emotions, from feeling like he is the love of my life, to feeling mad that he can't even call me. I wish that there could be apology, a f*** you, a "we should break up," a "I can't stop drinking," a "I'm moving to Mongolia"...something, ANYTHING, for at least some closure. I'm sitting here staring at a big pile of his stuff on my desk, and don't really want to throw it in a bag and leave it on his porch.

Maybe it is too soon, but the more distance we have, the more confusing things seem. The longer we go without talking, the more I think about how much I love him, and how important he is to me, and how irreplacable our love seems. But at the same time, it hurts so badly that this man who told me just one week ago that he loved me, that I am his best friend, that I am the love of his life, can't even call me. And that makes me think that he only loved me when I "let" him drink...that his promises that beer would never come before me are all lies, and beer has won hands-down

Alcoholics don't have the capacity to give back as you or I do. All that emotional space is taken up or dulled by the drinking. Not that he doesn't love you, that part of him just isn't available to function as you need it to. When I start to struggle with trying to make sense of why they do what they do, I get some good feedback from friends who are recovered (either from drinking or addiction). It is that 'insider perspective' that helps me the most.

What they all tell me is to not take the inconsistent, confusing things personally. But that is easier said than done when you are sitting there with very strong feelings for this person and trying to understand the connection you share. It is like holding the healthy good things of the relationship and wondering why anyone in their right mind would put that down and walk away. In my worst moments I vent about the RABF 'screwing this up!!', meaning, he is mucking up something which could be great if only...... that is where we get trapped, it isn't about the potential you see in him, it is about what he is doing to you now that matters.

It hurts, is confusing and he is avoiding you. All that other stuff you gotta leave alone; his recovery, his intentions, motives, his drinking,... all that is about him. Only he can work with that.

Trust me in that I could have written your post but the only true advice I can give is to try to detach for your benefit. I prefer the whole detaching thing as opposed to no contact but detaching isn't easy. In my head I just imagine I am putting down this chaotic bowl of emotions he and I share and stepping away until he is in a better space to deal with it. It may or may not happen. For someone who is actively drinking though, that may be a long wait
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:34 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Thanks BB. You are totally right that ONLY HE can deal with his drinking, recovery, etc. We have talked since I originally posted, and he has increased the frequency of his MD/counsellor visits, and is working towards getting on Antabuse. So, that gives me some hope that he is seeing he needs more help and is getting it, and is more serious about recovery than he has been in the past. (Of course, I take all of his attempts at recovery with a huge rock of salt!)

I thank you also for your point about detaching versus no contact: that is a really helpful distinction, and I can see how each is helpful, depending on the situation. I guess that time apart has let me detach, rather than be "NC." My brain is completely detached and sees very little hope for the relationship, while my heart is still so in love with this man who is the love of my life. I guess the great thing about being detached is that, even though heart and brain are on totally different pages, I do feel much more grounded in each, and it feels like the heart is letting the brain speak more, and keeping my heart safe, for now.

I guess the hard thing is that I COMPLETELY agree that alcoholics, in general, don't have the capacity to give in the way that non-As do. And, as you said, there is a lot of frustration around potential vs. reality. BUT, my BF has been unbelievably good and supportive and "there" for me, even despite his drinking. Since we have been together, I have learned to value my SELF (HUGE!!!), my body, and UN-learned a lot of messed up things from my childhood (physical, verbal, sexual abuse). Plus, made a great job change and gotten in to the top program in my field. Yes, because I did it for myself, but I honestly don't think I could have done it without him. He really is an amazing and beautiful man. And really is the love of my life, we are like peas in a pod. He's my best friend, and the best friend that I've ever had. And I have been blessed to have some pretty great friends. And so happy to be connecting with so many others here on SR
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:31 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I hear he is all those things to you. And he sounds like a good man but a good man with a very serious problem. Again, I will only speak for myself when I say there was some denial on my part about how self destructive alcoholism is. From time to time I do a reality check and remind myself why getting caught up in my feelings and fantasy isn't healthy for either one of us. It places expectations on him he cannot possibly meet and sets me up for disappointment after disappointment.

I will challenge you with this .. You said "he has been there for you, despite his drinking". He really hasn't. Not the him that is sober at least, unless you knew him sober (don't know your history actually so I am surmising only from your post that the person you are in love with is the man who drinks). So that is something to have in the back of your mind. The sober person you haven't actually met yet. Not saying he is worse or better but you have been who you are this whole time. He has been who he is while drinking. There is a big difference.

I'm not trying to diminish your hope, I just know that my own level of denial often makes me see things as I want them to be, not as they really are.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:51 PM
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When I was learning English (not my native language) they taught us sayings and I remember "don't put all your eggs in one basket" (or something like that)

My BF has been unbelievably good and supportive and "there" for me, even despite his drinking.

What helped me -helps me- feel better is to approach many people who are good and supportive and truly there for me. The ones that don't have a Mr Hyde lingering or hiding anywhere.

I hope you can look for real life support other than the BF.

People come and go in our lives and clinging to one as my life depended on it has always brought me down to my knees in pain (or more like: to the floor in a fetal position).

I am learning The One I can trust now is myself. And also I believe anyone with an active addiction: be it to alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, food, cigarettes, videogames, anime or whatever, is NOT someone I can truly trust. Just my experience so far and what I am learning these days. That I need healthy people around me. Radiantly healthy, to set me an example and make me realize Yes There is a New Way of living that has Nothing to do with Addiction, Walking on Eggshells, Today-I-Love-You-And-Tomorrow-You-Are-My-Worst-Enemy, drama, lies, "maybe tomorrow a miracle happens", fantasies, wishful thinking, etc etc.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:00 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Why is no contact so hard?

Because somewhere somehow we learned the other one held the key to our happiness and to all good things and its difficult to "unlearn" the toxic pattern that often runs in the family (codependency)

Why is it necessary?

Because only in NC can you gain clarity and perspective which in my humble view, are the doors to everything else that is good that comes from an experience like this (hitting the "codependency bottom")
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:45 PM
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Very proud of myself-haven't seen him in 4 weeks, no phone contact, no e-mails..
And since last Weds I have had 2 e-mails from him (including 1 this am) that I HAVE NOT responded to....
I usually would respond to anything relating to him immediately..

This is a huge positive step for me.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:23 PM
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What else are you doing to help yourself?
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:26 AM
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Yup - I am three weeks in now and there has been no contact at all. I even have changed my driving routes to as not to see him and left our church (that was the hardest thing to do but necessary for me)
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:27 AM
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I am focusing on MY life and the many good things in it.
Still much work to do, but when I start to feel the sadness creeping up on me-I let it, deal with it, and carry on with my day.

Not easy, but necessary...
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:28 AM
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wow. that makes so much sense.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:10 PM
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i really appreciate this post and the responses to it. for me, having no contact makes me realize what a crazy love addict i can be myself, because i am jonesin' for a certain kind of presence. i have to step back and think: what is going on here?

in a chat room recently someone mentioned that in some of some of the alcoholic rooms it is sometimes said that "alcoholics don't have relationships, they take hostages." ouch! whether or not you agree, or find it too sweeping, or something, it really gave me a different perspective. under that light, some behaviors that seemed to me before only positive and loving seem (even unconsciously) manipulative or, well, just not really about me at all. just considering that idea really diminishes my craving for that contact and involvement.
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