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Can anyone offer me words of wisdom?

Old 03-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Can anyone offer me words of wisdom?

My RABF admitted yesterday that he doesn't see himself "in recovery." He hasn't had a drink in about 40 days or so and is doing very well so far... we are "going through the fire" so to speak with regards to social situations. But this realization has me.. ugh, afraid! I've been afraid all along that he was doing it for me, and he said recently (when i asked) that... "at first, he stopped drinking for me. But now, he is trying to convince himself of all the benefits of quitting, more healthy, can lose weight, will save money, won't get into anymore trouble around alcohol, no more hangovers, etc." All good things! And I try to take things day by day, but yesterday and today, I just can't take it by the day. I really do love my RABF, or I suppose its abstinent ABF at this point, semantics really (I KNOW there IS a difference)... but the future potential for relapse and resentment from him scares the he!! out of me. And I guess the fact that maybe he's simply not ready to admit he's an alcoholic is part of it. I know I've heard him say that he "knows he can't control his drinking," but I see that he hasn't fully accepted what that means to him. I've been an emotional wreck, mostly crying and feeling anxious. He has been trying to comfort me and telling me to try and be patient, and try to just live for today. But the fear has overwhelmed me. I said to myself twice a few minutes ago, the fears are out of my control, I can't control this, I need to let it go... and then I just cry more because I just can't figure out how to let it go. This is probably the third post I've made about how I can't let go of my fears, whatever they are. I've been reading the "Language of Letting Go," it only helps a little. So, thanks for listening. And any advice is welcomed
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:25 PM
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I know I had the same fears...

Why did I have the fears?...

Because I was hoping more for his recovery, instead of mine!!

Because its pretty much in concrete, that if the A is in denial, the story will repeat...

It sucks and I know it...But "MY" denial causes "ME" fear...
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:28 PM
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kaBANG!

that's the sound of Bobby hitting the nail RIGHT on the head.

well done!
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:43 PM
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I once read this book by this activist and something he said in it really struck me. He said, people are used to being in two states. The first state is Denial. They deny anything is wrong, or they downplay it. But when things become too overwhelming for them to deny anymore, they move to the other extreme, helplessness and despair. He said that they forget that there are other options. You don't have to chose between either denial or despair, you can chose action.

Action is the most empowering choice. But in order to take action it is imperative that you first become informed. Now, many people recommend popular psychology self-help books. Some of them are really good, I even have a couple myself. But IMO, when dealing with a physical disease as serious and as fatal as alcoholism, I find that many of them are misinformed. Instead of turning first to self-help books, you may want to read books that deal with alcoholism from a scientific point of view. There have been many scientific advances in the last several decades and much has been revealed about addiction that was never understood.

It is ok to be sad, but don't let yourself be overcome with despair. Educate yourself. We are fortunate to live in a time where the knowledge is available to us.

Best Wishes,

Panther
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:26 PM
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BobbyJ said it perfectly.
Concernednurse, we must work the program that we hope our As work.

Have you been to Al-anon? Al-anon, and Sober Recovery, and a great therapist have helped me to learn how to let go of fear, of the illusion of control.

My rabf is doing well in his recovery, but I will say that had I not sought my own recovery, we could never be happy together. I could not be happy with myself, or my life, had I not worked on ME as though my life depended on it.

I wish you well...and I strongly recommend Al-Anon. It's great that you are reading, but the support of those who have been there is so important for us.
Take care of you
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:57 PM
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Thanks everyone. Yes, I go to Alanon, I have been reading and coming to SR often, I have been going to an MFT with my RABF and I have started seeing my own therapist between sessions with BF. I know in theory that all this takes time, I have been the one saying from the get go that undoing years of this thinking doesn't happen in a few weeks or sessions.. I KNOW this as much as anyone can know this. I guess its two steps forward one step back... the last two days have been a step back.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:30 PM
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concerned -

I'm glad to read you're involved in Alanon!
like you just said-
major shifts in perception don't happen all at once
(most of the time)
and it's a system of back and forth
(if I'm understanding your post correctly)

so it's okay to 'flip' or 'ease' back into old thinking patterns
as long as we know that's what we're doing
and can stop that momentum
and get rolling back on the 'new' track again.

FOr me, today if I"m feeling anxious
the first thing I try to stop and do is
check where *I* am at in relation to the world
and my place in it.
because for ME
anxiety is the byproduct
of that old frame of mind with everything.

While there ARE things to be anxious about
they're not usually things that *I* would get that was over.

See what I mean?

If I'm feeling something 'terrible'
then I check MY head first.

HOpe that made sense.

So glad to read you're taking action in your recovery as well!
Good for you!~
So few do.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:05 PM
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Here are my thoughts CN.

I drank for the best part of 20 years and sober for 5+. I drank my life as I knew it, slowly into the gutter and I was the last to see it.

Does it really matter at the end of the day if he 'admits' that he is 'alcoholic'? If he recognizes that he can't control his drinking and by staying quit he sees that he will be more healthy, can lose weight, save money, won't get into trouble around alcohol, (that's a biggie) no more hangovers... what difference does it make that he use the word a.l.c.o.h.o.l.i.c. I think he recognizes that alcohol is a problem in his life and that not one thing he associates alcohol with is positive. I wouldn't push for naming himself and let him continue the process of staying sober.

None of us know what is down the road for us. There are no guarantees in life for anything. You will deal with whatever presents itself if and when it does. Today is all we know what to do with.
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:16 PM
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Gerryp wrote:
Does it really matter at the end of the day if he 'admits' that he is 'alcoholic'? If he recognizes that he can't control his drinking and by staying quit he sees that he will be more healthy, can lose weight, save money, won't get into trouble around alcohol, (that's a biggie) no more hangovers... what difference does it make that he use the word a.l.c.o.h.o.l.i.c. I think he recognizes that alcohol is a problem in his life and that not one thing he associates alcohol with is positive. I wouldn't push for naming himself and let him continue the process of staying sober.
I'd second this.

Consider: we often get "upset" when the A in our life *says* the "right things," but the behavior is doing the wrong thing.

Here, it appears (in so far as you can tell) the A is *doing* the "right thing," but not saying the right thing.

Which is more important?
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:05 PM
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Yup, I'm in agreement, it doesn't matter how he phrases it or what he calls it, it is in his commitment to sobriety. I don't think relapse is caused by 'having the wrong word used'. It is more complicated and why wait for the other shoe to drop? That is no way to live girlfriend!

If you envision a future with him then it is good to be realistic but worrying over something that hasn't happened is wasted energy. Energy you could place on doing something for yourself. Also, how are you able to enjoy time with him if you are constantly worried he will mess up? And if you are projecting that hopeless feeling onto him, that can't be a good thing either.

The thing is, we can say we know that their drinking, recovery, etc have nothing to do with us but truly believing that takes time and is a process. Bottom line, our worries and anxiety are really only harming ourselves and taking up wasted space.

Stay in the moment. I get so sucked into my own worries and head that I am missing the nice things in the moment I could be experiencing. There is a great sticky somewhere on SR about worrying. I printed it and read it over and over. Helped me quite a bit.

I also write my worries and fears out in detail in a journal and it really does help me get to a better space. Also, try to focus on other things besides the bf, his disease, recovery, etc. You gotta detach from time to time to gain perspective. I see that as a mental detachment for me. I need to compartmentalize this part of my life or it bleeds into other things needing my attention.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:01 PM
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Thanks for all the insights everyone! I feel so much better tonight. You all made me realize several things...

When I begin to get anxious, sad, and fearful its when I'm more concerned with what he's doing, his program, his plans, his recovery. All things I can't control!! I told my BF tonight why I thought I was upset yesterday and it was because I have trouble separating what I "need" for me (which I can control), from what I "want" for him (I can't control). And when i get into uncontrollable land, or his life, I get worried, anxious. It is a hard hard boundary for me to separate, and always has been. This is a pattern in my life and I hope I can uncover it finally! It has spoken a lot to my anxiety in life though...

To the several people above who said essentially "don't get caught up in labels"... I completely agree with you. I guess where I got sidetracked there is because I know I have heard my BF say before that he "knows" his drinking is problematic, but, at times he still seems to be on the fence between "I can't imagine my life without alcohol, and I can't imagine my life without GF." I had seen a lot of progress in him over the last few weeks that I guess I assumed he had come down on one side of the fence. (I hate to, and try not to assume, but it has become apparent that we need some improvement in our communication!) And so, I realize that I have to be more patient, and keep seeing his progress as progress. its just tough to get overwhelmed by the big picture sometimes. I see the "bottom" potential and I don't think he sees it. He doesn't go to AA... but again, its his process. Maybe he's just not ready. The story did not repeat itself today! One day at a time never meant so much in my life as it does now. And my BF seems to be taking things one day at a time... he can teach me a thing or two!

And lastly, I need to be good to myself. Maybe step it up a notch with the alanon. I got a mani/pedi today, but I *nearly* cried at the horrendous elevator music they were playing. hahah, im definitely in emotional overdrive! But after coming here and talking with BF, i really do feel better. Thanks everyone for the support and kind words.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for all the insights everyone! I feel so much better tonight. You all made me realize several things...

When I begin to get anxious, sad, and fearful its when I'm more concerned with what he's doing, his program, his plans, his recovery. All things I can't control!! I told my BF tonight why I thought I was upset yesterday and it was because I have trouble separating what I "need" for me (which I can control), from what I "want" for him (I can't control). And when i get into uncontrollable land, or his life, I get worried, anxious. It is a hard hard boundary for me to separate, and always has been. This is a pattern in my life and I hope I can uncover it finally! It has spoken a lot to my anxiety in life though...

To the several people above who said essentially "don't get caught up in labels"... I completely agree with you. I guess where I got sidetracked there is because I know I have heard my BF say before that he "knows" his drinking is problematic, but, at times he still seems to be on the fence between "I can't imagine my life without alcohol, and I can't imagine my life without GF." I had seen a lot of progress in him over the last few weeks that I guess I assumed he had come down on one side of the fence. (I hate to, and try not to assume, but it has become apparent that we need some improvement in our communication!) And so, I realize that I have to be more patient, and keep seeing his progress as progress. its just tough to get overwhelmed by the big picture sometimes. Especially as someone mentioned above, if denial is still present, the cycle repeats eventually. But it did not today!! One day at a time never meant so much in my life as it does now. And my BF seems to be taking things one day at a time... he can teach me a thing or two!

And lastly, I need to be good to myself. Maybe step it up a notch with the alanon. I got a mani/pedi today, but I *nearly* cried at the horrendous elevator music they were playing. hahah, im definitely in emotional overdrive! But after coming here and talking with BF, i really do feel better. Thanks everyone for the support and kind words.
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