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The steps of detaching & then weird thinking...

Old 04-12-2011, 08:43 AM
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The steps of detaching & then weird thinking...

AH moved away. Dang, between his rehab and moving away, its been almost 5 months away from him.

Detaching more and more away from his phone calls also.

Last night, I was thinking over the past 15 years. He is super sweet, you couldnt ask for a nicer guy. He drank everyday but never got drunk. He would catch his happy buzz...

Then he would have his drunk nights or weekends, that happen maybe every couple of months. But most of the time he was a happy loving,,,drunk.

Then 2 years ago, his drinking increased, which I wasnt totally aware of it. He switched to vodka and was drinking when I was at work, sobering up before I got home. But he was still nice, just went to bed by 7pm. His work habits went down the toliet, along with his personal hygeine, sex, and all aspects of our marriage & lives.

Then in December 2010, he became a full fledge drunk. It was very bad.He started drinking a fifth at 8am. Our marriage really fell apart now. He really became mean and ready to argue. Drinking and driving. The cops, the whole kit and kaboodle were not all in force in our lives.

When he had a few too many, of course, he would say mean things to the kids and me. I have a list of delightful events of my life, that were ruined due to him being drunk or even just smelling like whiskey...

Last night, the thoughts were running thru my head...
..."OH, it wasnt that bad"

It seems that when my anger starts to go away, I begin to feel that way.
..."OH, it wasnt that bad"


I do miss him
But yet, I dont want him back in the house with me

He has no recovery program
And Im honest with that in my heart, until he does, I know
there is no hope for us...

Does anyone else ever think that way?.."OH, it wasnt that bad"
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:00 AM
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laying in bed this morning thinking the same thing

Absolutely!!! I'm struggling with this, back and forth lately. Granted, it's only been a week for me, but the last time I broke it off with him I went for three weeks before the "it wasn't so bad" kicked in, and i got back together with him. Of course, things were okay for a while, but they got bad again eventually.

I went to an open AA meeting last night, every Monday is a speaker. This guy had nine years of sobriety, had really turned his life around, and was doing really well. The thing that got me was when he started talking about his wife. He said his wife has never been to Alanon. He said she stays on him about doing what he needs to do, and keeps him focused on his program when he starts to falter. When he gets crabby, or starts to show signs of forgetting his recovery, she reminds him to call his sponsor, or go to a meeting. He said that he wouldn't be where he was today without her pushing him, and keeping him on the right track. He's thankful for her and her part in his recovery.
This seems like exactly what Alanon tells us we shouldn't be doing. What time after time others tell us should not be our responsibility. But this is what works for him. His wife motivates him to be a better person. And this is what my ExABF was asking me to do, to help motivate him and keep him on the right track. I refused, because Alanon tells me that I shouldn't have to do that.
I wasn't supposed to go to that meeting. I was planning on meeting my sponsor at a meeting, but I didn't realize that she meant the new alanon meeting on the other side of town, so I ended up at the AA one. They say God puts us where we need to be, and gives us people to tell us what we need to hear. Was I supposed to hear that for a reason? I'm so confused right now.
SO of course I spent all night, and this morning wondering, was it that bad, and did I do all i could to help him be the person he could be?

I should have started my own thread here, sorry. It just really resonated with me what you wrote.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:02 AM
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Every single one of us.
Melody Beattie's book calls that codependency. I would check it out. It's called Codependent No More.
That shows OUR dysfunction or addiction to them, such that we disregard ourselves and can't make healthy choices that protect us anymore.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:27 AM
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Yes, it's a constant battle in my head! Change is hard when we are so used to taking care of other people and not ourselves.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:37 AM
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I'm thinking that today 'cause I'm caught in a battle with him. I want something he's got, yadda, yadda, yadda... And he's telling me that I didn't try hard enough for us to stay together and it's my fault we're split.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:44 AM
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YEs, I have this.

He is sober, working a weak program, changing some...

But, If I engage him, and it never fails...
He does some crazy thing with the positive energy I give to him.
If I am supportive, it always bites me in the a**

If I am tough love, I am a b*tch.

Just when I start thinking about, "Oh, it wasnt that bad..."

i have been going back and reading some of my old posts and journals.
Times when I had thought he really "got" something, I thought real change had occurred...I was always left feeling foolish for thinking that.

I hate that feeling of getting restrung up in his web of delusion and fantasy, and I can get there, because part of me WANTS to, but, that part is diminishing.

I hear ya.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:45 AM
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As a recovering alcoholic, I feel the need to respond to you KittyKitty. In my AA meeting there's a guy who only attends occasionally, and always looks like he's about to fall to pieces. His wife/girlfriend attends the meeting with him and holds his hand. When he shares, she rubs his leg. I struggle with this, because it seems like she's treating him like a little boy. He is not taking responsibility for his own recovery (note: i don't know him and do not KNOW this, but based on what I see, I make this assumption).

I fully believe that unless we own and are responsible for our recovery, then we limit our own growth.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:05 AM
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KittyKitty.... interesting you bring this up about "helping" because I struggle with it myself. I am not anywhere close to understanding this stuff, but I can't help but think that if the A is finding recovery on his/her own that some support when they are having trouble is not okay. I get that if we are the reason they seek recovery it will not work, they have to want it for themselves. However once they do want it for them supporting them and being helpful seems reasonable. No? At this point since my AH is not anywhere close to trying to be in recovery (well he has tried for over 8 years now off and on but I think it was because I wanted him to) since he is actively drinking I have time to get this figured out. I pray that someday I will be lucky enough to get to the point of having to make this determination.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:11 AM
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When we look back on the chaos we lived with, it's easy to look back after we leave the A's in our life and think "No, it wasn't that bad.

To me, whenever I thought this, it was a case of me redrawing my boundaries - they were getting further away from what I said was unacceptable and that showed EXABF that it was OK to keep on the way he was-no recovery, no direction, just the status quo of what our relationship was.

I sat last night looking at my daybook at what I had written after my final split with EXABF and thought to myself that it was the same pattern as before-he binges (usually every 3 months or so), says nasty things, we retreat to our corners, he sobers up and apologizes, I relent and the whole cycle begins again.

This time, it was different-I detached totally, going no contact. It was (and still is) hard not to respond to the emails, not to pick up the phone, try and hash it all out (yet again) but as FindingPeace says, they are our addiction and we have to break free of that addiction once and for all, to do whatever it takes. Of course I still think of him - is he still drinking, is he still working, but the thoughts aren't as obsessive as they once were. One day at a time - if I can get though each day with less and less obsessive thoughts, that's a plus for me.

Since I walked away, I have done things around my house that I had been putting off for such a long time - things I could never focus on because I was too focused on his issues, on whether we could spend time together, how he was feeling, was he drinking, all things that I have no power on but could not let go of.

I picked up my books for school, booked my mom's trip out to see me, bought a sofabed and coffee table, arranged for my yard to be cleaned up and spruced up-did a clean out of clothes, books, etc. for donation-all things that I could never keep my mind on because I was to focused on the A.

It's strange to focus just on yourself - needs, wants, things that have to be done and while it may sound selfish to some, to me, it is a freeing feeling to be good to myself-to read a book when I want and not have one ear on the phone, not having to worry whether he will cancel out on plans, things like that.

Yes, I do miss him, I still love him and it's those weak moments when I think that no, things weren't that bad. Then, reality kicks in-the cycle of sober & remorseful and binge and nastiness. No program for him, nothing worked and he can do it on his own. It is a case of tough love toward him and self care for me that brings me back to reality.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:45 AM
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Returntonormal

Your post is what I would love to hear from my AH

Bucking up like a man and taking responsibilty....

Thank You...It is always refreshing to hear, the difference between recover and recovery...
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:52 AM
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I have nothing against helping someone who is putting effort in themselves. If XABF wanted to get better, and was working a program, I would have stood by him and reminded him to call his sponsor, and all the rest. I tried all that while I was with him, but he didn't listen to me at all, so it was wasted effort.

As to remembering that it really was that bad, I have my writings from the end of it to remind me, and my poems showing my feelings during the time I was with him.
It's hard to talk myself into going back to him, after reading things like this, and remembering it's true:

Fortunately I had the foresight not to get undressed or take out my contacts, because an hour later he was storming the apartment, shouting about how I abandoned him, how he's so alone because he has no partner because I abandoned him and made a "jerk-off" out of him, and he started throwing the furniture around the house.


That Empty Space
That silent, lonely, empty space
Found just below the heart
That whispers, mocks, and finds all faults
And just rips you apart

That silent, lonely time of day
When none are there to hear
And softly, slowly, all mistakes
Are whispered in your ear

That silent, lonely feeling now
When none can come to aid
When all mistakes are brought to bear
And all good deeds do fade

That silent, lonely helplessness
With claws as firm as steel
That smothers all your hopes and dreams
Til only
it is real


How the heck did I put up with feeling like that all the time???
NOT going back. Yes, it WAS "that bad!"
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:48 AM
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I experience something similar, only it's with my alcoholic brother, who has lived with us for about five years.

My brother is no longer willing to try to quit drinking, and has told us that point-blank.

Every so often we'll have a confrontation, usually over him not being able to pay his share of the expenses here, but always having plenty of money for beer and cigarettes.

When I confront him, I tell him he has to move, but then it blows over, and things continue on as they always do.

We're going through this right now. I told him just last week that our lifestyles aren't a good match any more, and he needs to find his own place.

I wish things could be different. I wish I didn't have to send him away from our home, but I don't know what else to do. Once my anger has calmed down, I start to think that things weren't so bad, but the stress of the way he lives that effects me is overwhelming sometimes.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:00 PM
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Oh yes, I have those same thoughts often. Emotions fade over time, so what seemed really bad at the time now seems 'not so bad'. I started writing the bad things down in a numbered list so I wouldn't forget them.

And, I refuse to live with the RAH or have any conversations about our marriage or relationship for the first year of recovery (his and mine) and first anniversary of our separation (around Xmas 2011). After that - we can see where we both are and determine what the next step should be. I have dissolution papers filled out and saved on my laptop.

Everyday I remind myself that it WAS that bad and although he seems to be hanging in there at AA, he still has a long way to go. And quite frankly, so do I.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:17 PM
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yes, the "it's not so bad", when it reality, it's worse than it was.

Yep, btdt. I have my online journal(it's set to be completely private) with writings from back to 2002 in it, reminding me just how bad it was, and I can't close my eyes to just how bad it is now, not when I'm living it every day.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:30 PM
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Yes Yes Yes! It's funny that you posted this. I have been going through this the past two days after leaving him 7 months ago. I have been laid off and unemployed for 6 weeks now and have been down and out. He and I used to work together and are still in the same industry...word gets around...I had heard he was asking about me so I finally emailed him and asked him why he didn't just ask me himself. We emailed for a couple of days back and forth with conversations of what's going on, how we are and arguments. Of course he was throwing all the blame on me like always...he never did anything wrong...I wouldn't let him have friends...I wouldn't give him s*x...I didn't understand his finances....

It was all bull. But the one I started to wonder about is "Was it really that bad?" He wanted to spend at least 5 days a week with friends (drunk friends) and we would fight all the time because he really wouldn't spend any time with me. And those little thoughts creep in...well maybe it wasn't that bad. Maybe I should be able to be called a c*nt or f*t and take it as a joke. Maybe I was too sensitive when I didn't like to be told, "Suck my c*ck!!!" Maybe there is something wrong with me.

Luckily we have broken up and gotten back together several times and enough for me to know that while I might think those little thoughts, I know that I will quickly be reminded that it really was that bad. No one can accomodate him to everything that he wants and give up ALL of your needs in the way that he wants.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:34 PM
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We Alcoholics have those "it wasn't THAT bad" thoughts too. When I start to have them I like to read this passage from page 44 of As Bill Sees It:

Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:49 PM
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They say God puts us where we need to be, and gives us people to tell us what we need to hear. Was I supposed to hear that for a reason? I'm so confused right now.
If there was a reason for you to hear that, I think it was to read this thread.

I am a recovering alcoholic.
The only person who could get me sober and put me in recovery was ME!
I am the one who did it, and I want all the credit for it!
LOL

My ex used to say something similar to others not in recovery here,
"you are not supporting me enough"
"you are a b!tch, and I can find anyone better than you to [email protected]!"
"if you would just give me sex when I want it, I would not want to use."
"why cant you trust me? I have not stolen from you for weeks now!"
"you never give me a break"
"i had a tough life, and i drink to forget."


So, not only did I get sober by myself,(and the fellowship) I had to listen to this quacking for a year or so until I got it. Nothing I did, said, or prayed for was ever gonna happen for him, cause he does not want it enough. Not me, HE did not want it enough.

As long as the drunk is using excuses, for bad behavior, they will keep doing it.
That is magical thinking, "if i stayed for more drinking and abuse" maybe he will get better. Nope. No magic here.

Beth

Last edited by wicked; 04-12-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: add quote
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:41 PM
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What an awesome thread, I can't thank everyone enough for the responses, especially from the A's. It helps so much the hear from the other side of the fence.
One of the alanon readings suggests we will be able to give understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic. I've battled with that ever since the first time I read it.

No contact is definitely the best way to go. As Outlaw's post said, we have to expect to return to the point of departure on a daily basis, but as long as we are still strong in our faith that it was the right thing to do, and that this is the ONLY way to do it, we can move past it without doubting ourselves. Man, it's like an A waking up every morning and telling themself that it wasn't that bad, and they can drink again. Even though the proof is in the pudding (posts, journal entries, bank statements, some even have physical scars to prove it), I still get that twinge of 'what if I wasn't encouraging and understanding enough'. And seeing an email or phone call just makes it worse, like an A pulling into the parking lot of a bar/liquor store, (I assume). No contact is for my own good, screw his good, but yes it is hard. I'm hoping it will fade in time. Coming here definitely helps.

I was absolutely addicted to him, and yes, how strange is it to only have me to worry about now. Even though I have plenty going on, I still find time to give him headspace.

I need to put some (ALL) of that faith I am so eager to give him ~~~ into myself.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:33 PM
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When I start to tell myself "it wasn't that bad", I just go back and re-read my journal, and pretend that I am reading a friend's words about her life, instead of re-reading it as my own experiences that I have actually already lived.

I always find that when I do this, I am properly horrified. Shows me that yes, it was really "that bad", and that I still have a lot of work to do on my own boundaries. Just another part of the healing puzzle.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:51 AM
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I have nothing against helping someone who is putting effort in themselves. If XABF wanted to get better, and was working a program, I would have stood by him and reminded him to call his sponsor, and all the rest. I tried all that while I was with him, but he didn't listen to me at all, so it was wasted effort.
I'm so glad I'm reading everyone's posts here! I was going to ask, 'does anyone have regrets about moving away from an alcoholic?' Your answers are here.

I'm moving out. He came and asked me to reconsider last night (I've been sleeping in the guest room for a week). But he was using almost the exact same phrases that I said to him a year ago: "Why are you insisting on doing this? Can't you see how much you're damaging the family? Is this the way you want your son to see you?" Heh. That last one got me.

In answer to the OP, the 'it wasn't so bad' thoughts that were creeping in were replaced by a strong visual image of my ABF 'sneaking' past my sleeping son at 6:30 in the morning, being led by the hand to bed after drinking all night again. That was 6 weeks ago. That's 'not so bad'. Except when I consider that I've done that over and over and over. Except that it IS that bad. And that was his normal drinking. Sometimes it got much, much worse.

- Sylvie, getting the keys tomorrow, moving on Saturday.
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