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My "space" has given me clarity, holy cow! :)

Old 05-05-2011, 09:33 AM
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My "space" has given me clarity, holy cow! :)

ABF:
Imagine this. You realize that I, the woman you love, the woman you see yourself marrying and having children with, had a cancer that could eventually kill me. Would you be willing to stick by me no matter what? Come with me to doctors appointments? To get treatments? Would you offer me emotional support and positivity in my efforts to get better? My guess is your answer to all these would be yes. Because you love me, you would do all these things with me, for me and alongside me.

Now imagine this. I have the same cancer that could eventually kill me, and you could see my symptoms: a tumor on my body, im sometimes weak and run down, and I have a poor appetite. You point out to me that I have this tumor. I say, “Thanks for pointing that out, but its just a little bump, its nothing.” You try to show me that it appears to be getting bigger, “I don’t need to go to the doctor, lol, you’re crazy! Just relax, its fine.” As my tumor gets even BIGGER, I start to appear more run down and lose my appetite completely. You start to get nervous that I refuse to go see a doctor. You start to worry that things could get really bad in this situation if I don’t change something, go to the doctor, have the tumor removed, get treatment, eat my meals and to continue to get stronger, etc. But in my mind and spirit, I just do not believe that I am sick. So, I continue to refuse to go to appointments, I refuse to take medicine, I refuse to eat or change anything that might make me better.

You might try to talk some sense into me, you might try to convince me that the doctors are right, that I do have cancer. You might pick up a book on this type of cancer and read it for yourself. To see, does she really have cancer, or is the doctor wrong… maybe im making a bigger deal out of this than it is. Maybe im being overly sensitive. You might point out that day by day, “look, your tumor is getting bigger… don’t you see?” You might point out “you’re not eating, you’re getting more and more tired every day.” You might even cook me really great meals to try and get me to eat. You might try to coerce me into going to the doctor, you might even ask me to do it for you, please, go to the doctor, take your medicine, for me. Because I love you. Do it for me. SO- ok. I go to the doctor, and he says yup, it sure looks like cancer. I recommend that you start treatment right away. And I say, "thanks doctor, but its not cancer… I know I have this tumor, but really, its just a bump. It will be fine, I’ll be fine. Thanks for your input though."

At home, I see the pain you’re in when I won’t eat, or get out of bed. I see how upset and hurt you are when you cry. I see the look of disapproval you get on your face when you look at my bump and realize, she just doesn’t get it. She just doesn’t see, she doesn’t know what we all know. You get frustrated, become preoccupied thinking constantly, why won’t she accept that she has cancer? Why won’t she just get treatment? Why won’t she try? I see how angry you get when I tell you, “stop telling me I have cancer! I don’t have cancer! Its just a bump, relax.” "I’m sorry, hurting you is the last thing I want for you. It hurts me to see you so upset, but I just don’t have cancer. It’s that simple!" As your efforts to get me to accept that I have cancer fail, despite all the obvious evidence that there is to support it, I see you getting worn out and tired. I see that your eyes are tired from crying al the time. I see you getting distant. I see you pulling away from me. So at this point I say, "I see that you are tired. I am tired too. I want this to work out more than anything, please have faith in me. I ask you to trust me. I know you think I have cancer, but I just don’t accept that as the truth. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to have a family and raise children with you. You are the person I have always dreamed of. Please, just trust me, I will be ok, we will be ok, I promise… nothing is going to happen to me."

You see, ABF, it’s not about trusting you. It’s not about having faith in you. My heart breaks every time I see you pick up the very thing that I see as being so destructive to your life. Your picking up that beer, is me not going to the doctor. You are making a choice. That is why seeing you with “a beer in your hand” is so painful to me. I am no longer going to choose to experience this pain, as a result of you making your choice to continue to drink and not seek treatment. What brings us happiness in life is different for each one of us, and it has become obvious to me that they do not line up. “You live for today, and I live for tomorrow. “ A marriage, family, children, a nice house, a good job, a nice car, vacations, LIFE… those are the things in my tomorrow that I live for. Every choice that I make in life today, is in an effort to bring about my tomorrow. I hope you understand.

I don't know if I will ever give this to him or not. But, I really wrote it for me. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:44 AM
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maybe you can bring this post to the top once a week....it could help many people and besides alcoholism, it can be applied to many addictions.

I was cueing the bright shining light and cres. music when I read it. thanks!
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:03 AM
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Excellent!
And I did write out and give my ABF the analogy with diabetes.... it didn't change the drinking, but it gave us another tool to use to understand my boundaries. As in... if he were diabetic, and had cake parties, I wouldn't wash the dishes or hand people cake, or even be in the room. It helped to bring the topic away from 'you bad alkie' to 'this is a health issue that affects all of us'.

OTOH, clarity is only that. Actions speak louder than words.... sad and mad today, me.

- Sylvie
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:54 AM
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nurse,

oh, what a moment you've experienced.

i understand the analogy, of course. and while i do think there are similarites, the difference is that while the booze will also give those awful symptoms, the payoff is what happens inside before he feels rotten, and his health begins to fail.

and then there's the good ol' stigma.

i have always liked the diabetes comparison; they are quite similar.

i'm sorry you're hurting, but glad you had your clarity. it is what moves us forward.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:58 AM
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Wow, makes me think of my wife. Thank you for posting this. I will be strong for her now.
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