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Old 05-17-2011, 01:00 AM
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I need some help

Hi all,
I know that it has been awhile, but I have been doing a lot of reading on the sidelines. I thought that life was getting a lot better. The wife and I were getting along well. We are anticipating building a new house, making some long term dreams/plans. etc. But I know that just under the surface life is still stormy. I have been working a ton of hours lately, both days and nights so I have been a bit out of pocket at home. Right now I am working nights and I get a call. Right away I know that she has had more than her usual bottle of wine a night. She is crying on the phone telling me how unhappy she is, but that is all right since the kids (all older ) and I are all happy. That she is willing to give up her dreams if that means that we are getting and having what we (the rest of the family) need. I am a fixer by nature and have been doing all I can to keep the waters calm. I have read about being a codie. What is that? I love this woman to death and would part the water for her if I could. I just dont know what to do any more....

thanks for listening to the blather

grizz
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
Hi all,
I know that it has been awhile, but I have been doing a lot of reading on the sidelines. I have read about being a codie. What is that?

thanks for listening to the blather

grizz
Codie is short for codependent. Hoping sincerely that you do know what a codependent is. If you don't, not trying to be snarky here, you need to do a lot more reading.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:30 AM
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No matter what happens you can not join anyone else's pity party. For me , i have a very similar problem right now. I've stepped up my meetings, doing some service and praying a lot. Just trying to stay away from my playground in my head . I keep myself talking to other alcoholics and have been told by some old timers that i can't be the director any longer. I put a bunch of al-non lit., on the coffee table at home and in a few days my wife started to read. Last night she came to me and asked if she could go to an open meeting of aa or an al-non meeting. I hope this works for me and you. My wife will only get better if she wants to, just like i am trying after i hit lower than bottom. 88 days and hours clean and sober. One day at a time.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:43 AM
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By the way i forgot one of the most important things is talking to your sponsor. If you don't have one ,usually aa always has many who can be your temporary till you find one whom you like.i keep talking to my sponsor and other alcoholics and that seems to keep me in the moment.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:15 AM
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Yeah, I know what Codie stands for....I want to know what that all entails, so if there is a thread that spells it out maybe someone could clue me in.

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Old 05-17-2011, 04:07 AM
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Hey Grizz...

Codependent people tend to take on responsibility for things (ie the people around them, their feelings, etc) that are just plain old none of their business. Our happiness becomes too tied up in what others are or aren't doing, we stop taking care of ourselves because we are too burdened trying to take care of everyone else.

In the case of my STBXAH, I did EVERYTHING for him. Managed all the money, took care of making sure all events were scheduled, house was taken care of... The list went on and on. He wasn't responsible for much at all... Because I let him. Because he complained about being stressed, and when he go stressed he needed a drink. I hated the drinking... So if I took away the stressor, the drinking would stop right? No. Take away one reason, and another one pops up in it's place. "I drink because it's a wedding, I drink because I'm bored, I drink because it's Wednesday, I drink because it tastes good..."

So, he's going to drink, no matter what I do or don't do. Yet, I have rearrange myself and my life to prevent the drinking. Truth is... The drinking is my problem, not his. He's okay with drinking, and I have learned to NOT be codependent and accept him as HE IS. Not what I think he could be, not what I want him to be.... Who he is.

And thats where we make decisions for ourself from... Reality. Not some sick twisted image of what we think we could mold them into... If they would just sit still long enough.

Hope that helps... It's not a textbook definition, but it is my layman understanding of my own situation.
Take what you like and leave the rest,
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:48 AM
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thanks getting by....dang it anyways, I think I am a codie. I guess I knew that though. I am going to have to get off this insane merry-go-round, detach, and remember to realize that its her gig.


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Old 05-17-2011, 08:01 AM
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Hi Grizz

Nobody else has said it, so I will. Read

'Codependent No More' by Melonie Beattie

One of my most outstanding pieces of codependency was staying up all night completing AH accounts for the tax office, whilst I could hear him up in bed snoring after drinking all evening.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:33 AM
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If I had a dollar for everytime my RAH did this same thing while drunk, AND still, while sober.

it is all about him/her not taking responsibilty for their own happiness, and playing a little martyr drama out in their own minds.

Things could have been going great for him, and for us, and while that was usually unsustainable while he was using, he would still, in the midst of it, call with a sob story about how his life wasnt what it should be, and, well, quack quack quack, as long as our son and I have everything we need, then his happiness doesnt matter.

Please.

this is so hard to take, especially when they are sitting there downing a bottle of depressant.

You are doing everything you. can do.
Try to stay off of her roller coaster, keep your eyes on how you feel, how your day, or your life is going.

Practice getting in touch with whether YOU are having a good day, whether YOUR goals are being realized.

And, like I said...This did not neccessarily STOP when he got sober. It did abate, but, Self Pity is the fuel for addiction. If everything is going great, an active drunk cannot logically justify ruining their day, month or year drinking it away (But, oh, they will try..."our team won the game--lets drink, I did well on my sales job, lets drink...our team lost the game, lets drink...etc)

Really, programs like AA aim to evict self pity, and to instill ones responsibility for ones own happiness, because self pity is a willing justifier.

Alanon does the same thing.

Good Luck, keep posting!
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
Hi all,
I know that it has been awhile, but I have been doing a lot of reading on the sidelines. I thought that life was getting a lot better. The wife and I were getting along well. We are anticipating building a new house, making some long term dreams/plans. etc. But I know that just under the surface life is still stormy. I have been working a ton of hours lately, both days and nights so I have been a bit out of pocket at home. Right now I am working nights and I get a call. Right away I know that she has had more than her usual bottle of wine a night. She is crying on the phone telling me how unhappy she is, but that is all right since the kids (all older ) and I are all happy. That she is willing to give up her dreams if that means that we are getting and having what we (the rest of the family) need. I am a fixer by nature and have been doing all I can to keep the waters calm. I have read about being a codie. What is that? I love this woman to death and would part the water for her if I could. I just dont know what to do any more....

thanks for listening to the blather

grizz
grizz, it's not blather. That said, it's tough. It is certainly not easy grizz. As much as I hate to say it, but the 1000lb. gorilla in the room is that she is drinking. Everything can be heightened, exacerbated, etc., because of drinking. That makes it worse or impossible to deal with. Yes, many of us -- me included -- are fixers by nature. However, remember the 3 C's -- you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you certainly can't cure it. So your love makes you want to do it more.

Part of keeping the waters calm as you call it, is learning to not enable her. That, along with detachment are often the hardest things to do. It is extremely counterintuitive to your emotions, heart, feelings, etc.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:46 PM
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Hi grizz.
I'm happy to see you posting again but sad that they're under similar circumstances as before. You're not sure what to do. Sometimes you don't have to do anything, at least as it relates to your AW. Don't fool yourself by thinking you're aren't doing anything because no matter how small it may seem, you are back here posting about your situation and that is doing something and you're doing it only for yourself.

Your own recovery takes time. Not all the pieces fall in place immediately. Some of them just kinda sort themselves out for better or worse.

You said that you would part waters for her if you could. That rang a bell for me. I first learned the 3 cs, which I think you already know. The next thing someone wrote was that we are not God. No matter your preference, you can't part waters for her. I thought I could for my AW but it doesn't work that way. For me, I learned that my AW needed to do her own growth. I let her drown in it. I no longer sat around feeling like I failed my wife. She failed herself along with me and my boy. She stirred the waters and there wasn't a damn thing I could do to calm it down. Guess what? I learned/am learning how to calm my own waters and it's very empowering. I fall down but at least I'm getting back up.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:56 PM
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Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I am still kinda new to this whole rollercoaster thing. I would say that for 85-90% of the time life is good. Its the other that is a b*&%ch. Its weird to think that I have my own recovery...I dont even know what that would look like. Shellcrusher thanks for the words. It seems to make more sense coming from another guy...no offense ladies. So when you detach what do you do, just ignore whats going on, change the subject...

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Old 05-17-2011, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I am still kinda new to this whole rollercoaster thing. I would say that for 85-90% of the time life is good. Its the other that is a b*&%ch. Its weird to think that I have my own recovery...I dont even know what that would look like. Shellcrusher thanks for the words. It seems to make more sense coming from another guy...no offense ladies. So when you detach what do you do, just ignore whats going on, change the subject...

grizz
grizz, congratulations on the 85-90%. That's a great thing, it means you are healthy and in a good place. A very good place. One day at a time. Sometimes it's one minute at a time, but that's OK. That 5-10% can be brutal, but you can do it.

Yes, you will and do have your own recovery. It is a process. Don't get impatient. You are on your way. My wife is on her way too -- and it's her own journey. She is drinking and not doing well. However, I can't let that eat me alive, consume me, or make me unhealthy. I learned, not immediately, that she had to do what she had to do and go where she had to go, her own journey, and there was nothing I could do to change that. Believe me, I tried. LOL. It does not work. She drank, got dysfunctional, got sick, developed health problems, ruined relationships, a job, a home, a marriage, etc.

Detachment doesn't mean ignoring. You don't have to ignore. An analogy I often use it that detachment is being asked/invited over and over again to dance -- and not dancing just because the other person asks you over and over again. It's detachment and not enabling. For example, my wife often picks a fight with me. It's one of the 'ism's. She thrives on it. She needs to fight because she has nothing else. So, she picks a fight -- and I diffuse the situation by not being willing to fight. I don't ignore her because that often makes it worse. Sometimes, I say "I am sorry you feel that way" or "I am not going to get into this with you know -- if you want to talk about this some other time, then we can do that" or something along those lines.

There's a great deal to read about detachment. You'll get there -- you are doing great. Keep up the great work -- and keep working on yourself.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:39 PM
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Thanks CXR,
What your saying makes sense and I have beein doing those ideas to difuse the situation, so hopefully being consistent will begin to pay off. I dont want to be a dork and make the situation worse.

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Old 05-18-2011, 07:13 AM
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Detachment is a lot of trial and error at first.
It's about not making their issue, little snit, insecurity, dramatic mood shift about you, not letting these dips and rises dictate how your day is progressing.

At first, I only detached from the bad or sad stuff, only to realize, it's important to observe and note that when the A is on a good tip, that that, too can be an erratic swing.

I have kind of learned not to hang my hat on his conclusions, his pity party's. Or his expressions of extreme love and clarity.

If it sounds crazy, it is. Excusing yourself from a pity soaked phone call because your day is going well is a bit of detaching.

Not letting yourself think she's finally got it totally together because she calls and says she had a big realization is another bit of detachment. I say," that's great! I'm so happy for you!" but, I'm not going to book a family vacation to celebrate, because in a few days, the A may shift back, or full on deny the progress.

It's a balancing act of love support for the other and self preservation/ self care.

Loving someone who is ill w alcoholism does not need to mean misery or guilt or discomfort for you.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
Thanks CXR,
What your saying makes sense and I have beein doing those ideas to difuse the situation, so hopefully being consistent will begin to pay off. I dont want to be a dork and make the situation worse.

grizz
You are not being a dork, LOL, by making it worse. We all have our "slips" and don't detach, get sucked back into an argument, fight, situation, etc. Or we all get sucked back into compulsive behavior or doing things we shouldn't -- like checking up on them, enabling, looking for where they hide alcohol, etc.

You are doing fine. Keep up the good work.

Remember -- progress not perfection.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post
So when you detach what do you do, just ignore whats going on, change the subject...

grizz
Well, I've written a few responses to what detachment means to me and the general idea stays the same. It isn't about getting away, ignoring, changing the subject, etc. It's about getting closer to yourself, paying attention to you and talking about your own subjects. I'm learning how to be proactive in my life versus reacting to hers. For me, that is detachment.

That said, the situation changes when an argument is knocking at the front door. For me, I've been working on simply not arguing. When I see the drunken BS coming my way, I know what's behind it. Lies, accusations, blame shifting, etc. So I just shake my head, act surprised, even though I'm not. If I say anything, it's simply Wow! Then I walk away. I don't need that hogwash in my life and I don't need to defend myself or explain myself or anything.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:40 PM
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"That said, the situation changes when an argument is knocking at the front door. For me, I've been working on simply not arguing. When I see the drunken BS coming my way, I know what's behind it. Lies, accusations, blame shifting, etc. So I just shake my head, act surprised, even though I'm not. If I say anything, it's simply Wow! Then I walk away. I don't need that hogwash in my life and I don't need to defend myself or explain myself or anything".

thanks Shellcrusher...that sounds perfect and a huge sigh of relief.

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:59 AM
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You bet, grizz.

Now link that to detachment and boundaries. I'm not setting a boundary on my AW. That doesn't work. I set it with myself. The boundary is I won't engage with her when she's actively drinking. I also won't talk to her. I've always been a confrontational person so it's very hard for me to keep my mouth shut. Eventually I learned that it doesn't matter if I say anything. It won't make any impact on the AW.

So I say nothing, other than wow, walk away and by sticking to my guns, I've detached from the situation.

I was in charge of me. I controlled the outcome in my favor. I imposed nothing on my AW. I kept a situation from escalating. That is detachment and setting boundaries. At least for me.

I hope you're doing better today. It's raining like hell here but I hope the fog is lifting for you.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:06 AM
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This question has nothig to do with your question, I'm sorry, but I'm new to the site and I can't figure out how to start my own posts, like how to ask the community a question and get some help. Can someone plese help me figure out how? I tried sending a PM to someone to find out how but it says I can't send PM's until I have at least 5 posts, but I dont know how to start a post!! PLEASE HELP ANYONE!! I really wanna start a post so I can get help with my problem from others who have been down the same road
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