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when times get hard....

Old 06-14-2011, 09:28 AM
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when times get hard....

When times get rough or hard, who do you turn to? I have a support system but not the best one. My family is very quick to judge and if someone is not up to par in their eyes, then they shut off and/or just downgrade the person and shake their heads.
My friends are never in the same boat as me and we never see eye to eye on things.
I just need to find people that love me but allow me to vent and offer advice without judgement.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:36 AM
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There are 2 places you can go for that. One is here and the other is al-anon.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:27 AM
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From the suggested Al-Anon Family Groups closing statement (read at the end of the meetings):

"A few special words to those of you who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems there are those among us who have had them, too. If you try to keep an open mind you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.

We aren't perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you'll discover that though you may not like all of us you'll love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you."

Hugs to you. I know you're in a bad place right now, but you can help yourself.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:57 AM
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I really don't have a support system hence my name Alone. I do have a couple friends that I talk to but not really people I feel I can lean on too much. At one point in my life I had three wonderful people that I could rely on and trusted with all my heart. Two of them are now in heaven( mom and grandma) and the third (my "R"AH) is sick with alcoholism. I turned to a therapist and alanon for help and I am hopeful they will really help give me the support I need to get through the roller coaster ride of dealing with an AH and healing myself.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:40 PM
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Al-Anon and SR saved my sanity over the past three years. I moved cross country to be with my A and without Al-Anon, I would have been completely alone.

Without a safe place to say what was in my heart to people who understand, who don't blame, judge, condemn, give advice or try and control what you do, I would have been totally lost.

I have people there I can call when I need to talk, a sponsor who has helped me navigate this journey and from there, have some very close and loving friends who I am so grateful for.

As for SR-ditto to what I said above.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:37 PM
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How about your husband? I mean, isn't that one of the bonuses of getting married, someone who will always support you and be there for you, no matter what?

If nothing else, I would suggest Alanon as well. Find a good group and go as often as you can.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lunakim View Post
When times get rough or hard, who do you turn to? I have a support system but not the best one. My family is very quick to judge and if someone is not up to par in their eyes, then they shut off and/or just downgrade the person and shake their heads.
My friends are never in the same boat as me and we never see eye to eye on things.
I just need to find people that love me but allow me to vent and offer advice without judgement.
I've found SR (here) and Al-anon the very best support systems ever! Out in the 'real world', no one I know within my friends' circle has gone through this kind of thing. They talk about it from a perspective of 'what they think they would do' but they have no practical application. My birth family has its own issues, so there's no way I can talk to any of them. They're all healing from their own addictive issues.

There is no judgement here since every single one of us has been affected by an alcoholic. Most of us very closely within a 'love' or primary relationship with an alcoholic. Experience speaks VOLUMES!

We are here to share our Experience, Support, and Hope. ESH...yep, that's us. If it appears that the Experience portion of our stories seems pretty grim, well, that's really what we experienced! There is no judgement, just lots of support.

I say all the time that "if only I'd known ABF was an alcoholic"....then, I'd have handled things differently. I look back, and I see that I was in major denial about his disease.

At first, he was a weekend social drinker.

Then, I noticed that he 'had to' drink to relax.

It progressed quickly into a 'joking' (oh GAWSH): well, he's a functional alcoholic.

That function, all of it, has diminished to the point that I barely even recognize him as the man I fell in love with.

He is completely disabled from this disease. In. Every. Way.

I read AA's Big Book of Alcoholics and understood the progression of the disease much better. I attend Al-anon to get a real-life, face-to-face perspective that mirrors my own feelings much of the time. I read my story inside the pages of "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. I read and post here and get more of an idea of how I can live my life better and with more confidence.

You'd think I would've understood it by WATCHING the progression right in front of my eyes while I was a kid growing up in the household of an alcoholic bio-dad. You'd think I would've seen this coming.

Judgement? Naw. How could I judge anyone else, when I definitely have my own journey?

What I can do is share my ESH with you and hope it helps you trust yourself more.

Take what you want, and leave the rest.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:08 PM
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Al-anon was a lifesaver for me during a very dark period of my life.

I saw huge red flags when I married my ex. But being young and stupid, I trampled them. I attempted to separate from my ex before we had kids.... and he promised to change. He went to therapy, even and things got better, for a time. We bought a house and had 2 kids.

Things really didn't spiral until I had my 2nd child. And I was left with no other choice but to get divorced, because I couldn't leave my children alone with him. And no, alcohol was not his "drug of choice" (that would be pot, and porn, and food, and prescription meds too, and whatever else he could find to be compulsive about) but I found my serenity at al-anon, and they welcomed me with open arms.

Now I'm a single mom of two young children, and I am stuck dealing with an angry person until they are grown. My 8 year old told me she doesn't like spending time with Daddy, she doesn't want him taking her to her soccer games because he "judges her". So now not only am I a single mom, but I've saddled two beautiful girls with a dad who isn't a real person, who is so angry and short-sighted. No, he may not be "active" right now but he doesn't have a program, either. Even if your fiance' were to stop drinking, chances are he would just cycle to something else.

LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE. I didn't. And don't get me wrong, I love my kids... and I'm so glad to have them... but they are always feeling sad because they miss their dad. But then when they're with him they say all he does is sleep and put them in front of the TV and it's boring. Breaks my heart, actually.

PLEASE at the very least POSTPONE it if you are having ANY DOUBTS. Divorce ruined me financially, and now our children suffer.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:24 PM
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I don't turn to my family, either. They would judge too harshly and its just not healthy (like my mom who drinks a fair amount of wine on a daily basis...I mean, she brings alcoholic beverages to my child's t-ball games! But I digress...LOL) or productive. Last night, I tried to call a couple of friends who weren't around but really needed to vent and get a little clarity...quickly. SR was the absolute next stop for me.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:31 PM
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I found Al-Anon to be of great help and comfort. If I were to chat up my friends or family about living with this disease - all they did was say how sorry they were. I quickly became a "downer" for my friends and family, so I stopped telling anyone about what I was living with. It's part of my disease - - hide the situation with fam and friends, always say things are great, and leave it at that. No help there!

No one understands more what I go through except people I meet in Al-Anon (and the wonderful people here). I just found this site last weekend and it is quickly becoming another source I can go to find people who understand, emphasize and give good advice. I also have a counselor I go to when things get really rough and she's awesome. Good luck to you and God bless.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:43 PM
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Darklight, LOL!

Thank you.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:50 PM
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Hey!! I just came across this very question in my copy of "Codependent No More"!! Coincidence? Providence? Who knows?

It says, when this happens "go to Al-anon, your sponsor, and Your Higher Power".

So, there ya go.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:04 AM
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Ditto Mike.
And then I also have a few good friends who have experiences of substance abusers in their families. We all know that when there's nowhere else to turn, we can always call each other. Call it an "informal" Al-Anon group if you wish.
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