I hate where I'm at

Old 07-21-2011, 09:07 PM
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I hate where I'm at

I really just need a long place to post. I know that you'll be reading this, but really I just need to get it out. I moved to NYC two years ago with my soon-to-be ex alcoholic hubby. We moved from Paris. I was in Europe all of my tenties and now I'm in NYC and I'm frustrated. Dirty, expensive, crowded nasty aggressive and VIOLENT! So few green places and few nice things to look at. Why do people like it here? I mean, no really, I REALLY need someone to help me with this. Tell me what is so great about this big over-polluted ugly mess they call New York. I have no friends, the few I had are no longer reliable (and I know people are gonna jump all over that with suggestions for me, but please, I have meeting groups to meet people, just takes awhile, so lay off about that, 'kay?) and I'm laying here, I can't sleep, I only have time enough to sleep 6 hours a night because I have to prepare for work - 9 hours with a 30min break that I usually use for more preparation and usually no time to eat, add in commute time and it's usually more like 11hours - to be pushed and shoved at, yelled at big fat people squeezing me out of the way and I feel myself turn nasty inside. People don't move for old people, don't care about pregnant people or children. The white hip people are the worst. An old person will be right in front of them and they won't budge from their seat as they talk about what salon they went to. And all of this I get for the privilege of spending 2/3 my salary each month to be 30min from anything green. My snot is black. There was a shooting in the neighborhood playground next to my house the week I moved in. Stores publicize the amount of time between shootings as if it's something to be proud of. The food is expensive too and SUCH poor quality. What is wrong with us?!? Americans just don't know what it's like in other places. If they did, they would demand more and better treatment. I guess some people have fun here, but I haven't met them yet. I NEED to have some fun soon or I'm gonna crack. I have to work tomorrow, I have no idea how I'm gonna pull it together. I guess I'll try to sleep some to make it through the nine hours waiting for me tomorrow. All this thankless crud. Treated like crap all the way through. I started crying when I thought how I was on the cusp of getting a good life together in Paris. But my husband stealing from me, drunk on the couch, and I gave it up 'cause I thought "Oh, he'll just work less the more success I have." Stupid girl. I shoulda left him back there. I thought if we came to NYC, it would be better for him 'cause there wouldn't be language gap (he never bothered to learn French). But it is SOOOO hard to live here and SOOOO stressful that his inability to work just sapped me. I guess I should thank New York for that, it got rid of him, but now it is ME who is so unhappy. I AM SO UNHAPPY!
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:29 PM
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Just for today

Hi! I feel like I've felt how you are feeling, and I found this helped me (I sometimes read it several times a day):

Just for today: I will try to live through this day only,
and not tackle all my problems at once.
I can do something for twelve hours that
would appall me if I felt that I had to
keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today: I will be happy. This
assume to be true what Abraham Lincoln said,
*Most folks are as happy as they make up their
minds to be.*

Just for today: I will adjust myself to what is,
and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will
Take my *luck* as it comes, and fit myself into it

Just for today:I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study.
I will not be a mental loafer.
I will read something that requires effort.
Thought and concentration.

Just for today: I will exercise my soul
in three ways: it will do somebody a good turn
and not get found out; if anybody know of it, it
will not count. I will do at least two things I
don't want to do-- just for exercise. I will
not show anyone that my feelings are hurt: they may
be hurt but today I will not show it.

Just for today: I will be agreeable. I will
look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice
low,be courteous,criticize not one bit. I won't find
fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate
anybody else but myself.

Just for today: I will have a program.
I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.
I will save myself from two pests: Hurry and Indecision's.

Just for today: I will have a quiet half
hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour,
sometime I will try to get a better perspective of
my life.

Just for today: I will be un-afraid.
Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what
is beautiful,and to believe that as I give to the
world, so the world will give back to me.


The program it refers to is Alanon. When I first started using the poem, I did not have the program. That came later. I liked how this had specific things I could do to turn my attitude around. Now when I read, I see the different steps. I no longer need to read it every day, but I like to read it often.

Hope this helps!

Edit: Had second thoughts re posting Alanon litature. Is this allowed? I don't want to offend anyone or break any SR rules.

Last edited by wellnowwhat; 07-21-2011 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Is this allowed?
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:04 PM
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Hey, can I jump on the middle-of-the-night vent-a-thon? I'm up, too--and I too have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow, and can't sleep--came down to sleep in the office because drunk AH is moaning the way he does when he's drunk/asleep.

I'm sorry you hate New York. I've always wanted to live there! I know it's crowded and rowdy but there's so much going on there. I know I would get really annoyed, however, at the rudeness you mentioned. It bugs the heck out of me, too, when people just are so myopic all they are aware of is themselves.

Actually two of my kids live there and are moving next week.. they come to visit me, in a standard subdivision, and they say "Ah! It's great to be in the country!" And I tell them, this isn't the country, but at least I have a yard and a nice view of a park. They're moving to Vermont--talk about the pendulum swinging from one side to the other.

And Vermont is the subject for my sleepless night. As a family we go on vacation there every year--have done so for many years. But of late, since my AH relapse almost 7 years ago, it's gone from being a nice quiet, peaceful vacation to being a non-stop drunkfest. Not only from AH, but frankly, he has successfully created this family culture of drinking that is just ridiculous.

When I left for several weeks to change my behavior, my second son asked me, what about Vermont? He meant that if I were putting my foot down, stopping enabling, etc, how was I going to handle Vermont??

I told him at that time that I'd figure it out and I'd know what to do when the time came. Well, I still really don't know. It's disturbing that my kids have accepted the fact that this vacation has gone from being a really nice, healthy re-creation to a week of self-destruction--not only for their dad, but even them. My second son said, "I know it will be tough, but I swear that I don't want to drink EVERY DAY, getting up the next day feeling terrible."

This is my son! He's admitting that he's healthier when he's not around his parents! It just eats at me.

I don't know. It's just a week. My kids are all adults and they can do as they wish. But I swear to God, I feel like buying a pup tent before I go up and pitching it somewhere if I need an escape.

My feelings at the moment are not anger, but fear and frustration. It's the same feeling I imagine people feel when they see a flood rushing through their homes, while they watching pieces of their lives float away.

So, your frustration is leveled at New York, and mine at greener pastures in Vermont here in the middle of the night.

Have a good day tomorrow--tgif!
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:35 PM
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One thing that works for me when I vent at (NYC, Vermont, kids, xABF) is to do a gratitude check. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth and really think hard, and rephrase things so I'm not qualifying my gratitude, but it really does help.

That being said ~ maybe you can create a game plan for exiting New York? I mean, sure, wherever you go, there you are, and all that, but that doesn't mean you have to live in a place that sucks out your soul.

- Sylvie
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:41 PM
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RECF, I am sorry you are so unhappy. I do not live in NYC but I have been there and have friends and family who do. I don't know what section of NYC that you live in, but if you are looking for green space, do you have a way to get to Central Park? it is a lovely oasis of green right in the heart of the city. I know that the other boroughs have their share of green space, too; I remember seeing a really great park in Brooklyn on my last visit (the name escapes me).

People are rude in every city, NY does not have the market cornered there. I have also been to Paris and encountered a few rude folks during my visits there, too.

Is there a way you can move out of the city and perhaps commute from somewhere like NJ? I had friends that used to live in Hoboken and take the PATH train to their jobs in Manhattan. They were comfortable there and it was less expensive than living in NY.

I hope you can find some happiness, even a small corner somewhere is a good start. sending you strength!
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:42 PM
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Feel free to vent here, this is what this place is for.

Is there any legal reason you can't go back to Paris?

Or move somewhere else around the area? My coworker lives in NJ and is surrounded by nature, although some bears visited his backyard. But it looks lovely.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:50 AM
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It took going to meetings for three months to meet someone at my meeting, but this is what she gave me the first day!

As far as re-posting al-anon literature, I'm all for it. It brings the focus back to being in control of our own recovery rather than giving random suggestions to people we don't really know.

Thank you for that, I think what helps me are the three 'random' acts of kindness. I always feel better if I follow that. Yes, I must remember, I only have to do this now, it is not the rest of my life and I really only moved out of our shared apartment (that was across from a park... he not having good credit or a job to move out of the apt - grrrr!) only two months ago. I need to remember I am so EARLY in my recovery!

I feel better (what a world five hours of sleep will do!) I am stressed. I am lonely. I am tortured by the shame of what I went through with my husband. I am scared. But I can let go of it and just accept that this is where I am right now. It will change.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:08 AM
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RECF, ((((hugs))))

I moved out on my AW 2 months ago also. It was/is scary. Your post reminded me of something I was discussing with my adult daughters just last week. One of them said, you know dad, you could live anywhere you want now. I hadn't considered that. My life really is my own now. I am in no hurry to do anything. I like my current job, my apartment and being not too far from my one daughter and grandchildren. But what that conversation brought up to me was the possibilities are endless. I do hear the US Virgin Islands calling quietly to me though.

So, I recommend taking a deep breadth and thinking about what or where you would really like to be next.

Your friend,
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:41 AM
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You know that the problem isn't NYC. Not really.

I totally get the idea, though, of feeling trapped in a place that isn't where you want to be. I grew up in bucolic Colorado, moved to NJ in the 80s, and moved back (with alcoholic husband supposedly in recovery) in the mid-90s. Everything went to hell, and I found myself longing to be back in NJ.

Well, I left the alcoholic in Colorado and moved back, and although NJ is hardly paradise, it feels like home to me now. It's the right place for me at the moment (though once I retire in December, I may start thinking about other destinations in my future).

My suggestions are, in order, #1 stick with your Al-Anon and recovery--it will help to improve your attitude no matter what your situation; #2 let your imagination run wild and start thinking of what you'd REALLY like to do (and where you'd REALLY like to be), and start working on ways to make that happen.

Mike is right--once we get free there are all kinds of options available that weren't there before.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:52 AM
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Bless you all! Have a good day and thanks for talking me through this! I have a SUPER busy day, but it's only today. I have my beautiful dog to come home for and I even hired a dog-walker for her today so I can mosy home rather than rush. So that's two things to be grateful for - being able to afford a dog-walker and the chance to mosy!
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:38 AM
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RECF I am in Antibes France and everyone thinks I should be so happy and I am so blessed but its not that is it really...its how we feel inside and how happy we are in our life situation not where we are as you know “Wherever you go there YOU will be“ ha ha!
I feel lonely sad and have burried myself in drinking as I am so used to traveling and going out having fun but life is about more than that so day 4 im back here again after 4 years off the wagon AGAIN but im trying..
I love New York but to visit and to live is different as no where is all positive just like no one is all positive no DAY is all positive but I guess the best thing to do is have a vent like you have and then you start to see your positives ;-}
I am here at my little 12th century fishermans village house that we are in the middle of renovating but my other half works as a Captain all hours God sends so nothing gets done, the terrace is overlooking the Med and im with my two Chihuahuas my Maltese and my Siamese but im alone and I wish I could go out and buy a $100,000 motor home and buzz off lol but then I begin to think of people so much less fortunate and it brings a more positive take on things...I had a bad surgery and it has really done a number on me but hope it is over in September after a three year wait for a Court date so I am hanging in there for that and really trying to get fit and cut the drinking ..
What is your job I am a Celebrity hair and make up artiste but this surgery has really screwed me up as it has affected my hands, anyway I hope you continue to come here so we can all vent and then come up with our individual positives, so glad I have my pets
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:06 AM
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World traveller here.
Have lived in Spain and Italy.

"Americans just don't know what it's like in other places. If they did, they would demand more and better treatment."

I don't demand anything from anybody.
As far as I can tell that is called entitlement and very close to alcoholic thinking.
I am in charge of my own life.
And yes, I will give you that people can be rude on the subway!

NYC Parks:
Carl Schurz Park (on the WATER!)
Central Park
Prospect Park
Van Cortland Park
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Bronx Botanical Gardens
The Cloisters
Jones Beach
Jersey Shore

Air conditioned spaces:
Public Libraries
Brooklyn museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art (open until 9pm Fri and Sat nights)
American Museum of Natural History
Transit Museum

These are just a FEW of the many many places one can go by PUBLIC transportation in and near NYC.

NYC can be hard but also fabulous if you have the energy to take advantage all of the opportunities available. Many,especially in the summer, are free!

For me - It isn't where you are but where your head is at.
Hope you get some sleep.

Paris is always there for you to return to should you desire.
Good luck
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by gowest View Post
For me - It isn't where you are but where your head is at.
I think this is very wise.

I lived in NYC (with my verbally abusive, addicted ex husband) for 6+ years. Sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it. Just like anywhere else, there are some really good people and people who aren't good. I agree that the culture there is to not make eye contact and keep moving, but amidst that craziness you find some good people. And you can be a good person too. I worked in Times Square and I would often stop and ask tourists taking pictures if I could take a picture of them with the scenery behind them. I still do this wherever I go. : )

Improve your state of mind, and you'll see, it won't seem so bad.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:25 AM
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One of the very first quotes I saw here on SR that has become one I have posted all over my space (office and home) is:

"The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind" Wayne Dyer
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:33 AM
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This is an addendum.

A lot of my frustration comes from not having friends right now. I am also unhappy about my work, my apartment and what I can do to get ahead, plus a healthy fear of being taken advantage of.

But I think my main problem is expecting to be happy. Wanting and expecting to be happy accounts for another good half to 3 quarters of my unhappiness.

I also used to live in Czech Republic and in that language, the word for "Happiness" and "Luck" are the same, and I think that's correct.

One can't expect to be happy as one can't expect to have friends after isolating oneself for several years with one's alcoholic significant other.

Right now, I'm in a bad place. I should accept that as fact rather than try to fight it. I'm unhappy... Well, and so what? It would be too much a stroke of luck to expect happiness out of the bargain, too. If I am happy at some point, I should be thanking God for my good fortune, but for right now, maybe I'm supposed to feel bad for a bit. Maybe it will be good for me to REALLY experience the pain.

I think about this, about accepting and really experiencing the emotional pain of this situation and I wonder how much of avoidance of pain may have played into my decisions previously... I don't know. I DO know that I have been bouncing from crisis to crisis my whole life, from my abusive father to crazy roommates, from making mistakes in college to my first job. I was even fired one from a job for being too melodramatic and negative. This is the part that scares me.

I think I'm supposed to overcome the unhappiness I feel right now rather than rail against it the way I usually do because, in the end, what is happiness? Maybe if I delve into my discomfort right now, I may just find a road, if not to happiness, then peace.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:07 AM
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I hope you can find some nice friends in Alanon meetings maybe. I visited NYC for 4 days last Xmas (senior citizen trip) from Virginia and loved it. The decorations were beautiful, enjoyed the shows, tour of Ground Zero, shopping. But 4 days was enough and I am glad I live in central Va. where we have lots of green. Yep- the GRATITUDE list works great. Sometimes my little terrible two ego has to vent for a minute- and living with an active alcoholic is not fun. I don't live with one anymore and the stress level is much better. I am so grateful for my recovery, my pets, my HP, SR, healthy Alanon friends, recovery tools, my job which gets on my nerves but pays the health insurance....I hope you find someplace green to unwind .
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:54 AM
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Well, I'm going to my family's this weekend, so green away! Unfortunately, I couldn't get anyone to cover my shifts at work, so I wasn't able to rent a car to bring my pooch ):
And I don't think I'm meant to have friends right now. Believe it or not, that actually helps me. I feel calmer and more peaceful.
I think Al-anon meetings are great to talk about your feelings and work on one's recovery, but it's very difficult to meet someone to hang out with. I think the point is that it takes time. There's nothing I can DO at the moment, and I should be at PEACE with that.
Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:24 AM
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I've never lived in NY, but I have been in situations where I felt trapped in a job or a place I didn't like. What helped me was to think of where I'd rather be and take whatever small steps I could to work toward getting there, even if it was just making a list of intermediate goals. Things usually didn't work out as I'd planned, but it kept me thinking positive.

Something else that helps me, even now, is to find little things that make me happy in the moment. Reading, eating certain foods, watching movies... whatever. A little thing I do for myself when my AW is in an alcoholic stupor is make espresso with a stovetop espresso maker that I bought at Target. I know it's trivial, but it helps pass the time, and gives me a little peace.

Good luck, and I hope things get better for you soon.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:45 AM
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I can identify with the no friends situation. I tend to isolate and when we moved long distance I remember walking in a mall and thinking "I will not bump into anyone I know because I don't know anyone here." I felt small and lonely.

Then I met some people and it got better for a while, until the drinking got worse and we stopped going out or inviting people in, so here I was alone again.

I've been getting out with Alanon and yes, hanging with some of them, and reconnecting with some people that I had distanced myself from.

Also, I find that when I am out and about and I am dealing with people, waiters, sales help, whoever, I try and cheer them up and make them happy and it ends up cheering me. And no, I don't crack one of those tired jokes that older men seem to make (sorry guys). I just make sure my smile is warm, my thanks is genuine and I look them in the eyes when talking to them. I chat, but not enough to slow them down from their job. And I am not trying to make them my newest friend either.

It helps keep me more approachable. No one will befriend me if I keep my old black cloud hanging over me. And since making this effort I find myself involved in more conversations initiated by others, e.g. in a cash desk line up etc.

Even a little human contact goes a long way when you feel alone.

Things will get better.

And don't forget your friends here.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:58 AM
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I struggle with friendships sometimes not from lack of opportunity, but from lack of trusting myself.

I have gotten myself into a number of questionable relationships with friends and with love partners in the past, and it makes me scared to do that again. I feel "safer" without friends sometimes as a result.

When I was able to shift my perspective and think about how I needed to make friends so I could continue to learn the lessons I needed it helped, some. I am still working on this, but it helped.
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