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Still dealing with feelings of doubt

Old 08-19-2011, 10:50 PM
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Still dealing with feelings of doubt

I have posted here since last December. I broke up and got back together with my ABF many, many times. He was never mean or abusive. He's actually a very sweet, caring, and loving man. I tried the crying, screaming, arguing, and even begging with him to stop. He never thought it was a problem. I don't know how much of a problem it was for him; I only saw him "drunk" a few times in a year and a half. It was the smell of liquor on his breath that made me sick to my stomach. I don't know "how" much he drank. I know he always got defensive when I brought the subject up. I tried the "if you really loved me" approach, which didn't work either. Finally, in June I said that I was done. If he couldn't make the choice of an alcoholic lifestyle over me, then I was finished. I went back and forth between the no contact, but missed him like crazy all summer long. I started going to Al-Anon and reading everything that I could get my hands on. Even though I feel a security of going to Al-Anon, I still am not sure that it's for me. I have the hardest time speaking up. When I do, I just start to cry. I think some people are very selfish and take up a lot of time talking about themselves and don't give others a chance to speak up. I don't know. I hear some of their stories and think I am one of the luckier ones. It has made me realize that I have other options. I love him and I always will. I just don't think I can accept the drinking and not sure he can stop.

Anyway, I didn't see my XABF for 7 weeks and 5 days (yes, I kept count). We finally agreed it would be best to talk about what was going on between us. From his texts, I assumed that he was still drinking - saying things had gotten worse since I left and he wasn't getting any better. I guess I really had been trying to manipulate the situation, withholding myself from him, until he stopped. In the meantime, I had spent hours crying in the parking lot where we used to meet, just hoping he would "find me". Crazy, I know. When I finally saw him, I had very mixed emotions. I missed him, I really did. I smelled the liquor on him almost immediately, but I didn't react as usual. I didn't confront or blame or accuse. I felt kind of sad about that. He said that we should sit down and talk at a better time and I agreed. That was as far as I could go without saying that I knew he had been drinking. Part of me felt good about that, part of me felt that he was getting away with something. Maybe he thought I couldn't tell? I don't know. I did tell him that I could not accept things the way they were. That I felt like I would be "settling" for something less than what I felt I deserved and that wouldn't be good for either one of us. I don't want a relationship where I have to hide my feelings about something that bothers me.

After that, he texted me that he felt "whole again" after seeing me for just a little bit. I told him that he did not need me to be whole. I didn't hear from him for long time after that. I got a few crazy texts saying that "things were happening fast now" and he didn't want me to worry about him. So I didn't. I backed off and waited to see what happened. Today he called me to say that what was happening fast now was that he had left his business partner to start out on his own. Now, I don't know the other side of the story, so I can only go from what he said. I'm sure there is more to it than what he told me. Anyway, he said that he wanted to come back to me, but he wanted to come back with something to offer me. Right now, he said he didn't have anything, but when I told him earlier that he didn't need me to make him whole, he realized that he was the one who needed to get his life together.

So, there's the recovering Polly-Annish moron in me, wanting like crazy to believe him and the devil on the other shoulder, telling me he still wants time to drink and blow sunshine up my behind. In the meantime, I'm still here, still living with the day to day stuff life throws at me. Sometimes I still sleep all weekend. I stay up way too late and can't get up in the mornings. I stopped exercising and started eating way too much junk again. School starts in just a little over a week and I will be very busy taking full time classes. I'm going to continue the meetings and maybe try to find another group to try. I don't hate it; I'm just not sure that it's for me. Yes, I am bothered by someone else'se drinking, but if I cut that person out of my life - why do I need Al-Anon anymore? We don't have kids together, bills, a house, so I can completely walk away if that's what I choose.

Okay, that's it. I just had to vent. Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:11 AM
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I feel very lucky for a variety of reasons.

I did not experience many of the negatives that can come with living with an addict (no jail, no financial insecurity etc).

I no longer live with a person in active addiction.

I continue to attend Al-Anon. It is for a couple of reasons.
-I have a lot of people in my life who struggle either with addiction or codependency
-It helps me to reduce anxiety (which for me usually means I have some fear about something)
-This is for me only (I don't want to make assumptions) but I feel that I attracted a person in my life with addictions for the lessons I needed to learn. I am terrified that if I don't work these lessons through I will continue to repeat my old behavior until I learn the lessons I need. For me to have healthy relationships I need to look at my part in the relationships

Oh yeah I can relate to the why do I need Al-Anon question. I was pretty angry for awhile at the program. At times I feel guilty too (because I have it pretty easy for the program). Then I realized I was comparing myself again and that always gets me into trouble.

Take care of yourself. I know lots of people (myself included) who did more listening and crying in the beginning.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:03 AM
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Thank you for your thoughtful post.

I find when I stay up late it's no good. My thoughts get sadder or lonelier as the clock ticks on. They never get happier or healthier in the wee hours of the morning. A friend who was a police officer once said "nothing good happens after 1 a.m." When I was young I thought he was crazy. Now, for me, I think he is right.

I find when I keep to a regular sleep schedule (I know it's tough when the mind is wanting to relive, rehash, replay) and a regular morning schedule, life just seems a little easier. EVERYTHING is just sooooo much harder when I am tired.

The same goes for food. If I don't watch what I eat, e.g. processed foods and anything with synthetic sugar, sodium-laden, etc., I am setting myself up for extra emotional turmoil. I LOVE my junk food, so this is tough for me. I've taken a small bowl (smaller than a dessert bowl, e.g. something you might put jam or a sauce into) and I allow myself that each night and no more.

Anyway, if I am good with my sleep pattern and good with my diet, it seems like that alone can decide the day for me sometimes. And being bad with it sneaks up with me and all of a sudden I find I am anxious, and heading down rehash highway.

For Alanon, I didn't speak at all for probably 6 months, and then each time I cried and couldnt finish, but after a while I could share and not cry every time, although I often still tear up. I still feel better for having attended and often something I had heard would keep coming at me during the week until the next meeting.

There were a couple who would share too long, and at first I was annoyed. Then I tried to tell myself "they are hurting, and the only thing I could do for them is listen". This made it easier. If they are going on too long and it is affecting the group, perhaps a more experienced member should speak to them, or it should be raised in group conscience.

Or, if this group isn't for you, try another one. They all have a different "feel".

Do you need Alanon anymore? I think the "bothered by someone drinking" doesn't go away with the when they do. It's to learn more about ourselves and learn tools to deal with anyone else that crosses our path. I have learned to be a better person, kinder and more compassionate, less judgmental and controlling and many more things.

I think you are doing great.

It's not a steady slope we are climbing. With so many emotions and memories and learned behaviours involved, we are bound to slip.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:31 AM
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you say you are experiencing doubt.
what is it that you are doubting?

from your original post, this man left his business partner and is trying to turn his life/business around. it doesn't say anything about quitting drinking being a part of that.

are you reading into something falsely.... is he addressing this?
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:04 AM
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Hwsm,

Do you need A-Anon? My experience is this. I left my AW and put 99% of the chaos and craziness behind me. But like you I was still experiencing all sorts of unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Once I got the concept that al-anon is not about the A or my learning about how to live with an A, but about me healing from all scars of living a dysfunctional life and started to work the program that my life actually began to improve.

I can honestly say that I am in a much better place now. As one old timer said to me, as long as I feel better walking out of those doors than I did walking in I will keep coming. I feel the exact same way now.

Your friend,
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by hwsm View Post
Yes, I am bothered by someone else'se drinking, but if I cut that person out of my life - why do I need Al-Anon anymore? We don't have kids together, bills, a house, so I can completely walk away if that's what I choose.
Hi hwsm, I share a very similar relationship with my RAGF. Yes, I too can "completely walk away." I have decided to try SR and Al-anon to pull myself together.

I feel your pain. I experience many of the same symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion that you are describing. If you want to try to get your life back to a normal, healthy, sane, emotional level I suggest you keep trying.

There are a number of statements you make in your post that show love and compassion for your boyfriend, you also admit to being affected mentally and emotionally with his drinking. These are good enough reasons to attend Al-anon and keep coming back to SR.

Leaving fast and going no-contact may not necessarily fix your problems long term.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:51 PM
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I'm so sorry you are hurting, hswm. I hope that he will indeed, some day, find recovery for himself.

I hope, too, that you will find peace and a way forward with this one life of yours.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeedrinker View Post
you say you are experiencing doubt.
what is it that you are doubting?

from your original post, this man left his business partner and is trying to turn his life/business around. it doesn't say anything about quitting drinking being a part of that.

are you reading into something falsely.... is he addressing this?
I am doubting my decision to leave him. I hear all these horror stories about abusive relationships and mine wasn't like that. I know he had some problems, but don't we all? There are people at Al-Anon who are working their program and still with their Alcoholics. I didn't even realize that was an option for me. He didn't specifically say what he was doing but he knew he had to turn his life around. I just know that I miss him and I love him and I'm not sure what to do. I'm very sad and lonely and all I want to do is sleep because that is when I can dream about him and us being together.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:02 PM
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I know exactly what you are describing. The exhaustion and sleeping so much is prevalent for me, too. My doctor started me on Zoloft and has increased it once already. It has truly helped me in dealing with this situation. My husband and I are no longer together because of another type of addiction, and my XABF was an alcoholic and a drug abuser. The reason I still go to AlAnon is because my therapist sent me there and said, "You need to LISTEN to these people. If you don't want to speak, just say 'I pass'. You must look for the similarities within their situations and yours." The reason I still go to AlAnon, even though I am by myself now, is this. Why am I continually attracted to men I need to fix? Why don't I find one that is healthy and whole? Something within me is drawing these men to me instead of the other kind. Until I can figure this out, I continue to go, and the answer will come..
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hwsm View Post
I am doubting my decision to leave him. I hear all these horror stories about abusive relationships and mine wasn't like that. I know he had some problems, but don't we all? There are people at Al-Anon who are working their program and still with their Alcoholics. I didn't even realize that was an option for me. He didn't specifically say what he was doing but he knew he had to turn his life around. I just know that I miss him and I love him and I'm not sure what to do. I'm very sad and lonely and all I want to do is sleep because that is when I can dream about him and us being together.
One of the best things I've leanred in my recovery journey is when in doubt...DO NOTHING. It means you aren't ready yet and more will be revealed if you have patience and let things be as they are.

Now that said - this has also been one of the hardest things to put into practice for me! I am so impatient! And sure enough, my HP is constantly challenging me with situations to practice patience.

If there is one thing each and every one of us can count on in life, aside from eventual death, is change. This is a good time to "Let Go and Let God", whatever your intrepretation of that is. Wait and see. Focus on your own life. And wait.

I hate waiting, did I mention that?
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:46 PM
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"I don't want a relationship where I have to hide my feelings about something that bothers me."

Exactly. Even if he did 100 things right, you still would have to keep your mouth shut about one big bad thing that cancels out all those 100 nice things. You can't live like that. In my case, as long as I kept my mouth shut about his drinking, he would be somewhat pleasant towards me. But for me, keeping my mouth shut about something I knew was wrong, it made me feel like I was failing myself. Failing everything I believed in. It ate me alive to turn a blind eye. Yelling and screaming at him actually made me feel better than keeping it in. At least I was staying true to what I believed in. Alcoholism is NOT something that you can tip toe around and blow off. Maybe a man leaving his socks on the floor or being messy, but not addiction.
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