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In From the Wilderness

Old 11-01-2011, 12:41 PM
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Talking In From the Wilderness

Hi Everyone: I just found this wonderful forum today and really need your support. My wife is an alcoholic and I've been through emotional hell the past 2 years. I actually believed the vicious things she'd say to me when drunk. Well, I guess I finally had enough. Last night I went to my first Al Anon meeting. I also told my wife I had not intentions of continued enabling. This did not go over well. She's threatening to leave etc... Is this normal behavior? Anyway, I need your helping in learning how to detach, not enable, and focus on me. thanks Cool Ray
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:56 PM
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Welcome Cool Ray!

Congratulations on your first Al-anon meeting!! Whoo-hoo!! Good for you!

I think your wife's response is pretty typical of an alcoholic's reaction to the threat of losing their enabler. For me the "threats" were part of my and my husband "alcoholic dance." I would get angry/frustrated and threaten to leave (in hopes of getting him to straighten up). He would get angry/frustrated with my controlling behavior and threaten to leave (in hopes of getting me to lighten up!). That is... the merry-go-round of the family disease of alcoholism. It's an extreme form of a control drama - where each participant uses manipulative behaviors to exert control over the relationship.

It a nutshell... it's all very unhealthy.

Going to Al-anon helped me see the role I played in our family dysfunction. I learned how to truly detach from the dance and live MY LIFE again.

I'm glad you're here... keep coming back!
Shannon
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:29 PM
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Welcome to the SR family CoolRay!

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed. You are not alone, and we understand what you are experiencing.

Good for you that you started Alanon meetings. I have been to meetings on SSI and found the group to be sincere, healthy and warm-hearted. I was amazed how much that hour of serenity meant to me! It was an hour that was drama-free!

This is a link to a permanent (sticky) post that contains information and steps which helped me while living with an alcoholic loved one:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

As to detaching, I found helpful tips in Alanon literature, here at SR, and in self-improvement books. I also had to accept that I didn't arrive in the situation overnight, and needed to be patient as I learned how to make healthy choices for me.

One of the things I caught myself doing, was anticipating the actions of my alcoholic. I would try to prevent/postpone the next drunk. Detaching meant allowing the adult alcoholic to do as the adult alcoholic wanted to do. I, however, had the right to remove myself from my front row seat and find something healthy to do with my time. (library, meetings, friends)

Let us know how we can help you as you find your own recovery path!
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:48 PM
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Coolray, Welcome. I don't have time to post more right now, but as soon as I can I will. You have made great first steps, and as somebody who also has an alcoholic wife I'll share more.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:40 AM
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Realistic Expectations

Hey Everyone! Thanks so much for the timely responses. Of course my AW came home and immediately hit the bottle last night. When I arrived home from work around 7 pm, she was wound up. But this time I only listened to the garbage for about an hour before I got in my car an left. As we say, progress not perfection. CRFONT="Comic Sans MS"][/FONT]
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:45 AM
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Oh Man....the piece about anticipating the actions of the alcoholic. Does the phrase filled with dread come to mind? Thanks for the insight.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:53 PM
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Oh Man....the piece about anticipating the actions of the alcoholic. Does the phrase filled with dread come to mind? Thanks for the insight.

Oooh yeah! In my worst days I would sit in the driveway listening to the radio and not wanting to even go in the house but didn't know what else to do. I got myself the Alanon "Just for Today" bookmark and I would read it before I got out of the car. Somehow, something from it would catch my eye and would put my head in a better place. I actually wore the bookmark out and had to get another one.

Welcome to the Site!

Lots of good information and good people here.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:04 PM
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Welcome coolray,

Lots of wisdom and support here.

Glad you are here, but sorry for the circumstance that brings you here.

You are not alone

Sending warm thoughts your way.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:45 AM
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Welcome to SR CoolRay

A great first step - going to Al-anon, second great step - finding SR. You are now on the path for recovery for yourself - good for you.

You will definitely be in for a bumpy ride, alcoholics dont like change. My AH 'reared up' when I started going to Al-anon and taking care of me. He was convinced that Al-anon was a cult, I was stupid for going, I was talking about him and he was paranoid, checking up on me. He was loosing his status quo and he didn't like that at all. They need to protect their drinking at all costs and change might interfere with that.

Your wife is threatening to leave because she doesn't want to loose her status quo and that is definitely normal behavior for an alcoholic. There is no such thing as 'normal' behavior with alcoholics by the way, they are completely unpredictable and unreasonable.

Form me it took 18months of therapy, Al-anon and almost daily SR to get to the point where I felt that I was making healthy choices for myself. Some of the SR family find peace quicker, some longer, but just starting on the journey of seeking help for yourself is fantastic.

Knowledge is power, so keep reading, keep posting and keep attending Al-anon as often as you need to. The hazy fog that surrounds you will start to lift.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:09 PM
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coolray, welcome.

I actually believed words from a drunk too... you are not alone...

Regardless of her actions, words, threats, what do YOU want? what are your priorities at this time in your life?

For me it was peace so I left and went No contact. That was 3 years ago. Today XABF is still drinking and still denying any issue.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:53 PM
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Welcome!!! And GO YOU for going to your first Al-Anon meeting!

Is this normal behavior?
I in no way mean to make light of the hell you're living -- I've lived in alcoholic hell as well -- but I sort of laugh a hollow laugh at that question because... well, alcoholics tend to create a whole new "normal" in your life...

I think the way I've explained my AXH's behaviors is... for the addict, nothing is more important than protecting the addiction. You saying you won't enable your wife anymore? Is a threat to her addiction.

She might leave. But another thing that in my experience is "normal" for alcoholics is saying a bunch of stuff they never intend to act on.

I hope you keep going to Al-Anon, because they're lifesavers, whether your wife gets sober or not, whether you stay together or not.

And I hope you keep hanging out here. This place is my Al-Anon away from Al-Anon and I love it here.
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