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Does Al Anon help even after ...

Old 12-21-2011, 05:31 PM
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Does Al Anon help even after ...

Hey @ll,

Maybe the one or the other remembers me, I was writing here a few things around last March.
Things changed...I read a few of my threads today, and had to kinda shuggle about myself.
Long story short: I have been with an AH since over 2 years. Like probably everybody, I kinda went to hell with him and back.
After his jail time in the Army and his release, because of his drinking, he mad twice the attempt to qiut drinking, by going to detox. First time was going to detox, getting relased and right back to the bar. The last detox is just a month ago. He went after detox to AA for around 3 weeks, then he started drinking again. I have to say after his release out of the Army and before his last detox, i kicked him out, and had just once in a while contact with him on the phone, or a short coffee. We broke up, because I told him, I will not support his drinking in anyway.
So i actually had the feeling he was hitting rock bottom, since he just lived with a friend, with a few hour work and not the comfort of me being there for him.
When he came to the hospital, where i work for, and asked me for help to get into detox, ....well I did. He aranged evereything on his own, but here in New Brunswick u are not just be able to walk into a detox center, u get an appointment and have to wait almost a week till they get u in. So i took him to my place, to be not around all his Alcoholic friends. He went to bad withdrawls, but he made it to detox. He was there 7 days and they told him, he just go to AA, till a rehabplace would be avalible for him.
I didn't help at all. He is since 3 days no back at it and i kicked him out again.
I told I am not doing it again, we are done.

MY BIG QUESTION: A new start for me. I wish him the best and hope he makes it someday, but I think I don't help him in anyway and I have to focus on me for once. Can I still go to an Al Anon Meeting even after I am not envolved with an Alcoholic anymore. Does it help me in anyway? I have to say I have never been to one before. I am to scared, to go into groups all alone, as a stranger. Thats me tho. Would be with anything else the same?

I hate, that my post are always so long. I can't write shorter for some reason.

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Old 12-21-2011, 05:34 PM
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Two years I had to learn the hard way,

That love alone can’t fix everything,

I had to learn, that I got addicted to your

Addiction.

When u were happy, I was happy,

When u were sad, I was sad.

I picked up all the broken pieces,

Over and over again. That gave me the fix.

I had to learn, that friends, don’t hold

My hand through good and bad times,

I had to learn, that they just leave you,

As soon as I started struggling with you.



And you?



You close the door on those who tell you,

And hide in the bottom of your bootle,

Drinking and swigging your life away.

Drunken rampages,

Name-calling,

Paranoia,

And hate.

You ignore us, you ignore the world,

Just keep drinking and losing this internal battle.

You numb yourself,

Even at the cost of everything-

Love,

Happiness, And a home.

Rock bottom isn't low enough, is it?



I have to watch you waste away

Do I have to watch you end ?

When it's my eyes that sink slowly in sadness

My throat that doesn't swallow,

my voice that doesn't sound

How do we call this your 'sickness?"

You make the choice

You get to be high; I clean you up

I get to be here for both of us

And you, you get none of the blame

Just the escape, the attention

Because you're the one with the disease

And I'm just with the diseased



Now, I have to learn, to take care first,

Of myself and have to let u go …

And u decide, just for yourself, if

Rock bottom isn't low enough?
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:41 PM
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I was with my loved one for five years of active binge drinking behavior. Knowing about Al-anon the whole time.

Finally I went. We were together another four months, and that was 16 months ago....I still go to at least one to three Al-anon meetings weekly (and some Open AA meetings).

Al-anon is helping me in all my relationships (my codependent behavior was in place way before living with an alcoholic).

I find if very helpful even though I have no active addicts in my daily life.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:56 PM
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Okay that sounds nice. But a real stupid question now. I found out there is one tomorrow. I wish to go. Do I just walk in there, like I would go to church? ( its actually held at a church). Take a seat and listen. I don't know what to expect and that always scares me. I might be talkative on the internet, but for sure not in real life!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:27 PM
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Hello sprman24, and pleased to "meet" you

You can write posts as long as you want. There is no limit and we will read all of it. That is what we are here for.

Originally Posted by sprman24 View Post
.... I found out there is one tomorrow. I wish to go. Do I just walk in there, like I would go to church? ( its actually held at a church). Take a seat and listen....
Correct. And all questions are good questions. You just walk in, sit down and listen. You do not have to say _anything_. Not even your name. If you _want_ to you can say your name when they ask, but that is only if you want to. And nothing more.

Click on the below link to see some information about what meetings are like:

First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery Introduction to meetings

I'm glad you decided to post again, and I am sorry you are going thru this hardship.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:35 PM
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Hi sprman24,

When I went to my first al-anon meeting, I cried all the way there, I just walked in (late) and took a seat. I didnt have a clue what the meeting would be like. I listened to a few people 'share' whilst everyone else just listened. Eventually I was asked if I would like to speak and I just said that I had an alcoholic husband and thats what had brought me to the meeting and nothing much more. I was made to feel very welcome and everyone came and said hello at the end of the meeting over a cup of tea.

I enjoyed the structure of the meetings and the fact that people got to speak without being interupted by others, something my husband and I hadnt been able to do for a long time. It didnt take long to settle in and I found that I prefered the 'topic' meetings the most. It all felt a bit alien to begin with and I worried about 'sharing' and even planned what I would say as a build up to going. Al-anon and recovery definitely have their own language but it really does help and is worth while going to. My life improved dramatically, once I started recovery and I highly recommend it.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:48 PM
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Thanks very much for that link Mike.
And for the nice response.
I started to post again, because I think I learned alot on my own. I had the feeling that i got the last time lots of hateful or bitter responses, from members here and that didn`t help me. But there were always a few, they helped me. So I gave it another shot.

Going thru the heardship... for sure. It hurts, not just loosing ur boyfriend, my love, it feels like loosing a battle, which was never ment to be won.

Thats why I was wondering about Al Anon and wanna go, to get help for myself.
A friend who is an Sober Alcoholic and said, u need to go, u are as sick as he is. And that kinda opened my eyes a bit wider, because its not just about about him, its maybe a bit about me.
Its hard, because I got raised always to help others, and not looking after myself so hard, to be not selfish. And I kinda stuck, because I can`t fix him, I almost have to watch him dieing and can`t do nothing about it.

So I will try it tomorrow and hope the group is good, and can handle me with my totally uncomfortable feeling to go.

Thanks so much guys Means soooooo much to me
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:39 AM
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Three years later, I still go when I feel the need to. I just walk in, greet everyone and it is like I never left!
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:55 AM
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Hi sprman,

I was in a marriage with a man who acts like a dry drunk, he and I both have mothers who are ACOAs. And I acted like the codependent counterpart.

After the marriage ended I got into a relationship with an ACOA, and then, finally an alcoholic. It was agony. By far it was the shortest relationship of the 3 but it was the MOST PAINFUL. Finally I had a motivating reason to go to Alanon and initially I went so that I could "save" the relationship. Which, thank God, didn't happen. Instead, I saved ME.

I've been going for over 2 years now and I still attend 2-3 meetings a week even though I haven't been in a relationship with an alcoholic for almost 2 years. I stay connected to my Alanon family and in touch with the Steps, which help me to take care of myself in all the ways my parents couldn't (they didn't know how), and therefore I didn't learn how to do that for myself. As a mother I want to model for my children that self-care is essential to a happy life. And my kids go to Alateen, where they are learning tools for themselves as well.

A few months ago I started dating an apparent "normie"--someone who doesn't understand alcoholism by having lived with it, who sees the insanity for what it is when I describe certain situations I lived with as a child (and then as an adult when I chose similar situations). I'm sometimes amazed that he really doesn't know what that's like...I'm happy for him, and relieved that I seemed to have gotten healthy enough to attract that dynamic into my life. And I'll still attend Alanon even though I'm in this seemingly much healthier relationship. He knows that it's very important to me. And because he knows it's important to me, he supports it.

As for long posts, I'm with you there...seldom do I post less than the length of this response. It helps...

Glad you're here,
posie
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:03 PM
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I found that being in an alcoholic relationship was a lot like being in a bad car accident - even after the bruises have healed and that casts have been taken off, you can still be in a LOT of pain.

I went to Al-Anon for quite some time after my divorce because it helped with the "stinking thinking" that comes with an alkie relationship. Although I no longer go, I am immensely grateful for everything I learned there and took it forward into other areas of my life.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:44 PM
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Thanks everybody!

Yes I did go finally since 1 1/2 years of knowing about at Al Anon to my first meeting.
It was okay, and I will go again to see if it is something for me. It was a bit odd. But i gonna give it another shot. That praying and reading makes u feel like in church kinda. And an hour is just so short. I didn't say anything in there. But its good to know, there are others, with the same problem, in real. lol
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:13 PM
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I went to my first Al-Anon meeting because my wife was in rehab and the Rehab center suggested that family members should attend 2 meetings. I don't remember being especially afraid of going (I've never been one to imagine how things are going to be before I actually get there...usually).
I walked in and was the second one there. The older guy who was already there introduced himself and handed me a packet of literature (we later became friends). I'm definitely not religious, so the God talk was a little uncomfortable. But it didn't kill me.
One of the things I heard at the first meeting was "There are no "musts" in Al-Anon." So I figured I could stand it. Besides not being religious, I'm also pretty shy by nature. But I made an effort to "share" just a little bit. It probably didn't amount to more than a couple of sentences, but I kept it up at every meeting...and eventually got better at it. (There were tears in my eyes on occasion).
It took a few meetings before I started to understand what was going on. I didn't get why the meetings were always the same...the same readings, the same Serenity prayer, the same format. And often, an hour didn't seem like enough time. I wanted more (so I went to two meetings).
And I didn't get why people said they were "grateful members of Al-Anon," or how they could be grateful for the alcoholic in their life. But eventually I began to understand, and now I not only say it, I believe it.
One of the things you'll hear in an Al-Anon meeting is "Keep coming back." Or maybe even "Keep coming back, because you're worth it." It's true. Give it a chance to sink in, it takes a little time, but it's worth it.
Every so often I hear people in meetings say something like "Its cheap therapy." And I believe that too! More importantly, it's good therapy.
So...keep coming back!
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