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So Stressed Again

Old 10-23-2012, 05:04 AM
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So Stressed Again

I feel like I have relapsed in my recovery since AS was arrested. I am back to be fearful and full of stress and worry. He has moved out but is still using our car for school and AA meetings so we have a lot of contact. Yesterday, he had to go to classes after his arrest on Friday and he was embarrassed. His professor who he is pretty close to pretty much laid out the truth of his actions and wasn't "compassionate" according to son. I think it was good because it was the first time someone besides my husband and myself really told my son how this makes him look to the public and to his professors. He came to my house after class and was very depressed or sad. I told him it was good that someone had the courage and cared about him enough to tell him the truth.

Anyway, his total attitude was just awful. Pretty much like we owed him the world and he was taking no responsibility for his actions. He did go to AA last night and he is working on Step 1. He went to 6 AA meetings from Friday to Sunday so he has found a place to go and I think he is trying to work but I think reality set in yesterday. Also, I think his job offer may be rescinded which is a big deal so I know he is worried about that.

So, back to me. Everything seems to be about the alcoholic all time. I have reverted back to not sleeping, worrying, checking the arrests, and just plain old fear. The three weeks of being sober he had gave me to much of a since of security.

Sorry I'm rambling this morning. SR has become my safe place to express where I am and my feelings.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:45 AM
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Early recovery is such a rollercoaster for friends and family. At least he recognizes that he has a problem and is working on it. Hang your hat on that. A lot of folks don't even get that far.

In the meantime, what are you doing for you? Are you going to Al-Anon or personal therapy? I do not do Al-Anon, but I have made leaps and bounds in personal therapy -- not marriage counseling, not addiction counseling, but one hour once a week that's totally about me and my messy feelings and how to get where I want to be.

One of the major challenges I had when my AH was beginning recovery was having realistic expectations about what recovery looks like and what to expect from him. I had an ideal image in my mind and every baby step he took I felt was progress towards that vision! Talk about pressure. And talk about disappointment when he failed.

Therapy helped me get off the rollercoaster, so I could see the high and low points for what they were, and keep a long view of what I could manage.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:45 AM
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Florence you are right it is such a rollercoaster. Right now I'm reading the books recommended from SR members. The nearest Al-Anon meeting is about 1.5 hours away and not feasible for me to make it.

I have considered personal therapy but haven't made that step yet.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:59 AM
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Therapy helps me work out all the kinks that keep me from breathing and making good decisions. I hope you give it a try, especially since Al-Anon isn't available in your area.

I have been disappointed by the lack of Al-Anon community in my area. There are few meetings, and they are at weird times that don't work for working people. I could go to open AA meetings, but I would be encroaching on my AH's program. He's still on the recovery/relapse train but attending meetings, and I'm afraid I would burst into flames if I ever heard him speak in a meeting.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkiesAgain View Post
The three weeks of being sober he had gave me to much of a since of security.
You are placing control over your emotions on him and his behavior. If he does this...you feel that... No wonder you are stressed and miserable! Giving up one's power and control over their own lives has a way of making us feel like that!

Take your power back. He doesn't want it nor have any idea what to do with it, so he goes about living his own life and you get yanked all around and dragged through his muck. Stop doing that! Unhook your emotions from his actions. Find your own sense of security in your own life - make a list of all the things that already give you that sense of security. Stop pinning it on him, or you will be constantly disappointed.

We can have compassion without removing responsibility and accountability; we can be detached and still love and care for people; we can base our emotions on ourselves and our own lives regardless of what others are doing (or not doing).

Today, try making a gratitude list. Write out all the things that make you comfortable, happy, content, and/or secure. Re-read daily, and add to as needed.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:55 AM
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Dear BlueSkies, this is still a new ballgame for you. You are learning in the school of experience---just as he is. The further you get on the road of your own growth, it will get easier to "weather" the ups and downs.

I think it is different when the A is a child rather than a partner, in some ways. With a child, it was our responsibility to attend to them and to monitor them. Being attuned to how they are feeling and what they are doing is a part of nurturing the young. As a matter of fact, one is considered to be a poor mother if that isn't done. The law also requires it. We do that for the better part of 2 decades! It becomes "second nature" for us.

Detaching from that is a process---it doesn't happen overnight, and there are no user manuals. Add a special situation---like a serous illness or Alcoholism (for example)---it makes it m ore complicated and a bit harder.

As they take flight into adulthood and spend less physical time under our radar, I think there are some blessings. It frees us up from that constant responsibility of that
awareness---of every thing and every event in their lives.

Now that mine are grown, I treasure them as much and enjoy all the "normal" times with them as precious moment to be treasured. BUT, there are so many things that I don't even want to hear about!!!

BlueSkies, you will find out what I am talking about.

I just wanted to share this bit of "mommy' experience with you.

Keep your faith. Day at a time.

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Old 10-23-2012, 02:47 PM
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I'm with Florence on Al-Anon. BSA, check out ALL the electronic and telephonic Al-Anon meetings available on their website (open full document) here:

Electronic Meeting List

Check out the parent stories and audio here:

For Parents

Check out the podcasts here:

First Steps to Recovery

&

Using Al-Anon's Steps in Our Personal Lives

I agree 100% with Tuffgirl on not giving away your power and focusing on you. And I also love what dandylion said about letting go of the "second nature" parenting when they get to be 18 and suffer from alcoholism and addiction.

I wish you serenity!
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:45 PM
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That car is the pivatol point, you hold onto it, to keep contol of him...and...believe that it will help him to abstain from drinking...it will not. He has to return the car and then you pump him for every detail of his day and then become upset because it is not going as you envision it should. It is a cycle and not a productive one for either of you.

Everything is about the alcoholic because you are making it that way. You are obsessed with his life, IMO that is not a healthy approach to life.

Who are you? Introduce yourself to us.

Your posts are all about him, we are all codies here, whether some of us want to admit it or not, we want to solve others problems, we wanna help, even when it is to our own determent.
The most difficult things I had to accept was that I was entitled to a life and that I could not fix
another, the only person I can fix is me.

Have you read the stickeys at the top of this forum and cynicals one's blogs? How about Alanon meetings, are you attending them on a regular basis?

You are a loving caring mother, that I know, however, the only way you can help him, is to get yourself healthy . Not my rules, just how it works.

Sending my best your way.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:21 PM
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You all are right. I gave up my identity, myself 21 years ago when I started raising children. Graduated college as an engineer. Had a major job and traveled the world and when I had children I couldn't bear to leave them with a sitter. So I became a stay at home mom. Since that day my life has focused on my children, my husband (to a lesser extent) and my dogs.

Truth is I don't know who I am if not in relation to my family. My family is slowly drifting away. AS is 21 and an adult although I'm not ready for that. My other son is 17 and will be leaving for college within the year and he will be 1000 miles away. My dog is 13 years old and in very bad health. I have no idea who I am outside of my family.

My dad was an alcoholic and my mother died of cancer when I was a child. I always promised myself my children would not grow up in the environment that I did. I have spent 21 years making sure they had a prefect (I know no such thing) childhood. Somewhere along the way I lost me.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:00 PM
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkiesAgain View Post
You all are right. I gave up my identity, myself 21 years ago when I started raising children. Graduated college as an engineer. Had a major job and traveled the world and when I had children I couldn't bear to leave them with a sitter. So I became a stay at home mom. Since that day my life has focused on my children, my husband (to a lesser extent) and my dogs.

Truth is I don't know who I am if not in relation to my family. My family is slowly drifting away. AS is 21 and an adult although I'm not ready for that. My other son is 17 and will be leaving for college within the year and he will be 1000 miles away. My dog is 13 years old and in very bad health. I have no idea who I am outside of my family.

My dad was an alcoholic and my mother died of cancer when I was a child. I always promised myself my children would not grow up in the environment that I did. I have spent 21 years making sure they had a prefect (I know no such thing) childhood. Somewhere along the way I lost me.
Then this is a time of revelation and revitalization for you! For YOU!!!

I raised 5 kids, 2 full time, and 3 step kids rotating in and out. I remember my son, when I told him very specifically what he should do in great detail about some small issue, I remember him looking down at me from his great height, and in his deep voice saying "It's okay, Mom, I've got that covered."

Your son may or may not "have that covered" but it is his now, to do, to not do, to handle any way he wants, and to take and learn from the consequences. That is one of the absolutely hardest things for a mother to learn, in my opinion.

And that leaves you in a most trying situation. You have the great anxiety of watching your son maybe making very bad choices with very bad consequences, and he is not necessarily choosing to listen to you.

And, you have the empty nest syndrome approaching.

I suggest diving as deep into what YOU want to be when you grow up as possible, as quickly and intensely, and positively as you can. Connect with other engineers, talk to people in your field, get out there and soon you'll find you'll get a life, your own life.

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:14 PM
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This is significant: You grew up with an alcoholic father & your mom died of cancer when you were young. So sad, and I am so sorry! But that and the approaching "empty nest" screams fear of abandonment and reliving the trauma to me.

Are there any Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings around? Check this out too, especially numbers 2 & 12, and the last line of your last post; I'm just saying it's something to think about:

The Problem - Adult Children of Alcoholics - World Service Organization, Inc.

How about Codependents Anonymous meetings in your area?
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:29 PM
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Big hugs to you - what a brave woman you!

I know, I have a particular way of looking at the world, which is that everything that happens to me helps me grow. Eventually I can see the gift in it. People who have come in and out of my life, events, family - some that I no longer deal with - all ended up being a gift because the experiences have helped me.

It looks like this is your time to blossom and find out who you are!? What a gift. So good to see you sticking your head out of that shell . . .
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:31 PM
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what an adventure!

You get to find yourself now! I love finding out who I am, what I want, what makes me tick. Shoot, I am having an affair with the coolest person ever, me! OK, so I am biased, but I digress..

Take this time to get to know yourself again. Its not too late to make a life that is yours. You can still be all those things, just a better version of it now.

Enjoy!
~T
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:51 PM
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One of my favorite sayings around here is "Your son has a Higher Power, and you are not it." Let him find his own HP, and his own recovery. Likewise, you find your HP, and your recovery. Nothing you do will ever save him from himself or from the disease of alcoholism. He needs to stumble and get back up on his own. I recommend taking the car away and making him fully responsible for every aspect of his life. Get yourself to therapy if there aren't any of the above mentioned meetings near you. It definitely sounds like you need it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:46 AM
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Nothing to add to all the great advice given- hope you are feeling a bit better today.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:50 AM
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The next whammy will be the empty nest situation. Have you considered going back to work, even part time. It will be very unhealthy for you to sit around all day worrying and wondering what your children are doing.

You've done your job and sound like a wonderful mom, although, a wee too enmeshed in your boys lives, might be time for you to reinvent yourself once again! Nothing in life remains constant, it either gets better or worse.

Sending hugs your way!
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:08 PM
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Thank you all. I'm working to find myself. Actually started thinking about something I would like to do for me. I'll get there but it will be a journey.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:32 PM
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Good for you!!! For you, I do hope you get a recovery program in.

One of our sayings is "We didn't know that we didn't know."
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:48 AM
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I'll get there but it will be a journey.
Indeed! For me, it's about enjoying the scenery on the way.
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