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maybe OT maybe I'm too idealist or naive or maybe this is codependent behavior

Old 04-01-2013, 10:54 AM
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maybe OT maybe I'm too idealist or naive or maybe this is codependent behavior

RAH is about a year sober and doing fairly well in recovery although he sometimes seems to be hanging by his fingernails despite efforts to keep up with meetings.

My issue is that he has never really been honest with me and the kids about his drinking nor his recovery. When I say honest I mean openly talking about his struggle and how he is doing.

I bring this up because at dinner yesterday my oldest who is home from college was chatting away about how she is interested in hospitality and she thinks she might need to learn about wines and maybe there is a class she can take to learn about them and how to pair them with food, etc.

RAH didn't say much and I just made a few comments that there are plenty of ways to learn about what wines go with what foods. Today I contacted my daughter just to let her know that it's a bit of a tricky situation discussing alcohol because of RAH and to keep in mind that a conversation like that could go in the wrong direction, ie. RAH may decide to get further into that discussion and end up having some wine in the guise of helping her out.

She became angry with me calling to tell her this and I just simply said I just wanted to pass that information along to her as she may not totally understand what it is like to be an A.

Sometimes I feel like I am on the edge looking at every which way RAH may end up in a relapse. I know I am definitely not enjoying time with him that he is abstaining from alcohol.

Any thoughts or redirection for my thinking is appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:03 AM
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Back to step 1 thinking might help? You didn't cause it, can't control it, and can't cure it.
Ergo--If simply talking about wine pairing with food is going to send him on a relapse, he'd find his way back there regardless, there would be something else that set him off.
How does worrying help? I have had to ask myself that many times. My answer was always--it didn't.
I would focus on how you are not enjoying your time with him right now. Expand upon that and share with us about that if you want to, or just ask yourself that question and brainstorm for answers?
I'm looking for ways to help you...not ways to worry about him.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:27 AM
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I think if your RAH has a problem with the discussion at the dinner table, it is his responsibility to request the subject be changed. We cannot manage their recovery any better than we could manage their drinking.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dancingnow View Post
I just simply said I just wanted to pass that information along to her as she may not totally understand what it is like to be an A.
No, she doesn't! And to her, sharing her life with you was a normal phenomenon. No one understands what it is like to be an alcoholic unless they are one.

I have to ask - why does talking about alcohol make you uncomfortable? Is it because you are assuming it makes your RAH uncomfortable or awkward? If he relapses, it is because he chose to relapse, not because your daughter wanted to talk about hospitality related skill sets.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:45 AM
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Its HIS recovery and if he wants to share that with or not, you have to accept that it is what it is HIS.

You still seem to be walking on egg shells and thinking you can control it by NOT talking about alcohol then trying to convince your daughter to agree with your thinking.

What kind of program are you working?
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:59 PM
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Dear dancingnow, I understand the dreaded fear of relapse. When we have suffered so much from alcoholism, we become hyper-vigilant for anything in the environment which might snatch away the precious sobriety.

It is like we see their sobriety as the route from the prison that their drinking has sentenced us to. In our own way, we become as desperate as they are.

Yet, just like them, we are powerless over alcohol.

Just curious--if you care to say, of course---exactly what was your daughter angry at you for. You must feel very lonely, right now.

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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My guess is that she got angry because you tried to tell her she can't talk about her career plans because her dad might relapse if she does.

This makes about as much sense as cutting liquor ads out of his magazines or avoiding restaurants that serve wine.

He's been sober for a YEAR--this isn't his first week trying to quit drinking. If he relapses, it will be because he has let his recovery work slip, not because someone mentions wine-pairings.

Personally, I think you owe your daughter an apology.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:32 PM
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You didn't cause it and you're not responsible for his program, only for yourself, you can only change you. Walking on eggshells is not a healthy pattern and is an attempt to control him. Your daughter is not responsible for his program either, and I understand her reaction at your attempt to make her responsible for what isn't hers to do.

It's helpful to discuss these things with an Al-Anon sponsor or/and others who have been doing successful step work and practicing healthy communication. It takes time to un-learn and re-learn, give yourself a break and get some helpful support for you, best gift you could give to your daughter. good luck to you
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:57 AM
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Wow, I can't imagine my mom calling me and telling me that my career plans that I discussed with my parents may lead my Dad to drink again. If he would drink that easily then this is a failed attempt at recovery. Didn't cause it, can't cure it, can't control it....and also can't control what other talk about.

Is there more here to the story? You mentioned that sometimes it feels like he is hanging on by his fingernails - do you see red flags for relapse? What kind of a program is he working? Is he in a 12 step or is he just attending meetings? What about you - have you attended Al Anon?
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:13 AM
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I am confused. I just read through your posts on 2/2013 you wrote that he was drinking again. Yet you say he is 1 year sober........
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:25 AM
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I appreciate everyone's comments and points of view. Gives me a lot to think about. There's always opportunity to work harder on my program.

I don't think I implied that my daughter's comments would lead to RAH drinking, I was just taking the opportunity to bring the situation to light.

I suppose I do look at alcoholism as the disease model and in so much that if RAH had cancer or diabetes I would want it out in the open a lot more than his alcoholism is out in the open.

It is maybe not anger that DD expressed but annoyance and I am so tired at being met with annoyance from my family members whenever I mention things they don't want to talk about. It's not like I am trying to have a deep, meaningful conversation. Often it is just a sentence or two to just bring awareness or have another opinion.

I feel that so much has been covered up and manipulated.

It is lonely at times. I am realizing I need to connect with my kids in other ways and let what has been done in the past go and it's true it is my RAH responsibility to take care of himself.

It's just the cunning, manipulation and blaming that's the disease that scares me and it comes up in other ways even though RAH is not drinking and is going to meetings. It's hard to explain, maybe it's just his personality but it does make me feel that a relapse will be caused by something I did or didn't do or it will be blamed on me through manipulation. I do need to focus on the 3 C's and letting go and working on program. I find it hard to go to meetings as i am fortunate RAH is not drinking but sobriety and working through some of the damage and raising kids just seems for me more overwhelming than a meeting can help me with sometimes.

Thanks again for hearing me out and letting me work through my issues.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:33 AM
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I am not positive he was drinking in 2/2013 as I was out of town. As I said he seems to be hanging by his fingernails which is demonstrated by his level of stress and reactive nature. When I am here I can see he is not drinking and I can see how he calms down after going to a meeting. When I wasn't here, he didn't go to some of his meetings and I wasn't in contact with him at times so I thought the worst.

He claims he wasn't drinking and it may have just been his high level of stress as I was not here to take care of stuff.

Also it is likely he wasn't drinking because if he was he probably would have continued and he seemed to have been ok when I got back.

Anyway it seems most of my anxiety stems from my own thoughts and levels of stress about particular situations.

Thanks for asking and your concern of what might really be going on.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:49 AM
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Dear dancingnow, I k now what you mean by our relatives/close friends growing "tired" of hearing about the same old problem. It is like the alcoholism and the A becom es the whole focus of everything--and people get so tired and annoyed. It is likely, since they don't live with him--he is not the center of THEIR universe--as he is in yours. They may feel "just get over it". I have seen this so many times with the friends and family of abused partners. Finally, everyone gets tired of it and want to back away.

Do you feel obligated to live with him--no matter what?

Just asking......

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:02 AM
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I know what it means to be in fear of that next relapse, and feeling like you have to watch like a hawk, that was me for ten long years. My Aw has been in recovery that long, and am very familiar with that feeling of waiting for the shoe to drop. Integrating the 3Cs into my outlook has helped, it has stopped me from worrying about what things might or might not cause a relapse - if she drinks it is her business, all I need to focus on is what my response should be and preserving my own sanity. If you think your kids need to be educated about alcoholism and how to help their dad and themselves, you might want to think about introducing that, without reference to a specific incident.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:27 AM
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Its hard to break out of a pattern. When he was drinking you were used to it. You knew what to expect. You coped. Now he is sober and you live with the fear that he will relapse. You are out of your comfort zone. Isn't it strange that in his working toward recovery you have been left feeling out of control?

I don't think its strange at all. I think its normal.

Its unhealthy though for you both. I am sure there is a lot of resentment on your end for him getting you there in the first place.

You contradict yourself - you say that the discussion you brought up with your daughter was not to imply that you thought that it would lead RAH to drink, yet in your first post you say the reason you brought it up to her was because you were afraid RAH's thoughts would go to having a wine tasting with her. This pattern of contradiction is in a lot of your posts. He is drinking/he is not. He is in recovery/he is not going to meetings. He is 1 year sober/I think he is 1 year sober.

Its clear that your head is spinning. You don't know what to think, what is true, what is false, I honestly don't think you can wrap your head around any kind of truth and feel it is certain. This is the byproduct of years of living with an alcoholic and being fooled, lied to, and manipulated.

The reason we push for Al Anon is so that you can start your own healing process and your own recovery. The purpose of the meetings IS to HELP you sort through this situation so you aren't left with head spinning.

I feel your pain, I really do and I empathize. Its a terrible place to be when you can't get yourself to a place where you can just believe something and not be waiting for the other shoe to fall. Those of us who choose to stay with our S.O.'s who are A's always have to know that a relapse is possibility and accept it, plan for it, but not let the fear of it rule our lives and actions. I know I certainly never thought after 10 years sober mine would relapse I think I spent the first month of it in denial. The next month trying to figure out why. The next month trying to figure out how to stop it and so on and so on and so on.

Now he has been sober for 6 months. Every once in a while I get that fear - like last weekend when we went to wedding with an open bar. He went to the restroom...and it was in the back of my mind 'Is he really in the restroom or is he at the bar slugging a drink?" You can see where this was headed.....that quickening of the pulse to hurry up and go look for him, insist on kiss and sniff at the same time.

Then I just calmed myself knowing that if he was there wasn't a damn thing I can do about it. Moving right along.....we had a blast and it could have turned into a really bad night had I let those old codie habits take over.

Hugs (((()))) will be thinking about you today.
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