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Vigilance vs. co-dependency?

Old 09-23-2013, 02:33 PM
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Vigilance vs. co-dependency?

How do I determine if what I am doing is codependent or if I am just being aware of what is going on and trying to protect myself? I currently am very aware of what my (r)ah is doing and saying and watching for red flags and relapse potential. For the record he is seven months sober.

A bit of history – he hid his drinking very well. I was, well, naďve to say the least. Never been around alcohol abuse or alcoholics, so just didn’t see it. Wasn’t raised in a convent so was around drinking and partook myself, but just had no concept of the chemical dependency itself.

I have since educated myself. I don’t dwell on it but I do watch and listen. I do not bring any of it up to him. In fact, I don’t talk with anyone about it other than here or with my counselor. I don’t know if the issues I am “seeing” are red flags or if it is because I am no longer oblivious.

Myself, I feel that I am protecting myself and being prepared, but I am just not sure. I know that my “line in the sand” is if he drinks again I am completely done and if he chooses to I want to know ASAP so I can get the heck out before it gets to the point it was when sh!t hit the fan in February.

Part 2:
Does AA/rehab “teach” A’s about triggers and things they should/should not do? Example – this weekend (r)ah purchased mouthwash with alcohol in it. Now, I don’t think this was a good idea, but I don’t do his shopping and do not babysit him. I did not say a thing. I simply made a mental note. It is this kind of behavior and actions that I am talking about in the above “part 1”. There are other small things like reconnecting with friends that he had when he was drinking, texting in the middle of the night, etc. Things that he was doing when he was drinking, but I didn’t connect that they were all connected to the drinking. I don't "search out" these things, I am just noticing them now.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:11 PM
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I don't think there's anything wrong with being aware of what's going on around you. You have set a boundary, or a line in the sand, and you are not staying in the dark if that boundary is crossed.You aren't discussing it with those who aren't equipped to deal with it, you're going to the appropriate resources to discuss your concerns.

If you were reading his text messages, contacting his friends, searching for bottles....that's codependency.

And, yes, they learn about products etc that they need to stay away from. Mine was also told don't drink water/soda etc from a wine glass. He was given a list of products to stay away from when he was in rehab. We watch mouthwash, etc. But it's up to him to apply the lessons.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:26 PM
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Lyssy-

I actually found this very challenging for me.

My hypervigilence was a coping mechanism for me in my life prior to meeting and living with an alcoholic.

For me it was part of my "wanting" to control the outcome/situation (even if I did not say or do anything about it). I thought if I just had ALL the information I could make the best decision and it would all turn out okay.

So for me the hypervigilence was PART of my codependency. It was the part of it that thought I was not strong enough without proof to get out if I needed to. It was the part that did not trust my gut, but needed proof.

It did improve. The first steps were like Recovering2 posted about not reading his texts, searching for bottles etc, but for me the hypervigalance was a more subtle, more nuanced trickier part to figure out (and change my behavior around). I am still actually struggling with it to a degree (and I am a ways out).

Your post has been a great reminder to me though that recovery does not happen overnight, but in stages....I want to say welcome to the next stage.

I finally realized that for me codependent behaviors were less about the behavior themselves and the "why" I was doing them (or how I felt when doing them). If I was doing them for someone else, with the intention of making it better for someone else, if the focus was off me etc it usually meant my codie tendancies were off to the races (regardless of what I was doing).
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:46 PM
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texting in the middle of the night to whom???

I have insomnia...I can GO to sleep just fine, but then will wake up any time between midnight, 1am or 2am....or wake up each hour from midnight on (this has gone on for years). I am awake a LOT during the middle of the night. but I don't grab my phone and start TEXTING people! I move to the couch so as not to disturb my husband, put the tv on quietly to ID channel, and try like hell to catch a few more minutes, hours of sleep.

my point is...does this behavior seem normal TO YOU? his hooking up with old drinking buddies? whatever else he's doing that hits your radar??

instead of worrying about what he may or may not be going, have your finances in order, and protected against disaster, determine your boundaries...what you will and will not accept. and what YOU will if someone violates your boundaries. cuz you can't control how anyone else behaves...only how you behave, how you react, how you act.

if I go to a restaurant and a cockroach runs across the table. I am NOT going back. cockroaches in my presence are NOT acceptable!!! and thus I do my best to assure a cockroach-free existence. I do not go back and expect the roach to behave any different cuz I said so! nor do I feel offended that it did not, change, for me.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
texting in the middle of the night to whom???
His buddys (and yes, I know for a fact that it is not women). Why he does it, I have no idea. I pay the bill. I see the details. No snooping necessary.

I am awake a LOT during the middle of the night. but I don't grab my phone and start TEXTING people!
This is a behavior that started when his drinking progressed. Hindsight being 20/20, I now believe that he was getting up in the middle of the night and drinking. Towards the end (before rehab) I honestly believe that he was drinking 24/7. Every hour. Every day.

does this behavior seem normal TO YOU? his hooking up with old drinking buddies? whatever else he's doing that hits your radar??
Do you mean - would I act/behave in this manner - or are you asking if it is "normal" for his behavior?

For me - no, this is not behavior I would do or is normal for me. For him, as stated above, yes, it was normal for him when he was drinking which was all the time so I have no idea if it is normal for him when he isn't drinking or, on the other hand - is he drinking again?

instead of worrying about what he may or may not be going, have your finances in order, and protected against disaster, determine your boundaries...what you will and will not accept. and what YOU will if someone violates your boundaries. cuz you can't control how anyone else behaves...only how you behave, how you react, how you act.
Finances in order! Boundaries set! Plan in place! Protect against disaster - I guess that is the purpose of the original post.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:45 AM
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FWIW, I text all all the time in the middle of the night. I answer texts I didn't have time to answer during the day, or send new ones. I don't expect replies, although sometimes people are awake, or in a different time zone, and write me back. Everyone I know turns off the sounds on their phone at night so I know I won't wake them with a text. To me, that's not weird.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamsofSerenity View Post
.
This is not business related. This is personal texts. To his friends. He doesn't any messages that are of urgent subjects, not in his line of work.

I am going to let it go. I really don't care if he is texting or what ever. It is not about that at all - it is about the behavior not the actual action (whatever that may be).

All I am concerned about is relapse and being prepared for it. My gut say it is not if, but when and I HAVE to listen. I spent too many years naive and blind.
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Old 09-24-2013, 01:41 PM
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Lyssy, I can relate to your situation. My A is an astoundingly sly drinker, virtually never appeared even slightly tipsy, and hid it successfully for many years. My great fear is the same as yours, that the drinking will resume and I again won't know it for months or years.

The most recent incident of this was 4th of July weekend, when I believed him to be sober, totally believed this, and a few days later found his booze stash. I was ready to walk out the door right then, b/c if I can be taken in that completely, even when I AM watching out for signs, what is the point of staying?

I'm kind of where you are now in wondering when, not if, the next relapse will happen. A couple times a week, he has started giving a ride to AA meetings to a woman who has been in AA since age 15 (which is 29 years, he says) and has never strung together any appreciable sobriety. She is on a 10-month stretch now and he seems very defensive of this, saying "well, all you need for AA is the DESIRE to stop drinking! LOTS of people go to AA and keep on drinking!" To me, this is a screaming red neon light that he is looking for a reason to pick up again. Like you, I am bracing, and thinking I need to put my plan in place b/c it WILL be when, not if, he drinks again.

So yeah, I too feel like there is a fine line to be walked--paying enough attention to the A that you aren't going around w/your head in the sand, yet keeping the main focus on yourself and getting healthy, heading the way you want to go, regardless of the A's actions.

I don't have any advice to offer, just wanted to say that I understand your predicament, being in a similar spot myself.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:33 PM
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I can't see how we can't be vigilant and protect ourselves in relationships, especially when we've been hurt and lied to. Maybe in time if he stays sober and starts showing that he can be trusted you might naturally let your gurd down a bit?

The texting thing does sound a bit odd though......
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