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Old 05-09-2002, 07:07 PM
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Sugarplum
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Unhappy Hi, I'm new

Good Evening everyone, I have been looking for an alanon message board for a while and I'm so glad I finally found one. I've read a few posts and I feel like you all are very nice here.

To make my story short & sweet, I've been married for 22 years and my husband didn't start drinking until a few years ago. He started drinking to try and control a chronic pain problem he has. When he started doubling and tripling up on his pain meds, he would run out early and could not get a refill for a few days so he would drink to help his until he could get the refill. Well, I'm sure you all know the story....it kept getting worse and worse and he had to take more pills and drink more alcohol and finally he got to the point where he would be sick if he DIDN'T drink. The dr finally quit prescribing him pain pills but as you all know, liquor is on every damn street corner in town.

He had me feeling so sorry for him in the beginning, even bad enough that i went out and bought the crap for him when he was too sick/drunk to get it himself. I fell for his trick but I know better now. I've been attending alanon for over a year now and he's been through many detox's & rehabs. It seems that nothing is working.

I know i can't do anything to make him stop but I have 2 teenage daughters who do not deserve to live in a house with a man who cannot go a week without drinking. I feel like I'm not being a good mother by letting them be exposed to this. I go back and forth trying to decide what to do. I can't seem to make up my mind... i think part of that is that he keeps doing this week on-week off crap. On the week he doesn't drink, everything seems great and I pray to God that this is the time that he will have long term sobriety, only to be shot down a few days later when i suspect he's been drinking again and I'm always right. Even my daughters now can tell the instant we look at him. It disgusts all of us but we know he's got a disease....

Do we abandon him because he has a disease, would we move out if he had diabetes or cancer? NO, we'd just deal with it. But, is that what we're supposed to do? I am so wishy washy and i hate that feeling. I know that no one at Alanon or on this board can TELL me what to do, I guess I just need to get my frustrations out and know that someone out there understands what i'm going through.

I hope i haven't turned any of you off, I promise i won't type such long messages in the future. I just don't know what to do. I keep telling myself that it's okay to not do anything right now, but then my other self is saying, I can't just keep putting up with his drinking, he's got to know that I mean business when I say I don't want to live with an actively drinking alcoholic husband. But, is that manipulation on my part? I'm so confused...

Sugarplum
 
Old 05-09-2002, 07:39 PM
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Morning Glory
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Welcome Sugarplum,

The people on this board are wonderful. You don't ever have to worry about what you post. I'm living proof of that. I copied a post from another board below. It seems to speak to the topic of your post. I'm glad you found us.

MG


--The Language of Letting Go-- Melody Beattie

April 21

"Wait. If the time is not right, the way is not clear, the answer or decision not consistent, wait.

"We may feel a sense of urgency. We may want to resolve the issue by doing something--anything now, but that action is not in our best interest.

"Living with confusion or unsolved problems is difficult. It is easier to resolve things. But making a decision too soon, doing something before it's time, means we may have to go back and redo it.

"If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait.

"In this new way of life, there is a Guiding Force. We do not ever have to move too soon or move out of harmony. Waiting is an action -- a positive, forceful action.

"Often, waiting is a God-guided action, one with as much power as a decision, and more power than an urgent, ill-timed decision.

"We do not have to pressure ourselves by insisting that we do or know something before it's time. When it is time, we will know. We will move into that time naturally and harmoniously. We will have peace and consistency. We will feel empowered in a way we do not feel today.

"Deal with the panic, the urgency, the fear; do not let them control or dictate decisions.

"Waiting isn't easy. It isn't fun. But waiting is often necessary to get what we want. It is not deadtime; it is not downtime. The answer will come. The power will come. The time will come. And it will be right.

"--Today, I will wait, if waiting is the action I need in order to take care of myself. I will know that I am taking a positive, forceful action by waiting until the time is right. God, help me let go of my fear, urgency, and panic. Help me learn the art of waiting until the time is right. Help me learn timing."
 
Old 05-10-2002, 12:43 AM
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Hi Sugarplum

Welcome to the board. Everyone here is very nice. Don't ever apologize for posting your feelings or how long they are. It wouldn't turn anyone off. We all understand what you are going through. When I read your story, the similiarities to mine were there - pain meds, so many rehabs and detoxes, and so on. I felt like it was almost my story.

I also struggle with what to do but I know eventually I will find my way. I might not find my way overnight but eventually I know I will make decisions that are right for me.

Again, welcome to the board and keep posting!!

Many hugs.
Love,
Debbie
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Old 05-10-2002, 03:01 AM
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Welcome!

Since you have found Al Anon are your duaghters open to Al Ateen? Just keeping the lines of communication open between you and them should tell you alot about where they are at emotionally.

MG's post above is a great one...I, too, believe that we shouldn't rush to force a solution. If we do we may end up waffling or regretting what we have done and that only adds to the pain. The answers will naturally unfold...if you be quiet and listen to what your heart is telling you.

I have a friend who has chronic pain and I can't imagine anything much worse...and after becoming addicted to pain meds and alcohol he is now sober and in a program, and recently with intense Physical Therapy he is becoming more active and is feeling better painwise, too. So the possiblity is out there.

Keep coming back..we have a wonderful support system here!

JT
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Old 05-10-2002, 03:24 AM
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Hi Sugarplum, what a wonderful name. I can relate to your story. I am having trouble deciding what to do about my husbands active drinking and the environment that creates for me and our teen age kids. I have tried making an ultimatium, one that I wasn't ready to back up with action. I don't recommend that course. Now I am trying to change my reactions to his drinking and other circumstances in our life. I have found some success by changing my behavior. Then other days I end up screaming at him like crazy.
Welcome, this board has made such a diference in my life over the past months. These folks really listen and care about you. Share whenever you need to. take care..
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Old 05-10-2002, 04:00 AM
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Hi Sugarplum

I'm pretty new here, too. I think you will find this to be a very supportive environment. Welcome!
 
Old 05-10-2002, 04:04 AM
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Welcome Sugarplum!! I love that name too. Never feel like you have to apologize, we are all here for the same reasons.

I'm also wishy washy and confused. Just when I think I know the way and I'm on the path in the right direction I get turned around but atleast when I get turned around now I don't end up back at the beginning.

I'm glad you're here!!! Keep posting it helps.

Hugs,
Galnva
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Old 05-10-2002, 05:31 AM
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HI Sugarplum!
Just joining in the chorus of welcome!

Smoke
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Old 05-10-2002, 05:36 AM
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Ditto to all of the above, Sugerplum.

Glad to have you join our family. Please join in and feel free to share our strength, hope and experience (and lots of humour too, laughing is a great tool sometimes to get us out of our funks).

Welcome

Hugs

Ann
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Old 05-10-2002, 10:48 AM
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Oh my goodness.... you all ARE a great bunch of people! What sweet, encouraging words you all give me. Thank you soooo much for that. It really does help to know there are others out there that are just as confused as I am but it makes me sad as well because it's such an awful place to be. I guess I got so wordy because my suspicions were confirmed last night about him starting again after over a week sober. This on and off crap is getting real old, it just teases me with what could be if he would just would NOT pick up that first drink. He says things like he wished he could move to Saudi Arabia where they do not allow alcohol so that he wouldn't be tempted. He seems to want someone else to 'force' him to give it up... lock him away so he couldn't get to a liquor store.

Another question i had was how do you detach with love? I am planning on going to play Bingo with my oldest daughter tonight (my youngest is spending the night with someone because she can't handle being around him when he's drinking) and i feel guilty. I feel like I shouldn't go and leave him here alone. I KNOW i have to live my life, but he makes me feel like i'm abandoning him when i do things like this. His love language is spending time together but when he's drinking i can't stand being in the same room with him and I know he doesn't like it when i go with my friends or even with our daughters and leave him behind, he feels like I'm putting my friends or the girls in front of him. But, I feel like when he drinks, he is putting the vodka in front of ME, especially when he knows how much i hate it when he drinks it. I am almost positive you all are going to tell me that he is trying to manipulate me, but i just wanted to see what you had to say.

And again, what exactly is detaching with love... can someone give me an example?

You all are great and I'm sorry to be so needy right now, I know in a few days I'll feel better and hopefully I'll be able to encourage some of you. Each time he falls off his wagon, it takes me a couple days to come to grips with it.

Thanks again... everyone

Sugarplum



 
Old 05-10-2002, 11:50 AM
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Ann
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Sugarplum

It sounds like you are already detaching with love. It can be very complicated, but here's what Melody Beattie (a great author on codependency says:

"Detaching With Love" (Oct. 20 reading)

"Sometimes people we love do things we don't like or approve of. We react. They react. Before long we're all reacting to each other; and the problem escalates.

When do we detach? When we're hooked into a reaction of anger, fear, guilt or shame. When we get hooked onto a power play - an attempt to control or force someone to do something they don't want to do. When the way we're reacting isn't helping the other person or solving the problem. When the way we're reacting is hurting us.

Often, it's time to detach when detachment appears to be the least likely, or possible thing to do.

The first step toward detachment is understanding that reacting and controlling don't help. The next step is getting peaceful - getting centred and restoring our balance.

Take a walk. Leave the room. Go to a meeting. Take a long hot bath. Call a friend. Call on God. Breathe deeply. Find peace. From that place of peace and centering will emerge an answer, a solution.

Today I will Surrender and trust that the answer is near."

I have a feeling your recovery is stronger than you think. I am so glad you joined us.

Hugs

Ann
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Old 05-10-2002, 11:54 AM
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Welcome Sugarplum! When I call my 5 year old that name, she will tell me...Mama whats a sugarplum? is it sweet? I just laugh...Great name!

Were glad you found us! I know I rely on these boards soo much! I look foward to checking this every day. I've learned so much.

I can't give the best advice on the detachment, I know and hear you are suppose to detach with love, I tend to detach with anger most of the time. I'm trying to learn though. It is hard. There are lots of people here that are in your shoes. I have been with my A now for 8 years. We have a daughter as well who is 5.

I CAN shed some light to you on manipulation though...YES he is manipulating you, they are Masters at doing that. They want you to feel bad or sorry for them. It is exactly what they want. I understand where your coming from..and your not alone. I hope you keep coming back here and sharing. Take care of yourself, and if time permits go back and read some old posts, there is lots of valuable information in those that is very helpful.
Take care,
Many hugs to you
bonbon
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Old 05-10-2002, 11:59 AM
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....uuummmmm detaching. Well, if you go back and read some of the previous posts you will find alot of discusion about this very thing. It is about separating yourself...knowing where you end and he begins. Like knowing that you hate to be around him when he is drinking and going and doing something that you enjoy, like you have planned. It is about knowing that this is HIS problem an NOT yours and allowing him to deal with it however he chooses and not tring to do it for him. It is about loving the alcoholic and hating the disease. It is about loving the man and having compassion for the battle he is fighting and being able to walk away and allow him to fight it himself...even when he is in the midst of a self-pity party and your heart is braking for him. Sometimes we have to turn away and allow the to lay in their own vomit, face a jail sentence, lose a job...in other words face the results that they have created on their own.

The "with love" part for some of us is not always easy..but we are not perfect. Leave the room maybe but don't slam the door. Leave the house but don't gun the engine...leave him laying where ever he passes out but throw a blanket over him...that is with love.

Detachment is peace amid the storm...

Love, JT
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Old 05-10-2002, 12:23 PM
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ahhhhh, BRAVO!! Perfect JT, that was a wonderful example of detachment.....sheesh I just want to do it all the time with anger. I'm the one that guns that engine....or slams the door, you gave some good examples, I will try to put those into action next time the circumstance permits....just wanted to say thank you..

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Old 05-10-2002, 12:47 PM
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WELCOME! I am also new to the message boards and in just a week or so, I found sanity in here. When I get on-line and know I am headed to the boards, I know I will laugh, cry and just feel good when I am done. There are some great stories in here ( You must read "Here is our Logo") and also great support. I don't get on every day but I know when I do, it will be good!
Again, Welcome, and "Keep coming back!!"
Love,
Chandra

[This message has been edited by onway2sanity (edited May 10, 2002).]
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Old 05-10-2002, 01:34 PM
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Sugarplum:

So glad you found these boards - they are
indeed a godsend.
I am a relative newcomer myself, but they
have helped me enormously.
People come to share their experiences and wisdom, and guidance.

Love and warmth

Theresa
 
Old 05-10-2002, 03:14 PM
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JT
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Bob Bon,

Practice not perfection...it is more important to DO it than to do it perfectly!

I once kicked a door in ...now I slam it softly...


JT

[This message has been edited by Just Tired (edited May 10, 2002).]
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Old 05-10-2002, 05:38 PM
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Hi and welcome. I'm new to posting here too. I agree with what everyone else has said about detaching. Here is something from another website that I frequent, that you might find helpful.


If I've searched out books or outside insight to help me find answers to relationship difficulties, I may have come across the phrase "detachment with love". What exactly does this mean?

To detach, means to let go - not in the sense of leaving the relationship, but in letting go of my wishful thinking that somehow I can get my partner to change. When I detach with love, I make a conscious decision to stop reacting to things they do. Instead, I try to make choices that are best for me in any given situation.

On the surface, detachment sounds uncaring. It's not however unless I choose to stop caring. For example, if my SO growls at me for something they feel I should have done, I can detach from their anger. They have a right to their emotions, just as I have a right to mine. I can choose not to respond to their anger with anger of my own; instead, I can simply respond in ways that acknowledge their feelings, or even not respond at all, if that feels best.

When I detach, I find myself being able to love my SO's good qualities more without their faults dragging me down.

Just for Today
Today if I find myself reacting to my partner's choices or feelings, I'll remember that I have no real power over them. Conversely, the only real power my partner has over my choices and feelings is the power I give them. Whatever thoughts and emotions I have, let them be truly mine, and let the same apply to them.
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Old 05-11-2002, 04:45 PM
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Hello Sugarplum!

This must be such a difficult time for you and your girls. We can all understand how so. From my point of view, you are doing a wonderful job. You are taking care of you and you are giving your attention to your children. Loving them at a time like this is very important. This comes from one who is the child of an alcholic. It is very painful to see the man who has been in your world your whole life come to these means. You are a rock and I know your girls must love you that much more for it. Know that my (and everyones here) prayers are with you. Look to your HP for center and serenity. God Bless!

Lolly
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