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Facing the problem's in my life now that the alcoholic is no longer the main focus

Old 04-11-2015, 09:39 AM
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Facing the problem's in my life now that the alcoholic is no longer the main focus

So, yesterday was a really hard day, 10th day of no contact and I just felt like I can't do this, can't manage without him. Only pure stubbornness stopped me from contacting him. I've said I'll do 40 days and I'll do it if it kills me (which it won't though sometimes it feels like it will!) Anyway just feeling how empty and lonely my life is without him. The longing, the yearning for anything really to fill the void. And again I started thinking back to when I met him.

I was in such a bad place. My now 12 year old daughter's dad had died a year and a half before. And while I was over the initial shock and grief I hadn't adjusted to our new circumstances. We weren't in a romantic relationship when he died but we were close and he shared childcare, having her at his house a couple of nights during the week and every second weekend and that was my time to go out, get to meetings, see friends, date whatever. Now I was back to parenting alone, my own grief, her grief, etc. Much as I love my daughter I felt trapped, like I had lost all my freedom and support. I had already brought up my 3 sons alone.

Speaking of the sons, one of them has a disability as a result of meningitis when he was a baby, one has add and was also in addiction at this time. Both of those boys had kept me on my toes for years, all of a sudden they were grown up and moving out. The house was so quiet with just me and my daughter and I was trying to process all this loss and change when the alcoholic came along. I knew it was a really bad idea with many years sobriety behind me but I couldn't resist.

The relationship began to take up so much of my time, my mental and physical energy, that I didn't really think about what needed changing in my own life, how to fill the time that the boys weren't taking up anymore, how to make time , sort out babysitting arrangements so I could go out, see people and do some fun things. So much of what I do, I do alone. I'm a therapist, I work one to one, I like to make art and write, I do this alone. At the time I got together with the alcoholic I was working part-time, looking after my daughter and going to meetings. That was my life. Now that he's gone that's still my life but now I have the grief of another ending as well!

So yesterday, thinking about all of this I realised that those changes still need to be made in my life. I did join a writing group a few weeks ago, I admitted to myself how important my writing is to me and how I've neglected it in the past couple of years. I've put my name down for a crochet class at our local library. Today I went for a cycle, something I haven't done for a long time. I've arranged to see friends, one of them a male friend I haven't seen for ages because, well, you know, my alcoholic couldn't understand that a man and a woman can just be friends and it's best not to rock the boat too much. I have decided to make sure I get a babysitter at least once a month and get out to do something adult that I really want to do, whether it's a movie, theatre, dinner, whatever. I do stuff with my daughter too but it's not the same, age appropriate, her preferences, etc. I am also, at night, doing the journaling exercises from Pia Mellody's love addiction book. no, this is not the first tome I have been in an addictive relationship!

Sorry this is a long post. Thanks to anyone who read it all. I still miss my ex, I think I did grow to love him even though I believe the relationship started mainly as an escape from the mess that was my own life at the time. I wouldn't say I have 100% closed the door on the relationship if he were to come to me and say he is prepared to get help with his drink problem but I'm not holding my breath for that. I know there will be more awful days without him and I know I can't handle the drinking behaviour any more. But today I suppose I just feel that, in spite of all of this, I can make some positive changes in my own life and hopefully get to a happier place.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:17 AM
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Sounds to me like you're doing a lot of good things for yourself. Keep it up! Even if, hypothetically, you were to resume your relationship with your ex (or more promising--meet someone new) it's good to nurture those personal passions so all of YOU doesn't go into the relationship. I think maintaining a sense of self independent of one's partner is critical to personal happiness and self-worth.

I was hoping to focus on my writing when I retired a few years ago, but my current job has me doing so much professional writing (which isn't as much "fun") that I don't have the energy or focus to do my own right now. That's probably something I should think about doing, though--it's possible to get sucked into a job the same way you can get sucked into relationships.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:47 AM
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Thanks Lexie, I find it's so easy to let anything else get in the way of things I do for myself!
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