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The "Reality Check" Game

Old 05-26-2016, 06:15 PM
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The "Reality Check" Game

I don't know how healthy this is but I have found myself playing a little game when I start to get sentimental about the failed relationship. I let myself be sad about what it is I am sad about and then list all the things that would have REALLY happened, for example...

I am getting sentimental about this weekend because we always went camping together. I love getting the stuff together and riding up, then setting up and having an entire weekend or night just to ourselves in nature. We could talk, bond, and deepen our connection. Being out in the woods was the only thing that could completely relax and "reset" me. I would drive home fully rested and ready to take on the coming week.

REALITY:

He would run around stressed out the night before packing (beers in hand), not letting me help with anything. On the way up he would most likely ask if I minded if he smoked in my car (which wasn't allowed) and I would probably say yes (ugh). When we got there he would bring so much stuff that it would take hours to unpack and set up camp, there was always something that needed fixing and it was like he couldn't just sit still and relax with me. We would probably play a few games, talking over the music that was playing on the radio he brought. When the fire was started he would be constantly playing with it, and if I tried to ask questions such as, "where do you see yourself in five years" would receive answers such as "I don't know". Towards the end of the night he would be very drunk and passing out in front of the fire. My attempts to get him to bed would be met with resistance and I would end up going to sleep alone for most of the night. On the ride home he would pass out almost as soon as we started to go (I always drove, no license) and I would ride home in silence.

WOW
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:21 PM
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When I started to get real about living and loving a problem drinker it helped me to see that I was often putting him on a pedestal and loving his POTENTIAL, rather than his actuality.

This was a really hard and painful lesson for me.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeRecovery View Post
When I started to get real about living and loving a problem drinker it helped me to see that I was often putting him on a pedestal and loving his POTENTIAL, rather than his actuality.

This was a really hard and painful lesson for me.
Yes, I realized I too was in love with his potential. When you separate the man from the myth everything comes crashing down. It was super painful and I felt bad, I couldn't imagine someone loving me for who they wanted me to be and not who I was.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Expanding View Post
Yes, I realized I too was in love with his potential. When you separate the man from the myth everything comes crashing down. It was super painful and I felt bad, I couldn't imagine someone loving me for who they wanted me to be and not who I was.
I had not thought of it in reverse. Probably because in my relationship that got me here I was up front and in it from the get go with my own addictive struggles (food). I was getting support around it prior to use meeting.

I spent most of my relationship with him blaming myself why our relationship was not working. It was only after it was over and I had some distance that I could appreciate it was not quite that one sided.

Just recently (five years later) I realized that I was up front, warts and all, and as sick as I was....at least I was willing to admit I had life challenges to work on. I think it was terrifying for him to even consider that he had any (to himself, never mind anyone else).
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:54 PM
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Expanding, you've made some great progress...

I've been in that same place. I can't even count the mornings I'd look forward to our morning dog walk, thinking how nice it would be to spend some time together in the early AM quiet, take in the beautiful sunrise and see what's blooming in people's yards, then go home and have a cup of coffee together.

REALITY: We'd start walking, and within 5 minutes, XAH would be complaining I was walking too fast/too slow, weather was too hot/too cold, complaining that I didn't have the dogs under what he deemed sufficient control, and paying no attention to anything I said or anything I pointed out. At the best, I'd end the walk feeling some combination of sad/angry/frustrated. At the worst, he'd get angry enough to turn around and storm off home. Several months ago, he revealed that he'd pick these fights on purpose b/c then he could go home and smoke cigarettes (which is something he also hid from me).

Insanity. On both of our parts, I'd say.

I get where you're coming from, Expanding. And I think it's interesting how you were able to turn it around--it does feel different that way. Thanks for that insight.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:22 PM
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I've been there...and I understand how you feel. It's not a fun place to be or to admit to yourself. Not fun or pretty, but necessary to heal.

Hugs.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Expanding View Post
it was like he couldn't just sit still and relax with me.

Towards the end of the night he would be very drunk and passing out in front of the fire. My attempts to get him to bed would be met with resistance and I would end up going to sleep alone for most of the night. On the ride home he would pass out almost as soon as we started to go (I always drove, no license) and I would ride home in silence.
These two things! Those were my weekends with xabf.
We would go to his parentsīcabin in the woods, it sounds so wonderful on paper but then it was just like you described... and also with me doing all the dishes and him hitting the (very friendly and old) dogs with a stick. And then me calling and hugging the dogs to protect them from him... so, so sad.
I only got a few hours sleep so I always came home very (greenish) pale and feeling like cr*p.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:14 AM
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If it helps you move forward, it's probably pretty healthy.

I've had a few reflective moments too, and typically let my mind fast-forward to the "next," which will always be something dreadful. I had one moment this past week, with the NBA finals. We spent two seasons prior watching it together and rooting on our team. This past week, when the semi-finals were coming to an end, I missed it for a moment. Then I looked back at the last game we watched together - started out nice, but we were caught out in a flood. He grew anxious and annoyed because we were stuck in a terrible downpour, and he started getting agitated.

I knew he would start getting "mean" so I suggested we go ahead and walk home - it was 4-5 blocks, and we'd get it over with. On the way back, in knee deep water, I found a hole and broke a toe. Then, oh my God, he felt so bad that he got angry for me suggesting the notion of walking back in the rain (it lasted 5 or 6 more hours, and I couldn't imagine what he would have become out in public), and then switched to sad and guilt-ridden, then depressed, then angry again because I didn't want to go to the hospital. In the middle of a flood where the streets were knee deep, for a broken TOE.

Then he pouted and drank til he passed out. And I stayed up and watched TV til I fell asleep on the couch. Then he woke up and asked me to please come to bed. And I was stuck at his house for 24 more hours until the roadways were drained and cleared.

So, yeah. Don't miss that anymore.

It's pretty effective for me, and if it's the same for you, keep doing it.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:57 AM
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Oh man - thanks for the reminder.

I was so distraught to lose my camping / fishing adventure partner...
And the reality was that all I lost was the emotionally volatile kid I felt like i needed to babysit all the time...and my delusions of how great he, myself, and the relationship was, of course.

I like your reality check game - what a great idea to keep my imagination in check!
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