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Old 05-02-2012, 05:55 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
I'm no angel!
 
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There is a big, wide, wonderful world out there, filled with men who are caring, truthful and not addicted...the end of this relationship is not the end of the world or your life. In fact, by letting him go, your life will rebegin, you will have a chance at happiness and peace.

IMHO, it is a bad move to go and see him, your recovery has just begun, you are in no way ready to face your addiction to him head on.

This adventure will set you back...in fact, just talking to him has already done that...think with your head not your heart, you are making your heart do something it is not equipped/designed to do.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:44 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
your internal conversation sounds a bit like what would be going on in MY head if i was setting myself up to smoke crack again....trying desperately to rationalize and justify and defend the idea as if it made sense to a reasonable person, when bottom line i'm just giving myself permission to get loaded....CUZ I WANNA.
You hit the nail with this one.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:22 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I kept going back for more too....I know that I was addicted to the drama/intensity of it all. Even as I write this I still feel the pull towards a relationship that almost destroyed me.

Anvil summed it up well - it's the same justifications/rationalizations as if I were going to use a drug. "maybe this time I'll figure out a way to use successfully"....."just a taste in a controlled circumstance won't be a problem".

My experience was that I wasn't done until I was done - until I played the tape all of the way out. And my addiction to my ex husband destroyed as much of my life as his addiction destroyed his.

I understand how hard it is to resist the desire to reconnect and be together "just one more time". But all it does is feed your addictions. There is going to be a detox time when you stop using (and yes...I'm talking about our addictions/interactions with other people). It can be physically painful and excruciating....and so difficult to resist.

But going back for more is just going back for more of the same. I literally have to envision myself chosing to walk down a different road instead of trying to avoid the pitfalls in the road I WANT to walk down. I've never not walked down the old road and made it to the other side intact.......

Getting use to a life without strife and drama takes time. It's easy for things to seem boring and lifeless after being in the turmoil of an abusive relationship (emotional abuse is just as damaging as physical).

The wonderful thing about recovery is that there is always a place to come when you are ready for it. It's not easy and it can hurt like hell....but there is the joy that is on the other side.

Thinking about you....I've been in similar shoes and understand.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:21 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by blackandblue View Post
I am playing with fire when I know the consequences. I am looking for loopholes and justifications that something good could possibly come out of this. I think my attitude was well- why not? It is about weakness and loneliness. It is the about the rush. It is about the desire. It is curiosity. It is about my addiction to him. It is about craving.

Truth be told- the relationship is dying a really slow death. Truth be told- he even knows that and he is likely testing my boundaries. I know that real love within me will open up in my heart once I let go. But letting go has been a process I don't do well. I have never ripped a band-aid off in my life.

He has no recovery that I am aware of and I am just beginning mine. 3 months in Al-anon and 1 month of counseling. I think unconscious desires are playing a part in my decision and it feels like a powerful pull. I think I just miss the connection and affection. It seems like that world is so far gone. The world of trust, intimacy, and love. False hope. Insecurity. Trembling. I need to wake up.
Anvilhead used a great example of the similarity between addict and codependent. I truly believe that addiction and codependence are versions of the same disease manifesting in a different set of behaviors.

Throwing away the ticket would be like an addict flushing the drugs he just bought down the toilet. The same type of justification would go on with them. Why not do it....just one more time.....I've got it.....I've already spent the money......I'll stop after this. As a codependent, I've gotten caught in that thinking thousands of times.

In early recovery, the addict is advised to stay away from the drug as well as the people he use to hang out with. The addict is the codependent's drug. There is a saying in AA/NA.....if you hang out in a barbershop long enough, you're eventually going to get a haircut. The message.....stop hanging out in the barbershop becomes a powerful analogy. As a codependent, I finally had to realize that I needed to stop "hanging out with the barber".

Addicts have a voice in their head telling them they shouldn't do "it" and another voice in their head saying "do it do it do it". As a codependent, I have those same two little voices and sometimes one is screaming at me....but the one that is whispering is the one I listen to.....and shouldn't.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:01 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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For the sake of total honesty- I got on the plane but not without all of your voices and thoughtful messages in my head. I may have lost this battle of will but I have learned to have no expectations- only for myself. I will have to revisit this when I am back home in 2 days. He is at work and I am doing some work myself today as well as going to an Al-anon meeting. I won't talk too much about him or what he is doing or not doing. I am proceeding with caution and taking care of myself. We have talked about our individual perspective on needs, wants, hopes, recovery, relationship, and reality.

Thus far this has been a growth experience. There is a lot of positive change. I also see that our lives are what they are- at a distance. It's not that I can let go easier or hold on more because I am here. I see the remnants of control issues and the addictive nature of how we came together lingering under the surface. I am stronger in many ways. Whether or not I wanted to test myself- I have come closer to truth. I have come to see that this decision was not about wrong or right. It's more of a question of whether or not I am on my path or on a detour- still a part of the path. I am not shaky or uneasy. This was neither a heroic quest or a desperate mission because of Al-anon, SR, and therapy. It's not black and white. It's all shades of gray I have come to appreciate. I have faith that I will know which way to turn when the time comes.

All that being said- I can blatantly and undeniably see the connection of the codependent and the love drug. I will only truly know that when I leave and how I feel.

Of course I pray that the HP will keep me safe, give me signs, and show me the way.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:29 AM
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Supporting you with thoughts and prayers for your highest good, however that reveals itself.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:32 PM
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I'm no angel!
 
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B&B...there was no doubt that you were going and there is no doubt that he will attempt to be on his best behavior...for now.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:53 PM
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B&B,
Good luck,we all wish you the best.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:48 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Hi...... I can't and wont tell you what to do. I can share my experience and what I did and what worked for me. I left my ex at least 2 times before I left a third for good and with no contact. I was in alnon for two years before I left the very last time, and continue to go to meetings. For me I had a hard time trusting my gut. It took pratice. At first I did not even know what my gut feelings were because I had mostly ignored them a majority of my life. So it took time. And if I talk with my ex which now its been six years since our split, I have to make sure im in a good place mentally and emotionaly or I can get hooked, because I still care about him. Its taken me time/years and alot of hard work and certainly I still don't get things right and still slip up. I just have to keep the focus on me and go to meetings and really listen when im there, share and take inventory of me.....

Sweetie no one can tell you what to do or not do. You have to go through what you go through and find your way. What can you live with, trust your gut, be gentle with yourself. Change ttakes time, be honest with yourself, which it sounds like you are. I can say alanon changed my life but im not done yet and I keep going back. To work on me little by little one day at a time..... it takes what it takes and from my experience that means different things for different people at different times. Ultimately the goals are all the same serenity, healthy thinking courage to change the things we can, accept the things we can't and the wisdom to know the difference. Prayers going up for!
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:56 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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blackandblue...

I have a recently informed theory as part of my tool kit and offer it up for you and others to consider.

I have friends who work in CD counseling, and one of the treatment centers which is run by the Stephanie Covington model is this: that personality disorders (such as borderline and such) are actually reactions to trauma. They actually do not even use diagnoses such as BPD and instead deal directly with the trauma that is causing the disturbance...trauma both personally historic and current.

What I realized at one point... as I rode the wild ride of painful, cognitively dissonant, confusing, crazy-making, trying-to-make it-work and traumatizing process of trying to maintain relationship with the addict I loved...was this, that the psychic/emotional/spiritual jerking around that I was subjecting myself to (by loving someone with a deep splittedness) was causing me to go down my own spiral of deep and sickening confusion.

Add to this the typical personality traits of someone involved in addiction (addict or codependent) such as self centeredness, self pitying and fear, fear, fear...and you have a bad mix of an unhappy life, with sporadic moments of liquidy, elixir like happiness fed by the charming, charismatic (often stylistically attractive) survival skills (how else could they survive!) of a person riddled with addiction.

We become sick.

And here is the catch...as we become more doubtful about our own mental health we can become more apt to blame ourselves in the situation. Our own ptsd is fuel for the blame that gets projected on us by an addictive mind. And we enter into the perfect dance, we fit like puzzle pieces and create the perfect storm, the perfect dysfunctional system.

The long and short of it? If you start to feel any dissonant trauma while you re-engage in this relationship...do not take on deflected blame. Do not engage in arguments and debates. And check the actual possibility of any sort of real reality that can be made out of promises and charm that you hear.

Your inner self knows when the blame or promises are not real, and yet our codependent self wants the promise, wants to believe, and will take on the blame. The gap between the inner self (and its relationship/connection with a higher power) and your codependent self...it is in that space/that dissonance echo chamber/void that your heart gets batted around and traumatized.

Be careful, you are in deep space.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:16 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Thank you enormously for all of your best wishes and insights. As the truth unfolds, I see the line between reality and fantasy. Temporarily- fantasy is nice. Reality is tough. I don't like it. It hurts to face. But I will. I am with him at the moment- but I am behind a glass door. Everything that would otherwise be intimate in a healthy relationship is behind this glass door with our interactions. It seems this glass door is a scar of trauma. Why does it feel necessary to reopen or try to heal this wound with him?

When we are at a distance but communicating I am behind a closed door that is still unlocked. When will I be ready to not be tempted by the rabbit hole? When will I turn away from this door? Do I lock the door and build a wall over it? Or simply face the reality of where this door will lead? Although, it was helpful to see him in person and in reality to validate my gut. I am working toward trusting my intuition. I was honest with him last night about us and I can sense his fear. I can sense my fear. Heading back home today. So grateful for this recovery process. It may be fresh but it is all that gives me faith in my decision to move forward.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:21 PM
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Personally I had to slam the door and run. I don't have the strength to lock it right now, but getting a good distance from that door helped a lot. I have an amazing friend from my meeting who I call when I want to open that door- she talks it through with me and I generally find afterwards, I know why I need to stay away.
Have a safe journey home
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:55 PM
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If you stare into the Abyss long enough, the Abyss stares back at you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:54 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I am home safe and back to reality. From this journey, I have learned that addiction is a complex and powerful illness. I have learned that in an addictive relationship I will never be free to fully and openly express myself. I have learned that it will be a dance where if I step out of line even for a moment that I will pay a heavy price. I see that I am being controlled, owned, manipulated, and dismissed. I see how attempting to maintain any kind of relationship with a non-recovering addict is enabling on some level. It is deceiving that he is not using. All of the love, the charm, the kindness, the warmth- all deceiving and appealing. What is underneath is coming to the surface and is painful. It has been there all along and grows with each trauma. And so here I am back to remembering self-care, step one, humility, and the serenity prayer. Once again, it is time to dive deep and let go again. With blessings and prayers-May we all continue to learn from each other. Thanks to all for this forum where I feel safe to be honest and open.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:27 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Glad you made it home safe and sound and wiser.
gentle hugs
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:22 AM
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Blackandblue, I recently experienced a similar situation. After 5 months, I recently and mistakenly thought I could have "just a little contact" with my ex. Thankfully, due to Al Anon, these boards and the support of family and friends, I recognized fairly quick the crazy making that comes along with such contact. It certainly humbled me in a lot of ways. I think I was already "cocky" in my recovery, thinking with MY will and not what my my spirit was telling me. I knew as I started to talk with my ex again that it was probably not a good decision, but I thought I was enlightened enough to handle it...lol. Within a week I started to fall right back into my codependent pattern. I also have to remember something said on these boards that is very wise...if it has been less than 3 months you are talking to the bottle (or DOC). I was already wanting to believe that I was dealing with a rational thinking man. I am grateful that I quickly recognized this and have gone back to no contact again and this time I need to really enforce it in a stronger way than I did before. And like you, I am back to self care, humility, step one, and the serenity prayer. Hugs to you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:29 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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B&B,
Please never feel "ganged up on" by SR. I know sometimes it feels that way.
I know how I felt.My situation was "special",the addict I cared for was not "just
another addict"---and how could any of these people know me? Or the person I
was helping?
I know now that people fall when they leave airplanes---whether intentionally
or not.If they have a parachute (recovery),they can recover their lives.
If not,they FALL.No matter how 'special' we think they are.Nothing personal,
just physics (just as addiction is nothing personal,just a biochemical/behavioral
disease that unfolds as it unfolds).
(My) mistake was fighting it because ("my") addict was 'special'.Then I found SR,
read up on what it is to be a codie--and had to decide: objective reality or fantasy.
Both have their advantages.

In my case,no contact has been hard,but gets better every day.
My thinking has changed.Reality doesn't suck.....Make believe does.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:27 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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My ESH, nine months after my AH divorced me, I had been in al anon for over a year, he relapsed, he called me (first time in 9 months). I was so anxiuos waiting for his call ( My son told me his dad was drunk and wanted to talk to me), I took the rest of the day off and RUN to see him, I wanted to know if I was STRONG enough, I wanted for him to see how much I have grown, he beg me to come back to him to give him another chance, My committee was telling me yes, I want you back I want the control he was vulnerable I was powerful one more time.
What a big mistake, he used me and I used him...I went back to square one...why? Why did I do that to MYSELF and to HIM.
Now I understand that my addiction to him is the same as the alcoholic saying I can take that ONE drink now I am strong enough.
The cravings are horrible, the need is strong, but my HP is more powerful that all of them if I LET HIM.
Let go and let God!
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:58 PM
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ODAT......exactly!!! Not to take over the thread but it does pertain to the original post. I have had to take a hard look at MY intentions on running to my ex's aid and those same thoughts went through my mind...look at how far I'VE come, he NEEDED me, etc. Truth is I sincerely do not want to be with him now, or in the future, I was lying to myself and him and I have to own that. And it does make me more compassionate to the addict, since my ex is my DOC and I see how quickly things could have spiraled out of control. Thank God and the Universe for helping me reign it back in pretty quickly!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:10 PM
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Just a few months into recovery I did feel prepared and strong enough to handle anything. I wanted to see this relationship and him through my fresh perspective. And the only thing that has really changed is my perspective. I do see positive changes in both of us but he is still hard-wired. He even admitted it in many ways. I think we both know the truth.

He is still emotionally volatile and withdrawn. I see the fear, isolation, selfishness, self-pity, self-destruction, and desperation. I too have got caught up in this cycle from the beginning of our relationship however now I do not engage or react. The interesting part is that the trip itself was good and I enjoyed my time with him. But really, long distance? up and down? never really there? not available? withdrawn? empty promises? Not the kind of relationship I want no matter how much I love him.

Sure I have the decision to go on with this, talking on the phone and visiting every once in a while. Will I? I am not sure yet. Even though I was at peace with him, I realize that this may just be because I satisfied the intense craving for him and got some temporary relief. He asked me what I wanted to do while I was down there and I only made one request. I wanted to go to a park and lay with him in the sun and relax. He did not oblige and did not seem interested at all. So I let it go. I realized that as much as his true self may love me deep down- the addict sees me as a threat and an annoyance.

So when I arrived back home I went to the park and laid in the sun on the warm grass in the company of my HP. I humbly asked to bless him and change me. I need to be good to myself because I can see how the jerking around and trembling inside could lead to health problems on all levels. It seems that my trying to maintain connection with him is destructive for us both. I would like to come to a point where no contact feels like the only way. I do however do not feel like I am back at square one...just step one.

And thanks for all of the honest and open insights. I do not feel attacked or ganged up on. I feel more strength and hope by receiving and giving. For all of those I love- the right thing to do is to love myself.
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