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Old 10-08-2009, 11:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Penny, how awesome that you all talked about it. Kudos to the both of you!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My experience with honesty comes with how I approached my boyfriend. I was very worried when we started getting serious last year, and I wasn't even clean yet. I kept using, going to meetings, staying away from crack for a few days, getting some money, and using again... Anyway, one night, after we went to bed, I asked him if he felt like "going steady". It felt like such a high school thing, but I was serious. He said he could be OK with it.
And before I go on with that part of the story, I have to say he had already told me about one young lady he lived with, 20+ years ago. The only time he lived outside of the home he grew up in (he inherited it when his father passed). She was addicted to pills. She stole money from his wallet, would come home, often, high. Ya know the rest.. So I had this weighing on my chest as I think about how I have to start our relationship out honestly. I could not keep this from him. Especially still in active addiction.
So, bad to the story, I told him. Told him about my ex, the stealing I had done, the crazy sh it I had done. How often I had smoked. That I was going to the NA and trying, but I wasn't trying hard enough and finding what worked for me in order to stay clean. I thought maybe I still hated myself and that was it, or I just wasn't ready to stop trying to get high.. I told I didn't know if it would lead to my death, getting arrested, or what... And he asked to give things some thought and for us to go slowly while I was trying to get my act together.
I was afraid. Starting a new relationship, and knowing he was afraid. He was sleeping with a crackhead. And he has a LOT of valuables in his home. A LOT. I am shocked he didn't up and kick me out right then and there. I am amazed at his patience and his encouragement. How much he cares and did all he could to help me. Not in a co-dependent way. He made it clear how much he would tolerate. Stealing would not be tolerated. Arriving to his home, high, would not be tolerated. His house was not a haven for a crackhead to come down. And he made it clear I was to go to meetings, weekly, he didn't care how many. No cash on me at all. Debit card was to not have a pin number. If I broke a rule, he was done. He did kind of take a fatherly like approach to it. But he also made sacrifices of his own. He eliminated all alcohol in his house. Got rid of any medications he knew were narcotics (and regretted it later when he fell and hurt his back, having to get a new script for vikes). He refused to drink in front of me. He wouldn't promise not to do it at all, just not in front of me, nor keep it in his house, and I respected that because addiction is MY problem, not his. A lot of people, in the NA, thought he was a jerk because he wouldn't say he would not drink. I feel the opposite. Why should he have to punish himself, in his alone time, just because -I- am the addict? But that is just me and my opinion....
And it worked out. 1 year later (and 8 months, straight, clean), he rescended the rule on the alcohol ban (in his house), said it was OK for me to have a PIN number, and I can keep small amounts of cash on me, and he feels comfortable and trusts me. He's proud that I have 8 months. He and I both know I won't drink. I don't want to. And I am perfectly OK with him drinking. He doesn't get drunk. Has one or two with dinner. It's his choice. I know he's not an addict. At least not to drugs..Cars, on the other hand.. Well, he's got more cars that are worth more than the amount I spent on crack in the two years I used... And he's restored them himself. All but two. Those two are his daily drivers, that do not sit in the garage. And he's helped put my race car back on the road.. He's good. LOL
Anyway, the point of all this is honesty really is the best policy. It may not start out looking that way, but in the end, it always does. I am DA MNED glad I told my boyfriend. I don't think he could have handled me having kept it from him, and I think NOT telling him would only help to further my addiction and addictive behaviors. I still exhibit quite a few of those behaviors. Counting money to obsessiveness. Caught myself trying to hoard Darvocets (and I didn't even like them, got them when I got hurt at work). I don't know why. It just reminded me of some of the things I'd do when I was on crack.
But, overall, I am just glad he knows. He was honest with me. And it really would have been unfair to leave an unsuspecting, innocent, man in his home with a crackhead. We're crazy. And, I think, if I hadn't told him, more than his pretzels would have been stolen, eventually (LOL, he loves pretzels, and he knows I sneak a few here and there, I love them too).
He does get touchy with his tools and his wallet, sometimes. Always wants me to account for the tools when I use them. And once I made a joke about stealing his wallet. I guess it was a bit too soon.. He didn't flip out, but I got "the look".
I just really believe, even though we're all human and lie at one point (and addicts lie a lot) or another, being honest really is for the best. Then you have nothing to hide and fewer nightmares as a result. It really is a win-win situation.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:51 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am glad it went well for you. Hopefully this isnt just a phase of thinking for you. I cant say if you are an alcoholic or not. But if you feel you have problems and issued from drinking. I hope you stay the course of sobriety. It sounds to me that your husband will stand by you no matter what. And thats awesome. Its so wonderful and so much help when our loved ones will stand by us through anything.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Pennylane -

I am thrilled that he was so supportive when you told him about your concerns, and yes, his response is exactly the same response that I got from my spouse (who has also been very supportive despite not being completely sure whether I was an alcoholic).

Now comes the hard part, though. It will be the game played in your mind. As others have said, only you can determine whether you are an alcoholic or not, but if you find it was bothering you, why not stop? If you aren't an alcoholic, then stopping drinking for a while shouldn't bother you. If you are feeling cravings and you are having to use "will power" not to drink, then you may be.

I'm sure you have already heard this, but many people say that an alcoholic who is not drinking but also who hasn't fixed the underlying root cause as to why they must drink is a "dry drunk". The way I was told was that my problem wasn't that I drank, it was that I had other problems that I used drinking to cover up. So, the logic is that you need to work on those "other" problems so you won't need the drink.

In a couple of weeks, months, years, etc. your mind will begin to tell you that you can drink again. Maybe you can, I don't know. But what I have learned is that by working on those root cause problems in my life, I am becoming a better person and the side benefit is that I don't want to drink (or at least the cravings are manageable).

And for me, the way to work on those other problems is the 12 step program, in my case through AA. The 12 steps are giving me the tools to work on those root cause problems and the benefits are being felt in many aspects of my life.

What can he do to help you?
- He can easily do some research into addiction on the internet to learn more about the disease model of alcoholism.
- He can learn more through Al Anon (= AA but for the family members) at Welcome to Al-Anon and Alateen
- He can keep an open mind (like he seems to be doing).

Take care
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