Happy update plus relationship vent

Old 04-07-2014, 03:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Lawrence, KS
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Happy update plus relationship vent

Howdy everybody!!! Just thought I'd post an update

Firstly, five days sober and going strong. Not saying it's been easy, but I wasn't expecting it to be. That being said, I'm definitely focusing on the positives and accepting the "negatives" (it's all relative, after all) as they come along.

I've got some thoughts to air/journal ... so let's see, where to start. I'll try to keep this brief! Ha!

As some of you know, I work in a bar setting where we are allowed to drink. As of my first sober shift last Thursday, I've worked four shifts sober. The first was the most difficult by a long stretch, but each shift has so far gotten progressively easier.

I'm impatient (of course): I want all this newly-sober business to already be over and done with, I want to be a sober vet. Haha! I (am trying to) accept that there are no shortcuts and that I'm just going to have to do the time to get to that status ... so why not enjoy the journey? I find practicing gratitude and living in these new moments so very helpful in combating the impatience!

I went to one AA meeting this past week and while it was helpful, I know myself really well and can easily latch on to / identify myself with the "damaged", "I'm helpless, help me with everything" mentality and I'm thinking that these meetings feed into that thought process. I consider myself my own guinea pig in this recovery - so for now I'm choosing to focus on building a sober life without dwelling on the victim mentality. I'm not saying I won't go to meetings, or that I won't one day be a permanent fixture in AA society, but for now I think it's a little dangerous for me to focus too much on what I see as "the negative" (once again, it's all relative). Instead of venting about how much I used to drink, or how I was powerless over myself and alcohol - WHICH I DEFINITELY AM, I just can't think about it too much or I weird myself out - I'm working on replacing thoughts, words, and actions with positive, healthy solutions. I would agree that part of me is running away from the "problem" but while I acknowledge that I was powerless in the face of alcohol, I am not damaged goods - my position right now is that meetings make me feel damaged. I'm new, I'm raw, and feeling damaged is a trigger. If any of that makes sense. If I sound like I'm rationalizing, let me know. Pride goes before the fall and I know I can be sooooo blind!


I have plenty of friends who don't drink or who only drink on the rare occasion (I was one of those weird alcoholics who hated other alcoholics ... I was too afraid of everyone getting too drunk and getting in trouble in some way shape or form). All my friends accepted that I loved to drink, and now that I've told them I'm no longer drinking, the support and hallelujahs have been unbelievable. To me this is my AA ... nobody dwells on their problems with alcohol, because none of them have this problem. Instead there's normal conversations, laughter, etc. To me, these are the best role models! Anyway, I'm not making judgments on anyone or anything, I'm just opining on what I think is best for me right now (like I'm the best judge of that. HA). I'm so very grateful to have this type of support system, I know many of us don't have that. Humbling really.

So here comes the ONE BIG VENT. Ready? lol

So I have sober friends. I have friends who drink occasionally. I have friends who drink a lot. And I have a boyfriend that is, I would say, an alcoholic. At the very least, he abuses alcohol, if I were to have to narrow it down to a subcategory.

We've been together for a year; lived together for eleven of those months (that's another story for another time). I've tried to break up with him on four separate occasions. How to sum this up without rambling too much ... my main reasons for wanting to break up have been drinking, lack of responsibility, broken promises, weed, and a lack of care for future plans.

Each time I've tried to break up, he has refused to hear me. See this as a good or bad thing if you will, but he simply refuses to comply. Stubborn to a fault. The apartment is mine though now his name is on the lease as well (yes, I am a dolt) ... I pay for more than half the rent and all the extraneous bills attached to apartment living. He had a secondary home (until last month) with his mom. He refuses to give me my space. I'm stubborn too, I'm not leaving "my own apartment", so each attempt at breaking up ends up in stalemate.

<it's good to type this out because I'm starting to see all the silliness in this!>

Drinking: my "intake" basically doubled after I met him. He's the type of guy that's buying shots for people at the bar, even if they say no. Every time you turn around, there's a shot in front of you. He's a firm believer in the hair of the dog. He also touts that doing anything drunk is better ... shopping, studying, you name it. It's better if you're drunk. Even when I was drinking with him, I'd argue with him on this. LOL.

Lack of responsibility: doesn't pay bills, rarely has enough money to live paycheck to paycheck (I make more than he does, which also rather bothers me. He doesn't ask me for money but he can't afford to share in the expenses of the things I'd like to do with him, ie vacations, travel, bigger investments like a nicer apartment etc.), doesn't take life very seriously, believes that everything will be just fine, doesn't listen to anyone, etc. (yes I'm pointing fingers... told ya I needed to vent! Lol. I recognize the pot calling the kettle black in a lot of this, too. It's hard to type some of this because I see my hypocrisy in some of it. Argh.)

Weed: he smokes intermittently. It's gotten worse, as in now he does on a daily basis. I've told him from the beginning that I don't like it AT ALL (I'm all in favor of weed being legal, I believe that it can help some folks, but while it is still not legal I want absolutely nothing to do with it and hate being anywhere around it) - I've never smoked and have no desire to ... I'm an upper type of person, haha. But it really bothers me that he refuses and continues to smoke in our apartment because it's "his space too". UGH.

Lack of care for future plans: see above. He just doesn't care. He says he has it all figured out already and that time is the solution. So long as he has his drinks and his weed though, he doesn't DO anything but the same ol, same ol, every day. It drives me crazy!

Even when I was drinking, all this bothered me. Now that I'm newly sober, he's really sad he's lost his drinking buddy (understandable, as our relationship was founded on alcohol). He's supportive but has offered me to drink with him (until yesterday, the first day he didn't try). He's said that he will continue to have alcohol and weed in the house. I'm not sure how to address this. "They" say wait one year before any big changes, but if I've already tried to break up with him four times, isn't this considered a preexisting condition? Lol

I say all this, I bash him, I cast him in a bad light. I should hear myself right now! Yikes! If it weren't for these things, however, we get along "famously". We have great intellectual conversations, I like his personality, he's generally very sweet and kind and well-meaning. I know that no relationship is perfect, which is one of the reasons I've rationalized sticking it out.

Down deep inside, I stayed - not just because I was bullheaded about the apartment being MINE - but because he was the BEST of enablers. He's unafraid to drive drunk (considers himself "functional") whereas I've always been terrified of that. So he'd drive me to and from work, errands, whatnot. It was his "gift" to me for drinking with him. I was afraid to leave him because I didn't want to be drunk in a big city on my own. So I used him, he enabled me, whichever of those two dynamics reigned depended on the day. Now, I don't need him to drive me anywhere (which is such a relief, it used to be so scary just doing that, because I didn't want him to drive drunk either, but he'd always insist, it got to where I expected him to do it) - and I don't drink with him. It's really really really hard to be home when he's home now.

I don't want to make any rash decisions. I recognize that I've made a ton of mistakes in all of this too. Lord knows I'm not perfect!!! I know I can be hyper-demanding and generally a pain in the derriere. But I also know I've wanted to be free from all of this for awhile too. In fact, one insidious little reason I quit drinking was so that I COULD break away; I couldn't do it while I was drinking. That's no reason to quit drinking I guess, but it was definitely a motivator. Who quits drinking so they can break up with their boyfriend?!

My hang up is that well, maybe, all the addictions aside, maybe we are meant to be together. Other hang ups: I'm afraid of another stalemate, a bad argument while I'm still this new in sobriety (trigger), afraid of making the wrong decision, afraid of hurting him or me, afraid of regrets, etc etc etc ad infinitum. But staying could be hurting us too. I HAVE NO IDEA! The other side of my brain says - I will do ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING, to keep my sobriety. And when he's home and smoking and drinking, it's like scarabs under my skin, I feel like imploding and running as far away as possible. Needless to say I haven't practiced distress tolerance in a while!!!! Lol.

So much for making this brief. I needed to get this all out in writing though, man it feels good - even though I'm still as confused as I was when I first started typing! Ack. Anyway, thank you everyone who made it all the way through my self-centered saga. It feels better to post it here than to just journal it in a word doc.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:57 PM
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Location: Upper Midwest
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First off, Welcome to SR. I am glad you found this place. I have found so much support and helpful advice from the good people here.

Second, congratulations on the 5 days of sobriety. You are off to a great start and you sound like you have a great attitude. I especially like your resolve to do "absolutely ANYTHING" to maintain your sobriety. If you can remember that your sobriety is the FIRST PRIORITY and that everything comes secondary to that, a lot of your relationship issues may fall into place.

You will read many posts from people who advise against making relationship decisions in the early days of sobriety. And I agree with that - to a point. But if your boyfriend's drinking is driving you to drink, maybe it is time to take a break from him AND from alcohol. The logistics of who moves their stuff out and who lives where seem secondary to your first priority of sobriety.

So, what I am saying is this: If you can grit your teeth and maintain the sobriety with him there with you, so be it - for now. But if the choice is between him and sobriety, show him the door.

Whatever you decide, I am glad you are here with us. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
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Haha, yes this is a pre-existing condition! I like the way you rant And I am sure it helped you to see that in black and white. No one can tell you what to do but if you keep writing your thoughts down like this you'll soon figure it out. And I hear you on the 'refuses to comply' thing... sometimes I doubt my own existence I am not 'heard' that often.

Massive congratulations on 5 days sober anyway x
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, QC, CA
Posts: 5,100
Congrats on 5 days! The answers will unfold as you start to change to the new you. When drinking we see things trough distorted magnifying glasses type thing. It will take time to adjust, be patient and kind to yourself.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I'll start with saying that I am quite biased by my own experience here,
It took me 7 years to extricate myself from a soul crushing marriage, mostly because I own the house we were living in, and couldn't figure out how to get him to leave. In retrospect, I could have saved myself years of excruciating pain, and a serious narcotics addiction if I'd just sold the house out from under us, and moved on.
From your description of your significant other, he has very little respect for you. This isn't likely to change, even if he is really great sometimes.
That Disney princess one true love thing so many of us were raised on is pretty much bull s***. Over the course of your life, you will very likely find at least a couple others with whom you could be equally "meant to be", we humans are an adaptable species, truly.
I know moving sucks, and you like your place, but there's always going to be another cool apartment.
I don't want to be harsh, but your circumstances sounded painfully familiar, and had I known what I was in for, I would have handled my situation far differently than I did.
Good luck, and congratulations on 5 days.
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