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Unread 08-10-2010, 11:21 PM   #151
girlfriend67
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Interesting thought, although that's not exactly how I meant it to come across. I was thinking more that he relies on my constancy and my self-control as a way to ground himself.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding (?), but I don't think he "wants" me to control things as an excuse to drink (based on his drinking patterns/habits). Or am I reading you wrong?

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Unread 08-11-2010, 09:24 AM   #152
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gf, No you were not reading me wrong. Maybe I read you wrong.
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Unread 08-12-2010, 07:03 PM   #153
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gf,

I'm impressed with where you appear to be in your life. (I say appear only because we all know that the heart can trick us into thinking/believing things that aren't real but so want them to be) You sound good, though! Carrying on with your life and fitting him in where you can. At the end of the day, that's all you can do.

I'm sure that leaving vacation late in the evening was a real eye opener for him. It showed you're not playing around. Maybe he'll think next time...or maybe not. I guess it's best not to get your hopes too high, huh?.

Congrats with all your theater work. I'm sure it's very rewarding.

Don't mean to cut this short but the dogs are barking at the lawn man, the pizza man is at the door and now the baby is crying. "Calgon...take me away!"

SLynn
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Unread 08-17-2010, 02:47 PM   #154
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SLynn,

I understand completely about how things "appear". Loving an alcoholic is a day by day process, and what "works" one day, might not work the next. It's all about letting things play out as they must and dealing with it as it comes.

And I think that's the main difference. Before, I was anticipating too much, worrying about "what ifs", and becoming anxious about them whether they happened or not. Now that I've developed better survival techniques (and a healthier mindset), I don't anticipate things as much. I still have something of a mental checklist of options, but I don't assume I'll have to use it, which has been somewhat liberating. And yes, my leaving early that one night did have an impact, at least in as much as he realizes that I'm not going to tolerate his alcohol-induced moodiness. I think he's finally "getting" that there are consequences to his actions.

He is not, by any means, any closer to admitting his problem or getting help for it, but he is aware of the impact his drinking has on me and has agreed not to drink more than one or two around me. Not ideal, but it shows he's listening. So far so good - for the last month he has kept to that. And I'm not worried if or when he breaks that promise. If he does, it's his issue to deal with. Essentially, it's up to him.

My mum said recently, "Just enjoy the time you have together," so that's what I've been doing: living in the moment.

We went away for a few days last week and had such a great time together. He was the man I fell in love with...a far cry from the last time (two years ago) we went away for a few days. And while it might be fleeting, all I can do is accept the wonderful time we had and not spend time worrying about the next time.

So, while he hasn't changed (other than in his understanding/response to my boundaries), I have. And even if I still have the odd wobble, and I sometimes question whether I want this for the rest of my life, I'm happy right now...and right now is all any of us can ask for.

On a happy note, another friend just celebrated his 10th birthday as a sober man. He continues to be a good friend and a big help.

Thanks for "listening". It really helps me to write this out - sort of a kinesthetic and visual reminder of what I need and how I've gotten here.

Last edited by girlfriend67; 08-17-2010 at 02:57 PM..
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Unread 08-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #155
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GF,

Hi - glad to hear your boyfriend is controlling his drinking when you are around. I hope you don't mind but I'm curious. When he only has one or two drinks how is his behavior? The times when I only had one or two I was never at ease, just biding my time until I could make up for lost time so to speak. So I really wasn't 'myself' from the alcoholically dependent point of view.

Glad to hear the two of you had a great vacation together. You do sound much more at ease and yet stronger of mind at the same time. Good for you!!

Have a great day,
Saint
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Unread 08-18-2010, 11:00 AM   #156
girlfriend67
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Hi Saint,

When he has just one or two, his behaviour seems normal (pleasant, funny, etc), but since his drinking problem predates our relationship by a few years, I couldn't tell you what the truly sober "himself" looks like.

What I *have* noticed is that after a few days of moderate or no drinking, he starts to get either overly goofy (non-stop teasing, playing harmless pranks) or he gets edgy or impatient (not so much with me, but with people don't listen/understand or when circumstances that don't go as they "should"), or just plain anxious.

The goofiness is also common the day after a night of full-on drinking. I think it's his way of compensating for the edginess of needing to drink, as well any hangover/guilt he might be feeling after the fact.

Thanks for your kind words and your question...hope you have a great day too.
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Unread 09-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #157
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Dear GF67,

Just wanted to check in with you - How are things going with BF?
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Unread 09-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #158
girlfriend67
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Thanks or checking in, Carly.

Things are pretty much the same as the last time I wrote. He continues to control his drinking around me, and I continue to focus on myself when he's not around. I've found that I only worry and feel resentful if I let myself wonder how much he "might" be drinking when I'm not with him, so I just re-direct my thinking.

He's writing a set of policing tests on Saturday. If he passes those, he's eligible to apply for a position with a police force. I'm hopeful, but not very optimistic. He finished college in April but waited until mid-August to get his stuff together to take these tests - which happen at least twice a month, so it's not like there weren't opportunities!

In the meantime, he signed on with a temp agency, but has only taken 7 shifts since July. I have to admit though, I'm getting tired of his lack of employment and initiative. Not counting the 16 months he was in college full-time, he's only had full-time steady employment for 7 months in the past three years.

As for me, I'm involved in another community theatre production and recently had a bathroom reno done. I have regular nights out with new friends I made from a past play, and I'm looking forward to hosting an old university friend who will has been living out of province. And of course, work continues to provide me with new and interesting challenges everyday. My life is moving forward.
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Unread 09-25-2010, 08:50 AM   #159
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Dear GF ,
Reading through your posts, you mentioned BF has a hx. of MDD- how is he managing it lately ? You certainly have educated yourself, been to support( Al Anon, counseling ) all positive steps. You posted at one point the possibility of a long term future and there are children, how is doing with his kids?
I ask about the MDD b/c you are concerned with his lack of initiative. Wondering how the MDD is and you say he controls his alcohol intake while around you but I am wondering if he is NOT following up with his professional support?
IMO they could both feed off each other with negative consequences, is there a pattern emerging ? Also, the term "white knuckling " it comes to my mind and I ditto what saint said- I often felt the same way! Saint shared:
"The times when I only had one or two I was never at ease, just biding my time until I could make up for lost time so to speak. So I really wasn't 'myself' from the alcoholically dependent point of view"" quote from Saint's post .

I have struggled w/addiction and have been txed for depression since age 14, I often self-medicated the depression. The depression and my addiction are both issues that require constant vigilance( for me ).

It is great that he graduated from college! Though, I can understand why you are concerned as to why he is delaying the exams that could very well Land him a job ! Esp in this job market, where people are being laid off.
IMO - maybe there is something to his reluctance?
But- like you learned and have been practicing - you can only do so much and you have to LIVE your life to the absolute fullest! In the end all you can do confront the issues and hopefully he will take action to take care of himself, but imo- never allow his issues to control your life/bring you down.

Congrats on the new production, enjoy your friends and may your life continue to progress with peace and happiness !
: ) Take care, Carly
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Unread 09-25-2010, 10:33 AM   #160
girlfriend67
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Interesting questions, Carly.

To be honest, I haven't thought about the MDD for a long time - perhaps because of the questions created by his admitted sabotage of any counselling help he's received in the past ("I tell them what they want to hear and they tell me I'm fine"). While I don't doubt he has some serious mental health issues, I have no idea what they actually are. He told me he was diagnosed with MDD several years ago, but then told me his last psychologist rejected that diagnosis and told him to wean himself off Prozac (January 2009). So as far as any of that goes, he - and as a result, any proper diagnosis - appears to be unreliable.

As for the employment situation...he mentioned that there was a peiod in which he went from job to job in his former career. Again, this predates my relationship with him, so I can't say how he went from top of his game to this current lack of initiative. His former wife might have some observations, but I don't know what they are.

The same goes with his controlled drinking. I don't know what he was like before alcohol became an issue for him, so I can't speak to the "white knuckling". I've only observed that he seems "normal".

As for his former wife - I can't even refer to her as his ex. For over two years, the finalization of their divorce has yet to happen. I was always told "these things take time". Having never gone through a divorce, I didn't really question it until the two year mark approached. He finally admitted that by not finalizing it, he can continue to ride on her health/dental benefits. Not that he's made much use of them - he hasn't been to a dentisit in almost three years.

As I write all this out, I see that the lack of initiative isn't just about a job. I wonder if it's about cutting the ties with his past - not from his marriage, but from his former glory days. He was once very successful in his former field, but has never really said how he fell from top of his game to where he is now. I can only speculate that it was the drinking and mental health issues.

His kids - I've withdrawn from that part of his life, seeing them only at family functions. Part of it is that twice I've felt the loss of them (the two times he's broken up with me) and I'm hesitant to further a bond - for their sakes as well as mine. Part of it is also maintaining one of the "conditions" I set when he asked me to go back to him...that I cannot commit myself further until he's divorced. I can't commit more until he does.

He sees his kids regularly, but I feel sometimes that he uses them as excuses. He was offered a temporary full time position in the summer, but rejected it because he wanted to be available to his kids "just in case". Part of me "gets" that - but part of me wanted to say "What do you think other non-custodial parents do in your situation?". I get the impression that he thinks he merits special consideration - that even when he doesn't have concrete plans, others should accommodate his "just in case" mindset. Perhaps he feels it's the one area of his life in which he is successful, reliable, and consistent so he's over compensating? I don't know - I just know that his reliability and commitment in other areas has been lacking.

As for drinking around them, I can't say how that's going. As I've said before, I've had to detach myself from what he does when we're not together. But I think that the kids are starting to notice things. At his birthday, I witnessed a conversation he had with his daughter. Even though he wasn't drinking, he talked circles around her (she'll be 9 in December), and she looked at him and said, "I'm confused, Daddy." Admittedly, I was confused by his logic too! She didn't seem the worse for it (she eventually shrugged and walked away), but I wonder what will happen as she hits adolescence and begins to challenge his logic.

Still, I accept that they aren't my kids and that I have to trust in their mother and my BF's family to provide the security they need. They are well looked after, so I have to accept that and look after my own heart in this case.

So thank you, Carly, for your congratulations. It took a while to reclaim myself, but now I'm enjoying the life I was waiting for when I let myself be consumed by his issues. You're so right - they're *his* issues, and I can't do more for him than he's willing to do himself.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 10:00 AM   #161
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Dear GF ,

You have worked hard to to get your life together, have been through a rollercoaster with him, sometimes NOT knowing what the future holds due to his history /lack of follow through with jobs, life, the 2 year pending divorce, alcohol. issues, break ups, ..
I understand the heart wants what it wants but when I read the strides you have made ( throughout break ups, his issues) to have a full personal and professional life,
You had posted earlier to enjoy and live in the moment with him, I hope that enough.
I am not trying to judge him but he does seem to have 2 women in his life that provide some sort of need for him. Often common with people facing alcohol issues.

It is sad to hear about his "former glory",wouldn't wish that on anyone, but perhaps it was due to unresolved alcohol/MDD issues that caused his career to flail? Who knows? As we discussed those are HIS choices to deal or not deal with, maybe he will hit his breaking point - a catalyst to make positive changes, sooner than later.

As to his children, they know when something is going on. I understand why you had to detach and glad you are confident that the Mother/family will offer some sense of stability and intervene when needed.
IMO for me, I cannot teach my child something that I myself do not practice, otherwise it would be hypocrisy and utter confusion. it is not easy by
any stretch ; )

Anyway, Hope you had a great weekend. Enjoy your friends and theater gigs - continue on your path of growth and you will have the strength to prevail !
Be well and take care, Carly
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.

Last edited by CarlyO; 09-26-2010 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 10-02-2010, 05:41 PM   #162
girlfriend67
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Hi Carly,

I didn't see any judgement in your comments at all. To be honest, it's been on my mind too.

Since the spring he's been living at his cottage. Now that the weather is getting colder, he'll need to find an apartment - but he's made no mention (let alone effort) of finding a place. I have a feeling that he'll try to fall back on his parents and move back in with them.

Last night, an old friend from university came to visit. We lost touch when we both moved to separate provinces, so we had a lot of catching up to do and we talked for hours. It was great, but it seemed to highlight the issues in my relationship with my BF.

Carly - I *do* want more than to enjoy the moment with him. I'd like to think there's a long term future for us. But I also know that I can't commit to someone who can't even identify his issues, let alone get help for them.

As long as he always has people to fall back on, I can't rely on him, regardless of my feelings. I don't want to get to a point where I have regrets or resentment, but I've felt a shift in myself lately, and I can't tell if it's loving detachment or just plain old detachment.

I guess I'll have to keep you posted on that one!

Hope you're having a great weekend!
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Unread 10-03-2010, 11:32 PM   #163
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Dear GF,
Glad you were able to see your friend and catch up ! You have so much insight into BF's disease, yes you may very well develop resentments /regrets as time passes.. does any of this awareness make it any easier to decide what to do ? - imo not necessarily. You are spot on about the possibility of him returning to what we term as an
enabler( parents, soon to be ex spouses , friends, even ... GF ( but I think you are way ahead of that one imo... ) stay strong.

YOU said it best as you seem to feel a change coming, what exactly it will be- is yet to be revealed. Do keep us posted, you have come long way and Kudos or should I say BRAVO on that !
As someone who has struggled as he is now, I do always hope he or anyone facing addiction, will choose to get support. It is doable, worth it , and yes, life issues still have to be dealt with but one learns to handle them, AND remission can have its fun moments !
Have a great week, hang in there and keep us posted ! Carly : )
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Unread 10-04-2010, 12:55 AM   #164
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Carly. Hope you have a great week too!
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