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****For those of you dealing with addicts/alcoholics******
November 25, 2006
9:51 pm
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atalose
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I think you are very smart in setting your boundaries, that takes strength I'm proud of you for that.
I would not allow him to know where you live or have your cell phone, those are very good boundaries.
I think most of us pretend things are ok or arn't so bad until they really become bad. I think it's a way we protect ourselves from the things we are not ready to face yet.
How long have you too been together?
Have you thought about going to al-anon?
How long has he been in treatment and living in a sober house?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 26, 2006
11:14 am
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honeyb
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He has been back in my life for about 1 1/2 years. Nearly all of this time has been chaotic. Sure, we have had some solid wonderful times together, but the ugly does take away from them. He has been sober and living in sober living for 6 months now. I have seen some changes in him - so I do not want to take away from that, but I just have a gut feeling that they are surface changes only. He is a master at manipulation and has been in and out of 'treatment' and/or AA for many, many years. He can quote the Big Book verbatim, he knows the correct things to say and knows the responses I want to hear. This does worry me. I do love him, and if this were just a 'today only' relationship, perhaps I could cope, but I am not willing to compromise my future full of promise for happiness and I see the possibilty for true inner peace (for the first time ever in my life) and serenity. I've had a small taste of this and I want more. This is what I am working toward --ME.

November 27, 2006
10:02 am
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atalose
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honeyb,
If he's been living in a sober house for 6 months and nearly all the time you have been with him has been chaotic you've invested one year of your life to this man and his problems. Those problems seem to have been with him for the last 30 years. It surely doesn't sound like he's learned a thing from the Big Book except some words to quote.
If you know he's manipulating you and others, how do you know what's real with this man?
If you are expressing to him your wants and needs, then of course he is going to tell you exactly what you are looking to hear, remember he's a master manipulator.
He's abused you physicaly and emotionaly.
Can you tell me what it is you love about this man?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 29, 2006
2:28 pm
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honeyb
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I've really considered your question of what I love about this man. The answer is...well, I am drawing a sort of blank! I could say that when he is sober and thinking rationally, he is fun to spend time with. He is a great partner for watching movies with because he will engage in conversation about the film. He loves my cooking. His family loves me. After putting this down in words, I am ashamed. The answers are so empty. Something that is hard for me to confess it, the biggest 'love' attraction I believe, is that he needs me! And I realize as I type this how sick that is. Atalose, I just experienced a 'light bulb' moment...thanks!

November 29, 2006
2:43 pm
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thumkin
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I feel for you I really do. I dont have the lying, the cheating, or the abuse, at least not yet. Thats not really fair though cuz I dont think he will ever be abusive per se. Anyhow at least you have the courage to set boundaries. I have not because I am almost positive that he would find it easier to walk away from me than try to work on certain aspects of himself. I know he would miss me and do that whole come here go away for a little while but in the end there will be some other woman who will not require that much work and it will be easier, and everything we have had and have shared will end up meaning squat. I will of course take that as I am squat. So here I sit not making boundaries, waiting to fall into the hole that I will lose myself once again in.

November 30, 2006
5:25 pm
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alysmom
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atalose,
i cant believe you said that "can you tell me what it is you love about this man?" my best friend asked me that the other day and like honeyb i drew a blank. which scared the heck outta me bc then i started to wonder if i ever have loved him and not how he made me feel when we first met. he had all the right words i wanted/needed to hear (how beautiful/sexy i am/how smart i am etc etc) i see him more and more as a con artitst EVERYDAY... and as you said to honey my head is READY to go it was ready weeks ago but my heart well.... the other thing is i feel i need to plan bc i dont feel i can stay here in the town where we live now. its his "stomping grounds" i have no family here other than his family who most of them are understanding where i am coming from in my weariness to deal with him anymore. you are so wise i always look forward to reading your posts to me and others of us here who so desperately seek answers to what we seem to have such difficult time coming to grips with. i feel so alone until i read postings here... thanks to all of you here for posting it helps ME to know i'm not insane just crazy lol... i say "i've always been crazy it keeps me from going insane" a few times lately i feel very NEAR insane.... here comes the padded wagon with straight jackets and all.......

December 2, 2006
11:40 pm
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atalose
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At least you can still laugh alysmom, that will help you get through this.
I know it's hard when you are not near family and don't really have a support system to help you through the leaving part. Just don't let yourself get stuck, I got stuck for 11 years when I was married and wanted out.
Your heart will catch up to your head, when you are ready. I think you are smart in "planning your exit". Focus on your exit plan and not him and you'll be just fine. Focusing on you will help with the emotional detachment as well. The stronger you become the easier it is to emotional detach.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

December 4, 2006
11:19 am
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lettingo
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Ladies,
Just to let you know I NEEDED to read these. I am exactly in the same place. IT is so good to hear the words your heart will catch up with you head. I wish it would hurry up sometimes because I feel like I'm in a state of limbo. I made my alchoholic/addict husband leave a few months ago and filed for a legal separation. He claims he is "sober" but I don't really care anymore. My head is done with him but my heart is still hanging on. That drives me crazy! I just wish it was all the past and I KNEW in my heart of hearts I did the right thing. Time will tell. Right now I am just trying to live life.

December 4, 2006
11:31 am
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nvr2late
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all..
you are doing the correct things...and at least starting to think about it!
I still have to deal with my ex..and he has a g/f, she just does not know him yet.
I told him this morning that he can put up a good front for awhile, but he is still a liar (lied to the kids last night) and he was mad that I called him on it.
I don't care, good gosh...it is hard enough for the kids without him being a liar.

do what is right for you, the exit plan is a good idea.
but what has he done for you lately???

now is the time to start looking at that.
if it hurts more than it is good...remember that.
it is better to be alone than lonely with someone else.

nvr

December 4, 2006
11:55 am
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on my way
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My oldest son just turned 25 years old. He is a beautiful young man, inside and out. However, he is an alcoholic, and it is currently destroying him. Friends and family are worried about him, and we are constantly praying for him. He is hurt, and from that hurt comes shame, and guilt for what he is doing to those he loves and feeling powerless to stop it. He hates himself and says he wants to die. And, in a real sense, he is slowly killing himself. For as much as he drinks, I don't know how his liver even still functions.

One thing, is that there are many many people in this world who are powerless to ask for help, and do not know where to get help. But after awhile, they are just 'powerless', beat down. I have heard that some 'have to reach their bottom' before they look up. I pray my son does not have to do this. But I think what disturbs me? Is that he has been an active member of two churches. He has walked away....and they do not even miss him it seems. Old 'friends' do not visit or call him,....and his friends from church have been replaced with his friends from the bar. And the thing of it is...is that he is at the bar, talking to these new friends who are also alcoholics, about God. He tells me about his 'friends' at the bar, and they are just ordinary people, but most are very intelligent, some public figures, one guy is in MED SCHOOL (scary!!, some have families, young children...and most he works daily with....and they all have one thing in common...the only friends they have that they trust or hang out with anymore are 'at the bar'. They are all fat, and look older than they really are.

But back to my point....churches need to be aware that the people who need help do not always show up in their churches, or that they used too...and why aren't they there anymore? The organized outreach..."FEED THE HOMELESS" is great, and I do not mean to be judgemental.....but my son is dieing, slowly. I have asked for prayer, I have asked for intervention of some sort....there are families of alcoholics and the alcoholic who cannot get help. So I wonder...I know in my own heart where God is in all of this, and I beleive in prayer....but reaching out to people in need almost seems to be a thing of the past. Keeping up with old friends seems to be a thing of the past. We are so wapped up in our own lives, and worried about how we have to 'protect; ourselves....so we keep ourselves 'safe'. Now I do realize that people have to want help....my son wants help, but he is now to a point where he is in victim mode. He wants to die and he will not ask for help.

Does this make sense? I'm not talking about rescuing people in the codependent sense....but aren't we called to reach out to people? Remember the old telephone commercial, "REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE" ?

Me, the mom am going to be making an appt with another pastor friend of mine to discuss my son. It is my hope that churches will walk out of their buildings, walk out of their organized functions, not pass it off to AA or some other 12 Step program, but truly respond to the hurting hearts. There are MANY hurting hearts....they are hiding, they are confused, they are frightened, they are ignorant, they are just drowning.

I saw the thread title, and just started writing here, just wrote what is on my heart. My heart is breaking for my son. It is off the subject matter a bit, but it has helped me to write it all out.

love,
omw

December 4, 2006
12:39 pm
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atalose
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I hear what you are saying about churches not stepping out beyond there own walls. Not sure if it's the world of law suits and liability that stop them or that in the past when they have reached out rarely did the person accept the hand of help.
Most often alcoholics don't hang around with healthy people instead they hang out with others who allow them to do things healthy people would not, like drink to access.
Addicts always play the victim, that's how they continue to justify there consumption. I think if your son really wanted help, he'd be reaching out for it instead of just talking about it.
I hope your paster can help you help yourself with these issues about your son.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

December 4, 2006
1:40 pm
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lettingo
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on my way,
Just wanted to comment on this. My husband and I are both recovering alcholics. I've been sober for 7 years because "I" got sick and tired of being sick and tired! My husband continues to relapse and destroy his life. My point is, even though someone suffers from the disease of alcoholism, they still have to make the choice to reach out to get the help that is available. Believe me when I say I TRIED EVERYTHING to help my husband but he chose his path. In Alanon, I am constantly reminded, We didn't cause it, can control it and can't cure it. I know the heartache you are talking about. I have cried until there were no more tears to cry over my husband. I have worried myself sick over what he is doing or what is going to happen to him. If he will lose his job, get a DUI, go to jail, lose his license, etc.,etc. and all the worrying in the world didn't help because all those things did eventually happen. I know this is such a painful road. I hope you don't mind me suggesting Alanon. It is such a wonderful support system. You are NOT alone in this. Just get information on what is helping and what isn't. I realized later that I spend so much time rescuing my husband which only prolonged him getting help. Try NOT to help unless they ask for it.

December 4, 2006
3:51 pm
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I'm a recovering addict with 5 years clean. I pray this gives you hope.

Sakti

December 4, 2006
4:03 pm
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on my way
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Thank you for caring. And I am so sorry lettingo regarding your husband. Someone else suggested Alanon to me, maybe I should just go. It is difficult to admit powerlessness...and I have been through a 12 Step program as well as taught it, and it has helped me to know how not to enable, but I am sure that a support group would be beneficial right now. I do not know all of the answers, and as a mother it is so hard. I am totally powerless to save him. It does hurt alot doesn't it?

Sakti...congratulations!!! That is so great...5 years, so awesome! And I noticed on another thread that you were from TN...such a great state!!

atalose...thank you.

December 4, 2006
4:26 pm
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lettingo
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on my way
Yes, it is extremely painful especially when you are someone who is a caretaker. Alanon is SO AWESOME. You might have to find the "right" group but I can truely say I don't know what I would have done without it and the people I met in it. What has worked for me with my husband or what I have learned it the less I tried to help, resue, scold, lecture, question and accuse the better things got for me and in a way him. It let them take ALL the responsibility for their actions. I know this is hard to do which is why a support group was so helpful. It really helped me to get the focus off of him. I had no life because I was so hypervigilent of what he was doing which only helped everybody to remain sick. When one person in a family begins to get help and healthy it usually changes the whole family for the better. You could be that person and you will find peace and serenity even if he continues to drink. I used to think YEAH RIGHT but I am so much better than I was. It does get better. Reach out because you too need help and support.

December 4, 2006
4:44 pm
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on my way
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lettingo, that sounds wonderful. And, it sounds so familiar. Finding peace and serenity even if he continues to drink.....that is EXACTLY what will help. Thanks, I am going to search for a group!

December 5, 2006
3:29 pm
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lostandalone
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lettingo, I feel that I am almost reading my life story. My b/f of 8 years is an addict. When we met, I startedusing with him. I soon grew tired of all the crap that went with that life and have been clean and sober for 6 years yet he continues to relapse. We have two beautiful daughters and I have so had enough of the drama. I have just recently moved out of our home and I am having a very hard time standing my ground. He calles and makes me feel bad for "leaving him". I have warned him for years that this day would come, but never followed through until now. I feel that if I go back now that I will never be able to have a normal life. My children are at an age where they are going to think that this behoviour is acceptable. They have no idea that their father is an addict and have never been around it, but I am afraid that if I stay with him they will find out. I feel so lost and don't know how much longer I can be the strong one. When you wrote that you realized that you spend so much time rescuing your husband it only prolonged him getting help, I just broke down and cried. I know that I am doing the same thing. I want to stop and live life for me and my kids, not his addiction. I just don't know where to turn. Any advice would be appreciated.

December 5, 2006
3:32 pm
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im suffering from depression..and i am now turning into a alcoholic. I am only 17 =[

Help! =[

December 5, 2006
4:48 pm
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lalasgirl
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hi i'm alcoholic addict...lalasgirl....
reading through the thread i hear the same comment...fixing another person to fit our needs. we are powerless to fix anyone but ourselves. at times, that is a tall order in itself. turn to God, Creator, Abba Father, Higher Power...but turn there for strength hope and wisdom.
it sounds simple because it is. easy does it for yourself. keep your own sidewalk clean...just for today i will be sober...all the great sayings that come with working a program. Soul sickness can invade us and we fall apart. Dry places sober faces and try to remember no one sets us up for failure as most of us walk into the room on our own accord. thinking we can handle it...going in the infested waters of the disease to save your spouse, to test to see our will power...etc etc....and then wonder why we drown. God's will...His way...His time.....loving and taking care of ourselves is loving God and God loves us...now there is a win/win. Try to be willing to give up your will and try to pray to be willing to see through aa 12 steps. My heart goes out to the teen at 17 (mumba..)honey your senses are kicking in...listen to the soul listen to your inner spirit...step up and out now...don't wait till your'e an old hag like me. sweep your sidewalk now. love to you all....heading to domestic violence court and standing up to my abusive alcoholic husband this thursday...i humbly ask all of your prayers to keep me from wanting to FIX this situation..(to drop the cpo or not to drop the cpo?) well, i never dropped the cpo and it has been like an inferno of wanting to save him i still have a loving ember left in my heart for him...but i can not fix this, i can not....amen & thanks

December 5, 2006
6:05 pm
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lettingo
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lostandalone,
Hearing you cried reading my post about not rescuing made me cry. It is such an emotional situation to be in an unless you have gone though it is impossible to understand. My adivce is get support. I LOVE Alanon and feel it has saved me in so many ways. Be gentle with yourself and don't beat yourself up. Like not standing your ground. These things take a lot of time. I used to cry that I could leave my husband and my Alanon sponsor would say "you can't just today". Just do what you can to today and look at the good things you did and not what you have not been able to do "YET". I am only stronger because I went through this exact thing last year. When it happened again, I was able to file for the legal separation. It is hard because we too have become sick and need help. My important remember your deal with alcohol/drug "Cunning, baffeling and Powerful". You can't believe half of what they say. Sad but true. Addicts have a life all their own and it is not normal. My therapist said something like don't try to make sense out of something that is just abnormal. It just doesn't work. I think you should be very proud of yourself for taking steps to take care of yourself and your children. Remeber sometimes it just baby steps.

December 6, 2006
8:31 am
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lostandalone
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Thank you lettingo. It really helps to know that someone understands what I am going through. I had such a bad experience with him yesterday. It got to the point that he was full out crying and begging me not to leave and take the kids away from him. I had to remind him that we just went through this in June. I am not the type of person to hurt anyone, but I feel like he is putting on this dramatic show just because he wants to see if he can get me back. I feel like this is all a game and I don't want to play anymore. I am trying to cut him loose but he has no family here and he has spent all of his money on drugs. That leaves me trying to pay the bills and make sure that he has food. It is taking a major toll on me. I feel like I should just cut the ties and let him fend for himself. I remember being told that if you would focus half of the energy that you use to get the drugs on doing good things then nothing would stop you. He is playing the helpless role now. I can't be a mother and a g/f at the same time, it is not working. I don;t know weather to let him go or give him one last chance at trying to fix things. Help!!!!!!!!!!

December 6, 2006
9:51 am
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lettingo
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lostandalone,
You sound so much like me. My husband has no family here and basically only has one sister in Florida who is tired of his "stuff". I used to feel the same way. Pay for food, clothes, pay some bills all while I was struggeling financially. BELIEVE ME when I say they FIND a way to survive. We are not their savior as much as they manipulate us into thinking that. You will be amazed what he can do if you let him "fend for himself". I do not help my husband IN ANY WAY anymore and he is surviving. I had a bad day yesterday too with him because he forged a check in my name for $485 (like I'm not broke already). I called the bank and had to shut down my checking account because how knows if he has more checks. They gave me the money back and they are going after him. Of course he said he gave the check to someone to hold but they weren't suppose to cash it. Like your husband mine will SAY ANYTHING! They will lie no matter what it takes to keep you hanging in there. It took me a really long time to really understand this because part of me was naive and just couldn't believe he could lie the way he was lying. But it's true. They lie, con and manipulate. I have heard it is a dance that we willinly participate in. Just step away and don't dance anymore with him and you will see changes. It's sad but true out help is really hurting them. I read an excellent book called "Getting them Sober". It talks about how wives need to stop doing what they are doing and take care of themselves. If you decide to give him another chance, maybe he will make it but maybe he won't. Either way, it is a process and you need to do what feels right and what you know is right. For me, I did that back and forth for over a year. When I asked him to leave it was easy but I KNEW it was right and could not have done anything different. You will know what the right thing is. Hugs, Dee

December 6, 2006
10:23 am
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lostandalone
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lettingo

I feel that leaving is the right thing. At the same time I feel guilty for leaving him with nothing and no one. I know that is just the co dependant in me, but I feel bad just the same. I am trying to be strong for my kids. They don't need to be around this. I need to break the cycle of abuse so that my kids don't fall into it. It is a lot easier said than done. In my head I have a picture of what I want, and in my heart I want to be with him but it will never work. I want a normal life. Someone that loves me and treats me with respect. He will never be able to do that because he will always be out for himself. I don't think it helps that he is also bipolar. I know that this is the right decision, I just need to be strong and keep focused on what I want to do.

It does help a lot with all of the encouragement I am receiving from everyone. Thank you all so much, and God Bless.

December 6, 2006
11:32 am
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on my way
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This is a good thread. I appreciate the fact that all who posted here have been willing to share the good and the not-so-good. It has helped me have a better understanding.

love,
omw

December 7, 2006
12:57 pm
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I tried to have a conversation with my son last night. It broke my heart. I realized, that I can do absolutely nothing (but pray)for him....that he is on his own path, he does not want help, and is determined to drink himself to death at this point in time. It was a difficult realization...and it does effect my emotions, it is impossible for it not too.

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