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When will I be ready?
September 21, 2003
12:37 am
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Sophie1
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Hello,
This is my first time ever on this site. I have recently began my recovery for codependence. I grew up with 2 alcoholic parents and just started an Al-anon group in my town. Things are going good, sometimes it seems like recovery is slow, but I'm making great progress. My question is about finding a healthy relationship. How do you know when you have recovered enough to find a healthy relationship? I'm sure it's different for everyone, but the way I feel is that if I wait until I'm ready, I could be 75 and then nobody will want me anyway!!! I was married for 9 years to a man that was emotionally unavailable to me and didn't meet my needs. I want to find a healthy partner who can fulfill my needs, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. Also I want to be able to return the favors. The thought of getting into another bad relationship really scares me. I'm working on myself, but still crave the attention of a partner. Some people have told me that I want another person so I don't have to look at myself so closely. Maybe this is true. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!!!

September 21, 2003
12:11 pm
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ms.confused
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Hello Sophie...How are u feeling today?
Well I really can't tell you when you'll be ready because I dont even know for myself. New relationships are a scary thought for me as well. I long to be with someone I can share things with emotionally, physically, and spititually and we both can prosper but for now I continue to love myself so that way someone else can love me someday. I think thats really the key if you cant love yourself.. no one else will be able to either. I feel like the more we encounter healthy behaviors and surround ourselves with healthy people the sooner God will send prominent people that are worthy of our love. All i can tell you is to continue on your recovery and pray on the things closet to your heart. Prayer really works. Take care and God Bless!

September 21, 2003
12:33 pm
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boland
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sophie, i think the best thing is time and taking things slow, but look after ya self first, hope you feeling ok,

September 21, 2003
10:17 pm
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Sophie1
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Thanks Ms. Confused and Boland. I appreciate your input. As for how I am feeling today, I feel pretty bad. I'm sort of in a slump and trying to dig my way out of it. Loving myself is one of the hardest things ever and I do know that I have to do that first. It's something foreign to me though. For so long I have been my own worst enemy. I am making progress and giving myself due credit, but I still beat myself up frequently. I'm building a relationship with my Higher Power and that seems to help with EVERYTHING! Prayer is a great and powerful thing and I am just learning this too. So, like you said Boland, I need to just take time and take care of myself. And like you said too Ms. Confused, the healthier we get and the more we are around healthy people, the more likely we are to find someone worthy of our love. God will allow that person to come into our lives when we are ready for them. I'm tired of putting myself in so much pain. My life has been miserable and I am just now realizing that only I can change that. Al-anon has given me the tools to make those changes. I've experienced short periods of serenity for the first time in my life and I really liked it!!! Things are so much better if you just have a good positive attitude. What has been the hardest thing for me is to try and control all of my negative thinking and feelings. I've let them dominate me for my whole life and now I know I have a choice on whether or not to let them control me. Thanks again for the help. Good luck to everyone!
Sophie

September 22, 2003
2:43 pm
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goosey
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Sophie ,

How good are the Al Anon groups ? I have never been to one , but Im considering going since my mother was a sever alcoholic .
Also , how do you know your husband is not goood for you ? Im trying to figure that out myself . My husband drinks at times and I just feel this rush of panic . I can barely hold a beer can without that painful memorie of my mother walking in the house slammed . My husband is a great provider and I love him more then any one , but we just don't have good coomunication skills . Im the communicator , he's more quiet . I think I need more , but I don't want to destroy my home life . I never had the 2 parent home and Im so afraid it would break their hearts . It's not easy dealing with co-dependency . I have a long road to go .

September 22, 2003
6:36 pm
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Sophie1
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Hello Goosey,
I would highly suggest that you find an Al-anon group near you and just check it out. You may feel strange at first, but stick with it and you will hopefully find a loving group of people who will support you and give you an abundance of tools to cope with life. As for knowing if you're husband is good for you or not, that is something only you can know. Maybe with some time in Al-anon you will be able to figure out what your wants and needs are, and then you will know if he is able to help you attain those things. I know what you mean about the memories rushing back from your past. My best friend drinks some, and when I hear the ice hit the bottom of the glass at night, it takes me right back to my childhood. But I do now realize that not everyone that drinks is a raging alcoholic either. I just know that I don't want that hell in my life ever again!!!!!!!!!!
Before Al-anon I felt completely crazy and out of control. I felt like there was so much wrong with me and that I couldn't be fixed. After counseling and especially Al-anon, I know that I am the way I am because of how I grew up. I also learned that these behaviors are something I can change if I am willing. When I started reading the Al-anon literature and saw my story over and over again, it gave me a great sense of hope. I wasn't the only one feeling this way! I wasn't the only one who cared too much for others and neglected myself in the process! Now I am learning how to love myself and have a life of my own. It is such a neat journey though. I'm learning to face fear instead of letting fear dominate my every action. I'm learning to say NO when I want to. Recovery is a continual process and I have to remind myself that I am doing good. I'm right where I'm supposed be!!! All I know is that I never want to go back to the way I was.
Hope this helped you Goosey! Feel free to ask me anything else you want to. Take care of yourself!
Sophie

September 23, 2003
9:22 am
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goosey
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Sophie ,
thank you for your nice letter . Good for you for helping yourself and getting on the right path . I understand why Im the way I am , but it just seems to eat me up . I was diagnosed with bipolar , add and ocd . Every week I was something else , but Iam starting to read od the codependency and wonder if this is what I have . My mother was a single manic depressive and worked nights . The nights that she wasn't working , she went out with a different guy of the week and drank . I would go into her bedroom at 8am ( she came home at 7am and find her vodka right smack dab next to her . She wasn't a bad mom , but I do have hatred for her neglect toward me . She is still in deniel for what she has done .
I think I will try al-anon . My sister went a couple of times and loved it . I do however have ptsd , and I don't know what's worse to have at this point . God knows I can't even have a good time out of my house because everything everyone does has to do with drinking .
My therapist says I have more control then others in my position . I take that as a compliment , but at the same time I tell her I am TOO controlled with everything . I am egotistical and end up being the mother in most cases . People call ME all the time with their problems . Call ME for advice and I love that , but I just have a hard time opening up my own feelings to anyone else . I can put myself in anyones shoes and totally relate to where they are coming from . Although , I have no tolerance for any kind of substance abuse . I drank in high school like a fish , I did ALL the drugs , was a pothead for years . Since I had my first child ( at 19 ) I am so petrified of screwing them up and have been straight as an arrow ever since . But , I also know that how I am might screw them up even more . My five year old has anxiety when she sees a beer just like I do . She sees my behavoir toward my husband when he drinks and she's a little me . A nervous reck . As far as my husband goes , I don't know if I can change with him . Know what I mean ? Guess life could be worse though . Im lucky I turned out this way and not a drug addict in a hospital on suicide watch .

September 23, 2003
6:18 pm
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Sophie1
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Wow Goosey,
Sounds like you and I are alot alike. I was diagnosed with severe depression, add, ocd, and generalized anxiety. When I decided to start and change my life, I said screw it to all of the drugs and got off of everything. In no way am I suggested that others due this though, you should talk to your doctor before quiting any medications!!! For me, I knew that I wanted my head to be free of any drugs so I could determine what my true feelings were. I think doctors are so willing to give a name and a drug to any problem we have. But after reading up on codependency, I can honestly say that that is my problem. Drugs may be needed later to deal with some of my depression, but I'm going to try and do it my way first. Working through this stuff has helped me in so many ways. I truly doubt I will need anti-depressants again. Changing my attitude and learning to control my fear have been the biggest help to me. My growing relationship with my Higher Power also helps more than I can say.

My mother died from her alcoholism almost 10 years ago. My dad is now in recovery and we go to meetings together. The past is the past and we have to live in the now. I really think we have to face our pasts, accept what happened to us, recognize our feelings, and then let them go. There is a great workbook that I just started called "Breaking Free" by Pia Mellody and Andrea Wells Miller. It's a recovery workbook for facing codependency. It really makes you look at your past and get everything out.

I have to go for now but will write more later.

Good luck!
Sophie

September 25, 2003
9:37 am
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goosey
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Sophie
Wish I could clear my head as you are doing right now , but unfortunatly I Am physically addicted to them . I didn't start therapy until 2 years ago . I didn't want meds to change me , but they did . Don't get me wrong , I need them but at the same time I do feel a bit washed out from them . I am currantly taking Trileptal for the bipolar and without them I'd be a mess .
Finally after being in therapy for ( actually it's been about 3 years , woops ) I am opening up to them about my past , which for me is almost impossible , but now my therapist got a new job so hopefully I won't close up again . It feels good being able to finally release some of that anger ...
I had an evaluation last week . Im hoping they will have a better understanding about how my brain works . It wasn't too bad . I always have a female therapist , but a man did my evaluation and I actually enjoyed it for once . He asked me if I had a learning disability and I told him I never found out because I was too busy smoking my own drugs to know . But , the meds do kill me because my mother had about 7 scripts around the house ...Pretty sure I have bipolar though . I get the racing thoughts etc .
Sounds like your doing excellent though ! Maybe I'll pick that book up this week . I love reading the self help books .

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