Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stick with it

I went to a great meeting on Tuesday evening that really got my thoughts going round and round. The topic was about loss. Most people shared about lost relationships. And how they lost themselves in dealing with alcoholism.

As people were sharing, I thought about how I really didn't realize how much I had lost, until I found myself in this program. I was determined never to be the quitter. I stuck with my wife through some bad times, I stuck with my mother during her depressions and last years, I stuck with my job during many periods of disillusionment, and I stuck with living even when I felt like such a loser.

Many times I've wanted to give up, run away, say I don't care, and move on. Is this a flaw within me that makes me stick things out regardless? Is this my fear of change? I ask myself these questions because I heard in the meeting that people were making decisions that they had put off. They were leaving their marriage, their job, the "safe" place and striking out to get what they wanted.

This topic of loss has made me realize that I stay through thick and thin because I feel a sense of responsibility. I also don't want to hurt other people. I think that I'm still willing to sacrifice what I would like to do for what I actually need to do. These are heavy thoughts for a Thursday.

I'm going to a meeting where maybe the thoughts will get quieter in my head.


  1. Remember what they say in Al-Anon..the placard on the middle of the table (at least at my meetings). "Take What You Like and Leave the Rest".

    I'm amazed some Women (maybe Men) have put with some Violence; shoveling; smacking; etc by their spouses or boyfriends). But who am I to judge.

    I'm amazed at meeting with a few women that are there (2 very attractive).. been with men taking drugs.. (one after he hurt his back)...

    What amazes me is that 1 has now teens in the house; what is the teens get depressed and find their fathers' PILLS/ COKE and take it themselves.. ??

    I feel that is a child abuse situation (but remember my own point of view). My own father had so MANY 10 mg Valiums. (they come in 2, 5 and 10 strength). I stole once to take them and end my life; but then I did not have the NERVE??

    I don't say this at the meetings. NO judging; no cross talk....and I adore all these women... and I'm supposed to be putting the focus on me.

    It depends what type of LOSS..... I wind up having NO respect for my mother and disowning my whole father.. who would have blackouts and as I openly stated molested me very badly at 8 years. I slept under the bed after that for years saying it was a tent. I told my mother at 17 and she did not believe me. Then wrote me a letter at 34 and said she always knew but pushed it aside. Heard other stuff about things he did besides that.

    Wow. Two super intelligent people; we own our own house; .. and the abuse?? (you never know what goes on in a house).

    The Loss you talk about..... it depends what a person should put up with or NOT.

    I disowned my family... the good ones too; I fled and lived a nerdy LIFE. I'm not a partier.. but I do have a few drinks because for years I wanted to sway fanatically the opposite way and be a teetotaler when I found my husband (now ex) drank too much too. He is the father only of my last child who is almost 13. I ended it when my son went to kindergarten because then I would not need babysitters and worry about babysitters doing harmful things. (who knows).

    I found out he was leading a double live in some regards (no not other women; long story). Wow, not staying with him with that going on; but he did cut back drinking and is a great father. (ironically that happens often).

    The men I dated the last 5.5 years of being on my own. One overdoing his medication; another booze; another too much WORK.. and another now I have to admit he is lying about how many back pills he is taking and what kind. He said only Advil mostly; but I did catch him in lies with valiums and percoset; and he said only 3 days supply. We almost got in a car accident.

    Well dating is not the same as divorcing; I owe them NOTHING; dating is learning to see who is who.. But still LOSSES.. getting to know and love the good in someone; and then a DEAL BREAKER.. will not let my son ever live with any man not good enough.

    The last one of the 4 I dated; was the only I allowed to be part of our lives going to dinners; and central park..NEVER AGAIN. First I get to know someone a WHOLE YEAR and not stepping foot in my home; even on the weekends. (when my son is with his father).

    I am super responsible like YOU.. all Codies are.....BUT not to the point where I'll get my son involved.. with boozers OR anyone that is not up to PAR.

    Do you know I met some great men; and I felt bored on the date and not attractive; because there was not going to be anything for me to really fix?? Codie (me). :) LOL. I'm glad I can laugh now.

    So it depends on why people give up marriages; what is their threshold; and do the children benefit or put in a worse situation. But when no children are involved.. and the behavior goes on for a long time; like another woman in my group; I don't understand. She is alone in her meetings and he is at home getting HIGh (and then going to his very IMPORTANT JOB each day)

    The women tell me that their husbands have great jobs; but the money goes to their addictions and the wife really is paying the mortgage and bills mostly. So are they enabling the man to keep up with his addiction.. and why don't they cut their LOSSES and RuN?

    Over time I learned NONE OF MY BUSINESS.........but No way will I be EVER accepting abuse; or anything unacceptable again....

    A man that is in AA and stopped drinking 9 years ago ask me out TWICE. I told him NO THANKS. And he asked why. I was honest. I said I like to have sake with my Sushi; and wine with my Calmari; etc.. and you know what.. I want to have a companion I don't feel like I'm breathing alcohol on their faces when I talk.. and I don't want to deal with any Slip UPS.. I had enough of it. Father; Daughter; ExHusband; Boyfriend (with the Queen Anne Victoria home by the water).. I'm tired of it to be honest. :)

    I don't feel I gave up and ran away.. I felt I had to do that to my childhood family; and ex-husband and ex-boyfriends.

    I love the serenity and peace; and filling my time with conversations with intelligent non-addicted personas. (and learning to NEVER be a CODIE again).

    This was loooooong. I cancelled work; it is snowing.

    I hope you are feeling BETTER..

    Maybe you stayed because it was not as bad as others had it. (??)

  2. I always went to the extremes..either I stayed in a bad situation waayyy too long or I bailed (ran away) to the greener grass. I like to think now that I am thoughtfully spontaneous.. :-)


  3. There is the certain kind of person who stays too long out of a sense of reponsibility. And then there are those that cut & run when the going get tough. I'm in the first group also.

  4. Staying through thick and thin has always been something that weighs on my thoughts... this really opened things up a bit for me today Syd - thanks for sharing.

  5. Great subject and one I know well. I have a long history of loss.....the losing people I love kind of loss. But....I've tended to stay in relationships or kept the status quo due to a strong sense of responsibility and to avoiding hurting others too. I wonder though, in a most people try hard enough? I think I gave it my best shot, until the straw that ultimately broke the camel's back. I needed to say I gave it my all, because I made that wedding vow. Now..I think I'd be more careful when considering such a BIG step and vow. Blessings to you Syd! Lisa

  6. I think i'm the opposite of you, with exceptions. I do know that after growing up in an alcoholic home, made a huge difference in what I'm willing to tolerate when it comes to drinking.
    I don't think are choices are bad or good really, they just are. We will evlove either way,'you know what I mean?jeNN

  7. like you I have a tendency to stick things out as opposed to bailing early. Everyone is different. Some stayed too long, some leave far too early. Each is different. There are advantages and disadvantages to both tendencies. The people who tend to leave too early often burn bridges, but if they are lucky can accidentally find better opportunities. The people who stay have a greater opportunity to learn patience and tolerance within nonabusive situations, but can also be guilty of staying too long in one situation. Neither is better than the other. Personally I think patient endurance has its benefits. I have spoken to monks who described being in the monastery and as teaching them all three positive aspects of marriage, for instance tolerance and patience toward one's fellow man, but with none of the sexual advantages that marriage would provide. I think by eight staying in the relationship that you're in you will be learning the same things monks learn when they choose to stay in the monastery rather than leave and form relationships outside.
    I am very sure that you both have significant feelings for one another, and a great deal of history. Yes I daresay that if you were on the market you might very well be able to find some kind of spiritual laid-back woman to pair are up with. a but I also know how easy it is to be full of crap whilst at the same time knowing all of their spiritual things one learns in recovery. I have little or no illusions about so-called spiritual people. So I can assure you that just because somebody has practised a bit longer or knows more things, doesn't make them any less fallible or any less prone to their own stupidity and blindness. So basically we are all as bad as each other. So if you walk out of one neurosis as you walk into another set of neurosis. another set of ego battles. Another set of defensive triggers. So basically, you can run, but you can't hide! You end up coming face-to-face with petty childish self-serving controlling tendencies in which ever human being you end up with, because that our basic nature. If you're very lucky you will find somebody who has enough willpower to keep their mouths shut when negativity rises. And it will. And that's about as good as it gets. So humans are pretty much the same I find. Perhaps you are under appreciated and taken for granted, and perhaps more spiritually developed than your spouse for the time being, and if you do walk out of this set of problems you'll just walked right turn into another set of problems, just manifested in a different way. Ultimately it will be the same ego you come up against. Just another form.
    as you can tell, I am from the stick it out school of thought. I don't know the details of your situation, but I'm inclined to think that you are not on the receiving end of abuse, and that the jealousy and possessiveness you may experience from your spouse exists only because she has such strong feelings for you. Oh well. I'm sure you will figure it out! Ask your higher power for knowledge of his will and the power to carry it out in regard to this issue, your next job is to paddle while God steers. Right I'm off! The story for the lengthy reply!

  8. I always remember the saying a rolling stone never gathers any moss, I like familairity and love where I live and I know my job isnt exactly the best but I feel happy.
    I suppose sometimes we got to be happy where we are and i guess my higher power steers my boat through life.
    I wonder if just saying it can make it happen.
    Well another weekend is in site and Ive paid my debts, it seems ages since i last got paid.

  9. Hi Syd,

    I, too, have been more a committed person to family, friends, in my marriage, and feel the responsibility to keep my word when I agree to do something. My problem was the need to release my clinging to the dysfunctional pain that I kept when NOT knowing how or when to detach from a person or situation. Besides, I did hear - in Al-Anon - detachment is like acceptance: detachment does not mean to sever forever; and acceptance does not necessarily mean approval.

    What did help me through some of the indecisions of making changes - and this was suggested by my sponsor - was to take a quick personal inventory (Yep - another list!) - - - make 3 columns for the main problem, ask yourself (1) Do I need to continue this way;(2) Do I want to continue this way:
    (3) What do I personally receive in a positive way from the situation. Not a sure cure, but it did help. With that, I'll bed you good evening.
    Anonymous #1

  10. I understand this push and pull from my experience with my parents and siblings. I had to detach from them or else I would lose myself, nevermind be able to save them.

    When I got sober, I realized I needed to step away from them because their dysfunction was a danger to my sobriety. I never intended the separation to be permanent, but it does risk them not wanting to let me in because of my boundaries. Thus far, things have worked well, if cordial rather than close and personal.

    I want to be there for my family in any way possible so long as it doesn't impinge on my sanity or my life with my son and husband. It's been a tough, but necessary change. It isn't optimal. It isn't what I would have chosen. But I think it is making the best out of what is.

  11. Another awesome post usual.
    Thank you for sharing:)

    PS.Do you have a secret to your Chili ? I need some tips..mine seem to turn out bland and or like peanut butter..ick..not

  12. Looking at my past, I have definitely been in the "stick it out way too long" group.

    Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon are changing me.

    I'm happy that today I have the ability to make choices in my best interest.

  13. i also tend to stick things out with the HOPE that they will change back to what they were... good! i feel pretty much like you, and you've asked some interesting questions here i should be asking myself too.

  14. This topic certainly touched a raw nerve -- I have tended to stay in stagnant jobs and dead-end relationships far too long, from cowardice and not believing I deserved better.

    In hindsight I look back and wonder what took me so long.


  15. Boy from reading the comments, you touched a nerve with some. That is good, honest sharing is very positive stuff. I really appreciate it

  16. I have been in two long relationships that emotionally became so painful that depression took over my life. The first for 9 years. The second for 13. I kept waiting for things to change my denial was so strong. Even with the program I could not recognize my own unhappiness. With the first alcholism was there I didn't have Alanon. The second I choose someone that was emotionally unavailable. Luckily they both left me before I disappeared completely. I thought I was happy but it has been a year now and I know I wasn't honoring my true self. Make no mistake it has been a growth experience but I have true joy in my life now and have been able to share that with others. I always stay I can't even be honest with myself most less the other person. In the end we both deserved more. It is easier for me to be left than to leave regardless of the cost to my spirit. We have one life that we know of and we should not waste it. It isn't easy what I am saying here my heart is heavy for those living in denial. I had everything I thought I needed but something was missing. Joy.


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