Sunday, September 20, 2009

Who I answer to

I got a lot of responses from the post yesterday. I found the letter from a spouse of an alcoholic to be provocative too. That's why I posted it.

This wasn't a letter written about my current situation, as some of you thought. I certainly have been in that situation many times. I've felt frustrated and wondered why I wasn't being treated with a lot of love and respect by the alcoholic.

I don't wonder about that now. I know that I don't need to seek approval from others. And that ultimately I need only answer to my Higher Power. My approval rating is dependent on little other than what I think of my myself.

The letter though provides a sampling of how we who have lived with alcoholism aren't different in our feelings from the alcoholic, which is something that I've written about before. As my sponsor likes to say, we do our insanity without drinking.

I'm enjoying a wonderful day today. There is an exceptionally high tide that I photographed this morning. I believe that there will be a thunderstorm later. I always liked the quote below. I think that the tide in my life is flowing at the moment, and I'm grateful for that.

"There are tides in the affairs of men, definite periods of ebb and flow." Thomas Wolfe


  1. Thanks for clearing the air. Since I'm AA and wasn't familiar with that Al-anon posting, I was puzzled, having believed you were headed for the boat and the vanishing varnishing. I still wish blessings on your marriage, and I believe our relationships with significant others greatly depend on our own sobriety and following the dictates of the Higher Power; I have to go to God in prayer, and call my sponsor, before I unload my anger or self-pity on my partner. I once called my sponsor from the garage to rant about my husband. Ever after, she asked me, when I called her, "Are you in the garage?" It became our signal for: Are you putting sobriety first?

  2. Whew - thanx for the clarification - it was a great letter, one I might reference from time to time.

    I think my fall laziness is outrunning the season - I just can't seem to get plugged into the chores of the day on a gorgeous day.

    So runs the tides of my affairs...

    Blessings and aloha...

  3. " My approval rating is dependent on little other than what I think of my myself."

    So true Syd.

  4. My approval rating is....what does that mean, anyway?

    Actually I feel pretty good about myself these days. I've developed highly the art of denial, By the way.

  5. This comment is about yesterdays letter and today's post. As a person on both sides of the coin (AA and Al-Anon), I am glad you shared the letter. It said everything so well.

    Thank you for you thoughtful words today. I need all the sane thinking I can find to put into my head today.


  6. I am new to Al Anon and to blogs. I have been married to a functioning alcoholic for 17 years. I have never spoken a word about this to anyone. I've mostly held in all negativity towards me by my spouse. I am at my emotional whits end and I am considering leaving. I fear there will never be changes. I've stayed because my 15 and 13 year old children love their dad. I want a chance at life. I want joy. I am only 44 years old and so very unhappy. For years, conducting myself as though life is good. I did not know there were others out there going through the same thing. My spouse always sounds so reasonable and will turn everything around on me to where I actually start believing I am difficult (his favorite term for me). And then I remind myself that someone who drinks a half gallon of scotch per day cannot truly be reasonable. I am planning to get my finances in order and carefully plan to leave. My last hope was to try Al Anon. Thanks for listening. I am open to any words of wisdom and experience.

  7. i love the picture and quote. for some reason, i'm reminded of pat conroy's books. hmmm...

  8. I've never heard any spouse explain why they stay with a drinking partner in a way that I can comprehend. That's one reason why I like reading your blog. You have found a way to rise above. Your posts are always insightful. As the child of an alcoholic, I hope everyone remembers to show the kids in the family how to rise above too.

  9. Hello Syd, just popped over to say hello and read a few of your posts of late. The letter from the spouse of an alcoholic reminds me of my sister.We have heard her speak like this many times when she was with her alcoholic husband ( now ex) . She is still attending all her al-non meetings , is even a sponsee for many. TY for posting this.

    the ebb and the flow. How nicely put.. in yout recent post.. I will be back soon, hopefully to write more

  10. Ha! Now I love it even more!

    Thanks Syd.

  11. Change is the only constant, the tide is a good metaphor for that. Great quote, too.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.