Thursday, March 15, 2012

What kind of life was it?

If you had to describe your life today, what would you say?  I listen to many people who live with active alcoholism and addiction describe the other person's life.  They will talk on and on about the alcoholic or the addict, but what I hear about their life is near silence.  They look vacant as they describe what the alcoholic does.  They can recite all the transgressions, the disgusting behavior, the weariness and daily grind of just getting through another day. And I think to myself that I was there--vacant, empty of love, devoid of happiness, and without passion for life.

The unmanageability of a life around alcoholism is painful.  The loneliness is palpable.  No one to talk to about it for fear of shame, blaming ourselves for not being able to be a better wife, husband, father, mother, lover.  Waking up in the morning to have the first thought entering your head be, "Oh God, another day. I hope that I can get through it."  And the last thought at night be, "I hate myself. I hate my life. I hate this person that I am supposed to love. What is wrong with me? Where did I go wrong? I don't deserve this".  This is the "end stage" of an unmanageable life due to alcoholism.

I don't know the reasons that people choose to suffer on.  Maybe there is a huge sense of guilt.  Maybe it's feeling unworthy, not deserving of anything better.  For me, it was all of those, based on a foundation of fear.  Better to stick with the devil you know, than the one that you don't. Meanwhile, the days and years go by, and the despair doesn't lift.  Somehow, this existence seems as if death has already come because going through the motions of living, isn't really living.
At the end of my life, I want  to say that I had exquisite moments of joy.   I want to feel peace and know that I found a life that was authentic:  A life that was well-lived in spite of whatever impediments there were.  And I want to say that I have no malice towards anyone.  I can say that I made peace with myself and others around me.  I learned to live, love and laugh.

"Manageability in life is somewhere up there with balance....It is a process and an ongoing practice of active acceptance, surrender, humility, honesty and gratitude."~Anonymous


  1. Just about everything is a process, isn't it? And we humans are so impatient.

  2. My Life:

    Our son is clean and working. New grandchild on the way from our daughter.

    Mom and I are alone in the house really since we first got married. Our first child was born 18 months after we got married. While our son was using even if he wasn't physically at the house it felt like he was enveloping us at all times.

    Now, Mom and I have weekday dates. We watch movies together. We are still learning how not to fuss at each other over the kids. It's not as easy as just turning off a switch. After all these years of each filling the traditional husband/wife roles I am now the chief cook. I fix 95% of the meals. Mom still does most of the housework and I do all the yard and automotive work. The last couple years we have taken short separate vacations. She calls them "Girl Weekends", mine are motorcycle rides.

    For those wondering, there is life after co-dependency. You just have to make it a priority and make it happen.

  3. Somehow, this existence seems as if death has already come because going through the motions of living, isn't really living.

    ugh great description in that of a very hard reality...i want those moments of joy as well...

  4. I'm trying to reach a balance. I've lived through some horrendous experiences, but I wouldn't change those things. They made me who I am today.

    These days I strive to live in the moment, to look at each day as a promise, a memory yet to be made. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. "For those wondering, there is life after co-dependency. You just have to make it a priority and make it happen."

    I've thought about posting, thought about adding my thoughts, thought about a lot over the last months of reading your blog - but today - the comment above from Mom and Dad is exactly what I needed to read. Because I am wondering if there is life after co-dependency. Was feeling so alone and hopeless - I really needed to read the comment.

    Thank you for your blog, thank you for the comments section, thank you for the hope and honesty and encouragement.

  6. Until I was willing to let go of my obsession about the alcoholic, I couldn't find peace or serenity. I had to be willing to let it all go.

  7. I look at my life as a small life, (I've blogged about this). I think it makes my life rich and happy. I believe I was created to learn to love others and grow in my love for my Maker. If I focus on this, my life is purpose filled and happy.

  8. Hi Syd,

    I love this line - "I want to feel peace and know that I found a life that was authentic:" We all want that, but yet went faced with addiction, we can easily spiral down into despair. Al-Anon which I have read that you attend as well, has helped me in so many ways fight back those feelings of depression and sadness. Granted, my daughter is doing well, and I know that makes a big difference, but when we work toward living our life regardless of what others are doing, it does help. I did spend way too much time letting other people control my happiness, and I think I'm better now. I want to live a life of joy as well.

  9. Now that I stopped living my life for everyone around me, I am not ashamed of how I lived my life. I have learned so much by living through my own mistakes and have let go of the anger and resentment toward people I believe hurt me. I know they hurt too.
    Being happy and at peace is being alive.

  10. I may have been a bit too true to myself. But I wouldn't have it any other way. If it were all over, I think I could say I was satisfied with my life. Some incredible joy, dark heartbreak, days of drudgery, but mostly just a life I saw as a gift after I got sober.

  11. You make some very good points here. I think that it is harder for the person who has to live their own life while their loved one is still in active addiction. It is harder to do but absolutely necessary in order to avoid wasting yet another life.

  12. For me, like you said, I feared the unknown. Eventually even the unknown seemed a better choice. And it was. I have no regrets.

  13. My life today is just that Syd. it is still before noon so i haven't found out about what the day will bring. i do know this much, I will survive, adapt, thrive and live.

    Now yesterday as in 24 hours ago it was just peace, abit of fun, some physical pain from the last surgery and then looking forward to this day where i steal another opportunity to write my being down.

    I used to think that life was hard, cruel, unbearable then i realized those adjectives were me, not life.fortunately i was humble enough to see it and again for the 13millionthsevenhudredth forty eith time in this life of mine re-make myself into what i need to be for myself and those around me.

    Now if I could only remember to alway hit the shift key when I say i then i think i'd be off to a good start at adapting to what the day may bring.

    Peace Syd, that inner peace is what today is and you have it, just unwrap the box.

  14. Knowing myself these days, I see there were some lessons I was only going to learn the hard way.

    I have one regret, it will always remain my secret.

  15. I think if I had to describe my life today I'd have to say we're having a second wind. It's like we're in our 20's again and doing things that we should have been doing instead of Jeckyll having the heart problem and sending us on that trajectory.

    He's just 16 years too late doing what he's been wanting to do all this time, but 16 years too late is better than not at all.

    also, I would not have been able to be on this journey with him when I was in my 20's and early 30's without being a drunken embarrassment to him. but now I have less of a problem in that area and I can be in bars without getting into trouble.

  16. For me, getting (and remaining) sober is all about balance.

    My life is much more about helping, showing compassion, thinking less about my wants and more about others than it ever used to be.

    I still find myself focusing too often on shortcomings andd negatives but I am better. My balance is coming.

    At the end of the day most days, I can lay my head down to sleep without overwhelming regret. That's a BIG change from my life before AA.

    I'm learning to accept others and judge less. I've also learned to "detach with love" when it comes to the unacceptable behaviour of others.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Life is a process and as long as we're seeking improvement within the context of God's will for us, we're heading in the direction of a peaceful, contented life.

  17. I agree with Brian's comment above. I feel like I am already dead and just going through the motions of matter how hard I try to stay positive.

  18. It's amazing that one so young, having grown up with alcoholism, could acquire the wisdom you appear to have acquired. Your observations are a symphony of bells ringing concerts of truth! Beth K.

  19. What an inspiring post! I was dependent on alcohol for many years until I decided that I needed to have a better life than the one I was living. I have been sober for three years now and now I feel like I can finally live a life of meaning. I got a lot of support from my family and friends but I also got a lot of useful advice from I hope this website is helpful for others struggling with alcoholism and looking to turn their lives around.


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