Dear Aunt B,
Hi there!well im a new member to your site(dellez75p)and i love it!Ok well here it is,i met a wonderful woman last February on a dating site on the internet..i quit drinking a month earlier,so she knew i was alcoholic and i attended A.A.meeting's.She has 2 kids 1 boy was 11 the other daughter7 and they are both by 2 different fathers and well she had lost her youngest was like 2 and he was by a different father so..im tryin to make this short,on her dating site when i first met her it said(i also like sex?)And at first i was like go your own way but she tried to explain what it was,2 weeks knowing her and not even meeting her she wanted me to come to her trailer and stay the night.i said NO and because you don't know me and haven't even met me yet so i just don't feel comfortable without meeting her.so we met and fell in love;well i did and she said she was but..and so around mothers day my mother passed away and she was really like the only support i had in my life.so i moved with her and we rented a house together and i got a decent job,she was working for her brother but there was a new guy who started working for her brother but was engaged.i stayed sober and we were together about 7 months and everything was great although she was Mentally Ill Chemically dependant a MICA same as me.and she wanted to hang at her brothers a lot while they had parties(he owned his own business and she was his secretary..i worked 12 hour shifts..and so she had told me she was CO-Dependant and that she was molested by her father when she was 16.Then one night towards the end she lied said she had an appointment for schooling and they called and wondered where she was?,so i asked her and she lied and said she went to the appointment so to make this short,she was very lazy with house chores,was in debt,had a lot of mental issue's,,but i fell in love with her and when it ended she was on the internet 1 month later on a dating site saying she wants friends with benefits..(really sex partner's)so i have so much anger towards her i can't shake it,but i do miss the kids muchly..did i do the right thing by leaving?and i did relapse after i left and well I'm back on track now but she called me a drunk when i talked to her??please give me advice on moving on from this pain because she was my world but i just don't feel she loved me?
You know I'm an Addict in Recovery, don't you? So, I do understand, the hell you're going through. But it does and will get better. As they say,
"It works if you work it."
I want you to realize that, us addicts are survivalists. We're also extremely caring people, deep thinkers and quite often empathic. But we're also liars. We lie to ourselves about our addiction, what we do to facilitate our addictions, our relationships and so on.
I can't tell you that you've lied to yourself about this woman but I can tell you, that red flags should have gone up but you ignored them. I can't say that you don't love this woman but I can say that you are in a vulnerable stage of your recovery and will do and endure just about anything, not to feel like shit, as you have, when you don't drink. In a way, she replaced the alcohol, in your addiction.She made you feel something, in a time when you felt null and void.
Back to Being Liars.
Because we are survivalists, we will endure so much and shrug it off, look the other way, pretend it's not what it really is and often times, we are blinded. In our minds, we'll paint a picture, all rosey and sweet, when it's really likened to a cow chip. We are famous for this. We may even believe that drinking is our answer, just like you believe that this woman is your answer. Once again, you've lied to yourself. I am a liar too, so don't think I'm throwing stones or looking down my nose at you. Nope, it takes one to know one, doesn't it?
Addictions a tricky bitch, let me tell you. I'll give you an example;
When you drink, every single time, there are consequences, every time. You may not see them, right off but I could make a list. Every time you drink, you act like an asshole, you become someone that is not really you. When you go past that point, from being a little tipsy, to becoming drunk, it's no longer fun, it's no longer a game and I'd be willing to bet, if you saw a video, of yourself, drunk and stumbling, it'd break your heart and certainly challenge your pride. That is not you, I know this. That guy, who makes a fool of himself, is not you. No, there was a time, when you were always in control and you stood erect and with a sense of dignity. People commented about what a stand-up guy you were, how hard you worked, how they could count on you, if no one else. In many ways, they still can but if you keep drinking, you can flush all that down the toilet.
Right now, you're a functioning alcoholic(I'm speaking of when you are or were using) but give it another year and you'll stop caring. You'll feel so rotten in the morning, you'll have to drink, just to get right. You'll keep drinking to stay right and you can never predict, which drink, which swig, will send you over the edge. Next thing you know, you've lost your job and friends, girlfriend and everything because you just could not deny yourself. You had to drink, just to function. The lie in it all is right here, right now, you feel like you need a drink to make it all go away, to make the world right, to make it stop tilting. I know, the rational side says that's not how you feel. But I'd bet my butt, when you're feeling weak, you're feeling that need, the call of the wild.
The lie in it all, is when we tell ourselves that we need it, deserve it and want it. Take the time to read, from this post...
*The Great American Myth; The Drinking Male™
The only reason, you've quit drinking, is simply because there must've been some consequence, to it. Otherwise, you'd drink and drink till you couldn't drink anymore. We train ourselves to think of it as an answer and we over look all the bad things about it. Go ahead and name me, one good thing, that came from drinking? I'd bet, you could make a whole list of bad though, huh?
It's the same, with this woman; you've tried to over look all the bad. She also made you feel good at a bad time in your life. You were extremely vulnerable, grasping for good feelings. You may have also, felt the proverbial, "*Pink Cloud," effect. I've given you an excerpt from a writing below but my feeling, is not quite the same. The way I see it is, it's easy to feel all giddy and hyped from meetings, readings, the Bible and delving into the good things, readings and so on. We must draw on positive thinking, that much is true. But there's so much more to it. **A word about slips,(see below) is important because it shows how this Pink Cloud feeling can fool us into thinking all is well with our addiction and we mastered it. But something happens, possibly out of the ordinary and we feel the need to resort to old ways of dealing.
You can't walk away from a meeting and think you've done your part, in changing yourself. My meaning is this; It took you years of conformity, to get where you are and it takes years to change those thoughts, reasoning, feelings and behaviors. Behavioral modification and a continuing emphasis on meetings, is the answer. But that starts in a simplistic way; Being truthful with yourself. Seeing things as they really are and putting things into perspective. Most of all, you must be good to yourself. For the first time, in your life, you must become selfish, in the sense that you think in a singular way. In the same self-preservationist way, you must think only of yourself and concentrate, only on you. You can't change your ways, over night. It took you, years to become who you are. Thus, it must become a study of yourself.
Most of us, want what we want, when we want it, right? We want recover now. We want our lives to be exact, right now. We want a normal life, now. We want to play house, right now. But we don't want to work to get it right.
I hated meetings about as much as I hate exercise. But I always came away with something, if I choose to get something from it. Notice the word choose. I also had to choose to go the distance, to get clean and stay clean.
I went to Prison for 3 1/2 years because of my addictions. I chose to learn from the situation. Then, I chose not to go back to the same ol' same ol', when I got out. I knew that I'd fall back into the same bullshit, if I went around the same people, mainly my husband. So, I did not go home. That would have been the easy way out but it would have been the worst thing I could have done. I had to choose the rough and rocky road, in order to change "People, Places and Things." It is self-preservation. I had to be selfish and think only of myself. You must do the same. Truly, you will continue to be half a man, until you get some clean time under your belt. Yes, I said, "Half a man," and who will you be good for, as a fraction? You must gain strength, within yourself. You must gain perspective and understanding of your addiction and what it is that spurs you on. What are you running from, what are you trying to shut up? These are questions, you must answer for yourself. Then, you may go onto a healthy relationship. If you stay as you are, you will, still see the world with old clouded eyes. It is not easy to stay clean but we do it or I did it, one minute at a time.
So, how does all this apply to you? I think you over looked the signs of an unhealthy relationship. On one hand, you saw it as it is, on the other, you're telling yourself, that you miss it and her. You over looked the fact that the door hadn't even hit her in the ass and she'd already placed herself on a dating site. We're also very forgiving people, you are a very forgiving person, this is evident. Now, I'm not telling you to hold a grudge and not to be forgiving. But God don't like ugly and he has an aversion for stupidity, so I tell myself. Don't be stupid and tell yourself that you are missing out on a good thing. You've done the same thing, concerning your drinking and you feel deprived and resentful. Give it up, let go and let God. Let go of that resentment for the fact that you had to stop drinking and it will free your soul. Let go of the resentment for the fact that this relationship didn't work. Stop questioning this and that about it. Let it go and concentrate on yourself and your recovery.
Have you ever seen someone drowning? I was Advanced Lifeguard Certified, years and years ago. We'd seen training films and they showed us what happens, when someone is drowning. The person goes into a panic state and they will fight. They will try to pull you down, even though you are trying to help. If you are not strong, in and of yourself and don't know exactly what you are doing, they will pull you down and you will both drown. This is what was happening, in your relationship. You must have the capacity to see through things and be strong, on your own, know how to deal and so on, if you are to survive yourself. To keep from drowning, you must get in shape, study the situation because your very life depends on it. She may be sober but she's not clean and she's drowning. She'll take you down.
We must all get clean, on our own, in our own right, on our own terms and we must choose to be clean. Nine years ago, I chose to get clean. It was not easy as I loved it more than any lover, more than anything imaginable. But it was all a lie and there was no magic. I realized that, the kind of person, I was attracted to, was this addictive type, an outlaw, a bad boy. Knowing this, I realized that if I were to get into a relationship, I'd fall back into old habits. It's so easy to do, it's what I know, ingrained within me. The lifestyle, I had lived was ingrained in me and my thinking was that of a woman who loved to go bar hopping and drink and drug. If I was to get away from it all, I had to stop resenting, the fact that I gave it up because of the consequences and see it for the box of shit, it really was. You must also do the same, see it for what it really is, be truthful with yourself about your life, your thinking and everything in general. You must see that relationship for exactly what it was...or drown.
Excerpt from Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous...
A word about "slips"
Most people who turn to A.A. for help achieve sobriety without too much difficulty, and continue to stay sober. Others have trouble understanding and accepting the A.A. program. All too soon, they forget what being an alcoholic means. After their physical health returns and their lives become a little more manageable, they may drift away from the program ﾗ either mentally, by forgetting its principles, or physically, by going to fewer meetings. These people may have one or more relapses or "slips." They may get drunk again. This can be discouraging ﾗ and very painful for loved ones. Fears and feelings of hopelessness may be reawakened. But experienced A.A. members know that such slips are not necessarily repeated in the future. If the alcoholic can honestly review the kind of thinking and behavior that preceded the slip, its recurrence can often be prevented. In fact, a slip can serve as a valuable lesson for alcoholics who believe that they have been "cured" of alcoholism merely because they have been dry for a while.
Overconfidence and unrealistic thinking sometimes result in slips. Judgment becomes fuzzy, and some alcoholics begin to believe that they can now control alcohol. They may go to fewer and fewer meetings, or they may begin to criticize the people in their group, losing sight of the A.A. tradition that the alcoholic should always put the principles of the program before the personalities of its members. Or it may be that the alcoholic forgot to live life one day at a time.
Of basic importance are three frequently used A.A. slogans: "First Things First," "Live and Let Live," and "Easy Does It." These are useful reminders that alcoholics are staying away from drinking one day at a time and that they are striving toward open-mindedness and serenity.
In American slang back then, when you said that someone was “on a pink cloud,” you meant that the person was in a state of temporary artificial euphoria. Being “on a pink cloud” meant that you had turned off all of your critical faculties and were temporarily living in this marvelous fantasy world where nothing ever went wrong or could go wrong.
If you went out on a date with some guy, and came back feeling all romantic and starry eyed, and convinced that you had found “Mr. Wonderful,” one of your friends might laugh and say, “well, you’re on a pink cloud now, but wait and see what the guy looks like after a month or two of going out with him on a steady basis. Wait and find out how much you end up seeing him after football season starts in a couple of weeks!”
Being “on a pink cloud” meant that you were living in a dream world, as opposed to living in the real, everyday world.
It is easy to work ourselves up into a temporary “pink cloud” by reading spiritual books that talk about loving all humanity, or “feeling one with the all,” or loving Jesus, or by standing around reciting the responsibility pledge with our eyes all starry. And there are people who try to work the AA program by hyping themselves up in that way, without doing a single thing to change their basic character, or to change their ways of actually behaving in everyday life.
CHANGED BY GRACE is the mark of true twelve step spiritual progress. Real “life changing” as the Oxford Group put it. We have to start working on using the power of grace (freely given to us for our use) to heal all of our character defects.
These are the character defects which make us angry all the time, have us attacking other people all the time and trying to bully other people into doing things our way, criticizing everybody else in the program and starting arguments all the time, refusing to help out on washing dishes, moving chairs and tables, shoveling snow, going to the grocery store to get milk or a loaf of bread. When we begin real spiritual growth, we start to heal these character defects, and then we start actually treating other people differently in all phases of our ordinary everyday life.
I’ve seen people spend years trying to artificially hype themselves up onto a pink cloud by reading the Bible (or the Torah or the Koran), talking all the time about Jesus (or Moses or Mohammed or Buddha), or reciting the Four Absolutes with pious looks on their faces. The message of this story in the Big Book was that these things are NOT good things to do, if the only reason why we are doing them, is to artificially put ourselves into a temporary “pink cloud” euphoria.
Or to put it all in five simple words, “faith without works is dead.”