Couple days ago I wrote about opening up to a past relationship that had ended. What I wasn’t open about with people reading the article is that we are both alcoholics. It’s not just a game-changer cause that implies teamwork and fun are in there somewhere, no, no games here. Just a fucking disease.
It’s a common misconception that the alcoholic is playing games though. When your partner is struggling with addiction it’s easy to take it personal. To feel like they are trying to hurt you, to feel like if you were different or better they would be different or better, to get into a pattern of abuse and forgiveness and think it’s intentional. Being in recovery I get to see the remorse and awareness people have once they tackle their disease. It’s only in hindsight that they are able to take accountability and say “hey, that was not cool of me. What was I thinking?” I get to have perspective into why the alcoholic does what they do because I am one. I also have perspective on what it’s like to be with one and my disease doesn’t change the fact that I have the same frustrations if not more. On top of the confusion and the self-esteem lost from continuing to put up with it from someone else, I also deal with jealousy and wishing I had that escape. And sometimes I cave in and then you’ve got a whopper of an abusive cycle.
Well, I called my ex tonight, the one I’m trying to work things out with. He knows I’m sober, he knows I’m doing everything in my power to maintain it (and believe me my life is a shit storm and I deal with very very stressful sitches on the daily). Earlier, he said he would call me back in ten minutes. I see the texture of our pattern clearly as twenty minutes goes by, half an hour, an hour and a half. My triggers are flashing, that yucky feeling in my spine arises and rage is flaring up from my chest and signalling “WARNING” “WARNING”. I finally reach him and he tells me some pathetic story about losing his phone and life being so rough cause he had to walk home. I know it’s a lie, none of it makes sense. Gasoline starts filling my bloodstream, I literally feel lit by the uncontrollabality of his disease. He admits he stopped to get some drinks. I feel easily discarded, like my feelings don’t matter. I feel like he thinks I’m stupid. My ego is pissed.
Feeling like he thinks I’m stupid. That is the worst part if you ask me!
Just like I obsess over having a drink, I obsess over what he is doing. The obsession feels out of my hands.
Tonight I’m going to switch gears. I’m going to share my experience so I can help people. It’s a painful experience. And I’m going to try to summon the power and courage to tell him he needs to get sober before we can continue. As long as he’s drinking I’ll always be resentful. I will also not be sober for long if we’re together. I have to prepare myself now to realize that everyone has to change on their own time. And yes, sometimes people do change for girlfriends or special people in their lives. I need to not take it personal if he does not do that for me. That’s his disease, not me. I’m plenty special and I need to remind myself of that because I certainly feel like shit when this happens…that’s normal. I’ve been duped again…but so has he. This is why they say you should pray for the alcoholic who still suffers. They’re so deep in it they can’t get the perspective to see it. It’s a pretty shitty disease and it’s okay to be mad at it AND it’s okay to protect yourself from being around it. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to take care of an alcoholic.