Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To The Alcoholic's Spouse - 2nd Letter

Letter Number 2 (New Day Dawning Series)

Prior Letters:
Letter Number 1 (click here)

An Open Letter to You (the person living in the chaos of alcoholism);

Date: Today (the Second day of a New Day Dawning for YOU.)

Dear YOU;

You need a friend. Why? To kick you in the tail. Are you wallowing in self pity? Are you depressed? Down? You are better than this. What did YOU do yesterday? Did you wallow a little bit or a lot?

Here is what your friend might say to you if you asked him or her for advice;

  • Get a life, will you!?

And that's the tone the person would use too, if the person knew they wouldn't hurt your feelings, and not lose you as a friend. You see, they want you as their friend because they see a nice person under the layers of sweaters you are wearing to "cover up" your hurt feelings.

Yes. We feel hurt. We all feel it; How could our spouse (qualifier/son/daughter) do this to us? He (and she!) has lied over and over. "I won't drink anymore." Or how about this one, "I am just going down to the store, I'll be back in a bit." Or . . . . . . .Do you need more examples? No, you don't. We've all heard them. Same story. Different person. Different day. Deja Vu all over again.

We can sit there and feel sorry for ourselves. Yes. We should. And we should cry. And we should be pissed off. OK. We've done that. Are we done yet? No? OK, cry a little more and be pissed off a little more.

But today, you are going to redirect this negative energy.

And it's About Getting the Focus On YOU

Now, what are you going to do for you today? You are a list maker. I know you. You want to control the situation you have no control over. You know this to be true.

Let's redirect that good quality of "fixing things" and instead of aiming that good quality at a target that you cannot control or fix, let's aim it at you. Let's take the "list making" and decisiveness qualities AND HELP YOU.

What are you going to do for YOU today? Make a list. If you are stuck, here is a list you can act upon.

  1. I will take a walk at lunch time. (Run, ski, whatever)
  2. Instead of the potato chips, candy or junk, I will eat an apple, yogurt or something good for me, because I am worth it!
  3. I will call two friends and see if they can have coffee with me (or breakfast or lunch). Now I have two "appointments."
  4. I will not think about how I can fix my husband (wife).
  5. I will not get angry. I will see him (or her) with a disease. This is not an excuse for them. This is to allow us to be compassionate instead of pissed off.
  6. I will be clear in what I want to all I talk to. This is not meaning I will be "hurtful." It just means that I will set the boundaries (you need to read the Al-Anon literature or attend Al-Anon to understand more about this - also look under Labels at the right side of this blog).
  7. Decide to be happy. Psychology says you can Act your way into feeling. Or feel your way into acting. By pretending to be happy, you can make yourself happier. Try this for 15 minutes. Sit - read something inspirational. Say out loud "I am going to be happy!" Several times. THEN SAY "I AM HAPPY!" If you need to add a "Damn it" on the end, do it. WHAT EVER IT TAKES.

YOU DECIDE today what you will bring into your life tomorrow. This letter is to you. But it is not a letter to just be read. It is a call to take ACTION.

Get off you duff. Get yourself back. YOU ARE WORTH IT. People do you love you and they don't know how to tell you to get yourself back. You are losing the battle by feeling this way. And I know something else about you. You are not a loser. Sure, you are worn down a bit. But you are far from a loser. So, get off your duff and take action. Create that list NOW.

So, What are you going to do for you today? Make a list and aim at getting at least three of those key things done today. These are things for yourself - not someone else!!

Sincerely, Your friend -


PS - it doesn't count to have the intention of writing the list. It only counts if you write it out and do at least three things today for yourself.


Joe said...

Boundaries? Where on the right hand side you are probably wondering!! I mentioned that you can find more about Seting Boundaries ... but I goofed. I could have sworn I wrote about Setting Boundaries, but I haven't. We need a Setting Boundaries post!

My apologies ! Joe

nanceelee said...

Setting boundaries meeting, this weekend ;-)

Joe said...

I like it Nanceelee. Boundaries it is. I hope you are doing well!


Syd said...

Boundaries are important. At first it seemed so selfish to me but then I got it. I can only take care of myself. I can't fix another and I will not enable another. I also won't accept unacceptable behavior.