Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Comments About This Blog

Please take a few moments to comment about this blog and how it may have helped you in your recovery.

This may aid new comers and visitors.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I'm Sue and I live on an island where there are a number of AA groups but not ONE Al-anon group, consequently I have felt very alone in trying to deal with my alcoholic spouse.

Of course I read books and searched the net for advice, guidance and support, but I could never quite get a handle on the feel of an Al-anon meeting. Then I happened on "Just For Today".

Weeks have passed and I've logged on, read, but kept quiet. I'd not yet found a space to introduce myself, feeling that I would, somehow, be intruding in an ongoing group.

This comment spot is probably the best place, so .....

Thank you Joe, and all of you who have helped me feel less isolated. I'm beginning to realise that my constant confusion and questioning is not my problem alone....there isn't a simple answer out there that I've been stupid enough to miss. It will be wonderful to be able to type to people who understand.

I am very grateful to everyone of you.

Joe said...

Sue - You are not "intruding." As part of our "disease" or "illness" we are made to feel like we should not "bother" people. We may feel like no one needs "our burdens."

So, we can become isolated. We can become depressed.

You are not alone. Join us and share. There are no right and wrong answers. Thru Al-Anon literature and discussions, can we begin to heal.


Anonymous said...

This is my first post. My husband is the alcoholic in my life. I happened upon this blog a couple of weeks ago. It has been so helpful to me because I can attend a "meeting" when it is convenient and I don't have the hassle of arranging a baby sitter for our daughter. I can also better reflect on what was said by rereading it.

Thank you for taking the time out of your life to organize this and put it all together. I am sure there are others out there, reading but not posting, in the same situation who need all the help they can get dealing with the complex emotional rollercoaster we ride. I look forward to future posts.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully, I found your blog a few weeks ago, about the same time I joined Al-Anon. I visit almost daily and I am grateful to have it as a tool. It gives me hope.

Many thank yous,

Anonymous said...

I've only recently starting reading this blog, and this is the first time I comment. My husband is the alcoholic in my life; we've been married almost a year, and never in my life did I ever imagine my first year of marriage would be as tumultuous, chaotic, and disappointing as it has been. Nearly every week, and sometimes more than once a week, we have some sort of episode related to his drinking. He works in the service industry and often stays around at the bar to drink for hours after they close. He often lies about what time the bar closes in hopes that I won't know how long he's been drinking, although it's obvious when he comes home reeking of alcohol, stumbling all over, tearing up the kitchen looking for food, and slurring his words to the point that he's incoherent. There have been times that he's not come home at all. On two separate occasions he has admitted to staying overnight at another woman's home (one was a stranger he had just met that night at the bar and another was a girl he has known for a couple years - and used to, on occasion and before we started dated, kiss), though he swears he's never cheated on me. On the nights when he comes home drunk rather than staying out all night, he is so unbelievably wasted that he basically just babbles belligerent nonsense, refuses to sleep on the sofa (to the point that he sometimes shoves me when I try to get him to leave the bedroom); he has even wandered around naked in the hallway of our apartment looking for the "bathroom" and has relieved himself on the floor of our home on more than one occasion. For the past year, I've been without hope; I've considered leaving him, but I just don't know if I'm ready to do that. So, lately I've been trying this whole detachment thing. The philosophy has brought me a large measure of peace, as has this blog (thank you), but I'm definitely having a hard time with the particulars of detachment. Thanks for the forum to read and share.

Anonymous said...

This post has been an enormous help to me. I have been married to an alcoholic for 16 years, he has been actively drinking the entire time until the last 7 months. I had considered alanon in the early days, but I live in a small town where ever-one know mw and never felt comfortable.
Now my husband is in recovery, and doing very well, I feel a bit like a fraud seeking out al anon. The more I read here, the more I recognise my own behaviours which have not stopped with the drinking, the guilt, the self imposed isolation, the wanting to control and fix everything, the complete lack of trust,the impact on my children and the loneliness. This blog has introduced me to concepts that are helping me live with me, and slowly the message that it is ok to seek al anon is getting through.

I am extremely grateful to Joe and all of those who share on this site.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. I cannot tell you how much this has meant to my health. I am hurt and in a depression and feel so all alone. I am glad this is here to help me find hope and others who are experiencing the same pain I am in.


Anonymous said...

I'm Michelle and my husband is the alcoholic in our family. I have been married to him for almost 17 years and they have been very rocky to say the least. I have found that I now have very few friends and when I try to get friendships going he somehow always ruins them. He has a very bad temper and I never know when something will set him off. Is that the alcohol or just his personality? Even when he isn't drinking the temper is there. OOPS! Sorry I signed on not to complain but to say THANK YOU for this blog. I just discovered it and I am amazed at how I can relate to so much of what has been said. Somehow I just don't feel as alone anymore.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "On-line Weekend Al-Anon Meeting on; Step 1: Powerless":

Dear Joe,

As it happens, you'll remember I gave everything over to my Higher Power, and my A went to rehab! He actually was discharged from the psych ward and then did go home and had to apply for social security, because he's about to retire. And he drove himself to rehab after about 3 weeks of sobriety. After losing the bed I found for him, he somehow managed to get one on his own. In an instant it seems so much can turn around. When I wrote this blog, I was feeling the house of cards had come down. Now I see a glimmer of hope--not because I depend on him for my happiness, but because somewhere in there, he heard the message that he needs treatment.

One of the most important lessons in all of this for me has been that no matter what happens, I do not lose myself. I was clear and specific with him--meant what I said. He's in treatment.

God help us now.

Thank you for this online meeting.

Kimberly said...

I have been reading this blog for a few months now...and this is my first post. My husband and I have been together for almost ten years and he is the alcoholic in my life.

I have been "lurking" on this site trying to glean as much help or information as I can, but I still feel a little hopeless. I am afraid for some reason to go to an actual meeting.

I hope that by continuing to read this I will someday find more courage. Thanks for having it.

Anonymous said...

Go for it! You will meet the nicest people there. I have made friends for life. The only problem I had with the meetings is my husband thinks I'm cheating on him. At first I didn't care and actually was very elusive when he would ask. The only problem was that it drove him to drink more! I guess I still have a lot to learn.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the same thing happened to me! My wife actually followed me to a meeting because I wouldn't tell her where I was going. She waited until it was over and saw me walk out with a few of the ladies that also attend. We were talking and I guess laughing and she pulled up and let out a few explicatives and then sped away! She is convinced I'm sleep with my Al-anon friends. I guess the lesson here is to tell them what you’re doing. Why isn’t this topic touched on during our meetings? It could save a lot of grief.


beatrix b said...

I'm just getting started in alanon - I've spent years being "the one who was healthy" in my family. The alcoholic father is pretty much out of my life, but now that the others have gotten healthy too, I'm getting real with the fact that I was trained from birth to feel every way you could possibly hear about in a meeting.


Even though I've been so convinced I was healthy that I am a therapist that helps others. (Still trying to figure out my identity as a mere-human/therapist.)

I feel pretty crappy today and I feel ashamed about it. I usually spend a lot of time feeling crappy and thinking my way out of it (with a heavy dose of self-criticism thrown in). I'm not sure what to do now that I'm trying the alanon way. I'm starting with taking it slowly and trying to help myself instead of making my husband feel bad that he doesn't have a magic wand.

But it's hard when you haven't done much caring for self, and have done a lot of barking at self.

So here I am. Grateful that you made this blog. Grateful for the presence of people who get it.

Still pretty ashamed. A lot better able to be honest in an anonymous chat room, since I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to not look vulnerable.


fulltimedad said...

How has this blog helped me?

well, to begin with, the blogger is seemingly in almost an identical situation to my own!

but, add to that his wonderful way of offering useful perspective to a newcomer like me and you have the recipe for success.

I have been in the rooms for about 4 mos. I have done CoDA, NA, AA and Al-Anon; I have done Anger Mgmt; I have read umpteen books; I peruse this site; I have a variety of other sites where I download and listen to speakers (and different 12 step fellowships and groups).

This site is one of my regular daily do's and I very much enjoy it. Thanks so very much.

Anonymous said...

I like a lot of what you say about anger. I have a friend who does much blaming and venting. She thinks it's therapeutic, yikes. I've tried to reason with her. I'll show her your articles.

Anonymous said...

My name is Dea (pronounced "dee-ah") and I have been searching for this spot for a while...

In a nutshell, because I know I am not alone, I had a long (15 years)difficult first marriage, but have the most wonderful son from it. I got remarried for love-and thought I really found it. Two years into the relationship, I found I had married an alcoholic.

Not only had I married a man whom I cannot share my passions with (food and wine-my first spouse was an executive chef), but I have put this person through school at a later stage in his life, supported his 3 get the idea.

He has since resorted to being a "dry drunk" and has made my life a living hell lately. He has graduated, but is changing careers and finds it isn't as easy as he thought it would be. The other day I simply said I had had enough-either he take responsibility for his disease beginning with regularly attended AA meetings, or he along with all of his student loans can leave.

He has chosen to stay...but all of the (broken) promises have taken their toll and at this point only a miracle will save the marriage and show him the life he is missing.

Thank you Joe-for this site. I found as a fluke on Amazon while shopping for some Al-Anon books and read your comment. Thanks so much-and thanks for listening.

mermaid said...

Unfortunately, we have to have a blog site to deal with an illness that robs people of so many things. Thankfully, we have people that see a need-like Joe did.

I found this site when I was searching for a book on Amazon and saw Joe's post to google this site.

My story briefly is I am in a second marriage to a great guy who has a crappy disease. The problem is he lets the disease win and has given the power to his "dry drunk" state. Lately, it has been a difficult struggle, since I put this man through college at a later stage in his life, supported his 3 children the best I could in addition to my son.

I am thankful for a place like this to regroup when I feel like the person closest to me cannot be there-thanks to everyone on this site. By the way, I bought the book.

Anonymous said...

I am a former wife of an alcoholic. I am also the mother of an alcoholic.
I was the daughter of a mother who was addicted to prescribed barbituarates.
I have been everything to all of these people: their enablers, and their co-dependents.
As a child I lived in a secret world of denial regarding what was happening to my mother and our family.
I have done it all ...
BUT ... others have done it worse than I.
I have heard stories from others that made me wince in pain, or empathy.
I left my husband around 10 years ago, and I am far away from my son, yet ... this disease just does not go away. It has this lingering affect to my ways of thinking about myself, my family, and others around me.
I have come to the small conclusion for myself, that I must no longer relinquish myself to the sufferings of alcoholism, so I have taken to heart many of the comments from 'Just for Today'. I am trying and even happily willing to be so much kinder to myself.
In learning to understand what drove me in the past -- my guilt, my terrible fears, I am beginning to understand myself, and in doing so -- learning to forgive myself.
I hear expressions like: 'working the steps', and it is work ... damn hard work, but at times, I feel as if I am 'dancing the steps' too. In learning about myself, my powerlessness, I am finding a lot of PEACE.
But ... how do I convey this to my children? How can I let them know, that I understand their pain & suffering, I (along with their Dad) was a cause of their suffering ... without getting them caught up in past family history, caught up in what really is my development or recovery????
i do not know how to go about this? is life not about reconciling the past, and present? Or maybe it is just too painful???
Maybe my children will have to find their own way??? Yet, I feel still responsible for them.
Any comments will be helpful.
Thanks and God bless ...

Anonymous said...

thank you Joe for your comments,,It's good to know that we are not alone,,When I just getting divorce I had a very hard time trying to sleep and my mind never stop,,but i learn from somebody in my group to picture a stop sign in mind,, and I did but didn't work great but I today i picture a white plain paper,,with nothing in it,,and I look at it,,until I empty my mind,,has been working better that the stop sign,,

S. said...

Thank you for this blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. It's great to know that I'm not alone.

I loved your "Q-tip" (Quit Taking It Personally) suggestion. That's great, and I hadn't heard it.

I also want to share my blog with you and your readers:

The Albatross said...

I am dealing with two chronic illnesses, working two part time jobs and in my area it is hard to attend alanon meetings because I'm working during the day time ones, and have run out of steam (energy) or am working during the evenings... I am very fortunate to have found your site and also enjoy and am following Syd's. I am an alcoholic in my second recovery, my first was blessed by God and I had 3 1/2 years sober. I am married to an alcoholic who is not in recovery and all 3 other members of his family have issues with alcohol. My father was an alcoholic and my brother abuses his Rx meds and is actively drinking abusively. I have actively attended alanon for 1 1/2 years before my relapse. I have been blessed again by returning to recovery and have been sober since 10-7-2008. Again my husband has chosen to not to participate in recovery. I found a voice and blog bible studies (where I'm at and what I am focusing on), and I am also an active member and volunteer at Christians In Recovery. I am so glad for the internet and being able to find 10% problem/90% solution topics to focus and train my mind on each day.

Thank you Joe for your site and the ability to share your journey. You are a blessing in my life, I am learning much from you and the commenters that has been very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. It is encouraging to be able to "read a little recovery" when I can't be at a meeting or call someone. I get anxious and feel that there is no one to talk to immediately, so it is great to log on and get some instant encouragement. Alcoholism and drug addiction can make you crazy if you let it get into your head without using the tools.
Thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging to me. I can't do it alone. (I tried and failed.) Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

ehh.. bookmarked thoughts

Anonymous said...

по моему мнению: неподражаемо... а82ч

Germain said...

Written by Tommy Swerdlow (screenwriter) (see his IMDB for his credits). Submitted with his permission by Steven Germain, ( a/k/a "Chester".

Chester Maybank had found the secret to life. Size. And that size was small. The smaller, the better… if he could have opened his entire life with the smallest Allen wrench they make he would have finally reached the state of Nirvana.

But it wasn’t the experience of his life he wanted to keep small or even the depth of his feelings, he actually liked those large and respected himself as a man who was willing to experience an inner life - whatever that meant. What Chester wanted to keep small was a new word that had yet to be invented…You could maybe take the AM from “ambition” and the EX from “expectation” and surely the LA from “lack of modesty” which strangely came out to the initials that looked like AMEX L.A. The city he loathed and the Icon from his ambiguous, oddly lucky but also skilled relationship with money.

See Chester had stated that what he really wanted to do in most cases was cheer from the sidelines. Which usually represents someone who doesn’t want to play, but in Chester’s case, whether he wanted to admit it or not, meant, someone who thought he had already won and would do anything to keep that secret from getting out. Thank god his kids were kinda freaky and able to make an active mess from his stagnant fearful urging or Chester might have been square in just the way he didn’t want to be hip. Square in that way that wasn’t super hip.

Chester thought a lot about a few things and a he had a lot of few things to think about. He was working in a drug treatment facility as a kind of volunteer and though he was not now nor had he ever been an addict, he understood the impulse to destroy your life… he in no way understood the courage and fuck you-ness it takes to do that, but he empathized with the addicts’ struggle and with everything just being raw as fresh killed meat… He had to pick up Willie Kitchen whom was possibly his favorite patient at the place he worked… Willy was a brother, a junkie… Coulda been 40 coulda been 60…Part of that is what the life does to you part of that is simply that black motherfuckers don’t age… Chester had neither of those thoughts as he drove to get his guy… Nor did Chester think, “Maybe I would do more good as a serious speedballer making an actual measurable contribution to the black market economy of the city he lived in.” Thoughts like that truly evaded him - luckily. Just go get Willie and keep it small, keep it small… Chester’s son was a big part of his story and his son had luckily found his way to the rooms very early with a lot of help, love and plenty of worry from his dad…People had suggested Al-anon but Chester already worked a certain principal of the Al-anon program better than the best Al-anon masters.

In Al-anon they often say you have to learn that “NO!” is a complete sentence and Chester had an almost mystical understanding of the power of “No”. Not simply that he knew what he did and didn’t want, but that he (and this isn’t really Al-anon) had a “Yes” soul, “Yes" eyes, he was a very “Yes” listener at his job and just a basically beautiful “Yes” of a fellow and he knew this about himself and that others saw this in him and thought this of him… So his “ no(s)” were like the sneaky fastballs of a knuckle ball pitcher and he took a certain joy, another thing he would be loathe to admit, in seeing batters come to the plate waiting on his big slow floater, then whiffing them with his sneaky little “no” of a fastball.

Anonymous said...

Specifically for th eblogger of this site --as I dont find your email at the site: Would it be possible for you to privately email me so I have your email? Then I just wan to ask you a very simple question -- and all that is needed is yes or no -- unless you choose to add more. Have been in al-anon/coda for a number of years. Quite advanced with hte concepts -- tho my gut frequently has a mind of its own! Thank you for such an amazing site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!