Friday, May 23, 2008

Peace and Serenity

I just deleted a post I wrote about last night. It may have been too weird. But I will tell you it had to do with cardinals - the bird. They are flying around me at different times. And these are tough, trying moments, usually. Then a person starts talking about the bird - and what happened in their yard - again the subject - the bird - comes up.

Anyway . . .

Today, and this weekend, I want to talk about, coping. And coping means when we are getting attacked, provoked, manipulated and controlled.

I would like for each of us to write about one or two things that really has helped us not respond and react and/or feel shame or guilt or resentment with the alcoholic.

What has helped you that may help others?


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe, it's Sue - I've never been in the 'Big D' situation, I've done the 'Big Leave, had a phone call and gone back' situation - not right, I know, but what can I say....! But I have reached the end of my tether - I don't think I've got anymore tether, but who knows - At the moment, boundaries have been set, agreed upon and are currently working - the scary thing is, I don't trust his will power.

My best and most sucessful strategy for coping has been four-pronged and as follows:

1. Have the unconditional support of a friend who has experienced my qualifier in full rant, is terrified of him (when he's like that) and has absolute admiration for my coping stategies. She never makes me feel stupid, always believes I have made the correct move, bless her, even if I'm wrong!

2. I went absolutely cold and unemotional, shut up, stepped back, mentally and even physically, took a deep breath and thought clearly before saying words to the effect of "this is not an appropriate time for this discussion," and walked away.

3. After enough time elapsed for my fear, anger, guilt, self-doubt etc. to dissapate into a handlable size, I wrote to him - stating, very hosnestly and clearly, all the points I was incapable of raising when in confronation-mode. I never blamed him by writing, 'you did...' or 'you made me feel...' I said 'this is how I feel, rightly or wrongly....' 'what is the cause ....? Alcohol, not you.'

I think the other necessity for 'coping' is the sure-fire knowledge that you are right. This is SO much easier to believe when your child is independent.

I don't know how I'd cope in your situation. When I WAS in your situation, I didn't have the strength to do all the above - maternal instinct or was it fear stopped me.

You must have thousands of people all over the world praying to who-ever for you and your daughters happiness. I hope this give you strength.

Anonymous said...

sorry, got the number of prongs wrong! Sue

Anonymous said...

You can have a phrase that you use. I like the verse in Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You can use a slogan, the serenity prayer as a barrier, so the arrows of the alcoholic do not penetrate. I think that's what detachment is.
I suggest you look in the index of the Al-Anon devotionals for the word detach. Pick one that speaks to you.

This is actually behavior modification. Someone zaps you with a tazer (words), you knee jerk response is snapping back. You can interupt that. All it takes is practice.

I've done this with my qualifier. It seemed he craved punishment. I did not feel right after lashing him with my tongue.

I'll be praying for you.

(((((cyber hugs)))))

Anonymous said...

I finally realized the following: He (alcoholic husband) wants me to make decisions for him that he should be making for himself. This way when things go wrong, or even when they go right, he can blame me for his problems. The ultimate way I can have a tiny bit of revenge (yes, wrong to want it I know, but saitsfying none the less) as well as help him, is to simply not play the game anymore.

For example, it could begin with something as trivial as which roads to take to drive to our destination. He is driving and says, "Which way should I should take, Route A or Main Street?"

Now the old me would have said, "Take Main Street because Route A is too busy since it's rush hour." Then he would take Route A anyway, and I would get pissed off because why in god's name does he ask for my opinion and NEVER listen to it!! And we would get stuck in traffic and I would be even angrier that he didn't listen to me because I knew I was right.

But on the off chance he did take my advice and go Main Street, then HE would get angry and hateful with the attitiude of "She's always telling me what to do, she always thinks she's right". Stinking thinking is his excuse for drinking. (Hey, that rhymes!)

I allowed him to provoke me (when he didn't listen to me). Or he put me in a situation where he can blame me for provoking him (because I am bossing him around).

The new me has recognized this particular pattern/trigger. I now respond with, "You're the driver, go the way you want." (and I smile secretly inside)

This used to happen a lot more when he was actively drinking. Now he is on prozac and what a HUGE DIFFERENCE it has made. He is no longer the oppositional, negative bast-rd he used to be.

It is a lot harder when there is a child involved because inevitably the two of you have different parenting styles stemming from the fact that they are insane and self centered, and you are sane (more so that them) and child centered. There are moments when he still manages to provoke me and most of them involve parenting. But I will say the serenity prayer and remember one of the blog entries you made about "How important is this?".

Sorry for the long post!


Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, it's Sue - I like long posts. I begin to feel that I'm getting to know people. Is that wrong?

TraceyBaby said...

Saying part of the serenity prayer in my mind during trying times.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

Anonymous said...

I engaged the alcoholic in my life, seems almost like an expectation each and everyday.

I continue to learn one simple thing, I can't control the words and actions of an alcoholic, just simply can't do it.

So why try? It is better for me to step back, absorb, and then react in the best interest of my sanity.

I then realized the power that I do have at my disposal, the power within myself to see more clearly just what the battle is, and do I really want to "win" it for the "gipper" or begin to make choices, that produce actions, and opportunities that bring fresh fruits, and a sense of peace to my life.

My Higher Power plays a huge role in this each and everyday of my life. I am thankful for a loving God, that allows me to make decisions both good and bad, yet still loves me. If I listen, and am open to direction, I will one day find my way home, to a place of happy, smiles, love, and peace in my heart.

Peace this Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

Sue says to KevinB - your comments about "the power at my disposal.... the power within myself to see more clearly...." only since I've been logging on to this site have I realised these things. Thank you everyone.

Mary said...

For me its a lot about taking care of myself daily, what do I need to do today to take care of me, manage my life, manage my moods. When I am in hyper react mode I take care of nothing, I am obsessed, I am ranting and raving and don't care of much at all.


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