Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Being provoked, when I read some one's comments, I said, "Ah yes, the alcoholic's primary weapon." Damn. I continue to be provoked.

This past weekend, late Friday to be precise, my spouse had her attorney send a fax to my attorney about two bills that were supposedly late - that supposedly I had not paid. I saw the fax, freaked out, and was down and depressed Friday and had this constant undertone of worry throughout the weekend.

Monday, I called both places. Both people said I was paid in full.

Okay. I breathed. I was relieved. But throughout the weekend, I was - well - worried and freaked. I was full of anger and bitterness. I even spoke to my spoke. No, that's not accurate. I fired back. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't healthy. It wasn't even necessary - or so I found out Monday. Two bills - one was $3o bucks - that was supposedly late. Two lawyers - charging $300 per hour - who knows how much that cost. Of course, I told her that. And of course the conversation drifted to her accusing me of stuff and of course I told her that what she is doing is because of alcoholism. And of course, we were both fired up.

And of course, here I am, Tuesday morning looking back at this colossal waste of energy and emotion and stress.

Looking back at what I could have done - and somethings I did do to relieve it.

I called my sponsor Friday night. I could tell he was busy. He told me I was doing the right thing by calling him and going to a meeting . . .

So when I called him, I was looking for this Friday meeting - Friday night - who would have ever thought I would be not at some "bar" on a Friday if I was single. Now I post this because this is my old thinking that if I was single on a Friday that I would have to go out with some buddies and entertain ourselves . . . but since I don't drink and bars are not where you find peace and serenity . . . And who the heck would ever have thought that I would be looking for peace and serenity?????

So, on Friday's I look for Al-Anon meetings - not bars. Not social scenes. But Al-Anon meetings. What a funny thing to post. Funny equaling - well - strange. But - maybe - well just funny.

My life has turned for the better.

I am going through a rough time. The holidays ARE stressful. We - or I - have this map in my head of what Christmas is supposed to be. It is this Norman Rockwell postcard picture of snow and a family decorating the tree. With friends coming over later - for - well - even Norman I think has this in a picture somewhere - eggnog with - alcohol mixed in. Well maybe he doesn't. But in my head he does.

But back to this crazy stupid thing that I ALLOWED to occur IN MY HEAD.

I was full of anger - resentment - bitterness - all masking worry. I was not able to find that meeting Friday night. And since I had my child most of the weekend - could not get to another meeting.

So here I am - this morning - realizing that - I have not been to a meeting in - what - 5 days? Let's see; Thursday, Friday or was I at the noon meeting Friday - I think I was - Saturday? Nope. Sunday or Monday? No and no.

I need a meeting.

Back to this anger. It is resentment. I resent being done unto (the fax). I resent being blamed for the divorce. She is saying ALL the neighbors know that I am a bastard. Of course I respond (retaliate), "Tell them to come talk to me and I can show the documents of this and that and why I am getting a divorce . . . blah, blah, blah."

Okay. So I am in recovery. I explaining that I can forget. Slip. Falter. And harbor ill-wills.

Resentment. I like what I have heard others say over and over about this harboring of ill-wills called resentment;

"Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die."

Yep. It sure is. My stress level was up - WAAAY up Saturday. I allowed my peace and serenity to be broken.

Sure, life is easier for me. I am out of the abuse of the alcoholics throw of words. Today I can just hang up the phone.

Okay the phone is ringing - it's my soon to be ex-spouse . . .


FrannyGlass said...


Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope throughout this past year. Even though we';ve never met, I feel like we're great friends. Wishing you peace and serenity through the holidays, and much happiness the whole year through.


Kim A. said...

Joe--When my kid sent me to the land of crazy I went to 6 meetings a week..Alanon and open AA (the speaker meetings are really good for me). I made an alter in my home, just a small place with spiritually meaningful items--pictures of my loved one, a small statue, rocks, candle. I asked for service opportunities to get me out of my head. Little by little I felt better. It takes time so I had to be patient with myself..and kind. Be kind to yourself.


Cat said...

I like the idea of hitting up a meeting instead of a bar - I think i will look into friday al anon meetings sonce my husband attends his home meeting every friday night now.

Great idea!

Happy holiday to you Joe!

Anonymous said...


Ditto to what FrannyGlass said for me too. You are courageous to put it all out there on a blog for others to see and learn from.

The holidays are loaded with expectations of how family should behave. But have you ever met anyone whose family is perfect? Perfect families only occur on television and in the movies. "Perfect family". I think that is an oxymoron like "jumbo shrimp" or "military intelligence".

And although I have never met you, I have a strong suspicion that your neighbors have no opinion about whether you are a bastard or not, because they have their own lives to fret over. Your ex probably said it because she knows you put value in what others think of you.

For me the detachment came a little easier once I sat down and thought about how much that came out of my qualifier's mouth was total lies. During the worst times it was about 100% of everything he said. So I developed the "whatever filter".

While he was drinking, anytime he said anything to me, I would say to myself "Whatever", assume what he said was a lie, and went on about my business as if he had never spoken. I changed my default assumption of truth to an assumption of lies for everything he said. Maybe that is a form of "letting go". I don't know, for me it worked.

Anyway, I hope you find a good meeting, some peace for yourself, and that you get to make some nice memories with your daughter this time of year.


Anonymous said...

PS -- an alanon moment

Our real, very heavy, 6.5 foot Christmas tree with glass ornaments on it fell over on the hardwood floor in its stand full of water at 1:00am last week while my husband was away on business. I started freaking out because, well just because it was 1AM and broken bits of glass and water were everywhere. Me, the only adult home with a very sad six year old the next morning because I can not fix it by myself. Then I calmed myself down and got all grateful when I realized it was all good because I am thankful to have my Christmas tree falling down this year instead of my spouse! : )


Catherine said...

I'm so grateful to encounter all of you here. I'm in the MIDST of holiday drunk-and-denial out of control family members. And tomorrow is the real test. This is my first holiday season with program as a tool for coping, so I'm confident that I will be OK (even if I'm not OK. You know what I mean!)

I wish you all a safe and sane holiday season and looking forward to a 2009 that's full of learning, progress, serenity, beauty, awakenings and love!