Thursday, July 7, 2011

When Your Guppie Turns Out To Be A Shark.

Living with an alcoholic new to recovery can, at times, prove to be a difficult and even painful experience. I'm deeply grateful that I don't have to live with active drinking, but the "isms" can be truly crazymaking.

I've just had one of those conversations in which the alcoholic was blaming their choices and behavior on me, insisting that if I wasn't such a horrible person, they wouldn't be forced into behaving that way...when asked calmly why they were so angry, completely denied the anger which had them practically vibrating with rage, and finished up by declaring with apparent great satisfaction that they'd been lying to me for almost two months about something major. Then a dramatic exit, and I sat quietly trying to regain the good mood I'd had, just a scant half-hour before.

Today's outburst was one of several temper tantrums lately. I think this is happening because of a close friendship in which the other person (also very new to recovery) has cut them off, in anger at some choices made. It's ironic to see the level of anger felt at being treated in precisely the same way they treat me - ignored, shunned, dismissed. They've had a hair trigger lately, and have been difficult to be around, so I've been trying to stay out of the way.

I get moments now and then in which I glimpse the person with some recovery, but in the middle of these ranting, blaming fits, it's as if they'd never stepped foot inside a 12-Step meeting.

I'm trying to gain whatever wisdom I can from life lately, without letting their anger eat me up, the way it's devouring them.

Tonight, I laid a boundary down, and said, "No more, please, if you keep this up, I will ___."

That's when I was informed of the lying. I felt as if it was said in such a way as to try to cause maximum pain, and then leave me to suffer. They haven't been in AA long enough to realise that I can tell when they are lying - it's no mystery. So the dramatic declaration is no news to me, but I do confess I'm feeling tired of it all right now. I'm tired of the alcoholic and their coping mechanisms, tired of the anger being taken out on me, tired of all of it. Tonight, I wish I were single again. I'm feeling like I want out. I'm trying to allow myself to have my feelings, and let them pass, without giving them too much weight. I know I'm already a little vulnerable because of my little dog being ill.

I'm going to eat, and take the dogs for a nice long walk; it's a lovely evening. I'm going to pray for guidance, comfort, wisdom, tolerance and patience. I need all of those tonight.


  1. I completely understand and have been through this many times. Those "isms" can really mess up a day. I have been so tired of being blamed for the things that the alcoholic refuses to accept responsibility for. It is very trying. But it will pass for the time being. Sadly, it will likely be happening again at some point.

  2. What about one that is sober and not in recovery at all? I guess it doesn't really matter when the outcome is the same...over and over. I'm so sorry for all of your pain in the last couple of days. It seems like some folks who don't know what to do with their strong emotions have to direct them onto others out of fear of having to deal with them directly. Ugh. No rationalization take the sting out, not for me at least. I'm glad you have such a great program and have serenity within your grasp. Be well.

  3. I look back at all my memories with my daughter who died of alcoholism and it devastates me that most of them are centered around alcohol....and they are not pleasant memories.

    I wish I had the chance to go back and at least take that walk around the block. Detach.

    You are doing the right thing. =)

  4. Your post is exactly how my life has been since I married H. I turned to drinking and that only made things worse. I'm new to recovery and AA but everyone that I have shared with at meetings suggested that I try Al-Alon. I think I will.