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Alcohol Problems

"Alcohol Problems, Making a decision to leave a relationship?"
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books

If you are making a decision to leave a relationship with a drinking alcoholic, and if you are in recovery -- you probably UNCONSCIOUSLY EXPECT that you will always remember "what the facts are" and "what you are supposed to do" and "you'll never vacillate" and "you'll never get pulled back down into the junk again!"

All that sets you up to feel bad, un-necessarily. The only thing you have to remember is that you are a human being.

And human beings are not robots. We don't push a button and get "set on leave" and then go and not feel. We are also in the clutches (even if we are in recovery) of an extraordinarily-strong family disease. The more we can just say to ourselves when we get sucked into the junk once again is, "So what? I am ON the path of recovery, and I will not beat myself up, emotionally, for getting sidetracked by this disease. For it is JUST "getting sidetracked". I am on a journey of the long-haul -- not the short-haul. I can sometimes easily get sidetracked, in the short-haul. But I am not getting sidetracked on the long-haul. My recovery program is hugely stronger than the disease of alcoholism.

Leaving Your Abuser

It's usually wise to be very aware of the nuances of thought and mood changes you can experience, when you are separated from an abusive person. One of the patterns that is very subtle is this ----

(1.) At first, most people feel enormous anger, and this sustains them to help them to not go back to abuse. And one says to oneself during that time, "I'LL never go back!" and "I'LL never forget the facts!" But this anger does not usually last, even though we think it will.

(2.) And after the anger cools somewhat, we usually go into a period of "I'm not angry anymore; I just care about him and pray for him." And we feel very good about this. And we sort of "fall in love" with this stage, because it makes us feel like we're "above it all" in a way. ---- But, that stage often sets the tone for us to get complacent, and start to think that we are "just fine." And we forget that we forget the facts.

(3.) The next stage is often that we start to feel sorry for them. We don't know it, and it comes out in little ways-- little tones of voice that we use. We say to ourselves that we feel "compassion". And there is nothing wrong with compassion...... but our "compassion" is often a way for the disease to put its foot in the door and not let us shut it. Because that often leads us to start to "see them again" and tell ourselves that it is "just" a phone call..... "just" a lunch...... etc etc etc.-----------And then we're back there and getting another broken arm or rib........ and we wonder what happened.

The "compassion" stage is what happened. That stage is a real tricky stage, because if we don't want to have that so-called compassion, then we think we are ROTTEN people. After all, what's wrong with a little compassion? But for us, with our "training" of living with an alcoholic, it leads (maybe not right away) to getting together (in increments) with the alcoholic and getting back, both feet, into the same abuse. (That problem, in all its manifestations, is the heart of the chapter called "I've dropped the (divorce) proceedings six times, now" in the book, "Getting Them Sober, volume 4").

Other people who do not have a history of living with alcoholism can often have compassion after leaving the one abusive short-term relationship they ever experienced..... and have compassion for that person, after a while, that says, "I hope he gets help and lives a better life and doesn't do it again to another person." But they don't go back! And it doesn't usually even occur to them to do so! And if you ask them about it, they look at you like you're crazy for even suggesting that going back to abuse is an option! ....... best to all, Toby

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