- Put me before sobriety

Put me before sobriety




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Put me before sobriety

Postby merckx » Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:11 am

On December 13th I will be sober for 1 1/2 years. For the three years before that I drank once every 4-5 months and got drunk a couple of times (5-6 drinks in a short period). While I wasn't drinking heavily during that time, every time I drank one or two I had a burning desire to drink more. Most times I would not. This year I hae been married 4 years.

All that to say my wife does not know what I was like when I was drinking regularly and has never seen me when I really tie one on. She does on the other hand that an extreme example of self will run riot before I started working the Steps. My behavior and our marraige has been night and day different.

Up until this point, meetings have not been a part of my program for recovery. I actively work the steps, fellowship with friends who are recovering alcoholics, and regularly talk to my sponsor. I attended a few meetings but I never felt a strong pull to them. Until this past week. I woke up one morning and the statement "I need to start attending a meeting a week". So I have set up my schedule so I can get to an evening meeting each week and still be home 30-45 minutes after my wife gets home from work. We are both pretty busy and she is pregnant (we lost a child at 37 1/2 weeks this June) so I am trying to be respectful and considerate of her needs.

When I shared this with my wife she got frustrated with me. I run a group for kids weekly and meet with a group of men from church every other week. She asked me wasn't that enough and I told her it was not. She asked me why I don't put my family first and I told her that putting my sobriety before my family is the reason I have one to begin with.

Later on the evening she gave a general apology for not being "very nice" but didn't specifically say anything about me going to meetings. At the end of the day this is not on my side of the street and if I don't get myself to some meetings I am fairly certain there is going to be alot of stuff piling up on my side of the street.

At the end of the day my wife doesn't get it and that is frustrating. My sobriety might be a bit easier if my wife understood what really went on in my head but the book never said it was going to be easy. When I first started my journey my sponsor told me "boy (that's what he calls me most days) recovery is simply but it ain't easy".
merckx
 
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Postby Hionlife » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:51 am

Morning Merckx :D
As I read what you wrote it took me back to a time in my life when my other half didn't understand my need for meetings...and all the stuffed feelings I felt about it. In all reality she needs Al-Anon. But she probably would never go there. I was told early in recovery that if one starts growing and the other stays stagnant, then they are in a constant battle of fighting the distance it put between them. Maybe she is just controlling or insecure...because that would be a part of your life that she is not a part of. Maybe it is the stigma that she has not comes to grips with. Because for people who don't really know about AA meetings...they look at those who go as Weak individuals. Not realizing that it is just the opposite.
The bad part is...IF..God is leading your heart to a meeting ( perhaps to use you because there is someone there who needs to hear what you have to say.) or just because he is ready for you to grow a little more in your recovery...then you will be blocking yourself off from the many blessings that will come from your going. Sometimes we just have to set boundaries on these things. And do what our hearts tell us we must do.

I only say that because I didn't set boundaries and insist on my meetings at that point in my life..and our relationship didn't survive. I just stuffed it and the resentments ate us up alive. Best of luck with your decisions on this.
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Postby merckx » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:11 pm

I am definitely going to attend at least one meeting a week and go from there. My absence in the house might cause some frustration or insecurity for my wife but that won't be anything close to the frustration, anxiety, and the myriad of other negative emotions she will feel if I am absent from the house if I start drinking again. That's if we even have a house or a wife. My best guess is that if I start drinking again the wife and the house and most everything else I have will be gone in short order.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:55 pm

There are many wonderful things in this world that we can do to help others. When I do some of those things -- I consider it "in addition to" what I do in AA and never as a part of or a substitute for -- what I do in AA.

One thing I am reminded of, when it comes to going to meetings is: Most alkies that don't go to the meetings most often go back to drinking.

Some people don't get sober in AA. I was not one of them. They got sober without AA -- so I guess I could see and understand that they would feel no sense of duty -- or personal responsibility -- to support the AA Fellowship. I do it because I do consider it my responsibility to do it. I got sober in and through and with AA. It saved my life.

I think that for many of us -- we go through spurts where we don't want to go to meetings and we rationalize "why" we don't need to go.

I listened to a speaker last night that is sober for about 47 yrs. He said, "I know I could make it on one meeting a week -- but I attend them almost daily." He said, "I do that because I don't know which one of the meetings in the week was the meeting that I needed." :lol:

I no longer go to meetings looking for support or help -- I go to support and help. I don't know how I could practice the 12th Step, without the Fellowship and the meetings. The reason is: Yes, I can find an alkie outside of the meetings to help. And, I do that, because I do go looking to find them. But, then, what do I do with them -- after I find them? They need help & support. They need the meetings. And, if I'm not "a part of" and I'm being a a part from -- how can I really help the newcomer to recover?

For me -- that's what my whole life & sobriety is about -- not trying to help me myself -- but trying to help the other alcoholic stay sober. By doing this -- it's kept me sober for the last 24 yrs.

Thanks for letting me share!

Dallas
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Postby Hionlife » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:07 pm

Meeting makers make it! :lol: :lol:

Dallas your recovery community is so blessed to have you there! :D

Merckx...just remember" It is not what you say...it is how you say it." when you tell her that you ARE going to go to a meeting. I would tell you to have her read the chapter to the wives in the BB. But that really pisses some off. It was written so long ago and it kind of steps on their Feminist ways today! :wink:
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Postby merckx » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:58 am

I got my wife to her first A.A. meeting last night. My good friend celebrated two years of sobriety and he asked me to speak at the meeting. When we left the meeting I asked her what she thought. She started crying and told me she was proud of me and that it had been a long time since she had heard the "whole story" and had forgotten how bad things used to be and was thankful for how things are now.

Then she said that she had never been to a place where the people were more real. I asked her if she now understood why it was so important for me to be at AA and she said she completely understood. Needless to say, I don't think she is going to have anymore issues with me going to meetings.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:25 pm

Thanks for sharing the progress! It inspires me and encourages me!

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