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"I had to point out that if he was allowed to express his feelings, then so was I."
I witheld my feelings through two marriages and two divorces. I am trying not to do it again.
Of course both of you should be free to express your feelings. The reason for my going to my men's relationship group is to learn to do it "properly", not in a hurtful way, but to get things out on the table before I hit the road again.
That group sounds like a good idea. I too have had a long history of not expressing my feelings. Partly because I haven't wanted to feel what I've felt, and I'm pretty sure childhood feelings of abandonment on the one hand, and feeling pressured and hemmed in on the other, have surfaced in certain situations, and I've been pretty sure the feelings have been more to do with me than with my partner/ boyfriend. Yet I've always worried that the feelings will be construed as absolutely personal about them. The boyfriend I refer to had had a difficult childhood, and this was probably his reason for needing to express all that stuff, but it really did feel like I was the cause of the difficult feelings.
i still do it now. I don't know where to begin putting that long standing habit right. I suppose I am ultimately afraid of being alone, and that as I really am no one would want to be with me. But you are right, there is surely a balance to be struck, even if it feels a bit like walking a tight rope.
it is one of those mornings when I'm glad to get everyone out of the house. I can breathe now. I spent yesterday with my mum and my sister. My mum is losing her memory big style, but is resistant to help we are offering and outside help set up for her to support her in her own home for as long as possible. She just doesn't remember things we have said or explained, so is upset and put out by things she isn't expecting. I feel a bit more in harmony with my sister since I stopped drinking, but she is a terrible bossy boots, and every anecdote she tells is designed to illustrate how much she knows about life, and how little other people know. Between the two of them , yesterday was knackering. Plus hubby had been phoned twice in the night the night before (doctor on call) and I had struggled to get back to sleep. On the plus side, I went to my rehearsal last night (I'm playing a nun in the Sound if Music) and I was worried that I hadn't had time to firm up my knowledge of some of the lyrics. But a shadow had been cast by something a lot more problematic- we have lost our Mother Abbess because she is an aspiring professional performer and has been offered a job that she can't really refuse. This isn't good, but yet again illustrates my tendency to think that my rubbishness is the cause of all the problems in the world, which is actually an inverted form of narcissism, when you think about it. At the same time I was harbouring thoughts of putting myself forward to be Mother Abbess (in total contradiction of my inability to schedule in a little bit of score work) which is the flip side of that narcissism! I have a pretty good voice, and I could do the acting...but, my voice is not strong enough in the soprano range for Climb Every Mountain, and I personally am not strong enough right now to go from 0-60 on a role in just over four weeks. But I have resolved to do my best to fulfil my obligations as Sister Sophia to the best of my abilities.
There are learning experiences all around me. Who was it who said (or wrote) 'When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.' ?
Have a great Friday Peeps.
Talking of learning, a big penny has just dropped for me. I engage in two kinds of drinking- the drip drip drip of evening wine drinking (well, more like slosh slosh slosh), plus party/weekend drinking with other people. Having abstained from alcohol for over three weeks, the urge to engage in that first kind of drinking is nearly gone. It's manageable,although after a particularly bad or particularly good day it is a little harder to manage, and I know there will be other triggers, there are bound to be. But it is the second kind of drinking that is now more of a threat. We are invited for a dinner party tomorrow. I actually feel/believe/think I'm going to be ok, because it is early days, I'm feeling strong, and the friends are not the ones that trigger me the most. But this is exactly the kind of event that could make my resolve crumple, as it did at my own 50th Birthday last year, which I stocked up with nice non-alcoholic drinks, intending to not drink, and lasted approximately half an hour before I caved in. Someone at AA said to me, you have more than likely already got rid of the physical compulsion to drink, and what you are left with is the mental obsession. I suddenly see that. In an ideal world I would enjoy a few drinks at parties, and not drink the rest of the time (apart from celebratory meals, which are also parties.) But the world is not ideal, or at least my relationship with alcohol isn't. And party drinking unfortunately will re-trigger the physical compulsion that leads me to drink wine every evening. It is probably obvious to all of you, indeed I knew this already on some level, but I have suddenly properly understood that in order to get rid of my urge to drink daily, I have to sacrifice my party drinking, which, for the most part, has been something I have really enjoyed (apart from the hangovers, of course) SO OBVIOUS. Maybe it is pleasing to me, because i now realise that I have a proper explanation as to why I can't drink at parties, for those friends who want or need to understand why. Plus a clear explanation to hang on to myself.
Stopping drinking is, I think, all about learning, learning what's really going on, what you feel, what you need to do. Sounds like you are really making progress on that front. Realizing that I really like the buzz of drinking, but also realizing that I wouldn't stop there, was a crucial step. And as you say, not just knowing it, I kind of always knew it, but having it really sink in so I could just sit there and think about it and be aware of it. Having that sink in made it a lot easier to get to the point where I would think I'm just not going to do that.
When I go to a party I make sure I get something nonalcoholic in my hand as soon as I get there, so I won't be tempted to pick something up and no one will feel like giving me something. Actually, I don't do this so much any more, but I did for quite a while. It made going to parties much less threatening.
"Plus a clear explanation to hang on to myself" - yes, that's exactly what you need.
"but it really did feel like I was the cause of the difficult feelings."
It's easy for us to feel that way, Elsie, but often it really doesn't have anything to do with us. It's sometimes hard to get by that part, though. I have the same problem. I can't fix everything, even though I try.
We're having the same problems with my mom but I guess it just comes with this time in our lives.
The Sound of Music sounds like a great outlet for you to be involved with a sober activity.
"I was worried that I hadn't had time to firm up my knowledge of some of the lyrics."
You worry too much. :-) I'm sure you'll be great!
I hope you have a wonderful, quiet day.
"Friends. I just feel so nervous about trying to conduct myself without a drink. I can do all the little things that help- taking a nice non alcoholic alternative, making sure I keep my glass filled with it, but it just don't feel that I'll have any conversation other than about not drinking. Yet talking about it can be very counterproductive."
This too like urges etc.etc.etc. gets much easier with sober time, focus on the good things sobriety gives to you. I drank for all the things that bothered me, but I also drank for all the happy stuff too, and than I was drinking for no reason at all, and got to the liquor store at 6am (when they open here) I hated the taste/effects everything, I was addicted and it was all in my head.
Yes, once we're hooked anything and everything and nothing at all will make us drink. We use the same substance to celebrate, drown our sorrows, calm our nerves, allay boredom, and even for medicinal purposes. I have used it to keep me 'happy' whilst doing chores I don't want to do. But really I have just wanted to drink, and any old excuse will do. I am still making dinner every evening and peeling the carrots. It isn't much more fun than it was before, but it certainly isn't intolerable.
thanks for the messages.
Woke up feeling perky this morning, but just realised that my husband has cleared the search history, wiping off such things as 'am I really an alcoholic?' 'Alcohol withdrawal and itching' etc. I don't mind at all that he has cleared the history- I would have done had I known how to do it. But it is excruciating to think that he has read the list of my searches! Ah, well, I'll live, and maybe it isn't a bad thing fir him to see the evidence of my self-examination at the same time as he sees me get noticeably healthier and more upbeat.
It will be one month tomorrow. Thank you February for being so short and giving me an extra boost!!
Hey, congratulations on one month - good for you.
You don't have to read the history to clear it, you just push a button. But if he did, I would think he might be encouraged by how you are working at it.
So February was a great month for you! And I also doubt your husband read the searches. But sometimes it helps to have someone understand that this is hard and a big deal.
Have you considered sitting down and talking with him about what is going on for you?