my higher power

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I’ve never been a religious person. Growing up, we never went to church or focused on religion. I remember attending some church-type events in college and I thought it was so strange when people were singing gospel music, with their hands held up high in the air and eyes closed.

When The Secret became popular, I read the book and it really seemed to make sense to me…there is a rhyme and reason to why things happen. Everything isn’t by chance. And you really can attract things into your life.

Of course, once I started attending Al-Anon, I heard about putting so much faith into my “higher power.” I honestly never thought much about a higher power. I certainly didn’t have faith in it during all those times I was crying and feeling lonely after one of AH’s drinking episodes.

Well, some recent events have reminded me that there really is a higher power.

Let’s start off with AH’s DUI. He got arrested at the end of January. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but after he got pulled over, the sheriff called me, asking if I could pick him up. Essentially, the sheriff said he didn’t want to take have to take him into jail. I knew enough at this point that it wasn’t my job to pick him up or rescue him. So, off he went to jail…refusing all field sobriety tests AND all breathalyzers. His night ended at the hospital, where had his blood drawn.

Well, last week, all of a sudden we started getting letters from attorneys advertising their DUI services. I told AH because it seemed weird how they just started coming in all of a sudden. AH’s license still has our old address on it, so who knows if he would get his papers. Well, he checked with his attorney and found out he had been charged on March 26th and was due in court this past Tuesday for his arraignment.

Using my lawyer research skills, I found the complaint online. I was mostly interested to see what his BAC was, since his blood had been drawn nearly 4 hours after he last drank. It turns out it was .15 (about double the legal limit) AND he was over the limit for THC, as well. (AH swears he didn’t smoke marijuana that night, but the test results don’t lie.)

I guess I now feel some type of vindication. I know I probably shouldn’t be feeling that way, but I do. AH cannot say that he’s “not out there getting DUIs.” He now has someone else to answer to about his drinking. I don’t have to be by his side, worrying about what’s going to happen to him or how embarrassed I’m going to be if someone sees he has an interlock device on his car.

I know in Al-Anon they say that by rescuing the alcoholic, we are interfering with our Higher Power’s ability to change things for the better. Well, on this night, I have to believe my Higher Power took over. AH’s tail light had been busted out in the parking lot and that’s the reason he initially got pulled over. Just by chance? I’ve never had a tail light of mine busted out…and in fact, I don’t think AH has before either. And if I had picked AH up? Wow, it’s crazy to think how different things would be today. I didn’t interfere and my Higher Power was there for me.

Now, I do feel a little silly because my husband getting a DUI really doesn’t benefit me directly. Maybe I’m still holding on to the thought that he is on his way to rock bottom so he will really get into recovery? But then again, what difference does it make if he gets into recovery now? Even if he were to truly commit, I don’t think I’ll ever want to be with him again. In fact, if he were to fully recover and get better now, it would almost be a slap in the face to me. Okay, get good and recovered now that I’ve wasted the last 13 years of my life with you.

Anyways, I do truly believe there’s a Higher Power out there that’s looking out for me. I just need to stay true to my own path of recovery and trust him or her to lead me to a happier life.

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today was a good day

I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep last night because I woke up a few times thinking about all the stuff at work that I’ve been putting off. (More on my battle with overwhelm and procastination later.) However, I had planned on going to the gym after work (more specifically a spinning class) and then an al-anon meeting right after. The morning started out a bit rough and by that I mean, I wasn’t very focused. However, after lunch I found my stride and sat down and wrote out a list of every single case I’m working on right now and what needs to be done. After that, I was actually productive and did some work!

My spinning class was great. I really enjoyed myself and I felt good afterwards. Then it was off to my al-anon meeting, which was great also.

When I got home around 8:45, AH was already laying on his air mattress. You know what’s funny…in the past, I probably would have been disappointed or sad that he was tired and wanted to go to bed (the codependent in me.) But tonight, we chatted briefly and I was actually excited to go downstairs, eat a snack and watch some of my tv shows.

I know there are still tough moments ahead, but I’m living in the present and today was just a good day.

on detachment

Detachment has always been a concept that I could never quite grasp. When AH would come home and I could tell he had been drinking, my thought was always, “Well, I HAVE to let him know that I disapprove…otherwise, he will think it’s okay for him to do this!” And so, of course, we would get into a big fight and then he would say how sorry he was and how he let me down, etc. I’m sure this would then result in tons of shame, resentment and guilt inside him, which would start the cycle for the next episode of drinking.

Now that I’ve immersed myself in Al-Anon and reading, I think I finally get it. Someone on the Sober Recovery website wrote this about detachment and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it put more plainly or perfectly.

For some the concept of detachment is hard to grasp. Especially if you are the kind of person who is used to having a ‘say’ in most matters. We somehow think we must always “speak up” when our S.O. is doing something wrong and in some cases we do need to speak up in certain situations. Detachment might feel to ‘passive’ for us. But, sometimes it’s not so much a matter of keeping quiet as it is a matter of refusing to engage in something FUTILE. We learn the hard way how to stop wasting our own time, energy, efforts in “reforming” this other person and instead take that effort and put into ourselves and our own fulfillment. We learn that the person in question may never change and become the person we wish they were. We realize that our own happiness is not about *them* and not wrapped up in them.

It’s funny because I went back to an Al-Anon meeting last night that I haven’t been to in ages. I think the last time I was there was in October, just before we were in the process of purchasing a new home, selling our old one, and moving. I shared with what has been going on and especially how I now understand that chastising/nagging my AH is the wrong thing to do and only made things worse. Then I said, “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this?! Oh wait…they did, I was just in denial.” It’s so interesting how my disease of codependency has paralleled AH’s disease of alcoholism. I would start going to Al-Anon and then stop. I would read the literature, but it really never sunk in…until now. It took me hitting my rock bottom to surrender and start my true path to recovery.

Sidenote: I slept great again last night, although DS5 came in around 2am because he was scared of the wind and rain. For a moment, I thought about how sad it is that when he has a nightmare or is scared at night, I’ll be the only one there. 😦 But my mind is feeling a bit clearer today and I think I’ll be ready to tackle going over our finances tomorrow so we can start to detail how finances are going to work through our divorce.

the role we play

Yesterday AH had taken the day off from work and went to look at some apartments. He called me at work just wondering about getting approved since the mortgage is still in his name and everything. I ended up asking him if he can hold off on actually signing a lease or applying until we have a chance to sit down this week and go over our finances. He agreed. Right now, I am still in such a state of fog, I’m trying to refocus on work since I was out last week and figuring out all the details of our divorce just seems to be too much right now. He agreed, which I was thankful for.

He agreed to pick the kids up from daycare yesterday, while I ran to Costco to grab a few things. I had told him I planned on going to an Al-Anon meeting at 7PM. He got home with the kids around 6 and told me he needed to run to the car dealership to grab his coffee mug, which he had left there that morning when they were working on his car. Mind you, the car dealership is not close and it’s actually almost right next to the kids’ daycare. This is something typical he has done all throughout our relationship. Always finding excuses for things he needs to go out to do. It’s like he has to get away from the house. I’m not sure if it’s so he can drink or what…but of course my thinking is, do you really HAVE to have your coffee mug right now? We have other mugs. He could easily just pick it up some other day. I could also tell that he had been smoking marijuana. So, I told him I needed to leave the house around 6:45 for my meeting.

Well, 6:45 rolls around he’s not home. I text him and say my meeting is at 7. He calls and is apologetic and says he thought I had to leave at 7. Even though I was really annoyed, I managed to bite my tongue and just tell him it’s okay. Just another example of him not listening or not caring enough to listen.

After my meeting, I was reading the Al-Anon Pamphlet “Alcoholism: A Merry-Go-Round Named Denial.” I’m sure I’ve read it before, but this time it really resonated with me. Essentially, it talks about how the other actors in the situation contribute to the alcoholism by reacting in certain ways. The role I played was the victim and by repeatedly chastising him when he drinks and criticizing him, it creates more and more guilt in him, which just leads to more resentment and denial. It actually makes a lot of sense.

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about the role I have played a lot. It’s hard for me because all of these years, I’ve blamed him for everything. But now I am starting to see how my actions have made things worse. I think I am also getting closer to being able to feel compassion for him and his disease. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still harbor tons of anger and resentment. But I think it was a good start when I bit my tongue and didn’t get into a huge argument with him because he made me late for my meeting.