Friday, January 16, 2009

Rough Day

Today was tough, recovery-wise.  The past few weeks have been, as I wrote before, exceedingly peaceful around here.  I had felt very much on an even plane and could see small improvements in myself.  Today I had a rough time keeping all of that up.  It started last night--I couldn't go with D to his weekly counseling class.  On the Thursdays that I drive along, we tend to have good, productive talk time.  It's almost like being in the car for the hour it takes to get there gives us license to discuss the things we keep at bay around our home--how recovery is going, but also just generally what is happening in our lives that we have been too busy or unable to share.  I find that time to be very therapeutic, because often one of my greatest problems in this relationship has been my inability to express when I am having trouble.  I find it difficult to share when I am upset about something or annoyed or frustrated, mainly because (in true codie fashion) I am afraid of making other people upset.  I don't like to bring up my anger because I don't want others to be angry.  With D, this has expanded over the years into not wanting to bring up "tough subjects" because I worry that talking about them will upset him, and I don't want him to be angry or upset with me.  

Last night, when D was done with class, he did not talk about how things had gone.  Short, cursory answers only--they had discussed "dangerous situations."  No more, no less of a discussion, change of subject.  Knowing how we normally talk, I started worrying.  Worrying that the class had been difficult for him.  Worrying that he was putting himself in dangerous situations but might not be sharing that.  Worrying about the fact that he has been talking on the phone and texting more with people lately.  Worrying about what else might be going on.  Within 5 minutes, I was in full out crazy mode--checking the phone bills, figuring out how to handle the situation, stressing over the fact that he hadn't been to a meeting in a while...the works.  The rational voice in the back of my head pleaded for me to just let it go.  It was probably nothing.  It's not my job to play police, nor is it my job to force recovery to happen.  But the crazy person had taken over.  I managed to get calmed down enough to call D back and explain that I was having a bit of a freak out and why.  He explained everything--but it didn't make me feel better.  He was upset that I had stressed so much over him not sharing about class.  That I couldn't just let it be and had to remind him that things aren't normal.  

I was proud of one thing:  I had talked myself down from the edge of codiexplosion enough to actually call and express my need for some help, rather than just waiting and exploding irrationally when D got home.  For one thing, though, I was not proud, and that was for letting the subject get changed after D explained the texting and phone calls, attested that he was sober and proud of it.  Whether I believe him or not was not an issue--what was the issue was that I did not voice the most important of my feelings at the end of the episode.  What I wanted to say was that I knew that my freaking out made him uncomfortable.  I  know he doesn't like having to draw out conversations about his addiction/recovery.  I know that if he wants to keep things from class private, he has that right.  But what I wanted from him was the acknowledgment that my feelings are important to him, too.  I can't just pretend that the things he does don't freak me out sometimes.  I get triggered--perhaps irrationally, perhaps not--but it happens, and shoving the whole thing under a rug does nothing for me.  What I wanted to say was that I do freak out, and I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, love, but I need you to acknowledge that it's ok and not without reason.  I need you to be willing to work with me so that the situation that triggered it doesn't happen again if we can help it.  I need you to affirm that this is tough for me and real for me and life is not all flowers and rainbows and unicorns just because we don't talk about the hard stuff every day.  Let me know that you are sober but you understand that it will take more than that, longer than this, for me to move beyond the insanely triggering moments.  Let me know that you will work with me and communicate with me and love me so that I can work on myself, and you can work on yourself, and together we can keep working on us.  

That's what I should have said.  That's what I wanted so badly to say.  But he had moved on to "cheerier" topics and if I interrupted them I worried that he would be upset and depressed and angry, and that those things might cause any problems (if there are any problems currently) to get worse.  I was a terrific codependent mess last night, and I struggled with that all day today.  I'm still not sure how to get it all out tonight, but I do know one thing--it has to be said.  I set my goal to work on me, and it is time to take a step and do something for me no matter what the consequences might be in terms of others' moods.  I am perfectly capable of being happy even if others aren't.  So maybe things will get tense, but it will pass, and I will be better for it in the long run.  


Cat said...

I like how you describe yourself as a 'perfectly codie mess' I have so been to this place before and it sounds like you have a plan, for me that was half of my struggle...i wish you a better tomorrow.


Willow said...

I identify with your partner getting all chipper and then having them get annoyed when you intrude with a piece of hard reality. I too have pushed myself to be honest and honor myself by being open whether it upsets him or not. We do need to learn to care for ourselves first. I sometimes sense my husband is avoiding dealing with things by acting all happy to create an environment that would make me not say something uncomfortable for him.