Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good News, Bad News

The good news: after careful review of the phone records, I realized there was nothing there that D hadn't already told me about, with the exception of a mass text that he sent on Saturday night to a bunch of people (including me) that simply said "Hello, how are you doing?"

The bad news: due to the insane nature of yesterday (long story--it involved an intense amount of work to be done by me and the added fun of putting together a pretty extensive last-minute work project for him, which was finished and uploaded to a 24 hour copy shop at around 1:00 this morning) I didn't really get a chance to bring up the idea that we should set boundaries around how to avoid a situation like this in the future, and to establish/make clear my own boundaries around his drinking and other behavior. Now resolved to do that tonight and to insist that it gets done.

The good news: The friends that D went out with on Monday night confirmed that everything had been very fine and normal, that he didn't seem intoxicated at all, and that there were no issues with women. So it seems that he was telling the truth after all.

The bad news (or, considering my own recovery, perhaps good news): That still doesn't change the fact that I feel like I trusted him to know his limits and he violated that trust. It may have all been just a mistake, like he said, but it doesn't change how I felt about the situation.

The good news: Assuming there really have been no phone issues, today marks one year sobriety for D. And while we (quite obviously) still have a lot of issues to continue working through, that fact is still pretty darn cool when I consider how differently we both probably would have handled this situation a year ago.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Warning: Rant Ahead.

D made plans to go out with friends last night for Margarita Monday at a local Mexican place. Originally he kept asking if I wanted to go or if I would drive or whatnot, but then he came home last night explaining that a his friend J had just broken up with his girlfriend, so they were going to make it a guys' night. No problem, I needed to get some work done anyway. He promises to be careful, to be responsible, because he has to finish a work project when he comes home anyway.

He got home around midnight, laid down on the couch for 5 minutes, and then proceeded to spend the next hour or two going back and forth to the bathroom to throw up. I left and slept in the guest room because I was so angry I almost couldn't breathe, but I didn't want to explode right then and there. This morning we discussed what happened--and he claimed that he was totally in control all night, had only had 4 drinks--it was just that since he hasn't had anything to drink in the past year his tolerance is much lower than he expected. He wasn't impaired to drive, he just all of a sudden got home and felt sick. He was, of course, upset when I expressed my disappointment in the whole situation.

I basically told him that what upset me was not the drinking--or even the driving, though I had a hard time believing that he was totally fine to drive if he was that sick afterward. My problem was that I trusted him to go out with friends--without me, even though when he made his relapse plan he originally said that he thought only drinking when I was around was a good idea--I trusted him to go out, be responsible, and do what he said he'd do. Especially since he made a big show out of talking about the need to be responsible. Instead, he comes home piss drunk, having spent money he said he wouldn't buying his friend's food and drinks. And if I can't trust him to do the simple task of doing what he said he would at the beginning of the night, then how am I supposed to trust that he can go out and not flirt with other women? Not text other women? Not relapse? In short, I trusted him to do the right thing and instead he put himself in a very dangerous situation, both recovery-wise and not.

His response was to admit that he made a mistake as far as the drinking--he misjudged what he could take and he paid for that. But he wasn't impaired and he took precautions to make sure nothing sexually inappropriate happened throughout the night, even talking about me first thing when a woman came up to the table. He was upset that, as he put it, I saw him as "broken," as someone with a sexual disease, and that those were the first things I thought of when he was sick over the toilet.

My problem now--I asked him this morning what he thought we should do about it, and he didn't really answer. When he gets home tonight, I'm going to outline the possibilities that work within my boundaries--but the even bigger issue is this: the whole time he was talking this morning, I felt very much like I did when he was in active addiction and making up very convincing stories. I have no real reason not to believe what he said about the night--but I don't. Or rather, I believe what he said about the night was true, but there's something in the defensiveness that puts me on edge and thinks that something else is going on behind the scenes, even if it has nothing to do with last night. And so, being the horrible codie I am, I checked the phone records for the first time in almost a year today. And of course, there are lots of things that are highly questionable, especially from the last couple of days. So now tonight I have to figure out if he's relapsing with his phone, or even just relapsing in terms of being incredibly secretive, but either way it's messed up. I'm so tired of his attitude that just because he's done with his mandatory counseling, he's free of addiction. Like he never has to worry about it again, it's never going to be a problem. It scares me that he might so easily fall back into thinking the way he used to, even though not a month ago he promised so many beautiful things.

Empty promises are the worst thing in the world, especially when you realize you might have been a sucker enough to believe them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Last night I had a wake up call about my own very real need to stay involved in recovery even though D is finished with his counseling, etc. D went over to a friend's house to watch a game (a very dear friend, with whom I'm also close) and I stayed home to study. He left when he said he would, came home when he said he would, had a lovely time, etc. I got a little work done and then accidentally fell asleep on the couch until he walked back in the door. Oops, but oh well. Nothing so much to speak of.

The "problem" arose when I asked if D wanted a snack or anything before bed, and said no, he had had some chips and a beer at friend's house. One beer. One beer not out a bar or in a restaurant or on his own but in the home of a very close friend who is responsible and caring and fabulous. The problem? When D made his relapse plan several weeks ago, one of his listed plans to avoid any relapse problem was to only drink if I was with him. When he made the rule, I suggested that I wouldn't mind him drinking with certain friends, in certain situations, but he was the one who was adamant that if he made this rule this way, it would prevent any loopholes that could cause problems.

So when he came home and had one beer, I yelled and screamed and got angry and basically completely lost all good progress I could have made had I simply stated the problem and asked to discuss it. The big mistakes: first of all, I broke every single HALT rule--I was exhausted, had been alone studying all night, and hadn't had much to eat. Then I got mad at myself first and foremost because I felt like, given the situation, this shouldn't be a big deal. Just one beer. But that was denying my feelings. Instead of just putting it out there, I brooded because I worried about what he would think or if he would get mad. Essentially I did all the things that I have worked oh-so-hard to correct over the course of my recovery (keeping to my boundaries, speaking up if there's a problem, staying calm, etc. etc. etc.)

Today I apologized and we agreed to have a brief discussion on the matter when he gets home from work, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel like since he's been out of counseling, I've been the one to relapse. Just goes to show that staying well is something that should always be in my focus--it's just too easy to fall back to where I used to be.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

After my last, rather depressing post, I thought I'd post some things that remind of the fact that there remains good in the world, even when things get crummy.

We finished D's probation last week and had a fabulous weekend that involved doing several of the things we haven't done for the past year--including a night out at our favorite restaurant with friends and a glass of wine. It was lovely and just what I needed to get my mind off of all of the funeral-related festivities of the previous few days. Today was our first Thursday that we didn't have to worry about leaving work/school early, driving to PO appointments or class, etc. It feels normal, which is nice.

I was reminded that good things do come out of even the worst of situations--while the reasons were unpleasant, it was wonderful to have my entire extended family all in one place last weekend. We really are a wonderful, fun, loving group, and the love and support we hold for each other is obvious and real, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Finally, I was privileged enough to attend a community meeting at a local clinic/shelter for the homeless, alcoholics, addicts, etc. The organization was linked up with my school as a volunteer opportunity, and for our first visit we were given a tour of the facility (which includes a detox center, homeless shelter, soup kitchen, and long-term housing for addicts in the process of recovery) and a chance to sit in on a community AA meeting. I was nervous at first, since the place was in a not-so-fabulous area of town, but the men in the meeting were incredible--welcoming, open, humble, grateful for their chance at recovery. The peer mentor who showed us around was an incredible person who shared his story of being addicted to almost every drug possible from the age of 15, entered the center at 18 and spent 10 months going through the rigorous life and demands placed on those who would commit to complete recovery through this center--the men and women who choose to stay are given free food and basic housing for the entirety of their stay--as long as it takes to work through the 12 steps. Most have a wait of 2-3 months before they can even begin step work, not only because of the motivational track they are first put through to ensure their commitment to sobriety but because there are so many people involved. He was so grateful for his newfound life that he chose to stay and work, helping others through the program while he returned to school to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. It was a beautiful reminder of just how awesome recovery is, and of just how similar seemingly completely different people can be. At the end of the community meeting, we were invited to stand with the group as they said the serenity prayer, and it was truly a humbling and happy experience to join in.