A personal story I spent many years feeling ashamed of...
Thankyou for sharing! Married 30 years to an alcoholic CEO of entertainment myself...lol! You stated it SO well!! Its incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking. So many times of feeling like the fun governor, never being able to enjoy the moment, just worrying about the impact of his bad choices. Having to make all the responsible, tough and difficult choices. I am learning to control my codependency behavior and not feel responsible for the consequences of his bad behavior. Easier said than done, though. He is a wonderful man when sober and everyone else loves him, but I can never depend on or fully trust in him. The lies, DUIs, infidelity take its toll. Then he gets sober for a time and is Mr Wonderful again. Its confusing and exhausting. I try to keep up the hope but, for now, spending more time investing in myself to reduce the stress and anxiety of living with his addiction.
I am so honored that you chose to share this story with “us” and proud of you for being so real! Your honesty helps so many others. I can relate to this story so much. It’s not that the same incident happened to me, but other incidents led me to feel/act in a similar way. I also became an “addict” to my AH and his behavior. I truly thought I could control his drinking if I was in his presence. That’s a BIG lie and the sad part is - I was the one telling myself that lie and believing it. It’s called desperation. The thing is - we should not be so hard on ourselves. Living with an active addict
S L O W L Y changes us over the years. The confident and sensible person we once were becomes conditioned by fear, chaos, anxiety and depression. If it goes on for too long, we lose ourselves to the disease. We become irrational. We become “frozen” in the midst of their addiction - until we can finally dig ourselves out and little by little begin to reverse our own “learned/dysfunctional” behavior. My AH is now sober, but I know I must keep getting the support I need for ME so I never fall back into that place again. I’m so happy your life has turned around and you are thriving. You deserve it. We all do.
Thank you so much for sharing that story, it is your honesty that resonates so much. I think we all can feel the judging eyes looking in at us, wondering why we come back or behave the way we do but it is as you said a family sickness. Addicted to the addict is right, their disease, their cycles of behavior and "managing" that becomes our identity.
Well, that's the saddest thing I've ever heard! Michelle, I am so sorry that happened to you. I know my own longing for DH at times he's otherwise occupied; but I never had to endure anything like the situation you describe. It's crushing. I wish I could erase it from your past. But what a handsome, sweet-looking boy (man?) you have! You definitely "traded up" that day, even if you didn't see things clearly at the time. G-d bless you for sharing that.
Such a handsome young man your son is 🥰🙏🏻
Happy birthday to your son!!
God this one broke my heart... I'm so so sorry you had to go through this. I understand. I remember being away on a vacation and I had such a great time with my mom -- I was finally free of my hellish life for the first time in months -- and the good memories were tainted when I found out that while I was gone my husband had gotten plastered with some friends and had gone to the strip club where he bought more booze and lap dances from some "super hot" stripper... I was absolutely mortified. The man I knew would've never done such a thing. It's horrible, loving someone who could be so loving and brilliant and the next minute a monster.
Your voice is so comforting, these newsletters are just not long enough ! :-)
I look forward each week to your stories, guidance and support and I’m with a husband who is living a sober life ... ( 18 months ish ... always the dreaded relapses) but your strength has carried me through the very toughest of times , I will be forever grateful x
Very sad story and understandably. Hopefully your son is growing into the mature young man that he appears to be as well as a worthy man who will show up differently for himself and others in life. Happy Birthday to your son 💙🎂
Heart wrenching. So much am I feeling that pain. Hoping as a 60 year old, who still has a full life and a husband who is almost that, I will be able to shed bright light in my future.
Thank you for this reminder. It's so funny how co-dependency keeps sneaking back into my thinking. After reading this, I thought, "Yes, it's so true I can be addicted to the addict, but if I didn't try to hold everything together, things might fall apart." Yep...but is it my responsibility to hold everything together? No :) But it sure is hard to let go and put my focus on the things within my control.
I just want to say that I love this podcast. I didn’t grow up with addiction , my grandfather was an alcoholic but he died of a stroke when I was 10 months old . My mother and father didn’t drink, but my Dad was always angry, sometimes not. My mother was controlling, I didn’t realize that until years later. I married young. I was 22 with one child and one on the way. Not a big wedding. Just a justice of the peace. My husband was a drinker, an alcoholic and turns out his whole family had some type of substance abuse or alcohol abuse. Not anything I was accustomed to but was I . I was ashamed of my dad a lot because he would get in angry outbursts and I figured out how to not say certain thing that would trigger him. This happens with the alcoholic too. Anyway I could go on and on but my son had a birthday , turning six years old . My husband was doing something with a cake in the kitchen when my son walked in. My husband slapped him across the face and said he was doing something for his birthday and not to come in the room. My son came crying , hysterical. I asked him what happened and my husband said I just want to baby him and told him to go sleep on his top bunk. My husband would not let me by him. Then I waited and comforted my son. We lived above my parents in an apartment, two story house. I was afraid of my husband . The odd thing was he wasn’t abusive when he was drinking , he was abusive because he was an addict and needed to have that drink and he also was an abuser . His choice was to abuse woman and children. Needless to say I had him arrested for domestic battery about 2 months later. It was great but not so great. I had 3 children with him and when you make the decision it gets worse before it gets better. My children were 7, 6, and 2 . It was the hardest thing I ever had to do but it was the best thing I ever did. I got counseling through vouchers from the police department . I thank God for that . I ended up divorced and I eventually remarried to another man that drinks but he’s not abusive like my ex husband and we have had a lot of ups and downs but life is a journey and I chose to take this one. So
Thank you for sharing your journey! How you felt and dealt with the addiction! I learn something for myself every article!
Thank you for posting this story Michelle. Isn't it funny how we always hear what we need to hear when we need to hear it? I was thinking this afternoon: "Yep, I am addicted to my addict". You hear that phrase a lot in these rooms and I've even Said those sorts of things to other people when discussing addiction but I never really thought it was me. I've been with my person (not married) on and off for 15 years. More off lately. however, we have just entered into an employer/employee type arrangement (I'm the employer)When sober he's the perfect person for this job. I knew it was risky. We're only a couple of weeks into it and I'm regretting my decision. I know this isn't a romantic endeavor. I think he may still be hopeful. Why would he not be? I have invited him back into my life. I am the only one who has ever cared for him. My good friend today reiterated some hard truths about him that in my heart of hearts I know to be true. He may be burning some business bridges. This is all happening in a different state so I don't have direct visualization of the situation. I had decided that since this is not a romantic relationship, I would be able to live and let live so to speak as long as he could keep his part of the job bargain, but I fear I may have given him too much credit. And to top things off, he does now have a diagnosis of cirrhosis, and as you know if he continues to drink that will kill him sooner than later. I must be addicted to him, because why do I keep inviting him back into my circle?
Michelle you are an inspiration and thank you for all of your love, support and guidance.