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Archive for September, 2009

Walking in New Shoes

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After moving back in with my husband, I’m coming to realize how much I’ve missed him during our time apart.  I especially missed the person I knew before his addiction spiraled out of control. I missed the great couple we were when it was just the two of us.  Every night feels like I’m coming home to my best friend.  We’re a great team around the house – he cleans & I cook.  We’ve been going out for date nights and enjoying as much quality time as possible.  We stay up together watching late night TV.  And sometimes, he wakes up extra early to make me one of his “famous” breakfast sandwiches I love so much or surprises me with dinner when I’m late in coming home from work.  He’s being kind and sensitive to my feelings.  We go to meetings together and meet up beforehand for a quick bite and conversation. We  talk, talk, talk.  Talk about our feelings. Talk about recovery. Talk about our future.  I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying his company again.  This is the man I grew to love over the years.

All that being said…Part of me still struggles with feeling a sense of ownership over this new relationship status – like it’s not really my life I’m living. Part of me doesn’t want to get  too attached to these good feelings because I’m afraid a crisis is waiting for us around the corner.  Part of me is afraid to try on this relationship. Like being afraid to try on a beautiful pair of shoes at the store, because if you actually try them on, it’s so much harder to walk away from them when it’s ultimately the time to leave. My prayer every day is to stay in the present. Enjoy this time in my life. But how do you live in the moment whenyou can’t forget the past?  I know there’s no answer, so I’m just taking it a day at a time. There’s nothing else to do but to enjoy these pretty shoes while I still can…

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walking-away-abused

I’m starting to feel lonely on this side of the road – the staying in the relationship side of the road.  A lot of my blog friends  and S-Anon friends are either separated from their partners or in the process of divorce.  So where does that leave me?  Is it not possible to be working a healthy recovery program and still be in the relationship with my SA husband?  The message I’ve been getting for the past few weeks is that “real recovery” starts when you start focusing on yourself. I get that.  But if you’re in a relationship, at times, your focus has to be divided.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that now that I’m back in the relationship,  I’ll lose focus of self care and my own recovery plan.  But, it means that whatever I do – or my husband does – will ultimately affect the relationship. So yes, his recovery does affect me because I live, eat and sleep next to him on a day-to-day basis.  Yet sometimes, I feel like there’s something wrong with me for feeling this way OR that I’m not working my program correctly.

Is the moral of the story (the purpose of recovery) to ultimately leave your spouse?  This can’t be the case.  I know of strong, healthy relationships that are better than ever post addiction.    And yet, I still fight the desire to feel accepted, even in our  group of codies.  I’m starting to feel like I don’t belong because I’m no longer separated from my husband.  I also fear that posting about the leaps and bounds we are making in our relationship will be viewed as “denial” by others.  But,  I don’t see why it has to be so.   Recovery is different for everyone.  My road may not resemble that of others, but it’s not any less authentic or genuine.  It is real and it is mine.  And yet, maybe actually caring what others think of me – and my recovery-  is evidence enough that I still have a long way to go.  And I have no problem admitting that.  I’m no guru or expert on this stuff – I’m just living my life, one day at a time.

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Oprah & Whitney

I was one of the many millions that tuned in earlier this week to watch the Oprah Winfrey & Whitney Houston interview. I’ve been a huge fan of Whitney Houston for as long as I can remember.  And like the rest of America, I was in shock as we witnessed her plummet into the dark world of drug addiction. It was nice seeing Whitney looking (and acting) sober , and as beautiful and radiant as ever.  But for me,  the most revealing thing about the interview was  to hear about her codependent/ coaddict  relationship with Bobbi Brown.

Here are some excerpts from her interview with Oprah:

Oprah: Was he jealous of you?
Whitney: He’s not going to like this, but yes.
Oprah: Then did you try to overcompensate?
Whitney: I tried to play down all the time. I did. I tried to play: “I’m Mrs. Brown, everybody. Don’t call me Ms. Houston.” 
Oprah: You started to dim your own light?
Whitney: Yep. Sure did.

….

Oprah: Were you happy?
Whitney: No. … I wasn’t happy with the marriage. … I was losing me into that by trying to be pleasing.
….

Oprah: So we were talking about how [you did] light drugs before The Bodyguard and then after Bodyguard
Whitney: Oh, got heavy. Because I knew then we were trying to hide pain.

Oprah: When did you know that the marriage was not gonna work?
Whitney: I just knew. I was like, “You don’t smell right. You don’t look right. Something’s going on.” And then all this other stuff started coming out about him being with this one or that one or being too promiscuous. Dragging dirt into my home.
Oprah: Did that hurt you? Were you offended by it?
Whitney: It disturbed me. I was disturbed.
Oprah: Did you believe it?
Whitney: Yeah. Because I checked. I didn’t look for it, but I checked.
 

….

Oprah: Did the drugs give you any sense of relief?
Whitney: At times. Don’t forget, there were some times we’d laugh our tails off. We had a ball. Sometimes you do have a good time. But when it gets to the point where you’re sitting in your home and you’re just trying to cover what you don’t want people to know. It’s painful. And then you want more just so that you don’t let anybody see you cry. Or anybody to see we’re not happy. …

….

Oprah: You said you realized that the marriage was going to be over. Did you then make a decision that “I’m gonna get myself out”?
Whitney: Yeah. I remember saying to God one day, I said, “Give me one day of strength.” Because I was weak. I was so weak to [Bobby]. I was so weak to the love. I was, like: “This is love? What is this? What am I into?”
Oprah: Were you weak to him or were you weak to the drugs? Because the world’s perception is you were weak to the drugs.
Whitney: He was my drug. I didn’t do anything without him. I wasn’t getting high by myself. It was me and him together. You know, we were partners. And that’s what my high was. Him. He and I being together. And whatever we did, we did together. No matter what, we did it together.

 

As the “S-Anon Problem” we read at the beginning of meetings states, “some of us minimized the importance of the sexaholic behavior or denied it until we felt emotionally numb. Others focused on the sexaholic to the point of obsession and tried every known method to control it. Some of us participated in sexual behavior that made us ashamed of ourselves or used sex to manipulate the sexaholic.  Some of us misused drugs, alcohol or food; and others kept so busy that we didn’t have time to feel our emotions. We often neglected our health, our jobs and our children.”  This reminded me so much Ms. Houston’s situation, but more importantly, it reminded me of my own.  I participated in many of the activities described in the “S-Anon Problem” and that’s why I am in the program myself.  Because like Whitney so powerfully stated, as a codependent, our addicts are our drugs. Some days, I need to remind myself that the reason I am in the program is not because of my addict, but because I, too, suffer from a terrible disease – an addiction to “people pleasing” and “people fixing”.  And for this realization, I am most grateful. Because now, I can actually take steps to fix it and break the vicious cycle.  I wish Ms. Houston the very best and I hope she continues to get the help that she needs.

 

To read the rest of the Oprah & Whitney interview, please click here.

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Mean Girl

no-bully-zone

Adjusting to married life again has proven to be an emotionally challenging task for me.  Part of me wants to move away from the pain and suffering of the last 12 months,  but not without causing ML the same kind of pain.  I’m expressing my feelings, not necessarily to purge them, but to guilt and shame him into deeper levels of remorse.  My sense of self-righteousness is at it’s all time high.  I find myself wanting to win every disagreement – no matter how big or small.  And if ML tries to stand in my way, I play the “addiction card” and he has no choice but to back down.  

The problem with this is I’m feeling terrible about my behavior.  I’m turning into this mean and ruthless person I don’t even recognize.  The sad part is that I don’t get any kind of satisfaction from watching ML squirm. Deep down, I know I don’t want revenge.  I’m just hurting and I’m not sure how to cope.  I feel like I’m slipping back  into dangerous territory, trying to engage ML in the codie/addict dance.  I know I said I felt that program stuff was consuming a lot of my time.  But I’m thinking if I don’t latch on to my recovery tools, I’ll eventually be lost in this pain.  And it will no longer be the pain of changing that I experienced in the past, but the sick pain of staying the same.  Today, I’m reminded (once again) that I still have a long road ahead and that there’s still a lot of cleaning to do on my side of the street. 

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Welcome!

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 YAY!! You’ve made it, my dear friend!  Welcome to the new “WordPress” site for The Daffodil’s Lament. I decided my site needed a facelift and a move to a new neighborhood in cyber world.  I hope to continue hearing from my old “Bloggy”  friends and make some new ones as well!  I know I’ve slacked off in the last few months with blogging, but the summer’s over and my life…well, it remains complicated.  But if there’s one thing I know for sure, I’m no longer walking this journey alone.  Thank you for continuing to walk this path with me.  I cherish you all more than you know!

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I haven’t been feeling myself lately. If anything, I’ve been feeling mildly depressed.  I think it’s just the gravity of it all.  I think some of it has to do with finally being back with my husband, but seeing him for the first time with a new awareness – that he’s a full blown addict. Let’s just say everything and anything is proving to be triggering for him, including the beautiful windows in our new apartments.  Though ML is really stepping up to the plate, it’s difficult picking up where everything left off.  It feels that we’re more like roommates than anything else. We are not having sex.  At this time, I can barely have him kiss me without cringing.  I feel sad that my first gut reaction is to flinch at my husband’s touch, but I’ve been through so much betrayal and trauma that I can’t program myself to react differently. 

I‘ve also been assessing the damage caused by our separation, trying to pick up the pieces of my life after the storm. My work situation is in shambles. There were a lot of assignments that were pushed to the backburner and have accumulated over the months.  I am slowly trying to unbury myself from this mountain of work that’s been sitting here day in, day out for the last 8 months.  I’ve also started noticing some changes in my body that have made me very upset.  I finally worked up the courage to jump on the scale last Friday and realized that I had gained 20lbs since discovery. I am now at my all time highest weight.  When I saw those numbers on the scale, I wanted to just curl up in a ball and die.  It is evident that I did not do a good job of caring from myself during our separation.  The unmanageability of my life after discovery was major, and the aftermath is proving to be just as difficult.

Right now, I feel like I need to focus on me, minus some of this addiction stuff.  The meetings and phone calls are helpful, but leave me with little to no time for exercise or other activities.  Even blogging (or commenting) has kept me distracted from doing my work in the office. All I know is that something needs to change in my situation because I’m not happy. I need to find a balance in all this, a perfect mix of spiritual, physical and emotional health. Right now, I’m off balance.

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