Thursday, September 27, 2007

Anger, Resentment.... Acceptance

So I have a post that I have been meaning to write for awhile but I just haven't seemed to make the time. Remember last week when I promised you a post... yeah... still in my head. Then today as I was typing a letter to a family friend about how I'm doing I realized that everything I had just written was pretty much what I wanted to write here. So... here it is: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Before Jake went to treatment and even after he left I convinced myself that everything would be wonderful if he would just stop using. After all, he was the one with the problem, and that problem was the drugs and the alcohol. Obviously if those things were taken out of the equation life would be all sunshine and roses. How could it be anything but?

Then Jake came back and I woke up from my lovely dream to realize that just because he had changed everything wasn't suddenly perfect. I was faced with a flood of emotions about the way things used to be and also the way I was afraid everything was going to be again. For me, this fear quickly turned to anger. LOTS of anger.

I was angry with him for what he had done but I was also angry with him for things I thought he should be doing and also things I was afraid he was going to be doing. On top of that I was angry at myself for not seeking treatment for myself sooner. I convinced myself for so long that I didn't need a support system and I didn't need to change anything about me that when I finally did decide to go and get help it seemed like it was too late. I had just started to attend Al-anon meetings and then the next week he was home.

I found myself very resentful of him and of the fact that he was there in the first place. I felt like I was just learning who I was and what I liked to do and then he came back and I felt like that was all taken away from me. Like I didn't have the time I needed to heal myself.

So as a result, I would blow up at him about the dishes or the laundry when really that wasn't what I was mad about. Last Thursday I ended up talking to Jess for about 45 minutes (totally missed the first episode of Survivor... THANKS Jess!! :-) and she mentioned to me that sometimes people fight about the topics but not the issues. So she told me that I needed to start focusing on the issues (i.e the reasons I was upset in the first place) and not the topics (i.e. the dirty bowl that didn't make it into the dishwasher).

This seemed to make a lot of sense to me but I still wasn't sure how to begin. So I went to my meeting on Friday and I talked to some people about it. They had some really good suggestions for me. I started pausing before I blew up about something and deciding, number one if that was what I was really mad about, and number two if it was worth fighting about.

Then at my meeting last night we talked about personal freedom which is basically being free to live your own life and be your own person. This topic is HUGE for me because I have spent 11 years doing what Jake likes or basing what I can go out and do on whether he wants to go or if I'm scared that he will get drunk and make and ass out of himself!! :-)

I've spent so much time watching him and taking care of him that somewhere in all of that I lost myself and I lost my ability to just be me. So now, I think I've turned a corner. Jake and I are talking about our, or mostly my at the moment, issues instead of fighting about them. And I am working on finding myself. Right now, I still catch myself doubting whether I should make plans or do certain things but I'm getting better.

On Sunday I'm going to my aunt's house and I didn't feel for one moment like I had to clear it with Jake or make sure he had something to do too so he wouldn't be getting into trouble. I just decided I wanted to do something and I made plans to do it. And for me... that is HUGE.

So, I think I'm finally moving forward in my own recovery. I'm getting to a place where I'm accepting that Jake is NOT my responsibility. I am my responsibility and Zack is my responsibility.

As we say in Al-anon. One day at a Time....