And so it goes…

308 days ago when I quit drinking (and smoking), I told myself that I would give the relationship that I was in a year, and re-evaluate then. I knew that the relationship was bad, I knew that it had been bad for a long time, but being who I am, I shouldered a lot of the blame. I thought that maybe if I got sober then a lot of the problems would go away too.

The sad part is that it was problems in the relationship that I was drinking to hide from that escalated my drinking to what it became. I didn’t want to go home to an angry boyfriend; I didn’t want to deal with the drama that constantly surrounded him with his ex wife and son. I didn’t want to go home to a house that didn’t even feel like a home to me. I felt displaced and out of sorts and unhappy. Really, really unhappy. Drinking numbed that. I was for the most part a happy drunk. I also craved human touch and intimacy and the only way I got that from him was to get drunk and take the initiative, because he is not one to show signs of affection. He would get mad at me for wanting sex too often. He would get mad at me for “hugging up against him” in bed. I would feel sad and lonely and desperate for a loving touch or even a compliment (which I never got either). I tried not to take it personally and just accept that THAT was who HE was and that was his personality and let’s face it – everyone has different personalities and comfort levels with showing affection and being intimate.

I felt tricked though – lied to and cheated and tricked because I had believed that he was the victim in his marriage and that his wife was crazy and had treated him so horribly. Poor, poor guy. I spoiled him and put him on a pedestal and treated him like a king at the beginning, and made excuses for his bad behaviour and thought that things would change. There were so, SO many signs that I ignored, and every once in a while he’d do something nice so I truly believed that we could have a nice life together. When other people were around or when we were out at the bar or party with a group of friends then he was a completely different person. He would put his arm around me (holy crow!), he would engage me in the conversation and he would be all happy and smiling and getting lots of attention as he domineered the conversation and told stories and got attention.

Once I quit drinking, I had to face all of those feelings, and really start re-evaluating. In the beginning of my sobriety when he was so completely unsupportive – bringing home alcohol to stock the cupboards with, getting mad at me for not going to the bar with him (but also refusing to go anywhere different with me), feeling sorry for himself and making himself out to be the victim because boo-fucking-hoo, Donna isn’t a fun party girl anymore and this is affecting HIS life so drastically <insert eye roll here>, I was just trying to keep myself sober and going through my own personal hell, by myself (thank god for this blog and the amazing people here). Then he started cancelling our planned vacations because they wouldn’t be fun for him if it didn’t involve sitting in a bar or sitting on a beach drinking. Before my trip to the Yukon and Alaska in the Spring, I tried to talk him into coming with me but he wouldn’t. That actually turned out to be the turning point – a heavenly break away from his anger and constant negativity and after returning from there 3 months ago I started sleeping in the spare room and we basically just became 2 people living in the same house.

I also started focusing more on myself, getting exercise and getting out of the house and having some fun and making some new friends. The less time I spent around him (and he was out until really late with ball+bar several times a week anyway) the happier and more carefree I felt. The less I wanted to hide away and the more I wanted to embrace and enjoy life. It’s hard to do that when you’re around someone who finds the negative in absolutely everything.

And then… it all came to a head a few days ago when he confronted me about what was going on. The thing about the controlling personality types is that they’re very happy when they have complete control and they’re happy when the person they’re with is under that control, doing what the controller wants – especially if it is waiting at home patiently for them, meekly and mildly. I’m not really a meek and mild, wait at home type of person though haha… and that angers him, because he doesn’t have control. He had a big fit and made himself out to be the victim (no surprise there, I was fully anticipating that).

Two parts of the long & frustrating conversation with him:

Him: So what… I’m not allowed to go out drinking and having fun anymore? I have to stay home with you because you’re not drinking?
Me: I never, ever said that or asked that of you. I have absolutely no problem with you going out with your friends and drinking. No problem with that at all. I am getting out hiking and exploring. Would you like to join me for that? (he says no). I didn’t think so.

Him: I wouldn’t get mad if you came to the bar and didn’t drink, or if you started drinking again.
Me: (calmly) I don’t really give a shit if you did or didn’t get mad at me for not drinking. I’m putting myself and my sobriety first here, and doing what I need to do to stay sober.
Me: What? I said I’m putting my sobriety first and I don’t give a shit if you do or don’t get mad that I’m not drinking
Him: EXACTLY! You don’t give a shit about my feelings!

Seriously, what the hell! He is 55 yrs old and more exhausting to deal with than a toddler having a temper tantrum.

I managed to keep my calm for a conversation that should have been really difficult and was filled with a sense of relief when I told him that yes, it’s over (realistically it has been for months). I’ve been unhappy for a long time and things aren’t working out and I tried to do it in a way where I shouldered the blame and told him that we just have two very different personalities. I don’t want things to get ugly. I know that he will play the victim to his friends and family. I know that it’s not going to be smooth. I have been dreading this because of his controlling and angry personality. It was a lot easier for me to just live in the shadows mainly being ignored and unnoticed. Now I just have to figure out living arrangements (I still have my old house but there are renters in it, so it won’t be a sudden quick move unfortunately). The GOOD thing is that most of my stuff is still packed in boxes because he never wanted me to put any of my stuff out in the house! I seriously have clothes to pack, one end table next to the couch with some pictures and a salt lamp on it, some scented wax warmers, coffee cups and a few other odds and ends and that’s it (if there was any question on why it hasn’t felt like a home to me).

Sheesh, why didn’t someone warn me that this was what sobriety looked like? heehee. 😉


44 and not too sore

Today I turn 44 yrs old. I am also 295 days alcohol, drug and smoke free.

I had my tarot cards read the other day by a friend of a friend who truly does have a gift. The last time I had them read was several years ago and I was really struggling. I was in a pretty dark place and already feeling sad and lonely in the relationship and I don’t remember a lot of what she told me but I do remember crying through most of the reading. This time she told me to take notes. So I did.

She laid the cards out in their nice little rows and all I saw was a LOT of cups and swords and what looked like a person being tortured in the first row, and a devil in there in one of the rows, and a death card (I think) and some sort of burning tower near the end and other pictures that looked a little scary.

“Wow” the card reader said. I exhaled nervously. “No, really, this is amazing. I haven’t seen cards this great in a long time. This is fantastic” she tried to assure me. Then she started off with the first row which represented recent past, and she got a little choked up and she told me “You’ve been through so much, it’s been really tough for you, but you’re coming out of that dark dark place and you are doing great. You’re doing so great, and you are on the right path”

Here are some of the notes I took:

  • Take weekend trips (she told me that it’s important that I take time for myself, that I get away, that I “take weekend trips”. I have been trying to do this at least once a month so honestly I think my mouth fell open with surprise when she said this)
  • Tap into things that you’re not familiar with (wow, that has been the theme this past 295 days! lol)
  • Devil card – temptation – trust instincts – go for it
  • Categorize and weigh options and pros and cons
  • Doing a great job of working on myself
  • take inventory of myself
  • Hanged man – decision making – take time
  • In a few months I will need to make a major decision that could result in something lifechanging and amazing (I think this was the burning tower and death card row)

Oh and also that I really need to work on my organization skills and be careful with my money, be thankful of things and some other stuff too. It was interesting and fun!

Stress on top of stress on top of stress

I have been dealing with a LOT of stress lately (mostly at work). I have one staff member who is causing so many problems and doing things that I have never – IN MY CAREER – had to deal with before. It came to a head just over a week ago. It took every single ounce of control I had to not buy a bottle of wine on the way home that night. My mind kept going to all of the alcohol that the person I live with has in the house. I was so stressed out and so worried about what was going on at work that I just wanted to escape and hide and forget about it. I just kept telling myself “That’s no longer an option baby, so you better come up with some other things to do instead. Curl up on the couch and binge on netflix? Go for a bike ride? Call a friend to go for a walk or hike? Go to a movie?”

I have been back to drinking that SanPelligrino Lemonada (tart lemon) and the real gingery gingerales again like I was at the beginning of sobriety and eating boatloads of chocolate and/or sweet stuff. I have been feeling squirrely for lack of a better word. I want to run away and hide. That has always been me – I hate, hate, hate, hate HATE conflict of any type.

I took off for the weekend and did lots of hiking and exploring, sat in small coffee shops and bought ice cream, in towns hours and hours away. I came back with a clearer head but as soon as I got back to work on Tuesday (it was a long weekend here) I could feel the anxiety and panic creeping in. I wanted (and still want to) stick my head in the sand and not deal with any of it, but I have been forcing myself to try to deal with it head on, hands shaking and face flushed with frustration lol.

Still sober! 289 days today, and my sobriety clock had a very apt saying for me today 🙂

Life is very, very stressful at home lately too. I feel like I’m floundering everywhere. Oh well, this too shall pass 🙂 Or as my favourite song goes “I will survive!!” 🙂