“Detachment [with love]” has become a common topic raised at my Usual Meeting, and it’s a topic I struggle with immensely.
The majority of my relationship with Qualifier has been characterized by Detachment—and that’s it. When he would get really deep into his addiction(s), I would bolt. “I’ve seen Intervention, I’m just setting boundaries,” I always said to myself. It wasn’t a terrible strategy then, but the relationship he and I have now is different. If we want to make this work, we have to work at it. That means no more running away and avoiding things. But our programs also keep us from getting so attached that we get dependent and make ourselves nuts—detachment with love! It hasn’t been easy, but we’re working on it. This image just reminded me of the struggle we’ve been having.
Maybe it helps someone else out there. :)
It’s a meeting I’ve been meaning to go to for a long time, since I moved. I’ve been using my location as an excuse not to go to my “usual” meeting and not go to a meeting AT ALL. Bad girl! Haha
The only ever meeting I went to besides Usual Meeting I hated, so I was really apprehensive to go to another one. But last night, I just effing did it, ya’ll. And guess what? IT WAS AN AWESOME MEETING!!
First of all, it was a women’s meeting, which, no offense to the guys, I love. Men change the tone of the meeting so much, and while sometimes that’s good to mix things up, it can be really jarring when I just want a nice, comforting meeting with my Usual Ladies who I look to as mother/aunt/sister-figures.
There were maybe 20 women, so it was also the largest Al Anon meeting I’ve ever been to. Many were still in business-casual work clothes, and several of them were much closer to my age than those ladies in my Usual Group. I have a really good feeling that I will find someone at this meeting to be my sponsor. :)
The topic of the meeting was “Keep Coming Back”—we read from Courage To Change for November 17. The woman who was leading wasn’t even sure if it was “a good topic”, but that she was feeling a lot of gratitude for what continually coming back to these meetings has done for her life. It turned out to be a brilliant topic, of course, because the motivation to get your happy ass to meeting can be really tough, but once you are there, there is almost always a sense of peace and calm and relief. Everyone shared, and almost every person said something that resonated with me. I’m so glad I went.
So, my goals for the near future are as follows:
Thanks for letting me share!
Thanks to bruno-potts for reminding me that keeping up a blog is hard for anyone.
write publish all the time for this blog. I always sit down with an idea of what to write about, and they I go off on these crazy tangents and the entry makes no effing sense whatsoever. Frankly, it’s probably going to happen right now. But I think I’ve made the choice to just start publishing whatever I end up with. I don’t get to revise and edit my shares in meetings, and I don’t want this blog to be much different. So, apologies ahead of time for entries that are disjointed, unorganized, and full of tangents and ridiculousness.
Things I Started To Write About Recently And Then Stopped Because I Felt Like An Idiot
First of all, I am insanely proud of Qualifier for making it through his first year of sobriety. He’s doing so well and really thriving in his program. It was a really special experience to watch him get his token in front of all those people, and to hear others from the rehab program speak so positively about him.
I want to say “he’s a completely different person than he was a year ago”, but that’s not totally true. Because I’ve known him so long, I feel like I always saw glimmers of his real personality under the drugs, the drinking, and the mask he wore to hide from his real feelings. Somewhere in the first couple of years that I’d known him, I was aware of a mysterious connection to him. I couldn’t define it or explain it, and shit, half the time I didn’t even LIKE him that much, but I also couldn’t stay away. That motivated me to “stick around” this past year or so, and I’m so happy that I did.
I’m glad to be part of his support system while our old party buddies drop like flies. I’m thankful for his support in my life and forever blessed that his recovery brought me to my own recovery, brought me to Al Anon. I’m strengthened by our combined willingness to mature and move into another chapter of our lives—even if that means going to bed at 9 or 10 at night because we have work the next morning!
That being said, there are still challenges. I am still fearful. Is he ready emotionally for an exclusive relationship? Am I? Our communication with each other has gotten better and better, but there are still things I find lacking. I know that a relationship shouldn’t be us needing each other, or relying on each other, rather it should be sharing our lives together, but I still expect a man to treat me certain ways. I would still like for my partner to be nice to be, tell me nice things from time to time. It always feels like a battle with Qualifier.
A good part of it is my own selfishness, my desires to make him “better”. I’m not surprised that he pushes back, and I feel bad about trying to change him—that’s not my job. But to be completely honest, I don’t want a boyfriend who dresses like a slob, lets his hair get all shaggy and ‘threatens’ to cut it into a mullet. I don’t want a boyfriend who doesn’t want to spend time with me and my friends, or constantly jokes that he doesn’t want to. I’m not allowed to change Qualifier, but I am allowed to set standards for myself, express my needs and desires. And, unfortunately, Qualifier doesn’t quite meet all of them yet.
Which sort of answers my second topic, actually. I feel so conflicted and guilty all the time about my situation with Qualifier—am I leading him on? What if I meet someone else? Am I just keeping Qualifier around until I find something better? And the answers to those questions are ‘No’, ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we get there’, and ‘Yes and no’.
No, I am not leading him on. When we started seeing each other again after I asked for space, I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship with him, and I’ve since expressed other concerns in the same vein. He made the choice to continue like this as much as I did, and I can’t be freaking out every five minutes about whether or not HE made the right choice for HIM. That is HIS business. I am allowed to want more, and so is he, but he needs to say so.
Saying ‘no’ to Qualifier—and let’s be real, men in general—is very difficult for me/lots of women. So if I met someone else and he gave me the relationship that I wanted, I would just have to pluck up the courage and do it. I am allowed to want more.
I am being clear about my feelings and my intentions, and I shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting more for myself. I am allowed to want more. And ‘wanting more’ doesn’t necessarily mean I’m looking for it in someone else. If Qualifier steps up his game a little bit, I’d be more than happy to have an exclusive relationship with him.
Ta da! Questions answered and tangents not explored!!!
Thanks for letting me share!
When I started going on Tumblr, i liked the pics and shit and thought “hey i could write an al-anon blog” full of deep and meaningful shit.
As usual I failed at that massively, mainly ‘cause the only time i can be arsed to do anything is if something has upset me. The rest of the time I really am…
If it makes you feel any better, I kind of suck at keep up my Al Anon blog, too.