Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

I was catching up on my program reading this morning.  I came across the statement that “looking for love and affection from [the addict] is like looking for bread at the hardware store.”  This hit me like a ton of bricks.  I spent yesterday morning, the first day of the new year, mired in self-pity because I didn’t feel love rays radiating from my partner.  I justified my self-pity by reminding myself of how selfless I had been recently – how much more household responsibility I have taken on.  You get the idea.

It is no person’s job to supply my emotional needs.  The love is there, but it isn’t always broadcast in the ways that I most readily receive it or recognize it.  My partner is healing, both physically and mentally, from trauma.  It takes a lot of “bandwidth.”

I posted on my Facebook page that “The new year is off to a rough start.”  I received lots of “hugs” and well wishes, and one person that snapped me out of it.  He asked me where that positive person who usually posts went.  He gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to clean up the house, go for a run, and count my blessings.

That friend gave me a gentle dose of tough love.  I am so glad that he did.  We need to look outside of our traditional ideas of how things should be sometimes.  Others in our meetings are happy to supply a hug or a smile.  It’s no sin to leave for a short while to meet a friend for a coffee and a laugh.  The fact that our addict is radiating sadness doesn’t mean that we must reflect it back.

Right now my addict cannot give me love in the way that I would ideally receive it.  That doesn’t mean I have the right to have an emotional affair to get what I think I need.  I need, first, to look for love where it’s expressed.  It’s there, nonetheless.  My friends are happy to supply affection in other ways.

I’m glad that I saw the reminder not to look for bread in the hardware store.  Love is all around.  I just need to remember whre and how to look for it.

Step 1 – Day 4

Although I’ve been doing my reading and reviewing the steps, things are still such a blur that I haven’t had much of a chance to try to work through them.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable

Admitting that I am powerless over alcohol makes no sense to the logical portion of my mind.  I have always been able to control my drinking.  I grew up believing that alcohol was sinful.  As an adult, I gave up that belief, but I learned to use alcohol responsibly.  I can step completely away from alcohol at any time.  I have done so.  While I occasionally enjoy a drink or a glass of wine, it is not and has not been a compulsion for me.

The second part of the statement rings true – our joint life has become unmanageable.  I cannot run interference for him, take care of me and still be sane.  This week has shown how precarious that position had become.

I am powerless over his use of alcohol.   I did not create his addiction.  I cannot control his addiction.  I cannot cure his addiction.  All I can do is pick up the pieces and pray.  Hmm… that brings us to Step 2, does it not?

Day 3

I didn’t post on days 1 or 2 because there was no time. It’s his 3rd day sober. We are doing detox alone at home. I’m not trained for this. I don’t know how to feel.

Everyone asks how he is. Only 2 people have asked how I am holding up. God bless those two people.

I am angry, relieved, frightened, giddy, overwhelmed, grateful, and maybe a tiny bit jealous all at once. Mostly, I am terrified.