Empowered Recovery--Candidly Helping the Family and friends of Alcoholics Recognize, Understand, and Resolve an Alcoholic Relationship

    •  www.EmpoweredRecovery.com •  www.NonAlcoholic.org 




Robin's Realm


A Survivor's Hints to Survival


It is late at night 
And I must write 
To share with all
What has happened 
What I have learned
In hopes they too can see
What struggles reality can be

Tonight is such a clear crisp cold fall evening. I look to the sky and I see the stars shining brightly. It is such a wonderful sight. Such a peaceful evening. Who would ever have thought there could be such peace. 

You see I am a survivor of an alcoholic relationship. I was a nonalcoholic in an alcoholic relationship. Notice I said was.. That is an important word for a survivor. It is not an easy word to get beyond. 

I lived a life of fantasy and denial. Ever been there done that? When you thought man I am in a great relationship. I have found the person of my dreams! Whoo hoo what a feeling! The great times, the great fun, the romance, the sharing of all, but wait what is that in the background there you are hiding? Hmm.. some issues, some problems? overlooking unhealthy behaviors?? Let's see.. so your love of your life showed up late for a date, maybe even did not show at all, oh they were suppose to call but never did? better yet they are out with someone else, called you names, really bad names, used you for your money, took all they could get from you emotionally and physically, etc. but yet you overlooked it because you "loved" them and they loved you. Then your whoo hoo has turned into Whoaaaaaaaa my world is starting to crash. This person that I loved is being very manipulating, controlling, only cares about themselves. 

Some light bulb goes off in your head and you see there is something seriously wrong here, I need help, what is wrong with me you ask yourself. Can you imagine someone telling you... hey you have an addiction... this alcoholic in your life is your drug addiction. Yikes, me with an addiction? I only thought druggies and alkies had those! Great now what? I then learn that I can deal with the pain now, or die from the pain later. Emotional addiction is a tough one to get over. When your life gets out of control, some may seek help and that is what I did. I joined Empowered Recovery. 

What a journey it has been. The emotional rollercoaster and ups and downs of life. I sought help online. I got the following email back:

Hi Robin, thanks for writing. Everything on ER is valid and up to date. I recommend reading everything I've written, which is contained in the free eBook. I also recommend joining my online Yahoo group [no longer available].

Just a couple of thoughts... You don't want to be lonely, but you already are, aren't you? Only when you can become complete within yourself, will you find your soul mate. You need to find yourself, and then you will not be so concerned with loneliness, because then, you will be enough. Even now, you are enough.

Have you considered seeing a counselor or therapist to help you organize your thoughts and arrive at some healthy conclusions? I would recommend it. It has helped me in the past, as well as my son.

I have found that if I want my outside world to change, I must first change my inside world. This would be a good thought to ponder deeply.

Again, please read what I've written on the website, join the group, and we'll go from there.

I wish you all my best,

Doug Kelley
Founder of Empowered Recovery

Well ok so I thought here goes. I joined the Yahoo group (no longer available) and read every article on this site. 

I claimed my life back. I stopped the communication. I stopped the email battles. Was it easy? heck no! I had to give up my addiction, my enabling, my co-dependency ways. I had to end the relationship with the alcoholic. Who wants to give up what we have known as our comfort. 

But let me tell you, it is all so worth it. What I thought was great, comforting was destroying my life. Here's a few hints:

Don't call, Don't email- Do whatever you can to avoid communication. Call a friend, get on the group sight post, post, post.

Journal your feelings- Amazing to do this. When you look back, you won't believe what you have written. Days fly by and it is a great reminder to see how far you have come in your progress and also a great reminder why you would never want to go back to an alcoholic relationship

Do something for you- Take a bubble bath, do your nails, (guys get one of those projects done around the house- go for a walk, read your favorite book, volunteer your time to friends, community functions. 

We all say we are so lonely. Ever been in a relationship and felt lonely? Would you rather not be alone and be at peace, then be in a relationship and have that awful lonely feeling? I would. Oh I would cry at night, many a night, many a day. It is ok to cry. We all need to get our frustrations out. I feel it is healthy to cry. 

Whatever you do don't become a couch potato! Don't let all the negativity they put in our heads get to you and bring you down into deep depression. It is not worth it! 

Don't feed your emotions- Feel every one of them. They are great reminders of why we are where we are. If you feed them with food, you are just feeding more negativity into yourself. 

Learn to like to be alone with yourself. Take quiet time for you. It is amazing when you start to do this, you will learn a lot about yourself. 

Anger did you say???????????? Hmmmmmmmm.. ok that is a big one! I bet if some of those angry days, I could go to a local shooting range, I would hit a bulls eye every time! You need to learn how to deal with your anger. Yes they hurt us, they made us feel like junk! They put all the blame on us. Guess what folks! It is not our fault! We are the victims in this cycle. 

But I am a failure! Gosh how many times in my life have I said that! Again, my whole life is not a failure. I made a choice back then to be in this relationship. Today is a new day and I can move forward with making healthier choices. Make a list of positive things in your life. When you put it on paper, it is so much clearer to see... hey I am ok. I have done so many things right in my life. 

Give yourself positive affirmations- Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself you love who you see looking back. Tell yourself you are a great person because you truly are! But you have been led to believe you are not worthy of anything. 

Most importantly take care of yourself and your family. Spend time with those you love. The ones who truly care about you. The ones who never ever give up on you. 

For me it was healthy to work on my spiritual being as well. Some of us may a higher power, a God, a Universe we look up to for guidance. Whatever it may be, take the time to get back in touch with it. 

So as we take the time to heal from the pain, you get this feeling , hey I am a great person someone will love me, I think I am ready to find that someone… Whoaa again horsie... stop and look what you just went through. You just ended it two months ago and you want to date again????????? Have you really learned about yourself. I say.. well like man, it was so great that this new person called me twice a day! emailed me! cooked dinner for me! did activities together, told me how beautiful I am! Darn! this is looking good!!!!!!! But wait then the flashbacks start.. and you start looking at this person thinking is that a red flag, is that a red flag what about this? what about that? I began to question myself. So I posed a question to the group and the great response was:

As always, it's good to hear of your progress. You are 100% right... you need to get the focus back on yourself.

To answer your questions, no it is not normal to think about driving past this man's house to see if he is there. It is not healthy to be thinking many of the thoughts that are going through your head as you spend time with him. I think I know why you're thinking them.

It is too soon for you to be starting another relationship. You have NOT had enough time to recover mentally and emotionally from an abusive relationship. Of COURSE you're paranoid and suspicious... did your ex not teach you to be that way? When you have allowed enough time to pass for more positive self growth and healing to occur, you will once again have confidence in your radar and intuition. You can be "alert" to warning signs without looking for them in innocent things. You will recognize unhealthy behaviors 
immediately without losing all trust of other people. Remember, you will never be able to have a truly healthy relationship with someone unless you have learned to trust again. Trust takes time, and needs to be earned. It's that simple.

I read what you replied to M, and I have to respectfully disagree. I believe you DO need at least a year without beginning any romantic relationships to truly focus on yourself and heal. I do not believe this is setting yourself up for disappointment OR failure. We all know the difference between romantic relationships 
and friendships. What is to stop you from having male and female friends? Nothing. As a matter of fact, if you are friends with a man first ( and he clearly knows this is only a friendship) you will see the true person. He will not be trying to impress you or win you over. Robin, in your case, that would mean no exclusive outings with your male friend, at least not initially. The reason you are feeling so confused and paranoid is your subconscious is trying to tell you it's NOT ready for another relationship! Let this gentleman know you 
are only interested in friendship. His reaction will tell you a lot. 

Go out with other people too, female friends or in groups. Your new friend can be included in these group activities without getting the wrong idea, can't he? If you're honest with yourself and others, you will learn to trust again. It takes time. You need to give yourself that time! 

Remember, we are creatures of habit. There is a part of you that CRAVES having someone to obsess over. It will remove your attention from yourself. If you recognize this tendency in yourself, the battle is over. You WILL win it. You have already shown yourself (and everyone here) what a strong woman you are. Keep up the good work. Keep your focus on yourself... and every other aspect of your life will align itself with the healthy Robin. 

Take care, Tracy Kelley

Now you know when Tracy posts, it is going to be a great one and right on the money! and on the money it was! 

There was no way I was ready for a relationship. It takes time to heal. It takes time to focus on me. It takes time to get over my addiction to the alcoholic. Is it impossible? No! With time all things are possible! and the key is KEEP FOCUS ON YOURSELF! 

When you start taking the focus off of you and then focus on them, you will be lost. You never will find sanity and clarity! But if you reverse it and start focusing on you.. you will be amazed at what you find. 

I used every excuse in the book to deny all that was happening in my life. Do I have it all together now? No. I am much more healthier now? YES! He is gone, the pain is gone. Oh those feelings I get now-they are healthy pains.. they are my own growing pains! Growing more and more healthier every day. There are so many little tips and hints I could share but I shall leave you with this one thought! 

Look in the mirror
What do you see?
A person smiling back?
Or someone lost deep in the sea?

Look again 
look real hard
It is you
It is you looking back
Your eyes saying

As I reach for the computer to shut it off, I go to the window, I 
open it, I feel the fresh air, I look up to the sky and see those 
stars shining brightly, I give thanks for the peace I now have. When 
those clouds of doubt try to take my light away, I say hurry and 
blow by fast, for here there are no clouds wanted. Only light and 
peace and most of all my own Serenity! 

--Robin Walters, September 30, 2005


© Copyright 2005 by Robin Walters. All Rights Reserved. 

Robin Walters is an alcoholic relationship survivor and writer in New York state. Robin still longs to be a school teacher, but now satisfies that longing by sharing her life experiences in the hope that her lessons will lighten the load for others. She may be contacted at robin@empoweredrecovery.com. Read more of her writings at www.EmpoweredRecovery.com/robin .




NOTICE: Empowered Recovery is not intended to replace prudent professional therapy.

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