Sober since April 6, 2006

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Excerpt about relationships from "A Woman's Way ..."

From "A Woman's Way through the Twelve Steps", by Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D.:

Even our relationships themselves may have become addictive. We may have become so enmeshed in our relationships ... that we lost our own identity. We became intensely focused on "protecting our supply" or avoiding "withdrawal" from the attention, sex, status, companionship, or whatever else we received from the relationship.

This sense of desperation -- Why hasn't he called? Is she thinking about me? How can I be more pleasing, more likely to get what I want? -- does not allow for genuine relationships, for true intimacy and mutual caring.

As long as we stayed in a self-shaming state, disconnected from our true value and worthiness, we continued to seek relationships that gave us the same message that we gave ourselves: that we're hopeless, inept, and lacking in some elusive quality that everyone else seems to have. It was a vicious circle that ended with out journey through the Steps.

The source of our suffering and often of our addition was in our attachments, the relationships in which we hoped to find satisfaction and a sense of worth. But it is one of the paradoxes of recovery that while our relationships caused us pain and sufering, our relationships are also going to heal us.

I don't know about other lady alcoholics, but that section hit me like a train. It accurately describes the relationship problems I faced as an alcoholic and in early recovery. I did lose my identity. I was in a self-shaming state. I did think I was helpless and inept. And I did seek satisfaction and a sense of self worth through my relationship ... which suffocated it. None of that was his fault -- it was something that I developed over time. (WARNING: Ladies, regardless of how terrible or lost you feel, never ever mention a word of it to your significant other. Be "sunshiny and perfect" around them 24/7. Of course, this is difficult to do if you've lost your identity in your relationship and feel like a worthless piece of crap. But listen: If you absolutely must confide in someone, then find another female alcoholic who understands your situation, and confide in THEM. If you weigh your burdens on your significant other, you will freak them out and they will leave you -- which will make you feel like an even MORE worthless piece of crap. Just my advice ... I learned the hard way.)

But you won't see this addressed in the Big Book. Most 12-Step programs were built for men, who tend to have completely different psychological struggles than ladies do. Women have different relationship issues and face a different set of social and cultural judgments than men do, and most 12-Step programs often neglect to address these differences. This book relates these 12-Step programs to women's needs. I highly recommend it to all of the lady alcoholics out there. You can get the book here.

3 comments:

servant said...

Dear God's Beloved:

I'm sorry that your ex-boyfriend hurt you. And I'm sorry that you feel that you can't confide past pains in your signficant other.

I feel that unforunately your ex-boyfriend was not worthy your trust. The problem isn't that you shouldn't share your issue with signficant other. The problem is that the object of your faith wasn't worthy of it.

Is your boyfriend a Christ loving, Jesus saved, Spirit filled, blood bought Christian? If not than he completely unable to love you as you need. Remember the Bible telling you about being with "unequally yoked" people? Well it's true. A Christian gal needs a passionate for Jesus Christian man to serve her and thus lead her. No Christ = No love.

If you your ex-guy isn't a Chris filled person, than he's not going to be able to love you becuase God is love, and sadly God doens't live in him in order to support you.

The problem isn't you wanting someone to support you, the problem is that you picked the wrong type of person to try to find that support from. And if he is a Christian, but still support you than the problem is that he's an immature Christian than. The problem IS NOT YOU regarding wanting support.

2 Cor.6:14 - 7:1
Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers 14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."[b]
17"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."[c]
18"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."[d]

Tone said...

OMFG... this has to be the most absurd thing..... if i were able to convey my exact thoughts right now - it'd make the most sense EVAR!!!!111!!1!1OneOneeleventy-one! But unfortunately - i are teh suk... and fail at life, and conveying my thoughts.
bottom line - if the person being your significant other cant handle an issue you have - they are teh suk... and shall be tossed from your presence BY YOU!
relationships and true love are based on UNDERSTANDING eachother - thru the bad and the good.... and yes - even the alcoholic periods as well...
i'm about ready to explode in a whole torrent of emotion and hate and "eviltone bible" spewing rants (not even remotely because of your blog) - so i will end this here with this last question...
WHY DO WOMEN THINK THAT MEN ARE INCAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING THEM AND THE EMOTIONS WOMEN HAVE?
kiddo.... dont believe it.. please.... confide in the ones you love.... and in the ones who love you....

Love, Always,
Tone

tkdjunkie said...

Thanks for the ever-thoughtful comments guys. I didn't think my advice would elicit that kind of response. I wrote it with the intention of providing legitimate and sound advice ... (but maybe I'm still sick)

But I still think that it's generally good advice for lady alcoholics to avoid spilling all of their problems onto their boyfriends. Perhaps a fiancé or husband could be told more, since they have shown commitment to the relationship, but it is best to be careful -- especially if the partner is not an alcoholic.

It takes an alcoholic to understand an alcoholic. "Normal People" can't handle alcoholic problems, so when you push your alcoholic problems on them, they freak out. That's why they've had to make support groups just for them, such as Al-Anon. (Geez, come to think of it, that kind of makes me feel like I AM the disease. They've had to form an international support group to help "normal people" cope with people like me ... )

And the reason I suggested talking to a female alcoholic is because it is frowned upon for ladies and gentlemen to mingle too closely in AA. Feelings can accidentally grow, and you get blindsided by the train of "new love" -- which is the absolute LAST thing a fragile, wavering alcoholic needs.

As far as if the boyfriend is a Christian ... that might make a difference if he really is a TRUE Christian who is filled with the love of Christ. But there aren't very many of those, and the likelihood that such a strong Christian man would be dating a self-loathing, spiritually sick alcoholic is very low. They tend to go for the "strong Christian chick" types. But if any lady alcoholic is fortunate enough to be in a relationship with such a high caliber gentleman, she would be very, very blessed.