Sunday, 22 November 2015

One step closer to freedom, I've quit being an enabler

I never thought I would be the person who could turn their back on someone who had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep.  I never thought I would be that person who just walked away.  But that is exactly what I did on Friday evening.

When I met him he was big and powerful, I was young and weak.  My brother had just died and I was pouring booze and drugs down my neck at a terrible rate.  He came along and wanted to control me, and with me being so out of control, it was a perfect match. Fast forward 20 years, I no longer love him, don't need the booze, and don't need him ... and suddenly there he is ..... needing me.

It's taken me weeks to get out of this newly dysfunctional relationship.  Actually months.  It started with me visiting him while he was in psych, taking him cigarettes every week. Then after that, taking his phone calls where he would rant and rave about a world he hates.  When he had his first night on the street (I was out of town myself), I spent hours ringing around cheap accommodation, trying to find someone who would take him for a night at my expense.

On Friday I got the call.  He was in debt to the lodge he had been staying at and they were holding his bags until he could pay.  Would I, could I pay?  It was a lot of money.  I said no,  but at his insistence I went to see him.  I bought him food and gave him $40.  I went to his lodge and retrieved his medication (some prescription, some not so much) and handed it to him.  He told me he would probably die on the streets that night - I just hugged him goodbye and left.  I came home with such a heavy heart and blocked him from my phone and from my life.

According to  "In the context of alcoholism, an enabling relationship is one that makes it easier for the person with the addiction to continue in their destructive lifestyle. In most cases, enablers are well-intentioned and believe that their actions are beneficial to the alcoholic. However, the opposite is usually the case."

It then goes on to say "Only by stepping back from this toxic relationship can the enabler hope to recover their sense of self, and truly help the alcoholic they care about."  And now I see it - he controlled me for so many years, and by stepping in and becoming his enabler now, in a sick sort of way I have let him control me again.  It's destructive for me, and it is certainly no helping him.

I still feel very sad about it, and fear that I will be at his funeral one day soon.  But I have picked away another part of this puzzle which is my addictive life and found another little piece of freedom.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

It's time to STOP dammit!

It has been a long time since I have written just for me (and for anyone else who cares to listen).  I've been busy with work, and the little I do write tends to be with my wonderful community over at Living Sober.  But, I have been thinking I wanted to start re-recording my journey, because although nothing has changed, everything is changing.  I feel like a new chapter may be about to begin.

When I last wrote I was in the throws of giving up coffee.   Well, I succeeded.  I still have some caffeine (tea) but am not throwing coffee down my throat in copious amounts.  I do miss it, but boy have my anxiety levels come down.  I feel so much better for it, and it's fantastic for my bank account!

So booze has gone, coffee has gone - what is next for me?  I do believe that a form of self-care and peacefulness is where I am headed next.  It's the next part of my journey.  Over the years I have understood that I, with my high anxiety high stress life, am in desperate need of some sort of mindfulness practice.  When I have attempted it the benefits have been vast - but I have never stuck at it. "Too busy" I say ...  "you are going to break down if you continue like this" something deep within me replies.  So, I have begun to read, talk to people, think .... most important seek.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time for ME to stop dammit!