A few days ago, I admitted to myself that I’m addicted to alcohol. It all came after the end of a relationship which lasted just over three years but was filled with tumult. Today, I actually had a pretty good day emotionally, although I’ve caught some kind of flu or cold bug which didn’t make things pleasant and put a wrench into some plans I had. I was planning on walking over to an AA meeting but had absolutely no energy and didn’t think the folk there would appreciate me sneezing germs into their air.
But I have had a lot of time to reflect as well as read through “The Big Book,” AA’s major publication.
As I reflect back, there are parts of me that wonder why I ever let the relationship go as long as it did. There were times when we both would break up with each other, but only after a few days later we’d be back in touch, saying our “I love you’s” and “I miss you so much” and “let’s promise to do this better next time.” But almost on queue – it was actually just about 3 to 4 weeks… there would be some major issue.
The insecurity issues started almost right away – about a month after the relationship – and they just continued. But it wasn’t the insecurity issues that bugged me so much, it was the accusations. I often told her I could deal with insecurity issues; but accusations are devastating. I’ve seen and researched a lot on insecurity issues, but there seems to be very little about how awful false accusations can feel. These accusations were generally based on some “feeling” I was told, usually. And some of them were quite bizarre from my perspective. Near the beginning of the relationship, I had written an article about hearing my son’s band perform. I had been supporting them for quite some time, and one night I drove 5 hours to hear them. They rocked the place, and it was the first opportunity I had to meet my son’s girlfriend. When the band was playing, his girlfriend discovered who I was, grabbed me by the hand, and introduced me to the other band members’ girlfriends – and we “danced” together for about 30 seconds. In my article, I wrote a short sentence about this – how I was grabbed by the bandmember’s girlfriends and they had me dancing. … and somehow out of that, I was accused of “wanting an open relationship.”
It was pretty nutty. I was about 44 years old, and we’re talking teenage and young 20′s kids here, at a bar who are friends of my son. And not was it just nutty, it was devastating to me to read this. Along the way, there were to be many more outright accusations – some of which were just insidious – and yes, angered me. Interestingly enough, I discovered I’m not alone in this feeling of false accusations:
In canadianliving.com, Stephanie Gray writes:
But what if you’ve been accused of cheating? Jennifer Andrade, 28, now happily engaged, previously had a long-term relationship with a man who made such accusations when he learnt she had been spending time with a male friend. “Being accused of cheating on him was almost as bad as if I had found out he cheated on me,” admits Andrade. “I was devastated.”
And it is devastating, and the thing for me was that there were zero females in my life that I “hung out with” or spent any great deal of time. The few that were in my life, which included my business partner was full disclosure to my girlfriend. Most of these accusations, as noted above seemed to be based on “feeling” or what she called her “gut instinct.” Well, what happens when your gut instinct is wrong, and do you simply make accusations based on that? You shouldn’t. I worked for many years in Law Enforcement and saw many times when police officers would target someone simply based on their “gut feeling,” and many times, that gut feeling was totally wrong! I think people like Oprah have it all wrong when they preach, “Trust your instinct.” Or perhaps they are not explaining well enough what that means.
So why did allow this relationship to continue with all of the false allegations? There are several reasons, and may be even more than I list:
1. I loved her: When things were great, they were great! We laughed together, in many ways, we thought in similar ways, she was beautiful, and physically, we seemed right for each other.
2. I hoped: I hoped things would get better. I offered relationship councilling many times over the course of the relationship. I mean, we both seemed to love each other – we’d come back to each other within days of “breaking up” so I figured that I needed to learn something just as much as she did. But even after booking an appointment, she did not come with me. I don’t understand that.
3. The sex was great: Well, it wasn’t super-duper fantastic ALL the time, but it was very very good much of the time. But during some of the more stressful times especially in the past year, it had it’s ups and downs. Stress is definitely not an aphrodisiac.
4. I had fears: What if it WAS all me, and some other guy could make her happy? Is there something I need to learn.. but if so, it’s sure taking me a long time!
5. I had a belief: And this is important to me, especially after going through The Big Book and the concept of a “Higher Power.” I don’t believe in a “Higher Power” that is distinct and separate from the rest of us – that would be almost illogical to me and would require a dualistic approach to The Universe. More on that in a moment, but because of how my gf and I met, and all the amazing coincidences and similarities in our lives, I Believed we were meant to meet and be together. I believed that so strongly, that I ended up giving up time with my sons and on my business in order to try to figure out these “insecurities” and just try to make it work.
As I was reflecting on this, perhaps I had two addictions? An addiction to the relationship along with an addiction to alcohol, and they fed off of each other? When a person gives you little trust and you’ve done nothing to make them have a good reason for being untrustworthy, it’s a personal attack and is devastating. When you are in such a situation, you should run – and that is the advice I used to give to others. But for me, it was different though. Something kept me from ending it completely. And as it went on, the more tumultous it became, the more money and time I spent on trying to make things right… and ended up with lots of resentment and feelings of isolation in the end.
Getting back to The Big Book, it talks of a “Higher Power.” I was brought up in a Calvinistic sort of family – God was Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent but Independent of Man. For reasons that are far too long to write about here and after many years of thinking, I came to reject this – and considered many other types of religious and spiritual points of view. In the end, I believe(d) that all things are God. Everything that is, Is God. Nothing is separate from God, and so it is the energy of the Universe that makes things happen. To this end, I believed that is what was happening when I met my GF.
So I’m a bit stuck on this “Higher Power” thing, because it has let me down (I think).
And, I’m pretty sure I had more than one addiction – I was addicted to trying to make things right with my GF so that we could enjoy more of what was good about the relationship and get rid of the accusations which were often a direct attack on me and something I absolutely abhored and found devastating to me.
So as I think about that, and consider joining AA, will AA simply become another “addiction?” I don’t know.