Working Through It All…

I have always been an extremely dedicated worker. Even when I don’t care for a job, I have always kept a strong work ethic.  Of course, one of the many things I noticed from my depression and alcoholism is that my work ethic fell.  It’s one thing that truly spiraled my emotions and mental faculties out of control.  You see, being focused on things has always been my specialty – achieving a black belt in martial arts, working three jobs while attending college full time, fighting for my life at different times when I was a cop, being hyper focused on whatever task or goal was needed, etc.

Being driven has always helped me overcome the challenges in life.

And then…

Over time, I gave way to being human. Yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

I can’t quantify when I began to drag my ass about things, but it’s something I’m not proud of becoming. I’m not sure if I got tired of working so hard and not getting where I had hoped to be or if it was the failings in my marriage when trying to make someone else happy or if it was my brother’s suicide that shut me down. Sometimes, life just kicks you in the gonads. There have been various times I have used work or thrown myself into my tasks that helped me overcome things, but I had spent the better part of the last 10 years or so just giving up.

And I hated that.

Of course, that’s truly when my alcoholism began to set it. I notice tremendous similarities between myself and some of the personal stories within the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous – one of those being that a lot of alcoholics are very driven people. In fact, my sponsor has told me before, that alcoholics have awesome willpower (a common misconception is that we have no willpower) – who else, but an alcoholic, will walk miles in a blizzard just to get a drink? But that’s sort of the tricky detail, right?  We alcoholics are only powerless over the choice of drink – given the choice for a different decision, we tend to choose a beer or something else as the solution to our problems.

This is one of the reasons I had such a difficult time accepting my own alcoholism – since I was not a “low-bottom” drunk and could see the various times in my life that willpower had carried me through, then it would have been no problem for me to choose a different course of action. I could even remember times in my life, where I chose not to use alcohol to deal with stress, anxiety or depression; but for some reason, in recent years, I felt I could not fall back on those matters and chose to drown myself in beer.

But, even yesterday, when I was feeling so overwhelmed by my life, I found myself in the midst of my job and being very involved. This is something I had not done in quite some time. And by the end of the day, I felt good about myself. I felt accomplished and that I could accept my horrible financial situation, as long as I had a job. I felt somewhat empowered by the end of the day.  Granted, this doesn’t change the fact that I want a different position, but it does tell me that there is another way to handle life.

And I felt serene until I had a discussion with my wife last night and began to take on the stress and crap she feels. I have problems in my extended family and things have not felt good – especially because my wife feels like no one likes her (her family and my family). She also feels like she has wasted her life and that she will not amount to anything.

I can figure out how to work through my own problems, but I have never figured out how to work through someone else’s problems and one of the many things I fear is that those I love will believe I don’t care when I can’t fix their problems. Although, I know it’s not my responsibility, I can’t escape the obligation I feel. And I hate that my emotions are tied into someone else’s emotions – and the closer they are to me, the more I feel.

I don’t know how to work through that…

I’m now sober 42 days.

13 thoughts on “Working Through It All…

  1. In a marriage or other close relationship (parent-child) it is inevitable that the other person’s emotions would affect us. Their lives and yours are intimately connected. What happens to them happens to you, sometimes literally. It is no surprise that her feelings of isolation and failure have brought you down. The thing is… you guys are not that old! She has plenty of time to accomplish something. The trick is for her to figure that out. What would she want to do? That is the question she should ask herself and then take some steps in that direction.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Truthfully, that’s the depressing part… We have discussed this on numerous occasions and I have made numerous suggestions – I feel like there is an inevitability in my marriage that even I am afraid to approach. But I think you have seen me handle this before. All I know is that I’m fighting for myself lately and I feel like I’m leaving her behind to drown…it sucks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does suck… but there is only so much you can do for another. You know this from your AA, a person must decide to act for themselves and then when they do, you can assist them on the way. You get yourself together my friend. That is likely the best way to help both of you. If you’re not drowning you can reach out a hand to help her. 💜💜💜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, good for you for having a moment of serenity. You deserve it. So enjoy the fuck out it, even if its just for a short period of time.

    As I have said before, it seems as though you are carrying far too much on your shoulders. In every relationship there are ups and downs for sure. Relationship are made up of 100%, with each person giving 100%. The problem is, that over time a break down happens. Whether it be mentally, emotionally, physically, verbally, etc, it happens. Ether both start to give less or one give’s less and the other picks up the slack. And from the sounds of it, you guys check a few of those boxes.

    Remember, you are there to support her as a partner. Listen and communicate her/ your concerns, but you CANNOT do it for her. And never feel like you should or feel badly for not doing it. And trust me, I know that it is hard. Up until recently, I was an enabled of co-dependant behaviour. And it is toxic and exhausting. The aim to please everyone syndrome. But then a therapist said to me, “Why do you take care of everyone else before you ever take care of yourself. You are just as important. Stop trying to accommodate everyone else. They are adults, they can do it themselves.”

    Your only obligation is to be supportive. And it is okay to feel their emotions. That is what happens when you love someone and care about their well being. One of the hardest things to do is to watch a loved one suffer or feel discomfort, whether emotionally or physically. But if we continue to take away bad feelings then we enable them to continue to suffer because they cannot learn to self sooth.

    It is hard to back away. Especially if you are some what like myself, and like the feeling of control, which is usually one of the reasons we take on so much. And again my therapist said to me “How is that working out for you?”

    Not well, and I would assume the same for you! I will say it again….make sure to take some time just for you! Shut out everyone else. For me, I read or go for a walk. Or I will just tell my family that I need some “me” time. Or I will tell them I’m taking the night off, whatever I have to do at that time.

    You will get through this


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!
      Truthfully, I know you’re correct on all of the above. I’ve had a therapist tell me quite similar things. It’s something I’m working on – it’s a tough place for me to be by not doing something for someone. But I am trying to keep in mind that I will ruin someone else’s chance for development and change, if I do it for them. Easier said than done, but I am trying.
      Thank you again for being so wonderful! ❤ 🙂


  3. Would it help to speak to a therapist together, or perhaps you have already done so? My husband and I both suffer from anxiety (mine is a diagnosis). Sometimes it feels like it is a burden but mostly we empathize with each other. At other times we just grit our teeth but we are still together after 35 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we both do a lot of teeth gritting. 🙂
      Trust me, things are tremendously better than they used to be. We have been to therapists before, but it becomes difficult for my wife when the therapists begin suggesting she has some responsibility in our problems…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a tough place to be – worried about the pain your honesty might cause. Neither one of us want to hurt the other and neither one of us want to be hurt. I’m discovering it truly takes a life time to love someone…

        Liked by 1 person

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