So last I worked on tip #2 from my therapist…attend a support group. (See post “What to do when nothing helps…?”)
My therapist gave me a list of meetings in the area, and after talking to my best friend about it I decided to give it a try. My dear friend is a recovering addict, and spent like 5 years in NA herself…so she was totally familiar with the meeting concept and offered to go with me. She said it would be a good thing for me to go, because even though I say I am not that upset about what he did, it is still effecting me, and will for a long time.
So we picked the closest one to her house and went.
The group was an AL-ANON group, which is for loved ones of alcoholics. I am not sure that this is quite the category I fall in to, but the fact is that my husband is an addict and the concept is essentially the same.
As we walked in and sat down I thought “what the heck am I doing here? I don’t need to be here!”…completely ignoring the fact that I was trembling like a leaf all over. People went over “the steps” and the rules of the group, and the whole time I’m thinking “is it time to go home yet?” And then people started “sharing”.
Yes, sharing as in “hi, my name is Addison”; group says in unison “Hi Addison”. You know the drill.
So some people shared, nice stories; some happy, some sad. About how they’re learning not to be codependent, or to let their alcoholic fight his/her own battles, and learning to accept that they do not have control over anyone but themselves.
And then this woman started talking, and she said “I didn’t grow up in a home where people drank alcohol, at all, so I spent quite a few years trying to figure out if what my husband was doing really was normal, realizing that he was the one with the problem…and that the person I married was an alcoholic”.
And I sort of lost it. Full on panic attack, heart beating out of my chest, hyperventilating, the works. Oh, and the crying…the never ending crying.
In the end, as we left I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt. Angry I guess, a lot of it at myself. Sad, depressed, exhausted…all of those emotions and then some too. I thought I would feel better, but I didn’t. I guess that’s part of the process…
Last night was honestly the first time that I have questioned if I am making the right decision. There were so many women there, with spouses who have addictions, and some had wedding rings on and some didn’t. How is one supposed to know when to stay and when to go?
My mood today? Sad.