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Mail. We Get Mail on Fear and Doubts and Recovering from Alcoholism

Posted Jan 09 2010 12:00am

I received this last summer, right before Michael started to decline and I apologize that it’s taken me this long to respond.

Hi Susan

I’ve been following GPYP for several months now and its helped me alot. I know you’re very busy and while I’d love a response I understand totally if you don’t get round to it.

I’m an alcoholic and six months sober. I’m also three weeks in no contact with my ex and determined that no contact is the way it will stay after almost a year of messing around. Thats thanks to your site which has helped me to beleive in myself and to say no to bad behaviour. As you can imagine I’m trying to bring about changes in my life and my behaviour and also in what I accept from other people.

I guess my question is Susan is can I too be ok and healthy? I know there is a perception that alcoholics are horrible people and that may indeed be true but I’m trying so hard and I’m scared I will never have a healthy relationship and also that all bad relationships were my fault. Two of my relationships were with alcoholics waaaaay before I ever realised I was one. And the last one was with a non-drinking commitmentphobe. He actually laughed about being a commitmentphobe at the beginning and I thought to myself ‘Karen, leave now’. But I didn’t.

I know that water seeks its own level and I gravitate towards people as messed up and disfunctional as I am. Or at least I tell myself that because I cannot bear for everything to be all my fault. But every guy I end up with is just a very slightly different version of the last one.

I’m doing my 12 step meetings and journalling and affirming. I’ve read the book, printed off countless posts so that I can have words of wisdom to hand even when I’m not online. I have this beleif that I now have hope for the future and that maybe, just maybe I can be a healthy person who attracts healthy people. Its been such a hard two years Susan and I know I’m not giving too much insight into my ex but him contstantly talking about exes and commenting about other women and basically giving the impression that everyone in the world was wonderful except for me was just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot beleive I kicked around in it so long and even by doing so I played my part in my own downfall.

I’m trying to take responsibility but of course there is the fear that he was actually a great guy but I was so awful that I made him otherwise.

You cannot have a head full of GPYP and live with bad behaviour and disfunction and so I have broken away. My feelings are not facts and I deserve someone wonderful and I have come to realise that yes, I WOULd rather be alone than have that crap in my life.

Am I fooling myself though? Can an alcoholic really recover and also become healthy as far as relationships are concerned and become a well balanced and grounded person?

I’m doing all the things suggested and I am actually starting to enjoy time alone and when its uncomfortable I just think well the only way through it is through it. Sit with the lonliness and the discomfort Karen because it will pass. I know I sound pathetic and self pitying but will I really get through this? I’m going to keep going anyway but I know you’ve experience with alcoholics and your opinion would be greatly valued.

Thanks Susan, even writing this has helped!

Thank you for writing. I’m sorry I did not respond sooner. 1) Alcoholics who are recovering are not horrible people. They are not bad people trying to get good, they are sick people trying to get well.
People who recover and work the 12 steps and deal with some other issues in therapy (and maybe more than one 12 step group) have a better than average chance of having healthy relationships.

As you have no doubt heard in meetings, it’s a long walk into the woods and a long walk out. You may have also heard one day at a time.

6 months sober is very commendable but it’s not a lot of time. You’re probably still dealing with trying to navigate life without a drink.

As far as the bananahead goes, he does not sound like a great guy, so put those fears and doubts away. One day you will be able to see a guy like him at 50 paces and run the other way.

I’m sure you know that AA is about change. It’s about changing the person you were so you will not drink again. GPYP is also about change. Changing you so you don’t choose a bananahead again. You can do this. You are not terminally unique. Don’t be afraid. There is a brand-new life waiting for you. Work the steps, go to meetings, work out of the GPYB book and be good to you.

Stay in today. Don’t drink, go to meetings, work the steps, talk to your sponsor and do the work on you that you need to do. Eventually you will find a life second to none and the ability to make good, healthy choices. Congratulations on your sobriety!

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