Monday, December 31, 2012

Finding Inner Peace


Armed with the latest revisions to my common sense boundary agreement, I walked into my counselor’s office wanting her opinion to make sure I was being fair to Devin and myself.

The last few months in our home have become increasingly difficult and I have used all of the recovery tools I have at my disposal but still, my patience was wearing thin and I needed help finding my inner peace, detaching with love, and focusing on me.

Instead, I found I was engaging in petty arguments, worried about the mess in the spare room again, the papers in the bedroom, his hobby.  I couldn’t let go.

I knew resentment was building within me as he sold one item then bought another.  I felt the anger within me rise when he would bring home more DVDs or books or magazines and put them in the spare room then speak of money woes.

I wanted to set boundaries on transparency about his spending habits and broken promises about cleaning up the clutter, which is becoming a mess again.  My counselor quickly advised me against it once I told her about the purchases in greater detail.

Our last session with her had been a marriage counseling session.  Devin and I were able to discuss what I had just dumped in her lap and she had already seen pictures I had taken of the spare room and our bedroom.  While we were both in the session, Devin said he could see how the spending could become a problem but didn’t think it was at this time.  He could see procrastinating getting the rooms cleaned up becoming a problem but didn’t think it was at this time.  Sunshine and rainbows.

My counselor said the words I’ve said on here countless times and it has boggled my mind ever since she said them: "Denial" and "Shifted Addiction".  I knew it already but I suppose when it comes out of a professional’s mouth, well, it becomes real.  She feels he is having a problem living sober, like a dry drunk.  Without a good recovery in place he’s lost and has shifted his addiction and may be, Dear God this pains me to write but I know he can get help, OCD with the beginning signs of hoarding.  It’s attributed to depression, ADD, and FOO issues – all of which he has.  She feels he is in a precarious place right now.

The good news?  He started a medication last week and our counselor thinks this may help with the OCD in conjunction with his recovery.  She asked me to give him a few months before I make any decisions and that is what I will do. 

I will continue to go to counseling and my S-Anon meetings.  I will focus on my recovery work.  I will write my novel and work on not feeling guilty for not being able to work.  I will allow myself ME time.  I will continue to love Devin and remember I am not responsible for his recovery and I am free to leave at anytime if it doesn’t improve. 

As of now, I am finding my inner peace again, I am finding laughter and joy with my kids and with Devin, I am reaching out to friends and remembering, it’s one day at a time.  Progress, not perfection. 

49 comments:

  1. Well-written. So sorry you have these obstacles. Hoping you get some freedom from it soon.

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    1. Thank you, Whisk. I keep a firm belief that I am never given more than I can handle and I'm hopeful his meds will work too =)

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  2. It is one day at a time and after those few months are up, you could look back and be pleasantly surprised by the progress. I'm sorry he started shifting addictions, I have a friend who's a recovering alcoholic and I'm pleased to report she hasn't shifted addictions, she's made herself a grand plan to sort her life out, and is sticking to it quite well. Devin can dance around the truth and live in denial but he's proven before he can confront it and act upon it. For now though you're doing the right thing by writing and focusing on yourself. The only difference between a professional saying someone is living in denial and shifting addictions and you is a few fancy degrees. Having lived through addiction yourself I'd trust your opinion on the matter, even without those fancy certificates.

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    1. I'm lucky in that the days are mostly filled with happiness and not sadness or anger. My own recovery is far enough along now that I know when I need to make a phone call or write an email to reach out to someone in my group for help so I don't start getting angry myself. That will help me from living in denial too. I'm hopeful his meds will work, that would be nice. Very, very nice. He's already seeing a difference after a week on a low dose, so fingers crossed. I took psych as a minor when I went back to school but being an addict is probably my best experience.

      I'm so glad your friend is doing well in her recovery - that is always good news to hear! Great for her!

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  3. I appreciate the personal share Elsie ~ Its not easy writing about them but every progress and step are good news. Trying to achieve perfection brings more misery and heart ache ~

    I pray that you find your inner peace ~

    Happy New Year ~

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    1. Thanks for letting me share. It was a difficult share because it's so much easier to share progress than it is to share setbacks. But, it's an honest blog about sex addiction and these things happen with this addiction, just like any other. What's important is how I handle it and move forward.

      Striving for perfection can drive one mad!

      Thank you, Heaven and Happy New Year!!

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  4. YOU time is definitely a must in times like these, so you can just take your mind off of things and enjoy the more fun sides of life. Make the most out of them, and I'll see you in 2013. Happy new year!

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    1. I agree Fang and I have to keep being reminded to do these things that don't have to do with recovery. I have to do fun stuff like play with my new Kinect and dance and play with my daughter, go shopping, read a DeMille book, lunch with a friend...

      Happy New Year!!!!

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  5. As small as it may seem, having that 'me' time is definitely important. You have a long road ahead of you, and you need to be as strong as possible to face it. If I don't have my 'me' time, I'm a grump even just when tiny things come up, so I can only imagine how it'd be for something like this.

    And don't forget, as always we're here for you (not just us, the whole blogosphere) for support.

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    1. Thanks, Brandon. Blogger is one of my favorite me time places along with reading, writing my book and now - I'm gonna give writing short pieces a shot. (We'll see how that goes!). Funny thing is - Devin is always encouraging me to do these things and I carry a sense of guilt when I do them. When he and I talked yesterday, he said, my new title was not disabled or unemployed but "aspiring writer". I thought that was pretty damn cool! Aspiring Writer!

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  6. Give yourself time and take life one day at a time. I pray you find that peace. There are people who never find it, which is sad.
    May 2013 be your year.

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    1. It is so sad when someone cannot release sadness or anger enough to release find their inner peace. I have moments, sometime hours, where my peace is lost but it still comes back. I always find it. It's taken work to learn how to do that and now, I'm gonna give yoga a shot again. Ouch LOL

      Happy New Year, Alex!!

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  7. hope the progress will be even bigger in the new year and that it will bring your family piece and happiness, Elsie

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    1. Thank you, Dezz. I know the progress for me will continue to grow and I continue to hold hope for Devin too.

      Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!!

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  8. Well, I have to say, I am proud of you. You are important,
    Elsie. You are worthy of "me" time. And it sounds like there is hope, even if things are wonky right now. Here's hoping that Devin's meds help him!

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    1. It's bizarre how difficult it is to make that me time for ME again now that things aren't all fucked up like they were two years ago. Back then I had no problem closing the door and shutting everyone out and taking a bath because it was a matter of sanity. Now, it's just a matter of fine tuning. A way of life without guilt attached.

      I'm hopeful the meds will work. He says he can feel less clutter in his brain already and that's a great sign.

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  9. Yeah one day at a time is all we can seem to do, it is such a pain and slow arse process though. Blah to that kind of ocd too, mine is just with germs and cleaning, so not so bad. But then again, maybe you could get on hoarders since you love reality tv so much hahaha hopefully all continues to get better for all.

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    1. Cleaning wouldn't be so bad! I'd have the perfect solution - I can't do the cleaning because of the chemicals triggering my Migraines so he'd be able to do it for me. How do you know I haven't already been on Hoarders and that's what started my love of reality TV???

      Happy New Year, Pat!

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  10. Keeping my fingers crossed that the new medication will help improve things! Wishing you and your family all the best in 2013!

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    1. Thank you, Debra! I'm hopeful too. He's already seen improvement at a low dose so that is a good sign. I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!!

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  11. I hope the medication he's been prescribed has some positive effect, but in the meantime hang onto that inner peace.

    Wishing your family the best in 2013.

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    1. The meds are already calming the inner noise in his mind at the starting dose and he upped his dose yesterday so that gives me much hope.

      Happy and Healthy New Year to you and yours!

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  12. Sorry to hear about all these stumbling blocks and upsetting issues Elsie. The strongest people leap over all these hurdles and thrive and you've done this over and over again which makes you one of the strongest.

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    1. I'm pretty short, so I'll just have to crash right through the hurdles in typical NY fashion. Like a bull in china shop - BAM!! LOL I did exactly this over two years ago when he was in denial about SA and it was much worse, and I was in a less healthy place. This should be cake!

      Happy New Year, Matthew!! I hope you're feeling better.

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  13. I continue to keep caring and send you positive energy thoughts and pray for you always. You have more inner strength than most and keep doing what you need to for your happiness lady. love & hugs to you for 2013

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    1. You have been through so much as of late, Janice. I pray this new year brings you much more peace and happiness. Thank you for being you! Happy New Year to you and your family.

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  14. Gosh but I see a lot of the same behaviour in Devin as with my ex-h...the spending & hoarding & huge mess he made in his room and next to his chair. At least Devin is making slow progress....and to be honest, if it was me I'd rather have him addicted to buying innocuous stuff instead of cheating and/or talking to and sexting with women. I don't suppose you can return these items to the store, if they are unopened? Happy New Year! :D

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    1. It's true, his addiction shifted to something "better" but it's still an addiction which means he's still not in a healthy state of mind, something still isn't being addressed in his recovery and only he can fix that with our counselor and his sponsor and more importantly - himself.

      I could return the stuff if need be, but, it's not for me to start running around after him cleaning up his mess. That would be old behavior on my part if I did. He has to see what he's doing on his own, and be responsible for it. Hopefully, in time he will.

      The good news is, yesterday, we started working on a budget =)))

      Happy New Year, JoJo!!

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  15. My dear Elsie I whish you the best, really the best for the next year, all the love and blessings, I think sometimes only God can help us I lived it!!
    Love yah:)

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    1. Thank you, Gloria! I read my Footprints and Serenity Prayer daily to remind myself that I'm not alone. Much love to you too, my friend. xoxo

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  16. anyway at last all we want is peace dear:)
    All my love!

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  17. I wish you the peace and you do deserve it, lets hope 2013 brings it to you.

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    1. Thank you, Fran. It's easier to find these days. Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

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  18. I like the outcome on this post Elsie, you cannot and should not live your whole life consumed with Devin's recovery/sobriety or the lack of it. That is his job to take on in life, or not. I know you love him, so I am hoping that the medicine offers some help and he does begin to find his way. More importantly, I love that you are finding your way for your life. You are important too! Find your happiness and place of peace and don't let anything or anyone steal it away! Wishing you a gentler, kinder, new year coming up, yet knowing that you have the inner strenth and tools to deal with whatever life brings your way. Keep up the good work, I am proud of how much effort you've put in on this, it speaks volumes about who and what you are!
    HUGS, Josie

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    1. Thank you, Josie. As always, I remain cautiously optimistic and don't give up hope. He has seen improvement with the meds already and we sat down and worked on a budget yesterday and will do more today - first time since we've been together. In part because of the meds and in part because he is working on his recovery and letting go of past issues. I still remain cautiously optimistic. I continue to work on me and allow him the distance (that's a WIP) to work on him. Again, thank you so much. Many hugs and a Happy New Year!

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  19. Elsie, I just wanted to say that you are a truly amazing woman. Despite everything, the fact that you can still remain positive, is a truth test of your character.

    Hope that 2013 brings you so much love and peace! xx

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    1. Thank you, lily. I think it's because I know there are so many other things in life that could truly be fucked. LOL I also know if it gets to be out of control like it was in 2009, I can walk away. It would hurt and it would suck, but I can do it and I'd be okay. In 2009, I wasn't mentally able to do that.

      Happy New Year to you and the Spawn!!

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  20. I'm glad you are finding some peace right now. I hope that 2013 brings renewed recovery for Devin and a renewed connection between the two of you. You've fought long and hard for this marriage...I hope that you see the fruit of that.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you, Kianwi. I am hopeful the new year will bring us both much happiness. I know I will continue to work on my recovery and I pray Devin will work on his, I've seen improvement since he started his meds and hopefully it will continue. =)

      Happy New Year!

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  21. You know, about finding that "me time" you speak of... neither my wife or I ever get any of that and that could very well be the reason why we spend most of our days in a grumpy mood.

    I think I will give my wife the break she needs this weekend. Then maybe, just maybe, she will start to be more intimate and show some affection.

    Besides, I got some playoff football to watch this weekend! lol Hows those G-men doing? Oh wait! They didn't make the playoffs! Better luck next year! Ans speaking of LUCK...that young fella is taking the Colts to the promised land! Oh yeah! Believe it! #BleedingBlue!

    Have a happy new year, Elsie!

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    1. That me time is very important, I'm finding out the hard way. I was taking it back when I was in crisis in 2010 and felt no remorse, no guilt doing it yet now because there is no real crisis, I didn't feel right taking that me time. Especially, with me being unemployed, which is the wrong way to look at it, I'm disabled, duh! Big difference. I'm not on vacation here. LOL

      Give your wife that special me time to do whatever she wants, read, take a bath, go window shopping, whatever she loves to do and I'll bet she'll greatly appreciate it.

      My team kicked ass last week. To bad it was to late. I don't know who I'm rooting for anymore. I have no real favorites, maybe the Vikings because of Peterson. But, meh.

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    2. Root for the Colts. They are the story of the year with the whole #chuckstrong thing. Not to mention the first year without that Manning guy. Plus a rookie QB taking the team further than anyone ever expected!

      And also because you like the whole bleeding blue thing. Go Colts!

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  22. You know, a couple months of this is.. not so bad. And I'm not saying it's not difficult, I'm saying you've been through worse and he's worth it to you. By the end of this small journey, you'll be well. And I think he will be too.

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    1. Considering I'm already seeing improvement, I think I can handle this. Especially after what we've gone through the last few weeks. It was pretty tough, our communication had just bottomed out and it hadn't been like that since 2009 - our worst year ever. Ever since his meds though, I've seen a change in him and so has he; it's been nice!

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  23. I so agree with what Workingdan said. Time to yourself is so important. You need to be a whole person, free of compartmentalization for a little while. Some time to breathe. Wow, Elsie, you've been through a lot. You are such a strong person and I'm glad that you are able to find peace as you work your way through this. I hope the new year brings you good things, revelations and resolve. xxx

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    1. I'm learning, the hard way, that I need to take that time for myself again. I did it when there was a crisis involved but now that times aren't as "tough" I don't do it anymore. We talked about it last night and I told him my favorite place in all the land is the beach and I plan on making time to drive over there, it's not far from me and it brings me such happiness to see the ocean. Plus, I plan on doing yoga (on the Kinect but shit it counts!!!) LOL

      Happy New Year Mod Mom!!!

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  24. you're doing good things. and you are always so self-aware. i really admire that about you.

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    1. Thank you, April. I know I am a constant work in progress, I think it comes with working the program =)

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