Friday, March 22, 2013

The Old Vs. The New


The Old:

“I’m leaving.  Have a good day.  I love you.”

The New:

“I’m leaving.  I hope you feel better. Need anything before I go? I love you.”

The Old:

“When will dinner be done?”

The New:

“Want some company in the kitchen?”

The Old:

“The meeting was fine.  It was cold in there. A lot of guys showed up.”

The New:

“Today I shared about my dad and I could tell it struck a cord with some of the guys.”
 ~~~@
I realized it’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything about Devin, especially anything positive, about his recovery and I have to keep reminding myself of the reason I started blogging.  To give other people who stumble upon it and those who lurk, hope, not just for themselves but hope in their partner too.

I remember reading how high the relapse rate for sex addiction was back in 2010-2011 when the only things I read were sex addiction related.  I was terrified and everyday I feared Devin would relapse and somehow I managed to make his relapse all about me.  When the first relapse came with a porn site less than a month after disclosure, I panicked but we worked through it.  A few months later, another relapse, I collapsed again.  That was it!  I was going to file for divorce.  That was a year ago and he’s been sober ever since.  Recovery can work, if you work it.

Why?  I don’t know.  End of post.

No, I’m kidding.  As much as I whine and complain about Devin’s recovery work, he has come a long way and he does a lot.  He has a sponsor that is tough on him when he needs to be.  If Devin isn’t sharing enough in the meetings or is showing up late or leaving early, no matter what the reason, his sponsor won’t meet with him for their weekly discussions.  His sponsor enforced this once and Devin got angry but when his sponsor didn’t budge, Devin did as his sponsor requested and now they are back on track again. Devin is gaining more from his meetings by sharing with everyone and gets more feedback after the meetings are over too.

He’s also begun attending a group meeting and while he was gung-ho in the beginning to get started because our counselor felt he was becoming stagnant in his recovery and without attending the group he may slip, he had it in his head that he only needed to go every other week.  Our rockin’ counselor let him know he needed to attend every week to reap the proper benefits.  Now that he’s been going, he really likes it because it’s small and they have a chance to interact with each other and with our counselor.  Who rocks, by the way.

Communication can still be an effort at times but for everybody all the way around it’s improving.  Especially between he and the kids.  He’s struggling with overcoming being the “stepdad” and not being close to them at the height of his addiction.  There was never yelling and screaming, there was just not much of anything for two years.  Devin and I still struggle at times to communicate yet we always make it through and thankfully we’ve gotten past the silent treatments for days on end and the “I’m fine” when it’s really, “You have just pissed me off!”
This is not our spare room.  Not even close!
 The spare room aka his hobby.  I will put this in the Work In Progress category.  It’s rare that anything arrives from ebay so if your stock in them recently went down, my apologies.  He spent some time in there on Sunday but got derailed when he saw I was watching iRobot.  (Scary, spellchecker didn’t grab that word, are there robots among us?)  

I have completely almost….detached from that room.  In fact, I redecorated my family room with my tax refund, shit I need to file that sucker, when I redecorated, I put up sheer curtains so I don’t see inside there.  I asked my counselor if that was putting myself in denial and she said, “No, Elsie, it’s called redecorating.”  She also explained this is something I am going to have to be patient with, his hobby. 

To me, it’s a bunch of plastic and toys and boxes that can easily be discarded (sold).  To him, it’s the one part of his identity he’s got left that wasn’t fucked up, that he didn’t destroy.  Add a touch of OCD to that mix; a dash of addiction and a man who is still working the beginnings of his steps and the end result is a room full of a hobbyist’s wet dream.

At his last appointment, he sat down with our rockin’ counselor and decided it was time to start taking action.  Looking at where he was a year ago, Devin has made great progress.  Looking at where he was two years ago, Devin has made outstanding progress.
~~~@  ~~~@
 This is a scheduled post and I am supposed to be sitting in the dealership getting work done on my car.  They promised wi-fi but if I’m late getting to you, I totally blame them!

39 comments:

  1. I'm first, I'm first. I'm first!

    You're using the term whining here. Now the Cat uses that term but he's just kidding around. None of us see you as whining here. You're talking about your life and sometimes your reality is difficult. Don't see yourself as a whiner.

    I've read that the relapse rate is very high with this addiction as well. Which makes me wonder which part of the addiction process is different with sex addicts. You probably know the answer to this.

    Communication in my marriage is generally good, but we do have times where we don't do it well. When that happens, we have a big blow up and then realize that we're only arguing because we failed to communicate about something important that happened weeks ago.

    Wi-Fi in the car. Wow, I didn't know that was possible. Good luck today!

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    1. You're first, you're first! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Only catch, you have to cook it =)

      I admit, I thought about the wretched cat when I typed the word "whine" which is probably why I used the word in the first place. It does seem like whining though when I go on about his recovery but typing this up the other day did me good. It allowed me to step back and see his progress rather than the lack of it. It's so much easier to look at someone else than it is to look at one's self.

      From what I understand, and from my own experience, the relapse rate is high because of the shame and secrecy involved. They already suffer from detachment and depression issues (most of them, anyway) so add in discovery and all that pressure and relapse can get pretty high. Plus, there is a chemical issue at hand too. It involves the same area of the brain as drug addicts and alcoholics so they go through withdrawal. I know you like to read stuff like this:

      http://www.4therapy.com/life-topics/family-relationships/addictive-behaviors/help-partners-sex-addicts-frequently-asked-ques

      Just skip to the third section, I think you'll find it interesting from a clinical standpoint. =)

      Same here on the communication issues. If we let stuff lie and build up for a few days, it ends up being more than what it really is. It's best just to get it out right away!

      Not wi-fi in the car, wi-fi in the dealership. =PPP Speaking of which, I need to get in the shower!!

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    2. LOL always thin about me when you go all whiny

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    3. You bring out the worst in all of us, cat!

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    4. I'll have to read that later. I knew there was a neuronal component to it in much the same manner as a chemical substance.

      Stupid me, I thought you meant Wi-Fi in the car. We got our car fixed too and thankfully it was not expensive. Just needed to tighten a bolt on the battery and put in new transmission fluid. I prayed all night on that one.

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    5. It's a good read.

      I'm so glad the fix on your car wasn't expensive! Thank God for answers prayers.

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  2. He has come a long way and I'm glad to hear it. If he does have a safe hobby that he enjoys like that then it probably helps. But that's just guesswork by me really. It's good he has such a tough sponsor and it's working. We all need someone to get tough on us sometimes.

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    1. He has come a very long way and made such great progress and I'm so glad I wrote this because it's made me see that progress in black and white. Well, blue and white. The hobby will take time to scale back and I will have to be patient while he adjusts. His sponsor is great for him!

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  3. Awesome that he has made so much progress. This is something tangible to see and hold on to during moments of doubt isn't it?

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    1. Thank you, OE! It is something tangible and sometimes I need that tangible reminder when I get wrapped up in those moments of self.

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  4. Good for Devin! I'm happy for him and for you.

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    1. Thank you, Debra. I'm happy for the two of us too =)

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  5. Great he has progressed so far, although at first it sounded like you could be talking to yourself haha and a little ocd is fine for me, but yeah could make you whine away, we wouldn't want that at your bay. Must feel good seeing how far he has come too. And still no rant has come due? Maybe the car dealer will piss you off, as they always do to all, and finally bring it to your hall haha

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    1. I could have been talking to myself huh? But no, it was Devin this time. ha ha ha! You'll have to go over to the other blog and re-read my Podium post for me being all in my head.

      It is good to really reflect on how much progress he has truly made. To take an honest look at it and not focus so much on the negativity like I have been.

      Nope, no rant from me and it won't be about the IRS either. It wasn't them after all. Damn! However, I have something in the works somewhere else and that is on something I never discuss over here! I'll let you know when that happens. You'll like it. Also, I have a story brewing that is controversial that I may write about for next week...

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  6. Replies
    1. ha ha ha Nah, just getting it some TLC

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  7. I'm so glad that he's making such steady progress! As for the shopping issue, I totally get that as I emailed you the other day about my craft supply addiction issues. It takes discipline not to give in to that 'oh it can't hurt to just look' voice. :)

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    1. I'm grateful for his progress too, JoJo. I had this post typed up when I answered your email the other day. For him he's got so much going on between the addiction, OCD, and his past, this will be tough. I'm proud of you, JoJo - you've done so well!! =)

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  8. Sometimes Elsie it can depend on sorely attitude, like you say if you look at yourself and just make an effort when it comes to the new you, it's better to just make him know that you're there and you care, great positive post Elsie.

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    1. I find when I keep my focus on myself and my own recovery my compass needle doesn't drift over to him and to his recovery and focus on the the negatives rather than the positives. Thanks, Matthew!

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  9. Sounds like positive territory to me. And I really admire the counselor for letting your husband know that his time is valuable and recovery isn't something to be casual about.

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    1. We are truly blessed to have the counselor we have. We've been through our share of counselors over the last several years and once we found her, we both knew she was "it". =)

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  10. I like the beginning, the old vs the new. It hows me, someone who knows nothing about being in the situation or what it's like, something to empathize with. I feel that progress.

    Honestly, I've always been surprised there weren't more complaints from you on here. I know it's a difficult process you're going through, and even when things are good, there's difficulties. You handle it so well, though, it's really inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for the kudos, D4. I tried to show some type of examples of the past and the present but wasn't sure how to do it. I'm glad those helped!

      The process is difficult at times but oddly enough, it's not difficult always. Our life is not sex addiction all the time anymore. There was a time when it revolved around SA but now it's a topic that comes up a few times a week.

      I think I handle it well now because I have been through so much and done it wrong for so long and finally found a program that works for me. I floundered for a really long time!

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  11. it is good that you see so much progress...and i like the new vs the old in the beginning...and marking the progress in ways like this the next time you can look back and see even more...its a process...ever going on....

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    1. The first thing that came to mind, of course, was: Progress Not Perfection ha ha ha

      I'm happy you also liked the beginning of this, Brian. Thank you. Yes, I will definitely be bookmarking this post for those days when I drift over to focusing on negativity and start looking at Devin's lack of progress.

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  12. This was great to read. That kind of addiction seems so overwhelming, and there's so much work invovled for both of you, but to know that he (and you) have made progress is so encouraging.

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    1. Thank you, Kianwi! Yes, this addiction can be pretty tough at times but it's one I truly believe can be handled with the proper support system and proper education of the education and proper boundaries. And, of course, a partner who is willing and able to stay sober because without that, run! =P

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  13. Its good to hear about the progress Elsie ~ And he, and both of you are lucky to have a tough sponsor/counselor, and a group to fall back on ~

    Now, I'm envious of that wi-fi in the car ~ Smiles ~

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    1. It was great to write about the progress too. Our counselor absolutely rocks, Grace. She is a gem and she is tough, not just on him but on me too when she has to be. Back when I first started going, she called me out all the time and I needed it and I love her for it!

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  14. Ok nothing to do with this post but I love old cars.....lol
    Now it is good to hear how far Devin has come from the old days.

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    1. Classic cars! They don't make them like they used too!

      I agree, his progress is awesome!

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  15. You redecorated with your tax refund? How cool is that? I don't know if we're getting a tax refund or not this year, even though Mrs. Penwasser did the taxes a few weeks ago. I'm afraid to ask.

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    1. Yeah, just added some stuff like updated photo frames and candle holders and a new clock. Oh and some pillows for the couch. Nothing big but enough to spruce up the living room. I wish it was enough to redo a room!!!! At least it's better than paying like we had to do last year. Good luck with yours.

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  16. Good for Devin. That's great that he's made so much progress.

    I can relate to the hobbyist thing, and also the old vs new, because I collect cars. I have three, but come on, I'm not Jay Leno, so bear with me. Anyways, I have a nice new car, but I also have the first car I ever bought. It's almost 20 years old, it has 200,000 miles, it's incredibly fast for a car of its age, and it's never given me a single problem. I'll never get rid of it. The joy I get from driving that car far exceeds the pathetic $1,000 blue book value I'd get from selling it.

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  17. Don't let Anne sugar coat the fact you are indeed....a whiner! lol

    I can see a lot of my relationship in the old vs new part of this post. There is still room for improvement but my wife and I have come a long way with how we express ourselves and show appreciation to each other.

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  18. Talk about never giving up! When I think about never giving up, the nam Elsie springs to mind.

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  19. Well my comment is missing, but you've won an award. Stop by and pick it up.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.