Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've got to learn to detach from other folks. I've gotten pretty good at detaching from my husband, at least most of the time, and especially when he's acting crazy. I still struggle when he's doing well, as my natural instincts are to let my guard down, to let him in, to break the boundaries I've fought so hard to establish...but I'm ok with those issues. I'm aware of them, aware when they're troubling me, and I know what I need to do to keep my head together.

Lately, though, I'm struggling with detaching from other people's problems. If a friend's husband is relapsing, I feel panic...if someone tells a story of someone who is struggling, especially struggling with someone they love in active addiction, my stomach turns upside down. It's like my mind has found a loophole. I know how not to get all worked up over the addict in my own life, but I can get all worked up over the addict in someone else's.

It's kind of the way that I will be very, very angry with all of his friends instead of being angry at him. There are a few of his friends whose names make me bristle. I know that I'm transferring my anger that should be aimed at him to his dumb friends, but knowing it doesn't make me stop.

I'm finding myself more and more incapable of interacting with the world outside of Nar-Anon folks and other people who know what is going on in my life and can handle me gently. I can't answer too many questions. I can't talk for too long to strangers. I don't want to be around loud noises or crowded places or people who might say things, even unintentionally, that are hurtful. I need lots of gentleness and quiet right now. I'm kind of like an old lady, suddenly.

So everyone, please be nice. Act right. Demand that your loved ones act right. If everyone could just be quiet and nice and well-behaved for a few months, I think I could get back to myself.


Wayward Son said...

If you were an addict, this desire to surround yourself with Nar-Anon people would be an enlargement of your circle of friends... a good thing since addiction is ultimately all about isolation. So this feeling of isolation you have around drawing only Nar Anon people close is out of my range of experiences and a new one for me to ponder.

However, having other's behavior inform how you feel does not seem to me to be something new. And it also seems to me that you have grown quite capable managing your feelings without requiring others to behave in specific ways. From what I have witnessed online of your giant metamorphis is that when you focus on your own needs, you become confident that you can manage your probelms, especially if you don't have to manage theirs. And for the most part, those people with their toublesome behaviors have begun to fall in line with the program—which says to me that you are showing others by example that if you can manage your problems, they can manage theirs and all should be on the path to zanadu.

Of course this sudden change in the status of problems is worrisome. I feel much the same. What are we to do without some abject problem to solve. How are we to exist if we are not coming from behind, so to speak. Well we must learn to move ahead. Not only that but to do so joyfully and with happy expectaions.

Now that I have said this, where might one learn to do such a thing, you ask. And I, my friend, am wondering the exact same thing. It is our NEW problem if that is any comfort at all.

It's not that I personally would not change my own behavior for your happiness, for certainly I would. But it does seem unnecessary and maybe a bit counter productive.

Yes, the platitudes are back!


Recovery Discovery said...

Oh dear, now I have a problem to solve. I'll just tell my addict that she needs to be good so JW can get some rest.

Chloe said...

I felt like puking after the meeting personally...even before your excitement in the parking lot. I know better than to do this, but I still do anyway. Sometimes, I have to detach from the Naranon people so I don't get all crazy and start feeling that damn dark cloud heading back to my house, as I know there's always that possibility. Not that I don't appreciate and respect every single person in those rooms, but I want to fix their problems too. A girl has to have something to do!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I was going to point out something similar to WS -- your need to have others act right in order for you to feel happy. Something to work on -- but (if you take my sample size of one) normal. ;) I have a much harder time dealing with and detaching from other people's behavior than my husband's. Argh! I have so much going on inside my head and no time to say it!