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.