Fake it until you make it…

is not working. So guess what I did?  I went to a real live al-anon meeting.  I am not sure what I feel?  Kind of numb which I guess is better than I felt when I left the house which was despair.  I am not exactly sure what I am supposed to get out of the meeting, but I met some very nice people who shared some of their stories which I could relate to.  The theme was put the focus on your self.  I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it and I sure as hell can’t control it which of course is what many of you have been telling me.

I want to ask a very specific question and I really hope to get some help.  I can not seem to detach with love and watch it happen at the same time.  He says he is clean, I know he is not.  Where is the boundary in that?  If he yells, I shut down.  I am batting zero here.  What the hell am I doing?


About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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10 Responses to Fake it until you make it…

  1. It took me about 4 meetings before I realized “it was working”. They say to go to 6 meetings before you make a decision, so I went to 6 in just over a week – but it was around 4 where I was like, I don’t know how this is working but it is.
    Detachment, the more you go to meetings, the more you will be able to detach with love. Through various peoples stories, you’ll start having “aha!s”.
    Sometimes writing down your boundaries helps. They are for you, what you will and will not accept. I’m not sure shutting down isn’t the best thing to do if he yells at you anyway… one of my boundaries is I will not accept being yelled at, if I am, I end the conversation. Might be easier for me though as right now it’s all over the phone… Let him say he is clean all he wants, just don’t give him something you don’t want to just b/c he says he’s clean if you don’t believe it’s true.
    These are my thoughts…
    I hope you have a peaceful Easter tomorrow and enjoy your parents (if they’re still at your house).
    God bless.

  2. get a sponsor and start on some step work, it will help

  3. gal says:

    Madyson-Alanon should help you. In truth, I really hate going, but I always take something away that has value. As for your son, as long as he’s living with you, you have every right to drug test him. I order drug tests online at a much better price than I can get from the drug store. My daughter understood that it was the price of living at home…and I learned (the hard way) to go in the bathroom with her, because addicts lie, buy urine, etc. The doctors at the ER told me it was a total waste to drug test her if I wasn’t going to throw her out, but I preferred to know what I was dealing with. She has now moved out and invites me to drug test her. If she relapses, she’ll avoid me, but I’ll know why. For what it’s worth.

  4. Sue G says:

    You’re not engaging in a yelling contest with someone who refuses to admit what he is doing to himself. You’re not shutting down…you’re letting his denials fall flat, preventing any escalation of the lying. Give yourself a break, Madyson. It sounds that by not engaging in the yelling with him, you ARE detaching…but the person who are having trouble loving during this process is YOURSELF. That is something you DO have control of and you can change that…and I hope you do. Love yourself through this or you will never be free of this roller coaster of emotions.

  5. Barbara says:

    Its very frustrating trying to detach with love because those two things don’t naturally go together. I understand the principal behind it, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It was self defeating for me to try to do or be anything other than what I truly felt and was…a devastated mother than loved her son and was scared to death of losing him. I am one of the few that never stuck with Al-Anon. It wasn’t right for me, but its worked for many of my friends. For me I had to evaluate what was best for my son and what was best for me. I knew that I was stronger under the circumstances and that I was the one “going through hell” because of his actions and kept telling myself it would end, that I just had to hang on till it did one way or another. I set boundaries (no giving him money, no bailing him out of jail or trouble, etc.) but I also was in his face daily telling him I loved him and would never give up oh him (which he hated but I didn’t care). He lied to me and I knew he was lying so I just accepted that he was an addict and addicts can’t be trusted. It was painful, ugly, frustrating. I think what I hear you saying is that you are confused at how to react to all this, wanting the best solution. I wish there was one solution but it seems to be different for all of us. No one knows your child as well as you do. Keep doing what feels right to you and take care of yourself. No guilt allowed. The three C’s you learned in Al-Anon today are right on!

  6. Madyson,

    You have received great advice in these comments, and I have to agree with Barbara, that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Every relationship has its own dynamics, good and bad, and that makes it hard to say what another person should or should not do. For our family, we had to draw a line in the sand, so to speak. When the boys crossed that line, they were no longer allowed to live in our house. We let them know that we loved them, and it was because we loved them we would not aid and abet their continued self-destruction. We have come some years past that point, and both boys are in better places. It can happen. But when and if it does is largely up to the addict himself, and not us.

    Hang in there, and we will be praying that the Lord continues to direct your steps through this desert.

    Hugs and prayers,

  7. Renee says:

    If you read my most recent post, you can see that I struggle with this every single day. As a matter of fact, I just changed my username to “Mom trying to Detach With Love”. We each have our own journey and our own path to take. I just started really going to meetings and read a lot of literature and daily meditation books based on Al-anon, etc. It has helped me most in trusting myself, at least most days. It is a process and it takes time, go easy on yourself.

  8. Renee C. says:

    I am proud of you for going. I still have not gone to a meeting but my daughter is clean and I do believe her. She is very involved in NA and is in fact running her first candlelight meeting tonight. She was 90 days clean last Friday. I hope he is wrong but you can’t do anything about that. Just keep going and maybe you will get your answers. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Syd says:

    I’m glad that you got to a meeting. I have some posts on detaching with love. Detachment means that I don’t mind the other person’s business. I don’t enable them. I tell them I love them but don’t bail them out, cover for them, lie for them, etc. I have healthy boundaries now that help me to keep the focus on me which is where it belongs. When I obsess over another, I make myself miserable and sick. Keep going to meetings. You will hear what you need to hear. I picked my sponsor at my third meeting and he agreed to help me. He had what I wanted which was serenity and peace.

  10. Sheila says:

    I am so proud of you for going to a meeting. I have been going to Alanon for about three months, usually several times a week. Go to 6 meetings as they suggest before you decide if it’s not right for you. Last night, our meeting was all about detaching with love. It is possible to do, but it’s a process to get there. But the serenity that it gives you is invaluable. I have made some really positive changes in my life once I sorted out all of my issues and realized that it was OK to take care of myself first, then my daughter.

    Keep going back, it works!

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