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So What is Acceptance?
2006-12-12, 10:44 p.m.

Day 842 So What is Acceptance?

I was going to leave this as a reply in the comments section, then it started to get a leeetle bit long, so it got promoted to actually entry status. Thanks to Liz & Alison for making great points, asking some good questions and sharing valuable experiences. I absolutely love how this medium lets these kinds of discussions happen. If a personís not careful, they might learn something.

Anyhow, hereís the reply:

I get the part about accepting that I can't force her (or anyone really, except maybe ones kids) to behave the way I'd like them to, whether it's to stop drinking, stop nagging, exercise more, what ever. I can accept that she has a disease that at times makes her crave alcohol above all else. Yeah, ok, thatís what she does.

Where I run into trouble is accepting the fact that this is my lot in life. Am I forever doomed to put up with a person that's three sheets to the wind before I even get home in the evening? Do I have to tolerate someone that busts out the booze as soon as I leave and pounds down half a bottle of whiskey in an hour, just so they can get a buzz on without drinking in front of me? Then, in an attempt to prove how 'not drunk' they are, they proceed to ruin dinner and alienate the kids and piss off everyone in the house?

I have a lot of trouble accepting that. The way the Al Anon system is supposed to work is, I believe, more of a self improvement program. Iím supposed to learn how to accept the facts of the disease and learn coping strategies for the side effects. Iím also supposed to identify and work on my own shortcomings Ė because mine are the only ones I can fix. Then maybe when the alcoholic notices these changes in me, in spite of their diseases best attempts to spoil my life, they will start to believe that they need to make some changes too.

There is also talk of setting boundaries. That, to me, is where the idea of an exit strategy has to be entertained. Hate the thought of it. We have 25 years invested in just the marriage part of this relationship. I do have commitments to Cindyís dad that must be honored, and Iíll do that. But when heís gone (2 years, 20 years, who knows?) Iíll seriously evaluate things and make a final decision. Because really, Iím sitting here in my office at work, not really wanting to go home right now. I know what Iíll find and Iím tired of putting up with it.

As far as hobbies go - I donít really have anything that I can do in the evenings, especially during winter. Spring, summer & fall thereís always gardening chores to do, putzing around on the cars, crafty little things to build. Now? I sit around and play JTís Blocks or fret over my fantasy football team. Even euchre on the computer gets really boring. I already hit the gym 6 mornings a week, so going evenings is out of the question from both an escape standpoint and the fact that the old body needs a little rest. That what Sundays are for.

Quick side note Ė weíve discussed whether or not my going to the gym in the mornings is cutting in on any quality time Cindy & I might be able to share. Apparently 5:15am is not a time slot worth worrying over. Thereís no gripes about my spending those particular hours getting my workouts in. Her job requires her to be checking her sub request line, so she canít go to the gym then anyhow. She also canít be bothered with Ė oh, nevermind.

The good thing is that the kids are grown and nearly independent. I also think theyíd support what ever decision I finally make. Theyíre pretty thoroughly disgusted with how things are. Eric even mentioned to me as he was headed back to school Saturday that he was glad to be leaving Ďthatí behind. ĎThatí being Cindyís drunkenness (doesnít look right, but W@rd didnít complain) Zach has mentioned similar sentiments Ė that at least he can go to school & escape it. Too bad for him heís back with us full time come Thursday. Heíll have Jill to commiserate with and Iíll get to spend some time with him to relieve my own boredom, but I canít interfere with his life & friends. That will be his only escape till heís off & on his own.

Been feeling a certain flatness of late too. Really just noticed it at tonites meeting. Just canít seem to get excited about anything lately, even bowling. Could be a leveling off effect from trying to not react to Cindyís antics, could be a seasonal thing, could be lack of anything interesting going on, could be worth keeping an eye on.

Man, itís getting late. This didnít really answer any questions, did it? Iíll have to try again, maybe when I can spend a solid chunk of time and write a coherent essay on the subject. What does acceptance mean to me, and just what am I accepting? Lovely topic. Someday.

No statistics update, but I did have a quickie 2.5 miler this morning followed by an upper body workout session. Tomorrow looks like a 30+ minute run, maybe no weights. Problems at work, need to spend extra time there. Fun. Iím starting to intensely dislike FPGAís. (Ooh Ė look, an emotion!!)

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