Junior Member (male)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico USA
AA was better for me than therapy
Originally Posted by lbhall42
Why do recovering addicts resent those who helped them in the recovery process?
Just a few comments...." I do not have the answers for you". I wish I did! When I was age 45, and a 11 year uninterrupted member of Alcoholics's Anonymous, I joined a romance broker dating program, and met this real innocent girl, a RN, about 8 years younger than me, and after 6 months of dating, during which I confessed to her I was in Recovery, I proposed to her, and we got married 4 weeks later. I introduced my new wife, to Alanon, thinking that it would help her understand my habitual need for regular 12 step meeting attendance, and for her to perhaps understand, me better.
I also was just completing my University degree, and due to working full time, and the stress of high pressure sales, made the mistake, of obtaining Xanax, a benzo tranquilizer, to take the edge off of the sales pressures, and my final semester of school, as I saved the hardest courses till the end, and my boss was very demanding of a high sales quota, as I was placed on probation, and I became dependant on Xanax during our first year of our marriage, and my wife, a Registered Nurse, noticed the mood swings I was developing when the Xanax wore off, and I chose to enter a outpatient rehab for one year, called "Relapse Prevention" at my wife's insistance, because I loved her more than a "developing pill addiction".
I successfully tapered off of the Xanax, and, things went very well for I guess a good 4 years, and I continued to give 1 hour speeches, at AA meetings when asked to do so, and continued to keep a AA sponsor. I went for a 2nd college degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling, and, unfortunately, became deeply absorbed in the "family of origin" adult child issues of ACOA and CoDa, and again, I introduced my non-alcoholic spouse, to "Coda" thinking it would soldiify our marriage. I read every book on the subject of the alpha to the omega of family of origin issues and "co-dependence". Looking back, I made a mistake somewhere. My wife, dropped Alanon, really out of "boredom", but, really did get attached to CoDa, and, strongly suggested I enter psychotherapy, to honestly resolve my own family of origin issues.
The shift in our marriage changed, somehow, when, I developed a lot of anger issues about what happened to me as a child, "before I started drinking" as a teenager, and I dropped my sponsors, and stopped sponsoring other guys, and overly relied on psychtherapists as I came to believe that my real problem was not the alcohol drinking (before I got married), but was more focused on "what happened to me during my first 16 years of growing up" instead. I think I started using my wife as a sounding board from all of the turmoil, that the psychotherapy stirred up within me, and this disturbed her, and, she became disillusioned in our marriage, and I developed a lot of anger issues, that I never dreamed of in my first 11 years of sobriety. My wife also became very well read in all of the Co-Dependence literature, and read many books on the subject. I began to resent what I interpreted as "demands from her" for me to resolve my "anger management issues" outside of our home, and the more psychotherapists I switched back and forth from, and the more books I also read on feeling like a "victim", and a "family scapegoat" from a wealthy family, and a dyfunctional relationship with my Dad in a family business, the more anger I developed. I unfortunately released a lot of my anger on my wife, and perhaps "dumped on her" so much that she developed "compassion fatigue" and we grew apart.
I now deeply regret ever delving into that Substance Abuse Counseler Degree that I obtained during the 4th yr of my marriage, because, as one of my psychotherapist told me, "we have opened up a Pandora's box" with this "elephant in the living room" thing with your Dad's narcissistic control of you, and your inabiility to forgive your Dad, and my wife, also, developed a real hatred of my role in my wealthy family of origin as being the proverbial "scapegoat" and when my wife began to develop some serious health issues, I was not able to rescue her, or our high standard of living, as, i quit the family business, and took on a series of dysfunctional jobs, on opposite shifts that my wife worked, and the remaining 7 years was all downhill. My wife continued to attend Coda faithfully, as I did other 12 step programs, switching to ACOA, but the marriage failed, and I take 75% of the blame of the divorce, on my drifting away from what worked so well so effortlessly during my first 11 years of sobriety in AA. I became a "rage a holic" due to the anger issues, I developed from interpreting in heavy duty psychotherapy, that I unfortunately took a passive aggressive attitude on my wife, whom I truly loved, but, resented what I perceived as more demands from her, which were to confront my controlling father, and to stop being the family scapegoat. I failed to do this, and my wife divorced me in 2007.
I have since dropped out of AA, and do not drink alcohol, but I lost my beloved wife, over, straying too deeply into the inner child movement. Many people get help and healing in clone groups like Alanon, Coda, and ACOA, but it made me worse. I am still in therapy to this day, but, would you believe this? I am trying to unlearn and underutilize the obsession I developed in my 12 year marriage, to get my Dad's approval, so I can heal all of the anger that got stirred up with "reading too many books on self help". and straying from the principles of the basic program of AA. I do not know how to let go, and I deeply regret releasing out so much of my anger on my now ex-wife. The truth of the matter is that we are both broken people now. We have both fallen into a lot of Depression, and she has moved out of state, and given up a good pension and lucrative career, and although I am still 27 years sober from alcohol and nicotine. I have lost my soul partner, and we both have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in attorney fees, and bad investments, and both of us are in decomposing health, over all of the stress the Separation, Divorce, and post Divorce has brought upon both of us.
If I had it to do over again, I would have never have strayed away from simple AA, and, would not have encouraged my wife to become a member of the borderline cult 12 step groups that I exposed her to+ my inner child therapy! This is just my opinion, and it is not advice to anyone else. I know the happiest days of my life were the early years of my sobriety, and the first 5 years of my 12 year marriage to my wife, who was innocent to the life of a alcoholic and drug addict lifestyle, before she met me. IMHO, about 50% recover from "inner child workshops & therapy, but I was in the negative 50% who get "stuck" by digging up the long ago past!!! and it haunts me to this very day..............................
Last edited by mod-anon; 09-27-2010 at 04:57 AM.
Reason: starting a new thread with this post.