I am feeling optimistic this week. Our big, annual meeting went off without a hitch. I can think of so many things I did wrong, but no one died, and plenty of people showed up a week post-Florence.
I am feeling grateful for that, for my board, for my team, for my sponsor, for Ginger even, for friends too; not that I have been a very good friend this past year, having been so self-focused.
My sponsor especially has a way of being non-judgmental and encouraging me to work the SLAA steps and be kind to myself, so I have started them finally. I have been going to meetings since November 2016 and realize I haven’t really made any progress in my relationship or with the negative thinking that I bring into relationships, and at 44, I want to get out of this ambivalent state I am in and live a full life, not a half life. Which is to say, my sponsor has a wonderfully kind, loving way of encouraging and validating me and the process.
I talked with Ginger yesterday, and we agreed, I suggested, I want to talk with Steve about our relationship. I brought this up ~three weeks ago with him, how I did not want to continue living a half life, etc. and we have not talked about our relationship since. In truth, we never talk about our relationship, unless I bring it up, which I have at different periods in our relationship, and then things go back to status quo. My sponsor says this is my problem, so I need to be the one to push for time to talk, I need to schedule time and be honest when we talk. And she acknowledged it’s hard, and that she and her fiance do this once a week and also see their own therapists and a couples therapist. What an adult approach. That’s what I think now. When I first heard that, I thought, they must not be right for each other, if it’s that much work. But who’s to say. I admire their honesty and willingness to work on their relationship, which is what I want.
It has become painful to be in this relationship with Steve the way we are in it–that is, spending time together, pleasant, enjoyable, but not ever talking about the future or what we want. I know a lot of this is my stuff, my fear of abandonment, keeping me tethered and uncommitted, but I also know part of my hesitance to commit is from our lack of physical connection. I have spent too many years rationalizing this away in my mind, i.e. that I am using “bad sex” as an excuse, when really it is my relationship fears of intimacy that are the problem.
But this is bull. “Ask for 100% of what you want.”
I heard this from my Friday night women. They said part of the problem with our love addiction issues is we grew up taking care of other people and not knowing what our own feelings were or feeling worthwhile enough to have these feelings and being scared to ask for anything. So recovery has to include asking for what we want, all of it.
So, this weekend, right?
Ginger said set a time and talk to Steve about what the issues are in our relationship, as I see them, as he sees them, my issues, his issues, and what are we going to do about them. She seems to think we need couples counseling, which may lead to us breaking up, but it is clear that we do not have the tools (counselor speak, don’t you love it?) or have not done a good job communicating all these years. Lindsey suggested writing a letter to clarify my thoughts and having this conversation by phone, if that was easier.
It’s late Saturday morning. My plan is when Steve comes back to tell him I want to talk with him about our relationship and suggest we do that tomorrow morning at 11am.
Part of my optimism comes from knowing I can’t live like this anymore, so even if we break up, which makes me so sad to think about not knowing Steve, even then, we will both be rid of living a half life with no intimacy. And I won’t die.