Monday, January 14, 2013


I went to an Al Anon meeting tonight.  One of John's friends suggested it. Her name is Ann, and she goes.  There were a couple other friends of Johns there.

When I met John, he was active in AA... for 10 years.  He started by going inpatient for treatement of drug and alcohol addiction when he was 28. It worked out well for him.  He sponsered some people.  The group he went to is the same as the one I went to tonight.  One side is AA and the other is Al Anon.  We went to Toronto for a world wide AA convention.  That's where the idea for a summer house came from.

The longer he was with me, the less he went to AA.  He was fine.. never a problem.  I thought staying sober was simply a matter of will.  It turns out, it is not.

I thought that prescribed pain killers, plus valium and klonapin, wouldn't be a problem because they aren't alcohol.  It turns out, if he had told his doctor(s) that he was a drug and alcohol addict they wouldn't have prescribed them.  I didn't know.

A few people at the Al Anon meeting talked to me after the meeting was over.  They insisted that there was nothing I could have done to help John.  I just don't understand why people keep telling me that.  It demeans my relationship with him.  I never talked to him about the addiction.  I didn't want to believe there was a problem, even though I saw it every day for the last couple years.  If I had talked to him, I know he cared enough about me to get help.  I could have done much more than I did.

I want half the blame.  Then I want to figure out how to accept it and deal with it. When you're in a relationship, you have responsibility to the other person.  I totally failed.


Anonymous said...

You have an interesting statement in this post. "I want half the blame. Then I want to figure out how to accept it and deal with it. When you are in a relationship, you have responsibility to the other person." I totally agree that we have not only a 50% responsibility but actually a 100% responsibility "to" the other person. I think the key is that it is "to"...not "for". We all make mistakes and for me figuring out how to accept what I do and the results is often really hard. It would be great if my 20/20 hindsight could be 20/20 foresight. How do we make decisions or just not make any decision and know we did the right thing? I wish I knew. When you get to that point of acceptance that you could have possibly helped and that help may have been accepted or rejected, that acceptance is what will begin your process of healing. I cannot change the things I have done or not done to other people in the past. I can only accept, learn, and even ask for forgiveness. Going to AA was a good move.

Tom said...

The problem is that I didn't really try. I thought his doctors were responsible for his health, along with John. I got angry the more my John was drifting away. His friends and family were getting more and more concerned, and I told them that I had control of the pain meds when I didn't. I thought he was improving because he did some appraisal work.

I've been a closed off human being for a long time. I hid my emotions and buried my head in the sand. John would have never allowed me to get to the point that I let him get to. He would have known what to do, and how. He loved me so much that he would have done what he always did, and that was help me fix the problem.

I totally failed him. It's the truth.

I keep asking him now to help me fix the problem. Maybe he had a hand in getting me to an AL Anon meeting last night. I don't know if it's even going to help, but it got me out of the house.

I'm just really tired of people telling me that John wouldn't have listened to me and wouldn't have let me help him.

I will never fail like this again. It's too late for John, but I'll never feel this pain with anyone else... ever.

Anonymous said...

You did have control over the meds you knew about. Probably missed signs that there were other meds and issues. I know I get comfortable with situations and sometimes miss the obvious signs and symptoms until something happens. You are a really good man and would help anyone that needs it. You have helped me! I know you would have taken action to correct and help him but how do you do that if there is information and knowledge that you don't have? Question is how do you accept actions or lack of actions and move on in this life. Your statement about never failing again with anyone else is a step in moving forward and learning. I know you feel John would have listened and that is all that matters. Being in love is about taking risks that the good will out weigh the pain that sometimes comes along with it. Get through this and one day, it will come again. You are forever changed. Love ya.

Anonymous said...

The key is that last phrase. You have a responsibility to that person, not for them. Jon made his choices and chose not to inform you of them. That's not your fault. You don't want it to be Jon's fault because you don't want to remember him that way. Letting go of that guilt is something that will come in time.