All aboard—making the decision to get off the ‘crazy train’

When I first came to Al‑Anon to help me deal with my boyfriend’s drinking and drug problem, the first “gems” that I heard were to consider not monitoring his drinking, not asking about his drinking, to let his drinking be his business, and to focus on taking care of me instead. This relieved some of my anxiety and overall obsession with his behavior.

What I came to see was that I knew he was drinking or using whether I monitored it or not.  More importantly, I did not have to hear him lie about it, which would only infuriate me. Instead, I monitored how I felt when I was around him. If I was uncomfortable with his behavior, I would leave; if I was okay, I would stay.

I have been running in circles with this man for seven years. Finally, he’s been sober for one year. However, it has become apparent that he has many other problems besides substance use that I could not see clearly before.

All these years, I’ve been riding the crazy train with him and I am exhausted. It is time to exit the train. It is time to move on with my life without him in it. I’ve tried this many times before but I end up allowing him to trickle back into my life. I feel like I can’t go on like this any longer. Then, my insecurity and fear of being alone begin to tug at me. Where will I go? What shall I do?

It is time to ask myself different questions. What is it in me that keeps me from moving on? What is it in me that holds on to the delusion that this time it will be different? What fantasies am I trying to make come true with this man who is incapable of being a partner? What benefits have I been getting out of the “push me, pull you” game that I have been playing with him?

A deeper self-examination is in order if I am going to stop boarding the crazy train in favor of staying on solid ground. I don’t know if this will be the end, because unfortunately I have said that before only to be back with him again.

What I do know is that his problems are much bigger than I am, and I keep running in circles with him rather than growing and evolving. This man has a ton of issues that, like alcoholism, I did not cause, cannot control, and will never be able to cure. It’s time for me to accept this reality and stop looking at what could be. It’s time for me to move on.

By Charlotte, California
The Forum, January 2014