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I haven't had a drink since August. Although I've kinda quit going to meetings - several reasons, actually - I wear an aa ring to remind myself daily. I need it. It's extremely important to me. My husband's never said much - til now, all of a sudden. He said something last week about it not being as innocuous as I might think... and he said that he thought, very strongly, that I ought to take it off for a demonstration (art) at a high school. Okay, so I did. Now we have a chance to go to a concert, much thanks to a vendor of his, and that always means drinking. He asked if I could handle that, but also that he didn't want me to wear the ring, since this is a business associate. He also said that last week, at a meeting with our son's teacher (and speech teacher, and counselor) that the teacher saw the ring when I was waving my hands around, and her eyes got big. I believe my exact reply was "so fucking what".

It's a nice ring...

ring.jpg

but the question is, am I being selfish by refusing to take it off 99% of the time? That I insist on wearing out and about in public, at school? It's my constant, daily, hourly reminder... and especially when I'm by myself during the day, it's important. No, I can't buy another innocent-looking ring, and pretend that it's the same. tried it, didn't work.

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To me, it sounds more like it's your husband who's being kind of selfish, and really oversensitive. I have a hard time believing that, even if someone did realize what the ring represented, she'd have such an extreme reaction as he described. And if she did, don't you think you'd notice it as well?

FWIW, I'd never even heard of an AA ring, and didn't remotely recognize the symbol. It looks pretty innocuous to me.

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Also, if the teacher recognized it, maybe she's in AA too? I've been to an AA meeting and have many friends in AA and I didn't recognize that ring. I think someone would have to be intimate with AA themselves in order to know what it was. Is your husband afraid of what people might think about you? Or is he scared it will somehow offend someone? Again I think someone would have to know AA well in order to recognize that ring. If it bothers your husband so much, it's definitely something you need to tlak about especially since it means so much to you. It seems like he's totally overreacting but maybe there's a reason behind it he hasn't mentioned?

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I think it's because he worries about what others will think. He's a chemist, and well, we know a lot of people in town. I think it embarrasses him to some extent, even tho he says he's proud of me for finally sobering up. I could tell he was treading carefully, and not making this into a fight, but it still pisses me off. I have had a couple of people - granted, in the medical community - who have recognized the ring, but that's it. I don't know, isn't it a good sign that I don't drink? Especially since someone called him anonymously last year and said that they smelled alcohol on my breath at my child's school. And that isn't embarrassing?

I may have to drag him into a session of therapy. I don't think he understands at all how hard this has been for me.

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you aren't being selfish. if the ring helps you remember not to drink, that is more important that the curiosity of other people. besides, we all have alcoholics in our lives, we're not all lucky enough to have alcoholics in our lives who work on not drinking. i'm proud of you for wanting to wear the ring.

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He should take the time out of one of his days and think of what he will say to explain to people that he is proud of you for taking control of your life when you realized there was a problem. Since he has issues with what people think. Otherwise he could just ignore them but I have a feeling he isn't one of those people who can do that.

Really, he should be proud of you and if you don't mind wearing it, he shouldn't mind standing by you and should be proud of you for what you did/are doing.

If he can't handle the pressure, it's his problem, not yours.

Another option is that when the both of you are out if you notice someone staring at the ring or having an odd reaction, you could bring it up right in front of him:

I see you noticed my ring. If you have any questions about it I'm happy to answer them. *sweet smile*

[Ya know. If you're up for something like that]

But the more you comply with this unfair request from your husband, the harder you will have to push the times that you DO want to wear it. It helps you. By asking this, he certainly doesn't.

Luna.

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My ex was an alcoholic. I went through treatment with her as the "spouse." I've been to plenty of AA meetings. I've never heard of an AA ring. It looks like a silver triangle. No big deal. I think your hubby is overreacting big time.

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Yup, years in AA and I've never noticed a ring....tho, I may have seen one. You have a couple of choices.......tell them youre a 33rd degree freemason......or, assume people DO recognize it, and hint, yeah.....a friend of mine, Bill Wilson, gave it to me....and they will catch your drift if theyre in program, and won't give a shit about Bill or Bob if they arent'........

Now that I know it from the pic.......? I'm sure theres some similar logo I've encountered...but its really so vague to the civilian world that you shouldn't have to take it off for anything. Especially in the early days of sobriety. I would recommend popping into a few more meetings (keeping it fresh as they say) or at least pulling someone you respect aside and getting a sponsor you can relate to...couldn't hurt.

Your husbands response is ridiculous...a secret becomes public when too many people try to get all hush hush about it. You may meet some new friends who do know what it is, cause they know. To everyone else? Its a pyramid, its a triangle, you saw it and liked how it looked? so fucking what.

Yup, I did the liquor on the breath in a school once.....problem was, I was the teacher...give me a ring anytime. You're husband is being way over protective and possibly paranoid over this. Explain it as best you can. If it helps? Wear it all the time. He clearly doesn't get it at the moment. Hope he finally does. Selfish? nope. But if there will be times when if its selfishness over sobriety? then be selfish..........don't risk the sobrietyl.

"one ring to rule them all" ........heh.

peace

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Good God...

Having been to AA, and rehab that pushed AA, I never heard of such a ring. I imagine anyone that would have, would have more than a passing familiarity with AA and hopefully some understanding...and fuck them if not, eh?

Aside from my own issues with AA, good on you if it works, and to hell with anyone else that has issues with it. If your hubby has issues with you as a Friend of Bill's, than he has issues with you as a recovering alcoholic, at least anywhere in the public sphere...and I have to admit, I do keep my addiction problems in private, but I work with a bunch of judgemental people (not so much with MI issues mind you, shit I bet half my officemates are on meds and I know one gal who goes to the same office I do for her bipolar) but I damn well feel if I admitted to a drinking probelm ui'd be pushed more to the edge than I already am.

My praise to you for even going as far as you do. Maybe if I could be as open about my drinking as I am about my MI, then I could be as far along in my sobriety as I am in my "sanity"...sadly I am far more stable than I am sober these days.

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He also said that last week, at a meeting with our son's teacher (and speech teacher, and counselor) that the teacher saw the ring when I was waving my hands around, and her eyes got big. I believe my exact reply was "so fucking what".

It's a nice ring...

ring.jpg

;):) :)

What, did she think you couldn't afford the pink enamelled version?

Your husband needs to get over himself on this issue. Precious few people recognize either symbol, and the opinions of those offended are worth precious little.

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I don't think you're being selfish at all. If it works for you, keep it up. I think your husband is being overly conscious, and you're right:

I may have to drag him into a session of therapy. I don't think he understands at all how hard this has been for me.

That's probably a good idea. And if he won't go, tell him to shove it. He's too concerned about what people might think because you *used* to drink??? WTF? He should be proud as hell that you are sober. The past is the past, and there's no changing it. He needs to worry about the here and now, and if that little ring (which no one recognizes unless they have one too), helps you then you should keep it on your finger with his blessing.

My opinion anyway.

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important. No, I can't buy another innocent-looking ring, and pretend that it's the same. tried it, didn't work.

Symbolism can be an extremely powerful psychological force: your ring means something to you deeply - power, or control? A great acheivement or being proud of conquering your own demons? Perhaps all of these and more.

Symbols can be very important to people: symbols are things we perceive and associate with particular events, or ideas, and can often be intensely powerful to the user. If your husband was of atheist belief and you were Christian for example, would he expect you to not wear the symbols of your belief (a crucifix or icthes(?sp) symbol) in case of embarrasment? He would not be right to do so if he had such expectations.

You're not being selfish in the slightest. If your ring helps you to remind you of your own power to control your demons, then wear it, it will give you strength... don't worry about what others may think. You've struggled long and hard, and achieved your goal - you should rightly be proud and should have the right to wear this ring.

Perhaps you need to suggest to your husband the alternative of a large tatoo of this symbol, prominently displayed? ;)

Perhaps... if you tell him what this ring means to you... and why you wear it, he might understand? Perhaps write him an essay or letter explaining this. May be worth a try anyway....

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Thank you for your support, everyone, it means a lot to me. Ha, yeah, "shove it" might be the best response. I'm quite surprised, tho, that y'all have said you didn't recognize the symbol. That just adds to my argument of wearing it at "functions". On a day to day basis, I don't think he cares so much. It just angers me that he wants me to pretend at certain times.

Nullo, I had to laugh. Yes, they really do have delicate little rings, I haven't seen the pink, but I've seen amethyst. "Delicate" isn't my thing ;) In actuality, this is a man's ring, but it's small.

Really, thanks so much.

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I think it's wonderful that you've come this far. I didn't recognize the symbol either, and I have a legion of friends and relatives who are AA peeps.

Print out these replies and show them to hubby. He doesn't realize how lucky he is.

olga

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A piece of possibly helpful advice.........don't print out all our responses....just the nice ones. Think how you would feel of a meeting behind your back about you was printed and handed to you. Let the other person be obnoxious or ignorant or hurtful....rise above that and give him the responses edited so your not giving him a "you my dear husband, are an asshole" thread.....might be fightin words, if you know what I mean....?

Just a thought.

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I actually did exactly that. Made it sound nice, the biggest key is all the people saying "Never knew that symbol before". I edited out the "your husband's being obnoxious" parts, lol.

He's out of town til Friday. I'll be kind and wait til Saturday to spring this on him. I don't, for any reason, want him to think I'm talking about him, especially in a negative way, behind his back. Okay, well, um, he *has* been being a jerk recently, but that's a different story.

*sigh* shit, now I want an ice cold beer <looking at ring> I won't, tho...

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I recognize the recovery symbol. It used to be just for AA, but all sorts of people were using it, so I don't know that it is a "conference approved symbol" anymore. The three sides of the triangle represent unity, fellowship & service I believe. I used to have a small bumper sticker of this on my car, knowing that only certain other people would understand. Just like the bumpersticks "I'm a Friend of Bill W." or "Insured by Smith & Wilson".

If you go to the Hazelden Bookstore on-line, they have this type of jewelry: gold, sterling, and with amethysts. I'm sure there are plenty of other recovery stores that sell them too.

You'd have to be in AA/12 step recovery or close to someone who is or work in the field to know what it means. Stick to your guns. I have a sterling silver band/ring that has One Day At A Time printed on it which brings me a lot of comfort (but I lost weight and it has been falling off so I had to take it off).

I know you say you are not going to meetings right now, but I hope you have some literature: a Big Book, Reflections (daily reader), etc. I love the acceptance page that was on 449 of the 3rd addition big book (I don't know what page it is on in the 4th addition). Here's a link to the Big Book on-line, http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_tableofcnt.cfm. Also, I get the AA thought of the day, which is a literature quote, thought to ponder and recovery related acronym. You can subscribe to it to receive it in your email or just go to the site, http://www.aaonline.net/dailythought/index.html.

I'm sober for quite a few years but not going to a lot of meeting right now so I find comfort from literature and on-line resources (which there are a ton of). That's why I'm sharing with you (not preaching).

Keep up the good work. I have no advice for your husband.

Oreo ;)

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*sigh* shit, now I want an ice cold beer <looking at ring> I won't, tho...

Okay...your husband is away. You are alone. You are early in sobriety.

I strongly suggest that you get to a few meetings to at least be with people who are working at the same thing you are. The ring is great, but a lousy conversationalist.

Alcoholism is a disease that starts in the mind. If you aren't working on changing internally - either with a sponsor and steps, or some other method - you're heading for a wall.

JMO - and based on what I have seen a lot of alkie friends do.

Hubby might want to stick himself into Al-Anon and learn how to mind his own business.

There are two reasons for you to be at meetings: one is to help your own recovery.

The second is to help others.

I know people with a number of years in, they feel "ok" and don't go to meetings anymore. They miss the part of step 12 that talks about reaching out to other alcoholics. Their only concern appears to be that THEY feel ok.

Now that is what I call SELFISH!

It's great that hubby is proud of you.

But that is not the point.

Take care.

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