Hi Velvet, Harry and Looby,
Thank you all so very much for your replies.  Harry, I really appreciate your affirmation about posting – I do try really hard in my life, not just in writing here, to own my own judgements and not be attacking or mean.  I know I don’t always manage this successfully, which is why I keep trying!  Practice makes perfect – haha – that’ll be the day, hey.
It really means so much to me to be able to write openly and not feel fearful of being judged for going in circles sometimes and re-visiting what I thought I’d learned and apparently need to learn in more depth AND to share the celebrations of the good parts too – when I do learn something, even if temporarily or painfully slowly.
All your posts have helped me to get excited again about putting those **** boots back on and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air so to speak!  Thanks for playing along with my little visualization – I find it really helpful and inspiring to have a visual metaphor in my brain.
Velvet, you are right, I am not back where I started – thank goodness!  I was worried there for a couple of days there. 
And, you are also right about not wasting energy over a load of piffle.  I know my partner is just human as well and if its him speaking to me like that, I am aware that it is just his hurt at the root of it, and NO I don’t have to listen to it and I do know what is true (although realize even more now how much I do sometimes doubt myself as to whether I am doing something wrong (whatever wrong really means) – so good place for me to get more comfortable with making mistakes and being ok with learning and carrying on).  I know on the occassions that I have spoken to him about all manner of what is wrong with him (yes, I know, who would have believed I would also partake of this kind of behavior :S), it comes from a place of hurt, fear, insecurity and utter desperation…and sometimes I don’t even feel like saying sorry afterwards – oh dear!
And, if it is the addiction speaking to me, well, then I will come to know that for sure in time too.  And this is the part I am not willing to work with (she says as she still finds herself here – haha) – as it seems the human owner of the addiction does have the ability to change but the addiction’s character is not one prone to change unless overridden consciously, if that makes sense.
The distance does add a totally different dimension – trust and truth certainly are gray!  And as you say Looby, it makes some parts easier and some parts much more difficult.  With respect to life time commitment or any other commitment, I am feeling pretty grounded in the fact that all I can manage and am willing to do right now is deal with today – knowing that all options are on the table, as you say Velvet, and trusting that the only way anything in the future will happen is by building the right foundation now, no matter what happens this applies to having the best life I can possibly have.
It seems I had more to say than I thought…thanks again for listening – what a gift!  I wish I could clearly articulate just how much it means to me to be able to receive this support and companionship from folks who understand what this experience is like!