Still Going

I still want to feel good.

I’m allowing everything to come. I watch it all and resist nothing.

A million times a day the waves of emotion – of pain, discouragement, negativity, hopelessness, uselessness, inadequacy, fear, loneliness, disgust, anger, resentment – they all wash over me.

Each time they come I let myself go limp and ride them out. And eventually,  miraculously, I float right back to the surface.

Yes, I’m tired. The body and mind are tired. But I’m still here.

 

Advice for the Alcoholic’s Wife

I’ve been angry and upset and felt neglected and unloved. But right now I’m just really sad and scared for him.

I gave him a deadline of April 30th. Either he agrees to treatment or I have to end the marriage.

He’ll answer anything but the question. We’ve been in counselling for a few months but he can’t tell me what we’ve talked about. He won’t admit to knowing what it is I’m asking him to tell me by April 30th. He tells me one thing and in the next breath says another. I’m confused as hell by him. Nothing is straight forward. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a play on words, a trip that he doesn’t want me to follow. It’s like a second person in the room. He says he loves me and just wants me to move home but when I ask him if he understands why I won’t he says he doesn’t get it. Worst of all, in the mess of his head, I’m starting to lose my own. I’m second-guessing myself in EVERY way.

What do I do?

I can’t believe I’m about to walk away from this marriage, this man that I love so, so much. But it’s not even him I’m dealing with and I can’t reach him.

Is walking away the right thing to do?

He hasn’t told any of his friends. I’m so close to disclosing to one of his friends in hopes a different voice might reach him. But I don’t even know if that’s the right thing to do.

I am losing myself the more I allow myself to try and find an answer that might never be found.

It breaks my heart.

This is breaking me.

Log in my Eye

My husband called me today. He never calls me. He didn’t have anything to talk about, he just wanted to say hi.

I asked him how he’s doing. He thinks he’s getting worse.

I asked him what he’s going to do about it. He doesn’t know.

So this is where I want to take this blog post to the topics of co-dependency and “tough love” for addicts; I’ve got a lot to say right now. But for some reason I’m stopped and Matthew 7:3 comes to mind:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

If I continue to write about him and the atrocities of alcoholism, I get to continue playing the blame game and pretending I’m either the victor or the victim, whatever suits my needs.

Ego wins again!

Originally, I wanted to write about how easy it would be to feed his need for love and support because I know very well how to do that, but how necessary it is to stay detached in order to not inadvertently feed the addiction.

It all seemed well-meaning and innocent, it really did. But this voice, this ominous power pointing inward, I can’t not take notice.

What is it in me that is causing this? I’m not entirely sure even still.

The more I look at my original want to theorize and observe and make note of him and the addiction, the more it seems to boil down to judgement. In one way or another all I’m doing is passing judgement.

I think about the Law of Cause and Effect. Every thought, which is the level of cause, has a respective effect which, in turn, becomes the cause of new action which then produces a new effect.

I talk about him, I judge him. In turn I make myself a victim of his actions. This creates fear and new judgments which in turn cause new fears and new judgments, and on and on it goes.

It’s a never ending spiral cascading into all of humanity – unless the level of thought changes.

Who am I in spite of his drinking? Still me. Not much changes.

I can still love. I can forgive. I am sorry for perpetuating the judgement.

Learning life alone.

I’ve never been alone, truly alone. I lived with my parents in a hostile environment for the first 20 years of my life. I then lived almost the next 20 years in a co-dependent relationship. Now, I am on my own.

After the initial shock and commotion of leaving a 20 year relationship, reality has settled in, little by little. There’s way more to come, this I know. But the little bit of reality of life alone has started to settle in.

I’m not scared. I’m not even lonely. It’s just very, very different.

Every decision I have ever made in my life, up until this point, has been a joint decision – from what I eat, to what I wear, to where I bank, to which doctor I go to. EVERYTHING in my life has been decided on with the help (or pressure) of someone else.

It’s very, very strange now – and quite liberating – to know that every decision I make is now one I make on my own. One that I live with – good or bad. And one that I, and only I, can change if I want to.

This stems from an incident yesterday. I started having excruciating stomach pains yesterday morning around 8:00 a.m. As the morning progressed, the pain got worse and started to radiate up into my chest and upper back.

I had no husband to call who would either tell me I was being ridiculous or that he would meet me at the hospital. I could have reached out to others – my sister, my mom, a friend – but, for whatever reason, I felt like I needed to deal with this on my own.

By noon the pain was so bad that, streaming tears, I left work early and drove myself to the hospital.

The hospital is a lonely place to be on your own. It’s cold and sterile. But I knew that was the best place for me. And I endured it all – the questions, explanations, poking, prodding, pressing – all on my own.

I didn’t feel the need to convince the companion beside me that the pain was as bad as I claimed. I didn’t feel the need to console someone for having to wait the countless hours in boredom beside me. I didn’t feel the need to encourage the helper. I was the help-ee this time and I was just letting myself be helped. I didn’t feel the need to do anything but make sure I was taking care of myself.

It was lonely and liberating all at the same time.

I received morphine for the first time in my life and got to share that with numerous people in my contact list. Moooorrrrreeephinnnnneeeeee!!!!!! Lots of folks got that lovely text from me. I also got to share the experience in silence with one of the nurses aides when he saw me grinning with my eyes rolling aimlessly around inside my head.

It was lonely, yet I was not alone. I was with myself. At the end of the day, at the end of it all, I am alone – yet never alone. We are all human – all made up of millions of cells – vibrating through life together. We, as individuals, own nothing – my mother, my sister, my friend. They are not mine.

No, we are not alone. We are all one.

Hey? Becoming Me? Guess What?

I want a fucking cigarette!

Right now! I’m tempted to walk out the door and go bum a smoke off some stranger off the street. I can feel the release coursing through my veins. Fuck!

I just got off the phone with my husband. Every word he spoke was laced with evasion. He tried to turn every corner so that I couldn’t follow to find the truth. But I see it, clear as day.

He said he wants 2 more months to make a decision. Fuck that. That’s avoidance. I called bullshit.

I think he knows. He said it himself – he doesn’t want to decide. Hah! There it is!

The conversation wraps up with the woe-is-me, just-know-that-if-I-get-hit-by-a-truck-tomorrow, “I love you” story of crap.

I’m not having any of it. I was thinking I needed to be patient but the more I listened to him, I realized it was all just an illusion, his denial.

I think he can decide by tomorrow. He wants until Sunday. Okay, fine. Sunday it is. What time? He says we’ll play it by ear. No. What time? Late afternoon, before dinner, I suggest? He doesn’t know. Maybe 3:00 p.m.? He won’t even commit to a time.

I push. I will see him at 4:00 p.m.

After seeing this, hearing this, I hang my head. I hope on Sunday he says he doesn’t want to get help. I’m not sure I can handle it – only because I don’t really think he does want to get help. If he says he’ll get help, I fear it’s just another way for him to prolong admitting a problem that he doesn’t really want to change.

I’m tired. I think it’s over. I’m sobbing. I’m weak. I’m human.

I want a cigarette.

The only way to help addicts is to treat them as sick, not bad.

A beautiful piece written by Russell Brand – read it here.

Thought-provoking for me…should I stay with an alcoholic husband? The vows state, “…in sickness and in health…” But with this sickness, the only one who has any healing power is the sick.

If I stay, he never gets better. Things will never change. If I leave, he may or may not get better.

I start to feel like a monster – a person who abandons those who need help the most. But I can’t help him.

In leaving, I’m loving my addict…

What.

I’ve posted 2 blogs recently. One was called Why? and the other was called Why? Part 2. I contemplated making it a trilogy but I decided it was futile to keep trying to explain why. I think that was my attempt to justify, to no one other than myself, why I had suddenly decided to leave my husband.

I now know and fully appreciate and accept why I am doing this. I don’t need anyone else to understand my decision. It’s my decision and in my heart I know my decision is right – for no one else but me.

Tomorrow I will have a meeting with my husband. I will briefly explain why. I say briefly because that’s all that is needed. People hear what they are ready to hear. Sometimes saying one word is more poignant and provocative than saying one hundred words.

After this, I will explain the what. I will explain what it is that I need and what steps need to be taken if he wants this marriage to heal, progress and be well.

I have given this a great deal of thought; I have my script written. It’s a four-step, year-long plan with three possible outcomes:

  1. He needs to seek help and treatment for his drinking and resulting depression and anxiety. Quitting drinking is an excellent first step but I truly believe there is more that needs to be addressed. To me, drinking is only a symptom and I need him to address the deeper emotional issues. I need to see him seeking external and ongoing assistance for this. He cannot do this on his own.
  2. I think that separation for a duration of at least 6 months while he engages in treatment and recovery is essential. I truly believe that this time should be focused on himself and if I’m there in the home I think that it will be easy for both of us to slip into old habits and behaviours. It’s also been very difficult for me to get to this point and I need to see concrete effort and change before I can consider anything further. I have worked extremely hard to get to a place of better health and overall wellness and I risk losing myself again if I’m involved in his process of healing.
  3. If, at the end of the 6 months we mutually agree that there is progress, we would renew the separation for another 6 months and we would begin therapy as a couple to address the joint relational issues that have developed over the years. We could potentially meet occasionally in order to build the relationship again and to get to know each other on a more intimate level.
  4. At the end of the 12 months, we would re-assess our situation and decide on one of the following:
  • We reconcile and move back in together, with mutual agreement to continue building, replenishing and improving the relationship.

OR,

  • We continue with the separation and agree to continue working on our relationship, in a mutually agreeable way, with the understanding that reconciliation is still possible but that more time is needed.

OR,

  • We decide that improvement and reconciliation are not possible and we dissolve the marriage.

And there you have it. I’m committed to being on my own for one whole year. I am more empowered today than I have ever been in my 39 years of life. And it doesn’t feel wrong.

I’ve already explained why. Now I shall wait to see what happens!