I used to fear that he wouldn’t choose Recovery, then once he did, I would already be living in fear of his next relapse. This cycle takes many different forms and really never leaves until I turn back to step 3, and turn it over to Papa.
With a little more practice, today, when I catch myself living in fear I can see how I’m consumed in SELF. Fear, comes from my lack of awareness that Papa is just as interested in his success as I am. Fear and wanting to fix creeps in when I forget that I am powerless over the outcome. Today, I can pause and choose to save my precious energy for something far better. Because what does fear do for us anyway? Who does it serve?
Right now I was supposed to be a mom. I was supposed to have 3 kids by now and my job was supposed to be taking care of the kids, not taking care of the bills. I was supposed to be worried if I’m doing a good enough job as a mom, not worried if my car would start. I was supposed to be stressed about whether my husband will like the dinner I made, not stressed about whether my husband will stay sober this time or not. While my best friend is in the hospital having a baby, I’m in the hospital because my husband overdosed.
Ultimately, my reality is that I am married to an addict, I have no kids, and I have to support myself. The life I was supposed to have… has died. So I guess now I am greiving. It’s funny because as I write that, I realize I’m kind of in denial. (The mere fact that I wrote ‘kind of’ confirms this) I don’t think I have been still enough realize that this life past away a long time ago. And if I keep living there, it will kill the life I ‘could’ have now.
In the middle of the messiest years of addiction, I truly thought that was my only problem. The chaos consumed just about all the energy I had, and I was living in a constant state of survival mode. When I was so hyper focused on my husband and his addiction, I fantasized about how great life would be IF ONLY he were sober. Surely all my problems would disappear and life would be perfect.
Well I’m here to let you in on a secret. That thinking was inaccurate on so many levels. First on my addicts side of the street, drugs were the solution not the problem. So when you take drugs out of the equation, you’re still left with the problem. Then on my side of the street, I was so busy blaming everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) on the addiction that sobriety became my teacher of reality.
My lessons continued as my addict was changing, and working on his problems. His slowly started to disappear, and behind them were MINE. All my crap was hiding behind all his. Or really I was so busy looking at his that I couldn’t see mine. It took time to see what I hadn’t for a long time. I realized that blaming the addiction for everything left me with no power to change. If I’m not the the problem there is no solution. Its hard, yes, but it’s also empowering to acknowledge responsibility because it means I can do something about it.
Long story short, I still have a lot of work to do, but my recovery began with working the 12 steps myself. Now that I see all my own character flaws, and can take responsibility, I can turn to those steps to live in a solution.
Man, does this ever get easier? The water is crashing hard lately. I really struggle with time. This addiction in my home has cost me years and years. The life that I dreamed that I would have is nowhere in sight and even the personal milestones I hoped to accomplish are also nowhere to be found.
I know there are two ways to look at this but I’m going to paint a picture of how I feel from my experience. I have always dreamt about having a family. That is what I look forward to most. These years of addiction have push that dream to the back burner and put my whole future on probation. I feel like I have waited and wished and hoped for and prayed and pleaded for some indication of peaceful recovery. We have had bits and pieces but never true comforting lasting sobriety. Addiction ruthlessly keeps pushing out my years. How many years do I have to give? I’m afraid of that I’m gonna be too old to have the life that I always wanted. I feel like I am watching everybody live my dream while I sit hoping that it can happen for me. Every day it crosses my mind.
Seeing this in black-and-white doesn’t do it justice. I know that if I reading this with no emotion involved it would probably be a simple answer such as get divorced and move on.
Right now it takes every ounce of energy that I have to make sure I can pay my bills. It takes all my energy to function the way I have to survive. After all that what energy do I possibly have left to move on. It’s hard for me to even really consider that a thought because it seems impossible. If I could check myself into rehab center, could focus on me, and have the option of staying in fetal position for a few months I think I would probably be OK. But I am a big girl and don’t get those luxuries.
If there’s a positive to pain is always going to be growth. When I’m really low it’s so hard to feel like I could be sustained through hard times. How on earth am I going to have the energy I need to make it?
It is a very good time to practice the things I claim to know. I’m so thankful to have a step-by-step guide to my own peace and recovery. I will lean into that and I will tell God that I don’t know what to do until I know what to do.
Because I am very progressive by nature, I often have moments of enlightenment. Usually is a concept derived from a truth I already know, sometimes it’s knowledge I already had. Yet it seems new because it just makes sense in a different light.
I had one of these moments yesterday.
I have this new understanding of the process that addiction is. For a long time now addiction was an old topic. Anything about or related to it felt redundant. But yesterday everything changed.
Mainly the realization of truly letting go. I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me until now. Truly giving up your life to God. Separately, but both for the Addict, and for loved ones. The words themselves register as simple basic knowledge, but when you put effort in applying them it is powerful and life changing.
Letting go of control happens when we strengthen our relationship with our creator. When we know who we are, and what our purpose is, it makes it so much easier to hand our lives over.
I wish we could all strip the paradigm we see through. We could be more authentic, and free, and trusting.
The reality is, it has been 9 years of loving my addict. 9 years longer than I ever would have imagined.
During these past 9 years, I have felt extremities of what it means to feel alone, terrified, hopeless, and broken. I have felt heartbroken. Real pain in my stomach through my heart and then to my throat and mind. How did I end up here? How did I end up alone? Why do I feel so disconnected?
I didn’t see rest or peace as a reality for me. Miserable with, OR without. I felt like I didn’t deserve to suffer this much, to believing its exactly what I deserve. I felt abandoned, not understanding how I could be married alone. I felt embarrassed, like somehow this made me a failure I always deep down knew I would be.
I felt today like I wanted to offer connection. Share your story with me. Let me share mine. Walk with me. Read and feel that you are not alone. Find empathy, acknowledgment, or hope. Whatever you need.
“Grace is that thing that whispers, its dark and hard in there. I cannot make it hurt any less, I cannot make it go any faster all I can do is remind you that you walked through this before.” -Glennon Doyle Melton
I feel significantly older than I am; measured in exhaustion. Living through these years have felt like I have lived a lifetime. It’s depressing to be so tired knowing you have a whole life ahead of you with no energy to live it. Dreams and hopes feel completely different with no motivation to tag along. I wish I could purchase motivation in the vitamin isle. THAT would be great right?! I guess that’s where the work is. That’s where my work is.