Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What happened

I started my day like I started most days--with a cup of coffee. Tonight we had a party to go to. It was Saturday, but I felt no joy. I hadn't felt much joy in a long time. It would sneak in on occasion, give me a glimpse of something bright and shiny and then be gone as if it never existed.

My mind felt heavy. And as I consequence my body felt heavy. The thought of a birthday party for a friend lightened my spirits a bit. She lived down the road from us about a mile.

I thought briefly about what it was going to be like to go to a social event with my wife. I never knew. Sometimes it would be good, and we would enjoy the occasion. Other times it would be a disaster. She would get drunk, I would get angry and the whole evening and most of the night would evolve into a downward spiral. God, I hoped that tonight would be okay.

We cooked up a dish for the party and got together the birthday present and card. My wife had a drink "just to relax". That's not a good sign I thought. But just maybe that will be it for the evening.

I watch her at the party, not all the time, but in a furtive way. Sneaking a glance every now and then. I'm having a good time actually, taking to friends and enjoying the food. Where is C? I look around the house but can't find her.

I go out to the screened porch and see her sitting on a bench in the corner. She's drinking a tumbler of wine. I ask her how she is and she says that she's okay, just enjoying sitting out here on the porch. Her words are slurring, and she has that far away look in her eyes.

I ask if she's ready to go. She says that she isn't ready. I could feel her isolation and sarcasm as she said for me to "go back inside with your friends and enjoy the party." I also felt anger rise up in me. I'm been here, right here in this situation so many times. Why can't I have a good time? Why can't I go to a social occasion without walking on egg shells?

Later C. came in from the porch. She was really drunk now, swaying a bit. She said "Good night" and went out the front door towards the car. I caught up with her as she was trying to get the door open.

I tell her that I don't think she should drive. She tells me again to "go back inside with your friends and have fun". I say, "Damn it C., I don't think that you should drive". She told me that she was driving, got in, started the car and drove off.

I could feel my anxiety tearing at my guts. My mouth felt as dry as cotton. I went back inside and said all the polite good byes to the hostess. Then I walked home.
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This was the end of it all for me. Or close to it. There were several more arguments. There were tears and accusations. But within 2 to 3 months after this "watershed" event, I told C. that I was leaving her. I no longer cared what she did or how much she drank. I told her that she could have the house, the property. I would keep my car and my savings. I wanted out.

I talked to a good friend that night who told me that I needed to get to an Al-Anon meeting. And that's how I came to show up at my first meeting.

And when I said that I was going to Al-Anon, C. said that she needed help, didn't want to lose me, and decided to go to an AA meeting the next night.

And that, my friends, is what happened.

40 comments:

  1. The walking on egg shells, the furtive glances . . . yes.

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  2. The defining moments, they can thrust us, Can they not? I remember leaving my first husband, still so sick myself, but just KNOWING I can no longer do this. I left him and my entire life to escape it all. It was all very sad looking back of how desperate I was. I'm so glad I learned how to let go of it after years of work. No more guilt, no more shame. Thank you for the work you do Syd.

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  3. Syd, thank you for sharing this. It was hard to read. I'm sure much harder to live...actually I know it was. Thank you though, again, for sharing that with us. I love knowing more about how you go to where you are today. Precious post.

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  4. There is always hope..I'm so glad you found the rooms..

    Namaste

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  5. Thanks so much for writing this. I could really relate to it.

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  6. {{Thank you for sharing,Syd}}

    T xo

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  7. How hard it is and how clear it becomes.

    Isn't that just like it for us all. Moving testimony, thank you.

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  8. You had me worried...I was thinking this had JUST Happened again. What a story!

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  9. It seems talking to addicts/ alcoholics doesn't work. Most often you have to actually leave before they get it (if they even get it then.) I'm glad it didn't come to that with you, but it was close.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  10. It's nice that she chose you over alcohol. Not every addict will/can do that. Congratulations on taking that first step!

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  11. sometimes though, it seems like only yesterday. so real the moments and memories can grip you out of reality. just for today, i don't have to be that person any more.

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  12. Amazing how the friend who you spoke with gave you the advice about Alanon just at the right time. I am so glad it worked out for you both. Thanks for sharing this touching story with us.

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  13. I don't remember you ever sharing this before. Wow. I'm really glad you did. I practically could feel the distance between the two of you.

    I'm so glad you each found recovery, no matter how it turned out.

    Hugs to you, Syd.

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  14. Out of bad came great good. Thank you for that reminder.
    Chris A

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  15. Thanks for sharing, Syd. I needed to hear that.

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  16. Its amazing to contrast your life NOW with THEN. Thanks for showing what can happen if both people seek help. I am so glad C and you are still together and doing good :)

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  17. Thank you for a further glimpse into your life, Syd. I'm glad you're where you are today.

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  18. I had wondered what precise moment had brought you to this place. I also knew it was your story to tell and in time when you were ready you would share. Thank you for letting us in like this. (Hugs)Indigo

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  19. I will never grow tired from hearing what brings all of us to the reckoning.

    Thank God she chose you.

    Beautiful share, Syd. Thank you.
    Hugs
    Tammy

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  20. Thanks for posting that. I think it was probably tough for you to go back to that memory to write about it.

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  21. I got goosebumps all over. This is so exactly the kind of thing God orchestrates and it is such a miracle.

    Thank you for this beautiful story of God's grace in your life and in the life of your loved one.

    PG

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  22. I am so glad that yiu went to a meeting, I think it takes a lot for all of us to get to our first meeting.
    Also great strength from C to get help herself..so nice to hear and gives me strength and hope.

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  23. The frustration, the anger, uncertain of what to expect next... yes, I understand what it is like. Thank God recovery is in process for your wife, and yourself. Blessings and thanks for sharing the post.

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  24. Thank you so much for sharing that. I know those exact feelings, walking on egg shells, watching, on tenderhocks wondering who husband is going to offend tonight. Just saying enough is enough seems to have tipped the balance.

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  25. Wow. How very touching, thank you.

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  26. When we (they) have had enough, God gives us the courage to change, to make changes. Yours is a one in a million story, where you both got sober and well....bless you both.

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  27. I think we all have our defining moments and I want to thank you for sharing yours.

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  28. I'm so glad you decided to get help. You'll know what I mean when I say she 'sounds like' the sick one but as the despondent controlling spouse you were just as sick.

    Thank you so much for this. I've been her and I've been you. Flip sides of the coin.

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  29. The pain and hurt of living with an alcoholic is so sad. What a gift to recover together. You are blessed!

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  30. I have tears rolling down my cheeks and can hardly see to type. Syd I am so sorry that you and ALL the others had to go through so much bad stuff, because ofour, my selfishness. I am glad things are workiing out for you both now in your new life and I value your thoughts. Moving post Syd. Too moving in a way.

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  31. I stumbled across your blog for the first time last week, Syd, and have been awed by your amazing posts. It was a priviledge to look in today to read the 'beginning' of your journey into recovery. I attended my first AlAnon meeting in August and am just starting to unravel that great knotted ball of wool that has become my life. Thank you for sharing - it means so much.

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  32. Thanks Syd as always for sharing! This is a sad yet hopeful story.

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  33. ThAT is a powerful story. So happy that you came to that place of caring for yourself and letting go. So happy she chose to do the same. Blessing to you and your wife! Peace.

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  34. Wow I was worried as well I thought OMG no.. how did this happen.. Ty for sharing that personal part of your life. I have such better understanding now, I am happy C knew she needed help, and I am glad she took it. I wish some people I Know would do the same
    BLessings. I wish you everyday a day without eggshells..
    SMILES

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  35. i'm glad that you are no longer trapped in that terrible sadness...

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  36. Dayum! You and C have walked the path of experience and look where it got you. We sometimes have to be willing to stay on the path until we get what we need.

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  37. You have to take care of yourself. You have to care enough about yourself to take care of yourself. Your recovery is your own. That is what I tell myself each day, each step I work with my sponsor. My husband is clean and sober nine years now.

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  38. Wow. You two are the embodiment of "no situation is ever hopeless." This brought tears to my eyes.

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