Thursday, January 7, 2010

When the time is right

Yesterday, I had a killer headache and decided to take a sick leave day and just lie on the couch in front of a fire. I did some work on a report, read and commented on some blogs, and took a long nap.

It was nice to be home and to talk with my wife who rarely slows down. Most of the time, she is busy working on something--writing, reading, cooking, gardening, going to meetings, and so on. She seemed to be delighted that I was home.

There used to be a time that I would hear the clink of glasses in the kitchen and know that she wasn't measuring out spices for a recipe but instead measuring out wine for the daily anesthesia. The tension was always in my gut. Just as she would numb herself with wine, I would numb myself through self pity and sadness and try to energize myself through self-righteous anger.

We have both come a long way together. I think that in spite of all the terrible things that we have thought and said to each other, there is a lasting commitment. How does one explain that over the long haul, there is solidity in spite of all the things we have said and done?

I wonder sometimes if we have stayed together because we are hopeless co-dependents. Or perhaps we stayed together because the fear of leaving and change is overwhelming. But something tells me that there is a greater reason for being committed to this imperfect life together.

So maybe it's not about me, her or the fears about alcoholism and loss. Maybe this is about something bigger than both of us. I see this as another example of God's grace because surely many people would have called it quits after these many years.

We have chosen to commit to recovery and with recovery we have found renewed commitment for each other. And I think that the miracle is that we didn't commit to this course of action before we were ready. If we had merely tried, I don't believe that either of us would have gotten help.

Instead, the timing had to be right. There had to be enough misery, enough fear, enough resentment for me to be ready to listen, be willing, and surrender.

The timing had to be right for me to seek a Higher Power, to ask for guidance and to remove the blinders from my eyes.

The timing had to be right for me to recognize that there is a solution.

The timing had to be right for me to be ready to commit.


  1. The second sign of God's grace is that you lived long enough to make it to a place of recovery. Depending on the drug of choice, it's a race against time. Nice post, Syd.

  2. I think it was in the air, I took a full day of "getting really quiet" yesterday and slept and just stayed warm and cozy all day. No computer, no phone. A very odd day for me but much needed apparently :)

    Continually provided for through following the natural rhythms.

    I hope you're steps are regaining a spring in them as well. :)

  3. Thank you for your blog. I enjoy the way you write and what you write about. Have a great day.

  4. Some things are just meant to be, no matter how difficult we make it.
    Of this, I am convinced.

  5. thank you for sharing, syd. i needed to hear this at the start of my day today. i've been away traveling internationally and essential elements of my program have been missing. man, can i feel it! the time is right for me to get back into the swing of day at a time.

  6. Such a hopeful post Syd. To have come through.

  7. Your post reminded me the program lets us choose to go or stay, what our boundaries are, and lets us flow with the rhythm of life. I'm trying to say I totally understand this post, but words are not working.

    I'll just say I'm on your wavelength, and leave it at that.

  8. Your headache was the platform for a mighty nice gratitude check. I like how that happens. I do hope you are feeling better, however. Something tells me that you are.

  9. Thank you for this. I'm left with a feeling of comfort and trust in our program. It's a miracle to me.

  10. Glad you were on time.

    Blessings and aloha...

  11. Syd,
    I hope you feel better today, buddy. Glad you got some rest.


  12. I'm feeling inspired by the progress you and your wife have made. I'm going to put that into my relationships starting now.

    What's going on with all the headaches? Five people I know, and myself, had one yesterday. Too much dry heat?

  13. This is an absolutely wonderful blog for me today.

    Relationships that last must mature through all the plus and minus times. I believe that if they endure, it is because there is a commitment and real work done - AND it is worth the effort.


  14. Hope you feel better today! This was extremely inspiring. Its really all about being ready to make the commitment. You can't do one without the other. Your marriage sounds lovely today. I am happy for you.

  15. There's a lot to be said for remaining committed. Who has a perfect life anyway?

  16. It is what it is. It will be what it will be. Both these statements have served me well in recovery.

  17. Scoot over by that fire..your blogger buddies are comin' over.

    I love the message here about couples in recovery Syd.Really.
    I know so many who should be-
    Including one very close to home.

    Lovely post.


  18. Great post, Syd! I have been lamenting my DH leaving for a 3-day AA retreat this weekend, then finally caught myself & thought about 2 yrs ago when we were separated & I would have gladly sent him on a 365-day retreat ;)

    To me, it is amazing to feel the power of "program" & I will remain ever grateful that I was open to receiving its gifts when I finally decided I was at my rock-bottom. I sometimes pinch myself b/c 2 yrs ago I could have never imagined
    him being sober for 23 mos - truly a dream come true - yet a lot of commitment & hard work on both our parts. Ah, the power of love...

    BTW, sounds like a very cozy & lovely day :)

  19. I found your post so refreshingly honest. I related to staying in a long term relationship and having questions about why I am still here.
    In the end it works for me. Tonight I listened to my husband and felt some real love for him. This is new for me I have shut down over the years. It feels good to be able to feel again although I cant attach to the experience. Feelings have to flow and I hope to have the willingness to let go and let god.

  20. i am so glad you made the decisions you did. in this day and age, people give up to quickly and easily, and you are proof that there is more, and better, in working the solution, rather than walking away...

  21. My grandparents were married for 64 years before my grandpa passed. They had their ups and down, but mostly it was a beautiful life - and I think the commitment and love made it truly worthwhile. There is something very special about a long marriage. I have not found it, but I do see it in my long-term 20+ year friendships. There is a quality there that you can not find in a shorter relationship. Cheers to your marriage. (sparkling cidar cheers!)


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