This afternoon was the men's meeting. I have missed a few of these get togethers in the summer because of being out of town or being on the boat. But today I made the meeting, and it was a good one. Actually, it was more like a gut wrenching kind of meeting for me.
We were reading and talking about relationships in which one person has invested energy, time and focus on another person to the exclusion of a lot of other aspects of life. That was me. I gave up so much to live in a relationship with an alcoholic. I couldn't go to a social function and enjoy myself. I was on edge because of worry that she would make an ass of herself. I stayed home most weekends to do work around the house and to keep an eye on my wife. And this went on for decades.
Finally, I had an epiphany that I was dying inside. It occurred after a birthday party at a friend's house. My wife got drunk and wanted to drive home. I told her that I didn't want her to drive. She grabbed the keys out of her purse and drove off, leaving me behind. I was too embarrassed to go inside and tell people what happened. So I walked home. I believe that this was the moment I realized I couldn't continue in this relationship. Something needed to change. I needed to start living again.
That low point was the impetus that brought me to Al-Anon. Since then, I have learned to redirect my focus to do those things that I enjoy. I have bought two sailboats since then. I take regular trips, sometimes by myself. I don't give up things that I want to do because my wife doesn't want to participate. I love her a lot, but I realize that I have life to live too. Other people talk about their children and family members. I don't have any. All the family is dead now. So it is important that I keep a momentum going to do activities that bring me joy and peace of mind.
Tonight, I went to see the Rolling Stone movie "Sweet Summer Sun". It was awesome and definitely a mood elevator. My wife was at her AA home group meeting. It felt good, after having an honest and somewhat heart-wrenching meeting this afternoon, to go see a happy movie and watch a bunch of guys who I grew up listening to, jump about and have a great time (Mrs. Moon--you have got to see this movie. Keith was up close, personal, and incredibly loud!).
I realize that at times I feel lonely. But I know that I am loved and feel a great deal of love, even though there are moments when the "isms" of alcoholism still hurt us both. As I said today, I don't think that there is a better human being than my wife. I trust her and know that she loves me. And I have found a way to live life more in balance with myself than ever before. I have learned that resentment kills love. I have made amends for my part. And I make no apologies for living a life with the focus on what I want to do.