I haven’t posted a blog for 14 days. Mr. D came home two weeks ago today and it’s been, ummm, interesting. I decided to postpone the blogs I have been working on and simply give a recap of the time since his homecoming.
The first weekend was full of family activities since we had all of our kids home. We didn’t have a lot of time to talk but it was pleasant enough.
The next week was full of work for me and it was crazy because I am behind due to missing so much work from being ill with influenza and then pneumonia. We still didn’t have much time to talk but I got to observe Mr. D adjusting to being home and starting intensive outpatient treatment (IOP).
I started attending Al-Anon meetings and found one I really, really like. It’s an all-women’s group and what a group! It’s an amazing bunch of ladies. I met “Patsy” there, and a few days ago she offered to be my sponsor. I accepted because I was going to ask her, anyway. She’s a non-believer, as well, so I am hopeful this will work. My goal is to get in front of things instead of being behind them (more on that another time).
Mr. D and I took a weekend away at the Oregon Coast to reconnect and make a plan for the future. We had a lovely time and enjoyed ourselves immensely, but we didn’t come any closer to planning than to agree to start the younger kids’ 529s (college savings plans) so we can have another, more substantial, tax deduction (we have five children between us; the youngest four will be 5, 7, 7, and 9 this year).
We waited out an amazing rain storm at the coast and were rewarded with the bluest blue sky, calm waters, rolling waves, and a rainbow spanning the horizon at the end. I thought even then, in those moments, that there is a metaphor for my life in that experience that I intend to write about. Did I say it was AMAZING? It was.
After the rain, the skies cleared.
Monday evening we met with Mr. D’s counselor for the SO check in; that’s me, the SO (significant other, or primary support person). I shared my concern about Mr. D’s general complacency about his recovery and that I felt it was only a matter of time before he abused prescription drugs again if he continued on his current course. Sadly, the counselor shared a “red flag” with me: the previous Wednesday Mr. D was inattentive during the group session and fell asleep (although his version disputed the actual sleeping part. He was just “tired”). His counselor had to ask him to stand up and rouse himself. This only confirmed my fear that Mr. D isn’t actively seeking recovery; he is comfortable “not using” and seems to me to be at a standstill.
He isn’t driving to San Diego. It’s an analogy his counselor used that I will expand on another time, but it pretty much sums up what is going on with Mr. D. He isn’t driven or motivated for himself, and as a result he will, in all likelihood, fail.
On Tuesday morning before work and getting the kids to school I had a total emotional breakdown. I scared myself. It made me sad to get so out of control, crying and yelling and what not. Fortunately, the only witness was Mr. D. I said some terrible things, I admit, and my final act of frustration was to leave my wedding ring atop the locked safe I keep in the kitchen that holds my medications.
Tuesday afternoon I told Mr. D I wanted a separation. I can’t be the wife of an addict. I can’t let him guilt me into being his “everything”. And on Monday night, as we were falling asleep, I asked him what he wanted from me and that’s what he said: everything. It’s too much. Whether he is an addict or not, “everything” is too much to ask for from another person. That kind of need is pure manipulation, plain and simple.
We agreed to let the topic rest until the next day. I agreed to meet again with both of his counselors for the discussion if he felt safer that way. He made an appointment for Wednesday evening.
The counselors agreed that Mr. D hasn’t owned his own recovery. He needs me too much, his focus is too concentrated on salvaging the marriage or pleasing me and meeting the expectations he THINKS I have for him instead of making himself into the person he wants to be, solely for his own benefit. As far as I am concerned, if he grabbed his recovery by the neck and fought for it tooth and nail, as if his very life depended on it (which, in all honesty, it does) the marriage will take care of itself.
On Tuesday night at an Al-Anon meeting someone shared a reading from the Courage to Change daily meditation book. In brief, it talked about waiting. On Wednesday evening at the outpatient center, I purchased a book by Melody Beattie because as I flipped through the pages the following reading for April 21 jumped out:
“Wait. If the time is not right, the way not clear, the answer or decision not consistent, wait. We may feel a sense of urgency. We may want to resolve the issue by doing something – anything now, but that action is not in our best interest. Living with confusion or unresolved conflict is difficult. It is easier to resolve things. But making a decision too soon, doing something before its time, means we may have to go back and redo it. If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait”.
On Thursday I told Mr. D I can wait. Not for long, though, and I am predicating my decision on his actions in the coming days; basically, I reserve the right to change my mind if I feel there is no improvement or he uses manipulation on me to make me stay or any other reason that I think is valid or feels right for ME. I want to be healthy, and if that means a separation then so be it.
I also need to explore my own worry that staying with him is somehow impeding his recovery. He has to recover whether we live together or not. If he believes I (or our marriage) am the reason he is going to stay clean, perhaps not having me will force him to confront his own self, and his fears, and either get motivated to save himself…or not. His circumstances can’t dictate his motivation to recover, only his internal desire to be healthy can.
Thursday he also gave me my anniversary gift early (it’s Feb 29, so we don’t technically have an anniversary this year anyway). It’s a beautiful new wedding band set and it matches me perfectly. I am not a fancy person.* I love it. I also believe it wasn’t given to me as a bribe (if you will) but as a genuine gesture of affection and thoughtfulness, and as a symbol of hope.
Yes, I took this photo as I was typing this blog.
Whew. That’s two weeks in a blog. Everything I touched on I intend to post about in more depth. I have already started writing on these topics so they are coming. I know some of my personal friends are waiting for this update, but some things just can’t be condensed into a Facebook status.
Tonight I sent Mr. D the link to my blog. Maybe he’s reading it, maybe he’s not.
Lastly, I leave you with the music I stole my title from. Rise Against is a band I like to listen to when I am feeling overwhelmed and the past two weeks I’ve been listening to them a LOT.
*Are you laughing, my lovely girl? That was for you. 🙂