Clearing Hurdles

After a disastrous weekend a few weeks back, my husband is back on track and clearing hurdles like a champ.

Monday marked three weeks, which included making it through our last pay day. This week has been challenging because we got our tax return and it’s a pay week. He’s managed to stay strong and says he feels good. We’re even planning a getaway for our birthday in a few weeks.

And yes, I said “our” birthday. We have the same birthday, born on the same year. He’s a few hours older than I am.

I’m trying really hard to be fully present and supportive. It’s been difficult this week because school and work are stressing me out. All I really want is a massage and a quiet house. ::sigh::

But I’m holding my own. A few more weeks until our birthday, and then spring break after that. I can do this.

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There and Back Again

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”
Dalai Lama

Sometimes I feel like I need that quote tattooed in reverse on my forehead so I’m reminded every time I see my reflection.

So the sobriety break lasted a few days, and then pay day came. Pay day is always a major trigger for my husband because he has access to money. There have been times when he’s given me his debit card because he knows it’s a trigger and wants to avoid the temptation, but not so this pay day.

Now, some of you might say, “Don’t give him money.” Yeah, made that mistake. I’ve tried just about everything, and I’ve learned that it’s not my responsibility. I’ve worked very hard to let go of trying to control what is out of my control. It has to be his choice to ask for help.

It’s interesting how well you learn to read your alcoholic. It’s one of those survival skills you gain. I knew when he picked me up from work on pay day that he had already decided to drink. He was manic, way too excited about things and running a hundred miles an hour…his brain was already in pre intoxication mode.

And this weekend has turned into the usual routine. Sober during the day, drinking a fifth in the evening and throughout the night, sleeping on the couch. The amount of alcohol consumed will fluctuate, but the overall cycle stays the same.

This morning he’s still drunk. And I’m forced to walk a fine line, as he’s in one of his “I love you, you’re so beautiful” moods. The drunk guy at the party that keeps hitting on you can sometimes be amusing, sometimes annoying (or so I gather, I don’t go to parties or get hit on), but when it’s your alcoholic husband and he’s emotionally unstable, you need to treat it very carefully.

He can so easily go from “happy drunk guy” to “angry, you hate me, I don’t deserve to live” drunk guy. That drunk guy will walk out the door, drown his self-hatred in more alcohol, and sleep under a bridge.

But, thankfully, I was able to walk that line and he’s back asleep on the couch. So hopefully he’ll sleep for another couple hours and then go have his weekly coffee with a friend, and be happy and sober this afternoon. ::fingers crossed::

“Taking a Break”

“I’m taking a break.”

Those words can mean so many different things… the end of a relationship, a return to being present (if you’re taking a break from your phone or Facebook), a step towards a  healthier lifestyle…so many possibilities.

But when you’re married to an alcoholic, those words can mean hope. They can wipe away stress you didn’t even realize you had. Your shoulders immediately relax as you drop the weights you were carrying. And a smile appears on your face and lingers.

The past three years of my relationship with my husband have been a cycle of extreme lows and amazing highs. He’s been in and out of rehab, therapy, etc., as he struggles to find his path. He’s had a couple long stretches of sobriety that have been absolutely fantastic, the last of which ended in October.

The last few weeks have been challenging, but hearing those words just makes it all melt away. Yes, it means the next couple weeks will be difficult as he detoxes. He’s going to be more emotionally unstable than usual, but there’s an end in sight. And that end means you can see what’s beyond it. It reminds you of the good times that can be so hard to remember during the bad times.

So here’s to another new beginning…and a return to feeling hopeful.

Less Asking, More Doing

So I have a usual morning routine that involves making coffee for my husband. I don’t like coffee, so this is one of those “just for him” things that I do. It’s something he really appreciates, and he often says if my love had a scent, it would smell like coffee.

Anyhow, I usually ask if he wants coffee before I make it, as occasionally he doesn’t. New Year’s Day I was getting ready to ask first, but then stopped myself. Why was I asking if he wanted coffee?

I knew he probably would, and even if he didn’t, he would appreciate the gesture. I only make one cup, so it’s not like it would be a huge waste (and he’d probably reheat it if he didn’t want it right then). “Stop asking and just do,” I thought to myself.

And then I decided that would be my theme this year. I don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals. There are a few things I’ve been meaning to do, and I’ve decided to just do them. I don’t need permission, and I don’t need to wait until I have time, I just need to do.

So, this year I plan on actually learning how to play the ukulele I got for my birthday last year, and finding 5 minutes a day to meditate. And I’m going to stop asking if my husband (or anyone else) wants me to do a given task. If I think to do something for someone, I’m just going to do it.

I Need a Shower

I woke today in desperate need of a shower. Yesterday was one of those days (not *that* kind!). It was a “spend the day in your pajamas, snacking on unhealthy food, being lazy” kind of day. As it was Christmas, I imagine it was one of those days for a lot of people.

We don’t celebrate Christmas, so for us it was just a usual lazy day. I honestly kept thinking it was Sunday. We celebrate Yule, which was last Sunday, so the boys still have gifts to play with. They did a lot of gaming, and Nerf battling, and we played Munchkin Zombies.

That’s one thing I love about our household, everyone’s love of tabletop gaming. Speaking of TableTop, we watched the new episode yesterday too. We’re big fans, and TableTop was the catalyst for our love of gaming.

I remember when my husband and I first moved in together, and we had a small TV on a milk crate that only got a couple channels. TNG was on every night at 7 pm. We’d sit on the floor, eating our pot pies (which you could usually find on sale 4/$1) and watch it. Ahhh, to be young and poor. LOL

So we knew Wil from TNG, but that’s not what made me a big fan. I’m a big fan because of who he is as a person. I’ve read some of his books, and I sometimes read his blog, and he’s just a really open, funny, cool guy.

We’ve been fans of TableTop from the beginning. It’s one of only a handful of shows (along with Cosmos, Mythbusters, and Sherlock) that will bring everyone into the living room. It’s become a Thursday night ritual, and I love it.

So often we all get wrapped up in our lives…school, work, household chores, online gaming… it’s nice to have something that will make everyone be present. And the nice thing is that it usually prompts use to play a game, which means the electronic devices are put away and the “being present”-ness continues. That’s what happened yesterday, which is why I didn’t shower in the afternoon like I had planned. And why I was perfectly happy to wake up in desperate need of a shower today.