Thank you for all the kind, supportive comments on my last post. It’s difficult to write about this because my emotions are so up and down. Rapid cycling thoughts. But I think it’s important that I write some of it down.
I have had moments of peace and clarity in the last week and it is mostly when I remember that what I’m doing (becoming sober) is hard and beautiful and worth it. And I want to get that down for the moments when all I feel is despair. And rage. Oh, the rage.
Although I believed my husband was 100% supportive of me being sober, I can see now that he was reluctantly so. Of course, he wanted me to feel better. But I think he wished that I could get better and then drink again. I don’t know that he ever really wanted to understand that I was actually dealing with addiction. Part of me believes that he would have to look at his own self in order to fully grasp this.
Anyways, I digress. I don’t want to spend a lot of time analyzing him and what drove him to end our relationship. You know what? I will probably never really understand exactly because humans are complicated. Many of us barely understand our own minds and feelings let alone someone else’s. And whatever caused this on his part will make no difference to the outcome for me.
It is wild to me that this is where my recovery path has led me. You honestly never know what life is going to bring.
I’ve written before on this blog about my fear that my husband’s and my differences will cause us to grow apart. Socially we don’t have much of a common ground any longer and I don’t think either one of us knows how to resolve it. I have wanted things in life that he does not want. Many times I feel held back or that I have had to compromise too much for the relationship.
So when he spoke those words one week ago, in my heart I knew what he was saying was true. I just don’t like to admit what my heart knows all the time. Because it’s scary and painful and dreadful to think of uprooting. I also love him dearly but it’s maybe not the right kind of love to spend a lifetime with someone. Possible? For sure. The best possible? I doubt it.
I also took a lot of pleasure and pride in being committed. There were many times I could have left; instead, I compromised. One could say I sacrificed. Which only makes this pain so much worse. After all I have given up, now, he leaves. Now, he is done. Without even trying, it seems.
What this pushed me to do is tell my family about my sobriety. This past week I told them when I told them about the break-up. It was easy in the end to finally just say it. Of course, they were much more concerned about the relationship ending and my broken heart than the fact that I can no longer drink alcohol. So… I am “out”. I can’t quite access how it feels as all my feelings are so mixed up and I can’t quite isolate one from the other right now. But I suspect that being honest about my addiction and recovery with the people in my life I am closest to and who love me the most will help me feel free. More will be revealed in time.
I’ve been on the recovery path for about 2.5-3 years now. All there was in the beginning was despair. I had no idea how to get well and a very faint notion of what being well even was. Through research, study, practice, reaching out, counselling, introspection, writing, and trying different tools and strategies I feel I finally have a grasp on being sober. I believe with every ounce of my being that this is the right choice- the only choice- for me to have a happy and successful life. Even though I am still in early recovery, I had a solid sober stint last year (nearly 11 months) and in the last two years I have been sober much more than not. It all adds up. Today I don’t feel 3.5 months sober- instead all the sober things I’ve learned and done has accumulated even though there have been drinks in between.
I know that this is true because I am pulling on my different tools and strengths I’ve gained since getting sober to deal with my emotions right now. In the times of darkness, I know there is a light somewhere inside me that I can access- if not in this moment then perhaps in the next one.
I know that the only way through these emotions is to feel them. I am afraid to feel them, but I am doing it anyways. If I want to cry, I cry. The emotions come and go like waves. When I feel angry, I express it (usually by sharing it with a friend). I accept the support that my friends and family are giving me even though my tendency is want to isolate and be alone with it all. I know I can’t do this alone.
When I first got sober I had to have faith that it would get better. I believed the words that bloggers said about how it does in time. It is the only way to get through those beginning days and nights that are filled with craving, fear, and the insanity of addiction. Slowly, over time, I saw that life did get better being sober. I was happier, more stable, had more integrity, and liked myself better. It’s still hard, but always better than being trapped in that revolving door of drinking/hangover/drinking/hangover.
I am trying to rely on that same faith right now. That I will feel better again, feel happy one day without my partner by my side.
One week before this happened I went to retreat on a farm on a small island close to me. I joined 25 other women for yoga, organic food, hiking, paddling, self-care, and talking about recovery. I met some amazing women and my sober network has started to grow. It is kind of strange that right before my break-up, I was welcomed into a new, supportive, awake, alive, recovery tribe. I feel held and supported. And I have no regrets of this path I’m on.
I am struck that if I didn’t have my sobriety, I would be absolutely falling apart right now. But also that if I wasn’t sober, maybe this wouldn’t be happening at all. It is the one big way in which I’ve changed- the biggest way in which we’ve “grown apart”. I’ve changed; I am changing. And I think for the better. If my relationship could not survive it, I’m sorry for it, but I can’t go back. I love him very much, but I love myself more these days. That is the coolest thing about sobriety and recovery- the self-love that grows.
I am up and down like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster. Most of the day my heart feels broken. The things and details that come with separation feel entirely overwhelming. I’m angry that he gave up on us so easily after all. But I have ME: sober, alive, vital, lucid, clear, strong, and healthy. And I’m scared, but I think I’ll be okay.