Today is one of those days. Relapse. My husband is an alcoholic and has relapsed 12 times in the last year. Not a great track record but I have moved from being angry and hurt about his relapses to trying harder to understand why they happen and being supportive. Are they truly a part of recovery? I’d say so if the alcoholic is truly trying to lead a sober life.
I spent the last two years trying to be in charge and managing this situation as if I had some kind of control over it. I was trying to get him to quit drinking. What I have learned is that I have NO control over it or over him. I have learned to make myself strong. It was not until he decided for himself that he wanted to quit drinking that he became sincere about leading a sober life. The pain it has caused me and our two children is beyond imaginable. We’ve endured a broken neck, a car accident and enough embarrassments, lies and broken promises to last several lifetimes. We’ve even gone to rehab with him.
I used to make excuses and lie, but I’m not enabling him anymore. His behavior is simply not in my control, and it’s only in his control at certain times. Does that make him a bad person? No. We would like to see him get better, and we know he would like to be better, but years of drinking have caught up to him. This disease is winning at the moment. I’ll always “be there for him,” but I have become strong and am ready to be away from him when needed. I’ve just completed my second triathlon and intend this to be my lifestyle as I embrace the future.
What I mourn the most is our future life together because we have worked so hard for the last 30 years to build it. Our beautiful children will eventually have our grandchildren. I know he’d like to be around for that. It’s up to him. I’ll support him as much as I can, but I’m also taking care of myself and my children.