Monday, May 6, 2013
Never Say Never
Crazy enough, I feel like I'd rather deal with another back to back deployment vs. his alcohol addiction. I guess because during deployment I didn't have to deal with it; before this most recent deployment his addiction was tolerable.
I always said I'd never be married or stay with someone who has an addiction; Never say never, right? Looking back, I felt like I was very judgmental because I hadn't the slightest clue what it was like or the emotions involved. I was young, dumb and knew nothing about love or truly helping someone. Now, I'm the one feeling judged.
The judgments no longer bother me so much. My husband, however, feels like everyone he knows judges him. He even feels as if I judge him. Because of this, he bottles everything up, which recently caused a relapse, a moment very scary for me (I'm sure for him too). It is emotionally draining. I just wish he'd see we all support him. I knew at some point it could/ would happen, I just never saw it coming this soon.
He wants to stop. He feels it controls him and he feels alone. I don't understand the nightmare from his point of view, I doubt I ever can nor do I want to fully (assuming I'd have to be where he is to "get it"). Because I don't understand it from his perspective, he isn't able (feels like he can't) talk to me. He's too shy to speak up at meetings, but he said he's getting better about talking one-on-one before and after the meetings.
When he's around people, he has the want to be better and feels like he has something to prove; The urge isn't there. When I'm at work and he's home alone, he wants to drink. He needs his mind distracted at all times. He worries he'll never get better some days. He fights this evil within him that continually says, "Go buy a drink".
I wake up every.single.day worried for relapse. It's not about trust, because I do trust him, but it's a constant battle and will be for the rest of our lives. A never-ending nightmare.
Through all of this, even though many days I feel alone, I'm finding this is very common and unfortunate with so many service members or their family. Sometimes the issue starts before the military (like with my husband) or after they join with all the stress the military life can bring. I feel like alcohol abuse is a huge epidemic in our country and is somehow being made acceptable. It shouldn't be. I don't want to say I'm anti-alcohol.. hell, I'll say it.. I'm anti-alcohol. Alcohol is a drug, it's addictive, very. My Uncle who died when I was 7-8 years old, people in my family and my husband are proof that it is addictive and is a constant battle to fight with once addicted. Thankfully, I have never cared for alcohol and for some reason I feel as if God had this in the books for me all along. I've lost too many important people in my life because of alcohol, I'm here to help heal my husband.
My husband started to drink socially. It would bring him out of his box; he wasn't shy with it. Alcohol would relax him. His problems didn't seem like problems when he'd drink, but little did he realize they only intensified his problems and sometimes made him a very angry and mean drunk. He honestly felt like alcohol was the only thing that understood him at times. He didn't see how a drink could affect his mood for days- sober. Unfortunately, My husband is not alone in this.
I read a letter he wrote to alcohol in Rehab. It put my stomach in knots. I didn't understand the relationship he had with different beers and liquors. It was honestly like they were his best friends. I honestly can't explain how his letter was written or even how it affected me. It was scary. Then, I read the letter he wrote to me in rehab (these for assignments, not intended for me). I cried. The events of Christmas Eve scared him so much. I honestly didn't know exactly how that night made him feel until I read the letter. It was exactly what I've been needing him to say to me, but he isn't able to talk about things yet and may not ever be able to.
Point is, If you're going through this, you're not alone. Don't be afraid to be judged because it feels so much better when you're able to talk about everything. YOU'RE NOT ALONE. Repeat that to yourself every single day. Find someone who understands and talk to them. If you're like me and my husband, find someone you don't know well and talk to them. Trust me, it helps. I've been talking to several readers of this blog through email, Facebook as well as connecting with people on Instagram and Twitter to talk to. Talk about it. Please don't bottle it up.