Well Hello Ann Marie!!!
Bless your heart, girl, for checking in and letting us know you're growing in sobriety. I can tell by your words that things have changed within you. I'm so very proud of you.
I'm sorry you're life has the struggles that are playing out. How or why probably isn't important right now. Getting through the next 24 hours is important. Try not to forget that you never have to endure a lifetime, or a year, or a month, or even a week of troubled times. Your troubles can only last one day. Tomorrow might be similar, or it might change. God is in the business of intervening in life when I least expect it. Then things change, or I change, and somehow what was once a disaster becomes a thing that happened yesterday.
But then there might be an uncertain today that follows. But that's the best time to be sober. When things are comfortable and going smooth, for some reason it seems sobriety doesn't "shine" as much. There's so many things that shine, maybe sometimes I look over that beautiful garden that took almost 10 years to grow.
But show me a man or woman that has 10 minutes of trouble, and they use the simple kit of spiritual tools - then you're talking about real sobriety that holds up when things get rough. Your words have shown me just that, Ann Marie - that's why I'm proud of you. Your foundation is still standing, and it looks like you've had a tornado or two blow through. I bet you a dollar you would have never foreseen today a year ago. And I also bet you could never have imagined yourself walking through your life today without a drink. That is
Things might have gone to hell in a handbasket, your most significant human relationship might have unravelled, but there is at least one thing that is there that wasn't there before, which is also a miracle. That is the Ann Marie that a Power greater than ourselves designed. And here she stands. Ann Marie, you are the miracle
that wasn't there a year ago.
And you're a living example of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm getting chills! Just like the book says, girlfriend, we don't crawl on our knees before any man. We stand up, dust ourselves off, and pray for the sick and suffering alcoholics that are just like we were.
I know what it's like to get
a broken heart in a relationship. But what's worse then that is that I haven't forgot how to give a broken heart
like the one you have today.
I know what it's like to be the loved one that is causing you and your daughters so much pain. I wish I could say I can identify with you in your situation, but I won't lie to you. I can identify, like you wouldn't believe, with your husband. I did the same thing to my wife. I did it just like your husband did, and I did it to my sons and my daughter.
I mean you won't believe how similar I was to the man in your life that you are describing. In the last two years of my marriage, I kept my illness hidden from my wife and family. I put together a double life. I lived a secret life finding sordid places and people to indulge in my alcoholism. Places where no one knew about. I opened up my own secret bank accounts and credit cards. I even had places away from home where I could hide my stash of alcohol.
When our marriage ended, my wife was 42 years old. Only a year younger then you. My daughter was 11. Just like you, my wife so desperately wanted to "fix" me. She would have done anything to change my past, and she tried her hardest, just like you. But it wasn't enough to make me change. I packed a couple plastic bagfuls of clothes and walked out the door. My thoughts? "Now I can drink how I want to drink!" I had arrived. Homeless and living in vacant office space for the next three cold months - November December and January - my thinking was that "I have finally arrived." I also played games and tried to "work things out" and "get back together" - the "trial separation" line of BS and all. If anyone here thinks they are sick, well take a look at me - I could have probably qualified to be the king of sick back then and been your teacher!
Just like your husband, I had "one foot in and one foot out of pretend recovery". Except I didn't drink for 5 years. I had this thing licked.
I had arrived all right - at about the same time and the same place that your husband is arriving. Wanna know where I arrived?
I was only at the beginning. It took another 4+ years of losing and losing and losing and losing. 4+ years from where your husband sounds like he is today. It took a little while for alcohol to beat me into a state of reasonableness. But it happened.
It took another 5 years to begin making worthwhile amends to my wife. My kids were hurt so bad, I'll be making amends to them for the rest of my life.
Ann Marie, that's the other side of it. That's the other side of alcoholism that you might not be seeing right now. If your husband is the way you described, and I believe what you're saying, then he's a sick man. This is only my suggestion. It has nothing to do with AA, and it certainly is not important for you to follow it.
Get a good lawyer. Build a life for yourself and your kids. You have the strength, courage, and ability. You have a great support group of men and women who will never let you down. You have a Higher Power. You have a spiritual tool kit that will get you through any kind of weather, fair or foul. It took me 10 - 11 years to finally "come around" and give back everything I stole from the woman I loved like no other. Ask yourself is it worth it, Ann Marie? Is it worth it to wait until you're 53 years-old waiting for someone else's "malady" to finally go into "remission"? I mean it could take more or less than it took me, but you know what I'm saying, don't you?
You've been given a precious gift, and you've showed me that you are quick at learning how to use it in a good way. Seriously, I'm in awe at you, girl! You're worth every minute of a happy, joyous, and free lifetime ahead of you. You don't have to carry the weight of anyone else, and it's just not fair to you or your kids.
Like they sometimes say at meetings around here, "Sometimes it takes a long time for the clown to finish his act." It sure took me a long time. I truly am sorry from the bottom of my heart for what you are going through Ann Marie - it's almost as if I did it to you myself.
Keep your head up young lady. You have what you need to get through this. And if you don't pick up a drink, I guarantee that you'll find a blessing on the "other side of getting through". If I can help you in any way, please just ask. You'd be helping me make living amends.
May God bless you, Ann Marie.
Thanks so much for sharing, and for reminding me about that hole in hell that I some how managed to get pulled out of.
If you haven't noticed, you sure have helped me today.
With love and respect,