Day 9

I feel like I can’t cry anymore. My eyes feel so dry. It feels like its just underneath the surface…the pain, the reality, the tears, lying in wait to break me at some inopportune time. I feel like I can’t smile, as if my face is being weighed down. I don’t really feel anything emotionally. I get anxious a lot. My chest and stomach hurt. I can’t focus. I have so much to do and I just feel tired all the time. Our relationship was so complicated. He was complicated. But I loved him anyway. I don’t know what to do with this numbness. I feel guilty because I feel like I should be crying more. Instead, it’s like I’m in emotional limbo. I feel like screaming, but my mouth won’t move. I’m just existing.

Growing Pains

On July 30th, 2020, V died. I found him in his apartment. It appears that he passed in his sleep. I don’t know what the biological cause of death was, but it was the alcohol that took him. He had just turned 39 a month prior. Despite everything, all the heartbreak, he was still my best friend. We were not dating, but I had always hoped that he would get sober so we could be together, or at least have a real shot.

I was looking through old posts and I forgot I had chronicled so much of our relationship. It was always the bad stuff. I was so different then. So naive. I had never dealt with addiction. It changes you. I am stronger in some ways, and in others, I am so broken.

I knew that the alcohol would kill him if he didn’t get help. I also knew I would be the one to find him since I am the closest thing to family he had out here. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

I don’t know how I can ever be in a relationship again. I have a terrible relationship history. The first peson I seriously dated lasted seven years out of high school. He lied a lot and there was some sexual trauma that happened in that relationship. I had a nervous breakdown when it ended. It was an ugly breakup. I started cutting. I had to get professional help for many years. The second guy was very short lived. He was arrogant and mean and he gave me an STD that I have to live with for the rest of my life. The third person, we dated for five years, but he was in my life for seven, and he died.

I look at that and think, what is wrong with me? How can I be so wrong about the people I chose to let close to me? Is it that I want so badly to be special to someone that I am willing to give my heart to anyone that gives me attention? I started telling myself in not special. I’m not the heroine or the damsel in distress. No one is going to save me. I’d rather be alone.

1, 2, 3, It’s not about me…

I’ve started listening to AA talks online. I thought maybe if I could understand alcoholism, maybe I could gain some compassion. Maybe I could hang on to hope. What I am experiencing though is a loss of hope. The more stories I listen to, the more I believe that there is no hope. V isn’t working a program. He feigns a program. I’ve gotten really good at knowing when he’s drunk. I don’t ask anymore. I am trying to practice my own program to the best of my ability right now. I hardly speak at home. It’s all I can do to avoid asking if he drank, did he go to a meeting, did he call his sponsor. I also know that asking will only start a fight and I can’t believe a word he says anymore anyway.

I’m so incredibly lonely in my own home. I feel like I live with a stranger. Thank god I don’t live with violence. Although, truthfully, I think if I continued to badger him with questions, that’s what it would come to.

I keep reminding myself, he didn’t ask for your opinion or your help, just shut up.

I keep practicing steps 1, 2, 3, and 11. I can’t, He can, I think I’ll let him. I started a mantra 1, 2, 3, it’s not about me to remind myself that his actions have nothing to do with me. It’s hard not to take things personally.

I think about hurting myself a lot. More than any one knows. I think about suicide and leaving him a letter saying how it’s his fault. If only he would have gotten sober…

And they say the alcoholics are the sick ones…

What an ugly disease indeed…

I’m slowly learning to separate you from I. We are not one being. I used to think you were a reflection of me. After all, I chose you as a partner. So wouldn’t it be the case that your actions are a reflection of my choice? 

The simple answer is no. 

You have a right to act however you so choose, as foolishly or as gentlemanly as you like. 

Sure, there will be people who shake their heads and whisper, but that is a reflection of their shallowness. A shallowness I am learning to let go of. 

Your drinking is a reflection of you, not me. I am learning to let you go. Not that I ever truly had you to begin with. I am learning how to focus on my own life, to put me first.

I deserve to be treated well, and that has to come from me first. 

One day at a time, I am actively, painfully, gritting-my-teeth-through choosing not to participate in the craziness.

It’s been a lesson three years in the making.

And al-anon has been there all along.

Dear God,

Where are you… I can’t find you. I feel so alone here. I feel so angry. I feel like my life is spinning out of control and I am sick. I have knots upon knots of wondering what the day will bring. I thought you were supposed to be here. I thought you were supposed to make things okay. Nothing feels okay. What I want to be okay, isn’t. I can’t fix it. I am so tired of being hurt.

Why won’t you fix it? Why can’t I have a relationship full of trust. I feel so alone.

Nothing Rational

There is no rationalizing with an alcoholic. Last Friday, V got himself kicked out of rehab. He’s been staying with me, but I have three rules.

  1. Don’t drink
  2. Don’t lie
  3. Don’t pawn

He pawned something today. The same b.s. behavior I’ve been dealing with for 3 years. I told him when I set the rules that he would need to leave if he broke my rules. I begged him not to put me in this position, and yet….

I was beyond upset. We argued. His argument made no sense. He called me a fucking bitch because he claimed he pawned the microphone for me…

He said he did it because he needed to contribute. I’ve never asked for anything. All I wanted was those three things.

He said a lot of other things that seemed like a huge deflection to owning his behavior. It was hurtful.

It seemed pretty obvious that he holds a lot of resentments toward me.

He said his parents turned their back on him today. I don’t know if that’s true, but I don’t blame them. He has alienated himself from everyone with his poor choices.

He needs to grow up and today, all I saw was a very broken child throwing a tantrum.

He swears he is sober. I don’t believe him, but it really doesn’t matter.

I’m scared for his mental health and his life. He kept talking about suicide. Tomorrow I am terrified of what I will come home to. He said he is going to talk to a sober-living housing unit. I’m scared he will be  gone by the time I get home.

I think if he leaves, he will use and die.

He should have been in rehab… I keep kicking myself because all of this goes back to one incident. If I had just kept my mouth shut, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe he would still be somewhere safe. Maybe I would have kept my sanity just a little while longer.

Regardless, here we are.

Marionette

He disappeared again. I was supposed to help him move, but as I was on my way, he said I should just go home because he left. But I’m like a god damned marionette. I went to his place and packed my car with his stuff without him. I thought maybe he would come home and we could just finish the move. He did not show and I left with his things in my car. I still can’t reach him and I came home to a strange address written on my white board. It’s his handwriting. It is some building for lease in a bad neighborhood. I think he went to buy drugs. I keep thinking he is dead.

How many times have I been here? Waiting for my phone. Wondering. Worrying.

He is supposed to go to a rehab program in 7 days. I thought if I could just hold on until then, it might be okay. Now, I am not so sure…

Blackhole

Thing about blackholes is that you can’t be around one without getting sucked in. The same is true of alcoholism. It sucks you in. It’s all consuming. It will kill you. 

The situation with V has dragged me back to old coping habits. I hurt myself because I feel like I have no outlet for the anger. He talks about feeling fragile. I’m fragile too…. Years of  lies and broken promises. I feel rice paper thin. He said I haven’t been able to look him. That when I do, my eyes are filled with pity. That I haven’t touched him for months. 

He is right.

I apologize, but I don’t mean it. I hurt myself because I can’t tell him how I really feel. Because it would only make him drink more, or disappear on me again.

I hurt myself because deep down, I’m angry at me for being here, again.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

This morning I found out from a third party that V lost his job. I was blindsinded, again. It is humiliating to find out news like that, from strangers about the person you’re supposed to be closest to. There were a couple of people there and they just looked at me with such pity.

I’m not even angry. When I called V and asked him about it, he came clean. Somehow, that’s become good enough. Just tell me the truth….when I ask. 

It will be fine though…. It has to be.

Sometimes…

Sometimes I want a glass of wine. Sometimes I want to drink the whole bottle. I don’t drink. Not out of necessity, but out of choice. I want to be supportive so I stand in solidarity with the alcoholic. I don’t drink. Not even when I’m alone. I feel too guilty to do it behind his back. Not that he has ever asked me to abstain. In fact, on many occasions he has said he wouldn’t care of I did. Still, I feel like if I drink, I am betraying him somehow. 

But God, there are some days when I really, really want to. 

Fantasy

He drank again. Walking through the grocery store, I had a fantasy. There was a huge alcohol display showcasing current deals. I picked up a bottle and looked at it. In my mind, I saw myself smashing the bottle on the ground. Then another, and another. Screaming obscenities at the bottles as I viciously cast them into oblivion. I kept breaking bottles until the whole aisle was a mess of broken glass and running liquid.

I fucking hate alcohol.

Best Laid Plans

V canceled our plans last minute for the second day in a row. Work conflicts. He could be telling the truth or he could be lying through his teeth. I really don’t know. Not too long ago, he canceled at the drop of a hat to drink. His sudden canceling takes me back to those awful days. Commitments are important to me. He has only begun to show that he is able and willing to follow through on his word, but it’s only been two weeks. Even in that time, things have ‘come up.’

I am practicing just leaving it alone. Not prying, just saying okay to whatever the excuse or situation is. Today I even pretended that I was happy that he was staying at work. He said it was related to a potential promotion, so I tried to be supportive.

He doesn’t know that I was crying when I sent the message.

I wonder if it will be like this forever. Will it always hurt or will I just become callused and angry? Will there come a day when I can actually trust him?

I guess only time will tell.

Giving It Up

At one time I said, I wish V was back in my life because I thought it would be easier to deal with an active alcoholic than to be without him. Talk about insanity. Now that V is back, the anxiety hasn’t lifted at all, it fact, at times it is worse!

When he doesn’t respond to a message in what I believe is an appropriate time, each time we have a planned date, or simply being around him trying to decipher if he had drank that day, I go into panic mode.

There is still a part of me that believes that I can control alcoholism. There is a bigger part of me that simply doesn’t want to be hurt again. Yet, all I am doing is hurting myself by constantly worrying about his addiction. If he is going to drink, he is going to do it regardless of my action or inaction.

Although I keep telling myself this, it is hard to not live in fear. After an emotional talk with my sponsor, she suggested that I ask my higher power for help letting go of control.

What a terrifying thought, letting go. Some how I got it in my head that I am responsible for the world. Deep inside this psyche, I really do not trust in the Universe. Life feels chaotic and full of bad things that could happen if I don’t tread carefully. I think I am going to be on Step 3 for a while.