I’m not a cynic, well most of the time I’m not. Others would maybe disagree – I’ve been told that I’m bothered easily and that my rough edges may bristle some. I am okay with that today. That’s me. However, in my own defense, a good portion of the time I am happy and cheerful, with a possible attitude, but the love is there. I woke early today with my head swirling with sad and heartbreaking thoughts – but then I flipped to the positive, (very unlike me to do) thinking that I do have a lot to be thankful and grateful for this year. Even though I’m not sitting in all that gratitude right now the love I have for my life stands true today because I know that I’m going to be okay – no matter what.
This is the first Thanksgiving in 8 years that I haven’t spent it with my husband. I don’t know where he is right now. He could be driving back East to be with family or living in his car and beating himself up for not being able to accept where we are today, or he may just be sitting near the ocean smoking cigarettes. I don’t know. All I know is I got to my tipping point a couple weeks ago where I felt in my bones that he won’t ever get clean. As much as I have prayed, gone to Al-Anon, begged and cried and journaled my life away hoping and wishing he’d get it – again, I had to surrender to the fact that it may not happen. And if he does get clean again, it won’t be living with me in our cushy home with all of life’s comforts at his disposal. This is his journey and I can’t keep squeezing his hand along the way wanting sobriety more than he does.
When I met him in early 2010, he was on fire for recovery through the AA community. He was of service to others, he ran meetings, he was working the steps, and he had that sparkle in his eye that we all get when we GET IT! That gift of sobriety. We married 18 months later, and he relapsed on pot the next day and thus his cycle of rinse and repeat started. It wasn’t always pot, it was other addictions and his behavior and spiritual condition was off 70% of the time. During the 30% when he was on the beam, he was that guy I met. Loving, sweet, fun, caring, whimsical, helpful and most of all sober with that same sparkle back in his eye. What this experience has taught me more than anything is that this disease doesn’t want us to be sober. It doesn’t want us to live on a path of spirituality or help to others, it wants us in its grips and it wants us sick. I have always felt like my sobriety was a gift since I got it after my second meeting. I never looked back, over 14 years ago, and I keep doing today what I did when I first walked into that meeting. I follow suggestions, I pray, I meditate, I journal, I call other alcoholics, I go to meetings and the biggest thing is; I ask for help. My husband wasn’t one to ask for help. Call it ego, pride or fear, that was and continues to be his most hardened defect. I saw Anne Lamott recently and she said something that I just love, “Grace meets us where we are, but doesn’t leave us there”. Grace and God have been carrying me for the past 10 days and that’s the most humbling and loving gift I can have right now. I have this amazing group of women that know me and love me anyway. They want me happy and loved and they give me that each day. I also know that my husband has a journey that he needs to experience on his own. Will we still be married in 6 months or a year? I don’t know. Only God knows. I know I still love him, and I only want the best for him and for us, however, that looks. I was thinking of some Glennon quote’s earlier today when I was meditating and the one that really resonated with me was, “What if pain, like love, is just a place brave people visit?”
So for today, I need to visit and be with God. I need to take care of myself and my heart and if I wake up at 4.30 am and start crying because I long for him by my side to play footsies with, or I miss the smell of his shave balm when he passes me in the kitchen, or the touch of him giving me a neck massage, I can sit in that and have that wonderful memory and appreciate how I loved so hard.
I know that for this Thanksgiving I am content with who I am. I don’t need to do anything but show up each day. So, here I am moving on with my day finishing laundry and walking Bailey for the third time, and my heart is full.
As for the annoying Thanksgiving post today, I realize this may not be the warm hearted I’m so grateful for, ____ fill in the blank, but I do know that I can do this. Today I will keep plodding along and honoring what I’m feeling. Isn’t that where all the growth is anyhow? I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to me and to anyone else who may be hurting just a little today – we’ve got this.