I laid awake wondering where he was then pretended I was asleep when he finally came home. I searched form him and even though I did not care much for alcohol I would join him in bars to try and control his drinking. I threatened him and gave ultimatums that I could not keep, I pleaded with him and begged him to stop. I ranted and raved and carried on like a crazy person trying to make him understand what his drinking was doing to our marriage and to our family. I with drew and gave him the silent treatment and nothing worked.
Looking back I realize now that there were many times he tried. He would try to control his drinking and in the beginning he could maintain that control for a few weeks but then he would get totally wasted and pop my bubble. He would try to stop drinking altogether and he could it for short periods for a few of time and then when he started drinking again he would be worse than ever.
Our life was a roller coaster and neither one of seemed to be able to get off. In the beginning of my recovery program I had a difficult time accepting that I was powerless over his drinking. I had it in my mind that if he just loved me enough he could do it. But in reality love had nothing to do with it at all. I really struggled with accepting that he had an illness. It was black and white simple to me. He could not handle alcohol and therefore he should not drink.
You see I was so focused on his problem I could not even see mine. If I had just looked in the mirror I would have seen how addicted I was to his problem too. I polished my halo and griped and complained about all my responsibility. I was afraid if I gave him boundaries he would leave me and I was mad at myself because I could not leave him. Confusing isn’t it. Both of us were drowning in our sicknesses. I would promise myself I was never going to do things for him anymore and I did them over and over again. I told him and myself that I deserved better and that I was going to leave and I stayed. So I tried harder to make it work. It didn’t work. Nothing I tried made it work and yet I refused to accept that I was powerless over his drinking.
My sponsor helped me to understand that when I looked at the big picture I was overwhelmed. But, if I broke things down into little pieces it was manageable. Besides, I was too desperate and to much of a control freak to let go of everything at once. So I tackled the small things first. My sponsor told me to tackled one thing at a time, until I was comfortable doing it on a regular basis. I started with the little stupid things that he did and allowed him to experience the result of his decisions. Next I concentrated on taking care of the kids and myself and letting go of the things that he needed to do and I allowed him to be responsible for himself and his behavior.
All of our choices and our behavior have consequences. Some consequences are good and some aren’t. This process helped me build my boundary muscle. I had one small victory at a time. Over time I got out of the way and allowed him to make his own decisions and experience his own consequences. It totally revolutionized my life and how I lived it. I actually learned how to be more grateful and less hateful and angry. I learned to laugh more and the knot in my chest dissolved. My life has gone through an amazing transformation and I will always be grateful for the 12 Steps and the people in my recovery programs that helped me find my way. That is why, after all these years, I still go to meetings and still have program people as some of my best friends. I write this blog to share my experience, strength and hope because when I started there were people there that shared their’s with me.