My husband is an alcoholic.
He has said it. Outloud. And via text. After a night he left friends at 12:30am…and didn’t get home till 3am.
“Do you know how Dad got home last night?” was the text I received at 9am that same morning…
Unsure if my 16 year old was asking because he wanted to know? Or if he was asking because he knew and wanted to know if I knew anything… So I just texted, “No…?”
The response, “The police brought dad home…”
“What? How? How do you know this…”
“Because of the video camera…”
“What video camera…?????”
“The one I installed on the outside of the house for when I got marijuana delivered.”
(Late I discovered….well…long story on that one…the short story is my son wanted to help the family funds and decided selling marijuana to his friends was a great side job…and he didn’t want anyone to steal his profit from the front door.)
When I left for work at 6:30am, my husband was on the couch, in his work clothes, in a ball.
Hours later I also received texts (that I never saw till after my texting with my 16 year old above) from my kids all saying,
“Dad is still drunk…”
“He can’t take us to school…”
“How are we getting to school…?”
A few hours later I received another single text from my husband, who was now awake, hung over and feeling like hell.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so embarrassed. I have a problem. Please help me. I’m going to AA this week. Can you help me. I’m never drinking again…”
I felt a need. I felt excited. This was it! He turned a corner and would now be on the mend to stop drinking! YEAH!! Was this the ‘bottom’ that would get my husband out of the this hell he created?
5 hours later I walked in hoping to see a man in need and desperation…
Instead I found him on the couch, watching TV, drinking…a beer???
I couldn’t speak…I’m sure my mouth was wide open and my face read the words I was thinking, “WTF?”
Instantly he said, “I’m okay…I’m fine. I overreacted earlier. It’s all good…I’m not cutting drinking out of my life…I’m okay.”
I still couldn’t speak. It was over. That smidge of hope was gone.
I walked over to him and said, “When you are ready to stop, I’m here for you. We can change our home, our friends, we can move…I too will never drink, even socially again. Whatever it takes. I will do what you need me to do. When you are ready, I will change with you…”
His eyes stared through me, “I’m fine. It’s okay.”
I am helpless. To him. I can’t do anything to change him. Repeat: I can’t change him. But that doesn’t mean I can’t change me. Who I am and what I bring to my life and my world. He doesn’t define me. His drinking doesn’t define me. I am an outsider watching. I am the rock in my own world. I am a rock to me. As I am the rock to me, I can be the solid rock to him and influence him to stay strong and suggest him not to drink. But I can’t make him stop. He is the only one that can stop. He has to decide. So…while he is figuring this out…my world moves on. I am the example. Even if he can’t see it. Or see me. I can. That’s all that matters.