I’m sure I’m not alone in having assumed that my drinking affected me and me alone. It didn’t take much sober time to realize that all of my actions had the potential to effect others (usually those closest to me, the people I loved). Having never given this idea much thought, I was in the dark as to the extent of the damage I was responsible for. I’ve had many conversations with my wife, who has supported every aspect of my recovery, trying to understand how my “it’s just my problem” thinking weighed on her. She could have “kicked me to the curb” and been completely justified. But she didn’t. Her courage, support, and love provide the foundation of my joy in living sober.
So, Here’s Deb.
When someone you love is caught in the throws of drug or alcohol addiction, the disease affects you and everyone else in their circle in some way. It’s not unusual for an addict AND their loved ones to fall into denial, which I learned about first hand. Denial is powerful and helps prolong an addict’s choice to stay sick, and those around the addict become sicker, as well.
I grew up the daughter of an alcoholic father and later married an alcoholic. Most addicts are good at hiding their disease, and I was blind to it to the bitter end. Over time I found myself taking on more of the household duties as my hardworking husband was out or napping because he was tired, right? We co-existed in denial until something had to give…when my husband hit the proverbial bottom. Not one of our better days and the days, and now years that have followed have shown that life can be better…even great.
I’m happy to say that my husband’s commitment to treatment and clean living is what freed me up to reach out for help and support. I learned how to heal myself and detach from my husband’s addictive behavior with compassion. This helped us both to go on and live healthier, happier and better-balanced lives – individually and together. I’ve always liked that expression “it’s all about the journey.” So true.