Last year on this very day, Sam stopped drinking. It’s been a year of sobriety for us.
Tonight I sit in somewhat awe of where we are. How much our life has changed. In a million years, I would have never imagined this. The Army, El Paso, being so hot you can feel the sweat slide down your back, pursing my dream of writing, working on our marriage and parenting, and sober.
For most of our marriage the thought of “If Sam would only stop drinking my life would be perfect” crossed my mind on almost a daily basis. 7 1/2 years of that.
Well, it isn’t perfect. It never will be and that’s ok. But it’s so much better than I really ever could have imagined.
When he stopped drinking, I suddenly realized that so many other problems had been swept under the (to class it up) beer keg. Suddenly I had to take responsibility for my actions – ones I’d justified forever because he drank.
This past year has been a real come-to-Jesus meeting, as my dad likes to say. Quite literally. I’ve been humbled and humiliated at times to realize how much I didn’t help the situation we found ourselves in. I’ve been quite shocked to find that alcohol had such a hold on me that I only see looking back. How much it seemed to depress me as a mother, wife, and person. It changed me. Alcohol ruined so many of my memories.
Even though she’ll never remember her first 10 months, one day I’ll apologize to Bella for what we did. How we acted with her around. In a sense, attachment parenting became the apology and answer to my guilt for now.
As for Sam and I – where do I begin? There is so much more understanding between us. We still fight and lose our tempers (and yes, I still nag some) – but beneath it is a sense of belonging to each other. I saw how much he wanted to go back into the military, and I was willing to make the sacrifices again to let him do so. I know what this could entail one day and I’m willing to stand beside him proudly knowing that this makes him whole.
He takes an interest in my work, my love of writing. Something I always wished he would do. In fact, the other day (unprompted) he read the Keeping Romance Alive post and told me how funny and true it was. He encourages me to go to conferences, to take time to write and pitch. Never once has he complained about the effort some of this has taken.
As a kind of reminder of how far we’ve come, I set up a page on here for our journey with alcoholism. There you’ll find links to sites that may help, books, and all my posts that talk on it. My email is there for anyone at anytime to just vent or ask advice. I’ll never judge because I get it. All I want to do is help someone to understand they are not alone – and it’s your choice alone what you do. Whether you live or know an alcoholic, or think you might be one.
Our life is not perfect. It’s perfectly ours. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I am happy here. It may be 100* out every day. It may be a tad boring. There are many times I wish he didn’t have to work 16 hour days right now.
It’s our life though. And I love it. I know what it could be, because I’ve lived the flip side already. I hold on to our moments – sober and together – and try to focus on what we’ve built this past year. What God had and has in store for us is amazing, I know it. And no matter what comes my way, I’m holding onto that.
Look where we are – how could I say anything else?