It’s Not Too Late

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I’ve never heard any woman who left her alcoholic husband say,

“I left too early.”

Or even,

“I left at just the right time.”

Every single woman I have ever spoken to who has left her alcoholic husband said,

“I should have left sooner.”

Every.

Single.

Woman.

And yet, I will dare to say they all probably did leave at exactly the right time because sooner, earlier it didn’t yet make sense to them. It couldn’t make sense earlier.

I don’t think any woman can understand – or even believe – how bad the alcoholism is going to progress. It seems unfathomable when her husband is “just” drinking a little too much during the week or “only” getting drunk on the week-ends. It seems incomprehensible that her husband, albeit drinking compulsively, is ever going to be the angry, hostile, combative, detached, abusive man she hears of from other wives. It’s not we doubt these woman who’s hell has progessed beyond ours. It’s just…

Have you ever seen the Wheaten Terrier dog breed?

As a puppy, the dog’s coat is a deep reddish brown.

That turns WHITE as the animal matures.

My friend had one and I told her if I hadn’t seen it as a puppy, I would have never believed it! I couldn’t imagine how that deep, dark colored coat would eventually grow in white.

Living with an alcholic husband is sort of like that.

You can’t imagine the animal your husband’s drinking is will become the beast others must battle.

But it does.

And so if and when we decide to leave, we can think we left “too late” or we should have left “earlier.”

I certainly have been feeling this but then I was talking to a friend Monday morning and we were re-capping our week-ends. She said she had a really nice week-end as both her college-age kids were home with their girlfriends and they all “sat around” all week-end watching movies, playing board games, etc.

All I want (ALL!! I WANT!!) is a home that is pleasant and cozy and roomy and nice and comfortable and safe. But as my children get older and older (one is off to college next year!) I found myself thinking it’s “too late.” I “should have” given that to my kids sooner. But hearing about my friend’s week-end made me see…

It’s never too late to enjoy your life!

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I Don’t Think It Ever Stops Hurting

I know I am now fully prepared to leave.

I know I have accepted unequivocally that that my marriage is over.

I know I am committed completely to getting out.

And yet…

I don’t know how to make it not hurt when my husband walks in the door from work and doesn’t acknowledg me. Say hello or give me a kiss.

I don’t know how not to feel a sting of pain when he goes to bed with out saying good night.

I don’t know how to not notice every morning when he walks out the door without giving me a good-bye kiss.

I’ve learned to stop expecting anything from him.

I really have.

I just don’t know how to learn to stop making it hurt.

I’m Ready

It’s been a long time coming.

The emotional roller coaster and difficulty of leaving an alcoholic marriage cannot be overstated.

I would have never (NEVER!) understood it myself if I didn’t live it.

What’s so hard about leaving a marriage that makes you miserable, angry, depressed, hostile, unhappy?

Well, a lot it turns out but that’s a post for another time.

Now, I am ready.

I am finally, finally fully ready emotionally.

We think it’s hard or we can’t leave the alcoholic marriage because we don’t have the finances or a job or any support. But the truth is we “can’t” leave because we aren’t emotionally ready to leave. Once we are ready to leave, filling in the finances, job, support is the easy part.

And that’s where I am now.

I am ready.

To do what I need to do to create the means to leave.

But don’t be mistaken into believing that creating the means to leave is just about creating the means to leave.

That’s what is so exciting, actually!!

Our lives are not a series of little boxes, separate from one another, bearing no effect on each other.

Money-box.

Health-box.

Children-box.

Marriage-box.

If that were true, if we could restrict each area of our life to its own little box, then the alcoholic marriage wouldn’t be so problematic. We could lock that little bastard of a beast in its own box and ignore it. But our lives are not boxes. Our lives are tapestry with each thread, each color, each design playing into the next.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is when you are ready…

When you have come through the storm to clear skies and clarity…

Then you see that you can work on ALL your life by working on ANY area of your life!!

I joined Weight Watchers!

I’m almost embarrassed to say that because Weight Watchers is such a cliche.

And I have tried it before but to no avail.

Part of the problem for me was the program limited FRUITS and VEGETABLES!!

I used to sit in the meetings and think (want to scream!!),

“I’m not here because I eat too many grapes!!”

But last week, in this sort of “last ditch effort” to somehow make myself accountable for this extra 50 pounds I’ve been carting around for over ten years, I found my way back there.

I am happy to say, fruits and vegtables are unlimited and the leader was fantastically motivational!!

So here goes.

Just one road of many I am taking to lead me out.

P.S. I am adding a page for my weight loss journey.

How Can I Leave What’s Already Gone

My husband was out of town for work last week.

He rarely travels for his job so this was somewhat of an anomaly.

He didn’t call home.

Not.

Once.

I really don’t understand this.

I mean I! Really! Don’t!!

I could maybe – maybe – understand him not calling me. (Though not really. We are still married, living in the same house and raising children together.) But let’s say I could understand him not calling me. After all, it’s not as if our relationship is all warm and fuzzy. More roomate and tolerate.

But his children?

His…

Children??

He didn’t call them even once.

He was gone a week.

When he got home, I asked him why he didn’t call.

He said,

“It didn’t occur to me.”

It didn’t “occur” to him?

When you are married to an addict or alcoholic, the decision to leave is a long, windy, emotionally charged one.

It’s not as simple as I myself would have believed had I not come to live it.

Guilt, grief, anger, fear, resentment….

Hope!

They are all there.

Sometimes at the very same time.

But now I see.

What I fear leaving.

Has already left me.

She Came To Work

I’m out of town with two of my kids, visiting some relatives. We stay in a hotel because a) it’s more comfortable; b) the relatives are old and don’t have WiFi and c) well c, it’s just easier frankly. Everyone can have their fair share of togetherness but also down time.

I couldn’t sleep at 4 am so came into the dining room/lounge area where the staff has just begun filtering in. One young woman sat down with her laptop and through her conversations I realized she came to work with her mother, who is just starting her job today.

“You poor thing, a co-worker says, “you had to come into work extra early, huh?”

The girl replied,

“No, I don’t even have to work today. But it’s better than sitting at home listening to my dad yell about me watching Netflix.”

Wow!

Now maybe someone else might hear that and think nothing. Or might hear that and think the girl probably “deserves” to be “yelled at” for watching Netflix “all the time.” But I hear that and I think,

“There’s far more going on in that home than just yelling about Netflix.”

How do I know this?

How can I be so sure?

Because as her co-worker said,

“You better hope they don’t see you and need you.”

Exactly.

Anyone can guess how risky it is to hang out at your place of employment on your day off! Like standing next to your mother in a kitchen full of dirty dishes and proclamining you are bored.

This girl got up before 5 am and came to hang out at her job – on her day off – because getting out of bed at the crack of dawn and risking having to work on her day off was still better than being at home with her father.

I dare say, that could be my daughter one day.

It’s One Of Those Nights (Mornings)

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It’s 3 am.

I have a glass of white, a bottle of diet coke and an ice cream sandwich.

I have my brand new “Passion Planner,” which if you don’t know what it is, you’re probably not the planner/notebook/calendar junkie I am. I could recite all sorts of acolydes and praise for the Passion Planner – and I’m sure all justified – but the truth is it’s just one more (planner) desperate attempt by a desperate woman to some how gain control of her life. Her Self.

I’ve cried this early morning hour for the loved ones I’ve lost and miss.

And for the life I lost and miss.

We have a wedding to go to in the normal-morning hours and when I tried on the outfit I plan to wear, all I could think was,

I’m as big as a house.

I’ve “let myself go.”

I have.

I’m one of those women.

I blame his drinking for that too.

I blame this whole hot-mess-of-a-life I am living on his drinking.

I do.

And I don’t think I am wrong.

But I do know regardless of who or what’s to blame, I am responsible.

Responsible for fixing in my life what his drinking has destroyed.

I just wish I had a better idea of how to do that exactly.

Time To Triple The-F Down

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I can’t get enough of this guy Gary Vee because he is so spot on!

I was watching this video and thought,

“I wonder what he would say if I told him how my marriage was killing me?”

And while obviously I can’t literally answer for him, I’ve watched enough of his videos now to think his answer might go something like this:

“Fuck him! Get the fuck out! Look, I’m not just some cold-hearted bastard but it all comes down to this: your life or your marriage. And if you spouse is dragging you down. If he’s making it so you can’t live your life, that you are WASTING this one opportunity you have at this thing called living, then you have to make the hard choices, the tough decisons.”

Yep, that’s what I think he would say.

It’s Been A Long Time Coming But I’ve Arrived!

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I love this guy.

And in this video, he actually mentions the demographic that I am part of!

Go figure.

I have to tell you, I am STOKED!

It’s taken a long time for me to get here, but I am HERE!!

I spent the day repeating the mantra I took from one of Gary Vee’s videos:

I am a human being!!

I made it!

To human being-ness!

It is flippin’ crazy when you really think about it.

As Gary Vee says, it’s winning the Universe’s Lotto!

And so when I came home tonight and my husband found a reason to yell and curse, I didn’t care!

But in the right way!

It wasn’t I didn’t care in that white-knuckling it sort of way where you are actually seething with anger.

No, I didn’t care as in that anger was NOT going to touch MY life.

It’s been a long journey but I am here!

At My Life.

And I’m unpacking my bags because I plan to stay for the duration.

This Blog Is No Longer About His Drinking

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When your husband is an alcoholic, it will make you feel miserable, hopeless, overwhelmed, irritable, depressed, angry, hostile, lonely.

Until you decide it doesn’t.

This is not to say you shouldn’t feel those things.

In fact, I think you have to.

You have to go through the storm.

But keep going.

Every morning for the past two, three, four, five years – I lost track – I would wake up hopeful and optimisitc.

The day before me was going to be The Day I changed.

I wouldn’t suffocate my feelings with food.

I wouldn’t yell at my kids.

I wouldn’t hate my life.

And every night when I went to bed, I felt I had failed.

I ate too much.

I yelled a lot.

I spent the day cursing my life and myself.

But I never gave up.

I didn’t even realize it but I never gave up.

I’d wake up the next morning with the same hope and optimism.

And yes, I’d go to bed with the same sense of defeat and failure.

But in between, I was reading and writing, journaling and “googling.”

I was finding other people – writers, speakers, sages – and I was listeing to their words. Reading their teachings.

Then yesterday I came upon this fella “Gary Vee” and the things he said and the way he said them just clicked.

It didn’t have to be him.

(He’d probably agree.)

But now I see, it was going to be someone because I never quit.

Even when I felt like I was quitting, I actually never quit.

I’m kind a proud of myself for that.

I think you have to feel the anger and hostility, the regret and despair but you feel them so you can move beyond them.

One day, in the words of Gary Vee, you have to say “fuck him!”

My life is no longer about him, his drinking or even the fall out of his drinking. That is all his to own.

My life – and this blog – is now about Me.

It’s! Time!

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I’m ready!!

I had never heard of this guy – Gary Vee – but one click on someone’s Instagram account led to another click led to another and suddenly there I am, listening to a guy who is known more as an inspirational gury to 20-somethings than to “middle-aged housewives.” Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind that this “old lady” got fired up from one of his YouTube videos.

I am done!!

Listening to this made me accutely aware of how much I’ve been living in the chaso and turmoil of my husband’s drinking and the affects our marriage rather than basking in the miracles and abundance of my own life.

As Gary Vee says,

“I am a HUMAN BEING.”

I won the flippin’ lottery, he says.

I am a thinking, feeling, free creature in a Universe that could have made me a bug or a rock just as easliy. I have allowed his pain to become my regrets for too long.

It’s time.

To fly.