No one prepares us for how fast our lives fly by.
Oh, they try. They tell us things like “enjoy it while you can” and “it goes by in the blink of an eye” but we don’t hear it…
Until we are ones saying it.
I’ll be 50 this year.
50. Years. Old.
And if it feels like my 50 years have gone by fast, it’s nothing compared to how fast it seems 17 years of marriage to an alcoholic have flown by. One is a crop duster; the other is a jumbo jet.
And so now as I face the “second half” of my life and I think of the years past and all I wanted to do or be but never did or was, I can’t help but ask,
Who’s fault is it?
Is it my own fault? Is all this soul-searching, therapist-seeing, blogging-effort, going-to-finally-write-my books effort a middle-aged thing? Did I, like so typical of the human condition, fall victim to, simply, the inertia of life? Was I the one who let my dreams down? Let books go unwritten? Let art go uncreated? Let passion for living fade? Is everything about me and my life – from being 50 pounds overweight to eating crap to not writing to failing to live up to my potential – all on me?!
Or is all on him – the alcoholic who I married? Do I get to lay everything that is wrong, compromised or flawed in my life at his (intoxicated) feet?
My first thought is to say, yes, why yes I do. It’s hard to overstate how deeply and utterly completely the alcoholic affects your life. It doesn’t seem like it should be that way. It seems somehow one should be able to at least partially separate herself out from her alcoholic husband but if that’s even possible to do, it’s very, very hard to do.
Everything about the alcoholic’s condition – from his compulsive drinking to the volatile and erradic behaior to the emotionally vacancy – compromises your life. How do you fly when a weighted cape has been laid across your shoulders? How do you soar to the heights of your potential when the storm of alcoholism rages all around you?
You survive today.
And then you survive another day.
And then another and another and another.
You just keep surviving while an idea, a feeling, a fear – a question – lurks unanswered in the back of your mind:
Am I just simply surviving my Life?
It taps, taps, taps, taps so lightly it seems until it builds to the thudering roar of a cresendo, refusing to be ignored.
DOING WITH MY LIFE?!
I suppose if you’re smart…
And you’re prepared to work hard (HARD!)…
And there is still a sliver of your soul left…
A cinder that smolders in that fire in your belly…
A tiny flame flickering in your darkness…
And if you can come to understand (accept!) that it doesn’t really matter who bears responsiblity for the state of your life and being…
You might just be able to fly again.