I think about this blog more than anyone might think.
Seeing how I don’t actually post on it with any kind of regularity.
I read this fable once. (I can’t remember where but it was probably in reference to alcoholism.)
The tale is about two frogs that fall into an churn of buttermilk.
No matter how hard they try, they can’t climb out as the sides are too slippery.
One frog says,
“It’s no use. We are going to die.”
And he sinks to the bottom and drowns.
The other frog says,
“I dont know how I am going to get out but I’m not going to quit.”
And so she swims. She swims and she swims and she swims. All through the day and into the dark of night, she swims. Round and round she goes with no idea as to how she is going to escape but with a detemination to escape. By morning’s light, her little swimming frog legs have churned the buttermilk into butter and she hopes out!
Being married to an alcoholic is a lot like this!
We’re stuck. We’re trapped. There’s no way out. We sink to the bottom to drown.
I’ve sunk to the bottom.
But not a violent drowning. Not a drowning where I am flailing about, gasping for air, trying to grab hold of the nothingness of water. (Buttermilk.) No, my drowning is more lethargic. Just laying here.
I think as wives of alcoholics, this is our trajectory:
We yell, we scream, we rage against the beast – eventually more internally than outwardly.
We talk, we cry, we try to fix. We hope.
We hope and we hope and we hope some more. We hope when no reasonably human being would expect us to hope. We hope when we know there is no point in hoping. We hope after we declare we are done hoping. Every morning we get up and we hope.
First, we hope he will be different. He will change or seek help. He will see his drinking for the issue it is.
Then we hope for ourselves. That we will change. That we will stop expecting him to be different.
We hope we will stop hoping.
Until finally, all the rage, all that anger, all the grief, all that hope weighs us down and we sink to the bottom.
Some of us will indeed drown.
But something has caught my eye.
Is it the little kicking legs of a frog-sister?
I don’t know what I’ll do.
Or how I’ll do it.
But I can’t let myself drown.