As cliche as it is, the new year sees me hopefully and optimistic about a new me and a new life.

When you are married to an alcoholic, you spend a lot (A! LOT!) of time reeling against the injustice of it.

Rightfully so, I will add.

I believe it’s necessary.

Part of the process of eventually healing and taking charge of your life.

It may seem as if – and many times it felt as if – a woman is simply wallowing. Spinning her wheels. Complaining just to complain. And in deed, there is that danger but I think for me, for anyone reading this, we aren’t in that danger because the fact that I am writing and you are reading means we are active in our quest, our desire to save ourselves. We may be bruised and battered but we are not dead. We are not giving in to the demons of our husbands’ drinking.

But eventually you take a turn.

You come to realize that it doesn’t matter that it’s an alcoholic husband weighing down your life. Crushing your soul.

That it could be that or it could be losing a loving husband to death or it could be a child who falls victim to his or her own addiction or a chronic illness or….any of the other tragedies and challenges that befall human beings during this thing called Living.

As the proverb says,

It’s not the moutain before you. It’s the grain of sand in your shoe.

People have different “grains of sand” in their lives. Those of us with the same grain bond together. Turn to one another for understanding, support and guidance. But eventually it doesn’t matter what your particular grain of sand it! Eventually it comes down to the same necessity:

You realize you need to work to move TOWARD what you want FOR YOUR LIFE rather than AWAY from what someone else or something else is DOING TO YOUR LIFE.

For the first time, I feel a motivation and focus that is not defined by my husband’s drinking and my need to mitigate it.

For the first time, I feel myself excited about MY LIFE rather than despondent about MY MARRIAGE.

For the first time, I feel a desire to work toward my dreams and goals rather than trying to escape the affects of my husband’s drinking.

I don’t fault myself for taking so long to get here. (Well at least, I am working on not faulting myself!)

It is a process and as a process that is hard to understand – until you’ve moved through it and onto the other side – and impossible to rush.

It took me years (YEARS) to process the guilt I have over knowing I indeed can and will be successful in leaving my husband.

It took me years to mourn the marriage I thought I would have and the man I married who has become someone different. Someone, sadly, I can’t stay with.

But without realizing it, I did the work and now I am ready.

For my life.

It’s when you no longer define yourself by the obstacles that you indeed, are ready and capable, of moving forward.