Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unfinished Business

Yesterday a group of friends from the program gathered at a nursery that is closing to clear out the remaining plants. The daughter of someone in the program started the nursery 6 months ago and basically her and her boyfriend spent weekends partying instead of tending to the business.

Most of us that have been in the program have experienced a similar situation at one time or another. I can remember the grandiose ideas my husband had when we were first married it would always involve money we didn't have and hard work. I couldn't resist his enthusiasm and I wanted him to be happy and successful, so I went along. This happened over and over again and eventually the resentment, among other things, destroyed us. I used shame and guilt and anything I could to force him to be a good husband because this would prove he loved me.

When he left the house was full of unfinished projects. I know now this is part of the disease of alcoholism and the lure of the drink is too great. When things got boring or too hard the drinking would take priority and I think a way to drown out the guilt.

He was not alone in this disease, I also had unfinished business I felt like I was not enough and if I was a better wife I could make this marriage work. I spent my time finishing his projects and not taking care of my own. I was so focused on him that I was no longer me and ultimately became the walking dead. I was depressed and catatonic and a joy to live with. After he left I spent a year just working and sleeping.

Luckily he encouraged me to get counseling, he said I had a real problem and he was right. The counselor sent me to Al-Anon for support between visits. I just showed up that was all I could do in the beginning. I followed the rules and got myself a sponsor who saved my life, quite literally. I didn't want to be alive with the kind of pain and loss I was feeling. She was patient with me and my never ending sadness and would tell me I was enough and that no one worked harder than I did to get better.

I am grateful today for the pain back then and even now (now that it is over). Pain is a great motivator and helps to keep growing and learning about myself. I am a long ways from being perfect but I am enough for me now and I never thought I could feel that way. The journey continues.

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