Tag Archives: addiction

For Better or For Worse?

“But if you make a vow, and making it systematically destroys you, it’s ok to break it. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed”

I found this lovely statement in a piece on Elephant Journal called “5 Things I Learned From My Good Marriage (and 2 I Learned From my Bad One)” by Erica Leibrandt…and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

One of the hardest things lately, now that I’ve sort of come to terms with the fact that the man I fell in love with is essentially gone, is accepting that because I chose to end my marriage I have not failed; I am not a bad person. And it doesn’t matter how many times I say that to myself, or how much I think I have accepted it, when it comes down to it I am worried that other people will think those things about me…so I realize that I really haven’t accepted anything.

I have been married for exactly 13 months today, and separated for 2…and it seems like a lifetime ago that both of those things happened.

I’ve heard women in support groups say things like “15 years of my life wasted!” Or “I can’t believe after 20 years it’s all gone!” And while I understand that that must be incredibly hard for them to experience, I am not down playing that, it’s also REALLY hard to chose to walk away after only 1 year. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it in people’s eyes, the “you know marriage takes work right?” and the “what? Did you have your first big fight?” thoughts… how am I supposed to answer that? “Yes, I know it takes work, but…”? Tell them the truth about my reasons for doing this? It is very important to me that I not become that woman who spends her time after a break up doing everything she can to smear her ex’s character, I’m not that kind of person. Yet, the truth doesn’t look so good for him.

So instead I just assure people that I really do have good reasons, that I’m really not that immature, and remind myself that it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, just that I’m a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed…

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Strangers again

When our lives revolve around someone, they don’t just stop revolving around them even if all that’s left is the grief and pain that comes with their memory.

This quote is from a wonderful piece of writing I read tonight about how relationships change us forever. It had me in tears because it was so beautiful and so exactly how I feel lately.

Check it out…
http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2014/02/how-the-people-we-once-loved-become-strangers-again/

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A letter…

A visit to my therapist yesterday morning yielded more homework assignments…so here I go.

The big (scary!) task was to write HIM a letter; keeping in mind that he will probably never read it, but to write what I want him to know nonetheless.

Dearest,
I know you said you feel like I never loved you, and I understand why you feel that way, but I need you to know that that just isn’t true. I’ve loved you from the first minute I saw you, when you smiled that smile of yours at me…you know which one. The thing about the situation we are in is that it has nothing to do with my loving you, but it has everything to do with my loving myself.

I loved you every time I stood up to someone, and defended who you were and our love for each other. I loved you every time I sacrificed something for us; money, friends, time spent doing what I wanted to do in exchange for working to pay our bills, and more. But I was ok with all of that! I never held it against you, or resented you for what I had to sacrifice. However, when it became pieces of who I am that I was sacrificing, parts of what make me ME…that I wasn’t ok with.

I am strong, and strong-willed; I am smart and caring and funny; I am opinionated and firmly believe in my principles; I am beautiful from the inside out. But I’ve felt like i was losing that girl for a while now. Everything that I am has become somehow about you, and I miss me.

I told you many years ago, when we first met, that I was not ok with certain lifestyle choices I knew you liked to make. I warned you, I gave you an easy out, I said “Tell me now, I won’t be mad, but if you stay I have to be more important”…and of course you promised, I was so much more important you said, “it’s only weed” you claimed. I don’t know how to explain to you how betrayed I feel thinking about that, because it has become pretty obvious to me that I’m not more important. And I understand why, believe me I do, you have a disease…I get it. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less. That doesn’t make me feel any less angry, or disrespected, or betrayed. In fact, that makes this all the harder…
It just makes the feelings I carry around because of this worse; the failure, the guilt, the “what if”s and “should I have?”s.

You told me recently that someday I’ll regret this, I’ll regret “throwing you away like trash”…well I need you to know that I already do. I regret that we got to this point, that we both made the choices we did. I regret how much this is hurting us both. But to regret something means “to think of with sorrow” or “a sense of loss”. Neither of those definitions mean I would take it back.

Do I wish I could go back in time and change things so we wouldn’t get to where we are? Absolutely. But this isn’t the movies, and they aren’t all my decisions to change.

I know that you think I’m to blame for this, you say you’ve changed and I’m the one doing this to us by not giving you another chance. Well I understand now why you feel that way. I understand that this is your normal; that you have never known any different family dynamic. But I have, and this can’t be my new family dynamic. It hurts too much.

It hurts me when you say I am not giving you a chance, because I have given you chances. It hurts me (and scares me) when you drink and become the tornado of fury that is you drunk (I know you don’t believe me, but it happens). It hurts me when you lie, and think you can do things behind my back; that feels like you think I’m too dumb to figure it out, and that hurts too. It hurts me when I feel like my feelings are so unimportant that you’d rather do what it is you want to do, and deal with me being angry later. It hurts me when you tell me I’m not really “that” sick. It hurt me when I was going through withdrawal, and knew it was because my pills had gone into your stomach, instead of mine where I needed them to be. And then it hurt me when you lied about it, and fed me half truths to get me off your back about it. It hurts me to realize that this isn’t the first time you’ve done something like this. It hurts me that you sat by and watched me go through withdrawal, knowing it was because of what you did, and said nothing. It hurt me every time I had to go to a social engagement alone, and make up some excuse for why you weren’t there. It hurts me to feel like people talk about that fact behind my back. It hurts me every time you left the house, because I knew you were going to buy beer, or weed, or maybe shoplift, and I had no idea if you would come home, or if I would get a call that you were in jail. It hurts me to feel like I was that unimportant to you, that you would take those risks, knowing the situation we were dealing with. It hurts me now, to come home to a house that is not a home anymore, it’s just an empty shell of the life we used to share. It hurts me to feel like I am an empty shell of that life too. I had so many plans for our life together, so many experiences I wanted to share with you, my best friend, that it hurts me to realize that all of that is gone now. It hurts me to feel that I have failed you, that I am giving up on you; and it hurts me that you feel that way too. It hurts me that because of this you will not be able to get the things you’ve been wanting and needing in your life for so long.

It just hurts, all of it. My soul hurts, and I’m not sure if or when it will stop. But this is what I need to do.

I truly hope you have changed, and that you will make yourself better because of this. I hope that you are happy again one day, and that your life becomes everything you want it to be.

I love you with all of my heart, and I will always love you…

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A good long cry…

Tonight I stopped at “home”…MY home; the apartment I am currently still paying for, but haven’t slept in for a while, and don’t plan to sleep in any time soon. The “home” that HE (the husband, ex, person-that-I-am-not-with-but-still-legally-married-to) is currently living in, and not paying for. Yeah, THAT “home”… (hence the quotes).

Anyways, I stopped there…I needed a few things, and kind of just wanted to check on the place. I wanted to see if he had actually done anything he was supposed to do (preparing to move out, mostly); and I wanted to make sure he was still feeding my cats, and not drinking or using, or trashing my house, etc.

When I got there, he wasn’t home…now, this is a GOOD thing, as I would really rather not see or deal with him right now. But it begs the question, where WAS he? I really don’t care…truly. But I do hope he was out arranging his life so that he can move out and I can have my apartment back…and I hope he wasn’t out obtaining or using drugs or alcohol. That’s all I care about…

For some reason though, walking into the empty apartment brought up a major rush of emotions. It’s my home, but it’s not my home. It’s like an empty shell of the life we shared together, sort of like how I feel…

All my things are there; my cats, my clothes, my makeup, photographs and pots and pans…yet am not there, the essence of me is gone. It doesn’t feel like home…it doesn’t feel like I belong there anymore. All the photographs are still on the wall, from our wedding, and our entire life together…but it doesn’t feel like that’s me in the pictures. It feels like I’m looking at someone else’s life…an empty shell of someone else’s life…

So I cried, a good long cry. Because what else is one to do when one’s life isn’t their own?

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“This too shall pass…”

One of the not-so-obvious things I’ve been struggling with lately because of this divorce is the lack of physical touch in my life now. I used to yell at him to stop pestering me with his incessant poking and squeezing and just generally annoying little touches, especially when I was having a painful day; so it didn’t occur to me until recently how much I am desiring physical touch in my life (and have been for a long time, because annoying poking doesn’t count!)

That, combined with the fact that the divorce is still a secret from everyone but those closest to me, leaves a very alienated and alone feeling.

A hug from a friend this morning who I know really cares helped, but it was fleeting…so I sit here wishing there was someone I could call and just say “come hold me please?”

The same good friend (unknowingly) reminded me of what used to be my mantra years ago when training in martial arts…”this too shall pass”…so I guess I will just remind myself of that instead.

This being alone, something I’ve never really done, has a learning curve…for real.

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Happy freaking valentines day…

How am I spending my first sort-of “single” valentines day? Sitting on a stinky couch, in the back room of a shady biker bar, drinking Sprite and smoking a cigarette. At least there are plenty of interesting people to observe…

Not kidding, these just happened…right in front of my face…

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And then there is the guy dressed in a cape, circulating around the room showing off his fangs and attempting to convince people to join him in his crusade to change the worlds opinion of vampires. Yes, vampires. “Vampires are the happiest people on earth”, he says, “because of course they can never frown, they would cut their lips on their fangs!” Naturally. Everyone knows that.

And of course the fortune teller that I have been listening to as she gives strange, very obviously absurd and made up, fortunes.

One year ago right now, I was laying in bed watching tv with my brand new husband (yes, actually WATCHING tv, you sicko).

Funny how only 365 days can change everything…

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Tomorrow, tomorrow…you’re always a day away….

Like my little Shirley Temple tribute? No, I will NOT sing it, DON’T ask. 😛 That song always plays in my head when I think about “tomorrow”, and it is always in my mom’s voice, as she used to sing it to us all the time when I was a kid. 

That song has been in my head a lot this week, as tomorrow is not only Valentines Day, but also my first wedding anniversary. Yeah…talk about a big bowl of suck. :/

The one day of the year where the whole country is love obsessed; where everything is pink and red and covered in hearts, and wherever you go there are couples acting so in love it’s sickening…and I am just sad. And hurt. And angry. 

One year ago right now I was so excited I could barely contain it; I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off making sure that my bouquet got delivered, my maid of honor got picked up at the airport, his shirt and my dress were both ironed…and literally sewing my veil at midnight after quite a few glasses of wine. (Yes, it turned out beautifully, despite the wine, lol). 

I can’t help but think, as I think back to this time last year, should I have known then? Should I have had a different answer when he got down on his knee? Should I have seen in his behavior that I was making a mistake? Was it a mistake? 

Meanwhile, as I reflect, my “husband” is meeting dates on Craigslist, and laughing about it in my face. Strangely enough I don’t care that he’s meeting dates, I don’t really care what he does, but I do care that he is enough of a jerk to throw it in my face. 

I could “shrink” him (I’m pretty good at that) and say that he’s just hurt, and rebounding, and trying to make me realize that I don’t want to divorce him…but frankly I don’t CARE why he’s doing it. It’s an asshole thing to do, and it makes me even angrier at him. 

I wish I could make him understand that he’s not the only one hurt by this…

 

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The afore mentioned veil :]

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“Hi, my name is Addison…”

So last I worked on tip #2 from my therapist…attend a support group. (See post “What to do when nothing helps…?”)

My therapist gave me a list of meetings in the area, and after talking to my best friend about it I decided to give it a try. My dear friend is a recovering addict, and spent like 5 years in NA herself…so she was totally familiar with the meeting concept and offered to go with me. She said it would be a good thing for me to go, because even though I say I am not that upset about what he did, it is still effecting me, and will for a long time.

So we picked the closest one to her house and went.

The group was an AL-ANON group, which is for loved ones of alcoholics. I am not sure that this is quite the category I fall in to, but the fact is that my husband is an addict and the concept is essentially the same.

As we walked in and sat down I thought “what the heck am I doing here? I don’t need to be here!”…completely ignoring the fact that I was trembling like a leaf all over. People went over “the steps” and the rules of the group, and the whole time I’m thinking “is it time to go home yet?” And then people started “sharing”.

Yes, sharing as in “hi, my name is Addison”; group says in unison “Hi Addison”. You know the drill.

So some people shared, nice stories; some happy, some sad. About how they’re learning not to be codependent, or to let their alcoholic fight his/her own battles, and learning to accept that they do not have control over anyone but themselves.

And then this woman started talking, and she said “I didn’t grow up in a home where people drank alcohol, at all, so I spent quite a few years trying to figure out if what my husband was doing really was normal, realizing that he was the one with the problem…and that the person I married was an alcoholic”.

And I sort of lost it. Full on panic attack, heart beating out of my chest, hyperventilating, the works. Oh, and the crying…the never ending crying.

In the end, as we left I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt. Angry I guess, a lot of it at myself. Sad, depressed, exhausted…all of those emotions and then some too. I thought I would feel better, but I didn’t. I guess that’s part of the process…

Last night was honestly the first time that I have questioned if I am making the right decision. There were so many women there, with spouses who have addictions, and some had wedding rings on and some didn’t. How is one supposed to know when to stay and when to go?

My mood today? Sad.

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What to do when nothing helps…?

I saw my therapist this morning…and his 2 notes of advice for today were 1) to get my anger out somehow (see yesterday’s post about how I’m feeling)
and 2) to attend a support group. #2 is in the works, but #1 I am stumped on.

I’m used to anger, if you met me in person you might be surprised by that statement…but it’s true. It’s one of my Bipolar Brain’s favorite emotions to throw at me, usually out of no where. So I’ve developed coping strategies; you’re reading one of them, plus doing some sort of physical activity (used to be running, then as I got sicker I switched to yoga), talking to my support system…you know, the usual “healthy” coping mechanisms you would find in any self-help book. I have a degree in psychology, I could WRITE the freaking self-help books.

My therapist says that anger turns in to depression when it’s balled up and kept inside, and the last time that happened I ended up in the hospital under a Baker Act…so I would prefer not to go to that place again, personally.

The problem is this, none of those seem to work today. I’m writing, and talking, but I have no words to use to describe this anger. No matter how much I write, or what I say, there is still this giant ball of anger and hurt just sitting in my chest. It won’t budge.

I’d like to just go and run until I can’t run any more and I’m sweating and crying my eyes out…like I used to do all the time. But after the fiasco that was yesterday’s physical therapy session, and the amount of pain/fatigue I have today, I wouldn’t get very far…and I’d probably render myself useless for days by hurting myself or wayyyy over-doing it.

So I guess I’m left with going home to a boiling hot Epsom salt bath, with candles and music, and hopefully a good long cry. Maybe that will help…

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How do you feel?

How do you feel?

Several years ago I lived with a roommate who had this poster on her refrigerator, along with a little square magnet to put over how you were feeling that day. It came to mind today as I was thinking how quickly my moods change lately. As someone with bipolar disorder I am used to rapidly changing moods, however (LUCKILY!) these are much less severe than what I experience when I am not on medication.

But I do feel like I need one of these posters to carry around with me to illustrate how I am feeling…since it changes every few minutes. People ask “how are you?” (Gee I just love that question!) and I never know what to say. So I think I’ll just carry one of these posters around and point…”right this minute? THIS one.” (Maybe along with a “rate your pain on a scale of 1-10” chart, that way we can cover emotional and physical pain in less than 30 seconds and I don’t have to say anything!)

*I am not trying to say that I don’t appreciate peoples concern, I do! And please, ask away if you really want to know how I feel…but prepared for the truth if you ask. Ain’t nobody got time for sugar-coatin’ stuff.

Today’s emotions? Anger. Sadness. Guilt. (Pretty much the usual culprits)

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February 3, 2014 · 4:42 pm