The past day has been quite stressful — after having that nightmare, things were barely stable. And then after the meeting we went to, JS and I went out to dinner and he was pushing me for answers to a lot of questions… and I don’t have (m)any answers right now. I don’t know how it’s all going to work out, how/when I’ll be able to trust him again, whether/when faith in his capacity to take care of himself will return, or if anyone can lessen my fears right now (much less relieve them).
The long and the short of it: I’m scared. Terrified, actually. That he’ll relapse again, that he will drift away from sobriety, that he’ll drag his feet on getting a new sponsor, that I won’t be able to completely forgive him quickly enough (or ever), that I’ll never be able to accept him exactly for what and who he is: a human being, who’s fallible like all the rest of us.
I was skimming through some Al-Anon literature today, and I came across one of many readings about asking “what if…” questions. I’ve never been a big fan of playing what I call the “What If Game” — even my kids know that it’s probably not a good idea (or at least not productive) to worry about what might happen and just focus on what IS actually happening in the moment. But that doesn’t make me any less scared… and the only thing that is keeping me going is knowing that fear is a natural human response to being hurt.
What I’m trying to do today — albeit not too successfully — is to play the “Positive What If Game”: asking myself “What if things turn out fabulously?” and “What if this is the time JS gets sober for good and I have to let go in order for that to happen?” and “What if this is all going to end up for the best, regardless of how I try to manipulate reality?” Because those are good questions to ask… sitting and waiting for the other shoe to drop isn’t any way to lead life.
JS had a huge angry outburst this afternoon, one that left me terrified and crying in the car in the parking lot of a pancake house. I don’t take kindly to people yelling, and under normal circumstances I probably would have gotten out of the car and taken a cab home. But I do remember what it’s like to be five days sober — and I didn’t get sober coming out of a relapse, having let down people who cared about me, having hurt the very people I never wanted to cause pain. I need to start expecting less from him and treating him the way I said I would in my previous post on forgiveness… but it’s so damn hard. Besides getting sober, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I’m confused every day, and I’ve been crying a lot.
So what keeps me going? Being able to say to JS, “I know that your sobriety and relapse is sitting on top of us like a two-ton elephant, but can’t we pretend it isn’t there for a couple of hours every day, and just hunker down and love each other like mad?” And him saying, “Yes, we can.” Because I know reality is out there, I know it’s tough, I know it’s going to hurt like hell going through this process — it hurts already and it’s only at the beginning. But I also need to feel loved and give kindness in the small spaces of the world. If I can’t have that, this isn’t worth the pain. And I really want this all to be worth something.