High Stakes


Since my husband went in the emotions have hit me like a mack truck, boom!  They are changing and cycling. First the elation upon entry into treatment, then the sadness coupled with pure exhaustion, now the crippling anxiety, feelings of desperation, and fear. I am allowed to visit and Face Time my husband in the partial hospitalization program he is in now (soon we will have limited contact as he will go into “blackout” in his residential rehab in Florida). The change I have witnessed since he got clean is nothing short of miraculous. I miss my husband because he is gone, but he has been gone for much longer than 14 days. He has been gone for years. Yes,  I have been missing him for much longer than his 14 day stay in rehab. I have been missing him for years. Years spent living with his vacant mind, sleeping next to a body terrorized by the dope and (I am now finding out) speed,  witnessing a frontal lobe hijacked by chemicals, watching him operate from a sub-cortical level of fight or flight. Years in a marriage peppered with empty and mechanical interactions. So his recovery has been like a bittersweet reunion with a long lost love. It’s like falling in love with him all over again. His transformation a reminder of the man who stole my heart in the first place. A charismatic, charming, handsome, and intelligent man. With his return comes the realization. The realization of how much is at stake, what there is to lose. No, WHO there is to lose. Him. If he can’t stay sober, I lose him. The charming, witty, sensual him. The one I fell in love with many years ago, the one I just fell in love with all over again. I am wearing something that feels new. It is my heart. I am wearing it on my sleeve. I am vulnerable. I am terrified.  Now that I have seen sober again, I am already mourning it’s potential loss. I have had a taste, and I desperately want it, the sobriety, the life it brings. I am a fiend. I am afraid of losing it. I feel desperate. I presume that this is an unhealthy state. I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps I am not being positive enough. Reality and addiction will do that to you.  I will talk to my therapist about it. What’s peculiar is that I now inhabit a place with very new feelings that are also the same. When he was using, the fear and desperation were present, but so different. Even though I clung to a fading memory of my husband, in hindsight (there is a lot of that going on right now), I think I had surrendered to the addiction in order to live with it. I laid down in it. I was buried with him in it. Despairingly he lost sight of himself and so I lost sight of him too. Leaving me with little hope that I would get him back. I was fighting for a ghost. The stakes did not feel as high. Now I am fighting for a man. The stakes are really high. With that comes the wrench in my gut, the intense anxiety. I now know why they say “one day at a time”. Because otherwise you would never survive this. I would never survive this. And that is not an option. So I remind myself: put on your poker face, breathe, and take it one day at a time.



5 thoughts on “High Stakes

    1. It is so paradoxical, I am holding on and letting go at the same time. Loving, catching, releasing, holding. I am still working on making sure I get the support that I need, I hope that you are doing that as well. Loving kindness and prayers to you and your husband. I am so glad we have been able to connect on this blog forum.


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