Blackout-day 21 Rehab-day 35
My husband has been gone for 35 days. Blackout has turned to brownout like the flickering of lights with 12 minute phone calls every few days. He has been gone for 35 days, but it feels like a lifetime. The world has changed something inside of me, making healing hard. He is wrapped in warmth down south: insulated, surrendering, recovering. Up north I was granted my wish with the arrival of cold in New England. Winter welcoming me into her bitter arms, then releasing me inward to the heat of home.
I look out at the bare branches and monochrome gray sky as I listen to his words on the phone. It is like crossing a river of time, leaving behind the past, my husband’s distant voice the future. An apparition, blurred and unformed, he stands at the river’s edge. He will be gone for about another week. I think forward over this week: his edges will be drawn, a sharpening image, a face coming into focus. Lights will go from flickering to dim.
He told me the work starts when he gets home. His vulnerability is beautiful and there is strength there. I hope the world doesn’t come down on us like a hammer. I wonder how we survive in this wicked world. First survival, then more…then life…
My hope is a pendulum swinging back and forth, unceasing motion, at one end of it’s curve inspiration and at the other fatigue.
The future rushes through me, the river’s rapids carrying me in life and time. Carrying me to my husband. I travel in the rippling currents, I look out at the still branches, and I listen to his words over the phone. They pierce through the roaring water with the purest tone like a clear singing bell. They are certain with a concrete plan. He says: “the first thing I do when you pick me up is get to a meeting and get a sponsor.”
I breathe in and I breathe out. That will be day 1. We will live one day at a time. I worry I am ill equipped and unprepared. But the rivers waters don’t stop and so there is no choice but to go go go.
It is Thanksgiving. My husband is not here. He will eat catered Thanksgiving with people that are strangers to me. He will watch football and play volleyball in the Florida humidity. Thanksgiving without my husband is bittersweet. Last year he was actively using and I drank too much. Last year I drowned my sorrows and played the part, a well seasoned actor wearing my mask of festivities, hiding addiction, and suffering silently. This year I am no longer silent. I am on a new path, one to recovery.
Today is a day of gratitude and I have a lot to give thanks for.
- I am grateful my husband is alive
- I am grateful my husband is in rehab
- I am grateful for my family
- I am grateful for the recovery community
- I am grateful for my dog
- I am grateful for my chance at recovery, not alone, but with my husband by my side