You’ve seen my descent.
Now watch my rising.
Blackout Day 29 Treatment Day 44
My husband comes home from rehab tomorrow. On the phone he told me: “this will be one of our best weekends in years”. It’s because he will be sober. The tears filled my eyes, they warmed my heart, they poured into my soul.
He is coming home. When my husband left for rehab, I was relieved. Before he went into treatment I was desperate. I was in a hands down balls-to-the-wall fight against addiction, willing to do anything to win. Throwing punches, pulling hair, kicking, scratching, biting. Fighting for his life. Every day a new fight, requiring me to wipe the sweat from my brow, shake off the exhaustion, lick my wounds clean, step into the ring, and face my opponent again and again. The fight does not end with rehab, but it feels like it is changing.
Blackout Day 25 Treatment Day 40
He is coming home. Today I booked my husband’s flight back from rehab. Pick an emotion, any emotion, chances are I am feeling it. Excited, nervous, happy, unsure, pensive, sad, hopeful, depleted, inspired. FEAR. The double-edged sword upon which my heart rests can cut on both sides. The blades sharp edges carry feelings of impending doom matched equally with belief. With belief comes blind hope and the possibility of disappointment, with reality comes preparation for the worst. I’m not winning either way. I know that I don’t feel “ready”. This is a new fight, and while it may be less desperate, I have never done it before so I have no idea what I am up against. Will it be easier, harder, or just different? It’s an unknown.
What would it mean to be ready? I suppose I would have a step by step guide, personalized instructions, and an addiction “how to” manual. But since this is life, it’s messy, complicated, difficult, and risky; there is no simple manual. Life is fragile and it is fleeting. It poses a risk that naturally begets danger with the potential for loss. Loss of love, loss of trust, loss of connection. And of course loss of life. Precious life. My life, my husband’s life, our life. The life I have been battling for. A life we once had, faded into a figment of my hopeful imagination; now a life I can’t picture, a life that is unknown. A future wild and uncharted.
Blackout Day 29 Treatment Day 44
He is coming home. My husband takes shape as his return nears. His voice tells me he’s writing a new life story. But the tale unfolding is a mystery. His shape nebulous, it slips through my mind’s eye and I am unable to grasp it. I am reeling at how time and space shape perception and memory. While he was using, I clung to a memory of him before his descent. That memory a perfect snapshot. Now in blackout I am unable retrieve a clear picture. The image I visualize is blurred. Blurred by movement. Blurred by change. A man, transforming, in motion, sending the universe’s particles spinning into the infinite blackness. Infinite unknown.
While there may not be a manual for this unknown, I am discovering that there are many guides. To lead me in battle, to prepare me for surrender, to carry me in isolation, and to lift me from defeat. My guides are teachers. Imparting wisdom that is flexible, changing, open, permeable. My guides are storytellers. They are logical and spiritual. They are enlightened and instinctual. They are navigators, born from self and from others. Based in knowledge, community, spirituality, expression, support, empathy, and communication. Yes I am convinced this fight will be different because I am not alone in life’s ring any longer. My guides are here.
He is coming home. Last night on the phone with my husband, I sensed the transformation occurring, bearing witness to the permeable and changing nature of the human spirit. It was a shifting, a release of control, a transfer of power. From me to him. (There is the FEAR again.) A present fading into future, in which I no longer have a game plan. Instead he does. One that involves meetings, sponsors, therapy, steps, exercise, and support systems. One that involves life, one day at a time. I feel myself letting go. This requires openness and surrender. Letting go and preparing to fight. This requires strength. Preparing to enter the ring with a partner by my side, my husband. This requires cooperation. Continuing on this journey with a new guide, my husband. This requires trust. Trust is hard in addiction.
My husband is coming home. Yes, I think this fight will be different. Born from a severed past, the present just a moment slipping away, and the future unformed with limitless potentials. Tomorrow he comes home. What’s next is unknown.