Ordinarily – when writing for audiences that didn’t know me, I could have spilled my guts about the past eight months – but since transfering here, and “growing up” a little… I’m going to tip toe around this one a bit.
When I met My Bald Lover, it was at a bar. I’d gone through a mess of a divorce and having been married since I was a teenager, I had honestly NEVER been in a bar. I took this new found freedom a little too far for a few months on the weekends that I didn’t have my kids.
While dating, we often landed in a bar, he was a bartender by night, extremely successful software engineer by day. Random people would accuse him of drinking too much based on his facebook pictures, but I just couldn’t see it. He never missed work, cleaned house, paid bills and was everything that my exhusband was not.
As months went by there was a change in him and to be honest, it had a snowball effect, in the blink of an eye “too much” was an understatement.
He’d tried to stop drinking in the past but by half way through would decide that if he could go X amount of days without the booze, he surely wasn’t an alcoholic and we’d begin the vicious cycle again. Though I was raised by an alcoholic I am the type to take it or leave it when it comes to drinking and I simply just could not understand the battle he was having.
It didn’t take long before we would fight over his drinking and driving – even busting out the window one night when he tried to leave with a beer bottle and I hung in his window trying to take it away.
November 4th, he didn’t come home until 6AM and when he did, he couldnt recount where he had been and stumbled into a passed out heap in the floor of our bedroom… there was no way he was getting up for “Dad’s and Donuts” with Great Gabbyat her school and that made me more furious about the entire situation than I had ever been. If we still lived in Tulsa with her dad, he would have gone, I kept telling myself. It isn’t her fault we moved here for you to abandon her like this. That morning, I took her out for donuts trying to play off that Baldy was sick, but I’m pretty sure she had it figured out.
While working later that afternoon he called me and before he could start blurbing out all of his empty appologies, I told him not to be at our home when I got there. My line had been drawn and I didnt know what I was going to do, but I knew I didn’t want to have a discussion with him around our children and I knew he just needed to find somewhere else to camp out while I wrapped my head around what I had blindly married in to (blind by my own doing, it was right in front of my face).
An hour later he phoned telling me he would be leaving for Florida in less than two hours to go to rehab, that he loved me, and that he had to do this. I hesitated talking him out of it – which is what I wanted to do – I was scared, new city, no friends or family, no access really to any of our money or bills (by my choice) – but I just wished him luck. I didn’t figure it would amount to much, he obviously picked Florida for some fancy fu*cking vacation (wrong) and he’d tried this before and failed.
They didn’t allow us to speak to each other while he was there but for a few minutes each day and in those few minutes I could sense a change in him that I refused to buy into. No way was this place “changing” him.
When he arrived home several weeks later I barely recognized his hairy head and somber smile at the airport but was in complete joy to see him coupled with a huge mess of fear that this had finally done our marriage in.
Eight months later, my husband is still sober. Working the steps of his AA program with his sponser, going to meetings and events, reading, praying. A change took place in him that overwhelms and amazes me. I’m eternally grateful and today I am very much counting my blessings for the night that almost done us in, because of that night, I think we have a chance at taking on the world together.
Today – July 4th celebrates more than just the freedom we have in America to make the choice to drink or not to drink, to go to rehab or go to bed, to have a hang over or to have a Pepsi. Today he is eight months sober and a few of those fireworks in the sky tonight will be for him.