I feel compelled to write. My mind is racing with thoughts, thoughts that I cannot possibly express in an eloquent way. The thoughts are constantly winding back and forth, one over the other and I can't find a way to make them slow down and line up in order to properly examine them.
What has me in such a state?
Hmmm. The simple answer is that I just read Mr. Russell Brand's stirring blog post about his newest venture into addiction treatment. Let me clarify. It is not Mr. Brand that is in treatment at this moment, it is more his story about what being an alcoholic and drug addict means in his life. He tells of his truth. It is beautifully written. This man is obviously very intelligent and has the soul (and words) of a poet. You can read his blog here. Please do take the time to read it. It is lovely and relevant to my currently twisted mind.
As I read the words I was slowly being taken back to an awful place. I could see the ashtray littered with cigarette butts, the coffee table covered in empty beer bottles and larger bottles of much stronger liquor (the smell still makes me want to vomit). I can see that beautiful man, weaving from side to side as he sits slouched on the couch, his dark eyes looking at me, not with love, but filled instead, with contempt and hatred. I see my husband, my love. My alcoholic, drug addicted husband and it is a sight that I purposely left behind 11 long years ago and I don't want to ever go back, not even, maybe especially, in my thoughts.
Mr. Brand slowly pulled me into his heroin filled world where reality is the true enemy and drug and alcoholism are the solution, not the problem. I can honestly say that I think it is amazing that this man has been able to find the way to stop from using that solution. He has managed to do what so many others have not. He is facing, or altering reality with sobriety instead of numbing himself with the drugs. That is amazing and I would never want to take away that ability from him.
Mr. Brand has been moved to start a charity to provide funding for treatment. Treatment for the drunks and addicts. That is wonderful! Good for him. As for me? Reading his story has my mind wandering to an ugly place. My love never did get that treatment. He died, alone, his mind soaking in that 0.34 blood alcohol content. My kids? They are trying to find a way to deal with that truth. The treatment for them? Years of family counseling in an attempt to deal with the anger and sadness and rage and disappointment that come from being left behind. My daughter cries every year when she brings home the school announcement saying it is once again time for "Dads and Donuts". Bring your Dad to school for some sweet treats. Every year my baby girl cries. She cries and I am helpless to stop it. She cries and I will hold her, and I will tell her that it is going to be ok. After all, "Moms and Muffins" is only a few weeks away. And I tell her that I am here with her. I am still here for her.
I am still here and I am feeling...I cannot help but feel...what? What do I feel? Anger? Yes, I am constantly angry when I think of addiction. I hate what it did to my family. Jealousy? That's there as well. Why didn't my love figure out the solution in time? Sadness? Yes. Guilt? Absolutely. As Mr. Brand says, those of us watching the alcoholic "blame themselves and wonder what they could have done differently..." It has been more than a decade and still, I can't stop myself from wondering if I could have done more. Maybe I should have stayed. But I didn't. I grabbed my then 19 month old son and ran. I had to run more than 1000 miles away in order to feel safe. I needed to feel physically safe (drunken drug addicted husbands aren't the nicest of men). I needed to be far enough away that I wouldn't go back. I needed a safe space, a space that I could detox from my own addiction to helplessness. I needed a safe place where myself, my little boy and the baby I was pregnant with could grow without the constant fear of physical and emotional harm.
I am filled with tears and sadness over so many things. Tears for my two beautiful children. The two children that my love chose to leave behind. Tears for my little girl who is dreaming about her quinceañera and she wonders who will dance that first grown up dance in high heels with her? "Maybe big brother can do it, huh Momma?" I cry for my amazing son, trying so hard to become a man. He worries about what kind of man he will be. I cry because a 13 year old boy shouldn't have to be afraid that the first time he drinks a beer he will become "a jerk" just like his father. Tears for myself because, dammit, it is freaking hard to raise these two kiddos alone. Parenting is supposed to be a two person job. That only pisses me off though and the thoughts go twisting away once again.
I don't know what the future holds. One day at a time isn't a solution just for the addict. One day at a time is the solution for those of us watching our loved ones waste away. One day at a time is the solution for those of us left behind.
As for me? Well, the solution has never changed. I have to get out of bed every day. I have to go take a shower and get dressed. I have to figure out what we will be eating for dinner and I have to get some laundry going and well, I just have to. I have to raise my kids. One day at a time. Wait. That's not right. I should change that.
I get to raise my kids. Today, I get to be here with them.
And today? It's my day off. I'm going to stop thinking about what could have been. I'm going to put something in the crock pot for dinner. I'm going to take a shower and put my love and Mr. Brand out of my mind. Then? I'm going to pick up my son. We have an appointment with the family counselor.