Exactly 9 years (March 2010) ago my husband and I had a “talk”. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew we couldn’t continue living like this. I made an appointment with a counselor at our church. My husband had been drinking nightly by himself for years. I had no idea we were living in active alcoholism. We both didn’t know the first thing about this disease. He wasn’t happy I was going to the church counselor. BUT He agreed to come to the appointment the next week and the ball started rolling! We met weekly individually and separately for 2 months . The counselor was very wise and had my husband evaluate his drinking and come up with the idea he needs to do “something”. After many different scenarios he finally had him say he could/would try to only drink one drink a night. Well that sounded great to everyone but didn’t pan out. The very wise counselor knew it wouldn’t . When we realized that wasn’t working we went into action. His brothers were now on our team. My husband thought they were NOT on his team but they were. My husband was very paranoid at this time. His brothers were super helpful and got him to a “detox” . The professional staff there ( at Pine Grove) after a few days recommended 90 days of inpatient. My husband didn’t think so! So he left! We tried regrouping and meeting again daily with the counselor. Finally (3 days later) after an unplanned and unthought-out Intervention, we ( hours and hours and hours later) got him to admit he’d go to inpatient treatment. It wasn’t a good night. I had his Dad come over and sleep on the couch. My husband was extremely depressed.
His 2 brothers,2 friends and our 3 sons were at the “intervention “. Like I said it wasn’t planned but God had it figured out. This is one of the many things that happened in this journey where God answered prayers we didn’t even pray!
The next morning he didn’t want to get out of bed. He said he felt like he was going to his funeral. Our children were all around (12th,10th,7th and 6th grades). One of my sons came into the bedroom and wrote down bible verses for him to take with him.
We finally got in the car to head south! A good friend drove him in his car. That was one of our compromises..he could have his car even though he couldn’t drive it while he was there. His brothers and I drove behind them . It felt very gloomy and dark and dreary. My stomach was in knots. The few people and family who knew were praying back in Jackson.
We dropped him off . It wasn’t fun at all. He was VERY depressed and mad 😡!
Well he stayed and bought in! It took about 45 days for for him to really realize he needed to be there! He stayed 45 more! There were MANY moments where God went before us! We knew he was in this trial with us but time and time again he proved that to us! One was having his TL (Therapuric leave) timed where he could be at his oldest sons high school graduation. He missed a lot while he was gone. One uncle took our daughter to the daddy daughter dance at Cotillion. Another son had a high ankle sprain in high school basketball. All grandparents and aunts and uncles came to my oldest sons senior party. This would be his first season not coaching our youngest son in baseball. Many people stepped in with carpooling, grocery shopping and bringing meals! Our church really was at a lost as what to do. He was a church officer and wrote most of the preachers from rehab. He thought they would want him to “step down” from his position. My husband realized our church needed to be better prepared for this type of “problem”. He started working on that as soon as he got home. I’m attaching 2 different forums where he spoke at church. He has spoken at other churches and and told his story at AA speaker meetings. I’m very proud of him. He’s very open to telling anyone anytime his story. He says it helps him as much as it helps the person who needs help or guidance.
Our life has drastically changed in last 9 years. I try my best to live one day at a time. I’m full of empathy for the alcoholic/addict/alanon who hasn’t found recovery. I’ve learned a lot in Alanon and open AA meetings. I’ve learned to stay in my own hoola hoop and stay in my lane! I’ve learned to work on me. That’s all I can control!
We are planning our oldest sons wedding(4/2019) now. One of my husbands “things/thoughts” he had on the way to rehab was “How will I do a toast at our children’s weddings?” ” I’m going to be gone on my birthday ” etc.
I understand God plans and He knows everything but it’s awful hard while you’re in the middle of it! God loves those he gives trials too! I’ve realized I need to just go through them and not around it or under it. James 1:2 was a verse I had to really ponder! Let Go Let God was also super important.. saying that helped me remember to hand everything over to God!
I visited every weekend and took the children some. We wrote letters. They were special. We had been living life on separate roads but now are on the same road walking side by side. A lot of times we’ve felt God was so close to us he was riding our shoulders. God restored our life and Marriage! I also could attend church sometimes with him while he was there . The rehab took them to a “rock-n-roll” Baptist church and we really enjoyed it. I realized that it doesn’t matter what your worship looks like as long as you’re worshipping.
While at rehab there were lots of crazy things happening all the time. I was juggling a lot at home. When he got a call home he had a lot of stories to tell about all that was going on there. I wish he had written a book. There were some bizarre things happening at rehab.
He now goes to ALOT of meetings a week. I go to a few also . They are so helpful! I am amazed how good I feel when I leave a meeting. Mostly other people’s problems are way worse than mine. It puts things in perspective. Alcoholism is a family disease.
When we used to hear that someone went to rehab we immediately thought bad. Now when we hear that we are thrilled! It means the person is getting better! They are getting help! Rehab/Treatment is good!
Another thing that has helped me is talking about it. It gets it out of your head and takes the power away! Also my husband likes to say the aa community was so anonymous that he didn’t know here was a way out! Because of that he shares his story all the time and is willing to talk to anyone anytime. He is not anonymous.
13 years is a long time! I am so grateful for the Alanon community and what is has meant to me and my family!
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