Sobering Up and Growing Up
Sobriety not only changed me, but the dynamics of our marriage.
Our love began when we were young. 25 and 29. We didn’t feel young then. But now at almost 38 and 42, looking back we WERE so young.
Our love began when we were unhappy and unhappily married to other people.
Our love began when we didn’t know what it meant to love, not even ourselves.
Our love has changed throughout the years and at times we doubted it, while other times it’s what we clung to.
Our love has been messy, hostile, confusing and volatile.
On Saturday afternoon we went on a “day date”, to the movies to see A Star is Born, while the boys were one room over watching SMALLFOOT. (If you have kids and want some alone time or a “date”, sometimes you have to get creative, if you don’t have a “sitter” or trusted person to keep your kids.)
If you haven’t seen the movie & like music, love Bradley Cooper, are a hopeless romantic then you should, and you especially should go see it if you have been affected by alcoholism in any form.
The movie was great… I surprisingly didn’t cry like I thought I would (and usually do), but everyone around us was.
One scene stuck out the most… if you’ve seen it, it’s the one when she’s in the bathtub after finding out she was nominated for a Grammy. The “fight” that broke out between them, two people who loved each other passionately and wholeheartedly was all too familiar. I looked up at Ryan during that part and said “This is exactly why I quit drinking.. one of the reasons at least.”
It reminded me of fights that would spark between us over the first decade of our relationship, when our whole life revolved around partying… not really for fun, but out of habit and to numb ourselves from the pain of our past, and things that were out of our control and things that were 100% our fault.
I remember fights that seemed to come out of nowhere. I remember the words spoken from both sides, that even at the time we knew were a lie, but hurting people HURT PEOPLE and when you’re fucked up in the head, running from the pain and fucked up because you’re under the influence nothing makes sense. I remember all of this, all so clearly now and can’t believe that I ever thought that any solution could be found while drinking, doing drugs, screaming at the top of our lungs in the early hours of the morning, shouting words that hurt.
All I know is that when I finally had enough of the madness, and said ENOUGH is ENOUGH, 1,087 days ago, life started to get better. Today marks my 155th sober Sunday. I decided 3 years ago on his 39th birthday to sober the fuck up. It’s been harder than I thought for reasons I never expected.
We aren’t perfect. We still disagree. I still want to karate chop him in the throat weekly. He still wants to put a muzzle on me I think daily. We’ve had to work our way through all the hard parts of life, cleaning up our own messes and the messy edges of the life we have created together. We had to put down our baggage and sort through it. We had to force ourselves to lay down our weapons we’d been carrying and take off the layers of armor we’d been wearing. We’ve had to create a new reality, new routine not wrapped around partying. We’ve had to teach ourselves coping mechanisms. We’ve had to stumble our way through sober sex. We’ve had to decide to hear one another and communicate instead of talking at one another. We’ve had to fall in love with each other a million times over.
Life is hard. Life is scary. Life is uncertain.
And so is love.
But it’s worth it.
One day at a time.
One step at a time.
One memory at a time.
One breath at a time.
One heartbeat at a time.