Sobering up requires a sense of humility. I just got an ankle monitor put on yesterday, in place of 3 days in jail. Holy hell, am I glad the law allows for that. But still, an ankle monitor isn’t exactly a fashion statement, and it’s certainly not something I want my children to see as a normal part of life.
This whole experience has me reflecting on how much the way I deal with the fallout from my drinking will affect my kids as they grow. Especially how they’ll remember all this when they’re older and out of the house.
The kids who are already out are very vocal about how proud they are of me for getting help. I have great kids, (well, really, what else would I say? but it’s true), who realize that some people don’t get better. They understand this is a struggle, even it’s not one with which they can identify.
I can’t drive while I wear this thing (I don’t know why) and for the first 24 hours I couldn’t leave the yard. I did a lot of reading outside, gardening, and spent time in the kitchen today because of that, but it was strange not being able to go anywhere.
So the humility thing. Every time I feel like I’ve stood up and said, “I’m sorry,” quite enough for one week, something like this comes up. It feels very much like the Spouse Extraordinaire gets frustrated and angry again *every* *time* I have to deal with stuff that has to do with my treatment, or AA, or court, or whatever. I mean, it’s normal to be upset because your wife got a DUI and was a floppy, bottled, hot mess for a while. (OK, for a long while.)
But I’ve been doing penance for what feels like a long time. I can only apologize so many times before it sounds rote and robot-like. “Dear. husband: I. am. sorry. I. suck. at. life. *beep* Press. one. to. repeat.” I know my 12-week IOP was kind of a time-sink for our family, but it helped SO much. I want to feel like I’m worthy of that time and energy because I’m just worth it, not only because I need to be better because YOU like life better when I’m sober. If I don’t also get sober for ME, I won’t stay sober, I know that much. And remember, I did all this for 94 days before the relapse, which is when I got that DUI. I apologized, and apologized and apologized…and then I felt like nobody cared anyway if I was sober, and everyone wanted me home more and at AA and counseling less, so I screwed up and started drinking on day 94. And got the DU 10 days later.
Anyway, so his crankiness came out again yesterday when I was explaining about how the ankle bracelet works, and about him having to drive me home to plug the machine in and then back to town for meetings and appointments that were already planned (you can only go to that stuff while on the monitor if the court approves it). I felt terrible needing a chauffeur, and I know it’s inconvenient.
What he’s really cranky about is the drinking. That the drinking, my drinking, led to all this. I’m mad at myself about it, too. I feel awful for having put everyone through all this, and not just the DUI shit. But I can only wear a hair shirt for so long. I’m trying so hard to stay humble, to remember what he put up with and how much this has impacted everyone. I hope someday it won’t be this hard; someday maybe he won’t still be so frustrated.
On another note, I pulled weeds today and my cilantro grew 2 cm JUST SINCE YESTERDAY. That is the power of the Midnight Sun. It’s crazy. The potatoes I just planted are sprouting huge greenery, which Little One likes to pet like a cat and kiss and talk to. (“Oh, hello, pretty potatoes. You’ve grown soooo much!”) 🙂
On the other hand, my rhubarb refuses to go crazy. Everyone else’s rhubarb is unstoppable. Poor pie plant. Poor kids. No strawberry/rhubarb pie. Yet.
We haul our own water, but our truck died, so we have to be careful with water usage. Because of that, it’s awesome that Spouse Extraordinaire invested in some huge blue barrels with lids a few years ago. He filled them for me (before our truck expired, of course), so I can water the plants without using water from the house. (And because we don’t have any outside water connection…I used to have to carry watering cans up and down the deck stairs 27 times to water everything once. Ughhh.)
(For those of you not familiar with the concept, we have a huge tank that sits in the bed of a truck. Every other day or so, the Spouse drives to a fill-up station and gets about 250 gallons of water. This he then drives home and gravity dumps into the holding tank behind the house, which gives us normal inside water. We could pay to have water delivered, but it’s like paying for delivery of hundreds of gallons of anything that weighs 8 lbs/gallon. EXPENSIVE.)
I finally got a copy of Love Warrior from the library. Squeeeeeee!
Hang in there, everyone. It really does get better.
Keep kicking addiction’s ass!