Friday, January 6, 2012

Hope, Plans, and Dissapointment

My new year's PLAN is to post at least once a week. I've been very slack. This is partially due to the fact that I've been busy with the holidays and work, and partially due to the fact that my husband has been "trying" to quit drinking, and I wasn't sure I wanted to post about it, but didn't know how to post and NOT talk about it. Why didn't I want to post about it? Because there are a lot of Judgey McJudgersons out there who don't understand alcoholism, and I wasn't sure I wanted to expose myself to their belligerence in the event that he failed. And he has. Repeatedly. He's still "trying" but we're on the second or third declaration of quitting-ness, and we're already off to another false start. The last time I really thought it was going to stick. He went out against my protestations for "an hour" that turned into seven, which is not that unusual and typically wouldn't prompt any revelations for him, except that I called it. Not that I don't always. Every time he goes out, it's supposedly for "just a couple drinks" or "just an hour" and I always know that it won't be, and I always say so when making my arguments for why he should not go out... but this time I called it to the hour.

Hubber: Well, I want to go out for a little bit, but I don't want it to be a fight. Are you going to be okay with that?
Me: No.
Hubber: Why do I even ask?
Me: I don't know. You never care what the answer is.
Hubber: Just for an hour.
Me: Babe, you always say that. We have this exact same conversation every time you go out. You never plan to be out all night but you always are. You'll say you'll be home by eight, and I want to believe you, but you'll come waltzing in at one.
Hubber: I won't.
Me: Whatever you say.

He went out. What time did he get home? One. Oh. Five.
I think the freaky psychic freakness of it freaked him out a bit. When he got home, he was all, "I'm sorry. I'm late, aren't I? I tried to be good. What time is it?" One. Oh. Five.

Hubber: You know what this means, don't you?
Me: What?
Hubber: Everyone's gonna know. Your family is going to hate me. I'll probably lose my job.
Me: My family won't hate you, and why would you lose your job?
Hubber: I can't do it by myself. (1st time he's ever admitted that) I was only able to quit the drugs because I was in jail (way before I ever met him. He's been clean for 14 years.) I'll have to do an inpatient program. I'll have to tell them why I can't work for a month. They'll fire me for sure.
Me: If you're really concerned about your job, why don't you try outpatient first? AA? Or private counselling?
Hubber: AA doesn't work.
Me: It works for lots of people.
Hubber: It won't work for me.
Me: How do you know?
Hubber: I don't know.

Eureka! I thought. He's finally got it! He finally agreed to find an AA meeting and TRY it. I looked into sobriety programs offered through my employee assistance program and gave him all the info. I thought he was finally going to do it. But a week later, his band had a show, and he was drinking again. He never went to an AA meeting. To my knowledge he hasn't done anything we talked about. He's still trying to do it on his own even though, by his own admission, he knows he can't do it alone. I offered to go to counseling with him. I don't know what else to do. His latest attempt lasted 9 days. His goal is to make it to 14 days this time, although that was supposed to start on New Years Eve, and then he drank Wednesday at band practice. He says it didn't count. I'd try to explain why it didn't count, but I didn't understand it when he told me, so... whatever. I'm counting from Wednesday. We'll see.

It was important that he quit before, for his health, my mental health, and the health of our relationship. Now it's even more important because since my psychic moment he has been laid off. We're broke-itty broke. broke. broke. Despite his plan to quit, he ended up spending more on alcohol last month than our entire month's rent. Now he's unemployed... and yet, I have hope. Bunny is the living expression of that hope. It has been said that bringing a child into the world is the greatest act of hope there is. He wants to quit. I believe he can.

People say you can't change people and you shouldn't want to; that if you do, you shouldn't be with that person. But I don't want to change him. The alcoholism isn't him. Alcoholism is what hides who he really is, which is the person I fell in love with. Did I know he had something of a drinking problem before we got married? Yes. Did I realize the extent of it? No. Did I know he was an alcoholic? Hell no. Does it matter? No. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Those words mean something. I take them very seriously. Alcoholism is a sickness. We will get through it together, one way or another, one day at a time. This is day two.

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