I remember driving away from the rehab centre after admitting my husband and listening to the radio. Two songs came on ‘Something inside so strong’ and REM’s ‘Hold On’. I turned the radio up full volume and sang from the heart. I was stopped at some lights and then our wedding song 10 years previous came on. I used to be a sentimental fool but the hardness of living with a drinker had clearer that from my system long before. I sat at the lights and then it dawned on me, he was in rehab at long bloody last. He was now someone else’s responsibility, he was with professionals who could actually sort him out, he wasn’t allowed to call me nor me call him for 30 days unless there was an emergency. The next time I’d see him was in the presence of a counsellor who would help us un-jumble the mess we had got into. For the first time in years my face relaxed. I breathed deeply and thought to myself ‘how the hell did I get to this?’. Me, the one who was always the carefree hippy type that never let things faze her and didn’t suffer fools easily had spent the last 4 years at least trying to make the man she loved cop on to himself and see sense.
While I thought badgering him about his drinking or trying to predict his every action and be one step ahead of him was the right thing to do, I in the process was not taking any action to progress my life. Through my inaction and continuing to do the same thing over and over I maintained the unpleasant lifestyle I had for those years. By taking the comfortable options (which were not very comfortable) I had stopped controlling my life and focused on controlling everyone elses. I believed in so doing that someday everything would be perfect. It was only when I stood back and assessed how I was dealing with things and stopped believing the way I was doing things was the right way, that I stopped the tides of chaos in my life.
For a short period I went through a stage of thinking of myself as a victim that these things were happening to me. It was only when I got a grip of myself and admitted that things don’t just happen to me – they were a result of me not taking action or continuing to repeat the same actions that didn’t work. This was my comfort zone and it took a hell of a push for me to step out of it and say no more – I shouldn’t have let it go to that stage.