Under five hours to go until 2018 is here and the time has come to say goodbye and let go of two complete different far side of the spectrum mountains in my life that I will not carry into the new year: my marriage and my drinking.
Maybe the failure of one dominoed the success of the other. And maybe that’s not true at all.
I don’t want to talk about my failed marriage publicly because it wouldn’t be fair for only one side to be expressed plus I’m never into airing dirty laundry, as it were. I can tell you this though, that my conquering an alcohol addiction 8 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years (or any other number in there) ago during said marriage, the chances are strong that the marriage would have survived and now be thriving. No, I guarantee it.
Hindsight however, is a real buzzkiller, pun fully intended. The crazy thing is how often during the trying times and even during the good times where I would always be the one saying let’s not drink, it’s poisoning our marriage. It wasn’t hindsight then; it was a magnificent and totally doable idea. Five minutes later though, who’s in the car heading toward the nearest liquorland? This guy. Oops.
For me, my recent walk from daily alcohol abuse came now. Not then when I needed it. When I needed to fix my broken wife. When I needed to fix our bank account. When I needed to get healthy, not continue to allow us to literally poison ourselves. When I needed to show my son that I am not a slave to a murderous master. When I needed to be able to look at myself in the eye and start to one day again like whom was staring back at me.
But I couldn’t do it then. I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t save myself. I couldn’t save the marriage. And in those dark months where it seems like all I did was cry and question why, a great healing was awakening in me.
For months after, I continued to drink nightly, the same as ever, no hope of quitting in sight. I’d beat myself up each time and in between. The loser that I felt I was got preached at by the guy in the mirror, and that hunched my shoulders further. Yet during this time of seemingly monotonous behaviours of the addicted kind, clarity and truth were slowly shining through me, like early morning sunlight through the bottom, sides and top of a closed door.
And when I was ready, I was able to open that door and the light was undeniable. It consumed every inch of darkness in me. Desires that plagued me were removed and only the mechanical response to it remained.
This year, I actually walked away from liquor!! Tears are coming fast as it’s an overwhelming joy that always taunted me and was at a distance I could not touch. But I’ve done it! It rules me no more.
And now I see that the timing was, in fact, perfect. I will always want to save people, especially those that I love. It’s who I am. But I cannot save my wife. I couldn’t then and I can’t now. I can’t do it.
But I saved me.