Simple and Peaceful

Two words I rarely write. That’s because it not how life has ever been for me.  But these last few days’ I’ve looked around and started to notice that things feel normal again.  There is an ebb and flow in the new house.  I mentioned the other day that it’s doesn’t feel real.  It’s like I’m on some sort of extended vacation with the hubs and children.

I had a girlfriend call the other day to see how things were going in the new house.  “Great, really great!” was my response.  She seemed surprised.  She asked how me and the hubs were doing, “Wonderful.” I replied.  I could hear it in her voice she was waiting for me to give her some long-winded story about my traumatic week or some big fight that we have had.  But the truth of the matter is our life is no longer like that.

I never thought I would write these words, but we are starting to move forward and rarely look back.  I have forgiven and even started to forget.  I put up my “No Drama Here” sign and remind people when they start to come on my lawn.

Therapy for us, for him has been a life saver.  When we first started we had to see separate people and convene once a month in a group session.  I wanted to kill him!  I was angry, sad and very bitter. I thought there was no hope for us.  He was a spoiled selfish brat that thought I was over doing it and just wanted me to move on.

With time, years, we have started to work as a team again.  I didn’t realize how distant we had become from each other in the last few years.  We were married but living separate lives under the same roof. I no longer see any one, but he does.  I think it helps him learn how to deal with emotions, life, marriage, a wife….all things he was never taught growing up, but that’s a whole other story…

The fact of the matter is in the last two years he has shown me how much we mean to him. I have watched him endure and come through all the bullshit that came along with an affair, let me tell you, there is a lot of it.  Way more than anyone would have ever expected. I have seen him fight for us and stick up for me when I least expected it. I have seen how hard he has worked to fix things and build a new relationship with me.  I never thought we would be in a place where I feel like I have 100% of his support but that’s how life is starting to feel and it’s really quite peaceful.

Learning to deal with disappointment today

The past few weeks have been crazy and with tons of stuff going on I’m finding myself slip into a funk.  I tried to put up my “No Drama Here” sign last week and don’t seem to believe it is working.

I moved last week into my new house.  This was supposed to be a happy time for me and yet somehow craziness came into my life right on closing day.  It’s almost like God put it there on purpose.  I accepted that and tried not to freak out. I get it, he’s testing me, trying to teach me something.  I thought I got it and then this week happened.

I had a recruiter reach out to me on Saturday, about a great opportunity with a great company.  I was surprised.  I followed up and interviewed. They really liked me, they like me! “This is something I have a hard time with, since I don’t like myself so much.”   I was so relieved; it was a nerve wrecking process. I had to interview with three different managers.

I passed the background test and was completely thankful.  On Wednesday I was offered the job.  I went home last night and typed up my resignation letter.  I was so happy.  The new place is more pay with full benefits and only five miles from our new house.  I was elated last night.  My husband came home with flowers and told me how proud he was of me.  I thought we are starting to really move forward in our lives.  We were both excited.

Then this morning I get a phone call on my way into work.  It was the hiring manager and she said that she had awful news.  They could not hire me.  I asked why and was told that one of the references that I used also worked there and she was Family.  They do not hire family.  She is a second cousin through marriage.  I thought she was joking, seriously, seriously?  She said yes, seriously.

So here is my thought process today.  What the hell am I doing wrong to bring all this into my life? Obviously the sign isn’t working and god keeps giving me the same lesson.  What am I not getting?  What am I missing?  I really thought I was starting to handle disappointments quite well by now.

I know everything happens for a reason so I’m trying not to let it get me down, but today is hard. I’m going to keep pushing forward and try to find what works best for me.  I have struggled all my life with depression and it alarms me at how I can go from being so elated about life to sad and discontent the next day.  It’s weird that my mind allows me to do this.

So I sent my resignation through the shredder this morning and will get back on the job sites this weekend.  Tonight I just want to go home and snuggle with the hubs, eat dinner; maybe take a long bath in my new house and go to bed. Hopefully my mind will reset tonight; I just wish sometime I had a backup button to do it myself.

A new day.

I had an epic melt down last night.  I have never cried so hard in my life.  My husband called to talk to me and I just balled and balled. It was so bad my little one came to me and patted my back, kissed me on the forehead and told me everything is going to be ok.

I talked to my therapist yesterday and have decided that I am just going to focus on me.  I’m sober, but a dry drunk.  I’m unhappy more now than I ever was before.  I think with the drinking it helped to push back some of my emotions and numb the pain.  Now that it’s gone I’m angry and sad, very sad.

I also reached out to my sober pen pall last night. She also told me focus on me first, just me and getting better.  She told me that everything else would fall into place where it needs to be.  She said with time my husband would see me changing and that eventually he would change too.  But what she did say was not to worry about my marriage or him or anything besides staying sober and getting stronger.

I woke up today without the heaviness on my heart that I’ve had these last few weeks. I’m focused on me.

What’s Next?

So my Therapist had told me to write every day.  She wanted me to get out my feelings about the affair and how its effected me.  But I have to tell you after the last couple of days of writing, I’ve been feeling worse, not better.

I’m in some sort of deep funk and seriously questioning if this marriage is really where  I’m supposed to be.

I know I love my family, I know I love my husband and want to keep us all together.  What I don’t like is the way I feel about all of this.  Maybe it’s just this week.  Maybe next week I will feel amazing.  But right now life is just kind of sad for us. I have spent the last year, quite frankly, punishing him for what he did and sure enough, he finally gets it.

He has had to quit a god job to break contact with the OW and is now working in construction out of town.  We see him maybe once a week if we are lucky and everyone is just stressed to all ends trying to make “this” work.

We had a long honest talk last night.  I emotionally needed him home and that wasn’t an option.  I explained to him I had “Stuff” on my mind all day, I was crying. He asked if I was mad at him, I said no, I was just sad. Sad about what happened and wished I could just make it all go away…erase it.

He explained to me that he was so sorry. He said he made a bad decision, he was high, they spent way to much time together, she flirted, made him laugh. He wished he could go back too and make it better. He said he was trying, no longer lying, didn’t want to fight anymore.

The problem is now we are both sad.  I don’t want him to feel bad about himself.  I don’t like to see him stressed out about work and meeting my needs, but that’s where we have ended up.  So what’s next?

The messy truth.

It was November 14th, 2012.  I was miserable.  I had spent the last three days locked in a room contemplating suicide.  I had dug myself into such a deep hole, I thought there was no way out.  I reached out, I yelled, I screamed at the sky. “God are you out there?” Why won’t you help me?”

That day I broke into a million pieces.  My husband saw it happen.  I think I terrified him, he didn’t know what to do. I drug myself out of bed and got on the computer.  I goggled “Alcoholism” and “How to stop drinking.”  Many things came up. I read every post and recommendation as I nursed a glass of wine shaking uncontrollably. I had binged over the weekend and was now into Monday.  I had called in sick, with the flu for the umpteenth million time.  I was out of ideas to help myself.

I went to my husband and cried, I told him I needed help, I needed to fix me. I told him I had no clue what to do. But the funny thing was, we both knew, as I sat there and looked into his eyes, we both knew what the answer was. LONG TERM TREATMENT.

flowerI completely turned into research mode and started looking for programs around us. I goggled and called and called and spoke to a ton of people. Nothing! We had medical insurance but it excluded mental health. We even applied for a medical loan in our names but were young and our credit was not so great.  I was drained, defeated. I had just spent the last three hours trying to find a solution and there seemed to be no way out.  As I sat on the bed crying hysterically, my husband came to my side, he put his arm around me and said, “Honey, I’ll sell my car, we don’t need two if you’ll be away and not working, let’s do this, I’m going to sell it, I’ll list it today.”

Relief and panic set in at the same time. I laid down to try to nap.  About an hour later my phone rang.  It was a treatment center I had called earlier and left a message with.  I can’t remember who I talked to but I pored my guts out, I begged and cried and told her my whole story.  She agreed.  They had a six month program. It was $600 to enter treatment and after a few weeks they would let you start working to pay off the balance owed.  I explained to the women on the phone that I had a job, she was shocked.  I was a high functioning alcoholic and pill popper with a good paying job. She said the first two weeks was a detox and after that the women were allowed to work but only 8 to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. It was a shot.

I pulled myself out of bed and into the shower, I knew what I had to do next, go talk to my employer.  I worked at a small private practice and knew they had no family medical leave act or short-term disability.  I called and asked the owner if she had time later in the day for me to come down. She said yes.

As I drove over to my office I thought I would throw up, I wanted to turn around.  I parked and walked in and back to her office, I closed the door behind me and just sat down. We stared at each other for a minute.  She was a tough person to talk to and I had to bear my soul.  I started to talk.  I told her, I was a child of abuse physically and sexually.  I told her I was diagnosed with PTSD and had often panic attacks and daily anxiety growing up.  I said that in my twenties I started to medicate with prescription pills, my prescriptions and over time the more I took the more they stopped working.  I told her at 25 I stared to drink with the pills and at first it helped and then it just snow bawled.  I told her my life was in disarray and I wanted to end my pain and take my life.  I explained the program I had found and I told her I needed help and was going away. She said nothing as I talked, just looked and stared. She looked shocked and grabbed my hand and said. “So you’re quitting?”  I said “No, I’m asking you if I still have a job to come back to in two weeks?”

Holding my hand she started to talk to me. She told me a story about her little brother, about how he went away to fight in Iraq and when he returned he had PTSD.  She said he was very depressed and coped by drinking. Over time the drinking got worse, it got out of control.  She said everyone in the family reached out, they tried to help.  She said about two years after he got back he got drunk and hung himself in her father’s garage. She told me she had never shared that personal story with anyone outside of her family.  It had been almost two years and she still thought of him every day. She said the biggest problem is not realizing you have one. She said she was proud that I wanted to get help, told me I was a strong woman and said if I wanted to come back, I had a place to work in two weeks.

Off to the liquor store I went and I picked up what felt like was my last super, a six pack of beer and green curry Thai. I sat on the floor of my living room as my husband helped me pack my clothes.  What does someone bring for six months?  I had no clue. I packed lots of sweatpants, t-shirts, comfy slippers, and about two weeks of professional clothes for work.

He drove me that night as it stared to get dark to the treatment center we had found in town.  I took what was to be my last zanax, actually two. I knew I would soon be detoxing from everything for the next two weeks, I was scared and humbled at the same time.  As I unloaded my bags and was ushered inside by a group of women I realized this was going to be a first for me, a new start for life.  Little did I know what was going to happen next in my life. The next four weeks would change me forever and take me to place I could never come back from …

Sober first.

Mexico

I spent this past weekend on vacation in Mexico. I was invited down to good old Mexico with my husband and his family to celebrate a birthday among other things.  See, here is the problem with that.  EVERY time we go down to Mexico everyone gets shit face wasted and parties into the wee hours of the night.

I remember my first visit with my now husband.  It was spring break 2009.  I was nervous to meet new people, especially people who did not speak the same language as me.  Upon arriving I found that they did indeed speak my langue “Drink”.  We spent the whole weekend drinking and laughing, I even realized that most of them drank way more than me, so I didn’t feel so guarded about my drinking.  I thought I was in heaven and every trip after was the same.  Mexico was amazing…

Fast forward six years and the ride down there was nothing but pure anxiety.  My mind kept saying “Let’s have a Tecate”   I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t drinking. I had to remind myself that I wanted to stay in this sober club that I hear such good things about.  I had to remind myself that one beer would never just be enough and I having one beer did not exist. I was nervous to be surrounded by drinkers and have no place to escape.

Surprisingly enough, I did not need to escape so much.  I took the advice of a very knowledgeable sober pen pall and brought with me a replacement drink, Grapefruit sparkling water. My husband and I had talked before arriving and had agreed that I would not stay up all night and go to bed with the kids at a “safe place” a house where the party was not, every night.  We were a team.  He checked in on me many times and spent most of the day, when people were drinking, out together with the family running around town.  It was nice.

As I drove home I mentioned that this was the first time I had left Mexico to come home and not felt like complete shit and full of anxiety.  In all reality, the trip was quite pleasurable. It was indeed my first sober vacation.  I never in a million years thought that it was at all possible for me to go down to Mexico without having a drink.  I even thought that on the damn way down. It’s funny how your mind will try to trick you, it’s interesting how when you tune out the thoughts, they slowly start to fade away.  Bottom line, I felt like a rock star on Monday! Sober, sun, beach and fun.

Thoughts

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Thoughts, questions, uncertainty,  It’s what I have every day. I fell like I’m going to exploded with emotion.

A lot has been on my mind regarding my husband and me.  I really feel like in my heart I want to make this work.  But my mind just keeps telling me not to.

It tells me that he being nice is just another trick.

It tells me that all the words he is say’s are just lies.

It tells me I’m making a big mistake.

It tells me to run.

Then it tells me to stop!

It tells me I love him.

This is so hard.