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Fiddler on the Roof

He is recovering, and that means that changes are coming at Him and us at a furious pace.  It is dizzying and disconcerting and disorienting.  Nothing is the way it was, and what is now remains too new to seem familiar or even comprehensible. 
For me, things seem better than they were before.  Uncertain and unsettled, but not as scary or frustrating as they had become in the last months of His active drinking.  On the other hand, I am aware that the shape of the future; our roles; our dynamic; our way of being together is completely unformed and unpredictable at this stage.  

For Him?  It is hard for me to tell exactly what this all feels like to Him from moment to moment.  There are times when I think He can feel the differences; when He can sense His brain waking back up; when He gets some glimpse of how far out of touch He'd gotten with life and us and simple daily pleasures and pains.  Sometimes though, I know that this new reality is scary for Him.  He started drinking in His mid-teens, and His sense of who He is has always been colored by alcohol use.  He liked drinking and using alcohol was a part of His feeling powerful and sure of Himself -- in control.  Now, with about 7 weeks of sobriety, there are times when He really questions who He is; when He feels as if He'll never be in control of His life, or anything else ever again.  When the darkness overtakes Him, I find that I have no words to offer that are any comfort.  Again and again, I am reduced to the simple declaration, "I love You."  

Yesterday morning, those words simply made Him angry.  "Who is it that you love?" He demanded.  "Tell me about who I am.  How can you love someone that you do not know anything about?  Tell Me -- I have to know what it is that you love about the person I am now."  On and on He went, railing against the incomprehensible uncertainty of His present reality. 

I have no answers for Him.  I do not know what changes we will be faced with going forward.  I do not know the shape of His personal recovery journey -- just as I do not know, ultimately, what my own recovery will reveal.  I only know that, after all of this, after all we've faced together, I love Him -- will always love Him.  It sounds cliched, even to me -- fantastically romantically silly...  And, every time He and I do the awkward dance of exchanged endearments and questions about what those endearments really mean, I swear I can hear the voice of Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof, asking Golde -- "Do you love me?"



  1. Judging from my experience with my own wife, with whom I have lived for twenty years, whether I love her depends more on what I am than what she is. It's natural, if one is capable of love, that one loves those with whom one has lived for twenty years. My son doesn't have to be anything in particular for me to love him; I guess the same can be said of my wife. It's a different flavour of love, but it's still love. I'm wondering if it's the same with you, and whether if it is, you can explain that to Tom. There really isn't any need, is there, for him to be anything in particular to deserve your love? From where I am sitting, it looks like you love him because he's there, he's been there with you for years, and you have decided long ago to love him. He's been shedding some false persona, but that should make him even more lovable, shouldn't it?

    By the way, Sue, thank you for your kind words in your last post.

  2. Transitioning is hard for everyone in the family. For me it meant I needed to find others who were married to alcoholics to compare notes, to not feel desperately alone.

    For my husband it meant every waking hour of every day for the first 90 or so days he had to maintain control of his wants vs his needs. He attended 90 meetings during that time and I felt - increadibly left out of his life.

    That was several years ago, and he has not had a drink since - hang in there it is worth the struggles.

  3. Impish111:14 AM

    Tom, who are you? You are a person of worth. You are a peron of value. You are a person who matters so much to his family that they could not throw him away even at his worse. You are a person who has apparently struggled with alcohol since you were a child, and managed to wait this long to treat it because you were strong enough to carry on in the face of it. Try to have faith that the person you are coming to know is someone you will like, will be someone you can count on. I'm sure he will be someone you are proud of. It may take time to find him, but I assure you: he is there.


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