Eventually, I had to face facts. I had to admit the toll that allowing myself to be consumed by Mr. Universe’s well-being was taking on my well-being. Because just like he was making choices, so was I. I mean, not making a choice IS still making a choice.
The ungrounding experience of being married to an addict made it nearly impossible to commit any sustained focus on anything other than him. He could swing from clean, empowered and in control to inebriated and lacking the ability to carry on a conversation. Each time he would bottom out, we would have a “come to Jesus” resulting in his recommitment to getting clean…which could mean anything from total abstinence to setting defined limits like no substances before 8pm (yeah, we tried that one more times than I care to admit).
Life became a continuous negotiation. But it wasn’t necessarily just me negotiating with him. In fact, it was probably more about me negotiating with myself. What did I want? What was I hoping for? What was I willing to settle for? What did I deserve? What could I forgive?
And for each question I contemplated for myself, I did the same for and about him. Expending enormous amounts of energy trying to guess what he was thinking and feeling. Trouble is, the main goal of an addict is to numb, self-soothe, so they don’t to think or feel.
Despite knowing on some level that the odds were stacked against me and most likely never to be in my favor, I would optimistically hope that the latest negotiation would be the magic pill to turn everything around. To bring sobriety and peace to Mr. Universe and forgiveness from me.
You see, dealing with an addict is complicated. Nothing is black and white. Everything is gray. Which is exactly how I found myself feeling most days…gray. My spark for life was on hold…just like my breath. I was experiencing life in that pause just after a deep inhale but before the sweet relief of the exhale. Filling myself with the hope that this time he’d be able to stay clean…that this time I’d be able to forgive him for all the previous times…but not trusting enough to allow myself to sigh into a space of peace nor trust.
The majority of my energy was spent navigating my marriage and his dis-ease. Trying to eliminate as many triggers for Mr. Universe as I could, while also working to not be a trigger myself. Turns out all that is a lot of work. I was exhausted. He was exhausted. We were exhausting each other…while also triggering the shit out of one another. It was a downward spiral that neither of us could stop. Until we did.
In just a few years, I had gone from this expansive, anything is possible feeling to the sad realization that I had boarded the Titanic and we were heading straight for an ice burg. That sinking feeling I had…it was real. That feeling that there was nothing I could do about it…also real.
You see, my marriage was a real life example of what happens when you marry your karma card (itiskismet.com). No one but the energy is in control…and even it just wants to play itself out and move the fuck on.