Thursday, December 13, 2007

Always A Crossroads.

So many things are changing in our lives right now, and I'm finding myself, at least today, feeling very anxious about being at another crossroads. Things are, again, on the verge of being much better, possibly. Again, I am powerless over the changes that must occur. My husband the handsome madman is the one who will make our break our lives.

He asked someone to be his sponsor after his Tuesday meeting. I was really proud of him. It was his move, his business, and he hadn't talked about it with me at all. He had decided that he wanted to get a sponsor before the holidays and to begin working the steps because he says he is ready to make real changes in his life, to find solutions to problems that he has realized he can't fix on his own. That's a huge step, and it took a lot of courage.

He has also been working a lot this week to make sure that he can get me his fair share of bill money. While he's been working for the last few weeks, his first priority has been to pay for his methadone...not to support himself and contribute to the costs of our household. Over the last few weeks, he has worked just enough to pay for his methadone, buy himself a cup of coffee every morning, and then given me a few bucks for bill money. He's realized that he's not doing enough, and he's been trying really hard this week to do his fair share.

Again, I'm proud of him. It's a big deal, and it is evidence that he's doing a lot better, that he's on an upswing.

However, no money has touched my hands yet. He has said a lot of words about the changes that sound so wonderful, but so much bad experience over the last year has taught me that his words aren't always meaningful. They are at best more like expressions of intent than signposts that will mark actual behavior. So often in the past, when he has said, "I'm going to get you your bill money this week, " he has really been saying, "I really wish I had it together enough to be the kind of man who would get you your bill money on time this week. One day, I hope I will be."

One change that seems significant this time is that he is acknowledging that he's not been doing enough to contribute and that he wants to. He's not making excuses. He's talking about reality, and what he says makes sense. In the past, I'd always question myself: Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe he has a point.

Addicts have an uncanny ability to believe so very sincerely that they are SO RIGHT about whatever it is they are expressing. Addiction can be so powerfully deluding...the addict him or herself becomes quite convinced, and often quite convincing, that the world isn't fair, that family members aren't sane, that money is disappearing for good reason or that the money never existed in the first place. I've lived for a good year of my life with my husband in and out of active addiction, constantly doubting my own understanding of what is going on in the world, constantly wondering if I might be treating him unfairly, that I might not understand the situation fully, that it's normal for things not to make sense.

I am refreshed by his latest tendency to seem so sensible...but at the same time skeptical of my ability to interpret anything he says, skeptical of him meaning anything he says, and scared. Scared to trust that he might come through with some of his big plans for himself...scared to feel the anger and disappointment that will be there if he doesn't.