As he's been recuperating from his latest relapse, my husband has been planning and planning and planning all the wonderful things he would start doing once he felt better. One of the things, as always, was to start going to meetings.
He's finally been starting to perk up over the last few days, and we made a plan to meet at tonight's meeting. I meet with my stepwork group before my meeting, and he had some errands to run before his meeting. Before we parted ways, I'd already begun to fret about how I was certain he'd blow off the meeting.
And while the quality of my fretting is different from what it used to be in that I stayed in the meeting and I didn't stare at the door waiting to see him show up, it was still on my mind when it got to be 6:00 and he wasn't there. Our topic tonight was dealing with relapse and how our reactions to relapse reflect our growth through the program, and one of the things I brought up, even, was how I could tell I'd grown because I wasn't freaking out about him not being at the meeting like I would have in the past.
It was a great meeting, too. There was a newcomer, and that always adds a great perspective for me...it makes me think about my own first meeting, how sure I was that I wouldn't fit in with anyone, how nobody would like me, how I wouldn't like anybody, and how by the time I walked out of that door the first night, I'd become a full-fledged Nar-Anon convert. I'd never felt more like I'd found the place where I belonged, where there were people who understood what I was going through, what my husband was going through, and who had some actual, applicable information on how I could help myself. It was a beautiful night...and it also makes me think of how much I've grown over the last year and how much has changed in my life. I like newcomers.
It was one of those meetings I hated to see end, especially since I was dreading going home and listening to the lies and excuses about why he didn't show up for the meeting. I lingered for a bit afterwards to prolong the inevitable reunion with my husband...
But then, when I finally left, I saw the most beautiful thing. He was there, talking to someone else from the program, with his slightly-chewed Styrofoam cup of Narcotics Anonymous coffee. That cup looked like a grail full of holy water to me at that moment. It might be silly, but I was so glad he was there tonight, that he did what he said he was going to do, and that he was taking care of himself while I was taking care of myself.