I wrote a little about the tin foil hat recently, and it made me realize how much I talk about my husband's outward manifestations of his addiction as metaphorical tin foil hats. I find the comparison to be endlessly helpful.
One of the things I've struggled hardest against in coming to accept my present situation and my husband's disease is that I always want really, really badly to understand what he is doing and why he is doing it. When he relapses, I go over and over in my head, "What caused it? What happened? Why? Why? Why?" And especially earlier on in this adventure, I'd ask him..."What were you thinking? Why don't you just stop doing that? It doesn't work, so you could just stop acting like that..."
And those of you who have been with me from my earliest baby steps in bloggery surely remember my constant research and reporting on heroin. Heroin causes boils! Heroin kills your brain! Heroin gives you hemorrhoids! I spent so much time researching and trying to figure out what was happening to my husband, trying to understand how all the little symptoms of things that had been going wrong with him stemmed from this one source. I was obsessed.
It's partly my nerdy nature, I guess. If I ever have a problem, I start reading what the experts say about the problem. I believe strongly in the power of words, in the power of finding the meaning behind the events...so often in my life, it's helped me make sense of my world when it was turning upside down. And it has helped me in understanding my husband's addiction, too, in a lot of ways. Connecting with other people, writing about what has been happening to me here, learning more about my own spirituality and working on my own recovery has helped me to grow in spite of what is going on with him.
But I just haven't found yet what I've been looking for...that answer to WHY. Why does he act like that? Why can't he just stop?
So lately, when I find myself going to that place where my mind is running circles around his nonsensical behavior, I imagine that I'm married to a schizophrenic man. I love him very much, and I have decided to stay with him. I come home and find him wearing a tin foil hat. I don't like the tin foil hat, but I understand that it's just a manifestation of his disease, and maybe I gently remind him that there is medication that can help him slow down his spiraling.
So when my husband throws a can of soup, neglects to take care of himself, sits around and makes a pigsty of our home...it's all tin foil hats. There's no need to try to understand. It's not understandable.