Ugh is the only way to describe the past couple of days within the confines of my marriage.
Mitch and I had a fight that went from quiet arguing to screaming obscenities to me throwing him out of the house to uncomfortable days of silence.
In the end, we were able to have a more rational conversation about the things that had transpired (i.e. normal marriage stuff, but with the added bonus of each of you knowing how to push the shit out of the other’s buttons); and agreed that as long as we’re still fighting — and have something to say to one another — then we’re still in this. Together.
Overcoming the Addict Within
My first gut reaction to having been emotionally disemboweled by my spouse was to act out.
I wanted to reach for the bottle of wine in the pantry (that Mitch keeps for cooking) and just get soused. I wanted to run to an AA meeting that I know is full of chaos and lies (and become a part of said chaos and lies). I wanted to grab my phone, reach out to an ex, and beg for sexual benefits. I wanted to take every pill in the house, and wait for death.
(Side Note: I do not wish to do these things to hurt my husband nor myself — not consciously, anyway — but to feel something radically different to despair.)
Instead, I did none of these things.
I collapsed onto the couch and cried into Tocho’s fur until he was soppy and covered in snot. I forced myself to get up and wash the dishes in the kitchen sink. I turned on a beloved television program and hit the mod like it was my last day on earth. I didn’t eat… until I did, and then went on a binge.
I don’t proclaim that these choices are “healthy” necessarily; but they’re a hell of a lot healthier than the destructive alternatives that first surfaced in response to stress.
Years into my recovery (in which I’ve done a ton of self-reflective work), I recognize the aforementioned gut reactions as extremely poor coping mechanisms for emotional discord.
I realize that thinking that way will always be a part of who I am (and I cannot control said thoughts); but acting on them is something I can control.
When I start to hear the insidious siren call of the addict within, I know it is imperative to think of the things I could lose should I answer it. Namely? My husband, my son, and my (rather precarious) sanity.
Having gratitude for what I do have helps to prevent the damage that my addicted self would do should she be let loose. (I’ve managed to keep that bitch caged for a good number of years, and do not intend to set her free.)
I will always be an addict… and I may never be able to stop the binge-eating or the non-stop inhaling of nicotine; but I would rather be a lil’ fluffy and vaping like a dragon than a careless drunk who thinks little about anything other than getting that next drink.
I would rather be fighting with Mitch over my lack of a sex-life than feel miserable about myself for having reckless sex (and yes, it’s always reckless at that point) with men who aren’t my husband.
I would rather know who I am than have no idea who I have become.
I choose to be more than my addictions.
Unfortunately — even when making healthier choices — mental and emotional stress always takes a toll.
In this most recent event with my husband, I lost all motivation. I stopped writing, stopped reading, stopped going to the gym, stopped showering, stopped corresponding with friends, ate a shit-ton of junk food, and was minimalistic in my attempts at doing the chores (I did keep up with the dishes).
This reaction to internal turmoil is a symptom of my disease… and it’s never easy to cope with.
It is beyond difficult to live with a mind that seems determined to unravel itself; and the knowledge that you will have to deal with said self-destructive mind for the rest of your life can be more than a little daunting.
I have yet to scale the walls of the rabbit hole I found myself falling into this past weekend; but I’m getting there… and really, that’s all that I can do — scale the walls one tremulous step at a time.