I haven’t written in a while because something always “comes up”. My life has become completely unpredictable and, as someone who values planning, I hate this. I’ve been seeing a counsellor – I’ve tried a few actually – to try and make sense of things. She said the most useful and honest thing that I’ve ever been told:
“You’re addicted to him.”
It works on a number of levels. I’m addicted to getting him sober. I’m addicted to saving him. I’m addicted to taking responsibility for him. And, I don’t know if I can ever leave him.
At first it was easy to discount or ignore this as it didn’t fit with my view of myself. I always thought that if I didn’t do whatever needed doing he wouldn’t and we’d both suffer the consequences. Consequences are frankly terrifying. Him getting sacked (again), getting evicted, having the gas or electricity disconnected, him being thrown out of recovery groups (again) or even jail were all circling in my mind. They often still are. However, I’m slowly learning that these are his consequences, and whatever he chooses to do with them, even if it involves me, are still his choices. I’ve never poured alcohol into his mouth, that is always his choice.
I’m starting to detach a little. I know it’s not my responsibility to remind him to go to work etc. It has surprised me how difficult it is even to make such small changes but they are incredibly important. I am gaining confidence and independence almost every day. I plan to keep moving forward by trying not to lose track of who I am and what’s important to me. I’m about to complete a masters degree in biology and I am flabbergasted that I’m still on track for a first despite everything else that’s going on in my life.
I thought I had to be a carer. I now realise that I don’t have to, and it isn’t healthy for me to be one. It’s not my job to look after him. For now at least, I need to look after me.