We have all heard that comparison is the thief of joy. Well, that’s true, but from my experience I believe there to be a much more powerful thief lurking out there ready to come in and swipe (or at least give a mighty attempt) some of your most prized possessions.
I admit to being an overshared and often write from personal experience. If you’ve been around here for a bit you’ll remember I used to refer to my husband as “The Husband”. I have not written about The Husband or his death two years ago.
Anniversaries come around every year. Such is the nature of anniversaries. Some are fun and to be celebrated. Others are hard. Each year I have anniversaries of loss which can be hard. This is such an anniversary. This is the second anniversary of the loss of “The Husband”, a man who lived as a father, brother, son, friend, coach, lawyer, husband and, as we all are, child of God. Alcoholism came into his life and took it far too soon. And the ripple effects of this particular thief’s vile , over-reaching fingers brought tremendous heartache.
Addiction come into our life and completely hijacked it. It is not something to be taken lightly or shove into the corner. It happens. In fact, it can happen to anyone. We can testify to that.
This is a hard topic to address and difficult to share. There are many burdens of shame and guilt and embarrassment (and I could go on with a page long list of adjectives, none of them pretty) attached to addiction, any addiction. But I think it’s time. It’s time to stop overlooking and burying our heads in the sand. The affects are traumatic and, unfortunately, I have learned touch far too many of us.
It has taken me a long to get to the place where I can write this post. I have been on a journey to let go of hurt, confusion and bitterness. I can’t say I’m always there, but any progress is good progress. There are far too many things in life that we will never understand and at some point, as hard as it, accepting that as fact becomes somewhat freeing. Understanding that we are all imperfect beings is another one of those things I call “freeing acceptances”. And I mean more than simply saying those words, but truly knowing that every single one of us is imperfect. Flawed. Wrong at times. Hurt. And also hurting. But here we are in this world and life and it’s my belief that we have an obligation to do our very best with all we are given, the situations we find ourselves in, and to make the very best choices we can at every opportunity. However, even believing all of that, still knowing that that at times it may not be enough.
Sometimes I invision the alcohol hovering around like the death eaters in a Harry Potter movie ready to swoop in so forcefully, but often so unexpectedly you are completely caught off guard at the brutal force and evilness. Other times I see it like Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters constantly sitting on the shoulder offering twisted ideas and advice to his nephew Wormwood, or at times as Wormwood attempting to influence “the Patient” into damnation. “The safest road to hell is is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” That is how I see the addiction coming into our life.
It came, settled in and took a firm hold.
I want to acknowledge a life and this anniversary. I want to acknowledge the good, the happiness, laughter, little moments of love, and the goodness of a life. Someone acting within the hold of an addiction can bring so much pain, make poor decisions and create hurtful situations, many of which remain after the addiction has either been put in its place or, in our case, the unthinkable happens.
I do not have the answers but I do know the effects of addiction and I do know there is hope and help and recovery for those who are willing to receive it. And the willingness to receive is the key. Until there is an open hand and open heart there will only be pain.
Healing is not easy and not for the “feint of heart”. It takes time, patience and a lot of work. It’s an individual process and comes in fits and starts and often does not even look like progress. It’s crucial, though, to move forward, to be whole and actually live fully.
I use this space to write and share things that may be helpful to anyone who happens to pop in to read. This post may not resonate with you, but my hope is that you may share it with someone who may be feeling on an island, or can relate.
Thank you for being here.
I hope you are continuing to stay well.