Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kindly Step Aside

Oh, Codependent Mary--please just step aside today and let your Wise Self do the thinking and the talking! You'll have a much better day if you do!

You would think that by the middle 40's, people would stop feeling the need to throw birthday parties for themselves, with the exception of milestone birthdays perhaps. But not only have we been invited to a birthday party tonight, but the invitation specifically said it was a "keg party". Seriously? Isn't a keg party something you have in college? Then the invitation went on to say "things shouldn't get out of hand, we're all old now". Interesting.

Of course reading such an invitation immediately set the codependent side of me in to motion. At first I decided not to tell my husband about the party, but the birthday girl contacted him directly after she didn't get an RSVP from me.

I can't help it; it makes me angry when people invite my husband to drinking events. In my mind I feel they should know what alcohol does to him, and how every time he comes off of a drinking episode, there is a wasted day (or two, or three) of rehabilitation, followed by several days of remorse and guilt. I feel like they should consider how many tens of thousands of dollars we've spent on rehab. I feel like they should respect what alcohol has done to our family, our marriage, and our lives--but that's not how it works.

People, especially other alcoholics, love to drink with my husband. And because he is unwilling or unable to make the absolute commitment of never drinking another drop (he still thinks he can be an occassional social drinker), he is often handed alcohol by people close to both of us; sometimes even by people who have supported me through the roughest, rock bottom, drunken times. One night he went to a party and made the decision not to drink. A woman, who I consider to be my friend, kept pushing the icy cold beer bottle into his face. He kept saying "no". At one point, this friend actually took his hand, pryed it open, and placed the bottle in it.

Codependent spouses take things like this personally. "How dare you disrespect me by inviting him to a party?". Of course, it isn't about me at all. It's not even about the pushers and the other alcoholics, you can't blame them. It's only about him and what he chooses to do. And if you love or live with an alcoholic, that's the absolute hardest thing to wrap your head around.

Alcohol is a demon. Not for everyone, but for many. Fortunately I am in a good place today. If he makes the decision to go to the party and to drink, it's on him, not me. I've got things to do today and I refuse to spend the day consumed by "what if".

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