I felt very sad yesterday when I heard that Amy Winehouse had passed away, most likely from a drug and alcohol overdose. Such a talent; a wonderful writer and singer. She was never able to escape the stranglehold of her addiction. At 27 years old it got the best of her, and killed her. My heart truly goes out to her family, and to the people who loved her, yet had to stand by and watch her self destruct.
This has caused me to be extraordinarily reflective today. About addiction....about codependence. About my own life.
If you have never lived with, or loved a substance abuser, you can't possibly imagine the battle they fight every day. Moreover, you can't possibly imagine what it's like to be committed to, and LOVE someone who is trapped by this addiction. Every day is a roller coaster. Some days are normal and stable, some days are like a carnival ride through hell. Then the days turn in to months and years. No matter how much rehab, no matter how long the sobriety, the demon is always there, just below the surface. It never leaves...ever.
Years of riding on the roller coaster make you jaded. Jaded and bitter. You always have to be on guard because you never know what you're going to get. Will today be peaceful and calm, or should I brace myself for the worst? No one likes to be left unguarded, so most of your days are spent prepared and ready for attack. Even after months or years of peaceful and calm, you can still go from relaxed to red alert in the blink of an eye, if the enemy is spotted.
At some point you stop being a partner to the addict, and become more of a guardian or disciplinarian. This usually happens very early on in the relationship, and quickly changes the dynamic of it. The damage this causes is detrimental, and drains the life out of both partners.
I don't think there's much that can be done at this point to turn back time and change my life. Right now I am trying very hard to focus on myself and I'm desperately seeking the motivation I need to return to Healthy Mind, Healthy Body. Also, I am focusing on my children. I'm trying to educate them on the evils of alcoholism, and the likelihood they possess the gene for it.
My life is far from over, but so much of it has been wasted from this disease, and my desire to keep control over it. I don't know where life will take me. I want to be happy. I want my husband to be happy. I want my children to be happy. But I have to face the fact that I can control only one of those things.
A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior.
The following two "Detach" journal entries will give you a crash course:
"An Answer to a Prayer" dated Nov 1, 2008 "How Did We Wind Up Here?" dated Nov 2, 2008
About This Journal
In 2008 I had the life changing realization that there was a name for what I'd always felt was "wrong" with me. After 20 years of thumbing through various self-help books. I learned about codependence.
I began writing this journal to document my journey out. Over time, it's evolved into something more. While I still talk about codependence (I know now, it will never totally leave me), this blog has turned into the thumbprint of my life; a therapeutic journal for me to sort out a lifetime of thoughts and memories. I believe in being honest with myself and others, and when something is bothering me, I reach out. With a support team of strong, smart women surrounding us, we can all continue to grow. I'm trying to live my best life, in pursuit of a Healthy Mind, a Healthy Body.