Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Timeline: Part Three

December 4, 2010:
I wrote an entry called "Never Leave Your Partner Behind"

I was still writing and grieving about Mom. I wrote about past loves, which was extremely emotional and somewhat bittersweet. I was spending a lot of my time wondering how things went so wrong. Things were no better with my marriage, and I desperately needed a reason. It had to be something I was doing.

I was becoming more and more frustrated with myself. I knew what I thought was supposed to be happening, but it wasn't. My house and my head were becoming cluttered. I was beating myself up; disgusted with my weight, my eating habits, and feeling like a failure. I had no energy to straighten things; not in my head, not in my closet. My anxiety was ever present, but my depression was beginning to growing like a monster.

I watched the film "Fireproof", and it had quite an impact on me. A young couple who had drifted so far apart from each other, it seemed there was no hope for their marriage. The characters in the film use a real life program called "The Love Dare". A 40 day program, designed to strengthen marriages and bring ailing couples together. It addresses selfishness and addiction. It also promotes the idea that in order for relationships to work, each member of the couple should find their own peace with God. This was just what I needed! I would work "The Love Dare" program, and in 40 days things would surely be a lot better. It sure was in the movie!

My heart was in the right place, but I quickly realized that once again, I was doing this alone. My husband was not the least bit interested in watching the film, or working the "The Love Dare" program. I was beginning to feel frantic that I wanted and needed my husband to work with me here! I wanted desperately for us to be close again! I wanted us to bond in the way we used to bond. I wanted us to go to restaurants together like other couples. I wanted us to go anywhere together like other couples. It's like I woke up one day and suddenly realized that somehow over the past few years, we had become separated. We were hardly ever together, aside from living together in the same house. We weren't even eating dinner together at home anymore. In fact, I was beginning to feel like my husband was making a conscious effort to avoid me. I was deseprate to figure out the reason.

I was not ready to give up. I was still willing to work very hard, even if I was the only one working. I just needed to get my husband on board. I believed we had both just become complacent. We both needed to focus. I began suggesting we renew our wedding vows. We would buy new rings, invite our friends, have a wedding and get remarried. We could put everything behind us. All the bad things that had happened in the past, all the unresolved issues I mentioned in Part Two, could just be erased. Poof! We wouldn't have to address them, or figure out a way to fix them, because they would just be gone and we could start fresh. I suggested this idea many times. I never got any response from my husband whatsoever. He didn't say "no", he just said nothing.

This was about the time I started to realize I was the only one fighting to save this marriage. But I would not give up.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Timeline: Part Two

May 5, 2009:
I wrote a journal entry titled "What I Learned During Derby 2009"

I'd been studying codependence diligently for more than 6 months. I'd had a couple of small victories, and some defeats. I knew what I needed to be doing, and sometimes I was able to do it, but nothing was changing. In fact, my husband and I seemed to be drifting even further apart. While it was still always in the forefront, his level of drinking was a definite improvement over where it had been in the past, so why weren't things getting better?

I'd had 6 months of enormous self discovery and reflection. I had always been a somewhat over anxious person, but my anxiety was beginning to escalate to the point it was disrupting my life. And for the first time ever, I began to suffer from occasional bouts of depression. I was writing a lot about my mother, and still grieving over her death, just one year earlier. I was incredibly sad, mad, and frustrated that despite my hard work and effort, things with my husband were not improving.

I chose this day as pivotal because some of the key points in that day's journal entry will come in to play again, further down the timeline. Of course I wrote about my frustration with my husband's over the top Derby antics. And I noted that I was aware of the fact that I was still way too concerned with his behavior. But I also noted that when he and I argue, the same unresolved issues keep surfacing over and over. I wrote that those issues really needed to be resolved once and for all. Finally, I wrote that my husband was not cured of alcoholism and I was not cured of codependency. We have some issues but we love each other, and we both want to be better. Better individuals, better parents, and a better couple.

At this point in time, I still firmly believed that this relationship should, could and would be restored to it's original 1995 luster. That somehow, one good, happy, sober day when we could both think clearly, my husband and I would finally be able to sit down and talk out those unresolved issues that keep surfacing over and over again. We would work them out once and for all, everything would be fine, and we could get on with the business of our lives.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Timeline: Part One

October 27, 2008:
The day I started writing this journal.

After years of searching for a way to cure my husband of alcoholism, thus solving all of my problems, I had just discovered the term "codependence". My role in the disease. My role in the alcoholic relationship.

It was completely intriguing to me to realize that for a very, very long time, I'd been looking at this whole thing the wrong way. Instead of fixing my husband, what I really needed to do was fix myself.

I couldn't put down my paperback copy of Melody Beattie's "Codependent No More". As I read it, I got it. I truly got it. I spent the next several months sorting through it in my mind; understanding how I got this way. Stories from my childhood, stories from every relationship I'd ever been in were whirling at me, and they all starting falling in to place, like pieces fitting into one big jigsaw puzzle. It was all making sense to me now.

I knew I had to break this pattern of behavior, and I knew it wouldn't happen overnight--after all I didn't get this way overnight. For the next several months, I would read everything I could get my hands on concerning codependence. I studied and I wrote, and I worked very hard to be aware of, and avoid the triggers and the behaviors that were responsible for my unhealthy behavior and my misery.

At this point in time I believed that if I could conquer my codependence, I would become healthy and independent. When that happened, my husband would no longer have his enabler, his yin-yang counterpart in this disease, and may just follow my lead and become healthy and happy too.

I knew I was on to something big. I was determined to have a healthy mind, and I was determined to have a healthy marriage.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pretty Soon, I'm Going To Write About It

I wish I could remember who said this to me...I don't, but many years ago someone told me "God laughs at our plans". Often I think how true this is. Very often. In fact, I was thinking it today, while I was toting a large, sun faded Harry Potter cardboard stand-up to the dumpster at work.

Sixteen months ago, if you'd told me my life would be where it is today, I'd have rolled my eyes and laughed in your face. That's because sixteen months ago, I still believed I could and would eventually control the situation I was in. Even after all the information I'd learned and read, after all the time I'd spent writing in this journal, I still held on to that deep rooted belief that somehow, some way, the situation I was in was eventually going to get better.

I still remember the day that all changed.

I haven't had much to write about lately, because I've been waiting. Waiting for the ball to drop, I guess? Waiting to see how I would feel the next day, or the next week, or the next week. Kind of like I ingested a drug, and then sat down and waited to see how it was going to affect me. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will the feeling change after a certain length of time?

I'm starting to piece together the series of events that unfolded from the day it all changed to now, and very soon, I want to write about them. When I first started this journal, I called it "My journey out of codependence". Even though I began planning and "packing" back then, my journey truly only started that day, a little over a year ago.

I'm getting this all straight in my head, but soon I will write about it. I'm not yet sure of the format; I'm working on that too. I just know I really want to write about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not So Different From 1977

My daughter started school today. 8th grade. She came home very excited, and talking non stop about her day. I'm glad it seemed like the day was good, and that she is happy about her final year of middle school. So many fun things and events will happen during this year, to prepare her for high school.

She was talking about some new friends she'd met today. I started thinking how this is the same grade I was in when I met Scarlet and Kim; friendships that have lasted more than 30 years. In some ways it seems like a hundred years ago. In some ways, like yesterday. It's nice to have friends who have stuck by you through good and bad, happy and sad....even read your blog! I always tell my daughter how important it is for her to surround herself with strong women. I hope that she'll have at least one friendship from this school year that will endure as ours have.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I'm having a hard time coming up with the inspiration to write these days. I'm not sure if it's because I have nothing to say or if it's something else.

But rest assured, I am alive and well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's Getting Better All The Time

I'm happy. Life is complicated, and there are a few people who are having some issues with me right now--and I'm pretty sure I've somehow managed to jack up my karma a little bit, but even so, I'm still happy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Don't Give Away The Ending!

Did you ever watch a really good mystery movie, and half way through it, you realize you have no idea how its going to end? That's how I feel about my life right now. How will it all play out? Sometimes I think I'd like to know.

Then again, I guess the movie wouldn't be any fun to watch if you already knew the ending.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Leos In The House!!

Three of my favorite people in the world have birthdays this week. Miss Pamela, Kitty, and Sally.

Each of these people is unique, and I'm so very thankful to have them in my life!

For Kitty and Sally, this birthday marks the beginning of a new decade. One that I'm sure will be filled with lots of joy and self discovery.

For Miss Pamela, this marks her first birthday since cancer interrupted her life several months ago. For her, I think this new year of life will be appreciated in a way many of us will never understand.

Miss Pamela, Kitty, and Sally-- I love you all dearly. Thank you for your friendship, your love, and support for all these years. Happy, Happy Birthday to you all!